Arian Foster demonstrated the capabilities an undrafted rookie free agent (UDFA) can bring. This class of 2022 UDFAs could showcase their own potential very soon.
For the unaware, there’s an entire collection of rookies who go undrafted out of college but still sign with a team after the draft. They have the unique opportunity to select which team they want to play for compared to drafted players who must join the team who picks them.
The Houston Texans have nine UDFAs on the training camp roster and one of which has a legitimate chance to make the 53-man roster. Defensive Tackle Kurt Hinish has outplayed veterans at their position and deserve roster spots. However, it’s never that simple.
UDFAs have a lot going for them: they’re young, on extremely team-friendly contracts, and were selected by the current coaching and player-personnel management. For all those reasons though, they’re extremely expendable.
Outside of fourth-round rookie running back Dameon Pierce, DT Hinish has had the best preseason. He’s played a significant portion of the defensive snaps this thus far and has been effective getting into opposing defense’s backfield. All three of his tackles on Thursday against the San Francisco 49ers were for loss and he recorded a sack.
Kurt Hinish:— Drew (@IndepthTexans) August 26, 2022
The Texans paid Hinish $85,000 to come to training camp, Hinish has now all but earned himself a roster spot
Hinish is so quick out of the gate
He shows off great power and hand placement technique consistently against the run
Hinish had 3 TFL last night https://t.co/FOVdEE0b79
Hinish was a star and stalwart at Notre Dame over a five year period. Only a three-star recruit, Hinish has made already a career proving doubters wrong. He wasn’t drafted due to his unimpressive build and lack of pass rush, but he fits a role and need on a developing Texans defensive line. Here’s his rare draft profile from 18Stripes.com:
Surprising quickness for a nose guard. Uses his hands well to shed blocks and penetrate into the backfield. Quality run-stopper with the ability to take on double teams. Hinish had really good durability and leadership over a long career. Never a real flashy player, his ability to be disruptive shouldn’t be overlooked.
Not a great enough run stopper for the NFL level and can disappear from games from time to time. Stamina can be an issue against faster offenses. Heavy-set upper-body with a large belly and looks to have maxed out his size in college. Hinish can get out-leveraged by strong offensive linemen if he’s caught off balance.
Hinish wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine which typically isn’t a great sign for your draft prospects. Even before that happened I thought it was a coin flip at best whether he’d be selected this spring. I think he’ll have a hard time hanging on in the league wherever he goes but his blue-collar mentality and college experience should warrant plenty of looks late in the draft.
His main competition is veteran Ross Blacklock, who as much as anyone has worked their way off the roster. If Hinish can secure a roster spot, he’ll be a rotational piece and run-first defender. It may not be an “if” anymore as, according to John McClain, it’s almost a certainty...
Undrafted rookie DT Kurt Hinish, “Big Hiney,” is making the Texans roster.
Along with Hinish, second on the list is WR Johnny Johnson. He didn’t do himself any favors dropping a clear TD catch in the 4th quarter, but the Texans are thin at WR and could use the help. Johnson can play in the slot, and with John Metchie III battling cancer, is going to be a primary need. Additionally, DB Tristin McCollum has made his presence known in a weak and complex secondary. He’s a local product who the team loves for his size and speed.