Undrafted NFL Free Agents 2019: Latest Details on the Biggest Signings

MOBILE, ALABAMA - DECEMBER 22: Tyree Jackson #3 of the Buffalo Bulls throws the ball during the first half of the Dollar General Bowl against the Troy Trojans on December 22, 2018 in Mobile, Alabama. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

After the 2019 NFL draft concluded Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee, teams went to work at rounding out their rosters by signing some of the top prospects who went undrafted.

The Arizona Cardinals made UCLA tight end Caleb Wilson the draft’s Mr. Irrelevant when they took him 254th overall, and it wasn’t long before the undrafted free-agent market went into overdrive.

Many undrafted players have gone on to become stars over the years, including Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay, who became the first undrafted offensive rookie in NFL history to be named to the Pro Bowl.

Here is a look at the biggest undrafted free-agent signings thus far, as those who were not selected in the draft vie to make themselves the next success story.

   

Tyree Jackson to Bills

Buffalo quarterback Tyree Jackson was surprisingly not picked in the 2019 NFL draft, but he will stay close to where he played his college ball after signing with the Buffalo Bills.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Jackson signed a deal that will net him $75,000 in guaranteed money. In Buffalo, Jackson will vie with Matt Barkley and Derek Anderson for a spot on the roster behind starter Josh Allen.

    

Elijah Holyfield to Panthers

The son of former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield, Elijah Holyfield, is set to sign with the Carolina Panthers, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Holyfield, who played his college ball at Georgia, will join another SEC running back in Florida’s Jordan Scarlett (who Carolina took in the fifth round) as options to earn a backup spot behind star running back Christian McCaffrey.

     

Jake Browning to Vikings

Washington quarterback Jake Browning received $140,000 guaranteed from the Minnesota Vikings, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

A four-year starter for the Huskies, Browning threw for 12,296 yards, 94 touchdowns and 34 interceptions. While Kirk Cousins is the unquestioned starter in Minnesota, Browning could potentially battle Sean Mannion for the backup job.

   

Brett Rypien to Broncos

After selecting Missouri quarterback Drew Lock in the second round, the Denver Broncos signed Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien, according to Pelissero.

Rypien is the nephew of former Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien, and he has a chance to make Denver’s roster as the No. 3 quarterback behind veteran Joe Flacco and Lock.

   

Kyle Shurmur to Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs signed former Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

Shurmur is the son of New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, and he will get to compete with a pair of former high NFL draft picks in Chad Henne and EJ Manuel to earn a roster spot behind reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes.

   

Gerald Willis to Ravens

One of the most surprising snubs of the draft has reportedly found a home, as Miami defensive tackle Gerald Willis has agreed to sign with the Baltimore Ravens, according to Pelissero.

Willis was listed as ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr.’s best available player for much of Day 3, and he is set to land in a good spot for a defense-first Ravens team that could use some depth along the defensive line.

    

Emanuel Hall to Bears

The Chicago Bears added another potential weapon for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky on the UDFA market, as Missouri wide receiver Emanuel Hall announced he is signing with the team.

Hall topped 800 receiving yards in each of the past two seasons, and he will look to carve out a role alongside Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller and 2019 fourth-round pick Riley Ridley at wideout.

    

Terez Hall to Patriots

The New England Patriots added some linebacker depth by agreeing to terms with Missouri’s Terez Hall, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

Hall was a two-year starter for the Tigers who gives the Pats a much-needed option behind starters Dont’a Hightower, Elandon Roberts and Kyle Van Noy.

    

Karan Higdon to Texans

After surprisingly waiting until the seventh round to draft a running back, the Houston Texans are bringing in another back in the form of Karan Higdon, according to Michigan Football:

Both Lamar Miller and D’Onta Foreman battled injuries last season, so if Higdon can beat out seventh-round pick Cullen Gillaspia for a roster spot, he has a legitimate chance to play a significant role for Houston as a rookie.

     

Saivion Smith to Jaguars

Alabama’s Saivion Smith was arguably the top cornerback to go undrafted, but he landed on a top-end defense by signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars, per Rapoport.

Considering Levi Wallace of the Buffalo Bills was one of the NFL’s best rookie cornerbacks last season after going undrafted out of Alabama, there will be high hopes for Smith to potentially get significant playing time behind Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye in Jacksonville.

    

David Sills to Bills

After declining to select a wide receiver in the draft, the Bills signed one of the best available on the UDFA market in West Virginia’s David Sills, according to Adam Caplan of SiriusXM.

Buffalo has a lot of options at wideout, but the team is lacking elite playmakers with John Brown, Cole Beasley, Zay Jones and Robert Foster as the top targets. In Sills, the Bills get a former quarterback who reeled in 33 receiving touchdowns over the past two seasons combined.

    

Olamide Zaccheaus to Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons added to their already-strong wide receiver group by signing Virginia’s Olamide Zaccheaus, according to Rapoport.

Zaccheaus could fill a need in Atlanta’s high-octane offense since Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu primarily excel as outside receivers, while Zaccheaus is best used as a slot guy.

     

Greg Dortch to Jets

Wake Forest wide receiver Greg Dortch announced Saturday that he signed with the New York Jets:

New York did not draft a receiver despite uncertainty in a group led by Robby Anderson, Jamison Crowder and Quincy Enunwa. Dortch will look to emerge as a weapon for quarterback Sam Darnold after topping 1,000 yards last season and also returning two punts for touchdowns at Wake.

    

Devine Ozigbo to Saints

The New Orleans Saints agreed to a deal with Nebraska running back Devine Ozigbo, according to Rotoworld’s Josh Norris.

