BYU Football’s 10 Best NFL Players Who Were Undrafted

Apr 22, 2020, 12:43 PM | Updated: 12:45 pm
BYU Football NFL Undrafted Players...
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.

PROVO, Utah – In 2019, 30 percent of the NFL was made up of players that were undrafted. For every first-round pick into the league, there are handfuls of undrafted free agents looking to carve out a career.

BYU is one of those schools that has produced a lot of undrafted players who went on to have success in the NFL. Here are the 10 best all-time as we head into the NFL Draft weekend.

* = denotes Active player

#10 Michael Davis, Los Angeles Chargers*

In 2016, Davis was benched midway through his senior season at BYU. But Davis, a former wide receiver out of high school, has always had elite athleticism. Davis surfaced near his hometown of Glendale with the Los Angeles Chargers and has been there ever since. Through three seasons, Davis has started in 21 games with the Chargers and has recorded 107 tackles to go with two interceptions.

#9 Aaron Francisco, Arizona Cardinals

After being a four-year starter at BYU, Francisco was picked up by the Arizona Cardinals where he played in 53 games and had 143 tackles. In 2008, Francisco wore Captain “C” for special teams during the Cardinals’ first-ever Super Bowl appearance against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Francisco later went on to play for the Indianapolis Colts where he became a full-time starter for the 2010 season.

#8 Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints*

Through three seasons, Hill has carved a niche with the New Orleans Saints as an “F position” in head coach Sean Payton’s game plan. Flourishing as a wide receiver, tight end, and special teams ace. But the goal from Hill is still to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. Payton and the Saints have said all the right things that they believe Taysom will be that in the league. Now Hill prepares for his fourth year with a guaranteed salary of $4.641 million after he received a first-round tender from the Saints.

#7 Larry Moore, Indianapolis Colts

The starting center on BYU’s 1996 team that went 14-1, Moore was the starting center for 48 of Peyton Manning’s first 59 games as an Indianapolis Colt. Moore played in 96 games and had 73 total starts between his time with the Colts, Redskins, and Bengals.

#6 Chris Hoke, Pittsburgh Steelers

For eight seasons, Chris Hoke was a key rotation player in the Pittsburgh Steelers teams that went on to win two Super Bowls. In his career with Pittsburgh, Hoke racked up 112 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and two sacks in 114 games played for the Steelers.

#5 Dick Felt, New York Titans

Prior to being a defensive coordinator at BYU, Dick Felt was one of the best defensive backs in the AFL with the New York Titans and Boston Patriots. Felt joined the New York Titans in 1960 where he started in 12 of the 14 regular season games earning AFL All-Star honors. Then he was an all-star again in 1963 with the Patriots. Two years after his playing career concluded in 1966, Felt went on to coach at BYU for 25 years.

#4 Daniel Sorensen, Kansas City Chiefs*

Despite posting some of the best numbers out of safeties at the 2014 Combine, Sorensen went undrafted. He landed with the Kansas City Chiefs where he played in nine games his rookie season. Then in 2015 he played in all 16 games and started to earn the nickname “Dirty Dan.” In 2017, Sorensen signed a contract extension with the Chiefs worth $16 million over four seasons. Last year, Sorensen played in every game to help the Chiefs win their first Super Bowl in 50 years.

#3 John Denney, Miami Dolphins

The man closest to Dan Marino for most games played as a Miami Dolphin is former BYU defensive end, John Denney. Denney played in 224 games as the starting long snapper for the Dolphins and all 224 games were played consecutively from 2005 to 2018. Last fall, Denney was cut by the Phins, thus ending an impressive career that garnered two Pro Bowl selections at long snapper.

#2 Chad Lewis, Philadelphia Eagles

Lewis, an undrafted free agent in the class of 1997, landed with Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles. It was a perfect match. Aside from a brief stop with the St. Louis Rams in 1999, Lewis played with the Eagles for nine years and had three Pro Bowl appearances from 2000-2002. In 2004, Lewis was part of an Eagles team that won the NFC Championship before falling to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.

#1 Bart Oates, New York Giants

Oates’ first two years professionally were in the USFL where he helped lead the Baltimore Stars from the center to back-to-back titles in 1983 and 1984 before beginning an 11-year career in the NFL, beginning with the New York Giants. As a Giant, Oates is now viewed as one of the best centers in the G-Men’s history. A five-time Pro Bowler and three-time Super Bowl Champion, Oates started in 165 games in his NFL career that concluded with the San Francisco 49ers.

The NFL Draft begins this Thursday and concludes on Saturday. For all the details on how to watch the Draft check here.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

Cougar Tracks

BYU Football, Kody Epps, Ethan Erickson...
Mitch Harper

Way-Too-Early Look At BYU Football’s 2023 Offense

An early depth chart projection for BYU's offense in year one of the Big 12 Conference.
10 days ago
BYU Football, Raider Damuni, Timpview High...
Mitch Harper

Five BYU Football Returned Missionaries To Watch For In 2023

An early glimpse at potential difference makers from the pool of returned missionaries to the BYU football program.
12 days ago
BYU Football, Kalani Sitake, Kyle Whittingham...
Mitch Harper

Four Thoughts On BYU Football’s Non-Conference Scheduling Efforts

BYU is preparing to join the Big 12. With that move comes drastic changes to how they piece together non-conference schedules.
15 days ago
Kedon Slovis, BYU Football, Pitt...
Mitch Harper

BYU QB Kedon Slovis Arrives In Provo For Last College Season

BYU's QB1 Kedon Slovis has arrived for his one and only season in Provo.
24 days ago
BYU Football, Kalani Sitake, 2022 season...
Mitch Harper

BYU Football’s Year In Review For 2022 Season

Dishing out some awards for the 2022 BYU football season.
29 days ago
BYU Basketball, Mark Pope, WCC...
Mitch Harper

BYU Basketball Set To Tip-Off Final West Coast Conference Season

BYU hoops is ready for a 16-game regular season that will conclude its time in the West Coast Conference.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
BYU Football’s 10 Best NFL Players Who Were Undrafted