The 2021 NFL Draft concluded on Saturday after three days and 259 selections over seven rounds. Almost immediately, a flurry of signings took place as teams brought in draft-eligible players that weren’t selected. Every year undrafted free agent signings make the final 53-man roster for teams and have an impact on the field during the season.
Below are five signings of fantasy-relevant players worth watching as we head into the off-season.
Jamie Newman, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles didn’t take a quarterback during the draft, demonstrating confidence in Jalen Hurts, or at least a willingness to let it play out in 2021. Aside from Hurts, the Eagles signed veteran Joe Flacco to the roster as a free agent. Now they have agreed to terms with Newman. Newman is an interesting prospect that some thought would be taken during the draft. Instead, he watched as 10 other quarterbacks were taken, including five in the First Round. Newman played three seasons at Wake Forest before transferring to Georgia in 2020, where he didn’t play. Newman’s best season came in 2019, as he threw for 2,868 yards, 26 TDs and 11 INTs. It will be interesting to see if Newman sticks on the roster for the Eagles.
Javian Hawkins, RB, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons were supposedly great candidates to take a running back in the draft, but they didn’t. For the time being, that seems to be an endorsement of free agent signee Mike Davis, the best back on the roster. It’s possible the Falcons sign a veteran in free agency later this summer, or even bring back Todd Gurley, but for now the running back room is thin. It made sense, then, that the Falcons signed Hawkins, out of Louisville, who went undrafted. In three seasons, he rushed for 2,355 yards and 16 TDs, including 1,525 yards in 2019. He adds to a group that includes Davis, Qadree Ollison, Cordarelle Patterson and Tony Brooks-James. Hawkins has a great shot to make the squad and earn touches in 2021.
Jaret Patterson, RB, Washington Football Team
Patterson was another interesting running back prospect who wasn’t drafted. He lands with the Washington Football Team. Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic formed a solid tandem for Washington in 2020, and both are back to lead the group in 2021. In addition, Washington has veterans Peyton Barber, Lamar Miller and Jonathan Williams on the roster. But Patterson rushed for 3,884 yards and 52 TDs in three seasons at Buffalo. He’s a good runner who has a chance to make this squad and could be interesting if he does.
Sage Surratt, WR, Detroit Lions
The Lions have plenty of questions at receiver. The team signed veterans Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman and have second-year receiver Quintez Cephus coming back. The team also drafted USC receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown in the Fourth Round. Surratt, one of two undrafted receivers signed by the Lions, caught 66 passes for 1,001 yards and 11 TDs in 2019. He sat out the 2020 season and didn’t hear his name called during the draft, but it gives the Lions another interesting option in the receiver group.
Tamorrion Terry, WR, Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are another team that’s become thin at receiver. The Seahawks have D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett at the top of the depth chart, both Top 10 receivers for fantasy in 2020, but beyond that it’s a little thin. David Moore moved to Carolina, while Freddie Swain serves as the top remaining option behind them. The Seahawks drafted D’Wayne Eskridge and picked up two receivers after the draft in Terry and Cade Johnson. Terry caught 60 passes for 1,180 yards and nine TDs at Florida State in 2019. He struggled some in 2020 but has some potential upside and lands in a decent spot to make the roster.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.