The New Orleans Saints have hit the ground running, signing ten undrafted rookie free agents in the span of a few hours yesterday evening. Of these players, Clemson safety DeAndre McDaniel has the best chance of making the team and contributing to the Saints early.
Rookie undrafted free agency is a massive free-for-all, in which NFL teams have to target and sign the most coveted players that missed out on being drafted in April, before another team nabs them. Clemson Safety DeAndre McDaniel was one of those highly sought after players.
He was ranked as the third best undrafted free agent by Scott Wright’s NFL Draft Countdown (who expected him to be a mid-round draft pick) and ninth best by Bleacher Report.
McDaniel has good size (6′) and a long resume that includes notching nearly 300 tackles and 15 interceptions with the Tigers over his four-year career there.
So why wasn’t he drafted?
McDaniel had character concerns, stemming from a 2008 arrest. He is also a bit of a ‘tweener between safety and linebacker, as he does not have the size to play linebacker and has average-at-best speed and acceleration for a safety at the pro level.