We see it every year. Guys who were not selected during the NFL Draft but are picked up by the perfect team and are able to impress during OTAs and then training camp before making the team. Whether these players were just overlooked, too small, played another sport or came from a lower level there plenty of examples of players making it. Guys like Tony Romo, Antonio Gates, James Harrison and Chris Harris are all recent success stories.
With the NFL Draft in the books, who are the next guys that could join this list? Here are the prospects who have the best chance of making an impact on the team that signed them.
Jeremy Cutrer CB Middle Tennessee with Jacksonville Jaguars
Cutrer is still a developing prospect who was a former 4 Star Recruit who at 6’2 has good size to be a press corner but needs time to add weight to be successful. Jacksonville has quality corners in Bouye and Ramsey but could use Cutrer on special teams while developing him.
Fish Smithson S Kansas to Washington Redskins
While the Redskins addressed the strong safety position during the draft and have Su’a Cravens as the likely starter they ignored the free safety position where only DeAngelo Hall and DJ Swearinger are listed. While Swearinger had a good year both players are up in age. Smithson is a rangy safety that can find a role on special teams and possibly earn a starter job in a year or two.
KD Cannon WR Baylor to San Francisco 49ers
Adding Pierre Garcon, Aldrick Robinson and Marquise Goodwin help improve the 49ers receiving core but there still is room for other contributors. Cannon has explosive speed using it to create separation down the field. He has work to do on his route running but he provides an element they still lack.
Ishmael Zamora WR Baylor to Oakland Raiders
We all now that Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree give Derek Carr two quality receivers. But with the exception of Seth Roberts, the Raiders still are pretty thin. Zamora is a raw prospect not only because he’s coming out of the Baylor spread offense but because he’s only a redshirt sophomore. Zamora has great size at 6’4 220lbs but he is also a good athlete. If Zamora stays out of trouble (animal abuse charges) and puts in the work, he has starting level talent.
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) February 18, 2017
Austin Carr WR Northwestern to New England Patriots
New England has been better than any other team at using small quick slot receivers within their offense like Julian Eldeman, Chris Hogan and Wes Welker. Carr broke out during his senior year at Northwestern catching 90 passes for over 1,000 yards. With so much success developing these types of prospects Carr stands a good shot of sticking around.
Keith Kelsey LB Louisville to Pittsburgh Steelers
With Lawrence Timmons signing in Miami the Steelers stayed in house with Vince Williams as his replacement. Without much behind their starters Kelsey has an opportunity to come in and win a backup job and possibly contribute since Shazier has had issues with injuries. Kelsey isn’t the athlete that Pittsburgh has been going towards but he is a good downhill tackler.