The 2021 NFL Draft may be over, but that doesn’t mean the action is over.
As the draft draws to a close, starting in (roughly) the sixth round, the 32 teams start calling prospects they are interested in signing in undrafted free agency and begin recruiting them. Unlike the draft proper, the individual prospects have the power in undrafted free agency and they get to decide where they go.
In a normal year, teams rely on their regional scouts, with their detailed knowledge of under the radar prospects, as well as the relationships fostered by those scouts to convince the players to sign.
Undrafted free agency is, quietly, a surprising source of starters, with one study of NFL rosters from 2010 to 2015 showing that undrafted free agents were the third-most likely to become starters. That study found that while 30 percent of the League’s starters were former first rounders, just 17.5 percent of starters were former second rounders, while 14 percent were undrafted.
That is, of course, partially due to the sheer volume of undrafted free agents who enter the league after every draft. But, as the Giants learned in 2010 and 2011, the frenzy after the draft can be a rich source of contributors.
Rookie free agent signings
- Brett Heggie, OL, Florida [per Logan Brown Sports Agency]
- Jake Burton, G/T, Baylor/UCLA [per Eric Edholm, Yahoo Sports]
- Raymond Johnson III, EDGE, Georgia Southern [Per his own tweet]
This is a fluid list which will be updated throughout the process, so check back often for the latest news and rumors.