2014 NFL Draft: Undrafted Free Agency is Important

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Lottery tickets.

The start of NFL undrafted free agency is hardly as exciting as real NFL free agency (which starts in March), but it's still valuable nonetheless. Take the Eagles' 2013 draft class as an example. Here were their picks at the time:

Lane Johnson
Zach Ertz
Bennie Logan
Matt Barkley
Earl Wolff
Joe Kruger
Jordan Poyer
David King

Those last three players barely played for the Eagles. Kruger sat out the year on injured reserve, Poyer made the roster but was cut mid-season, and King didn't even make it out of training camp. Those factors certainly make the end of the 2013 draft class look unsuccessful. But where the Eagles were able to make up for those unsuccessful picks was undrafted free agency. Take a look at what the Eagles' 2013 NFL draft class looks like when you add the 2013 undrafted free agents who are still on the team.

Lane Johnson
Zach Ertz
Bennie Logan
Matt Barkley
Earl Wolff
Joe Kruger
Jake Knott
Matt Tobin
Damion Square
Matthew Tucker

OK, so those are hardly players that will be part of the team's core foundation. More likely than not they'll have an uphill battle to make the roster. But they have still have value as depth players and special teams contributors. That's not insignificant.

In a year where the depth of this draft class has been lauded endlessly, the Eagles should be able to pick up some more lottery tickets to take a chance on. Filling out the bottom of the roster should not be overlooked.

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