|Derick Hingle / US Presswire|
|Brandon Bolden accounted for 33 touchdowns (rushing and receiving) in four years at Ole Miss.|
Historically, there have been some great rookie free agents, including Doug Baldwin (the Seattle Seahawks' leader in receiving yards and catches as a rookie in 2011), Arian Foster (the NFL's 2010 rushing leader), Kurt Warner (a two-time NFL MVP) and 15 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Last season, 59 undrafted free agents were on Week 1 rosters. So, despite not being selected in the 2012 NFL Draft, these players still have a chance of finding the right situation to succeed.
1. Chris Polk, RB, Washington -- This is the top player I'd go after out of this group. Polk was a three-year starter for the Huskies and rushed for 1,400-plus yards in 2010 and 2011. He is a good, strong-bodied runner and one of the best receiving backs in the country. (UPDATE: Polk said he has agreed to terms with the Philadelphia Eagles.)
2. James Brown, G, Troy -- Brown has very long arms (34½ inches) and big hands. He has the athletic ability to play left tackle and eventually can develop into an NFL starter. (UPDATE: Brown has agreed to terms with the Chicago Bears.)
3. Luke Nix, G, Pittsburgh -- Nix is a very aggressive and tenacious blocker. He's tough and smart, and he has the ability to pull and get to the second level to make blocks.(UPDATE: Nix has agreed to terms with the Oakland Raiders.)
4. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State -- Moore's only negative is his lack of outstanding height (though he measured just a quarter-inch shorter than the New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees). Moore won more games than any other starting QB in the history of major college football, and he set an NCAA single-season record for lowest percentage of passes intercepted. Over four seasons at Boise State, Moore threw 142 touchdown passes and just 28 interceptions. Last year, he completed 74.3 percent of his passes. He's a rhythm passer, so he doesn't have the strongest arm and will hit players in stride. (UPDATE: Moore said he has agreed to terms with the Detroit Lions.)
5. Brandon Bolden, RB, Ole Miss -- Bolden is a very athletic, very good inside runner with good vision. Almost more important as far as his NFL prospects are concerned, he's a good receiver, which is something teams look for out of the backfield.
6. Quentin Saulsberry, C, Mississippi State -- Saulsberry has played all positions along the line in his college career, starting at tackle, guard and center. He had five starts at center and nine at guard last season, but his best position is center. He's very competitive, athletic and has the intangibles and strong attitude to be a good player. (UPDATE: Saulsberry has reportedly agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings.)
7. Michael Brewster, C, Ohio State -- Brewster started 49 consecutive games for Ohio State, a school record. He was able to get to the second level on blocks and also able to handle strong defensive tackles who rush him. There's a strong chance for him to stick around at a place that really needs a center. (UPDATE: Brewster reportedly has agreed to terms with the Jacksonville Jaguars.)
8. Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State -- Burfict was once thought to be one of the best players ever to be recruited by Arizona State. He didn't disappoint in his first year, earning Pac-10 Defensive Freshman of the Year honors in 2009, but he didn't play well in 2011. He got heavy -- heavier than he should -- and also had some problems with the coaching staff. At the NFL Scouting Combine, he quit on drills. But now he's going to find out that if he wants to make a living playing football, he'll have to listen to what coaches are telling him. (UPDATE: Burfict has agreed to terms with the Cincinnati Bengals, a source with knowledge of the situation told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.)
9. Jermaine Kearse, WR, Washington -- Kearse has been a starter since his freshman year in 2008. His best season came in 2010, when he had 1,005 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. His production tailed off, however, in 2011 (699 yards, seven touchdowns). He brings strong leadership qualities. One thing he has to work on is concentrating better on making the catch -- he has had some drops -- but has playmaking ability once he has the ball. (UPDATE: Kearse has agreed to terms with the Seattle Seahawks.)
10. Leonard Johnson, CB, Iowa State -- Johnson didn't run well at the combine, but he ran extremely well at his pro day. He was a high school quarterback. When Iowa State stunned then-No. 2-ranked Oklahoma State in November, Johnson did a very good job defending Justin Blackmon (the first-round pick of the Jaguars). Johnson could be a great special teams player because of his toughness and probably is best suited for a team that runs a Cover-2 scheme. (UPDATE: Johnson has reportedly agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.)