2023 Preseason Recap: Every NFL team's highest-graded UDFA

2RMG5H5 Chicago Bears quarterback Tyson Bagent scrambles for a touchdown during an NFL preseason football game against the Buffalo Bills Saturday, August 26, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

• QB Tyson Bagent: The Shepherd product did enough to win the Bears' QB2 job over P.J. Walker.

• EDGE Isaiah Land: He recorded 10 pressures this preseason but was ultimately cut by the Dallas Cowboys. He ultimately landed on the Colts' practice squad.

• CB Eli Ricks: The once highly touted recruit went undrafted but played like a top-tier cornerback for the Eagles this preseason.

Estimated Reading Time: 9 minutes

With the 2023 NFL preseason a thing of the past, we look at the highest-graded rookie undrafted free agents for all 32 NFL teams. These are all players who logged 50 or more snaps over the course of this preseason.


ARZ | ATL | BLT | BUF | CAR | CIN | CHI | CLE | DEN | DAL | DET | GB | HOU | IND | JAX | KC | LVR | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN | NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF | SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

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Arizona Cardinals: LB Kyle Soelle (61.7)

The Arizona State product Soelle had a solid preseason at linebacker. He boasted a 79.2 PFF grade through the first two weeks but fell off with more snaps in the third preseason game, eventually finishing the preseason with a 73.8 overall PFF grade. He also earned an 82.0 tackling grade and made one run stop with zero missed tackles.

Atlanta Falcons: WR Xavier Malone (72.3)

Malone was targeted six times this preseason, bringing in four catches for 83 yards. That led him to a respectable 2.24 yards per route run and a stellar 18-yard average depth of target. All four of his catches went for first downs, and he generated a 109.7 NFL passer rating when targeted.

Baltimore Ravens: G Tashawn Manning (85.7)

The undrafted free agent out of Kentucky performed well above average on run plays, posting an 84.5 run-blocking grade. He fared well as a pass blocker, too (74.5), allowing only one pressure on 44 pass-blocking snaps.

Buffalo Bills: T Richard Gouraige (74.9)

Gouraige, an undrafted free agent from Florida, allowed two pressures on 34 pass-blocking snaps this preseason. His grade was elevated more by his 75.2 run-blocking grade on 31 snaps against the run. Of those reps, 10 were on zone scheme runs and 16 snaps were on gap scheme runs.

Carolina Panthers: G J.D. DiRenzo (65.0)

DiRenzo had a bit of an up-and-down preseason. He played the first preseason game at right guard and then switched to left guard for the final two games, earning a solid 71.5 pass-blocking grade overall. However, he managed just a 59.3 run-blocking grade.

Chicago Bears: QB Tyson Bagent (83.6)

Bagent quickly became the talk of the preseason. The undrafted free agent out of Shepherd made the most of his 70 snaps, so much so that he was named Chicago’s No. 2 quarterback over P.J. Walker. Bagent posted an 82.8 passing grade with two big-time throws and zero turnover-worthy plays. The rookie went 20-of-29 for 156 yards.

Cincinnati Bengals: WR Shedrick Jackson (73.7)

Jackson was targeted 14 times throughout the preseason, so he had his chance to shine. He brought in nine of those opportunities for 112 yards and a touchdown. The Bengals moved him around a bit to the slot, too. Jackson averaged 2.00 yards per route run.

Cleveland Browns: LB Mohamoud Diabate (76.9)

The former Utah Ute played 143 snaps over four preseason games. At 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, Diabate showed off his versatility as an off-ball linebacker. He tallied three pressures and seven run stops and also forced a fumble. He was most impressive in coverage, as he allowed just four catches on seven targets for 25 yards and broke up two passes.

Dallas Cowboys: EDGE Isaiah Land (78.8)

Land made a lasting impression this preseason with 10 total pressures en route to a 73.4 pass-rush grade. He also forced a fumble in the Cowboys' contest against Seattle.

