The All-Undrafted Playoff Team
With the Wild Card Round of the NFL playoffs set to kick off tomorrow, I have put together an all-undrafted team focusing on the offensive side of the ball. The line-up includes a quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, and a tight end, who all went undrafted to begin their career and are currently on playoff teams. Comment below on if you agree with the line-up or if you believe there are undrafted players who deserve to be on the list.
Quarterback: Case Kennum, Minnesota Vikings
Contract Value: $2 million/1 year

After finishing his college career as the NCAA’s all-time leader in total passing yards, touchdowns, and completions, Keenum went undrafted in the 2012 draft, before signing with the Houston Texans.

In 2013, Keenum got his first opportunity to start with the Texans and went 0-8 while passing for 9 touchdowns while throwing 6 interceptions. After being traded to the Rams in 2015, Keenum started 14 games over two seasons, amassing a record of 7-7.

Keenum was signed to provide some depth behind the injury-prone Sam Bradford while the Vikings were waiting for 2015 starter, Teddy Bridgewater, to recover from his knee injury. After Bradford’s knee started troubling him early in the season, Keenum got an opportunity to start and led the team to a first-place finish in the NFC North.

Keenum is 7th in the NFL in passer rating (98.3) and 2nd  in completion percentage (67.6%), behind Drew Brees. After proving he is more than just a back-up option, Keenum has put himself in position to make a lot of money as a free agent next season.

Running Back: LeGarrette Blount, Philadelphia Eagles
Contract Value: $1.25 million/1 year

After going undrafted in the 2010 draft, Blount signed with back to the Patriots. In 2016, Blount finished with a career-high 1161 rushing yards along with a league-leading 18 rushing touchdowns.

Blount signed with the Eagles and finished the season withnd in the league for rushing yards, Blount was tied for 10th in yards per attempt (4.4). For the season, Blount was part of an Eagles offense that finished the season 3rd in team rushing yards.

Running Back: Corey Clement, Philadelphia Eagles
Contract Value: $1.675 million/3 years

After finishing his college career at Wisconsin, Clement went undrafted in 2017 and signed with the Eagles. He became the team’s only undrafted free agent to crack the 53-man roster. He finished the season with 321 yards and 6 total touchdowns, tied for 5th amongst rookie running backs this season. His biggest game of the season came against the Denver Broncos in a 51-23 victory, where he had 51 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, and 1 receiving touchdown. In addition to contributing to the Eagles prolific running attack, Clement has also chipped in on special teams, finishing with six tackles.

Wide Receiver: Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
Contract Value: $19.246 million/4 years

Adam Thielen finished his college career at Minnesota State University-Mankato before signing as an undrafted free agent with his hometown Vikings in 2013. During his senior year in college, Thielen finished with 1,176 receiving yards and made the NSIC South Division All-NSIC First Team. He was not invited to the NFL Combine and signed with the Vikings after a rookie tryout.

Thielen broke out for the Vikings in the 2016 season, finishing with 69 receptions, 967 receiving yards, and 5 touchdowns. This season, Thielen finished 5th in the league with 1276 received yards on 91 receptions, behind only Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Keenan Allen, and DeAndre Hopkins. He made his first Pro Bowl and became the first Vikings receiver to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a season since 2009.

Wide Receiver: Keelan Cole, Jacksonville Jaguars
Contract Value: $1.669 million/3 years

It’s been quite a journey for Keelan Cole, who walked onto Kentucky Wesleyan’s football team before getting his chance in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Cole finished his college career with 4,582 receiving yards and 59 receiving touchdowns.

Despite starting only 6 games, Cole was the leading receiver for the Jaguars with 42 receptions for 748 yards and 3 touchdowns. His big-play ability was on full display late in the season when he finished two consecutive games with 186 and 108 receiving yards, respectively. Cole is 4th in receiving yards amongst all rookies and his 17.8 yard per reception is 2nd highest in the league behind only Marvin Jones. Cole’s play has helped the Jaguars deal with the Week 1 injury to Allen Robinson, which ended his season.

Wide Receiver: Danny Amendola, New England Patriots
Contract Value: $1.7 million/1 year

Danny Amendola finished his college career at Texas Tech, playing alongside Michael Crabtree. In his senior year, he finished with 109 receptions for 1,245 yards and 6 touchdowns. Amendola went undrafted and was signed to Dallas Cowboys where he spent the 2008 season on their practice squad. In 2009, he was on the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad before being signed by the St. Louis Rams.  In his first year with the Rams, he led the league in kick return yards. The following season, 2010, Amendola led the league in all-purpose yards (2364) and was 9th in the league in receptions (85). He joined the Patriots in 2013 and provided Brady with a receiving weapon in the slot. This season, Amendola was tasked with helping fill the gap that Julian Edelman’s injury left in the Patriots receiving game. He has responded with 659 receiving yards, his most in a season since joining the Patriots.

Tight End: Trey Burton, Philadelphia Eagles
Contract Value: $2.74 million/1 year

Although many undrafted tight ends (Jack Doyle, Cameron Brate, Garrett Celek, Antonio Gates) have better stats than Trey Burton, their teams did not make the playoffs, which kept them off this roster. Burton finished his college career at Florida, where he played a variety of different positions on offense, blurring what position he would be a good fit for at the professional level. After going undrafted in 2014, he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles on a three-year $1.53 million deal.

This season, Burton hauled in 23 receptions for 248 yards and 5 receiving touchdowns, which was good for 4th most on the team. He also added 6 tackles and recovered a fumble on special teams.

Despite not getting many opportunities as he is behind Zach Ertz and Brent Celek on the roster, Burton showcases his skills against the Rams when Ertz was out with a concussion. Burton finished the game with 5 receptions for 71 yards and 2 touchdowns. Given that it is a contract year for Burton, don’t be surprised to see him starting for a different team next season.
Written by Hirdesh Matta