Bridesmaids of the NFL Draft: Late Round or UDFA Prospects to Keep an Eye On
Everyone wants the next Clay Matthews or the next Aaron Rodgers. Fans want to see that kind of player fall into place.
To be honest, by the time the draft comes around I have had enough of those players.
You can only guess so many times where those top 20 or so players are going to go and it just gets boring. So I am going to peek at the bottom of the draft instead.
When you review the rosters top to bottom in the NFL, starters, backups, practice squads there are hundreds of undrafted players. Last year 61 new undrafted players made NFL rosters.
Every year teams sign ten to fifteen UDFA’s in feeding frenzy that takes place the minute the draft ends to try get the best of the rest.
The Packers at this time have twenty seven UDFA’s on their roster, with eight of them starting games last year.
I admit I’m a big fan of the late round pick and UDFA’s. If you are lucky enough to get to a practice, Packer family night or a pre season game it might be the only time you get to see some these players.
Some you see are not going to make it at all. Others you see how bad they want it. And some you wonder why that player was not drafted.
You don’t know who that next Donald Driver or Tramon Williams is going to be. Ted Thompson has four picks in the 7th round this year. That gives him a leg up on signing the best of the late rounder’s and UDFA’s.
For all the draft prospects I look for there are a few simple rules that I go by. I like seniors more then prospects coming out early. I like prospects with a minimum of 2 years starting experience and stats that show continued improvement in production. And last do they have the god given physical talents to compete at the NFL level.
Taking into account the defensive performance this last year…
I’ll start with a few prospects for the defensive side of the ball:
We will start with a OLB prospect from San Diego State, Miles Burris is 6-2 and 246lbs. ran a 4.67 40, 37.5” vertical, 10’ 1” long jump and 31 reps @225lbs. but what impressive was a 6.80 range 3 cone drill. That is DB agility. Was not asked to drop into coverage much at all, that is what he is lacking right now. Burris has the speed and agility to be able to he just does not have the experience. He does play well against the run and has pass rush skills. He could also be used as 3-4 ILB.
Here is some video of him from 2010.
Next we look at 3-4 DE Markus Kuhn. Kuhn played atNorth CarolinaState. He is 6-5 299lbs. He posted a 4.89 40 time, 28 reps @ 225lbs., 9’ 4” long jump, 34.5” vertical and 4.41 short shuttle and 7.43 3 cone drill at the NFL combine.
Markus is from Germany, started into football later then most of his peers. But he has good feet, strength and quickness. A late round prospect that can develop with NFL coaching.
Desmon Marrow CB Toledo. A big corner at 6-2 210lbs.. IMO his best position is Free Safety in the NFL. Ran a 4.49 40 time, 35.5” vertical, 10’4” long jump, 19 reps @225lbs., 4.44 short shuttle and 7.02 3 cone drill.
The way Dom Capers uses his Safeties I like prospects that played CB in college. One of the big advantages of the zone blitz defense is being able to disguise the safeties. If both can cover and play the run not knowing which safety is going to do what confuses any pre snap reads for the QB.
Toledo highlights, you can see some nice plays from lbs.3 Murrow.
From the majority of fan opinions the Packers should not draft an offensive player in this draft; I hate to say it but, yes…
they are going to draft and sign some players on offense.
This first prospect was injured at the combine tearing a pectoral muscle during the bench press. So he would be a practice squad or an I.R. stash for this season.
Markus Zusevics OT Iowa, 6-5 303lbs. as with all Iowa Offensive linemen he is well coached. Can play RT or Guard, hard nosed, hard working. Honorable mention all Big Ten linemen. Started all 26 games is Jr. and Sr. Season at RT.
Case Keenum QB, Houston. 6-1 208lbs.. A touch small for a NFL QB. But he can throw the football and is a very good athlete. Keenum has an above average arm, throws well on the move. He is a winner more than anything and holds the NCAA records for total offense, passing yards, touch downs and completions.
Last for this piece but not least. This prospect is my kind of Small school prospect, a Div III WR. A Wisconsin native that played his football for Beloit College in Wisconsin.
Carrier was lucky enough to get a chance to work out at the Wisconsin Pro day. He is 6-4 238lbs. he ran a 4.50 40, posted a 38” vertical, 10’ 2” long jump but what is really impressive is a 4.09 short shuttle and a 6.70 3 cone drill. That kind of agility in 6-4 238lbs. WR is a threat to any DB and would make most linebackers seem slow of foot.
I don’t know if you put more weight on him and make him more of a classic TE or put him all over the field and let him run routes. His agility numbers are amazing. It just makes me wonder what NFL-Level coaching could do with a prospect like Carrier.
So, when you put on that first round pick jersey look at the player next to him. It just might be that never heard of NFL Draft Brides maid.
Note: A big thank you for this article to our friend Yoop, who hangs out at TalkinPackers, one of the best Packers forums out there.