Denver Broncos: G Henry Byrd (81.9)

Byrd played 62 snaps at left guard across three preseason games. His PFF grade improved in every game, as well. He struggled at times in pass protection, allowing one pressure and posting a 63.4 pass-blocking grade, but excelled in the run game with an 82.3 run-blocking grade.

Detroit Lions: CB Steven Gilmore (89.7)

The brother of former Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore, Steven Gilmore went undrafted out of Marshall and enjoyed a phenomenal preseason. He posted an elite 90.5 coverage grade, with a pick-six in the final game against Carolina. That was one of two interceptions over the preseason to match his four pass breakups. Gilmore allowed just a 37.0 passer rating when targeted.

Green Bay Packers: S Benny Sapp III (82.0)

Sapp had a great preseason across the board on 63 snaps at safety. He posted an 83.3 run-defense grade and an 82.2 tackling grade. Sapp missed zero tackles and made two run stops. He earned a 71.2 coverage grade, with one interception and a pass breakup.

Houston Texans: T Kilian Zierer (69.5)

Zierer appeared in the first two preseason games, totaling 79 snaps at left tackle. Despite allowing four pressures, he managed to put up a respectable 76.0 pass-blocking grade. However, he finished with a run-of-the-mill 60.7 run-blocking grade.

Indianapolis Colts: LB Liam Anderson (72.9)

Anderson appeared in the final two preseason games for the Colts. On 67 snaps, he put up an 84.8 tackling grade with 10 total tackles and zero misses. He also made five run stops and recorded a 74.7 coverage grade on 46 coverage snaps.

Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Elijah Cooks (88.4)

Cooks is a 6-foot-4, 215-pound receiver who made the most of his opportunities this preseason. He posted a phenomenal 89.9 receiving grade, catching seven of nine targets for 146 yards. This led him to 20.9 yards per reception on a 13.2-yard average depth of target. Cooks showed he has the ability to be a true deep threat in the league, making the Jaguars' final 53-man roster.

Kansas City Chiefs: CB Ekow Boye-Doe (71.3)

Boye-Doe, an undrafted free agent from Kansas State, was targeted eight times and allowed five catches for 50 yards this preseason. He broke up one pass and allowed an 80.2 NFL passer rating when targeted. He also made three run stops, leading to a 76.0 run-defense grade.

Las Vegas Raiders: LB Drake Thomas (77.5)

The former North Carolina State linebacker racked up 89 snaps this preseason. He earned an 83.7 run-defense grade, with 14 tackles and nine run stops. He missed only two tackles.

Los Angeles Chargers: CB Cam Brown (83.0)

Brown put together an all-around great preseason. On 136 snaps, he posted an 82.4 coverage grade, an 81.5 tackling grade and a 75.2 run-defense grade. He had eight tackles, two run stops and missed zero tackles. He was targeted 10 times in coverage, allowing six catches for 50 yards. Brown also broke up three passes.

Los Angeles Rams: G Sean Maginn (69.9)

Maginn played 62 snaps across three preseason games at left guard. After playing just 14 snaps in the first two games, Maginn started and played 48 snaps in the last contest. Although he didn’t show much in the run game, he thrived on his 44 pass-blocking opportunities, allowing zero pressures and tallying an 85.6 pass-blocking grade.

Miami Dolphins: RB Chris Brooks (80.2)

The Dolphins have a deep stable of running backs on the roster, but Brooks gave his best effort to make the final roster across 52 snaps this preseason. The BYU product is a bigger back at 6-foot-1 and 219 pounds. On 22 attempts, he rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns, with 57 yards coming after contact. He also forced seven missed tackles and managed four carries of 10-plus yards.

Minnesota Vikings: LB Wilson Huber (69.6)

The undrafted free agent from Cincinnati played 89 snaps this preseason for the Vikings. He posted a 71.5 tackling grade, tallying nine tackles and missing only one. He also made four run stops. In coverage, Huber was targeted seven times and allowed three catches for 19 yards.

