The “Mad Chatter” is back with the ole Crystal Ball to aid fantasy managers with 2021’s crop of undrafted free agents. Every NFL season, there is a player or two that goes undrafted but finds production regardless of the situation. Going undrafted isn’t the death knell that it is perceived to be. Tony Romo, Arian Foster, Priest Holmes, Wes Welker; all players missed on by the “scouts.” Even Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon went undrafted.
In the 2020 edition of this article, fantasy managers were advised to target names such as Marquez Callaway and top 10 running back James Robinson. Those that listened to the Crystal Ball were rewarded. With the NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, the attention can now be focused on digging through this year’s NFL rookie UDFA group to mine for dynasty diamonds. Do the advanced stats and metrics point to a hidden gem such as Mr. Robinson that can be found in 2021? Sure, the class overall isn’t overly exciting, but there’s always a chance.
RB Javian Hawkins – Atlanta Falcons
The 2021 running back class “meh” before the draft, and felt only worse after. This crop of undrafted backs is more of the same. However, Javian Hawkins is an interesting name to monitor. To begin, at 5-9 and 183-pounds, the Louisville product ran a 4.51 (75th-percentile among qualified running backs) 40-yard Dash to pair with an 11.20 (74th-percentile) Agility Score. Though his Speed Score was lower, his 119.2 (52nd-percentile) Burst Score is above average. He also managed a 6.0 (71st-percentile) College Yards Per Carry average.
The bigger knock on Hawkins’ profile is a lack of college production. Looking deeper, one will find the 21-year old played little in his freshman year before taking off his sophomore season, totaling 1,525 yards and nine touchdowns. His final season (before leaving early for the NFL) was in 2020, and Louisville played a shortened eight-game schedule, yet he racked up 822 yards and eight touchdowns. He also began to show his receiving chops in that final year, catching 16 targets for 127 yards. Good thing; at his size, the satellite back role will fit him nicely.
In addition, the landing spot couldn’t have been much better for Hawkins, who walks into a Falcons running back room with free agent acquisition Mike Davis as the starter, and an alarming lack of depth otherwise. Qadree Ollison and Tony Brooks-James do not inspire confidence. It is entirely conceivable that Hawkins works his way up to being the team’s satellite back; the role the team hoped Ito Smith would fill. And once there, the sky could be the proverbial limit.
WR Josh Imatorbhebhe – Jacksonville Jaguars
Josh Imatorbhebhe is among the more intriguing wideouts in this year’s receiver group. His athletic profile will raise eyebrows, beginning with a 100th-percentile Burst Score of 146.1 at 6-1 and 218-pounds. He also posted a 99.1 (66th-percentile) Speed Score and has a 10.36 (96th-percentile) Catch Radius. How did a player like this go undrafted? Like the aforementioned Javian Hawkins, Imatorbhebhe lacks college production. As always, context matters. During his freshman year, he only played in two games. In his final two seasons, he played in bad passing offenses with multiple quarterbacks.
josh imatorbhebhe literally flew thru the air with the greatest of ease. https://t.co/pvUoK6wgXt
— the podfather (@Fantasy_Mansion) April 27, 2021
While the lack of production can be explained, the landing spot isn’t ideal. The Jacksonville Jaguars are loaded up at the wide receiver position, rostering D.J. Chark, Laviska Shenault, Marvin Jones and a plethora of others for depth. The good news is that the majority of those ahead of the Illinois product are expendable, and more than passable on the depth chart. The new coaching staff headed by Urban Meyer is also a boon, since players will be starting with a “clean slate.” He has the athleticism to turn heads and make an impression. Stash Imatorbhebhe on your roster. Bay-bay.
WR Tamorrion Terry – Seattle Seahawks
Josh Gordon. Antonio Brown. Seattle’s search for a third receiver continues on. Last season, David Moore served adequately in that role, but a bit more oomph was needed. Prior to this year’s NFL Draft, reports indicated the team was high on last year’s rookie Freddie Swain. However, the Seahawks took D’Wayne Eskridge with their first pick of the draft, which happened to be in the second round. While Eskridge has college production and draft capital, he’s a fifth-year senior who never went over 1,000 yards. That said, don’t sleep on Florida State wideout Tamorrion Terry, who the team picked up post-Draft.
