After every draft there is a scramble as NFL teams look to scoop up talent that slipped through the cracks and weren’t picked in the draft. While teams may sign a few Undrafted Free Agents (UDFA) or a dozen, each season sees some of these seemingly forgotten young men make the Week 1 53-man rosters of various NFL teams. Here we look at which UDFAs have the best chance to stick with opening day rosters of teams in the NFC East
2016 NFC East Undrafted Free Agent Predictions
Ed Eagan, Wide Receiver, Northwestern State
Standing 5’11”, Eagan showed NFL speed with a 4.43-second 40-yard dash yet went undrafted likely due to his career at a smaller school. While he nearly signed with the Buffalo Bills, Eagan settled on an offer from the Dallas Cowboys for a chance to play slot receiver and catch passes from Tony Romo. However, to make this roster he may have to shine on special teams first. Luckily for Eagan he has been a strong return threat in the past as he returned four kicks for touchdowns in his college career.
Jeremiah McKinnon, Cornerback, FIU
The bottom of the cornerback depth chart remains in flux for the Cowboys which opens the door for an undrafted rookie like McKinnon to sneak through. McKinnon has received praise for what he has shown so far in camp while running with the second unit. Where he can set himself apart will be on special teams. McKinnon offers kick return ability and must show the ability to play coverage teams in the NFL. With plenty of young guys competing for spots on the roster McKinnon will have to continue to provide ‘wow’ plays to survive the offseason.
Byron Marshall, Running Back, Oregon
Marshall offers a unique skill set and story as he enters Eagles camp hoping to carve out a role on the roster. He played running back at Oregon until Royce Freeman burst onto the scene with first round pick potential. This prompted Marshall to convert to wide receiver in an effort to get more playing time. He proved productive regardless of which position he played, posting 1,000 yard efforts separately at each position. Bringing that versatility, along with kick return ability could be the ticket to making the roster despite the presence of Darren Sproles, Ryan Mathews, Kenjon Barner and Wendell Smallwood already at the running back spot.
Myke Tavarres, Linebacker, Incarnate Word
The Eagles went into the draft with a need to add to their depth at the linebacker position. They left the draft with only a seventh round draft pick in Joe Walker. This offers Tavarres a prime opportunity, especially coming from a small school. He is athletic with impressive lateral quickness and great football intelligence which could help him carve a depth role out in Jim Schwartz’s aggressive 4-3 defense. The Eagles were certainly impressed with his college tape, giving Tavarres a higher than average signing bonus to get him in Eagles camp. If he can catch on to the pro game and contribute on special teams look for him to stick on this roster.
New York Giants
Greg Milhouse, Defensive Tackle, Campbell
The New York Giants made a slew of moves in free agency to address a defense that could generously be described as porous. The addition of Damon Harrison from the Jets was one of the bigger splash moves that went into the remodel. However, the Giants enter camp with a severe lack of depth as players such as Harris are starting off camp as inactive. The Giants front office has had success in the past with undrafted players (See Victor Cruz). Milhouse will enter from a small school with hopes to show off his skills. A rash of injuries has opened to door for Milhouse to make a name for himself in Giants camp and seizing the opportunity could be what leads to a roster spot for the undrafted defender this fall.
Darius Powe, Wide Receiver, California
Four receivers are likely locked into roster spots for the Giants already as Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, Sterling Shepard and Dwayne Harris are unlikely to go anywhere. The only problem with that is that the tallest among them (Cruz) stands 6’0”. Powe comes in from California standing 6’3”, offering size and length that the Giants like to have on the roster. Powe caught passes from first overall draft pick Jared Goff in college and now hopes to catch passes from Eli Manning in the NFL. To do so he will have to show improved route running to go along with his ability to go up for passes fearlessly.
Shiro Davis, Linebacker, Texas
The Washington Redskins enter training camp with more question marks than answers at the outside linebacker position, especially after losing Junior Galette to an Achilles tear for a second consecutive year. This offers Davis an excellent opportunity despite only being an occasional starter while playing for the Longhorns. He will have to transition from playing defensive end to linebacker but could latch onto the roster if he can show pass rush ability from a standing position.
Keith Marshall, Running Back, Georgia
Marshall was highly recruited coming out of high school, coming to Georgia as part of a recruitment class the included Todd Gurley and Leonard Floyd. However, an ACL injury in 2013 set Marshall back to the third string and special teams duty. He showed a team first mentality and continued to work hard, a mindset that he brings to the Redskins now. Marshall must continue to show special teams ability in addition to proving he can contribute as a runner to earn a spot on a roster that features many young running backs this fall.