New England Patriots: QB/WR Malik Cunningham (59.2)

Cunningham saw a significant workload at wide receiver and played his natural position of quarterback this preseason. He had 22 snaps at quarterback, 62 snaps out wide and 10 snaps from the slot. On just eight dropbacks, he completed three passes for 19 yards and one big-time throw. He also had five carries for 39 yards and a touchdown.

New Orleans Saints: WR Shaquan Davis (65.6)

Davis is a 6-foot-5, 215-pound receiver out of South Carolina State. He saw 13 targets in the preseason and caught seven of them for 101 yards. Five of his catches went for a first down, and he also forced two missed tackles. He hauled in 50% of his contested-catch opportunities.

New York Giants: LB Dyontae Johnson (73.8)

Johnson recorded 83 snaps for the Giants this preseason. He did not offer much in the passing game, but he put together some good film in the run game. Johnson posted an 84.9 run-defense grade as well as an 84.0 tackling grade. He missed zero tackles and made one run stop along with seven total tackles.

New York Jets: WR Jason Brownlee (77.3)

Brownlee is another player who had a lot of buzz surrounding him this preseason, which could have something to do with the Jets' appearance on HBO’s “Hard Knocks.” He played his way onto the final 53-man roster after he was targeted 19 times for 10 catches and 102 yards. He mostly played from a wide alignment and will be able to fill in as depth behind starters Garrett Wilson and Allen Lazard.

Philadelphia Eagles: CB Eli Ricks (89.8)

Speaking of players who played their way onto a 53-man roster, Ricks was a highly touted recruit who played extremely well at times throughout his college career, both for the Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers. He was among the standouts of the 2023 preseason, posting a 90.2 coverage grade with three pass breakups and an interception. He allowed a 54.9 NFL passer rating when targeted.

Pittsburgh Steelers: EDGE Toby Ndukwe (63.2)

Ndukwe played 75 snaps throughout the preseason. On 48 pass-rush opportunities, he racked up six total pressures — including a sack. He also had five run stops. At 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds, Ndukwe does lack the measurables that NFL teams covet on the edge.

San Francisco 49ers: CB D’Shawn Jamison (77.2)

Jamison got an extensive look in the preseason, playing 110 snaps. He earned a 74.8 coverage grade, allowing just three catches for 15 yards. He also broke up a pass and allowed just a 64.6 NFL passer rating in coverage. Jamison managed a 76.2 run-defense grade and one run stop, which is impressive for a 5-foot-10, 186-pound cornerback.

Seattle Seahawks: EDGE Levi Bell (88.6)

Bell played college football at Texas State — and at a high level. For Seattle, he was much the same on his 111 snaps. He tallied 10 total pressures, including a sack, which led him to a 76.9 pass-rush grade. Bell also made six run stops and six tackles on his way to a 73.1 run-defense grade.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: EDGE Markees Watts (90.3)

Watts is an undersized edge defender at 6-foot-1 and 240 pounds but recorded an elite 91.3 pass-rush grade on 37 pass-rush snaps this preseason. He totaled nine pressures — seven quarterback hurries, one hit and one sack. He also forced a fumble.

Tennessee Titans: EDGE Thomas Rush (74.5)

Rush had a solid preseason on 70 total snaps for the Titans. He created four pressures and earned a 71.4 pass-rush grade. He also garnered a 75.7 tackling grade after missing zero tackles. Rush added three run stops, as well.

Washington Commanders: WR Mitchell Tinsley (72.6)

We round things out with Tinsley, an undrafted free agent from Penn State. Tinsley primarily worked out of the slot, and he saw nine targets. He ended up with six catches for 129 yards and a touchdown. Four of his six catches went for a first down, and he had a 20.1-yard average depth of target.


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