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2014 NFL Draft: Top 10 undrafted free-agent signings


The 2014 NFL Draft is in the books, but the work for scouting departments across the league isn't over yet. Only 256 players heard their names called over the weekend but hundreds more will show up for work with teams as undrafted free agents and if recent history is any indication, a number of them have a chance to not only make a roster, but contribute on the field.

» Gil Brandt's top undrafted free agents

Here are the top 10 undrafted free-agent signings through Sunday afternoon, and how each player can fit onto his new team:

1. Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns

Analysis: It wasn't a huge shock to see Crowell go undrafted, considering the off-the-field concerns teams had, but one can't deny he's a talented back. A former SEC freshman of the year at Georgia, he's proved to be a strong runner who can take it the distance. He's not as adept as others at catching the ball out of the backfield, but he's a nice overall player who could stick as a backup behind Ben Tate.

2. Shayne Skov, LB, San Francisco 49ers

Analysis: Not hearing the Stanford linebacker's name during the draft was a bit of a surprise considering how good of a player he was for the Cardinal. Skov was projected to go in the middle rounds by most but his slow 40-time seemed to hurt his stock tremendously. He's got outstanding instincts and has a knack for finding the football so he'll be a perfect fit on the team with several of his former college coaches. Given the situation surrounding NaVorro Bowman's rehab, Skov has a good chance at making the team in some capacity as a backup.

3. Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Seattle Seahawks

Analysis: If you hadn't heard it already, a Texas player failed to get drafted for the first time since 1937. Of all the Longhorns eligible, Jeffcoat's name was the most likely to get called after he had a terrific senior season in which he was named Big 12 co-Defensive Player of the Year. Injuries took a heavy toll on his stock, but he's got the size, speed and instincts to be a contributor for the Seahawks' front seven. Pete Carroll once recruited Jeffcoat heavily and finally gets him as a free agent.

4. Anthony Johnson, DL, Miami Dolphins

Analysis: LSU has produced a ton of good defensive tackles over the years, so it was interesting to see Johnson's name was not called in the draft. He's got good size and quickness and was productive during his time in Baton Rouge. Some folks thought he could be a second-day draft pick, but his lack of consistency seemed to catch up to him. The Dolphins need some help along the defensive line, and Johnson can earn some playing time if he lives up to his potential.

5. Kelcy Quarles, DL, New York Giants

Analysis: Everybody focuses on his South Carolina teammate, Jadeveon Clowney, but Quarles had a solid final season with the Gamecocks, too. It's hard to remember the last time a first-team All-SEC defensive lineman didn't get drafted, but here we are with Quarles. He's got good size and quickness and can blow past interior linemen. He could be a nice addition to the Giants' rotation.

6. Josh Mauro, DL, Pittsburgh Steelers

Analysis: George Uko out of USC might have been the higher profile Pac-12 undrafted free agent along the defensive line, but Mauro could be the one who has the better NFL career if things break his way. He's certainly got the size and motor to be an end in a 3-4 and could wind up taking over for Brett Keisel down the road if he sticks with the Steelers.

7. Brandon Coleman, WR, New Orleans Saints

Analysis: Drew Brees isn't lacking for weapons on offense, but Coleman could give the team a nice backup to Marques Colston. Coleman is a big receiver at 6-foot-6 who really can develop into a red-zone threat like he was at Rutgers. A knee injury might have hurt his stock for some teams, but New Orleans might have a steal in Coleman, considering he has second-day talent.

8. Antonio Richardson, OL, Minnesota Vikings

Analysis: The top offensive tackle on Gil Brandt's list of undrafted free agents, Richardson brings outstanding size to the Vikings. A knee injury before the season seemed to bother him, but he's a multiple-year starter for the Vols who can overpower smaller opponents. His effort has been questioned by some, but if Minnesota coaches can get him to play to his abilities, they might have a nice right tackle in the coming years.

9. Anthony Steen, OL, Arizona Cardinals

Analysis: Steen's flexibility in playing all of the interior-line spots will help him on the limited rosters of NFL teams, as will his ability to control talented defensive tackles. He's a tad undersized and has short arms, but he can play and was one of the most reliable offensive linemen while at Alabama. He might not start right away, but he should be able to find a home in the NFL.

10. Max Bullough, LB, Houston Texans

Analysis: Another tough, strong and smart linebacker to come out of Michigan State, Bullough went undrafted despite carrying mid-round grades from some. He's not a quick-twitch athlete but makes up for it by being one of the most instinctive linebackers to play the game in college. He's got good size and tackles well and can be a nice backup for Brian Cushing if he doesn't take over for Jeff Tapinian. He should also contribute a lot on special teams.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.



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