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  • While most of the big names are off the board, there's still plenty of talent left available in free agency.
By Andy Benoit
March 15, 2019

It may feel like all the important free agents have already found their 2019 homes, but plenty of players are still unsigned. Those teams playing the waiting game can still find an undervalued gem, take a flyer on a player returning from injury or simply fill out some roster depth.

Below are the 53 best players still available in free agency, as of Friday morning, with their age, position and former team.

Check out our grades of the biggest deals already done, and some early winners.

1. Ronald Darby (25), CB, Philadelphia

He’s far from flawless, but he has shown he can make important individual plays in difficult coverage assignments. He’s at his best when the action is in front of him and he can rely on transitional movement to attack the ball.

Update: Darby is re-signing wth the Eagles.

2. Bryce Callahan (27), SLOT, Chicago

He has a phenomenal sense of zone spacing and matchup principles in coverage, and has blossomed into one of football’s best slot blitzers. He’s likely better in a matchup zone scheme than straight man coverage scheme.

3. Darqueze Dennard (27), CB, Cincinnati

We always hear about a “10-year left tackle” who you plug in and cease to worry about on your O-line’s blind side. Meet the “5-year slot corner” who you can plug in at what’s maybe football’s most difficult position and never worry about, be it man or zone coverage.

4. Jared Cook (32), TE, Oakland

He’s at his best as a detached receiver by himself on the weak side of the formation. Not every team uses its tight end like this, but the ones that do tend to flourish.

6. Justin Houston (30), EDGE, Kansas City

He can still set the edge and make stops in space (sometimes within the same down), but knee injuries have taken some of his pass-rushing juice. Will teams see him as an everydown player or a “40 snaps a game” guy?

7. Ndamukong Suh (32), DL, L.A. Rams

He appeared to be declining last season but then came alive in the playoffs. What to make of that?

8. C.J. Anderson (28), RB, L.A. Rams

He proved down the stretch in L.A. that he’s a perfect fit in a sustaining outside zone-based offense. He’s not a threatening receiver, but acute blocking awareness makes him viable in third-down packages for teams that like to use six blockers in pass protection.

9. Eric Berry (30), S, Kansas City

Durability is an obvious concern, but in the (very few) games he was on the field last year, he more than showed glimmers of his old self.

10. Darius Philon (25), DT, L.A. Chargers

He’s a gap penetrator who has flashed the past few years against both the run and pass. Can he take on 12-15 more snaps a game?

11. Randall Cobb (28), WR, Green Bay

In 2014, he had 1,287 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns and we buckled up for his ride to greatness. But that year was the outlier—in his other seven seasons he has battled injuries and averaged 605 yards.

12. Ezekiel Ansah (29), EDGE, Detroit

He’s a fast, fluid, long-bodied bender who closes well on the ball—when he’s healthy (which, lately, has not been often).

13. Quinton Spain (27), G, Tennessee

He’s inconsistent, but when he’s on, he plays with one of football’s best blends of power and athleticism.

14. Brent Urban (27), DL, Baltimore

He’s an overachieving plug-and-play guy who will handle your scheme’s dirty work.

15. Dontrelle Inman (30), WR, Indianapolis

He has long been one of football’s sharpest route runners. It makes no sense that he’s been a fringe journeyman—he’d be an upgrade at No. 2 receiver for several teams.

16. Rodney Gunter (27), DT, Arizona

His stout frame and lack of flash make his athleticism “deceptive.” That deceptive athleticism leads to splash plays every game.

17. Jamie Collins (29), LB, Cleveland

His speed and quickness still jump off the screen, but so do some of his undisciplined run fits and coverage angles.

18. Josh Bynes (29), LB, Arizona

A deceptively stalking mover who also has the awareness to play in base situations or sub-packages. Someone will sign him as a backup and see him push for a starting job.

19. Jermaine Kearse (29), WR, N.Y. Jets

He’s a fast-learner who can play the slot or outside. He’ll always be about 20% better than opponents expect.

20. Tre Boston (26), S, Arizona

He fills the alley well in run support and can make the occasional play on the ball. He won’t change your secondary, but certainly won’t hinder it either.

21. Mark Barron (29), LB, L.A. Rams

His coverage ability is not what you'd expect from a converted safety, but he's an efficient enough all-around mover to play in most packages.

22. Pierre Garçon (32), WR, San Francisco

He’s in decline, but can survive another year or two on detailed route running and strong contested catch ability.

23. Jay Ajayi (25), RB, Philadelphia

He’s hard to tackle when he’s playing well. The question is whether he still can after tearing his ACL last October.

24. Demaryius Thomas (31), WR, Houston

He was not in serious decline last year, though his late-season Achilles injury really complicates matters. The best-case scenario: He becomes a viable No. 2 in a highly schemed offense.

25. Chris Hogan (30), WR, New England

He’s not quite the vertical weapon in 2018 that he’d been in previous years, but still understands the details of playing wide receiver. He’s at his best in a highly schemed passing game.

