Heading into last year’s training camp, undrafted free agent Tanner McEvoy wasn’t given a second look. After consistently electric play throughout the preseason, the T-Train shocked everyone, earning a spot on the Seattle Seahawks’ roster. In the limited opportunities, he was provided throughout the regular season, he showcased an exciting standard of play and a strong rapport with backup quarterback Trevone Boykin.
While fellow undrafted rookies Boykin, Tyvis Powell, DeAndre Elliott, and George Fant made the squad, nobody lit up the preseason like McEvoy.
Training camp has begun and it is a beautiful thing to behold. Old faces and new are suiting up and fighting valiantly for a limited number of roles on the team.
While many camp bodies have been brought in to compete, eight undrafted free agents were deemed priorities to sign by the front office:
FB Algernon Brown, BYU
QB Skyler Howard, West Virginia
DT Jeremy Liggins, Mississippi
LB Otha Peters, Louisiana-Lafayette
WR Darreus Rogers, USC
OG Jordan Roos, Purdue
TE Tyrone Swoopes, Texas
LB Nick Usher, Texas-El Paso
The question that must be asked, now, is obvious: which of these players will tear up the month of August? Who will be the Tanner McEvoy of the 2017 preseason?
The simple answer is a resounding ‘nobody.’ McEvoy has a skill set which has proven to be impossible to duplicate. He has displayed a raw, unadulterated playmaking ability the likes of which we have never seen.
This doesn’t mean, though, that none of the recently signed UDFA’s can’t kick some ass over the next month and possibly throughout the regular season.
The first thing to do is to figure out which of these players are still on the roster. Algernon Brown is no longer with the team, leaving the battle for full back to Marcel Reese, Tre Madden and Kyle Coleman. Skylar Howard and Nick Usher are no longer with the team either. This leaves Liggins, Peters, Rogers, Roos, and Swoopes.
My first intuition is to think that Rogers and Roos will make the strongest impressions in camp. Rogers put some cool play on tape at USC, displaying strong hands and an Anquan Boldin-esque skill set. Roos has been namedropped by Pete Carroll as a standout amongst the undrafted bunch and it seems that everybody has been keeping an eye out for him.
The magic of McEvoy’s 2016 preseason was that we were all caught off guard. Nobody expected him to make the roster. Nobody expects him to make the roster this year either. We’ll see what happens. You can’t keep the GOAT down for long.
Anyways, Rogers and Roos don’t really fit into the mold of the 2017 McEvoy by way of their higher profiles relative to the other players. That leaves Liggins, Peters, and Swoopes.
I think it’s harder to stand out in the preseason as a defensive tackle than as a linebacker or tight end, so I’m pulling Liggins’ name out of the running. That leaves Peters and Swoopes.
Peters suffered a string of injuries in college and transferred from Arkansas to Louisiana-Lafayette. Swoopes is a former quarterback who was utilized in a multitude of short-yardage situations at Texas.
While both could have awesome preseasons (goodness gracious I hope they do), I think Swoopes has the best chance to become this year’s Tanner McEvoy.
Former quarterback? Check.
Converted tight end? Check.
Versatile and explosive athlete? Check.
Tyrone Swoopes at pro day: 6'4, 247 lbs, 4.65 40-yard dash, 35" vertical. Almost identical to David Njoku.— Field Gulls (@FieldGulls) April 29, 2017
It is very possible that none of Swoopes’ potential could yield any significant returns. He could flame out before the Seahawks even play in a preseason game. But I don’t think he will. I’m not saying he’ll make the roster, but I think a practice squad spot isn’t out of the question at a minimum.
Pete Carroll and John Schneider love their undrafted free agents. The chips on the players’ shoulders rarely vanish and their motivations are ever present.
The beginning of training camp marks the beginnings of the NFL journey for these young men. Who do you think will make the most of it?
Who will have the best training camp and preseason?
This poll is closed
TANNER MCEVOY DUH