Introduction: Ryan McMahon is a pretty interesting story. Initially enrolled at USC, McMahon played three years with the Trojans mostly featured on special teams. After which the story becomes a little vague (if anyone knows, please comment), but McMahon transfers to Sacramento State University, where he starts his last two years of eligibility at safety. Presumably since his name isn’t associated with any legal issues, his transfer was most likely due to lack of playing time behind a loaded USC secondary. While McMahon wasn’t drafted, he was invited to a tryout with the Packers but unfortunately wasn’t offered a contract. However as several defensive backs were held out for the start of training camp (Sean Richardson, Chaz Powell, Casey Hayward and Davon House), the Packers made the call at the beginning the week to bring back one of their own tryout players. Is McMahon the diamond in the rough that got a second chance or just another warm camp body?
None. Talk about under the radar
#6, playing safety, seems to rotate at free and strong
Run defense is not his forte, often gets pushed out of the play or stonewalled, doesn’t show much ability to disengage from blockers
You can watch fellow Packer David Bakhtiari (Colorado LT #59) block him out of a couple plays
If he can get to the play, he is a consistent tackler
Doesn’t look to be the most fluid in coverage, but good enough to get the job done
Good speed; may not be able to go sideline to sideline but pretty close to it.
Shows good ability to flip hips and change direction
Backpedal seems a little awkward
Didn’t see any playing time on special teams at Sacramento State, but led the team in special teams tackles at USC
For a guy who transferred from USC, he doesn’t dominate lower competition like he should.
Read more...(518 words + 1 image, estimated 2:04 mins reading time)
Introduction: While not an undrafted rookie, Garth Gerhart falls into the same category as a player who not many people know about on the Packers squad who has a good chance of making the team. Garth, brother of current Vikings running back Toby Gerhart, went undrafted out of Arizona State in 2012 and was signed to the Browns practice squad, where he spend the entire season. Gerhart was signed onto the Packers practice squad 4 days before their loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs.
Pro Football Weekly: Good arm length and weight-room strength. Has a strong lower body and good base. Flashes a substantial punch. Works to position and get in the way. Smart and aware. Tough and competitive. Good character. Dependable, blue-collar worker. Experienced, three-year starter. Has NFL bloodlines.
Draft Insider: Zone-blocking lineman with marginal athletic skills. Incredibly quick in all aspects, uses effective body positioning and seals defenders from the action. Intelligent and effectively quarterbacks the offensive line. Works to get a pad on defenders and knocks them from their angle of attack.
Analysis:Read more...(545 words + 1 image, estimated 2:11 mins reading time)
#52, playing center
The shotgun snap error was mostly on him
It’s very interesting how many times ASU runs the bubble screen, I’m not sure if it’s assignment or coincidence, but Garth doesn’t block anyone on any of occasions shown. Then again, if it’s a bubble screen going to the sideline, what chance does any center have in making a block anyways?
Gets good movement up to the second level, but often ends up looking for someone to block. Again is this coincidence?
Does a good job switching assignments and helping out his guards
At 3:22, Gerhart actually slides out and blocks the pass rushing defensive end, quite impressive (Ironically, the defensive end turns out to be none other than Nick Perry!)
Better technician than athlete, keeps his feet under him and usually stalemates his defender. He’s not going to throw many pancake blocks or just wall off a defender, but will get the job done.
Outside of Jermichael Finley, the Packers like their tight ends to be versatile. Whether it be playing special teams, in the slot, inline, in motion, or even behind the line of scrimmage as a fullback, if the Packers want a jack-of-all-trades, they are going to go with a tight end. However jack-of-all-trades usually means master of none, and with the Packers, they have a ton of tight ends that all sort of fit the same mold. Jake Stoneburner is another, a former wide receiver turned tight end from Ohio State, he can do a little bit of everything, but doesn’t shine in any particular spot. Add to that his arrest for urinating on a building and then hiding from the police (which in light of the recent news Aaron Hernandez has made can be considered a “boys will be boys” mistake) and Stoneburner surprising fell out of the draft after being predicted a late round pick. Will Stoneburner be another diamond in the rough that Thompson digs up or another tight end who is never good enough at one thing to warrant seeing the field?
CBS: Stoneburner is a tall athlete with good length and catching radius. He plays with excellent body control to adjust and come down with the catch, showing very good field awareness. Stoneburner has usually strong hands and focus to snatch the ball out of the air and make some tough catches look easy. He makes plays after the catch, showing good effort and power to pick up tough yards. Stoneburner has smooth footwork in his routes and straight-line speed to make plays downfield. He displays some tenacity as a blocker and does a nice job on the perimeter. Stoneburner did a nice job finding the end zone with 13 career touchdowns, scoring once every 4.1 times he touched the ball. Read more...(858 words + 1 image, estimated 3:26 mins reading time)
Walker is the latest player to come out of the Packers farm team, also known as Illinois State but whose road was harder than even his teammates. He saw defensive end Nate Palmer selected in the 6th round by the Packers and then heard that his quarterback, Matt Brown signed as a priority rookie free agent (i.e. a player that signs immediately after the draft finishes). Walker however, was only asked to come in as one of 27 try out players looking to snag on of the last spots on the 90-man roster. Walker apparently showed enough during the tryouts and was signed to a contract and perhaps even more surprising was he recently caught the attention of one of the guys throwing the football.
Draft Insider: Dependable small-school receiver with poor size/speed numbers. Comes back to the ball out of breaks, easily adjusts to errant throws, and makes the reception in stride. Fights with his hands to separate from defenders, displays outstanding hand/eye coordination, and competes to make receptions. Stays in bounds running after the catch and gives effort trying to pick up positive yardage.
