Thus far, the Falcons have signed 23 undrafted free agents in this bite-sized offseason. Given that the short preseason will be geared towards getting the starters and impact rookies like Julio Jones ready for the 2011 season, several of those undrafted rookies will have a tough time standing out amongst their teammates.
However, make no mistake, there are a few of these undrafted rookies who can contribute and will have an impact on the 2011 season. Given the outstanding success undrafted guys like Eric Weems and Brent Grimes have had for the Falcons, let's take a look at who could be a big prospect in future years.
If you look at Friday's training camp roster, there are over 90 players listed there. Some of these guys have no shot, but here are a few guys I think could have the fast track to making the team:
QB Adam Froman, Louisville:
Earlier in the week, I actually pointed out that Froman could be a really good signing for the Falcons. Obviously Ryan and Redman are locked in as starter and primary backup, respectively. However, Froman only needs to beat out current third-stringer John Parker Wilson to make the team. Froman has poor mechanics, but good decision-making to make up for it. He also has the size (6'4, 220 lbs) and speed to be a quality backup in the NFL.
C Paul Fenaroli, Stony Brook:
Take one look at this guy, and you immediately think "Beast." Basically, Fenaroli is a guy who lit up the field against weaker competition. However, his strength (34 bench reps) and durability (started 38 consecutive games) are what will give him a shot over some of his competition.
DT Kiante Tripp, Georgia:
Though Tripp was a DE in UGA's 3-4 scheme, he'll likely move inside and could catch on as a contributor to the Falcons rotating defensive front system. Tripp certainly has the size of an NFL player (6'5, 302), and his lack of attention is likely a product of limited playing time under Willie Martinez, who doesn't understand football.
S Suaesi Tuimaunei, Oregon State:
At 6'1, 205 lbs, Tui (yes I'm calling him that) might not seem like a size threat at safety, but he certainly makes up for his size with some pop. He started his senior year for the Beavers, and proved himself to be a great tackler and hard hitter in the run game. He seems alot like Schillinger in that he's a safe player who'll keep everything in front of him, which is why he could make the roster over a risk-reward type player like current backup Rafael Bush.
WR Brandyn Harvey, Villanova:
Ok, he was a UFA last year, but I couldn't leave him out. With the Falcons releasing longtime receiver Michael Jenkins earlier today, that could leave an open spot on the roster for one of the many untested wideouts on the roster. Harvey, who spent 2010 on the practice squad, is probably the best out of that group. His ridiculous size (6'4, 205) and straight line speed would make him both a receiving threat and a good candidate for special teams.
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