26. Andrew Sendejo (31), S, Minnesota

Whispered concerns about his durability give you pause. When he's right, he's a tremendous downhill attacker, versus both the run and pass. His style demands a quality secondary around him, though.

27. Shaq Barrett (26), EDGE, Denver

He’s not quite stout enough to be a base starter and not quite explosive enough to be a bona fide pass-rushing specialist, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a worthy rotational piece.

28. Tyler Eifert (28), TE, Cincinnati

His injury woes obviously make him a major risk, but if he can somehow be the receiver he was when healthy, he changes the face of your offense.

29. Adrian Phillips (27), S, L.A. Chargers

He was a key cog in L.A.’s foundational dime defense, though he was successfully attacked on too many designer “over” routes (i.e. deep crossers) down the stretch.

30. Morris Claiborne (29), CB, N.Y. Jets

The rare man-to-man corner who relies more on agility than physicality (though not saying he can’t do both), he’s coming off a disappointing 2018 season after a stellar 2017 campaign.

31. George Iloka (28), S, Minnesota

He has prospered for years in a split-safety zone scheme, playing primarily deep but having the size to work into the box. He must prove he can play with consistent assertiveness after getting passed over for opportunities last year in Minnesota.

32. Jahleel Addae (29), S, L.A. Chargers

He's an imposing box safety who should transition well to linebacker in dime packages, if a team wanted to use him that way.

33. Ryan Hewitt (28), H-BACK, Indianapolis

Any team willing to commit to a two-back ground game (and more should) must look closely at the former Bengal/Colt. He’s a very movable piece in your run-blocking structures.

34. Rashaan Melvin (29), CB, Oakland

Has never quite procured a stable long-term role, but has had his moments, starting 26 games for the Colts and Raiders over the last three years, predominantly as a zone-oriented left corner.

35. Vinny Curry (30), DE, Tampa Bay

His short-area movement and burst have long been massively underappreciated, but those traits vanished during his disappointing 2018 season in Tampa.

36. Tyeler Davison (26), INTERIOR DL, New Orleans

He’s one of several quietly sturdy enforcers who made New Orleans’s run defense the NFC’s most efficient in 2018. He’s more of an anchor than playmaker, but that’s not to say he’s merely an old-fashioned safe.

37. Brandon Marshall (29), LB, Denver

His speed and openfield prowess still make him viable in nickel and dime packages, the only question is his durability.

38. Nevin Lawson (28), CB, Detroit

He can plug a hole in almost any secondary with his experience playing outside and inside in both zone-based and man-based schemes over his years in Detroit.

39. Shane Ray (25), EDGE, Denver

He’s at his best as a standup interior pass rusher—which, unfortunately, spells a limited role.

40. Bashaud Breeland (27), CB, Green Bay

A somewhat hot-and-cold player who is not viewed as “versatile,” but he has had flashes of success at left, right and slot corner in Washington and Green Bay. He’s an enticing source of secondary depth, if nothing else.

41. Clayton Geathers (26), S, Indianapolis

Safeties who can play linebacker are becoming increasingly valuable. Geathers got better each week in that role last year.

42. Blake Bortles (27), QB, Jacksonville

Let's not forget he had a serviceable playoff run in 2017 and was minutes from helping Jacksonville to a Super Bowl appearance. Is he flawed? Absolutely. Inconsistent? Of course. But you can still run a professional offense with him, especially if it's driven by play-action. He can be a quality backup.

43. T.J. Lang (31), G, Detroit

He's rock-solid in all phases—when healthy. But he has missed 16 games over the last three years.

44. Jared Veldheer (31), RT, Denver

The long-armed veteran has missed 15 games over the last three years and isn’t always sound in pass protection, but he’s not someone you must constantly hide and help in your scheme.

45. Jordy Nelson (33), WR, Oakland

With his speed and quickness so greatly diminished, he’s almost completely reliant on savvy technique. He has enough of it to continue playing (in a reduced role), preferably from the slot. 

46. Trevor Siemian (27), QB, Minnesota

Most coaches want a backup QB who will follow the play’s design. Siemian, though meager-armed and only a so-so field reader, can deliver, especially in a passing game that’s built off zone run action.

47. Christian Covington (25), DL, Houston

He’s a solid rotational piece in schemes where he can align as a tight defensive end or, at times, at tackle.

Update: Covington signed with the Cowboys.

48. Kyle Emanuel (27), LB, L.A. Chargers

A scrappy first- and second-down player…which unfortunately doesn’t speak to an expansive linebacker role in today’s NFL.

49. Stephone Anthony (26), LB, Miami

Started every game as a first-round rookie for the Saints in 2015 and then strangely became a scantly used backup (there and in Miami, where he landed in 2017). He can contribute on passing downs as a dime ‘backer—a position more teams are employing these days.

• Question or comment? Email us at talkback@themmqb.com.

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