It seems like that almost every single year, there is at least one undrafted rookie player that grabs the attention of fans. Last season it was LaRon Byrd, another season was Stephen Williams. Who will it be this preseason?
The Arizona Cardinals announced that they have signed 16 undrafted rookies to contracts. They are:
Jaron Brown, WR, Clemson: At 6-2, 205, he finished his college career with 87 receptions for 1,186 yards and eight touchdowns to go along with 66 yards on nine carries, 65 yards on seven punt returns and 341 yards on 17 kick returns in 50 games (32 starts). A Clemson team captain in 2012, Brown had 21 receptions for 345 yards in 13 games (10 starts) as a senior. He was a two-time academic All-ACC selection and a four-time ACC academic honor roll member during his career at Clemson.
Dan Buckner, WR, Arizona: At 6-4, 215, he caught 103 passes for 1,379 yards and seven TDs in two seasons with the Wildcats. In 2012, he started all 13 games and was Arizona's second-leading receiver with 61 receptions for 773 yards and five touchdowns. Buckner transferred to Arizona from Texas and redshirted during the 2010 season. He played in 26 games in two years for the Longhorns, catching 50 passes for 526 yards and six touchdowns. In his final year at Texas, he was part of a Longhorns squad that played in the BCS National Championship Game against Alabama, and he caught a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter of that game.
Joe Caprioglio, OT, Colorado State (6-6, 315): He appeared in 28 games with 22 starts in four years at Colorado State. After beginning his sophomore season as a reserve tackle, he moved to guard and started the final nine games of the year. As a senior in 2012, Caprioglio played in all 12 games with 10 starts at left tackle, helping the Rams rush for more than 1,500 yards on the season and end the year with five straight games in which they had a running back top 100 yards on the ground.
Kenny Demens, LB Michigan (6-1, 242): He played in 51 consecutive games over four seasons with the Wolverines. He started 33 straight games dating back to the middle of his sophomore season in 2010, and he topped 80 tackles in each of the past three years. Demens totaled 265 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, one forced fumble, one INT, and three passed defensed in his career. He had his best season as a junior in 2011, when he notched a career-high 94 tackles, three sacks, and a forced fumble, earning All-Big Ten honorable mention while helping Michigan to an 11-2 record and a Sugar Bowl victory.
Dan Giordano, LB, Cincinnati (6-4, 260): He started all 38 games at defensive end the last three years for the Bearcats and collected 121 tackles, 16.5 sacks, 30 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries in 51 career games played. As a senior, he tied for the team lead with five sacks and registered a career-best 40 tackles along with two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble to earn first-team All-Big East honors. Giordano helped Cincinnati win a share of the Big East Conference title in three of his four years there, including his redshirt freshman season in 2009 when he played in every game, helping the Bearcats go 12-0 during the regular season and appear in the Sugar Bowl.
Javon Harris, S, Oklahoma (5-11, 206): He started all 13 games at strong safety as a senior in 2012 and tied for third in the Big 12 with a team-leading and career-high six interceptions to go along with 86 tackles (58 solos) and five passes defensed. He finished second on the Sooners in tackles behind fellow safety and Cardinals free agent signee Tony Jefferson. Harris finished his collegiate career with 162 tackles (101 solos), nine interceptions, eight passes defensed, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and five tackles for loss in 44 games (21 starts).
Josh Hill, CB, California (5-10, 203): He started all 12 games and earned honorable mention All-Pac 12 honors from the league's coaches after leading the team with a career-high 87 tackles (50 solos) to go along with an interception, nine passes defensed and a forced fumble in 2012. Overall at Cal, Hill played in 48 games (32 starts) and finished his career with 214 tackles (135 solos), five interceptions, 29 passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. His 24 career pass breakups are good for 10th most in school history.
Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma (5-11, 212): He was a second-team All-America selection and was also named All-Big 12 first-team by the Associated Press and the league's coaches as a junior in 2012. He finished second in the conference and led the Sooners with a career-high 119 tackles, the fourth highest total in the nation by a defensive back last season. He also had two interceptions, 3.5 tackles for loss, three passes defensed and a half sack while starting in all 13 games at free safety. Jefferson was also named academic All-Big 12 first-team in 2012. He finished his three-year collegiate career with 258 tackles (180 solos), eight interceptions, seven sacks, 18 tackles for loss, 13 passes defensed, one fumble recovery, and one forced fumble in 40 games (34 starts).
