As we head into rookie mini-camp let's take a look at the UDFA (undrafted free agents) that could stand a very good chance of making the roster or practice squad when the season rolls around. This year the Falcons have some very promising UDFAs. While they may not be from the biggest schools they do have talent and some have the potential to develop into key back-ups or even potential starters down the road.
The first guy to look at is Indiana DT Adam Replogle. Check out Jason La Canfora's pre-draft story on Replogle. Replogle stands in at 6’2 300 lbs and put up some impressive combine numbers. He clocked in at 5 seconds on the 40 yard dash and benched 38 reps. Replogle comes from a football family as all three of his brothers have played college football; two of them at Indiana and the youngest at Purdue. Replogle showed great durability during his time at Indiana as he started 47 straight games. He put up some pretty decent stats during his senior season sacking the QB five times, forcing two fumbles, and finishing with 71 total tackles. Replogle is a hard worker who could be a favorite to crack the 53 man roster given the dearth of bodies at the DT position.
Another name to look at is OT/G Terren Jones. Jones is a 6’7 341 LB OT who played LT at Alabama State. From the footage I’ve seen of Jones, I’ve come to notice that he has light feet for a man of his size. He gets out of his stance quickly and has a nice kick-slide. Combine that with long arms and you have the makings for a very good RT. Jones will need refinement in his technique, but his size and movement ability should definitely earn him a shot at the 53 man roster and if not that it could land him on the practice squad.
The Falcons also signed the FCS leader in sacks last year in Arkansas Pine-Bluff’s Brandon Thurmond. Thurmond had 17.5 sacks last year and is a favorite among draftniks. Thurmond has heavy hands with good burst off the line. While he may not be the most overpowering rusher on the field he certainly has the upside of a situational rusher and could certainly crack the 53 man and compete with our rather young DE corps for playing time.
It’s important to remember just how important some of these UDFAs can be. They have upside just like the drafted prospects and can come in and provide depth and special teams play. While the majority of the UDFAs won’t make the 53 man roster they can still be a valuable part of the team on the practice squad. Overall, the Falcons signed some players who can come in and compete for roster and practice squad spots.