Every year, there are players who the dynasty community loved pre-draft who go undrafted in the NFL Draft. I believe dynasty managers improve every year with their rookie evaluations, but sometimes, the NFL simply doesn’t agree with us.
Let’s jump into four players who had hype throughout the off-season, but no NFL team bothered to select them in the NFL Draft.
Justyn Ross, WR KC
Ross represents the only true stunner in this UDFA class, as he was the only player with a top-40 rookie ADP who went undrafted.
Ross played college football at Clemson, where he had an intriguing career.
In 2018, he burst onto the scene alongside Trevor Lawrence, leading the team in receiving yards as a true freshman. He managed to put up those numbers despite sharing a receiver room with Tee Higgins, Amari Rodgers, and Hunter Renfrow, who were all day two NFL picks and had more experience. Those three players all had more receptions than Ross, but none showed the same per-play explosiveness.
Unfortunately, Ross regressed in 2019. Oddly, he flipped roles with Higgins, as Ross led the team in receptions while Higgins had far more yards and yards/reception. Ross may have already started to feel the effects of his congenital fusion injury, which required surgery after the 2019 season. At the time, I remember the dynasty community and devy analysts speculating if Ross would ever play again.
Ross did return for the 2021 season, where he led Clemson in all receiving categories. However, the entire offense struggled under quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, so Ross failed to produce impressive raw numbers. Even though he could’ve returned to Clemson for 2022, he decided to declare for the NFL Draft.
Pre-Draft Rookie ADP
The dynasty community clearly expected Ross to be a day two pick, as he consistently fell in the late second round of rookie ADP. He was the 21st overall player in February’s DLF ADP data, then 18th in March, and 22nd in April. I didn’t even consider the possibility that Ross might go undrafted. He declared early for the NFL Draft, and he had so much hype throughout his college career. I believed that round four was his floor in the NFL Draft, so I had no issue with his rookie ADP.
The Chiefs eventually signed Ross as an undrafted free agent, although they didn’t sign him immediately after the NFL Draft. That delay generally implies that NFL teams were not overly interested in Ross, but it could also mean that he wanted to take a bit of time to consider his options. No matter what, it seems clear that the NFL either doesn’t believe in Ross’ talent or was terrified of his medicals.
He joins a depth chart headlined by free-agent signings Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster, alongside second-round pick Skyy Moore. Mecole Hardman is likely the Chiefs’ WR4, and he represents Ross’ competition for any meaningful snaps. Any wide receiver playing with Patrick Mahomes should probably find a dynasty roster spot, but Ross is purely a stash. He’s worth a late fourth-rounder in rookie drafts, at best.