Philadelphia, PA – Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - For most of us, the NFL Draft was over when Memphis free safety Lonnie Ballentine was taken with the 256th overall pick and crowned Mr. Irrelevant for 2014.
The fun for the various personnel departments around the league was just beginning, though, as the 32 teams jockeyed to sign the best of the undrafted players.
And always remember, undrafted doesn't necessarily mean unwanted in the NFL.
Despite the resources every organization pours into player personnel, the draft is only seven rounds long and legitimate prospects fall through the cracks each and every year.
Pro Football Hall of Famers like Warren Moon and John Randle weren't selected in the draft when it was a 12-round process. The two are among a group of 15 undrafted free agents who are enshrined in Canton.
Current stars like Dallas quarterback Tony Romo, Houston running back Arian Foster and New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz also were passed over in the draft before developing into Pro Bowl-caliber players.
So, here's a look at the best 10 undrafted players in this year's process:
1. - Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida (signed with the St. Louis Rams) - Roberson was projected as a second-round pick by many analysts, but his pedestrian 4.6- second speed in the 40-yard dash coupled with a number of off-the-field issues sent him tumbling out of the draft. If Roberson finds the elusive maturity gene and starts taking his career prospects seriously, he certainly has the talent to be a sub-package contributor for a team like the Rams, who need corner help desperately.
2. - Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee (signed with the Minnesota Vikings) - Rewind back to this time last year and you will see the first 2014 mock drafts grading Richardson as a first-round pick. Knee and hip injuries, along with conditioning and technique issues, scared teams from making a major investment in him, but some still say Richardson was the best tackle the Volunteers had last season and Ju'Wuan James went No. 19 overall to Miami. The Vikings are searching for a backup swing tackle behind Matt Kalil and Phil Loadholt, so the 6-foot-6, 340-pound Richardson, who is nicknamed "Tiny," will have a real good chance as long as his body holds up.
3. - Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas (signed with the Seattle Seahawks) - It wasn't a great year for Texas football. For the first time since 1937, the Longhorns were shut out in the draft and Texas was one of just four schools from college football's so-called power conferences (Big 12, SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12) to get whitewashed. Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Jackson Jeffcoat, who also won the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation's top defensive end, should have went, though. The son of former Cowboys and Bills defensive end Jim Jeffcoat, Jackson was rated by most as a mid-round prospect. At 6-3 and 247 pounds, he's undersized, but an innate ability to get to the quarterback is always going to be valued by Pete Carroll.
4. - Christian Jones, LB, Florida State (signed with the Chicago Bears) - Jones's versatility really stands out. He played on the strong side for the Seminoles in 2011, flipped to the weak side in 2012 and ended his college career as a Mike linebacker. The read-and-react skills aren't top notch, but that might be directly attributed to how much Jones bounced around in college. At 6-3, 240 pounds, he certainly has NFL size and more than enough speed to contribute.
5. - Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida (signed with the Indianapolis Colts) - Like his teammate Roberson, Purifoy was certainly a draftable commodity, but he had far too many off-the-field issues. Most recently, Purifoy allegedly was found in possession of marijuana and bath salts in March, his second high-profile drug-related incident in just over a year. Lacking the maturity to leave marijuana behind is a very serious problem in the NFL right now as evidenced by the quandaries Josh Gordon and Justin Blackmon find themselves in. From a pure football standpoint, however, Purifoy has tremendous athleticism and is very fluid in coverage, although he isn't all that great in run support.
6. - Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford (signed with the San Francisco 49ers) - Skov is your classic two-down, instinctive Mike linebacker who lost a step after tearing his ACL and MCL and breaking the tibia in his left leg back in 2011. That devastating injury required three surgeries and Skov showed his moxy by becoming a very productive player again in Palo Alto. He was a Butkus Award finalist and the Cardinal's captain as a senior.
7. - Rashaad Reynolds, CB, Oregon State (signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars) - Reynolds is TCU's Jason Verrett without the speed, an undersized 5-9 corner who battles when he's outside the numbers, excels in slot coverage and is very willing in run support. Jacksonville is very thin at corner and Reynolds should stick on the final 53.
8. - Shaquil Barrett, OLB, Colorado State (signed with the Denver Broncos) - Barrett signed with the Broncos and that might be apropos because he was sort of like a college version of Von Miller at Colorado State, playing a hybrid rush end/linebacker role and amassing 12 sacks and over 20 tackles for loss. He's not the best athlete and can be mechanical at times, but Barrett has a playmaker's mentality and understands situational football better than most.
9. - Chris Whaley, DT, Texas (signed with the Dallas Cowboys) - Whaley was another draftable prospect from Texas until a torn ACL clouded his future. A pure three-technique under tackle, Whaley is a converted running back who outgrew the position. He's a hard worker with more than enough athleticism and could be quite the apprentice for another ex-Longhorn with the Cowboys, Henry Melton.
10. - A.C. Leonard, TE, Tennessee State (signed with the Minnesota Vikings) - A pure slot tight end, Leonard is a University of Florida transfer who wowed the NFL Scouting Combine with a an eye-popping 1.51-second 10-yard split and 4.5-second 40-yard time. The next person Leonard blocks will be the first, but he has the hands, field-stretching skills and run-after-catch ability to be a monster headache as a detached H-back and glorified Jimmy Graham-like receiver.