If this year is anything like last year, then there will be several new undrafted faces making the final 53-man roster. The likes of Glenn Foster, Tim Lelito, Josh Hill, and, most notable of all, Khiry Robinson all had decent contributions last year in rotational roles and could be influential going forward. Fortunately, just like last year, there are three names I think have a good chance of making the cut. The 2014 UDFA class is headlined by Brandon Coleman -- a projected 3rd-5th round large bodied receiver who likely fell due to nagging knee issues. In addition to Coleman, here are a couple of other players to look for during OTAs and Training Camp that could impress.
Brandon Coleman, Wide Receiver, Rutgers
This is probably the most obvious candidate as he had the highest predicted draft stock pre-draft (for whatever that's worth). Coleman can be compared to Mike Evans or Kelvin Benjamin in terms of size and play style. Big-bodied receivers like Coleman get their yards not necessarily by burning defensive backs or creating massive amounts of space but instead by winning contested balls with a large catch radius. Coleman seems like a great developmental receiver in that regard as he stands 6'6'' tall while also posting an impressive 4.52 40-yard dash at the combine. With such traits, Coleman could be another great red zone target along side Jimmy Graham and round out of one of the best receiving corps in the league.
Before we get too excited however, there are some red flags. The most first and most obvious is largely the reason he fell out of the draft -- health concerns. Coleman, coming off a productive 2013 season with a 3rd round grade in the 2013 draft, decided to stay at Rutgers another year. Unfortunately, Coleman tore his meniscus in his knee which hindered him throughout the season. Though I haven't found anything definite, it has been speculated that the Combine health evaluation might have taken Coleman off NFL draft boards. Beyond health concerns, Coleman is still a developmental receiver that has much to gain from NFL level coaching. Further, he will have to acclimate to the NFL competition after having subpar production against Big East conference opponents. Still, if Coleman can stay healthy and show enough promise throughout the offseason, he could be a great developmental receiver in the Saints' potent offense.
Kasim Edebali, Outside Linebacker, Boston College
Edebali has started 3 years at Boston College being a rotational player his freshman year. After developing throughout his first three years, he had excellent production in his final year posting 67 tackles (14 for a loss), 9.5 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. Edebali shows good burst off the line and active hands and can be extremely disruptive in the backfield. Though he often played with his hands in the dirt at Boston College, he would likely project as a 3-4 Outside Linebacker in the Saints' system. Further, Edebali has his work cut out of for him with the recent Linebacker depth added through the late round of the draft. If Edebali can impress with his disruptive tendencies and sure tackling, he could push for a depth role.
George Uko, Defensive Tackle/End, USC
One of the immediate positives in looking at George Uko is his versatility playing both defensive tackle and end at USC. Like a lot of undrafted players, he's still very raw in that he needs to work on and continue to develop his pass-rush moves. During games, it seemed that Uko could often be contained by single blocks and would have trouble getting into the backfield. In order to make to the 53, Uko would probably need to beat out Tyrunn Walker, Glenn Foster, and/or newly signed Brandon Deaderick for a back-up defensive line position or show sufficient promise and development to make the practice squad.
Those are the three guys I think have the best shot at making it to the final 53-man roster. Some dark horse candidates might be RB Tim Flanders out of Sam Houston State who could play his way into a back-up role like Khiry Robinson last year or DE Lawrence Virgil who is raw small-school prospect with great size (6'5'', 281 lbs) and strength. Anyway, feel free discuss the 2014 UDFA class and who your favorites are to make the final roster. Thanks for reading and take the poll below!