Ten UDFAs with Potential

These UDFAs are all players that IMHO might have the potential to play in the NFL & are players that I hope the Redskins take a look at. They are players that I think would fit our system & are players that fit what Mike Shanahan & Bruce Allen are doing with the Redskins. Twenty percent of the players in the NFL were UDFAs who fill out rosters providing depth & youth or in some cases like Arian Foster or Tony Romo quality Pro Bowl talent.

The Scouting Reports are from FFtoolbox Thanx to Jeff Christiansen for his excellent scouting department & his permission to use fftoolbox materiel.


1 - Jeron Johnson, SS, Boise St.


 Ht. 5-11 Wt. 194


NFL Combine Results

40-Yard Dash 4.53
Bench press 23
Broad jump DNP

2011 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report:

The Boise State defense does not usually get the credit it deserves. That is understandable with the stellar offense, but one player that is difficult to overlook is safety Jeron Johnson. For the last three years he has been the leader of the defense and that alone should earn him some recognition. Johnson has led the Broncos in tackles for three consecutive seasons. Even as a freshman back in 2007 he was a fine tackler, but missed four games with an injury and that stifled his attempt to lead Boise State in tackles that season.

Johnson also ended his collegiate career with eight interceptions. Johnson is a very versatile player who can step up and lay out the big hit or drop back effectively in coverage. He is not the biggest or strongest safety in this class, but he can be a fine safety at the next level. He has the speed and instincts to play on Sundays for quite some time.

Johnson's draft will likely hinge on his speed. His 40 times have been all over the place. If he can stay in the 4.45 range, he should be a third or fourth round selection. If that speed slips, so will Johnson's draft stock.

Last Updated Feb-03-2011 by Joel Welser  

  Jeron Johnson is a highly rated SS who could be a backup for Laron Landry & provide valuable depth on STs. Altho SS is not as big a need as many other positions, Johnson is a very talented player that could contribute immediately.

2 - Darrin Walls, CB, Notre Dame

Height & Weight: 6'0 - 188 lbs.

2011 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report:

There was a lot of hope built around Darrin Walls when he entered the Notre Dame football program. The 6-0 cornerback delivered on his potential early. He did not see much action as a freshman in 2006, but he was out there on defense occasionally and was used as a kickoff returner. By 2007 Walls was almost always on the field and started 11 of the team's 12 games. He tallied 32 tackles, including 2.5 tackles-for-loss. More importantly he emerged as a solid press cover corner and broke up nine passes, picked off one and even forced two fumbles.

After missing the entire 2008 campaign for personal reasons, Walls failed to improve on his very promising 2007 season. He still started eight games and made 27 tackles and had one interception, but he did not look as sharp as he did two years earlier. Walls needed to have a good senior season to get back on teams draft boards and he did just that. On the he tallied a career high 41 tackles and intercepted three passes.

Walls is a physical corner who has the size and strength to push around some of the bigger receivers in the league. And he is not afraid to hit somebody either and that is one reason why he may make a move to free safety in the NFL. His inability to keep up with crisp route runners is another reason he may be a better fit at free safety. Either way, Walls is a late round selection and a team that has some to teach him how to use his strength and speed more effectively could have a great deal in the sixth or seventh round.

Last Updated Apr-10-2011 by Joel Welser

 Darrin Walls has potential at either the CB or the FS position, he would provide depth & possibly develop as a starter in the future. With the possible/likely departure of Carlos Rogers, CB might be a huge need for us next season & tho Walls is nowhere near NFL ready he does have the potential & talent to possibly contribute in the near future.

3 - Adam Froman QB Louisville 6-3 220 lb.s 4.52 40 

Adam Froman is a player who has been compared to Jake Locker, both are extremely gifted athletically altho Locker has a much stronger arm. Their 40 times are almost identical as are their ht. & wt. Froman has a ton of upside, he has the tools & the intelligence (he scored a 39 on the wonderlic) to be a starting QB in the NFL altho that is definitely a longshot. He could be an extremely good #2 QB for us as well, with his speed & intelligence he could run the scout team or step in if needed because of injury. He is a fearless runner who could also be a situational type weapon. I think that he has the athleticism that Mike Shanahan seems to value & the intelligence that Kyle wants to run his offensive system.

