Starters from UDFA rookie class more likely than starters from Rounds 4-7

Years ago, I did a historical analysis on players who are undrafted free agents vs. players picked on Day 3 of the draft. This is a little bit unfair, because teams typically get 10-15 rookies who are undrafted, and only an average of 4.25 players per team who are drafted in the in rounds 4-7. So, if 25% of the players drafted in rounds 4-7 become starters, that is only 1 player per team from rounds 4-7. But if 20% of undrafted players become starters, which is a lower percentage, that still means 2-3 future starters who began their careers as undrafted free agents.

The Bottom line, though, is that there are more NFL starters in the NFL who came to the league as undrafted players than there are who were drafted in rounds 4-7. It is one case where quantity trumps quality. The sheer volume of undrafted players means even if a lower percentage make it, you will still get more starters from your undrafted rookies than from the back half of the draft.

So, don’t sleep on the undrafted players the Cowboys may sign tonight.

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