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The 2024 NFL Draft is complete, and the always chaotic undrafted free-agent period is all but officially finished (see where all of the prospects ended up, here.) What that means is -- it's time for undrafted free agent rankings. By now, everyone knows a handful of UDFAs ultimately make names for themselves. 

Let's rank this year's class of UDFAs by talent, and, of course, also by situation, which, for these players, is absolutely critical.

8. TE Brevyn Spann-Ford (Cowboys)

Spann-Ford is, still, one of the most fascinating and enigmatic new entrants into the NFL. The five-year Minnesota tight end can be found on some way-too-early mock drafts following last year's draft because of his size, on-field athleticism and ascending statistics before his final season with the Gophers. 

In 2022, the 6-foot-6, 260-pound tight with long arms and 10-inch hands, snagged 42 passes for nearly 500 yards in Minnesota's run-heavy offense. Further, he forced five missed tackles, only dropped three passes and had a solid contested-catch win rate of 41.7%. 

Then the wheels fell off in 2023. Nine drops. Only three missed tackles and 25 total catch. What happened? Can't tell you. He didn't run nearly as fast as people expected at the combine either (4.77 in the 40). But this is a large, experienced, three-down tight end who once was viewed as a likely early-round pick. There's room for him to make some noise in the Cowboys tight end room. 

7. WR Dayton Wade (Ravens)

You know who Wade is a lot like -- Zay Flowers. OK, so he's not nearly as elusive after the catch. In fact, that was a strange weakness on his draft profile at Ole Miss. However, like Flowers, Wade proved he could win on the outside when needed, but had the suddenness and sustained burst during the route to really thrive in the slot. 

There's juice down the field, too, and there's two layers of evidence to back that claim. He averaged a hefty 15.1 yards per catch in 2023 -- without much after-the-catch brilliance -- and he ran 4.45 with a 37.5-inch vertical at the Ole Miss Pro Day. Of course, I don't expect him to come anywhere close to unseating Flowers. But maybe make the team as the primary Flowers insurance policy? I could envision that happening. 

6. S/CB Omar Brown (Broncos)

Brown is a baller. His film was so clean at Nebraska, particularly in coverage, I truly have no idea how he went undrafted. He hasn't allowed a touchdown in his coverage area since his first collegiate season (at Northern Iowa) back in 2019, but that season coincided with five interceptions. 

At his pro day, he measured in over 6-foot-0 and 200 pounds with a 4.56 time in the 40, a 35-inch vertical, 10-foot broad and 6.97 three-cone. Brown has starting-caliber athleticism for the safety spot in the NFL. Now, he will miss probably more tackles than his position coach will like, but let me tell you as someone who watched about 30 safeties in this draft class -- it felt like ALL of them tackle at a high rate. 

Presumably without Justin Simmons in 2024, it wouldn't be a shock if Brown carved out a niche in Denver's defense in 2024. Oh, and he has the athletic twitch to reduce into the slot, too. That'll help his cause as he tries to make this roster. 

5. RB Frank Gore Jr. (Bills

Frank Gore missed out on playing with his son in the NFL by just four years, which is mind-blowing. And Gore was one of Buffalo's primary backs with Josh Allen in 2019. Insane. 

Anyway, the son of the longtime NFL veteran doesn't have his dad's size and lower-half thickness. But he's a highly talented, elusive runner yet doesn't have NFL-caliber speed for the running back spot. He ran 4.69 at the Southern Miss Pro Day at just under 5-foot-8 and 198 pounds. I wouldn't label Gore as "small" because he's two pounds away from being universally considered awesomely compact, usually a positive for professional running backs. 

And at Southern Miss he was a nightmare to corral regardless of the run direction. On 757 career carries there, he forced 233 missed tackles, which equates to a missed tackle forced rate of 30.7%. Is that high? For context, the comparably sized Blake Corum, who went in Round 3, had a career missed tackle forced rate of 22.6% on 676 attempts at Michigan. 

The mileage on Gore's legs is concerning, but he was a super steady, sudden back with plus vision and surprising contact balance for four seasons in college. The Bills clearly and justifiably like Ray Davis' size and Ty Johnson flashed down the stretch and in the playoffs last year, but Gore has enough natural talent to make Buffalo's decision-makers seriously consider him in 2024.

