UDFA Draft: TDN's Benjamin Solak vs. Trevor Sikkema

Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After monitoring and updating the 2020 undrafted free-agent tracker over the last couple of days, both Trevor Sikkema and I wanted to feature our favorite free-agent fits. 

Isn't that always how it goes?

However, instead of bickering, we combined our powers and drafted our favorite UDFAs outright. We each built 7-on-7 rosters, consisting of one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers and one tight end, while providing analysis on why we liked each free-agents talent and scheme fit for the NFL team lucky enough to grab them.

I had the first pick in our seven-round snake draft. You can see each pick with analysis and the final teams below. Who do you think had the better team? Let us know on Twitter at @TampaBayTre and @BenjaminSolak.

Round 1

Solak’s pick: Tyler Huntley, QB, Utah

In a 7-on-7 league, Tyler Huntley is the best pick of all the UDFA quarterbacks. Huntley deserved to get drafted, but his explosive senior season fell under the radar as teams only seemed to remember his more tepid performances in previous seasons. 

Huntley is an elite running threat who landed in a perfect system in Baltimore. He is not only a top running quarterback who will oust Trace McSorley and stick on the roster as QB3 but stylistically he's very similar to Lamar Jackson in terms of his upright, slashing, tempo style of running.

Sikkema's pick: Anthony Gordon, QB, Washington State

I’m a big Huntley fan, but I still couldn't believe Solak let Anthony Gordon slip past the first pick of this draft. Huntley does bring more to the table as a runner — and he was a much better passer this season than people were willing to look into — but I’ll take Gordon's career 5,500-plus yards and 48 touchdowns.

I was surprised Gordon didn't get selected over the course of the 2020 NFL Draft, but he stayed close to home and signed with the Seahawks shortly after the final round concluded.

Round 2

Sikkema's pick: Quartney Davis, WR, Texas A&M

Quartney Davis was another player I was shocked to see go undrafted in this deep wide receiver class. Davis didn't put up the best numbers at the NFL Scouting Combine, but when he was at the Senior Bowl in January, he was cooking cornerbacks with his precise route running.

Davis was one of the first players to find a home after the draft and signed with the Vikings.

Solak’s pick: Lawrence Cager, WR, Georgia

While it was certainly a shock Davis went undrafted, if we ask why, the answer is pretty clear: He's a low-ceiling player. Davis thrives from the slot. Although he runs excellent routes and has good separation quickness, so do a lot of players. Davis doesn't have a lot of unique value; Lawrence Cager does. 

Cager was banged up during his college career, so he must prove healthy in the NFL. In terms of a high-ceiling UDFA who will make plays in the preseason, Cager is an ideal candidate. His ability to adjust in the air and on the sideline is reminiscent of Denzel Mims, who the Jets selected in the second round. While Cager didn't test, he's also a plus athlete for his size. He's my jump-ball specialist.

Round 3

Solak’s pick: Omar Bayless, WR, Arkansas State

The Panthers didn't select a single offensive player in the draft, so Omar Bayless might be the best new player on that side of the ball. His 17.8 yards per catch and 17 receiving touchdowns speak to how dangerous he could become after he dominated Group of Five competition at Arkansas State. Bayless' chances of making Carolina’s roster are only improved by the Curtis Samuel trade rumors on an already thin depth chart.

Bayless has got great route running to stack and separate on vertical routes and he adjusts extremely well to the football in the air, but his testing puts his future as a deep threat in question.

Sikkema's pick: James Robinson, RB, Illinois State

Objectively, a running back this early in a draft probably wasn't the best fit for value, but I was looking at the pool of players and felt like there were only a couple of RBs I really wanted while there were plenty of other receiver options to get later.

I was impressed with James Robinson during the East-West Shrine Bowl. He showed more burst than expected when getting to the second level and beyond and looked pretty comfortable as a pass-catcher. Robinson nearly had 2,000 rushing yards last season, and that's why the Jaguars are giving him a look.

Round 4

Sikkema's pick: JaMycal Hasty, RB, Baylor

I'm going to be honest: This pick was mainly because I know Solak loves JaMycal Hasty and grabbing him right before Solak could yield a favorable reaction. In the aftermath of this selection, Solak’s response: “Give Hasty back right now you absolute coward of a human.”