Overview Played two years at Santa Rosa (CA) Junior College before coming to Lousville in the spring of 2009. Backed up Hawaii's Greg Alexander as a freshman at SRJC, but had a great sophomore year that saw him garner interest from several Pac-10 schools as well as Louisville.Froman completed 278 of 449 passes for 3,842 yards and 40 touchdowns last season. He only threw 11 interceptions and led all of California junior college players in total offense, passing yards, touchdown passes, completions, and completion percentage. He picked U of L over Colorado State.

Came in in 2009 and solidified the Cards QB situation. Completed 111 balls on 185 attempts for 2354 yards, and 6/5. In 2010, he tallied 132 of 218 for 1633 yards, 17 TDs 9 Ints.

Strengths Pro size. Tough competitor. Lots of upside left. Would have likely been a star at Louisville and been among the best signal callers in FBS football, had he had another year of eligibility. Very athletic with solid functional football intelligence and enough arm strength to make NFL throws.

Weaknesses Still developing, while his ar is good he lacks a cannon. Not a whole lot of big-time, big-game experience, and may have a bit of a learning curve and a confidence challenge moving to the next level.

Projection Could be a surprise late draft pick, but will certainly be a high priority UDFA, if he is not.

4 - Ian Williams, DT, Notre Dame

Height & Weight: 6'1 - 319 lbs.

NFL Combine Results
40-Yard Dash 5.25
Bench press 31
Vertical jump 28.5
Broad jump 8'2

2011 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Rep

Even for a defensive tackle, Ian Williams did not put up huge numbers during his collegiate career at Notre Dame. He is an athletic player who can move the opposing line and help his teammates make plays. By the end of his freshman season Williams earned a starting job and was a part-time starter for the rest of his career. It was during his freshman campaign when Williams made a name for himself by tallying 45 tackles. His tackle numbers decreased in 2008, down to 40, but the opposition was also starting to key in on him and make other people make plays.

The tackle number slipped again during Williams' junior year, this time down to 39. However, he did do a better job of getting into the backfield and six of those tackles went for a loss. The trend of not making as many tackles continued into 2010. This time the lack of tackles was in part due to the fact that he missed four games with an injury.

The tackle totals should not concern NFL teams. When Williams was garnering more attention from the opposing offensive line, he still made a huge impact on the game. It may not have shown up in the box score, but it was there. Any team looking for a nose tackle with experience in a 3-4 scheme should be lucky to nab Williams in the third round.

Last Updated Apr-10-2011 by Joel Welser 

5 - Willie Smith, OT, East Carolina

Height & Weight: 6'6 - 310 lbs.

NFL Combine Results

40-Yard Dash 5.50
Vertical jump 30.5
Broad jump 8'10
Three-cone drill 7.95
20-yard shuttle 4.83

2011 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report:

Willie Smith started his collegiate career playing defense. As a freshman he tallied seven tackles in limited playing time. As a sophomore at East Carolina he moved to the other side of the ball, but not to the tackle position he would soon hold. Instead, Smith was a tight end for a little while before moving to tackle. Once at the tackle position, he only played 48 snaps.

That has only given Smith two years to really be an offensive lineman. As a junior he stepped right into the starting role at left tackle and helped lead the Pirates to a conference title. That team ranked sixth in the nation, allowing a mere 0.86 sacks per game. Giving up only 12 sacks in 14 games is very impressive and the left tackle deserves a ton of credit for that remarkable statistic. Making that even more impressive was the fact that most of the sacks allowed were early in the season while Smith and the rest of the line were still adjusting to their new roles.

At 6-6, Smith has the size to be a tackle in the NFL. He would likely move to the right side for now since he lacks the strength and agility that the top tackles in the NFL need to have. However, Smith is still relatively new to the position and he has room to improve and room to add weight to his large frame.

3/27 Update: Smith measured in closer to 6-5 than to 6-6, but he also started adding weight to his frame and was up to 310 pounds at the NFL combine. His extra weight looked nice, but it did not lend itself to Smith putting up impressive numbers during the workouts. Smith's lack of experience could turn him into a nice late round pick-up for a team that has the luxury of working with him for a few years and developing him into a quality right tackle.

Last Updated Mar-27-2011 by Joel Welser

Willie Smith has made excellent progress in only two years as an offensive lineman & IMO still has a lot of untapped potential. He is definitely a developmental type player but he could be a solid starter in a year or two. He is very athletic & would be a very good fit in a ZBS

6 - Kendric Burney, CB, North Carolina

Height & Weight: 5'9 - 190 lbs.

