The Atlanta Falcons had a very successful draft this offseason, and they continued to add depth and talent by signing 20 undrafted free agents after the draft came to an end.
Some fans would consider these guys to be players just trying to fill a roster spot. But others know better.
There have been undrafted rookies who played key roles and even started for the Falcons during the team's history, the best of which was Jessie Tuggle. The 13-year veteran linebacker went on to earn five Pro Bowl nods and helped lead Atlanta to its first Super Bowl appearance in 1998. He is now in the Falcons Ring of Honor and his No. 58 jersey is retired by the team.
But Tuggle wasn’t the only success story. Many undrafted rookies from last year alone either started games or received significant playing time. Paul Worrilow and Joplo Bartu anchored the linebacker corps in place of emotional leader Sean Weatherspoon, who was injured for most of the season. In fact, Worrilow led the team in tackles in 2013. Ryan Schrader, an undrafted offensive tackle, and wide receiver Darius Johnson also saw significant playing time.
Check out the list of the new UDFAs who may rise up to contribute early and often in Atlanta. They may be the future faces of the franchise, along with some of the players drafted in early May.