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Ranking the best Utah undrafted free agents

Published May 16, 2014 5:02 pm
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This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Now that the dust of the NFL draft has settled and five Utah players were drafted, it's time to survey those that weren't drafted and signed on as undrafted free agents to start their NFL journey. In total, 14 players from Utah schools signed with teams as undrafted free agents, with several more invited to mini camps around the country. Here's a ranking of Utah players most likely to catch on with an NFL team and vote for which player you think is most likely to make a final roster above:

Team • Player • School • Pos

1. Kansas City Chiefs • Daniel Sorensen • BYU • Safety

Sorensen's workout at the NFL Combine will put him over the top to make Kansas City's final roster. The former Cougar showed quickness and agility in the three cone, 20 yard shuttle and 60 yard shuttle drills, leading all other safeties in all three categories. Sorensen will likely secure a spot on special teams with potential to battle for a backup job behind incumbent free safety Sanders Commings.

2. Oakland Raiders • Jake Murphy • Utah • Tight End

Murphy's hands alone will more than likely land him a spot on Oakland's 53-man roster. He was a consistent security blanket for Travis Wilson last season and provides value on special teams, especially on the onside kick "hands team." He has the experience as an in line tight end or H-back type, as well as the ability to split out wide. The Raiders are carrying four tight ends right now, with David Ausberry and Mychal Rivera heading up the depth chart, but Murphy should have a real chance to beat out last year undrafted free agent Brian Leonhardt for the fourth spot.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars • D.J. Tialavea • Utah State • Tight End

Tialavea was wise to choose the Jaguars and should have a real chance to earn the third tight end spot in a battle with other undrafted free agents Marcel Jensen and Reggie Jordan. Marcedes Lewis and Clay Harbor are locked in at the top of the depth chart, but two of the three of Jensen, Jordan and Tialavea could make the final roster. All three are raw and Jensen probably has the inside track because of his size (6-6, 270) and experience in Fresno State's downfield passing attack. However, Jordan is from a smaller school at Missouri Western and should be on even footing with Tialavea in training camp.

4. New York Giants • Eathyn Manumaleuna • BYU • Defensive Tackle

The Giants took Syracuse DT Jay Bromley in the third round, but Manumaleuna has at least an outside chance to make the roster with landing on the practice squad as a likely destination. New York, always in search of defensive line depth, are getting older at defensive tackle with Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson. Jenkins should start at one spot and Hankins at the other with Bromley and Patterson backing them up. However, there should be a fifth defensive tackle spot up for grabs between Manumaleuna, Kelcy Quarles and veteran Markus Kuhn. Manumaleuna may be on the outside looking in, but with a strong camp, he could insert himself into the conversation.

Best chances of the rest: Utah State DT AJ Pataiali'i (Baltimore Ravens), Utah State linebacker Jake Doughty (Green Bay Packers), Utah State center/guard Tyler Larsen (Miami Dolphins) and BYU linebacker Spencer Hadley (New Orleans Saints)

Likely won't make the final roster: Utah State DB Tay Glover-Wright (Atlanta Falcons), Utah TE Anthony Denham (Houston Texans), Utah FB Karl Williams (Oakland Raiders), Utah DT Tenny Palepoi (San Diego Chargers), BYU WR Cody Hoffman (Washington), Utah State RB Joey DeMartino (Kansas City Chiefs)






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