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2020
(Unofficial)

Undrafted Free Agents

Zane Lewis, CB, Air Force
Lewis has a smooth backpedal to mirror and match the release and has the short-area quickness to maintain feel for the route. Despite the athletic traits, he still needs to cultivate his anticipation so he can play a more instinctive brand of coverage. He's suited for zone or man coverage and has the top-end speed to run with vertical routes. He's below average in run support and needs to improve his overall tackling. Lewis has Day 3 potential as a backup with upside.

Strengths
Very good combination of size and speed
Plays with quiet, smooth feet and hips
Quick and twitchy with short-area agility
Fluid lateral movement as a route-matcher
Accelerates to close separation or streak into passing lanes
Ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash at his pro day
Recovery speed is clear and obvious on tape
Displays decent feel for timing his catch disruption

Weaknesses
Still needs to learn to trust his technique
Occasional grabbing in space
Appears to be more responsive than instinctive
Tardy turning to find the football with back to the quarterback
Needs better poise and ball tracking downfield
Allows too much catch space despite being in position
Has trouble shedding big, blocking receivers
Grab-and-dragger who allows additional yards after contact

Sources Tell Us
"He was a really nice surprise once we really dug in on him. He's got better feet than a lot of the guys who are going to get drafted ahead of him." -- Personnel director for NFC team - nfl.com

According to NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero, the Cardinals will sign Air Force cornerback Zane Lewis. During his senior season, Lewis broke up 15 passes. - Arizona Sports 98.7
This cousin of Shawn Springs is not a ball hawk only making 2 interceptions. Incredibly he returned both 99 yds for pick sixes. Oddly he’s mostly solid at breaking up passes due to solid body control and agility. He has a good height to speed ratio but sometimes gets nervous and commits penalties. He’s also not strong enough to press. This concern also produces some weak tackling efforts. This is a high effort player who seems very teachable. If he can build self confidence and his core strength, he might be a find and a decent NFL player. There’s a new service exemption program that Lewis has applied to get passed the military obligation.- ASFN (Harry)


Jake Benzinger, OL, Wake Forest
As a redshirt senior, Benzinger started 13 games at right tackle. He was named as an honorable mention All-ACC as an offensive tackle. He also played in the East-West Shrine game. - Arizona Sports 98.7

Benzinger's father, John, was an all-conference player at UMass and had a cup of coffee with the New England Patriots. Jake has shown potential during his time at Wake to have a full meal or more at the next level. He redshirted the 2015 season and then played in 10 games with one start at right tackle as a freshman. Benzinger started all 39 games at the right tackle spot for the Demon Deacons in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons - AZSF (Harry).

“They contacted me probably two weeks before the draft,” Benzinger said. “Their O-line coach contacted me and said they liked my tape, and they got all my contact information.

“...I guess the one advantage of going undrafted is you have some agency in terms of where you go, and you can pick a roster where you have a better chance of making the team or a coach that you feel comfortable with.”

The Cardinals Saturday told Benzinger that while there will not be the standard minicamp for rookies in early May, there will be a virtual version with a lot of “digesting the playbook and getting on the same page.” He is unsure what the summer schedule holds but hopes to get out to the Grand Canyon State before training camp opens in late July.

“’ve been doing some basement gym workouts, doing some running, hiking, those types of things outside and still keeping football movements,” he said. “I’m working with agility ladders and whatnot. “It’s definitely hard this year. I’m just trying to make do with whatever workouts I can do. Obviously, I’m going old school. Push-ups and sit-ups are a big part of the regimen for me.”

