NFL Draft 2017: Clemson duo among top undrafted free agents

Once the draft ends, teams get on the phone to call undrafted free agents.

Just because the NFL Draft is over, it does not mean NFL teams are done for the day. Once the draft ends, teams get on the phone to call undrafted free agents.

Players like Tony Romo, Wes Welker, Chris Hogan, Chris Harris, Priest Holmes, James Harrison, Antonio Gates, Drew Pearson and Hall of Famers Kurt Warner, John Randle, Willie Wood, Willie Brown, Warren Moon and Larry Little were not drafted.

Who could be this year's unheralded stars? Here are the best undrafted players following the 2017 NFL Draft.

1. Lorenzo Jerome, S, Saint Francis — Jerome was a standout at both the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, where he was the MVP, and Senior Bowl. The 5-11, 185 pound safety has excellent ball skills and is extremely athletic. He was the first player in Northeast Conference history to be a four-time first-team all-conference selection. Jerome had 18 career interceptions, including six last season. He was also a first-team all-conference return man and had four career returns for touchdowns. Jerome would be the first Saint Francis player in the NFL since 1952. UPDATE: Jerome has signed with the 49ers.

2. Storm Norton, OT, Toledo — Norton has superior length at 6-8, 310 pounds, moves well and is adept at pulling. With a strong punch and fundamentally sound footwork, Norton even pancaked a defender in pass protection during the East-West game. Norton was a two-time, first-team All-MAC selection and was picked on some All-American teams last season. UPDATE: Norton has signed with the Lions.

3. I’Tavius Mathers, RB, Middle Tennessee State — Mathers set single-season school records with 1,561 rushing yards and 2,194 all-purpose yards last season. He also scored 20 touchdowns, but was sort of a one-year wonder after transferring from Ole Miss. The 5-11, 200-pound Tennessee native is a shifty runner with good speed and solid hands out of the backfield. He caught 66 passes last season for 633 yards and three scores and was named first-team All-Conference USA. He became the first player in NCAA FBS history to have at least 1,500 yards rushing, 500 yards receiving and 60 catches in the same season. His best game last year came in a 51-45 win at Missouri, when Mathers ran for 215 yards and a score and added eight receptions for 48 yards and another touchdown. UPDATE: Mathers has signed with the Jaguars

4. Tyler Orlosky, C, West Virginia — Orlosky is an undersized center at 6-3, 292 with short arms. But he’s a tough, fiery competitor who was a team leader at West Virginia. He understands the game and, despite his physical limitations, was a second-team All-American. If he hits the weight room and gets a bit stronger, Orlosky could have a nice NFL career. UPDATE: Orlosky has signed with the Eagles.

5. Artavis Scott, WR, Clemson — Scott is only 5-10, 193, but is smart, quick and can cut on a dime. He became Clemson’s all-time leading receiver with 245 catches for 2,480 yards and 19 touchdowns in just three years. Scott was the first-ever true junior to play in the Senior Bowl after completing his degree a year early. Scott is a solid route runner, but does have a limited route tree. He’s definitely smart enough to expand that. Scott has good hands and the slot receiver could be a nice pickup early on the final day of the draft. UPDATE: Scott has signed with the Chargers, who drafted Clemson receiver Mike Williams in the first round.

6. Ben Boulware, LB, Clemson — Boulware may be a bit undersized at 6 feet and 236 pounds, but he is a passionate natural leader who was extremely productive at Clemson with 116 tackles last season for the national champions. His superior football IQ and instincts help compensate for limited athleticism. Boulware can still get sideline to sideline and takes excellent angles to the ball. He’s a very coachable player who may not measure out well, but is just a damn good football player. UPDATE: Boulware has signed with the Panthers.

7. Darius English, DE, South Carolina — English is tall and lanky at 6-6, 245, and a natural pass rusher. He has a quick first step, but hasn’t yet converted his speed to power and is not that great against the run. He’s a bit of a one-year wonder with 60 tackles last season, to nearly match his career total prior to his senior year. His 13 tackles for loss were more than his 11 stops behind the line before 2016 and he had nine sacks last year after registering just six in the previous three years. UPDATE: English has signed with the Falcons.

8. Michael Rector, WR, Stanford — Rector is a 6-1, 190-pound former track athlete with excellent speed. Rector can also return kicks, though he didn’t do much of that playing behind Christian McCaffrey. Rector had 104 career receptions for 1,681 yards and 15 touchdowns at Stanford. UPDATE: Rector has signed with the Lions.

9. Anthony Wales, RB, Western Kentucky — Wales has some wheels. The 5-10, 195-pound running back had a huge season with 1,621 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns while leading the Hilltoppers to an 11-win season. Wales is a powerful runner with a low center of gravity and ran for 245 yards and three touchdowns in WKU’s 51-31 win over Memphis in the Boca Raton Bowl.

10. Ben Braden, OG, Michigan — Braden is a big man at 6-6, 304 pounds, but moves extremely well. He is adept at pulling and quick on his feet. He started 25 straight games through 2014-15 and made 36 starts in college. He’s battle-tested and was a second-team All-Big Ten selection last season.

The next 10:


11. Taquan Mizzell, RB, Virginia (UPDATE: Mizzell has signed with the Ravens)
12. Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin (UPDATE: Clement has signed with the Eagles)
13. DeAngelo Brown, DT, Louisville (UPDATE: Brown has signed with the Titans)
14. Kyle Kalis, OG, Michigan (UPDATE: Kalis has signed with the Redskins)
15. Jake Eldrenkamp, OG, Washington (UPDATE: Eldrenkamp has signed with the Rams)
16. Harvey Langi, LB, BYU (UPDATE: Langi has signed with the Patriots)
17. Jordan Sterns, S, Oklahoma State (UPDATE: Sterns has signed with the Chiefs)

The next 10:


18. Damarius Travis, S, Minnesota (UPDATE: Travis has signed with the Patriots)
19. Connor Harris, LB, Lindenwood (UPDATE: Harris has signed with the Jets)
20. Victor Salako, OL, Oklahoma State










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