There are still some big-name NFL free agents on the market following the 2023 NFL Draft. We’re also expecting teams to be active on this front now that the compensatory formula is no longer in the equation.

That is to say, teams can sign free agents without it impacting the compensatory picks they receive in the 2024 NFL Draft. For contending teams that utilize this as a team-building method, this is no small thing.

From four stud veteran edge rushers to one of the best running backs of the modern era, there are NFL free agents that can still help teams. Below, we look at the top-25 currently available and their ideal landing spots.

1. Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE

One of the most underrated NFL free agents of the cycle, Ngakoue has racked up a whopping 39 quarterback hits and 19.5 sacks over the past two seasons. Dating back to his days with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2016-19), the former Maryland star has proven he can get to the quarterback on a consistent basis.

At issue here are struggles against the run. Most teams view Ngakoue as a mere pass-rush specialist, impacting his market in a big way. Even then, a situational pass rusher is of value in today’s NFL. The Seattle Seahawks did not add an edge guy with either of their two first-round picks. We’re expecting general manager John Schneider and Co. to be active on this front as they look to get more production from the edge.

Ideal Yannick Ngakoue landing spot: Seattle Seahawks


2. Frank Clark, EDGE, Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City’s decision to release Frank Clark earlier in the offseason wasn’t too surprising. It saved the defending Super Bowl champs north of $20 million against the cap. With that said, some team will value a player who earned three consecutive Pro Bowl trips before a down 2022 season. Clark, 29, registered 46 QB hits, 24 tackles for loss and 18.5 sacks from 2019-21.

There are several playoff contenders who still have a need out on the edge. The Detroit Lions come to mind as a possibility after they avoided edge in the early rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft. The idea of teaming Clark up with Aiden Hutchinson might be too appealing for Detroit to pass up on despite the former’s off-field issues.

Ideal Frank Clark landing spot: Detroit Lions


3. Donovan Smith, OT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A salary cap casualty of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in March, Smith has proven himself to be among the most-consistent left tackles in the NFL. He started all 124 games in which he appeared with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Despite some regression this past season, Smith is still only 29 years old and yielded just one sack back in 2021. He’s among the top NFL free agents remaining on the board.

While Smith has played left tackle throughout his career, the veteran’s best bet right now would be to move to the other side of the line. The Las Vegas Raiders have a major hole there after ignoring the offensive line during the draft. Right now, Jermaine Eluemunor would be slated to start at right tackle in front of the immobile Jimmy Garoppolo. That’s not an ideal scenario.

Ideal Donovan Smith landing spot: Las Vegas Raiders