New England Patriots fans have become accustomed to the ever present undrafted free agent (UDFA) on the roster. Every opening day roster since 2004 has seen one or more UDFAs — a total of 34 players over that span. This year, there are 15 Patriot hopefuls looking to extend the streak and make the final 53. Let’s take a look at each player and how they can make the roster.
This is the first and only double-dip of the series. To be completely honest, there isn't enough out there on Wallace and I can't envision either one of these guys cracking to final roster, especially under 2020 circumstances, so I lumped them together. If reports are to be believed the rosters will soon be cut down to 80, before some teams even report to camp. The league will also forego the preseason, which is the most important month of an UDFA’s life.
These two are also believed to be at the bottom of the “Desirable UDFA” list. Considering all of these factors there’s a high possibility these two find themselves on off the roster sooner rather than later. Despite that, I'll let you know what they will need to do to secure themselves a spot on the team. Before I convey my infinite wisdom, however, please go and check out the other UDFA profiles. There is only one left after this!
- Myles Bryant, CB, Washington
- Rashod Berry, TE/DE, Ohio State
- De’Jon “Scoota” Harris, LB, Arkansas
- Brian Lewerke, QB, Michigan State
- Bill Murray, DT, William and Mary
- Nick Coe, DE, Auburn
- Kyahva Tezino, LB, SDSU
- Jake Burt, TE, Boston College
- Sean Riley, WR, Syracuse
- Will Hastings, WR, Auburn
- J.J. Taylor, RB, Arizona
- J.Mar Smith, QB, Louisiana Tech
Isaiah Zuber, WR, Mississippi State
Zuber’s college career was a bit of a roller coaster. He started off at Kansas State, redshirting as a freshman and playing out the next three years as a Wildcat. During that time he recorded 127 catches for 1,321 yards and 11 touchdowns. Leading the team in catches and yards in 2017 and 2018. He parlayed this success into an opportunity at a bigger program, transferring to Mississippi State after the 2018 season. This proved to be detrimental as he had the worst season of his career, logging 14 catches for 211 yards and two touchdowns.
Zuber’s unfortunate senior season plummeted his draft stock as he obviously went undrafted. In April, this felt like a smart signing. Grabbing a guy who produced for three seasons and had one bad year to develop and use as insurance incase of injury isn’t a bad idea. It just so happens there will be very little time to develop UDFAs this season.
Zuber’s best chance is unfortunately tied to injury. If enough receivers get injured/sick/opt out he could find himself on the roster as he is a better true receiver than other undrafted rookies like Will Hastings or Sean Riley.
Courtney Wallace Jr, DT, Louisiana Tech
Two quick things on Wallace. One, it is very hard finding film or even highlights of him. Two, judging a defensive tackle on statistics alone is stupid and makes no sense so I won’t do it. I will however, talk about where he could fit in New England.
The Patriots defensive line feels very set. Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler, Beau Allen, and Byron Cowart are likely to make the team and the remaining one or two spots are being contended for by seven players. That means Wallace will need to go through six other guys, including four veterans.
In my opinion, Wallace, more than anyone else, will be affected by the circumstances of the NFL in 2020. He has upside but needs to be fine-tuned and has little to no chance to prove himself this season.
That will do it for this installment of the UDFA Profile series. I apologize for the switch up with only one left to go but it is what it is. We will see you in a few days with our final profile on Miami wide receiver Jeff Thomas.