“I’m totally psyched that I found a place. … It would have been great to have a pro day. It would have been good to be around my teammates and put our best out there and get that opportunity. But that’s all in the past now, finally.” - iBerkshires.com

Jarren Williams, CB, Albany
Williams played in 12 games during his senior season at the University of Albany. He had 46 tackles, 2 pass breakups and a forced fumble. He even had an interception return for a 63-yard touchdown during the season. - Arizona Sports 98.7

Steven Gonzalez, 6-4 341 OL, Penn State
The 6’4″ offensive lineman made 13 starts at left guard for Penn State. Gonzalez was named to the All-Big Ten second team. - Arizona Sports 98.7

PROS: Steven Gonzalez has a powerful lower half, is able to reset the line of scrimmage and create push against head up defenders or when tasked with stepping down on angular blocks. Is well built and offers natural strength needed to go toe to toe with heavy hitters up front. Has been a catalyst on several big runs, thanks to ability to wall off a rushing lane after creating initial movement up front. Ability to re-anchor after absorbing an initial blow allows for maintained space for the quarterback to work from the pocket. He certainly looks the part of a gap/power blocker and has the functional strength to be an asset if you ask him to win real estate at the point of attack.

CONS: Does not possess the most graceful demeanor in space, hasn't climbed the ladder to the second level with confidence, nor does he quickly close the gap between himself and linebackers. Does not appear to have requisite length to be a tone setter in pass protection, instead plays with reactive movements. Has some mental gaffes on passing off defenders up front with teammates in protection, miscommunication has been an issue for this entire unit during Gonzalez's time in Happy Valley all together -- so questions will arise on how steep the learning curve to NFL is without notable improvement in talk and chatter. Pass set and hips look rigid, doesn’t have a natural ability to drive step or play with a lot of width in base to frame blocks. -


T.J. Carter, DL, Kentucky
During his career at Kentucky, Carter played in 50 games and made 28 starts. He finished his college career with 71 tackles, 6 sacks and 5 pass breakups. As a senior, he had a season-best 26 tackles.- Arizona Sports 98.7


Reggie Floyd, S, 6-0 222 Virginia Tech
Floyd played in 51 career games at Virginia Tech and was a three-year starter. He tallied 230 career tackles, including 14 for loss. Floyd also had 5 career interceptions for the Hokies. - Arizona Sports 98.7


Coverage Spacing - Minimal value on the back end. He's more of an intermediate asset and shallow zone player — but if you task him with working on the back end he's not going to be effective. Poor anticipation, poor burst and ineffective transitional quickness to drive on the ball.

Acceleration - Linear burst is effective, especially when he's charging into action in front of his face. His deep range and mobility isn't highly effective and he issues are compounded by some poor habits with angles. He's a hard charger but his general range is lacking.

Tackling - Booming tackler. But at the same time, he often comes too flat on his pursuit angles and can be a bit of an ankle nipper as a result as he looks to compensate for bad angles. When he catches ball carriers flush, he's got a ton of hitting power at his disposal. Like the intimidation factor he brings.

Zone Coverage Skills - Shouldn't be considered especially valuable here. At the very least needs to be kept inside of 15 yards. Will make the biggest impact on plays when he's able to drive into the catch point and attack the body of the ball carrier. That said, route recognition and feel for space is not a strong suit.

Ball Skills - He's more reactive than he is anything else to getting shaded or in a position to jump throws will be problematic. He can have some success on batted balls or tipped passes but expecting him to challenge the catch point with consistency or play deep coverages and effective shade and split versus layered routes is ambitious.

Competitive Toughness - He's definitely a high motor player. He's at his best in a rally to the ball role, where his linear burst and effort are well showcased. He gets bonus points for his exposure and experience on coverage units, which should buy him some added opportunities to stick on a roster.

Flexibility - All of his appealing actions come when he's driving forward. Asking him to flip open and accelerate into targets isn't going to provide a lot of value. He gets away with some poor habits of getting overextended as a tackler because of his booming hitting power.

Feet/COD - He's fairly stale here on the back end and doesn't have the mirror skills, foot speed or dynamic base to be an effective overhead defender in off man coverage or transitioning into trail position. He can be too ambitious with his drive step to attack down hill when attacking run game.