New Orleans is set at the top of its running back depth chart with Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray, but with little behind them, Ozigbo is a strong bet to make the team after rushing for over 1,000 yards last season.

     

Stanley Morgan Jr. to Bengals

After not taking a wide receiver with any of its 10 picks, the Cincinnati Bengals addressed the spot by signing Nebraska’s Stanley Morgan Jr., according to Jordan Reid of Cover 1.

Morgan, who is the son of former New England Patriots All-Pro receiver Stanley Morgan, topped 1,000 yards last season and will look to slide in behind wideouts A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and John Ross in Cincinnati.

    

Lil’Jordan Humphrey to Saints

The Saints brought in a possible weapon for quarterback Drew Brees by signing Texas wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey, according to Longhorn Network’s Alex Loeb (h/t Deuce Windham of The Athletic).

Humphrey broke out in a big way last season with 1,176 yards and nine touchdowns, and it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that he could be one of the Saints’ top wideouts behind Michael Thomas in 2019 since he’ll be competing with the likes of Ted Ginn, Tre’Quan Smith, Keith Kirkwood, Austin Carr and Cameron Meredith.

    

Wyatt Ray to Browns

The Cleveland Browns agreed to a deal with Boston College edge-rusher Wyatt Ray on Saturday, according to Boston College defensive ends coach Jim Reid:

Cleveland did not draft a pass-rusher, so signing Ray on the heels of a nine-sack season is a seemingly strong move in terms of adding depth behind starting defensive ends Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon.

    

Jakobi Meyers to Patriots

The Patriots continued to address their need at wide receiver by signing NC State’s Jakobi Meyers, according to Caplan.

New England desperately needs to add some outside threats to complement Julian Edelman in the slot, and after selecting Arizona State’s N’Keal Harry in the first round, they brought in another threat in Meyers, who racked up 92 catches for 1,047 yards last season.

    

Preston Williams to Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins brought in a highly productive wide receiver Saturday by signing Colorado State’s Preston Williams, per Rapoport.

Williams registered 96 receptions for 1,345 yards and 14 touchdowns last season, but he fell down draft boards after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge involving his then-girlfriend in 2017, according to Kelly Lyell of The Coloradoan.

He has a chance to be a big-time player for a Miami team that is lacking elite receivers with DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills leading the way.

    

James Williams to Chiefs

The Chiefs found a potentially good fit at running back by signing Washington State’s James Williams, according to Lars Hanson of Rivals.

Williams is seemingly cut from the same cloth as Chiefs starter Damien Williams, as he caught 83 passes last season for the Cougars. Williams will compete with sixth-round pick Darwin Thompson out of Utah State for a depth spot behind Damien Williams and Carlos Hyde.

    

Anthony Johnson to Buccaneers

After his college quarterback stayed in Buffalo by signing with the Bills, former Buffalo wide receiver Anthony Johnson agreed to a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to Nick Filipowski of WIVB in Buffalo.

On the heels of both DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries leaving during the offseason, there is room for Johnson to compete for a major role behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin along with sixth-round pick Scott Miller out of Bowling Green.

    

Felton Davis to Chiefs

The Chiefs made another move at wide receiver Saturday by signing Michigan State’s Felton Davis, according to the school:

With Tyreek Hill’s future uncertain amid a child abuse investigation, the Chiefs drafted Georgia wideout Mecole Hardman in the second round. Davis will look to add some depth alongside Hardman, Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson, Sammie Coates and others.

    

Dax Raymond to Bears

Arguably the top tight end to go undrafted has found a home, as Dax Raymond signed with the Bears, according to Utah State Football:

While Raymond is talented enough to make an NFL roster, he will have plenty of competition in Chicago with starter Trey Burton and 2017 second-round pick Adam Shaheen in the fold. Even so, Raymond has a good chance to stick as the No. 3 option.

    

Jonathan Ledbetter to Dolphins

The Dolphins addressed arguably their biggest need by signing Georgia edge player Jonathan Ledbetter, according to Caplan.

Miami doesn’t have much in terms of pass-rushers aside from 2017 first-round pick Charles Harris, and while Ledbetter only had 4.5 sacks during his college career at Georgia, he is a big-bodied defensive end who brings a different skill set than the one possessed by edge linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel, who Miami drafted in the fifth round out of Wisconsin.

    

Wilton Speight to 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers beefed up their quarterback room Saturday by signing former Michigan and UCLA signal-caller Wilton Speight, per Jason Lewis of ABC12 WJRT.

Speight didn’t receive much predraft hype after throwing six touchdowns and six interceptions at UCLA last season, but he threw 18 touchdowns at Michigan in 2016 and adds some depth behind Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard with Jimmy G coming off a torn ACL.

    

Albert Huggins to Texans

After watching Clemson defensive linemates Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence and Austin Bryant get drafted, Albert Huggins announced Saturday that he signed with the Texans:

Houston’s defensive line is somewhat lacking in terms of top-end talent aside from J.J. Watt, so Huggins has a chance to stick as a 3-4 defensive end or nose tackle in certain situations.

    

Te’von Coney to Raiders

Notre Dame linebacker Te’von Coney announced that he signed a free-agent deal with the Oakland Raiders:

Coney went undrafted despite registering over 100 tackles in each of the past two seasons and seven sacks combined over the past two campaigns. In Oakland, Coney will have a chance to learn from both Brandon Marshall and Vontaze Burfict, and he could potentially earn a starting job in the near future.

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