“The best players will play.” That statement by Joe Judge has helped attract some high priority undrafted free agents (UDFA) to the NY Giants. Which of the new UDFA players have the best chance of making the 55-man roster?
An underrated aspect of winning football teams is filling in the backend of the roster with talented UDFA players. On the most recent NY Giants Super Bowl-winning teams, Tom Coughlin received key contributions from UDFA players like Chase Blackburn, Henry Hynoski, Jake Ballard, James Butler, and Mark Herzlich.
Players on the backend of the roster matter, and are usually key contributors on special teams. Joe Judge will likely emphasize this “other third” of a football game more than other coaches. Having quality depth during a grueling schedule is another facet of a winning football team.
It also helps to find players like Victor Cruz in UDFA. Cruz’s remarkable play during the 2011 season and playoffs catapulted the G-Men to another championship.
NY Giants Hall of Famer Emlen Tunnel was another diamond in the rough the G-Men found as an undrafted free agent. Ignored in the draft, he walked into Tim Mara’s office in 1948 and asked for a tryout. The first African American player in the team’s history still leads the New York Football Giants on the all-time interceptions list with 74.
To make a name for themselves like Victor Cruz or Emlen Tunnel, these current UDFA will have to make the team first. Which players from the current crop have the best chance of making the 53-man roster?
The amount of money allocated to the UDFA player crop could be an indication of which of the players the Y Giants prioritize the most. Despite being an important barometer, I don’t believe the money allocations are 100% indicative of which players have the best chance of making the 53-man roster.
In this article, I will separate the fifteen UDFA players into three tiers based on their chance to make the team. I will factor in their football resumes, the current depth chart, and their Pro Football Focus ranking.
Multiple UDFA players may make the 55-man roster, but it is also a possibility that none of them do. Fortunately for the UDFA players, the recent collective bargaining agreement increased the size of practice squads for NFL teams.