Man Coverage Skills - Offers little to zero value here without some high level coaching to draw better patience and route recognition skills out of him. He's too lethargic to turn his hips and run with defenders and doesn't appear to trust his eyes to key on opposing players to help him process the play.

Versatility - Developmental prospect as a stereotypical strong safety and has some value on the kick teams — that's where his pro team should feel most comfortable trying to carve out a specific role for him at the next level. Anything added on top of that feels ambitious and a ways off.

Best Trait - Physicality

Worst Trait - Coverage Skills

Player Summary - Reggie Floyd projects as a depth player in the NFL. Floyd struggles with coverage skills and does not showcase the needed versatility to warrant consideration for a high snap role in the NFL. Floyd's best opportunity to showcase himself will come down to special teams, where he can serve as a kick coverage contributor and put his booming tackling skills to good use. Floyd will face a challenge finding a 53-man roster he can stick on and will likely need to find a niche on defense to do so. - Draft Network

Jonathan Ward, RB, 6-0 202 Central Michigan
In 42 games at Central Michigan, Ward had 473 carries for 2,539 yards and 28 touchdowns. Ward finished the season second in the MAC in all-purpose yards, third in rushing touchdowns and fifth in rushing yards.- Arizona Sports 98.7

Ward had an up-and-down career with the Chippewas but finished with a flourish in 2019. He was a third-team All-MAC pick and team captain, starting 12 games and leading his team with 1,108 rushing yards and 15 scores on 183 carries (6.1 average). Ward was also a big part of the passing game, catching 34 passes for 329 yards (9.7) and a touchdown. The Illinois native and all-state pick in football (2,400 yards, 36 TDs) and track (second in state long jump) struggled with injuries as a junior, starting 6 of 9 games (76-212-2.8, one TD rushing; 8-41-5.1 receiving). Expectations were high for Ward heading into that season because he was a second-team all-conference pick as a sophomore (team-high 178-1,019-5.7, 10 TDs rushing; 48-470-9.8, three TDs receiving, nine starts in 13 games). As a true freshman, he contributed in eight games as a reserve (36-200-5.6, two TDs rushing; 8-69-8.6 receiving; 6-138-23.0 kickoff returns). - nfl.com

Andrew Dickinson, OL, 6-3 309 Findlay
The 6’3″ offensive lineman started in 11 games his senior year and started 43 of 45 games in his college career. Dickinson was a key blocker in an offense that average 221.4 rushing yards per game. He was also named second team all G-MAC for a third consecutive season.- Arizona Sports 98.7

2017 - Appeared and started in all 13 games...Named second team all-G-MAC...Helped block for an offense line that ranked third in the country in total offense (515.5 ypg), seventh in the country in rushing (260.9 ypg), fifth in the nation scoring offense (44.5), fifth in the nation in time of possession (34:26), third in the nation in 3rd down percentage (.524), and led the nation in first downs (359).

2016 - Appeared and started in all 11 games...Helped pave the way for an offense that, for the first time in school hisory, featured a quarterback with 2,500+ passing yards, a receiver with 1,000+ receiving yards, and a tailback with 1,000+ rushing yards in the same season.

2015 - Did not see action.

Prep - Earned second team all-Ohio honors...Was a two-time all-Northwest District pick...Named first team all-conference twice...Was the North Central Ohio Football Coaches Association Offensive Lineman of the Year.

Ryan Becker, TE, SMU
Becker started 6 of 13 games he played during his senior season. He caught 4 passes for 30 yards and one touchdown. - Arizona Sports 98.7

Adam Schuler, 6-4 270 DL, Florida
Schuler finished his two-year career at Florida with 69 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and 6 sacks. - Arizona Sports 98.7 Prior to his time at Florida, Schuler spent two seasons at West Virginia. Between both schools, he amassed 139 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and. 9 sacks.- Arizona Sports 98.7

Shane Leatherbury, WR, Towson
During his senior season, Leatherbury earned All-CAA second team honors. In his two seasons at Towson, Leatherbury had 119 catches for 1,552 yards and 19 touchdowns. Prior to Towson, he played for Seton Hill College and Wor-Wic Community College.- Arizona Sports 98.7

Taking the path less traveled and finding success at the end of the trail is nothing new for former Towson wide receiver Shane Leatherbury, and he’s going to have to take a similar path to the NFL.

