2009 NFL Draft - The Top 30 Undrafted Players
LSU LB Darry Beckwith
LSU LB Darry Beckwith
Posted Apr 27, 2009

There are always a variety of reasons some of the top prospects aren't selected in the draft (and the ones not drafted almost never make it). Who were the shockers of the the 2009 NFL Draft? Who were the top players who weren't taken?

2009 NFL Draft

30 Best Undrafted Players

CFN 2009 Draft Central
& Team-by-Team Picks and Analysis

2009 NFL Draft Breakdown and Analysis
1st Round
| 2nd Round | 3rd Round | 4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Round | 7th Round

- 2007 Top Undrafted Players | 2008 Top Undrafted Players

Darry Beckwith, LSU LB  6-0, 235
A leader and a star on a national champion, Beckwith has the attitude and the experience to grow into a good starter. However, he went from being a hot prospect who was an underground favorite to challenge Rey Maualuga and James Laurinaitis for the top inside linebacker slot, but his mediocre workouts ended all of that. He played at LSU far faster than he timed in quickness and agility drills at the Combine and doesn’t have the basic physical talents to be anything more than a decent starter. This isn’t an Ali Highsmith situation, Beckwith won’t fall completely off the map, there appears to be a hard ceiling on what he’ll become.
CFN Value Rank:
Third Round    CFN Position Rank: 5

2. Otis Wiley, FS Michigan State 6-2, 210
Put him at strong safety and he’ll be a disaster. Put him at free safety and he could be a Pro Bowl performer with a little bit of time. Great in run support and tough enough to be like an extra linebacker, he sniffs out running plays and always makes the stop. However, he’s not known for being a tough player and has had injury issues. With his size and his range, he could be all over the field making plays if he’s given the chance, but he’ll likely be used early on in nickel and dime packages. If he can stay healthy, he could be a late steal.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round    CFN Position Rank: 9

3. Gerald Cadogan, OT Penn State 6-5, 310
Very smart and very good, Cadogan doesn’t need a whole bunch of work, especially as a run blocker. Eventually, he should be a strong guard and could be a superstar if he moves inside. He’ll be tried out at tackle early on, and he should be fine on the left side with the ability to hold his own by doing everything correctly. However, as big as he is and as good as he was in college, there’s a hard ceiling on what he can do as a tackle. Lacking great athleticism, he can be penciled in from day one at right tackle, but he’ll be fine on the left for at least a short stretch.
CFN Value Rank: Third Round    CFN Position Rank: 10

4. John Parker Wilson, QB Alabama 6-2, 220
While he might not go to many Pro Bowls and he isn’t going to be a franchise quarterback to build an offense around, Wilson has the potential to be the type of quarterback who leads a good team to great things simply by being smart and by not screwing up. With a great mind and good decision-making skills, he’ll be able to handle the pro playbook right away and he could flourish if he gets some steady coaching. He had three different offensive coordinators to deal with at Alabama and he still managed to produce, but without a big-time arm and with average mobility there will be a limit on what he can do. Put in the right setting on a team with a great defense, so there won’t need to be shootouts every week, he could exactly the type of move-the-chains player who can eventually take a team deep into the playoffs … but not the Super Bowl.
CFN Value Rank: Third Round       CFN Position Rank: 4

5. Dannell Ellerbe, LB Georgia  6-1, 235
Sort of pigeonholed as an inside linebacker, Ellerbe could become fantastic if he moves to the outside. One of the most athletic inside prospects in the draft, he has tremendous range, flies to the ball, and has no problem in pass coverage. He’s not all that physical and he’s not the most instinctive playmaker, so if he’s able to run and chase down the play, he’s fine. If the play comes right at him, he’s in trouble. He can be powered over. His stock dropped a bit after a mediocre senior year, but that was partly due to a knee problem. Once he gets into an NFL camp, and assuming he’s healthy, he could turn out to be a major find if he’s put in the right spot.
CFN Value Rank: Fourth Round    CFN Position Rank: 7

6. Mitch King, DE/DT Iowa 6-1, 275
“I wish I could put your heart into some of my players’ bodies.” While King might not exactly be Rudy, if he was about two inches taller and about 15 pounds heavier he might warrant top five overall consideration. Ultra-productive, he’ll never stop working and he’ll never stop trying to make plays. He’s not a true defensive tackle at the next level, but he could be a whale of a 3-4 end who’ll always make a team on hustle and practice production. The limitations are too great for him to ever become a star, but he could be a good starter if surrounded by big-time talent.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round    CFN Position Rank: 10