4. DT Pheldarius Payne (Texans)

You can't miss Payne the second you flip on the film for two reasons -- he's one of the smaller defensive tackles and he's athletically charged up like an oversized linebacker. That first-step bolt is serious, and led to six sacks and 23 total pressures on a mere 162 pass-rush snaps at Virginia Tech in 2023. 

And at his pro day -- a hair over 6-2 and 286 pounds -- Payne had a 4.86 time in the 40 and a ridiculous 1.65 10-yard split. He is the epitome of a one-gap penetrator. The Texans added a lot of high-profile pieces this offseason. But the defensive tackle spot is probably one of the weaker positions on the team, and GM Nick Caserio did not pick one in the draft. Don't be stunned when Payne makes a name for himself early in camp and in the preseason, which should lead to some reps with the first-team defense. 

3. CB Chigozie Anusiem (Commanders)

I have a theory on cornerbacks and why it feels like there are more UDFAs on active rosters at that position than any other in the NFL -- there is such a tiny margin in size and traits of all professional cornerbacks, it's easy for those close in talent to their contemporaries who get drafted to slip through the cracks. 

That is the case with Anusiem this year. Sure, he's an older prospect. But who wasn't in this class? At the Colorado State Pro Day, the veteran corner measured in at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds with 32 1/4-inch arms. Ran 4.40 with a 37.5-inch vertical, 10-4 broad, and 7.06 time in the three-cone drill. He absolutely checks all the physical boxes teams want out of the cornerback position. 

Now maybe his ball production wasn't spectacular -- only 18 pass breakups and one pick in his five-year collegiate career -- so he may not be the most natural in coverage. But those traits speak for themselves, and Washington isn't loaded at the cornerback spot at the dawn of this new era in franchise history. 

2. CB Dwight McGlothern (Vikings) 

I had a third-round grade on McGlothern but wrote before the draft, I was fully prepared for him to either be picked late on Day 3 or go undrafted. I was fine with it. Because of his poor-ish combine and knowing that Day 3 is mostly filled with highly athletic projects -- and rightfully so -- McGlothern feel into that bucket of older, quality football player without freaky traits that usually is either... you guessed it, a Day 3 pick or undrafted free agent. 

The former LSU Tiger turned Arkansas Razorback registered 16 pass breakups and seven picks in his two seasons in Little Rock at over 6-1 and 185 pounds. He's so fluid and instinctive in off-man and zone coverage. And if you want a one-game sample with McGlothern, go watch his performance against LSU and its No. 2 overall pick quarterback, No. 6 overall pick and No. 23 overall pick receivers. 

Minnesota isn't incredibly deep at cornerback, and McGlothern is the exact type of non-special athlete with a cerebral game who can outplay the fact that he wasn't even selected in this draft.

1. EDGE Gabriel Murphy (Vikings)

The Vikings know what they're doing on the undrafted free-agent market. No doubt. Ivan Pace. Remember him? Yeah. Not picked. Then became a do-everything stud linebacker for Minnesota last season at not even 6-0. 

Murphy can be the Pace of the 2023 UDFA class for the Vikings, and the similarities between the two are striking. Lack of prototypical size and length was probably the reason Murphy went undrafted -- Pace knows how that feels -- but, like Pace, Murphy was outstandingly productive in college, and, actually where they differ is Murphy tested like a premier athlete for his respective position. He ran 4.68 in the 40 with a 39.5-inch vertical and 10-3 broad. While the 4.68 time isn't spectacular the vertical and broad are both higher than the 80th percentile at the edge-rusher spot. 

Lastly, in 2023 with the Bruins, the slippery, hand-work magician registered 61 pressures on a mere 355 pass-rushing snaps (17.1% pressure-creation rate). He knows how to work past his length limitations, and frankly, he's not incredibly small at over 6-2 and 247 pounds. Yes, Minnesota traded up for the highly decorated and athletic Dallas Turner at No. 17. And they signed Andrew Van Ginkel and Jonathan Greenard in free agency. BUT, if any defensive coordinator will know how to deploy him, it's Brian Flores.