NFL Combine Results

40-Yard Dash 4.75
Bench press 14
Vertical jump 32.5
Broad jump 9'4

2011 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Rep

For his first three seasons at North Carolina, Kendric Burney did not miss a start at his cornerback position. As a freshman in 2007, the 5-9 Jacksonville, North Carolina native did a superb job for such a young player who was thrown into the fire from day one. On the year he tallied 50 tackles and broke up four passes. He also picked off a pass which he returned for a touchdown. As a sophomore those numbers just kept getting better. Burney tallied an impressive 78 tackles, including 7.5 tackles-for-loss. On top of breaking up five passes, Burney continued to be a ball hawk and picked off three passes.

The interception theme would continue in 2009. Even while teams avoided Burney, he still managed to intercept five passes. His tackle and passes defended numbers were down, but that was more a result of the opposition avoiding his side of the field than anything else. Burney's starting streak ended at the beginning of 2010 as he missed the first six games of the season while serving a suspension dished out by the NCAA for receiving improper benefits. He missed a seventh game for what UNC called an "unresolved issue." Burney finally got back on the field in late October and in five regular season games tallied 24 tackles and recorded his tenth career interception.

Burney could only do so much for the North Carolina defense after sitting out for so long during his senior season. His 5-9 frame has always been a concern to many NFL teams and now they have even more of a reason to let the corner slide down their draft boards. While Burney was serving his suspension, other corners have had productive seasons and flown past him on many draft boards. Burney will have to have some good workouts, which is certainly possible since he can run a 4.4 40, to move out of the middle rounds.

2/8 Update: Burney began impressing scouts at the Senior Bowl. He was one of the toughest corners and showed great footwork and movement. During a week of practice where he had to go up against some quality receivers, Burney certainly helped his stock. His lack of size is still an issue, but there is no reason to believe he cannot be a fine special teams player and a quality nickelback.

Last Updated Feb-08-2011 by Joel Welser

Kendric Burney is a player who seems to play bigger & faster than his ht. & 40 times would show. He looked really good at both the Combine in drills & at the Senior Bowl.


7 - Jeff Maehl WR Oregon

NFL Combine Results

Height & Weight: 6'1 - 190 lbs.
40-Yard Dash 4.62
Vertical jump 33.5
Broad jump 9'7
Three-cone drill 6.42
20-yard shuttle 3.94
60-yard shuttle 10.88

2011 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Repor

Back in 2007 Jeff Maehl had a long road before finding his niche on Oregon's team. He started the year as a reserve player in the secondary. Then he spent most of his time on special teams. Eventually he turned into a wide receiver and started at that spot for the last three games of the year. Maehl only caught nine passes for 118 yards and a touchdown as a freshman, but he certainly found his spot on the team. In 2008 Maehl stepped into a larger role and caught 39 passes for 421 yards and five scores.

Maehl played a bigger role in 2009 and ended up catching 53 passes for 696 yards and six touchdowns. The 2010 season was a big one for Maehl and the Ducks. En route to the BCS National Championship game, Maehl turned into a superstar. On the year he led the Ducks with 77 receptions for 1,076 yards and a dozen touchdowns.

Maehl certainly got plenty of recognition in 2010, but that did not make him a valuable NFL prospect. However, he started to change that perception at the NFL combine. He is still a little undersized at 6-1 and 190 pounds, but he proved to be a superb athlete. Maehl is not fast, but he is quick and did a great job in the three-cone drill, 60-yard shuffle and 20-yard shuffle. He will not blow by most opposing cornerbacks, but he can make them miss with his great ability to run routes and that should get him drafted in the middle to late rounds.

Last Updated Apr-10-2011 by Joel Welser

Jeff Maehl is an under-rated WR who reminds me of Wes Welker. He doesn't really do anything very well except catch a lot of passes. He has had to prove himself at every level & has always done so, he was the leading receiver on the nations most high powered offense.
8 - Blaine Sumner NT Colorado School of Mines
Ht. 6-1&1/2  Wt. 335 5.35 40 time
Biography: Three-year starter awarded all-Conference honors the past two years. Senior totals included 32/6.5/.5 and three blocked kicks. Junior numbers included 33/7/4. Occasionally used as a lead blocker or short yardage ball carrier. Completed 52 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press during his Pro Day in March. Other weightlifting marks included 905 pounds on the squat and 625 pounds on the bench.

