Ranking the Atlanta Falcons’ undrafted free agents: Who has the best shot to make the team?

Give the Atlanta Falcons scouts credit: They managed to find a football player who was not ranked in “The Beast.” That’s not easy to do considering The Athletic’s Dane Brugler ranked more than 1,900 players this year in his annual NFL Draft guide.

Ranking the Atlanta Falcons’ undrafted free agents: Who has the best shot to make the team?
Ranking the Atlanta Falcons’ undrafted free agents: Who has the best shot to make the team?

The Falcons had to go all the way to Minnesota State-Mankato to find cornerback Trey Vaval, one of 10 undrafted free agents they signed after the draft and the only one not included in “The Beast.” Today, we’re going to rank all 10 players based on their likelihood of making the 53-man roster or practice squad. Our guide, of course, will be “The Beast.”

Isaiah Wooden, WR, Southern Utah

Brugler’s ranking: No. 57 wide receiver

Wooden has the best chance of making the roster because he can fly. The 5-foot-7, 176-pounder has been clocked at 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash. More impressively, his 10-yard split was 1.38. The fastest 10-yard split of any player at the NFL combine this year was 1.47. The fastest ever at the combine was Chris Johnson’s 1.4 in 2008. Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy, who set the combine record with a 4.21 40-yard dash this year, had a 1.49 10-yard split. Wooden, who started his career at Utah Tech before going to Kent State and then Southern Utah, caught 61 passes for 904 yards and 14 touchdowns last year, and his burst clearly caught the eye of a coaching staff that wants speed at wide receiver.


Anthony Sao, CB, MidAmerica Nazarene

Brugler’s ranking: No. 84 cornerback

Another small-school find, Sao ran only a 4.58, which isn’t great cornerback speed, but he has ideal size (6-foot, 197 pounds) and showed athletic burst in his other testing (10-4 broad jump and 37.5-inch vertical jump). Sao had four interceptions during the 2022 season. Atlanta clearly needs to bolster its cornerback depth, which is why it signed three UDFAs at the position.

Jayden Price, CB, North Dakota State

Brugler’s ranking: No. 97 cornerback

Price has an interesting profile. He played 71 college games (totaling three interceptions in his career), earned an MBA and, maybe most intriguingly, he was an all-conference returner for the Bison. The 6-foot, 185-pounder also has pro-level speed with his 4.45 40-yard dash. His best chance of earning a job will be catching someone’s eye in the return game and finding a depth role in the secondary.

Nolan Potter, OL, Northern Illinois

Brugler’s ranking: No. 34 offensive tackle

The 6-foot-6, 310-pounder started 43 games in college and was a back-to-back All-MAC player in his final two seasons. Potter has put on 55 pounds since he was a two-star recruit coming out of high school in Iowa and could make the roster simply because he’s at a position of constant need around the league.

Ryan Coll, OL, Richmond

Brugler’s ranking: No. 44 offensive tackle

The 6-5, 308-pounder figures to be Potter’s biggest competition for a back-end roster spot. He started 26 games at left tackle in his final two seasons at Richmond, where he was a third-team All-American in 2023. Coll started his college career as a tight end.

Trey Vaval, CB, Minnesota State-Mankato

Brugler’s ranking: Not ranked

Not being listed in “The Beast” is probably not a good sign for Vaval’s roster chances, but he’s a cornerback, which gives him a chance. The 6-foot, 170-pounder was also an all-conference returner in 2023.

Former Rutgers wide receiver JaQuae Jackson’s speed intrigued the Falcons. (Rich Schultz / Getty Images)

JaQuae Jackson, WR, Rutgers

Brugler’s ranking: No. 94 wide receiver

The 6-1, 183-pounder had 22 catches for 361 yards and a touchdown in his final season for the Scarlet Knights. He has 4.5 40-yard dash speed and was a three-star prospect coming out of high school in Pennsylvania.

Austin Stogner, TE, Oklahoma

Brugler’s ranking: No. 36 tight end

The 6-6, 254-pounder started and ended his college career at Oklahoma with a stopover at South Carolina in between. He finished with 84 catches for 1,060 yards in five seasons. Stogner’s 4.85 40-yard dash hurt his prospect status, but he has enough ability to have a chance.

Ryan Sanborn, P, Texas

Brugler’s ranking: No. 8 punter

The 6-3, 211-pounder punted at Stanford and Texas and averaged 45.7 yards per kick last year, the seventh-best average in Longhorns history. The Falcons have 30-year-old punter Bradley Pinion under contract for the next two seasons at around a $3 million cap hit, so if they like Sanborn, they might stash him on the practice squad.

John Paddock, QB, Illinois

Brugler’s ranking: No. 55 quarterback

The 5-11, 193-pounder averaged 8.9 yards per attempt last year, which would have ranked in the top 20 in the country if he had played enough games to qualify. After starting 12 games in 2022, he started only three in 2023 but passed for 507 yards against Indiana in one of those. However, there doesn’t seem to be room for another quarterback on the roster.

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