Jamaal Johnson-Webb, OT, Alabama A&M (6-6, 306): He became the first player in Alabama A&M history invited to the NFL Combine when he participated this year. Despite not playing football until his senior year of high school, Johnson-Webb started 45 games in his four seasons with the Bulldogs, playing guard as a redshirt freshman before moving to tackle for his last three years. Last year, Johnson-Webb started all 11 games, earning first-team All-SWAC honors and being named to Phil Steele's FCS second-team All-American squad as the Bulldogs ran for over 1,600 yards and allowed just 18 sacks.
Korey Jones, LB, Wyoming (6-2, 233): He was a two-year starter for the Cowboys after playing his first two seasons at Garden City Community College (KS). In 2012, Jones was one of four team captains and finished second on the team with a career-high 103 tackles (49 solos), one forced fumble, three tackles for loss, and two passes defensed while starting all 12 games. In 2011, Jones started 11 games in his first season at Wyoming and had 59 tackles, four sacks and one fumble recovery. He finished his career with the Cowboys collecting 162 tackles (83 solos), 11 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in 25 games.
Javone Lawson, WR. Louisiana-Lafayette (6-1, 183): He finished sixth in school history with 130 career receptions for 2,027 yards and fifth with 14 touchdowns in 40 career games (28 starts). The three-year starter became only the fifth player in school history to collect over 1,000 receiving yards in a single season after setting career highs with 63 catches for 1,092 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior in 2011. In the New Orleans Bowl following his junior season, Lawson caught nine passes for 193 yards, the fourth-highest single game total in school history. As a senior, Lawson played in nine games and finished third on the team with 36 catches for 540 yards and four touchdowns.
Michael Rios, WR, Marist (6-2, 203): He totaled 86 receptions for 2,017 yards and a school-record 17 touchdown catches in his career with the Red Foxes. After an injury limited him to just two games in 2011, Rios got a fifth year of eligibility and went on to post career-best numbers last year with 50 catches for 1,173 yards and 10 TDs. He was a unanimous first-team All-Pioneer League selection, leading the conference with his 10 TD receptions and 23.5 yards per catch average. He also contributed on special teams, totaling seven blocked kicks in career at Marist, including a stretch where he had a blocked kick (punt, extra point, and field goal) in three straight games as a freshman.
Padric Scott, NT, Florida A&M (6-0, 309): He played the past four seasons for the Rattlers after transferring from Stanford in 2008. Last season, Scott finished with 26 tackles (18 solos), 2.5 sacks, five tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery and collected second-team All-MEAC honors. A three-year starter at Florida A&M, Scott finished his collegiate career with 76 tackles (42 solos), eight sacks, 14 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery in 38 games.
Tyler Shaw, WR, Northwest Missouri State (6-0, 180): He played in 56 games and totaled 166 receptions for 3,021 yards and 32 touchdowns while also returning 68 kickoffs for 1,596 yards and two TDs in four years at Northwest Missouri State. In 2009 as a redshirt freshman, Shaw caught 53 passes for 804 yards and six TDs in helping the Bearcats win the Division II National Championship. Last season, he notched career highs with 54 catches for 957 yards and 12 TDs as he earned second-team All-MIAA (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association) honors. Also a member of the track team, Shaw was an All-American in the 60-meter hurdles and 110-meter hurdles at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Championships.
Prentiss Waggner, CB, Tennessee (6-2, 189): He started 11 of the 12 games he played in last season, ending his streak of 33 consecutive starts since the 2010 season. A three-year starter for the Volunteers, Waggner finished his career with 159 tackles (113 solos) and nine interceptions to go along with three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. His 24 career passes defensed are tied for 10th in school history. He finished last season with 48 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble.
Ronnie Yell, CB, San Jose State (5-10, 188): He played in 46 games in four seasons at San Jose State, totaling 141 tackles, two interceptions, and 24 passes defensed. He also returned 24 punts for 90 yards and 33 kickoffs for 665 yards. Yell started all 13 games as a senior in 2012 and collected 41 tackles and nine passes defensed while serving as the team's primary punt returner with 15 returns for 42 yards. He helped San Jose State to an 11-2 record last season and a No. 21 ranking in both the AP and Coaches polls, marking the first time in school history that they have finished nationally ranked.
Keep up with Cardinals news and opinions when you are not on the site. Follow Revenge of the Birds on Twitter at @revengeofbirds and "like" us on Facebook. You can follow me individually at @senorjessroot.