If there are grades for NFL drafted free agents, why not ones for the NFL’s undrafted free agents? It just so happens you’re in luck because there are such things.
The grades the Cowboys got for their draft class were all over the place. Yesterday we noted that one person from ESPN gave the Cowboys a “D” grade while another gave them a “B”. That’s how it goes with subjective grades, it really is a grade of how closely the team matched the grader’s preconceived notions about who they should draft. None of it matters for a few years until we can use hard data to grade a draft.
But that won’t stop us from speculating. Our latest speculation goes even deeper, beyond the drafted, into the undrafted zone. Bleacher Report has graded each team’s UDFA class, including the Cowboys.
Signings: RB JaQuan Hardy, Tiffin; RB Brenden Knox, Marshall; WR T.J. Vasher, Texas Tech; WR Brandon Smith, Iowa; WR Osirus Mitchell, Mississippi State; WR Brennan Eagles, Texas; TE Nick Eubanks, Michigan (pictured); TE Nick Ralston, Louisiana; TE Artayvious Lynn, TCU; G Braylon Jones, Houston; DT Austin Faoliu, Oregon; LB Anthony Hines III, Texas A&M; LB Tyler Coyle, Purdue
Interestingly, the Dallas Cowboys signed four undrafted wide receivers despite being loaded at the position. Clearly, the team wanted its corps to get bigger.
Dallas chose the 6’4”, 222-pound Simi Fehoko in the fifth round. Among the recent signees, Texas Tech’s T.J. Vasher is 6’6” and 203 pounds. Mississippi State’s Osirus Mitchell is another towering target at 6’5” and 206 pounds. Brennan Eagles is a 6’4”, 225-pound option. Iowa State’s Brandon Smith is the smallest of the bunch at 6’1”, 218 pounds.
Not all of these receivers will make the roster. In fact, none of them may. But their inclusion now shows which direction the Cowboys are leaning to build around their star receivers.
Tight end received plenty of competition as well. Blake Jarwin is coming off a torn ACL, and the position lacked quality depth anyhow. Of the three who signed, Michigan’s Nick Eubanks brings the most potential as an athlete and receiver.
One thing that stands out about the Cowboys 2021 UDFA class is how heavily it is weighted toward offense. The Cowboys went defense on eight of their 11 picks in the draft as they tried to fix a disaster defense from the previous year. With the UDFAs, they signed 10 offensive players out of a total of 13 players. They also concentrated those signings on the skill positions. Two running backs, three tight ends, and four receivers.
As noted above, the Cowboys were clearly trying to sign big receivers. Length and speed have been the keywords for many of the Cowboys acquisitions this offseason, and they continued the trend here.
Who is your pet cat from this group?