Stanley Morgan Jr.

5 Undrafted Free Agents Who Will Actually Contribute in the NFL Next Season

Three days and 254 picks later, the 2019 NFL Draft is finally over. But, that doesn't mean teams aren't still scanning the free agency pool for talent, especially when it comes to undrafted rookies. It seems like almost every season there's a handful of undrafted rookies who end up making a big contribution to their team. Does Denver running back Phillip Lindsay ring a bell? He ended up being the Broncos leading rusher in 2018 after going undrafted. So, who's going to be this year's Lindsay? Here are five undrafted rookies who can turn out to be studs for their teams. 

5. Patriots TE Andrew Beck

Despite losing Rob Gronkowski to retirement this offseason, the Patriots  didn't bring in anyone of merit to mitigate that loss. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is the biggest name they have there currently, but they'll use more than just him in Gronk's absence. Insert Andrew Beck, who could end up contributing right away as their blocking tight end. He didn't put up crazy receiving numbers at Texas, but his blocking is superb. If he sticks with that same role in New England, don't be surprised if he gets on the field this season.

4. Ravens LB Otaro Alaka

The Ravens lost three of their starting linebackers from last season in free agency; C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs and Za'Darius Smith. They did draft DE/OLB, Jaylon Ferguson out of Louisiana Tech in the third round, so he could replace Suggs or Smith at that spot. But, they didn't do anything during the draft to address the hole in the middle of their defense. Texas A&M linebacker Otaro Alaka, whom the team brought in as an undrafted free agent, could end up seeing some substantial playing time due to their lack of depth at middle linebacker. Per Pro Football Focus, Alaka (Texas A&M) led all SEC linebackers in run defense grade. He could end up being a gem for the Ravens this season and for years to come.   

3. Texans OT Malcolm Pridgeon

The Texans' goal heading into this draft was clear, protect Deshaun Watson at all costs. After allowing the most sacks in the NFL last season, they spent two of their first three picks on offensive lineman. But, they can really use all the help they can get along that offensive line, so don't be surprised if undrafted rookie Malcolm Pridgeon, out of Ohio State, gets some playing time too. If the Texans suffer an abundance of injuries to their O-line again this season, Pridgeon will undoubtedly see some PT.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers K Matthew Wright

After signing a big extension last offseason, Steelers' kicker Chris Boswell  put forth the worst year of his professional career in 2018. He only made 13 of his 20 field goal attempts, good for 65 percent. Matthew Wright made 98.6 percent of his extra points and 77.5 percent of his field goal attempts during his time at Central Florida. If Boswell doesn't bring his A-game to camp this year, Wright could end up taking his job.  

1. Bengals WR Stanley Morgan Jr.

Seeing Stanley Morgan Jr. go undrafted was a surprise to nearly every scout, as he was projected as a mid-to-late round pick by most. He improved with every season he spent at Nebraska and established himself as a promising prospect. He caught 70 balls for 1,004 yards and seven touchdowns in his senior season. The Bengals have been looking for someone who can consistently make plays opposite AJ Green for years now. This undrafted rookie could surprise a lot of people and end being exactly what Cincinnati has been looking for.