Although there are seven rounds of the NFL draft, many players who declared for the draft aren’t drafted. Therefore, once the draft concludes, teams can begin to sign undrafted free agents. While many players that are signed don’t even make the final team roster, certain players can from time to time. In the history of the NFL, there have been many players who weren’t projected to be drafted and therefore signed with a team afterward. Some undrafted free agents such as Wes Welker and Antonio Gates have had extremely successful careers because of the chances they were given. This past draft, the New York Jets signed multiple undrafted free agents. Though not all will make the roster, a few players likely can. Players the Jets have signed include cornerback Isaiah Dunn, tight end Kenny Yeboah, guard Tristen Hoge, and multiple others.
Jets Candidate #1: Kenny Yeboah
Throughout the 2021 NFL Draft, several players were projected to go in the later rounds that didn’t get drafted at all. One of them is Ole Miss tight end Kenny Yeboah, who the Jets picked up as an undrafted free agent two weeks ago. By many draft experts, the Ole Miss product was predicted to go between Rounds 4 and 6. Luckily, he fell right into the Jets’ lap and general manager Joe Douglas signed him.
Out of all undrafted free agents New York signed, Yeobah has, in my opinion, the greatest chance to be on the roster. The reasoning for this is because the Jets have a relatively weak tight end group and he can even be a starter on day one. New York’s tight end room consists of an underwhelming Chris Herndon, Tyler Kroft, and Trevon Wesco. Overall, the position is one of the worst in football.
Yeboah, 22, is six foot four and comes in at 240 pounds. His pass-catching ability is known to be very good, as well as his route running. His negatives are that he lacks elite burst and his blocking isn’t great. Overall, this was a great signing and if signed, he should have a part on the Jets 2021 offense.
Jets Candidate #2: Hamilcar Rashed Jr.
Since the Jets opted to not take an edge rusher during the draft, they needed to sign one of the top undrafted ones. And that was exactly what happened. Hamilcar Rashed Jr, an edge rusher out of Oregon State, had 14 sacks in 2019. However, his production in 2020 took a massive dip as he only recorded one sack. Because of this, his draft stock massively slipped and he went undrafted.
The main players part of the Jets’ EDGE group are Carl Lawson and John Franklin-Myers. While they are very talented, if Rashed can make the roster and play to his full potential, it can be a top unit in the NFL. Training camp will be a big part of the decision of making the team.
Overall, this was a solid UDFA period by the Jets. While not all players may make the team, all will have a chance to. There is always an unexpected player who can make the roster and impact the team.