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Who are the best UDFAs ever in NFL history?

We take a look at the best UDFAs in NFL history.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 9: Curt Warner #13 of the St. Louis Rams throws a pass during a NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles on September 9, 2001 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

With the 2023 NFL Draft coming to an end, there will be a ton of names to watch for signing as undrafted free agents.

While some of the top names in the draft may not pan out relative to their draft positioning, all is not lost for NFL franchises hoping to add depth to their rosters. There are plenty of collegiate prospects that unfortunately don’t hear their names called, but the opportunity arises to sign with an NFL team as an undrafted free agent.

In many cases, those overlooked players have turned into absolute stars capable of propelling their teams to the next level.

Below we take a look at some of the best undrafted free agents in NFL History:

Kurt Warner, Quarterback

As arguably the greatest Cinderella story in NFL history, Warner led the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl victory while finishing as a two-time league MVP in his 12-year career. The undrafted quarterback was named to the Pro Bowl four times and has two All-Pro selections while holding the three-best single-game passing yardage totals in Super Bowl history.

Tony Romo, Quarterback

Romo’s career passer rating of 97.1 ranks third on the all-time list, and he was named to the Pro Bowl four times in his 13-year career with the Dallas Cowboys. Romo led the Cowboys to the postseason four times in his career and while he finished just 2-4 in total playoff games, he is still held in high regard by Cowboys fans.

Antonio Gates, Tight end

The former collegiate basketball player finished with 955 receptions for 11,841 yards and 116 receiving touchdowns in 16 seasons spent with the Chargers. Gates was named to eight Pro Bowls and notched three All-Pro selections as he and Phillip Rivers formed one of the most fearsome quarterback-receiver duos in NFL history.

James Harrison, Linebacker

The Kent State product spent 15 seasons in the NFL, most notably with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and was named to the Pro Bowl five times with two All-Pro selections. As a member of a Super Bowl-winning Steelers team, his 100-yard pick-six in Super Bowl XLIII is widely regarded as one of the most clutch plays in NFL history.

Wes Welker, Wide receiver

As one of the most dangerous receivers to line up in the slot, Welker was originally signed by the Chargers but achieved his most notable success alongside Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The undrafted wideout out of Texas Tech was named to five Pro Bowls and named All-Pro twice while leading the league in receptions three times. Welker amassed 100 receptions or more in five separate seasons.


  • Warren Moon, QB
  • Dick Lane, DB
  • Willie Brown, CB
  • Rod Smith, WR
  • Priest Holmes, RB
  • Adam Vinatieri, K
  • Jason Peters, OT
  • Chris Harris, CB
  • Drew Pearson, WR