Davenport, Bennett among sleepers FAs

With free agency finally set to start, Len Pasquarelli looks at his top 25 sleeper free agents.

Updated: March 10, 2006, 3:40 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Here are 25 lesser-known free agents who won't break the bank in free agency but could be solid contributors, and in a few cases, even starters for some teams:

Top Sleeper UFAs
Player 2005 team Comment

1. C Trey Teague
Bills Started his career in Denver as a tackle, but moved to center when he signed with the Bills in 2002, and was a fixture there for five seasons. Not the strongest guy, but is fundamentally solid, uses his hands well, has good instincts, and has 80 starts on his résumé.
• Scouting report

2. DT Kendrick Clancy
Giants Signed to add depth, but ended up being one of last year's best bargains, starting in 15 games for a modest salary. Tough inside anchor who is hard to move around, and while he won't make a lot of plays, he occupies blockers and clogs the inside.
• Scouting report

3. OG Kyle Kosier
Lions Versatile lineman who has started at tackle and guard but is probably best suited for the latter position. Started 11 games in 2005 and has 40 career starts. Good size and strength and just needs to get to a team that will put him at one spot and keep him there.
• Scouting report

4. LB Ben Leber
Chargers A starter for the first three seasons of his career, but was bumped from the lineup in 2005, then limited to only nine appearances because of an injury. Active outside player with some rush skills, has 12 sacks for his career, and can also drop into the flat and cover.
• Scouting report

5. P Jason Baker
Panthers Has been with five different teams in five seasons, and could go for the six-pack in free agency. His 38.9-yard net average was the NFL's third best in 2005 and he had 23 punts inside the 20-yard line and just four touchbacks. Can also handle the kickoff chores if needed.
• Scouting report

6. LB Keith Adams
Eagles Longtime special teams standout finally got a chance to start in 2005 and ended up starting all 16 games on the weak side. Shorter than most teams like, but gets around the football, as evidenced by 59 tackles last season, and can still play on kick coverage units.
• Scouting report

7. FS Marquand Manuel
Seahawks Stepped into the lineup when starter Ken Hamlin was sidelined by a severe head injury, started in 11 contests and registered 67 tackles. Doesn't have great range, and has never had an interception, so he might be better suited to playing strong safety.
• Scouting report

8. LB Scott Fujita
Cowboys Has never missed a game in his career, and it's somewhat puzzling why Kansas City gave up on him and traded him to the Cowboys. Has played in a 4-3 and 3-4, owns a big frame, is pretty stout versus the run. Started just eight games in 2005, but had 58 tackles and two sacks.
• Scouting report

9. TE Matt Schobel
Bengals Started only three games in four seasons for the Bengals and his receptions dropped every season, to a low of 18 in 2005. Soft hands and the ability to get up the seam could make him an effective midrange threat for a team that uses the tight end more than Cincinnati does.
• Scouting report

10. RB Michael Bennett
Vikings Former first rounder rushed for 1,296 yards in 2002 and was named to the Pro Bowl squad. Injuries have limited him to only 1,196 yards the last three seasons, but it's difficult to ignore his explosive, long speed. Someone will gamble he can stay healthy.
• Scouting report

11. WR Jabar Gaffney
Texans Coming off a 2005 season in which he posted a career-best 55 receptions, but averaged a paltry 8.9 yards per catch. Has 50 starts and 171 catches on his résumé. More quick than fast and seems like he is most effective working out of the slot as a No. 3 guy.
• Scouting report

12. LB Bart Scott
Ravens His numbers for 2005, when he had 119 tackles and four sacks while starting 10 times in place of an injured Ray Lewis, camouflage some inconsistencies. He'll disappear sometimes, but 3-4 teams looking for a complementary inside 'backer know all about him.
• Scouting report

13. DE Demetric Evans
Redskins Not very big, and wears down with too many snaps, but a good player when his snaps are maximized. Comes hard off the edge, plays bigger than his size, and had three sacks in 2005. Might never be anything more than a No. 3 end, but a solid, undervalued player.
• Scouting report

14. QB Tommy Maddox
Steelers Played miserably in 2005 but threw for over 6,000 yards as a starter in 2002-03, before losing his job to Ben Roethlisberger. Not a really strong arm, at his best in spread situations, and could be a more than adequate backup on a lot of rosters.
• Scouting report

15. CB Fakhir Brown
Saints Fell out of favor with the Saints' staff in 2005, but some coaches still felt that he was a tough, on-ball defender who could explode to the action. Has pretty nice burst moving forward, and might provide someone a good No. 3 corner for a modest price.
• Scouting report

16. OG Kevin Barry
Packers Has eight starts in his career but spent most of his time in Green Bay as an extra tight end when the Packers went to their power running attack. A big man, he checks in at 330-plus, can play guard and might be able to develop as a strong-side tackle for some team.
• Scouting report

17. LB Nick Greisen
Giants Lost his chance to be a starter in the middle in 2004, then was forced into the lineup in 2005 because of injuries, and surprised a lot of doubters. In 12 starts last year, he had 79 tackles and demonstrated he had enough athleticism to play on the outside.
• Scouting report

18. CB Kenny Wright
Jaguars A durable cornerback who has missed just two games in his career and who, because he has bounced around, tends to be overlooked. Started all 16 games for the Jags in 2005 and had 78 tackles. Not a special player, but gives a good accounting of himself.
• Scouting report

19. RB Najeh Davenport
Packers Big, powerful runner who can be a load when he gets it in gear, and it's hard to ignore his career average of 4.9 yards per carry. Some felt he would be eventual successor to Ahman Green, but he suffered a broken ankle in '05, and rehab will have to be checked.
• Scouting report

20. KR Eddie Drummond
Lions Explosive player who can return punts and kickoffs and has six runbacks for touchdowns. Has a 24.4-yard career average on kickoff returns and can provide a team excellent field position. Injuries have been a bugaboo, however, in each of the last two seasons.
• Scouting report

21. OG Milford Brown
Texans Really raw and has played in only 18 games -- with 16 starts -- in four years. A dozen of those starts came in 2005, when the Texans reshuffled their line, and he played pretty well. A lot of teams feel he can develop into a very strong in-line blocker in the running game.
• Scouting report

22. WR Tim Carter
Giants Few players have been as star-crossed as Carter, who has missed 27 games in four seasons because of a string of serious injuries. If he can ever stay healthy, he's got the kind of long speed that forces secondaries to back off, and could be a terrific No. 3 wideout.
• Scouting report

23. TE Chris Baker
Jets Has started only nine games in his career and has just 52 catches for 602 yards and five touchdowns. But he beat out the highly regarded Doug Jolley for the No. 1 job in camp and had 18 receptions in eight games before missing the rest of the season with an injury.
• Scouting report

24. SS Will Demps
Ravens Former undrafted free agent has always gotten lost in the long shadow of free safety Ed Reed, his more celebrated teammate. Demps would have been in the "top 50" list, but suffered a severe knee injury in December, and rehab must be checked.
• Scouting report

25. WR Brian Finneran
Falcons Big, rangy target with sneaky speed up the boundary and the ability to get above defender in the red zone. Can get natural separation and, while he'll drop some throws, will go aggressively after the football. Could be an effective No. 3 receiver for some team.
• Scouting report

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.

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