Top Undrafted Players: Defense and Specialists

Defensive Player Rankings NFL Draft

Defensive Line:

  • Pierre Allen
  • Martin Parker
  • Cedric Thornton
  • Ian Williams
  • Ugo Chinasa
  • Brandon Bair
  • Adrian Taylor
  • Demarcus Dobbs
  • Ryan Winterswyk
  • Kentrell Lockett


Despite so many defensive ends and tackles being drafted I think there are still a number of quality prospects out there available for teams to get solid value. Pierre Allen has some potential to eventually develop into a starting caliber end in a 4-3. Lockett and Chinasa offer value as situational pass rushers coming off the edge. Thornton and Parker look to be good rotational tackles (or ends in a 3-4). Ian Williams is a tough nose tackle and should find a niche as a role player.


  • Mark Herzlich
  • Scott Lutrus
  • Adrian Moten
  • Orie Lemon
  • Nick Bellore
  • Thomas Kieser
  • Jeremiha Hunter
  • Jeff Tarpinian
  • Josh Bynes
  • Mario Harvey


There isn’t a lot of linebacking talent on the undrafted market, but there are a few interesting names. Mark Herzlich I really thought deserved to get drafted. While his athletic ability isn’t where it was prior to his cancer treatment, I think he showed enough in his comeback to warrant a selection. He will probably move inside in a 3-4 system, and definitely has the upside and heart to develop into a very good NFL player.

Defensive Backs:

  • Kendric Bruney
  • Devon Torrence
  • Joe Lefeged
  • Deunta Williams
  • DeAndre McDaniel
  • Kevin Rutland
  • Mario Butler
  • Jeron Johnson
  • Will Hill
  • Jerrard Tarrant


There isn’t a lot of depth among the undrafted defensive backs, but there are some quality players. Deunta Williams would have likely been a top 75 player if he hadn’t broken his leg in his bowl game. I was really surprised he fell so far and should develop into a starter. Jeron Johnson is a bit undersized, but is a sure tackler and always seems to be around the ball. DeAndre McDaniel was one of the most productive safeties in the country these past two years, but completely fell off the draft charts. I know his 40 times were slower than what you’d typically like to see, but if he can be an in the box type of safety I could see him succeeding at the next level. Kendric Bruney is another guy who got hurt by poor 40 times, but every time you watch a game he is always making a play or blanketing his receiver, I think he will find a way to be a successful nickel corner at the next level.



Only two specialists were taken in the draft, meaning teams will have plenty of options if they are looking for kickers and punters. Both Chas Henry and Ryan Donahue have a real shot of being capable punters in the NFL and should get a lot of attention. Kai Forbath was one of the top kickers in the NCAA these past two seasons, and could be an option for a team looking for an upgrade. Danny Aiken was the best long snapper in college and really should have no trouble finding work.

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