NFL: 10 of the most overlooked moves of the off-season

By Mason Mesbah

In what was probably the most exciting and surprising off season in the NFL in many years, there were plenty of moves that were overlooked due to the number of stars on the move. A lot of times, the biggest part of a team’s success is based on players outside of the spotlight but who play big roles and keep the team steady. Here are 10 moves flying under the radar that will for sure make an impact heading into the 2022 season.

WR Cedrick Wilson – Miami Dolphins

When thinking about the moves Miami made this offseason, the first thing that comes to mind is the blockbuster trade made for Tyreek Hill. This massive move took the attention away from all the other steps they took, especially the signing of Cedrick Wilson. Wilson has had a productive last couple of seasons for the Dallas Cowboys following a few injuries in their receiving corps, and showed he deserves to be a starting receiver who can do it all. Wilson provides a big body to replace Devantae Parker and provide a good complement to the speed of Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Wilson will be much more than an afterthought and will play a big role for Miami.

CB Andrew Booth Jr – Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings have quietly had a very good offseason, which was highlighted by an impressive draft. After both Derek Stingley and Ahmed Gardner were drafted in the top 4 picks, The Vikings, in need of a corner, traded back twenty spots and were able to land Andrew Booth in the second round. Booth was a stud at Clemson and was widely regarded as a top three to five corner in the draft but whose stock fell due to injury concerns. The Vikings were able to wait, and strike gold, getting Booth in the second round. Booth has everything you need and made some incredible plays in college leading him to be highly regarded, and given the right coaching, could be the Vikings long term CB1, and a very good one.

TE Hayden Hurst – Cincinnati Bengals

Coming off of winning the AFC, the Bengals tried to keep all their pieces in place while upgrading where they could. CJ Uzomah played a big role for the Bengals throughout the entire year and proved to be a reliable target for Joe Burrow, especially going into the playoffs. Uzomah’s big year led him to get a contract with the Jets. The Bengals then went to Hayden Hurst to replace Uzamah, and this is an upgrade. Hurst is an incredible receiver with something Uzomah did not have which is his ability to make big plays out of anything with his run after catch ability. Uzomah had a great year but that could have been due to the system and how much the offense got him the ball. Hurst is a better player and should see his best year as a pro and make the Bengals even more dangerous.

EDGE David Ojabo – Baltimore Ravens.

Ojabo was a definite a top 10 pick in the Draft for months leading up to his Pro Day, where he tore his achilles. This dropped his draft stock all the way out of the first round right into the Ravens’ lap in the second. Ojabo is supremely talented and has shown high levels of potential and now finds himself in a great organization where he can recover from his injury and return alongside Odafe Oweh and the always dangerous Ravens defense. Baltimore seems to be a perfect place for him as they had the ability to take the risk of drafting him without many holes in their roster and can give Ojabo time to recover. Assuming he can return healthy, the Ravens once again will come out with the steal of the draft get a dangerous young duo of edge rushers.

WR Justyn Ross – Kansas City Chiefs

Although the Chiefs lost one of the best and most unique weapons in the league this offseason in Tyreek Hill, they may have been able to find another quality weapon in the most unlikely spot. Justyn Ross was the WR1 on the national champion Clemson Tigers just a couple years ago. Since then, he had a very unfortunate spinal injury that halted his college career and dropped his draft-ability. Ross ended up going undrafted and falling into the lap of the former champions. Ross has already made some highlight plays in mini-camp and if he is able to stay healthy, he could very much develop back into the superstar he was before the injury. And on top of all of this, the Chiefs got him as an undrafted free agent.

OG Austin Corbett – Carolina Panthers

Coming off of a Super Bowl with the Rams, Corbett earned a contract with the Panthers. Quite possibly the final piece to the completely revamped offensive line puzzle along with Ikem Okwenu and Taylor Moton, Corbett is a huge signing, and for a good price. Rebuilds are a lot easier with a good O-line, and now with Baker Mayfield behind center and a good number of weapons, things could be on the way up in Carolina. Corbett could be the perfect guy to help not only protect Mayfield, but open holes and keep Christian Mccaffrey healthy.

CB Anthony Averett – Oakland Raiders

It was easy for Averett to get overlooked in the stacked Baltimore defense, but he had a major impact, mainly in the slot but outside as well for the Ravens last year and was able to make many plays against the league’s best. The Raiders have been thin at corner for some time but seem to have found some young studs in Nate Hobbs and Rock Ya-Sin, and now bringing in Averett, who may be better than both, the Raiders a secondary give fans a reason to be excited for the first time since Charles Woodson roamed the defensive backfield.

WR Bryan Edwards – Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons wide receiver room has completely flipped over the past few years and looked completely empty at the beginning of the off season before the trade for Edwards. Edwards was basically “the guy” for the Raiders last year and took major steps in his development. After trading for Davantae Adams, the Raiders no longer needed Edwards. The Falcons are going to give him a chance to be a big part of their offense next to Drake London and Kyle Pitts and he’ll be able to show his talent while getting an opportunity to be the number one receiver in the new Falcons offense.

LB Jordan Hicks – Minnesota Vikings

Hicks has been a tackling machine for the Cardinals the past few years and has put up very good numbers that have been overlooked for too long. He signed a contract with Minnesota and will play alongside Eric Kendricks, Za’darius Smith, and Danielle Hunter in that rejuvenated and stacked defense. He could be the missing piece that picks up after Anthony Barr and offers even more in coverage that will propel this defense and this team to challenge the Packers and make a run to and through the playoffs.

QB Matt Ryan – Indianapolis Colts

It seems crazy to have a former MVP quarterback as an overlooked move, but it seems like no one is talking about this move, and if they are, it is like Matt Ryan is another Carson Wentz or Phillip Rivers both of whom ended up with Indianapolis. Ryan is more than a bridge quarterback and a lot better than those two were when they got to the Colts. Ryan has more in the tank and is finally going to be put back into a great situation with a great line, a top 3 running back, and good receivers, as well as a good defense. In fact, he will have his best shot to make a run since 2016. Ryan should be able to end the run of one-year quarterbacks for the Colts and give this team what it needs to win some games.

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