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Austin Ekeler, Adam Thielen and Hall-of-Famer Kurt Warner are only a few examples of undrafted players going on to make it in the league where they play for pay.

After the NFL draft, it’s become an annual ritual for all 32 teams to dive back into the prospect pool and attempt to secure the top remaining players available.

On average, teams sign 10-to-20 undrafted rookies to fill out their 90-man preseason rosters and they usually uncover a gem or two along the way.

It’s not unusual to see at least one or two undrafted rookies stick on every team’s final 53-man roster. With minicamps having transpired across the NFL, it’s a good time to look at which UDFA rookies have the best chance of surviving the final cutdown this year.

To that end, FanNation publishers have identified one prime candidate for the teams they cover.

Arizona Cardinals

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Kyle Soelle, LB, Arizona State

Am I playing to the crowd here by choosing the hometown kid? Perhaps. But Soelle can play, and at worst he can provide the Cardinals with some special teams play while settling his feet behind the likes of Zaven Collins, Isaiah Simmons and Kyzir White. Soelle led Arizona State with 110 tackles last season while also adding two interceptions. —Donnie Druin, All Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Justin Marshall, WR, Buffalo

The Falcons didn’t draft a wideout, need to give second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder every shot at success, and Marshall is 6’3” and 210 pounds. Oh, and he’s a local kid from Conyers. —Mike Fisher, Falcon Report

Baltimore Ravens

UDFA most likely to make the roster: John Keaton Mitchell, RB, East Carolina

He’s small at 5’8” and 180 pounds, but he’s a sub-4.4 40 guy. J.K. Dobbins is a worthy featured back. But Baltimore’s team speed jumps if this kid makes it. — Mike Fisher, Raven Country

Buffalo Bills

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Richard Gouraige, OL, Florida

The Bills signed Connor McGovern in free agency and they drafted O’Cyrus Torrence in Round 2. Why not stick with the trend and keep Richard Gouraige, like Torrence also from Florida and at 6’5,” 305, maybe a position-flex prospect? — Mike Fisher, Bills Central

Carolina Panthers

UDFA most likely to make the roster: RB Cam Peoples, Appalachian State

Don't be fooled by the drop-off in yards this past season for Peoples. He didn't get nearly as many carries but he still maintained an average of roughly six yards per attempt. He rushed for 2,830 yards and 33 touchdowns during his time at App State. With Miles Sanders and Chuba Hubbard as the only two locks in the running back room, Peoples could make his way onto the 53-man roster with a strong training camp. — Schuyler Callihan, All Panthers

Chicago Bears

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Jalen Harris, DL, Arizona

Harris has to make it. He’s a legacy. His dad Sean played at Arizona, like he did, was drafted by the Bears in 1995 and played six seasons at outside linebacker. There’s more to it than Jalen’s pedigree. He’s a tall, 6’5” defensive end with 34.5” arms and the type of edge coach Matt Eberflus likes in this scheme — he stops the run and pass with 13.5 sacks and 25 tackles for loss in college. The main reason he can make it, though, is they’re short on defensive ends at the moment because GM Ryan Poles didn’t draft one. — Gene Chamberlain, BearDigest

Cincinnati Bengals

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Jaxson Kirkland, G, Washington

Kirkland has good size (6’6,” 328), had success at both offensive tackle and guard and Washington and could bolster Cincinnati’s depth in the trenches. They didn’t take an offensive lineman in the 2023 NFL Draft and they could use another backup guard. The Bengals like his versatility and there’s a real chance Kirkland makes the 53—man roster. — James Rapien, All Bengals

Cleveland Browns

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Ronnie Hickman, S, Ohio State

Before the Za’Darius Smith trade, this answer might have been Lonnie Phelps, the edge rusher from Kansas. After the top three safeties on the Browns roster, it’s wide open. Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz has routinely kept five on his roster and Hickman has a golden opportunity to earn a roster spot as a strong safety. Hickman amassed a ton of production at Ohio State and dropped over perceived athleticism limitations. If he’s largely playing in the box, that becomes less of a concern. Hickman also has plenty of special teams experience, a prerequisite for a player in his position trying to make the opening day roster. — Pete Smith, Browns Digest

