They may have been overlooked once, but a handful of rookie free agents are working hard to ensure NFL teams don't make the same mistake twice.
According to team beat writers, here are a few that seem to be standing out early:
PHILLIP LINDSAY, RB, DENVER BRONCOS
Early reports from Denver indicate that the Broncos have struck gold with local Colorado running back Phillip Lindsay. Veteran linebacker Brandon Marshall has already anointed Lindsay as the Broncos 3rd down back, and his teammates have raved about how the undrafted rookie has been impossible to cover in 1v1 situations. If Lindsay can hold onto the ball as a kick returner more consistently for the remainder of camp, he will be a valuable contributor to the offense this season.
TRENT SHERFIELD, WR, ARIZONA CARDINALS
Sherfield wasn’t a highly-touted prospect coming out of Vanderbilt last season, but an incendiary 40 time at his pro day (low 4.4s) boosted his stock. Some in attendance at Cardinals camp have even whispered that Sherfield has turned more heads thus far than second rounder Christian Kirk. Sherfield is quietly earning his way onto the Cardinals final 53, perhaps even at the expense of incumbent receiver JJ Nelson with a strong performance in preseason when the lights come on.
SKAI MOORE, LB, INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
As much as it sucks to say or hear, injuries really open the door for hungry players with a chip on their shoulder to ascend up a depth chart. That seems to be the case for former Gamecock Skai Moore, who is already seeing first-team snaps in the nickel defense alongside second round pick Darius Leonard in practice, above draft selection Matthew Adams and Zaire Franklin. Moore is filling in for incumbent MIKE linebacker Anthony Walker Jr., who is forecasted to miss a few weeks with a groin injury. Moore was an impressive talent at the University of South Carolina, constantly displaying a nose for the football in coverage and reliability in run support. A chronic neck injury kept Moore from hearing his name called in the draft, but early indications suggest he is going to make some teams pay.
QUENTON MEEKS/TRE HERNDON, CB, JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Everyone knows that Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye make the best starting CB duo in the NFL, but the depth chart behind the two stars is pretty unsettled at this point. Meeks has made what feels like at least one crucial pass break up every day so far, and Herndon has turned some heads with his recovery speed and flashed some nice potential. The Jaguars will hopefully learn from past mistakes and not risk letting another Mike Hilton/Briean Boddy-Calhoun situation come to fruition. For those counting, that's two former Commodores making the list.
HOLTON HILL, CB, MINNESOTA VIKINGS
The Vikings had perhaps the most impressive UDFA class among NFL teams, but one name seems to be pulling ahead of the pack in Minnesota’s loaded secondary. Holton Hill had draftable tape, but off-field issues led to his priority free agent status. Hill is trending towards making the final roster, but this spells a difficult decision for GM Rick Spielman potentially having to keep seven cornerbacks on the roster. High class problem is you ask me.
KEVIN TOLIVER, CB, CHICAGO BEARS
Another cornerback? It wasn’t the intention to saturate this article with a single position group, but they just seem to keep showing up early in camp. Toliver has been an interception machine but faces some stiff competition to break through a crowded CB room and has missed the past few days with an injury. The Bears may be hoping Toliver doesn’t do too much damage in preseason so that they can sneak him onto the practice squad.