Now that the dust has settled a bit after the draft, seven Ole Miss players have been signed as undrafted free agents. The path for an undrafted free agent can be really difficult, as money and draft capital have been invested in those ahead of them. It’s hard for GMs to admit failure with big acquisitions.
But it’s still possible to sort through the opportunities some UDFAs have. A lot of these Ole Miss players were instrumental in the Rebels reaching a 10-2 regular season, and Rebel fans would obviously get to keep watching them in the NFL where they’ll finally be paid (finally, am I right?).
So let’s take a look at where each Ole Miss player ended up as well as the likelihood they’ll stick with their new team. There’s still a lot of offseason left, and more players will ultimately be brought in, particularly for the practice squad, so this could certainly change due to a free agent signing or two, but as it stands, here are my expectations.
Ben Brown - Cincinnati Bengals
This offseason, the Bengals signed three free agent offensive linemen in La’el Collins, Alex Cappa, and Ted Karras and are widely thought of as the most improved OL. In the fourth round, they drafted North Dakota St. OL Cordell Volson. It’s going to be a tough road for Brown.
Dontario Drummond - Dallas
Dallas is in desperate need at the position as it’s mostly just Ceedee Lamb. Despite using their third round pick on Jalen Tolbert, I think the Cowboys will give earnest looks to all their options. While Drummond struggles with straight line speed, there’s some opportunity for him to carve out a niche here.
Tariqious Tisdale - Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals picked Florida DE Zachary Carter in the third round and Jeffrey Gunter in the seventh. They were already returning both starters from a year ago and bring back Joseph Ossai, who missed last season with an injury but was promising in the preseason. It’s difficult to see this working out for Tisdale.
Jaylon Jones - Chicago Bears
The Bears drafted Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker in the second round. The other starter spot is set with Eddie Jackson. They’re already set to roster four safeties, and NFL teams don’t typically carry more than that.
Braylon Sanders - Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins already have a deep unit with Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Cedrick WIlson headlining. They’re currently rostering ten receivers before UDFAs. Once again, I don’t think Sanders will be on the roster in September.
Jerrion Ealy - Kansas City Chiefs
Ealy could make the roster in Kansas City if he’s able to be dynamic in space like we occasionally saw at Ole Miss. He’s not going to unseat Clyde Edwards-Helaire or Ronald Jones, but past those two the running back room is UDFAs and seventh rounders (which are basically UDFAs). He’ll have to show his hands are better than he displayed in college and show burst like we saw against LSU on a more consistent basis, but he has a shot.
Mac Brown - Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs return Tommy Townsend, whose 47.2 yards per punt rank him ninth in the league. NFL teams never roster two punters, and I don’t expect that to change for Brown.