Ohio State's Ronnie Hickman (14)

S Ronnie Hickman (14)

Dallas Cowboys

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Hunter Luepke, RB, North Dakota State

Luekpe has been a “star’’ at everything he’s ever done. He’s touted as a “fullback.’’ Dallas suddenly needs a short-yardage guy and a pass-pro guy and Luepke will work on teams, too. He got $200,000 to sign with Dallas. This could be a “thing.’’ — Mike Fisher, Cowboy Country

Denver Broncos

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Art Green, CB, Houston

The Broncos have big cornerback depth needs and paid Green a signing bonus commensurate with a rookie, albeit an undrafted one, whose odds of making the roster out of camp are high. Green is the top undrafted rookie to watch in Broncos Camp, but I’d throw in Central Michigan rush linebacker Thomas Incoom as a close second. — Chad Jensen, Mile High Huddle

Detroit Lions

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Mohamid Ibrahim, RB, Minnesota

The Lions were able to sign one of the top UDFAs available on offense following the draft. Ibrahim brings a physical running style that should fit well with the stout offensive line being built in Detroit. His main competition for the third running back slot on the roster is veteran Craig Reynolds. — John Maakaron, All Lions

Green Bay Packers

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Brenton Cox, OLB, Florida

No team spends less money on its undrafted free agents than the Packers, but at least one has made the opening 53 the last 18 seasons. Cox, by talent, is by far the best of this year’s bunch. A five-star recruit, Cox originally landed at Georgia but was kicked off the team after one season. With Florida, he had 8.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for losses in 2021 but was kicked off the team in 2022. The Packers have room for one edge defender, and Cox fits the team’s big—and—strong mold. His attitude and ability to impact games on special teams will be the deciding factors in whether he takes advantage of this opportunity. — Bill Huber, Packer Central

Florida Gator Benton Cox

OLB Brenton Cox (1)

Houston Texans

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Ali Gaye, DE, LSU

The Texans got their top edge guy in Will Anderson with the No. 3 overall pick. We’re not saying that Gaye is a “bookend.’’ But Houston was the No. 30 defense in the NFL last year and the new head coach is DeMeco Ryans, the Niners former coordinator. Gaye will get his shot. — Mike Fisher, Texans Daily

Indianapolis Colts

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Emil Ekiyor Jr., G, Alabama

This is a toss—up between guard Emil Ekiyor Jr. and linebacker Donavan Mutin because they're talented players signed at positions that lack depth, but ultimately, Ekiyor is one of the true steals of the undrafted free agent pool. He was set to be drafted in the middle rounds before teams got scared off by the medical evaluations of his knee during the pre—draft process. He's seasoned like a three—year starter should be, and his abilities in both the run and pass game are perfect for Shane Steichen's diverse offense. Not only could Ekiyor make the roster, but he's a dark horse to be the Colts' right guard at some point this season. — Jake Arthur, Horseshoe Huddle

Jacksonville Jaguars

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Elijah Cooks, WR, San Jose State

The former Nevada transfer faces an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster considering the Jaguars are returning four receivers from a year ago and have also added Calvin Ridley and sixth—round rookie Parker Washington. But Cooks was clearly the best undrafted free agent on the field for the Jaguars’ at last week’s minicamp, and he already is the biggest receiver on the entire roster at 6’4”. If he can make noise in training camp, he will be a tough cut. — John Shipley, Jaguar Report 

More on the Jaguars' UDFA

Kansas City Chiefs

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Deneric Prince, RB, Tulsa

The Chiefs’ running back group has room for competition again this season, even with 2022 seventh-round pick Isiah Pacheco claiming top billing in his rookie season. Deneric Prince likely won’t jump Pacheco or returning veteran Jerick McKinnon, but he will have a chance to compete with 2020 first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire as Edwards-Helaire enters his final year of his rookie contract after KC declined his fifth-year option. Even if the former first—rounder holds off the UDFA, Prince could be an investment for a larger role later in the season when injuries inevitably impact the group. — Joshua Brisco, Arrowhead Report