7. C.J. Spillman, FS Marshall 6-0, 195
Fast, fast, fast. He makes up for a lack of bulk with blazing 4.45 speed and 41.5” vertical leaping ability. He’s not going to tackle anyone and he has a problem staying healthy, but he’s a willing run supporter who’ll give it a shot when he has to step up and make a stop. As athletic as he is, he doesn’t always play like it and will get beaten against the pass. His money will be made early on as a special teamer. He’ll be a star gunner.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 15

8. Edwin Williams, C Maryland 6-2, 308
A durable leader who could be a starter in the right system, he’ll plow over people in the running game, won’t get hurt, and will work his tail off to be good. He’s the type of player and person you want in the middle of your line, but he’s limited in pass protection and lacks the quickness and athleticism to be more than a block of granite on the inside. While he might get overdrafted on high character, his limitations will show up quickly if he has to deal with any above-average NFL interior pass rusher.
CFN Value Rank: Fourth Round    CFN Position Rank: 7

9. Jeremiah Johnson, RB Oregon 5-9, 210
Johnson took over the spotlight, at least part of it, when Jonathan Stewart took off early for the NFL and showed why he could be every bit as good a pro. Durability is his problem with a torn ACL and a shoulder problem in the last two years, but he was terrific when he was on the field. He’s a short, compact runner who is like a pinball when he works inside and is good at keeping his legs moving on the outside. He’ll get on the move and get six yards without looking like he wasn’t doing much to get there. While he didn’t time well, he plays fast and can crank out yards in big chunks. Pac 10 defenders hated to try to track him down. Even with all of his upside, he’s not big enough to be an every down runner and has huge durability concerns.
CFN Value Rank: Fourth Round    CFN Position Rank: 6

10. Emmanuel Cook, FS South Carolina 5-10, 205 (Jr.)
Very athletic with good quickness and nice range, he has the basic skills to be an NFL free safety. A more than willing tackler, he’ll do whatever is necessary to get into the mix to bring a player down and he doesn’t miss any stops. Unfortunately, he’s not a strong safety and he’s a liability against the pass. He doesn’t make things happen when the ball is in the air and struggled to stay with the most marginal of receivers. If he’s used as a run stopper, he’ll fight his way onto a team, but he’ll strictly be a situational defender who could be picked apart in passing situations.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 16

11. Arian Foster, RB Tennessee 6-1, 225
With an interesting combination of speed, size, and proven production, Foster is a good runner who can run, catch, and block equally well. However, he has to show he can bring it game in and game out. Consistency was a major problem, even though he became one of the most productive runners in the history of Tennessee. He’ll look great at times and will make scouts wonder why he’s not being thought of as a first day prospect, and then will come the devastating fumble. There’s too many positive traits to not be a tantalizing pick, but the flake factor could be too much to keep him from reaching his potential.
CFN Value Rank: Fourth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 11

12. Michael Bennett, DE Texas A&M   6-4, 270
The brother of Dallas Cowboy tight end, Martellus, Michael has all the talent in the world and could become a star if he gets with the right coach and if he wants to become a player. However, he doesn’t play up to his potential. If the light is on, he’s a regular into the backfield and he could grow into a deadly pass rusher with the quickness to work on the outside in a 4-3 and the size to be great in a 3-4. He needs to go full blast all the time and show he wants to put in the work to be a major talent. If he does, he could be a steal. If he doesn’t make a push to improve, he could quietly be out of the league in a big hurry.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round    CFN Position Rank: 15

13. Ashlee Palmer, LB Ole Miss  6-2, 225
A tremendous athlete who hits well and is strong in pass coverage, he has the ability to be like another safety in passing situations and he has the burst to become a pass rusher. What he doesn’t have it size, checking in at around 225 pounds and not likely to get much bigger. As long as he’s not asked to take on blockers on a regular basis and can roam free to get to the ball, he should be a very productive steal in the mid to late rounds. However, he has to want it. He has to become the type of player who’ll eat and sleep football, and he has to overcome his size with a spark-plug type of attitude.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round    CFN Position Rank: 13

14. Jonathan Casillas, LB Wisconsin  6-1, 225
A terrific athlete who’s all over the field all the time, he’s one of the fastest linebackers in the draft ripping off a 4.5 in the 40. Great in pass coverage, he’s able to stay with backs in pass patterns without a problem and he’s able to avoid blocks by getting around them before anyone can lock on. He can only be on the weakside and he can only survive in space. His money will be made in passing situations and will struggle when plays are run right at him. However, he has the tackling ability to be a big producer in the right system.

CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round    CFN Position Rank: 15

15. Alex Boone, OT Ohio State   6-7, 325
A mega-disappointment considering his raw skills, Boone has a large frame and the strength to go with it as a blaster for the running game and an occasional dominant force. Occasional. He’s not consistent, is a bit of a prima donna, and he has major character issues in the eyes of most of the NFL types. If he gets the right attitude and decides he wants to do the dirty work on his technique, he could be a ten-year starter on the right side. As is, he’s a good-chance pick just because of his size.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 12

16. Greg Isdaner, West Virginia 6-4, 325
After leaving college early, he needs to find the right fit to succeed. He can’t do much on the move and he’s not going to do much in a finesse offense, even though he was fantastic for the West Virginia spread attack. He’s a very big, very powerful run blocker who’ll spend his time pounding away for a power running game. His stock wouldn’t have gotten much higher had he stayed around another year. He’s never going to get any quicker.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round    CFN Position Rank: 6

17. Kory Sheets, RB Purdue  5-11, 205
Sheets is an ultra-confident player who has the speed and the potential to be a third down back, but he’s going to have to work for it. Scouts will love his ability to cut on a dime and be gone in a flash, but he’s not tough enough to be an every down back at any time. Attitude could be a problem; he thinks he’s better than he is, and there are major red flags about his work ethic. Despite the concerns, his speed and quickness are good enough to be a prospect worth taking a chance on. If he’s able to prove he’s a team-first guy and is willing to show in day one of mini-camp that he’s willing to get his nose dirty, he could be a steal.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round    CFN Position Rank: 13

18. Hunter Cantwell, QB Louisville 6-5, 235
The hot unknown coming into this year, after spending years playing behind Brian Brohm, Cantwell only occasionally showed off why he was considered such a tremendous prospect by so many scouts. He has the size, the arm strength, and the look, but he didn’t produce. While his arm strength alone will get him on a team, he’s going to have to show far better touch to stick. A statue, his decision-making ability will need to be spot on to get the ball out of his hands in a hurry and to avoid getting killed.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round      CFN Position Rank: 10

19. Pannel Egboh, Stanford  DE 6-6, 275
The hope was that he’d progress into a major prospect as a senior, but it didn’t happen. He has the size and he has enough skills to warrant a long look as a 3-4 end, but he needs work. With unrefined pass rushing moves and not a good enough motor to make things happen by effort alone, he has to find something he can do well early on in camp. If he wasn’t great as a college player, what’s he going to do as a pro?
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round    CFN Position Rank: 17

20. Greg Carr, WR Florida State 6-5, 215

Why didn’t Florida State throw jump balls to Carr on every other play? If nothing else, he scared the heck out of secondaries. Underutilized at times, he had one thing he could do and he did it very well. However, he’s a one-trick pony. He’s not nearly physical enough for his size, doesn’t go over the middle, and he’ll get shoved around. It’s all about what he can do on the goal line and if he can become a specialist. Throw it up, let him go get it as a possible matchup nightmare, and let him work outside the hashmarks.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round    CFN Position Rank: 18

21. Zach Potter, DE Nebraska 6-7, 280
A very tall, very good tackler who has the room to add another ten pounds without losing a thing, the upside is limitless. And then there’s the quickness; he moves like a linebacker showing off stunning feet and leaping ability at the Combine. However, he doesn’t translate the athleticism to the field and doesn’t do enough to get into the backfield. If he can it the weights hard and develops some better moves, he could be a very cheap version of Tyson Jackson.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round    CFN Position Rank: 19