Positives: "Powerful and underrated nose tackle prospect who shows a good degree of athleticism on the field. Bends his knees, plays with terrific pad level, and gets underneath opponents. Adequate first step off the snap, displays the ability to easily bull rush opponents off the ball, and collapses the pocket. Consistently doubled in the middle the line. Moves well on the field, fluid if asked to twist or stunt, and has the ability to get around blockers besides run over them. Rarely off his feet, shows the ability to change direction, and works hard."

Negatives: Must develop more moves with his hands and use them better to protect himself. Struggles to regain balance off the initial block. More of a space eater in the middle rather than a defensive lineman who makes a lot of plays on the ball.

Analysis: "Sumner is an impressive physical specimen and a great combination of power and athleticism. Always playing with good football technique, he has definite potential at the next level and should get looks by a 3-4 team in the late rounds."

Projection: FA

Blaine Sumner (the Vanilla Gorilla) is an incredibly strong prospect who has played very well at the Div. II level. He is very athletic for his size & could possibly be a steal as an UDFA.


9 - Colin Baxter,C Arizona

Height & Weight: 6'4 - 295 lbs.

2011 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report:

For Four years Colin Baxter has been the unsung hero for Arizona's offense. After redshirting in 2006 and beginning the 2007 campaign as a backup, Baxter has been a staple in the Wildcats' starting lineup. Even as a redshirt freshman in 2007, it did not take Baxter long to earn a starting role and he ended up starting the final 11 games of the season. Like the 2007 campaign, Baxter again started the 2008 season at the left guard spot. However an injury to then center Blake Kerley forced Baxter into the middle of the line for the final nine games of the season.

Baxter performed so well at the center spot that he never left. In 2009 he was a second-team All-Pac-10 honoree following his honorable mention accolades a year earlier. By 2010 he was earning even more accolades and was a Rimington Trophy Award finalist. Baxter's collegiate career ended on a sour note as he was sidelined with a knee injury for ASU's Alamo Bowl appearance against Oklahoma State.

It is hard to find any player with more starting experience than Baxter. He may not be the best center out there in any single category, but he is a smart player who can quickly learn to run an offense from under center. His versatility to move over and play some guard is not a bad thing either. Baxter's future is likely at center and a team that needs depth at that position right away will pick up Baxter late in the draft.

Last Updated Apr-10-2011 by Joel Welser

Colin Baxter is a very good prospect for a ZBS, he is smart & very athletic for his size

10 - Jake Kirkpatrick, C, TCU

Height & Weight: 6'3 - 305 lbs.

2011 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report:

Jake Kirkpatrick did not play too much football in high school and the 6-3, 305 pound center spent quite a bit of time learning behind some talented linemen at TCU. It was not until his redshirt junior season in 2009 when Kirkpatrick stepped into a starting role. Prior to that he was a sparsely used backup center and saw some action on special teams. Kirkpatrick needed that time to develop his game and for the past two years he has been the anchor of the Horned Frogs' offensive line. And it has been over the last two years when the TCU offense turned from a decent unit that tried to help the stellar defense into a group that could win games on its own. The success starts with the offensive line and the line goes through Kirkpatrick.

Even as a first year starter, Kirkpatrick was one of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy. A year later Kirkpatrick would win the award given to the nation's top center. In 2009 TCU was sixth in the nation -- allowing a mere 0.92 sacks per game -- and it was Kirkpatrick who was calling all of the blocking schemes. The Horned Frogs also set a single season record by tallying 498 points and 5,937 yards of total offense. As a senior Kirkpatrick paved the way for the nation's ninth best total offense and fourth best scoring offense.

Kirkpatrick received plenty of accolades during his two years as a starter. He was named to numerous All-American teams and bringing home the Rimington Trophy is about as good as a center can do. He is not the strongest center in this class, but he may be the smartest on the field and there should only be a few centers who hear their name called before Kirkpatrick.

Last Updated Jan-13-2011 by Joel Welser

Jake Kirkpatrick is another player that began playing football later than most elite players & therefore still has a lot to learn. It also means that Kirkpatrick possibly has a large amount of untapped potential. He is smart & is also a very hardworker.

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