Las Vegas Raiders

UDFA most likely to make the roster: McClendon Curtis, IOL, Chattanooga

It is no secret that the Las Vegas Raiders need help in the desert. Even with a solid 2023 NFL Draft, GM Dave Ziegler invested heavily in the UDFA market, going after two offensive linemen (Both had fifth-round NFL Draft grades) in OT Dalton Wagner of Arkansas and IOL McClendon Curtis of UT Chattanooga. While both will have a legitimate chance to make the roster, I anticipate Wagner landing on the practice squad and Curtis making the roster as an IOL. Another UDFA to watch is LB Drake Thomas of NC State. — Hondo Carpenter, Raiders Today

Los Angeles Chargers

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Jerrod Clark, DT, Coastal Carolina

Many experts alike were surprised that the 6’4” and 334-pound defensive tackle went undrafted, and the Bolts may be able to benefit from that. Clark is a mammoth of a man who had an incredible junior season and showcased his strong tackling, great hands, and chase ability. You could never go wrong with adding more pass rushers, and Clark has shown he can do it at a high level. Add in the likes of Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack, and Clark may get his opportunities to get to the quarterback or the backfield. — Ricardo Sandoval, Charger Report

Los Angeles Rams

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Christopher Dunn, K, North Carolina State

Other teams drafted kickers. The Rams said goodbye to Matt Gay and may have found a kicker via UDFA who ranks with the drafted guys in Dunn. — Mike Fisher, Rams Digest

Miami Dolphins

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Brandon Pili, DT, USC

There are two major factors at play here that suggest Pili will be somebody to watch in training camp. The first is the fact he got $100,000 in guaranteed money to sign with the Dolphins as a rookie free agent, which obviously is an indication they think highly of him. Perhaps more importantly, Pili plays a position where the Dolphins have little depth behind their starters, following the departure of veteran John Jenkins in free agency. — Alain Poupart, All Dolphins

USC DT Brandon Pili (91)

USC DT Brandon Pili (91)

Minnesota Vikings

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Andre Carter II, EDGE, Army

The Vikings actually have a pair of UDFAs who I fully expect to make the roster in Cincinnati LB Ivan Pace Jr. and Carter. They’re two of this year’s most prominent undrafted players and should supplement Minnesota’s small six-player draft class. Carter, specifically, has a clear path to the roster after receiving $340,000 guaranteed and seeing Za’Darius Smith get traded to Cleveland. The 6’6” edge rusher had 15.5 sacks in 2021 but only 3.5 last season as offenses honed in on stopping him. If he fills out his frame and continues developing, watch out. — Will Ragatz, Inside the Vikings

New England Patriots

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Malik Cunningham, QB, Louisville

Yeah, but … doesn’t coach Bill Belichick already employ Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe and Trace McSorley? Yeah. And? Obviously there is a commitment to get Mac right. But Cunningham has dazzling athleticism — he’s already shown that in Pats workouts. And while he might be a multi-positional weapon, he might someday be a real QB, too. — Mike Fisher, Patriot Country

New Orleans Saints

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Mark Evans II, OL, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

The two-time All-HBCU All-American has the versatility New Orleans loves to see in offensive linemen. He hails from the same college as the Saints' previous longtime starting left tackle Terron Armstead. Guards Andrus Peat and Cesar Ruiz are coming off significant injuries at the end of the 2022-23 season. Evans can play either guard position or center, where starter Erik McCoy also lost playing time last season. New Orleans landed Evans with one of the highest UDFA contracts in recent history. Expect him to push for playing time during minicamp and training camp, primarily because of his versatility. — Kyle T. Mosley, Saints News Network

New York Giants

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Bryce Ford-Wheaton, WR, West Virginia

The Giants wanted West Virginia receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton so badly that they signed him to a three year contract worth $2.715 million with $236,000 guaranteed and a $20,000 signing bonus. To put that into perspective, that guarantee is more than the $216,000 salary a rookie sitting on the practice squad would make, and clearly shows that the Giants are committed to developing the 6’4”, 221-pound Ford-Wheaton as part of a receiver unit where Sterling Shepard, Parris Campbell, Jeff Smith, Jamison Crowder, Isaiah Hodgins, Collin Johnson, David Sills V, and three other receivers currently on the team’s 90-man roster are only signed through the current season. — Patricia Traina, Giants Country