Yep, it worked.

In all seriousness, Hasty doesn't have the statistics some of these other backs do, but his explosive running style could be effective as a change-of-pace player at the next level. Hasty could develop into a nice weapon out of the backfield in the passing game.

Solak’s pick: LeVante Bellamy, RB, Western Michigan

I've got my deep vertical threats, now I want speed to take advantage of space. LeVante Bellamy is all speed with a slashing running style and good anticipation in the second level. For 7-on-7, I'll be throwing him the ball a lot; Bellamy had 45 receptions in his final two seasons at Western Michigan. I'll use him to widen the defense on swings and pitches.

Bellamy landed with the Broncos, who found another UDFA stud in running back Phillip Lindsay following the 2018 draft. Bellamy’s big-play ability gives him a fighting shot for sticking on their 53-player roster.

Round 5

Solak’s pick: Isaiah Wright, WR, Temple

I definitely made this pick to get back at Sikkema for taking Hasty away from me, although he wasn't nearly as mad as I hoped he would be. 

Isaiah Wright is a good player. He was one of the stars of the Shrine Bowl, and another vertical receiver given his size and adjustment profile, but what's most exciting is his returning background. Wright will be great with the ball in his hands; he has good vision and instincts. I love his chances to make Washington’s roster because of the value he brings in the third phase of the game.

Sikkema's pick: Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington

Hunter Bryant's performance at the combine hurt his draft stock, but undrafted? I didn't see that coming.

Despite his less-than-ideal testing, some would say he put on too much weight to try to increase his numbers. In Bryant's defense, his tape still shows good after-the-catch ability. There's some hope he can be a good big-slot option, and that's certainly what the Lions are hoping for after signing him as an UDFA.

Round 6

Sikkema's pick: Kendrick Rogers, WR, Texas A&M

This is definitely a homer pick but I've seen what Kendrick Rogers can do at his best — see the 2018 Clemson and LSU games as examples. He has a wide catch radius and his flexibility is off the charts. I still think his best ball is ahead of him.

Solak’s pick: Jacob Breeland, TE, Oregon

I was pleased to wait until my last at-bat to grab my tight end, letting Sikkema draft Bryant. He’s a great player, but he's not particularly elusive in terms of yards after the catch, and that's where I want my tight end to win in 7-on-7.

Enter Jacob Breeland, who's a burner when healthy and has better size than Bryant over the middle. Breeland is the premier seam-runner of the two and completes the set I need to run a four verticals concept. Watch for Breeland to make the roster in Baltimore, where seam-running tight ends with space blocking ability are prioritized. That's Breeland to a tee.

Round 7

Solak’s pick: J.J. Taylor, RB, Arizona

I wanted to prioritize pass-catching ability with my running back selections, and J.J. Taylor's 48 catches over the last two years fit the bill. He is a wicked jitterbug in space and brings the bounce, cut and spin that Bellamy, a more linear and explosive player, lacked in my RB room. Taylor's also extremely low to the ground and dense, making him very tough for secondary players to bring down without help.

Taylor landed with the Patriots, and if you buy the hype that this could be the next Tarik Cohen, that's an extremely fun landing spot. Coach Bill Belichick figures to author a plan to get Taylor touches in space.

Sikkema's pick: Jeff Thomas, WR, Miami

Jeff Thomas is a wild card pick for me. He's an athletically gifted player, but reported character concerns are why he went undrafted. Thomas relies on athletic ability over route nuance, but these are all things that can be correct and improved if he has the right mindset. I'll take the chance on his dynamic playmaking ability as are the Patriots.

Final Teams

Solak’s team:

  • Tyler Huntley, QB 
  • LeVante Bellamy, RB 
  • J.J. Taylor, RB 
  • Lawrence Cager, WR 
  • Omar Bayless, WR 
  • Isaiah Wright, WR 
  • Jacob Breeland, TE 

Sikkema's team:

  • Anthony Gordon, QB 
  • James Robinson, RB 
  • JaMycal Hasty, RB 
  • Quartney Davis, WR 
  • Kendrick Rogers, WR 
  • Jeff Thomas, WR 
  • Hunter Bryant, TE