Leatherbury played for the Tigers from 2017-2019, racking up 149 catches for 1,848 yards and 21 touchdowns after initially walking onto Towson and playing at Division II Seton Hill in 2015. Now, after three highly productive seasons in suburban Baltimore, he’s trying to make the jump from the FCS to NFL.

Leatherbury says he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to reach his goal of playing in the NFL, even if he isn’t drafted or doesn’t hook on with any team as an undrafted free agent. (Dangerfield, as a matter of fact, played in the now-defunct Fall Experimental Football League.)

“Coming out of Towson, it’s a small school and a lot of the small-school guys have to take a different route, but if you love the game you’ve got to stay in it,” Leatherbury said. “You’ve got to just trust the process. What’s meant to be will be. You’ve just got to trust it and take you.”

On what it’d be like to put on an NFL jersey:
“It would be such a surreal experience. It’s a dream come true since I started playing football at what, like 7 years old, maybe 5 in the backyard. It’s always been a dream. When you’re young you’re like, ‘I want to go to the NFL.’ Over the course of the years — I’ve had to go to community college, D-II, had to struggle — the dream kind of faded away but it came back at Towson. If I get the chance, I’m going to definitely make the most of it.”

On gaining confidence from Tom Flacco, his quarterback the past two years:
“Even when I first met him, I was like, ‘Man, I just hope one day I can get picked up by a team.’ He’s like, ‘Why would you just want to get picked up? Your goal should be to get drafted, and if you happen to fall that low, you happen to fall that low, but that shouldn’t be the goal.’ After that, I was like, ‘You’re right. Just having him around to help out the confidence and stuff and just to keep throwing with the quarterback you threw with in college, and shoot, he puts the ball on the money every time, so it doesn’t get much better than that.”

On putting together back-to-back winning seasons at Towson in 2018 and 2019:
“We’d like to accomplish more, but the journey of getting there was what I took in the most — coming closer with the guys. Every practice, we’d get better as a team. Shoot, even out of practice, we had little chill nights where we’d just chill with the guys and bringing that brotherhood feeling. Our receivers coach, [Justin Harper], preached brotherhood, brotherhood, brotherhood. If you look to your left and your right, you look and you see a brother. That’s going to make you work harder. Winning was definitely a plus. We wish we won more, but you learn from the losses just as much as you learn from the wins. It was definitely a great process and I’m glad that I could be a part of it.” - Luke Jackson (PressBox)

Reggie White (Listed as "Reggie Walker" in Cardinal release) , DE/OLB, Kansas State
White finished his collegiate career with 140 tackles, including 100 unassisted. He also had 18 sacks, 5 passes defended, 9 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recovers.- Arizona Sports 98.7

Jojo Ward,5-9 167 WR, Hawaii
Ward only played two seasons at Hawaii but tallied 1,999 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns in his career. During the 2019 season, Ward led the Mountain West and ranked 19th nationally with 11 receiving touchdowns. He was also second in the Mountain West and ranked 22nd nationally with 1,134 receiving yards.- Arizona Sports 98.7

Former Hawaii wide receiver JoJo Ward would like nothing more than to get back to hauling in passes, hopefully in the NFL.

Now back at home in Waco, Texas, Ward makes sure he has his daily serving. As part of his football training, Ward burrows his fists into a bucket of rice. The technique, borrowed from former UH teammate Jared Smart’s training, is intended to strengthen hands and forearms — key areas for receivers.