At 6-3 and 207-pounds, Terry ran a 4.50 (68th-percentile) 40-yard Dash and posted a 103.7 (80th-percentile) Speed Score. Though the Burst and Agility Scores were underwhelming, he produced during his three years at Florida State, including a sophomore season with 1,188 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. That yardage total was over three times higher than the next player on the list; D.J. Matthews with 355 yards. Sure, Eskridge will have his opportunity and there are other players to pass along the depth chart, but should Terry impress early in camp, Pete Carroll has shown he’ll ride talent over draft capital (a la Russell Wilson).
TE Quintin Morris – Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills appear to be ready to move on from Dawson Knox who, despite impressive athleticism and a 2.26 (No. 2) Target Separation rate, ranked No. 8 with a 7.0-percent Drop Rate. The Bills are among the teams mentioned in the Zach Ertz trade saga and the team signed free agent Jacob Hollister, who had some productive moments with the aforementioned Seattle Seahawks. However, sans an Ertz trade, the Bills look rather mediocre at the position. Have no fear, Bills Mafia! General Manager Brandon Beane just may have found the answer in the undrafted 22-year old Quintin Morris from Bowling Green.
Top Class of 2021 TE College Dominators ?
1️⃣ Quintin Morris: 38.0%
2️⃣ Cary Angeline: 33.0%
3️⃣ Kyle Pitts: 32.3%
4️⃣ Brevin Jordan: 31.5% pic.twitter.com/8iSkYf9p5l
— RotoUnderworld (@rotounderworld) April 8, 2021
At 6-2 and 243-pounds, Morris is slightly undersized for the position. However, he registered a 119.0 (62nd-percentile) Burst Score while running a 4.71 (71st-percentile) 40-yard Dash. His 19.6 Breakout Age falls in the 85th-percentile, and he has a whopping 27.7-percent (84th-percentile) College Dominator Rating. There’s a lot to like about his profile, and he could be the perfect addition for quarterback Josh Allen to target. With the Bills seeming determined to upgrade the position, they may find that they already did so by adding the 22-year old Morris.
TE Briley Moore – Tennessee Titans
The Titans are lacking receiving playmakers in a big way. Corey Davis left in free agency, heading to New York to don the green of the Jets. Tight end Jonnu Smith signed in New England, the former stomping ground of Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel. Also gone are wideouts Adam Humphries and Kalif Raymond. That leaves them with over 215 vacated targets, second-most in the NFL behind Detroit. Josh Reynolds was signed in free agency, but there is a lack of depth at receiver and tight end heading into the 2021 season. Good thing they nabbed Briley Moore.
The 22-year old Kansas State product has solid workout metrics across the board, highlighted by a 127.1 (90th-percentile) Burst Score. Add in a 22.9-percent (71st-percentile) College Dominator Rating, a 14.6 (74th-percentile) College Yards Per Reception average, and a 19.6 (84th-percentile) Breakout Age and one has to wonder how this dude went undrafted. Moore played a pivotal role for a few years for Northern Iowa. A shoulder injury forced him out of the 2019 season after Week 1, and he then transferred to Kansas State for his fifth year. Playing for smaller schools and logging a shortened season after transferring was too much for teams to look past. Too bad. Tennessee may have nabbed the steal of this UDFA class.
QB Jamie Newman – Philadelphia Eagles
Jamie Newman is a compelling player whose final year of college ball didn’t go as planned. The 23-year old quarterback began his collegiate career with Wake Forest in 2017. It wasn’t until his junior season in 2019 that he became the full-time starter. He flashed his dual-threat capability, throwing for 2,868 yards and 26 touchdowns, while rushing for another 574 yards and six touchdowns. He then transferred to Georgia for his senior season, but that season never materialized, leaving him an afterthought come the NFL Draft.
Jamie Newman rushed for 30+ yards in 10 of 19 games at Wake Forest ⚡
Newman transferred to Georgia in 2020 and opted-out. pic.twitter.com/37918dGRoO
— RotoUnderworld (@rotounderworld) March 21, 2021
Signing to Philadelphia, where management doesn’t seem quite sold on Jalen Hurts, may be the perfect spot to lay in wait for an opportunity. Newman is worth a stash, friends.