WVU WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton

WVU WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton (0)

New York Jets

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Trey Dean, S, Florida

Dean was a five-year producer at an SEC school and the versatile safety may be the quintessential diamond in the rough at a position of need. The Jets did not re-sign FS Lamarcus Joyner, vacating a spot in the room. The 6'2" Dean, who can play both safety roles, carried a sixth-round grade, but went undrafted likely due to a 4.75-second 40-yard dash time. Despite the disappointing 40, Dean impressed in other areas of the pre draft testing process. He topped all safeties at the Combine in the 225-pound bench press (25 reps) after snagging an interception during the East West Shrine Bowl game. —Ralph Ventre, Jets Country 

More on the Jets' UDFA

Philadelphia Eagles

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Eli Ricks, DB, Alabama

Ricks was thought by many to be a draftable talent. He might be able to eventually do multiple things in the Philly secondary, and at 6’2” and 200 pounds, he also brings size and that valuable ‘Bama pedigree. — Mike Fisher, Eagles Today

Pittsburgh Steelers

UDFA most likely to make the roster: David Perales, LB, Fresno State

The Steelers added an outside linebacker in the NFL Draft with Nick Herbig, but afterward, their addition of David Perales turned plenty of heads. The Fresno State product left college with 38 tackles for loss and 23 sacks, including 11.5 this past season. He’ll compete with Quincy Roche for the team’s final OLB spot, and if his college career carries over, he’ll beat out the third-year veteran. — Noah Strackbein, All Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Khalan Laborn, RB, Marshall

The 49ers have signed multiple UDFA running backs who went on to become productive pros — Raheem Mostert, Matt Breida and Jeff Wilson Jr., to name a few. Last year, they inked undrafted running back Jordan Mason, and he made the team over former third-round pick Trey Sermon. This year, the 49ers signed rookie UDFA Khalan Laborn, who was the No. 1 running back in the country coming out of high school. After transferring from Florida State, he rushed for 1,513 yards and 16 touchdowns last season at Marshall and ran a 4.44 at his Pro Day. Don’t be surprised if he makes the 49ers’ 53-man roster over Ty Davis-Price, who struggled as a rookie last year. Laborn looked impressive at the 49ers rookie minicamp last week and seems ready to compete. — Grant Cohn, All 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Matt Landers, WR, Arkansas

It’s not that the Seahawks need another receiver; it’s that Landers’ NFL Combine numbers simply demand a further look. “Workout Wonder’’? Maybe. but he’s 6’4” with a 4.4 40-yard dash. — Mike Fisher, All Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Sean Tucker, RB, Syracuse

In a welcome surprise, former Syracuse star Sean Tucker fell into Tampa Bay's lap following the 2023 NFL Draft due to injury concerns. With that being said, the Buccaneers are expecting Tucker to be fully cleared for training camp. If so, the prolific running back has an opportunity to latch on with the team after the franchise cut Leonard Fournette and didn't spend draft capital on upgrading the backfield. Tucker rushed for 3,182 yards and 27 touchdowns with the Orange. — Dustin Lewis, BucsGameday

Syracuse RB Sean Tucker (34)

Syracuse RB Sean Tucker (34)

Tennessee Titans

UDFA most likely to make the roster: John Ojukwu, Boise State

The Tennessee Titans have an interesting group of undrafted rookie free agents currently on the roster. For a team that can use depth, there are several interesting possibilities to make this roster. However, the one player who right now seems to be ahead of the pack is former Boise State tackle John Ojukwu, who received a $190,000 signing bonus, the highest among the team's undrafted class. Coming into this season, the Titans need help up front, and Ojukwu has looked good to this point in the process. — Greg Arias, All Titans

Washington Commanders

UDFA most likely to make the roster: Mitchell Tinsley, WR, Penn State 

Jahan Dotson 2.0? He played at Penn State in 2022, but before that, at Western Kentucky, he was a dominator, with 14 TDs. after logging 87 catches for 1,402 yards and 14 scores at Western Kentucky in 2021. Tinsley’s long arms make him a wide and inviting target in coordinator Eric Bieniemy’s new offense. — Mike Fisher, Commander Country