At LJ Performance, Ward went through the cycle of weight-training stations, as well as workouts involving bands and focusing on speed and footwork. “We went through the drills that we were going to do at the pro day,” Ward said. In Waco, he said, he runs the hills hear his family’s home twice a day. He also works on his route running. He said he has a friend throw him passes, as well as fire tennis balls in his direction to maintain his hand-eye coordination. He said he uses dumbbells as part of weight training, with some exercises taken from YouTube videos. “I can squat with dumbbells,” Ward said. “I’ve been doing lunges every day. I’ve got heavy weights, light weights.”

The NFL Draft is set for the end of this month. Ward, who is 5-9 and 175 pounds, is a late-round to free-agent consideration. In two UH seasons, he averaged 17.2 yards per catch, with 67.2% of his 116 receptions resulting in first downs. He had 42 catches exceeding 15 yards and 24 receptions of at least 25 yards. During training, he consistently clocked sub-4.5 seconds in 40-yard dashes. If pro day had been conducted, Ward said, “seeing all the scouts, the adrenaline would be pumping, I felt I was going to get 4.3, for sure.” - Stephen Tsai

Bejour Wilson, 5-11 170 CB, Liberty
During his two seasons at Liberty, Wilson had 76 tackles, 6 interceptions and 13 passes defended at Liberty.- Arizona Sports 98.7

Jermiah Braswell, WR, Youngstown State
Braswell had 24 catches for 515 yards during his senior season.- Arizona Sports 98.7

Sirgeo Hoffman, RB, Portland State
Hoffman played in 19 in two seasons at Portland State. He had 223 carries for 1,068 yards in his career.- Arizona Sports 98.7


Parker Houston, TE, 6-3 San Diego State- Arizona Sports 98.7
The 6’3″ tight end played 49 games for the Aztecs. Houston had 45 catches for 420 yards and 3 touchdowns in his career. Houston was named second-team All-Mountain West and was a William V. Campbell Trophy semifinalist.

Houston was a two-time all-state pick from the Reno area, but he has said the then-Nevada head coach at the time, Brian Polian, told the young recruit he was too short to be a tight end. San Diego State gave him a shot at the position, and he finished the 2016 season as the co-winner of the team's Outstanding Freshman of the Year (five receptions, 32 yards, 6.4 average, one touchdown, four starts in 10 games). Houston started seven of 13 games played as a sophomore (six receptions, 56 yards, 9.3 average) and all 13 games of his junior season (16 reception, 178 yards, 11.1 average, two touchdowns). He was a second-team All-Mountain West Conference pick as a senior, setting a career high with 18 receptions (154 yards, 8.6 per) and performing well as a lead blocker in all 13 of the Aztecs' games (10 starts).

Overview
Caught between positions, Houston lacks the length of a typical in-line tight end and is not as fluid and downhill as teams look for from a blocking fullback. He's a willing blocker, but he's not a hammer-head and his athletic limitations mean he will stay covered when matched up against man-to-man coverage. He has decent ball skills and catch toughness in traffic but ultimately he's a camp invite with a steep hill to climb.

Strengths
Burly build works for him inside the hash marks
Good physical toughness to catch into collisions
Quick hands to pluck it and tuck it away
Works his way back to the quarterback in the middle of the field
Keeps hands inside as a blocker
Experienced as both in-line and move blocker
Counted on for pass pro duties
Has handled short snapping duties on kicks

Weaknesses
Short-stepper getting through his routes
Easy to stay with in man coverage
Doesn't play with much bend in his lower half
Offers no value in the seam or down the field
Over-shoots run-blocking angles at times
Slows feet into contact when asked to lead block
Tightness in his movements limits sustain effectiveness - zuerlein nfl.com

Rashad Medaris, WR, 5-11 178 Cincinnati
One week after catching three passes for 121 yards and a score in a win over Houston, Medaris (5'11/178) caught four more passes against the Golden Hurricane. The senior wide receiver has a 16-248-2 stat line for the season, with 12 of those catches coming in Cincinnati's last four games. Next up for Medaris and the Bearcats is a Nov. 2 game at East Carolina.