Aaron Rodgers: Tyrone reminds me of Antonio Chatman, who not many people know I actually played with. But Deuce had very similar size and agility but he was a good route runner, very good in and out of his breaks. And I see that with Walker. I think he has very good hands, he’s a good route runner and I think he has a chance to be a good player in this league.
Analysis:Read more...(648 words + 1 image, estimated 2:36 mins reading time)
Keep in mind this video only shows catches, not drops.
Also keep in mind this is from 2011, but Walker increased his production in 2012.
Not a burner by any means but definitely quick enough
Good awareness, knows what’s going on in coverage and down and distance
Often motioned to the slot, probably will make his career at slot initially, runs good intermediate routes and can find the soft spots in coverage.
White was voted Second Team All-Western Athletic Conference (Coaches selection) in 2012. He was the pass receiving sidekick to Quinton Patton in Tech’s high-powered, conference-leading offense. White caught 56 passes for 718 yards and six touchdowns as a senior. White started his college career at Michigan State, but was involved in several off-field incidents. White decided he needed a change of scenery, so he transferred to Northwest Mississippi Community College, where he was sixth in the nation in receptions at the JUCO level. After spending a year there, White accepted Louisiana State’s offer and had a solid two seasons for the Bulldogs.
Video: (adult language warning…)
A legitimate deep threat that can accelerate past defensive backs.
Seems adept at finding the open spaces in the field.
Has very effective moves to pick up extra yards after the catch. Will shake and bake to create some space, then accelerate downfield.
Appears to have a fairly slight build. Will need to get stronger to combat NFL press coverage.
Initial small area burst is impressive, and backs up his fine 20yd shuttle time.
Sometimes catches the ball into his body when he doesn’t need to.
Shows very good ball awareness and uses his vertical leaping ability to his advantage.
Packers rationale: Ted Thompson definitely had speed on his mind when he signed White and drafted Charles Johnson and Kevin Dorsey. The Packers are obviously looking to fill one of their open receiver spots with a legitimate deep threat who can extend the field and create open spaces underneath for the dynamic trio of Cobb, Nelson and Jones. White would seem to fit the bill, but I have concerns about his size (Randall Cobb at only 5’10″ weighs 10lbs more than White). If healthy, I expect Charles Johnson to be the guy who wins the speed wide receiver spot (I like his other attributes better), but White is the kind of guy the Packers will gladly keep on the practice squad and put him to work in the weight room. Read more...(429 words + 3 images, estimated 1:43 mins reading time)
The Packers are in desperate need of center depth; while it seems like the Packers are pretty content to go ahead with Evan Dietrich-Smith as their starting center, they haven’t signed him to a long term deal yet, meaning they still want to see a full year’s worth of play from EDS before fully committing to him. Behind him isn’t much either, outside of Lewis, 1st year player Garth Gerhart is the only other center, although several other players such as Greg Van Roten might also be in the mix .
TFY Draft Insider: Short, squat small-area blocker who plays with tremendous quickness. Fires off the snap and works his hands throughout the play. Keeps his knees bent and shows the ability to adjust. Works well with linemates and effectively quarterbacks the offensive line. Displays a good understanding for the position, quick to the second level, and displays skill blocking in motion.
A little hesitant at the second level if there’s no one in front of him
Doesn’t have the quickest feet, seems to have limited flexibility as well
Has some issues with bulrushes, especially when pass blocking
Much better run blocker than pass blocker
Can definitely shotgun snap, can he snap the ball in a pro offense?
Pro day numbers are pretty underwhelming, especially the bench
Packers rationale: Lewis strikes me as a prototypical camp body. He won’t get a team killed if he’s forced into action, but it’s unlikely that he’ll ever be the preferred starter. His physical limitations of poor foot speed and functional strength are likely to be exposed at the pro level to the point where his good technique can no longer compensate. In particular, with many defenses employing a 3-4 defense with a mammoth 0-technique nose tackle, being able to stop a bull rush as a center is becoming more and more important. Perhaps the biggest indication of his ability to stick on the team or practice squad will be his ability to play guard (especially considering offensive linemen rarely play on special teams); the Packers typically only keep one interior offensive linemen and while playing guard should be easier to play than center in the Packers offense, it isn’t exactly apples to oranges. Read more...(422 words + 1 image, estimated 1:41 mins reading time)
Lane Taylor was the Packers’ top priority immediately after the NFL draft concluded, giving him a $7,000 signing bonus; while that sounds like nothing for a professional football player, but keep in mind many undrafted rookies get no signing bonus and Taylor’s $7,000 is significantly higher than quarterback Matt Brown, who only received $5,000. While I’ve argued that Taylor has a shot at playing center based on his body size, chances are good that if he makes the team it will be on his strength at guard with the flexibility to kick in to center if needed.
CBS Sports: After spending a lot of time in the weight room, he has done a nice job putting on weight and maxing out his frame, adding over 30 pounds since his freshman season. Taylor isn’t the most mobile blocker, but he stays coordinated in his stance and works well in small areas. With the Cowboys having to replace three starting offensive linemen from last season, Taylor’s leadership and experience will be key for Oklahoma State’s offensive success in 2012.
Analysis:Read more...(496 words + 1 image, estimated 1:59 mins reading time)
Taylor is #68 and plays right guard in both clips.
Pro day numbers are really bad, in particular his broad jump would have been the worst and his vertical jump would have been among the worst at the combine for any position.
Has the ability to just stonewall players, even bigger defensive tackles have issues against him.
On the flip side, kicking him out to block a pass rushing defensive end is a bad idea, he lacks the feet to redirect the better pass rushers. Might also get beat by faster defensive linemen on twists and stunts.
A much better run blocker than pass blocker
Can hold his own when pass blocking but has issues when having to peel off and block a late blitzer.
Surprisingly good at the second level, usually gets to his man and blocks them out of the play