Category Archives: Undrafted Free Agents

20

February

Is the Next Jarrett Boykin on the Packers Roster?

Myles White

Could Myles White end up contributing to the Packers next season?

With Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb due to hit free agency next offseason, the Packers could be looking to draft a wide receiver in April.

Or maybe they’re confident that they can re-up with Nelson and Cobb and aren’t worried about finding another receiver in the draft.

Or maybe they think they have a capable replacement for Nelson or Cobb already on the roster, and the rest of us just don’t know about him yet.

That last scenario seems by far the least plausible, but you never know. Nobody heard of Jarrett Boykin, but he became a reliable receiver and might step into James Jones’ role in 2014 if Jones signs elsewhere.

Of the Packers four “unknown” wide receivers currently on the roster, which one has the best chance of turning into a player? Here’s what I think:

Myles White
Some were saying White was the fastest receiver in training camp. He was also a hurdling star in high school and was signed by the Packers as an undrafted free agent out of Louisiana Tech. Speed and athleticism isn’t the issue for White. Size is.

White is barely over 180 pounds and probably needs to buff up if he wants to stick around and have a legitimate shot at cracking the lineup. If White gets bigger and improves, he can potentially be a deep outside burner who would be a nice complement to the bigger Jordy Nelson, Jones (if he re-signs), Boykin and Cobb (who likes to work inside).

White was called up off the practice squad for the middle part of the season and didn’t do much in 123 snaps. Of course, he didn’t have Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball, either. White’s season came to an end early when he tore cartilage in his knee.

Chris Harper
He used to play for the Seahawks so he must be halfway decent, right? Well, maybe.

Harper has the size (228) to be another Boykin-type of receiver — tough to bring down and holds his own blocking. But there must be a reason he was cut by the Seahawks (and later by the 49ers) not long after getting drafted in the fourth round. Bob McGinn ranked Harper 12th in his pre-draft wide receiver rankings and quoted scouts who said Harper catches well in traffic and can play in the red zone.

3

October

Where Are They Now: Following Former Packers

With the 2013 season now a quarter of the way over, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at all the Packers who played for the 2012 team who are now playing somewhere else.  Have the Packers really missed them?  Have they made a contribution to their new teams?  (note: snaps are only counting offense and defense, not special teams)

Alex Green (New York Jets)

  • 2012 season: 343 snaps, 135 attempts for 464 Yds, 3.4ypc, 0 TDs, 1 Fum
  • 2013 season (projected): 40 snaps, 28 rushing attempts for 60 Yds, 2.1ypc, 0 TDs, 0 Fum
  • Alex Green never really was able to overcome the ACL injury he suffered as a rookie and became one of the few high draft picks to be quickly dumped by the Ted Thompson regime.  Green quickly found a new home with the New York Jets, one of the teams that curiously have been linked to the Packers (numerous trades of picks, Caleb Schlauderaff and of course Brett Favre).  As of yet, Green hasn’t been able to make much of an impact even with an apparent opening at the running back position with the Jets; Chris Ivory has been hobbled with injuries, Mike Goodson just returned from suspension and KR/RB Joe McKnight was sent packing.  At the moment, Green is projected as the 3rd running back and is on pace for about 60 yards rushing with a 2.1 average.   For the Packers James Starks has played pretty well and Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin have both showed promise.  the Packers are fine at running back without Green.

Greg Jennings (Minnesota Vikings)

  • 2012 season: 416 snaps, 36 Rec for 366 Yds, 10.2 YPC, 4 TDs, 0 Fum
  • 2013 season (projected): 664 snaps, 56 Rec, 1,008 Yds, 18.0 ypc, 8 TD, 0 Fum
27

July

Packers Undrafted Rookie Scouting Report: Ryan McMahon, S, Sacramento State

Player Information:

  • Ryan McMahon, S Sacramento State
  • 5’11”/207 lbs
  • Hometown – Laverne, California

Pro Day:

  • 40 yard: 4.44
  • 20 yard: 2.49
  • 10 yard: 1.55
  • Bench: 14
  • Vertical: 38
  • Broad: 126
  • Shuttle: 4.19
  • 3-cone: 6.65

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?

Outside Analysis:

None.  Talk about under the radar

 

Video:

Analysis:

  • #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. 

 

16

July

Packers 1st Year Free Agent Scouting Report: Garth Gerhart, OC Arizona State/Cleveland Browns

Player Information:

  • Garth Gerhart, OC Arizona State
  • 6’1”/305 lbs
  • Hometown – Norco, California

Pro Day:

  • 40 yard: 5.38
  • 20 yard: 3.09
  • 10 yard: 1.90
  • Bench: 25
  • Vertical: 30.5
  • Broad: 96
  • Shuttle: 4.27
  • 3-cone: 7.63

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.

Outside Analysis:

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.

 

Video:

Analysis:

  • #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.
15

July

Packers Undrafted Rookie Scouting Report: Jake Stoneburner, TE Ohio State

Player Information:

  • Jake Stoneburner, TE Ohio State
  • 6’4”/252 lbs
  • Hometown – Dublin, Ohio

Pro Day:

  • 40 yard: 4.62
  • 20 yard: 2.65
  • 10 yard: 1.63
  • Bench: 18
  • Vertical: 34.5
  • Broad: 116”
  • Shuttle: 4.27
  • 3-cone: 7.12

Introduction:

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?

Outside Analysis:

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.

12

July

Packers Undrafted Rookie Scouting Report: Tyrone Walker, WR Illinois State

Player Information:

  • Tyrone Walker, WR Illinois State
  • 5’10”/191 lbs
  • Hometown – Indianapolis, Indiana

Pro Day:

  • 40 yard: 4.59
  • 20 yard: 2.64
  • 10 yard: 1.60
  • Bench: 11
  • Vertical: 39
  • Broad: 129”
  • Shuttle: 4.41
  • 3-cone: 6.99

Introduction:

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.

Outside Analysis:

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.

Video:

Analysis:

  • 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.
11

July

Packers Undrafted Rookie Scouting Report: Myles White, WR Louisiana Tech

Packers UDFA WR Myles White

Packers WR Myles White

Player Information:

  • Myles White, WR Louisiana Tech
  • 6’1”/182 lbs
  • Hometown – Livonia, Michigan

Pro Day:

  • 40 yard: 4.42
  • 20 yard: 2.55
  • 10 yard: 1.53
  • Bench: 11
  • Vertical: 37.5″
  • Broad: 121”
  • Shuttle: 4.15
  • 3-cone: 6.90

Introduction:

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…)

Analysis:

  • 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.