Cincinnati senior WR Rashad Medaris caught three passes for 121 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 38-23 win over Houston.

Medaris (5'11/178) posted a nearly identical receiving line to that of Houston's Marquez Stevenson, only difference being that the senior had one more yard than the Cougars' wideout. His touchdown grab came from 75 yards out in the first quarter after he popped completely wide open (there was nobody within 10 yards of him when he caught the ball) down the left sideline. Overall this season, Medaris is working to a 12-211-2 receiving line in six games. Medaris and crew will play host to Tulsa next weekend. - RotoWorld

Medaris finished his career at Cincinnati with 57 catches for 887 yards and 5 touchdowns.- Arizona Sports 98.7

Jace Whittaker, 5-11 185 CB, Arizona
Whittaker started 32 games for Arizona between 2015-19. In 2019, he had three interceptions, which was the second-most on the team. He also had 55 tackles and one sack. He redshirted the 2018 season after playing just one game. He dealt with a hamstring and elbow injury.

CB Jace Whittaker was the first reported UA player to earn a spot as an undrafted free agent, signing with a team not far from Tucson. Whittaker is expected to sign with the Arizona Cardinals, per the Star's Michael Lev. In four seasons at Arizona, the 5-foot-11-inch, 185-pound Whittaker recorded 159 tackles and seven interceptions. Whittaker missed most of the 2018 season due to an elbow injury, but returned and played in all 12 games this past season. - Justin Spears

Jace Whittaker wasn't expected to be drafted, but he was able to find a team to sign with after the NFL Draft and he won't have to go far from home as he signed a deal with the Arizona Cardinals as an UDFA.

Whittaker finished his Arizona career with 159 tackles and 41 passes defensed, including seven interceptions. He missed almost all of the 2018 season because of injuries and made the decision to return for a fifth year.

Unfortunately for him, the coaching staff decided to move Whittaker to mostly safety and he struggled in a large way. NFL teams have looked at Whittaker as a corner at the next level and the expectation is that is where the Cardinals want him.

Arizona head coach Kevin Sumlin spoke highly of Whittaker in his time at Arizona.

“He studies a lot of tape," Sumlin said. "Some guys you say have a nose for the ball, but that takes work, particularly in the secondary with route combinations and coverage. He has the physical tools, but mentally he is so far ahead. In times when guys get injured or struggle for a year, they get in a bad place and shut down. This guy just kept working at it and watching tape.”

Whittaker may not have the role as a leader at the next level, but leadership is a trait that the coaches expressed to NFL teams.

“He’s very valuable as a leader, he’s experienced, he’s very level headed, and he’s a good player,” Sumlin said. “He’s a guy that continues to give us leadership that some of these young players are going to need.”

Despite going through a lot during his career as a Wildcat, Whittaker was able to maintain his focus. The former Arizona cornerback saw a head coaching change, changes in his position coaches, and even a late season change in his defensive coordinator.

“Try not to follow you on Twitter,” Whittaker said of how he avoided distraction. “You go through the routine you set up at the beginning of the season. You watch film, you watch film, you watch film, you go to practice, you watch film. Staying on track. You control the things that you can control. It’s that simple.”

The Cardinals chose not to take any defensive backs in the NFL Draft, thus possibly giving Whittaker a better chance at making the team. He will likely be looked at as being a slot corner.

Jarren Williams CB 5-10 187
I know only one weird thing about this guy. Similar to Lewis he returned his only interception for a TD. - ASFN (Harry)

Plus the following players not on earlier Cardinal UDFA list).

Jackson Dennis, OL, Holy Cross

Jonathon Ward RB Central Michigan

Devin Phelps WR Shepard


 
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