5. Derick Roberson EDGE, Sam Houston State
Snaps: 200 (50 defense, 150 special teams)
Who? That is probably the most common response to this, but Roberson is a sleeper EDGE who was quietly on the radar of a lot of teams heading into UDFA.
Roberson is a former 4-star EDGE who committed to Texas, but with all the coaching changes and some personal issues he ended up at Sam Houston State. In his final year he earned attention by racking up 15 sacks thanks to effort and burst. Pair that potential with an NFL frame and you have an intriguing prospect.
Where he fits:
Last year, the Tennessee Titans were interested in Sharif Finch like they were interested in Derick Roberson. The difference is that injuries knocked Finch down and off boards, while Roberson’s issues are primarily level of competition.
Either way, he was a guy with draftable talent and top-end production at a position of need. So I think his fit will start out as a special teams player, but his future with the Titans will be decided based on what he does between Sundays.
Is he a sponge who soaks up the mentoring of guys like Cam Wake, his coaches and even Mike Vrabel himself? If so then the Titans could have their core four EDGE in tact for the next few years for relatively cheap.
The Titans patched their need for short term pass rush help by signing Wake to come in and solidify that position. Harold Landry alone tripled the sack production of Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan last year despite playing half as many reps as the pair.
So as long as Harold Landry takes a step forward, the team should have a better pass rush this year just by increasing his snap count. Whatever they get opposite Landry this year is gravy, but what about the future.
Roberson is going to start his career as a special teamer with the athleticism and college production to be much more. If he can learn and grow then next year he could be in a battle for that other starting EDGE spot and he will get a chance to earn a hard look if he can win in the few EDGE reps that he is given this year.