Dakota Allen, LB, Jacksonville Jaguars: Allen, though playing for his third team, continues to stick after coming into the NFL as a seventh-round draft choice in 2019. He posted career highs last season of 13 games played and 18 tackles.
Jack Anderson, OG, Buffalo Bills: Anderson started 38 games for Tech, made the Senior Bowl and passed up two more seasons of college eligibility for his NFL shot. He went in the seventh round to the Bills, who went 13-3 and reached the AFC championship game. They want to train him at guard and center.
Cameron Batson, WR, Tennessee Titans: An undersized, undrafted free agent in 2018, Batson continues trying to defy the odds. That got tougher this offseason with the Titans trading for seven-time Pro Bowler Julio Jones, signing free agent Josh Reynolds off a career year and drafting a receiver in the fourth round. Batson spent the 2019 season on injured reserve, but played in 12 games last year, caught 12 passes and scored his first NFL touchdown.
Jordyn Brooks, LB, Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks’ first-round draft choice in 2020, Brooks played in 14 games as a rookie, starting six and got in on 53 tackles. He made 10 tackles against the Giants and, in Seattle’s last three games counting the playoffs, he had two eight-tackle games and a nine-tackle game.
Dylan Cantrell, TE, Arizona Cardinals: A sixth-round pick by San Diego in 2018, Cantrell is now with Washington, his fourth NFL team. He went on injured reserve in June.
LeRaven Clark, OT, Philadelphia Eagles: A third-round pick by Indianapolis in 2016, Clark spent his first five NFL seasons with the Colts, during which he played in 47 games and started 15. The Eagles signed him in May. He went on the physically unable to perform list in late July.
Keke Coutee, WR, Houston Texans: As was the case last year, this is an important season for Coutee. He’s played in only 23 of the Texans’ 48 games the past three years thanks to injuries, and this is the last year of his rookie contract. He did set career highs last season for catches (33), yards (400) and touchdowns (three).
Cody Davis, S, New England Patriots: Since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent, Davis has carved out an eight-year career — and it could be a 10-year career before you know it. The Patriots re-signed Davis on a two-year deal in March. He’s played in at least 12 games in all but one season with the Rams, Jaguars and Pats.
Sam Eguavoen, LB, Miami Dolphins: Egauvoen jumped from the CFL to the NFL after the 2019 season and immediately became a part-time starter for the Dolphins, making 42 tackles with seven tackles for loss. In 2021, he played in all 16 games again, but was in on only nine tackles.
Jakeem Grant, WR, Miami Dolphins: Given the security of a four-year extension last offseason, Grant responded with career highs in catches (36) and yards (373), plus a touchdown. He also scored his fifth career special-teams TD, giving him three on punt returns and two on kickoff returns. But the Dolphins used the No. 6 overall draft pick on Jaylen Waddle, another fast receiver-return man.
Kerry Hyder, DE, Seattle Seahawks: Hyder parlayed a big year for the San Francisco 49ers into a three-year contract with the Seahawks in March, just weeks before he turned 30. Last season, Hyder set career highs in games started (14), tackles (49) and sacks (8 1/2), topping his 36-tackle, 8-sack season with Detroit in 2016.
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs: Last July, Mahomes signed a landmark 10-year, half-billion-dollar contract, then went out and made his third consecutive Pro Bowl and led the Chiefs to their second straight Super Bowl. KC lost to Tom Brady and Tampa Bay, but the Chiefs figure to be in the hunt for another AFC title, having won at least 10 regular-season games six years in a row.
Zech McPhearson, CB, Philadelphia Eagles: Being a rookie cornerback is no easy task, especially as a fourth-round draft pick. McPhearson has gotten off to a strong start in training camp, however. One Eagles’ beat writer called him “the early rookie of camp,” and another sized him up as “always around the football. Physical and instinctive.”
Terence Steele, OT, Dallas Cowboys: Injuries to Dallas offensive tackles led to Steele becoming only the ninth player in NFL history to start 14 games at that position as an undrafted rookie. Predictably, Steele had rocky points in the sink-or-swim season. But he recently won an award for his weight-room work and Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy praised Steele’s development, saying he could make a year-two jump.
T.J. Vasher, WR, Dallas Cowboys: Vasher had a disappointing Tech senior season that ended with him undergoing knee surgery. Signed by Dallas as an undrafted free agent, he was one of several Cowboys who began training camp on the physically unable to perform list.
Broderick Washington, DT, Baltimore Ravens: Washington made the Ravens’ roster as a fifth-round draft pick last year and got into eight games, making two tackles. During the offseason, Washington was arrested on accusations of trying to break into vehicles and damaging property. Six charges against him were dropped and he pleaded no-contest to one misdemeanor.
Davis Webb, QB, Buffalo Bills: The former Tech quarterback has made the tour of New York NFL teams with the Giants (2017), Jets (2018) and Buffalo Bills (2019-20). Webb has spent much of that time on practice squads or inactive on game days, but the Bills signed him to a reserve/futures contract this offseason.
Antoine Wesley, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Wesley reunited with former Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury in May, when he signed with the Cardinals. Undrafted after an 88-catch, 1,400 season in 2018, Wesley landed in Baltimore and the Ravens kept him for two years — on the practice squad in 2019 and on injured reserve in 2020.