22. Drew Willy, QB Buffalo 6-3, 215
A four-year starter, Willy went through the ringer and came through with a nice reward leading UB to a MAC title. A steady leader with a good passion for the game and good enough arm strength to get by, he’s a can’t miss No. 3 quarterback on a roster and a possible No. 2. He doesn’t move well out of the pocket and he needs to get a lot stronger, but he’s a good worker who’ll do whatever he can to try to make it. He’s the type of player you want leading your scout team for a few years before hoping he can develop into a steady game-manager-type of passer. Those aren’t negatives; he’s a quarterback that someone will want to have around the team.
CFN Value Rank: Free Agent      CFN Position Rank: 11

23. Nathan Brown, QB Central Arkansas 6-1, 220
Tremendously productive, albeit at a lower level, Brown is a fantastic athlete who threw for 31 touchdowns and four interceptions last year to get on the radar. Great on the move and with a decent accurate arm, he has the potential to shine with a Jeff Garcia-like career in a West Coast attack. Extremely tough, he’ll take a beating and will always come back for more, but he has some major flaws. He’s not big, needs to totally rework his funky throwing motion, and doesn’t have an NFL deep arm. Even so, he could be a nice flier to take for someone hoping to hit the jackpot in a dink and dunk attack.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round      CFN Position Rank: 12

24. Devin Moore, Wyoming 5-9, 185
Moore wasn’t exactly on the radar, and then he showed off tremendous speed in off-season workouts to open up the possibilities. A smallish scatback, the possibilities are endless for an offensive coordinator with any sort of creativity since Moore will do anything needed to help the team. A true leader, he was named the team-captain twice and is as reliable and durable as they come. His lack of size hasn’t been a problem as far as holding up, but he’s not built to be an every down back. Not a strong runner, he’ll only be effective outside the tackles and as a special teamer, but he could become a killer third down back and kick returner.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round    CFN Position Rank: 16

25. Anthony Parker, OG Tennessee 6-2, 300
A very good, versatile college blocker, he’s a good athlete when healthy and could produce at either guard spot or even move to center. However, he’s not all that strong and he has major issues with his knees. He needs to hit the weight room for more functional strength to stick in the league on the inside. He’ll likely be a career backup.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 8

26. Brandon Walker, OG Oklahoma 6-3, 305
The unsung star of the great Oklahoma line, Walker was the team’s best run blocker, even better than Duke Robinson, and has the potential to be a major steal. Very athletic and great at finishing off his blocks. His lateral movement is average and he’s not an engulfing road grater, but he has the skills and the fight to find his way on a roster. He’ll open some eyes in camp.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 9

27. Andy Kemp, OG Wisconsin 6-5, 315
While he’ll never be a Pro Bowl performer, put him on the line and let him go as a nice cog for the next decade. He’s a tough-as-nails player who moves extremely well for his size, but he could stand to use a little technique work. He can get bigger and not have a problem. He’ll be just as good at 325 as he’d be at around 310. With a little bit of work, he could be a nice steal and a good value pick.
CFN Value Rank: Fifth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 10

28. Cornelius Lewis, OT Tennessee State 6-4, 330
Huge, on bulk alone he’ll get a long look after an ultra-productive career at the lower level. The former Florida State Seminole dominated at Tennessee State showing good athleticism and tremendous strength. Able to play either tackle or guard spot, he should find a job somewhere. However, there’s a question about whether or not he’ll wilt under the pressure and toughness of being an NFL caliber lineman. If he has the right attitude and is willing to get tough, he could be a steal.

CFN Value Rank:
Sixth Round    CFN Position Rank: 16 

29. Kevin Ogletree, Virginia 6-2, 190 (Jr.)
It was a bit of a shock when he said he was leaving early, and no one at Virginia appeared to be too upset. A brutal knee injury limited a one-time promising career, but he did a decent job and had some big games when he was on the field. Extremely fast, he had a great Combine and now could be used as a deep threat, even though he didn’t do much field-stretching for the Cavaliers.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round
   CFN Position Rank:

30. Ramon Foster, OG Tennessee 6-5, 325

Really big and really versatile, he can either be a pounding run blocker or a tough tackle. Massive, he gets by on his girth and his strength and toughness, but he’s not going to move too much. Great in a phone booth, he’ll push everyone around that he can get his hands on and is a wily blocker. Because he’s able to step in for a stretch at tackle, even though he’ll spend most of his time at guard, he’ll likely stick around because of his versatility.
CFN Value Rank: Sixth Round
   CFN Position Rank: 11