The Carolina Panthers had more needs to fill following the draft, which made the undrafted free agent signing period vital. Wide receiver Corey Brown of Ohio State is perhaps the best-known player, but there are several good guys who'll have a chance to compete.
These signings fall into one of three camps. The first group are players who are signed with a bonus. These are prospects who are coveted by multiple teams, but who end up choosing a location at least partially-based on who is willing to pony up the most money. When a guy is signed with a bonus it's a sign: This is a guy the team wanted to ensure they got.
The second group are the standard UDFA signings. Guys who the team liked but couldn't spend a pick on. They will have a chance to compete in camp, but there's no guarantee they'll have a shot at the roster.
Finally there are the camp invites. No guarantees, just possibility. These players will need to make the most of their chance if they hope to succeed.
Corey Brown, WR, Ohio State
Brown received a $15,000 bonus from the Panthers, which is indicative of a player they think brings something to the table.
Fluidity is the name of the game here. Brown wont blow you away with his straight-line speed, but has incredibly quick feet and works well in tight spaces. That's something the Panthers are in dire need of, even if his speed doesn't leap off the screen.
Land Grant Holy Land wrote about Brown earlier today and there's a lot to like.
Perhaps mostly importantly, given that Brown will be, at-best, a 3rd day pick, Philly Brown will also provide a team with special-teams depth. Brown was the Buck's exclusive punt returner his junior and senior seasons. In his career, Brown returned 47 punts for 460 yards, while taking two all the way for six. This experience on special teams will help Brown find himself a home and may possibly land him some early playing time.
Another attribute that will stand out to NFL teams is Brown's dynamic leadership. Although early in his career Brown was not known for being a vocal leader, Meyer pointed out that during his senior season, Brown made a complete 180, and was one of the most vocal leaders and captains of the team. On a team under the spotlight as much as Ohio State, that experience is not for nothing.
Full list of signings:
Corey Brown, WR, Ohio State
Jared Wheeler, OL, Miami
Carrington Byndom, CB, Texas
Marcus Lucas, WR, Missouri
Denicos Allen, LB, Michigan State
David Foucalt, OL, Montreal
Shaq Rowell, DL, West Virginia
Andrew Norwell, OL, Ohio State
Darrin Reaves, RB, UAB
This year's crop of UDFAs are fascinating from those a year ago. In 2013 we saw very solid guys finding their way onto rosters deficient of talent at their position, in 2014 it seems some of these guys are going to whatever team -- anywhere. Some fans are upset Rutgers WR Brandon Coleman signed with the Saints, but it would be a small miracle if he ever sticks there on anything more than the practice squad.
The point is: There could be some very interesting players cut loose during the first round of cuts.