One underrated 2023 NFL free agent at every position

Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery (32) runs with the ball against the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

• QB Jacoby Brissett: The veteran played admirably in 2022 in place of a suspended Deshaun Watson and is a fantastic bridge option for a quarterback-needy team.

• OT Isaiah Wynn: Wynn has missed time throughout his career with injuries, including all of his 2018 rookie year, but produced PFF grades of 70.0 or better in every season between 2019 and 2021.

• S Julian Love: Love has missed just 7.9% of his career tackle attempts and put up career-high numbers as a starter in 2022.

Estimated Reading Time: 5 mins

NFL free agency often begins with a flurry of big signings and excitement around big deals, but the best business is often done in finding high-impact role players without breaking the bank. Here, we take a look at one underrated free agent at every position on offense or defense.

Quarterback: Jacoby Brissett

2022 Team: Cleveland Browns
2022 PFF Grade: 82.6

Brissett was probably better than even the Browns expected him to be in relief of the suspended Deshaun Watson across his 12 starts, finishing the season with the sixth-highest PFF overall grade and the 13th-highest PFF passing grade among quarterbacks. Brissett might not be the quarterback to lead a team to the Super Bowl, but he is a perfect bridge signal-caller for quarterback-needy teams in 2023.

Running Back: David Montgomery

2022 Team: Chicago Bears
2022 PFF Grade: 67.9

Since entering the league four seasons ago, Montgomery has forced 185 missed tackles on runs, ranking fifth in the NFL. He lacks the top-end speed to generate a lot of big plays, but he has produced a 65.0-plus PFF grade in each year of his NFL career and can be a solid contributor for any team.

Wide Receiver: Parris Campbell

2022 Team: Indianapolis Colts
2022 PFF Grade: 60.8

Before the potential wave of releases, this looks to be a very weak free-agent wide receiver class at the top. But for teams in need of a dependable WR3, and perhaps even a WR2 if he can stay healthy, Campbell is an option. He has dropped just six of the 103 catchable passes thrown his way since entering the NFL.

Tight End: Hayden Hurst

2022 Team: Cincinnati Bengals
2022 PFF Grade: 64.5

Hurst entered the NFL as a first-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens, with the team selecting him before Lamar Jackson in the 2018 NFL Draft. They traded him two years later for a second-round pick, and this season with the Cincinnati Bengals marked his third team in five years. He has proven himself to be a solid receiver, though, dropping just five of his 199 career catchable targets.

Offensive Tackle: Isaiah Wynn

2022 Team: New England Patriots
2022 PFF Grade: 54.6

Wynn has missed time throughout his career with injuries, including all of his 2018 rookie year, but produced PFF grades of 70.0 or better in every season between 2019 and 2021. In a league where starting-caliber offensive tackles are hard to come by, Wynn will almost certainly find a new home, and if he stays healthy, he could prove to be a bargain for whichever team picks him up.

Offensive Guard: Nate Davis

2022 Team: Tennessee Titans
2022 PFF Grade: 70.6

Nate Davis had his best season as a pass blocker, producing a 66.8 PFF grade in that facet and allowing just 14 total pressures over 385 pass-blocking snaps in 2022. While he’s not going to be a difference-maker on the offensive line, he could help a team avoid a weak link in the group. A better run blocker than a pass blocker, he has played 3,709 snaps and is just 26 years old as he hits free agency.

Center: Ethan Pocic

2022 Team: Cleveland Browns
2022 PFF Grade: 79.0

Pocic had a career year for the Browns, and while it might be a stretch to expect that level of play from him going forward, his three-year play from 2020-2022 at center showed clear progression, with his PFF grade jumping from 59.8 to 67.3 and then to 79.0 this past season. He is a better fit in the middle than at the guard spots where he spent much of the first three years of his career, and he is a capable starter in the league at worst.

Defensive Interior: A’Shawn Robinson

2022 Team: Los Angeles Rams
2022 PFF Grade: 64.4

A second-round pick in 2016, Robinson will be just 28 years old heading into his eighth NFL season. He’s unlikely to be a difference-maker, earning sub-60.0 PFF pass-rushing grades in each of the past four seasons, but he does fit as a rotational player who can flash against the run. In the past two seasons with the Rams, Robinson produced PFF run-defense grades of 78.3 and 68.7.

Edge Defender: Justin Houston

2022 Team: Baltimore Ravens
2022 PFF Grade: 77.1

Justin Houston is 34 years old now, but there’s still a place for him on an NFL roster with a team looking for a rotational pass rusher who can get after the quarterback. Despite his advancing years, he produced PFF pass-rushing grades of 75.0 or better in each of the past two seasons for the Ravens. He has also shown the ability to finish those pressures in his career, with 21.6% of his pressures resulting in a sack.

Linebacker: Alex Singleton

2022 Team: Denver Broncos
2022 PFF Grade: 79.1

Singleton is coming off a career year not just in terms of his overall PFF grade (79.1), but also his 82.6 PFF run-defense grade and 73.0 PFF coverage grade. He has improved as a run defender each season since seeing playing time in 2020, and while he isn’t going to turn a defense around on his own, he can be a solid role player.

Cornerback: Rock Ya-Sin

2022 Team: Las Vegas Raiders
2022 PFF Grade: 65.7

Simply avoiding a weak link at cornerback can sometimes pay off for NFL teams. Rock Ya-Sin is not going to force offenses to game-plan against him, but what we have seen over his four NFL seasons is that he can be a capable second or third cornerback on a lot of teams. He has produced a PFF coverage grade above 60.0 in three out of his four NFL campaigns.

Safety: Julian Love

2022 Team: New York Giants
2022 PFF Grade: 66.7

Love was a full-time starter in 2022 and, in turn, delivered a career-best 70.9 PFF coverage grade. A more-than-capable tackler, Love has missed just 7.9% of his career attempts. This past season, he tied for fourth among all safeties with 30 tackles resulting in a defensive stop. 


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