The 2022 NFL Draft is in the rear-view mirror as we heads towards the start of rookie minicamp. Before we get there though, teams around the league began signing those who went undrafted during the draft but continue to realize their dreams of playing in the NFL.
If you’ve been following along with our UDFA tracker which started immediately after the conclusion of the draft, you already know who the Atlanta Falcons have signed. But on Monday afternoon, the team officially signed 13 undrafted rookies and you can view the official list below.
- WR Jared Bernhardt, Ferris State
- WR Stanley Berryhill, Arizona
- OLB Kuony Deng, California
- CB Matt Hankins, Iowa
- S Brad Hawkins, Michigan
- DL Timothy Horne, Kansas State
- WR Tyshaun James, Central Connecticut
- ILB Nathan Landman, Colorado
- DL Bryce Rodgers, UC-Davis
- DL Derrick Tangelo, Penn State
- P Seth Vernon, Portland State
- OL Tyler Vrabel, Boston College
- TE Leroy Watson, UT-San Antonio
There’s several interesting names above. Jared Bernhardt, who is listed as a receiver for the Falcons, is a former lacrosse star at Maryland. His team won the national championship in 2017 when he started as a freshman. Bernhardt then transferred to Ferris State where he passed for 1,322 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also rushed for 1,421 yards and 26 touchdowns for the Bulldogs. It’ll be interesting to see how he adjusts to playing receiver, but he clearly has athletic ability so I wouldn’t bet against him.
The Falcons are currently in need of a punter, as their only rostered option was Dom Maggio. Atlanta signed undrafted rookie Seth Vernon from Portland State—who is someone to keep an eye on. Vernon is a massive punter, standing at 6’5, 230lbs. As a senior in 2021, Vernon averaged 44.9 yards per punt, which ranked sixth in the nation. He could definitely compete for the starting punter role.
Another name to watch is offensive lineman Tyler Vrabel out of Boston College. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Vrabel’s father is the head coach of the Tennessee Titans, and now plays for his dad’s former offensive coordinator in Arthur Smith. In 2020, Vrabel was an All-ACC honorable mention, as he played all 785 offensive snaps across 11 games at left tackle for an offense that rushed for 1,119 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns.
As I do every year, I’ll be bringing back my UDFA series where I speak with several of the young men mentioned above with the goal to allow the fans to get to know them better. Look for that series in the coming weeks.