Category Archives: Undrafted Free Agents

10

July

Packers Undrafted Rookie Scouting Report: Patrick Lewis, OC Texas A&M

Player Information:

  • Patrick Lewis, OC Texas A&M
  • 6’1”/311 lbs
  • Hometown – Reserve, Louisiana

Pro Day:

  • 40 yard: 5.28
  • 20 yard: 3.04
  • 10 yard: 1.84
  • Bench: 25
  • Vertical: 29
  • Broad: 96”
  • Shuttle: 4.93
  • 3-cone: 8.01

Introduction:

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 .

Outside Analysis:

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.

Video:

Analysis:

  • 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.

9

July

Packers Undrafted Rookie Scouting Report: Lane Taylor G, Oklahoma State

Player Information:

  • Lane Taylor, OG Oklahoma State
  • 6’3”/324 lbs
  • Hometown – Arlington, Texas

 

Pro Day:

  • 40 yard: 5.35
  • 20 yard: 3.07
  • 10 yard: 1.88
  • Bench: 31
  • Vertical: 24.5”
  • Broad: 96
  • Shuttle: 4.72
  • 3-cone: 8.41

 

Introduction:

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.

Media Analysis:

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.

 

Video:

Pass Blocking

Run Blocking


Analysis:

  • 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
20

May

Packers Jarrett Bush has Managed to Stick Around

Jarrett Bush

Packers CB Jarrett Bush has stuck with the team since 2006.

The pitchforks were out and the torches were lit after the 2009 season. Packers fans wanted cornerback Jarrett Bush off the team.

I admit that I was one of those Packers fans holding a torch high in one hand and a pitchfork in the other. I was sick of seeing Bush stumbling three yards behind a receiver after a double move left him in the dust and led to another touchdown against the Packers.

Ted Thompson has never paid much attention to the pitchfork- and torch-wielding sector of the Packers’ fanbase, and he held true to that philosophy with Bush. Now the undrafted free agent out of Utah St. and claimed by the Packers off waivers from Carolina is one of the longest-tenured Packers, a good special teams player and, dare I say it, somewhat beloved by fans.

I say “somewhat” because if Bush ever ends up playing significantly as a defensive back again, it will probably get ugly and fans will turn on him again. But as long as he remains the blue-collar, hard-working leader of the special teams unit, the love for Bush will only get stronger.

Admit it: When Bush picked off Ben Roethlisberger in the Super Bowl, you slapped yourself and wondered aloud if you just watched Jarrett Bush intercept a pass in the Super Bowl. For the Green Bay Packers. In January of 2011.

That play sticks in my mind to this day. Bush, a player who didn’t even get love from the fanbase of the team he played for, kept plugging away and made an impact when called upon to do so on the biggest stage.

If you were paying attention throughout the 2010 season, you would have noticed Bush making an impact on special teams. On Packers teams not known for their physicality and tackling, Bush goes as hard as anyone on special teams and is never afraid to stick his nose in the middle of the action and attempt to make a tackle.

Ever since Bush has been able to focus on special teams (albeit for one start in the 2012 season opener that didn’t go well), he’s found a place in Green Bay as a veteran and emotional leader.

28

April

Tracking the Packers 2013 Undrafted Free Agent Signings (UDFA)

Ted Thompson on the Prowl

Must… Find… Hidden… Gems…

The 2013 NFL draft is in the books but this is when Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson’s dirty work is just beginning.  Thompson has forged a reputation for being a huge proponent of using undrafted free agency to find some hidden gems.  Some examples of those past finds are Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, M.D. Jennings, Don Barclay and Dezman Moses, to name a few.

Here is the complete list of the Packers’ 2012 UDFA (undrafted free agent) signings, complete with height, weight and 40 yard dash times. We will be continually updating the list with additional player information or adding new signings, so check back in throughout the day.

Matt Brown, QB, Illinois State – 6’3″ 223lbs, 4.87 40yd dash time -

Took over as the starter in his freshman season, compiling a 93.1 NFL passer rating across the next four years. Completed 928 of 1,456 passes (63.7%) for 10,596 yards, 78 touchdowns, and 36 interceptions. At his Pro Day, also had a 41.5 inch vertical, had a 10’10 broad jump.

Ben Ericksen, S, Illinois State – 6’1″ 194lbs, 4.51 40yd dash time -

Played all four years at Illinois State, starting out as a wide receiver before converting to a safety in his second year. Was also used as a kick returner each year. In his senior year, had seven interceptions. At his Pro Day, scored 16 bench reps, 36.5″ vertical, 10’02″ broad jump, 4.22s shuttle, and 6.85s 3-cone.

Patrick Lewis, G, Texas A&M – 6’1″ 311lbs, 5.30 40yd dash time -

Started 52 games in college and earned three All-Big 12 selections. Visited the Packers prior to the draft. At his Pro day, scored 25 bench reps, 29″ vertical, 8’0″ broad jump, 4.93s shuttle, and 8.01s 3-cone.

Andy Mulumba, OLB, Eastern Michigan – 6’3″ 260lbs, 4.82 40yd dash time -

A hybrid pass rusher with experience in both two and three point stance, Mulumba doesn’t have great burst or speed, but he shows good awareness vs. the run with some upside. – Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

Angelo Pease, RB, Kansas State – 5’10″ 211lbs, 4.50 40yd dash time -

Saw action in 10 games in 2011, including a start against Texas A&M… Rushed for 144 yards and two touchdowns… Rushed five times for 33 yards and his first career touchdown against No. 15 Baylor… Set career highs in both rushes (8) and yards (61) at Kansas.  Pease did a little of everything during his collegiate career, playing quarterback in wildcat situations, running back and even a little wide receiver.  He’s listed as a running back, but theoretically could play any of those positions.

24

April

Green Bay Packers Draft Targets: Defense

Packers Defense Draft ProspectsI hear defense, defense, defense fans for this draft. In my other piece on the offensive side of the ball, I stated the offense fell from #3 in 2011 to #13 in 2012. The defense improved across the board in 2012 over 2011, and I expect a lot more of that improvement this coming season. I don’t believe we will see a repeat of last year, but there are needs that have to be addressed in the draft, where in the draft is the big question.

Based on the opinion of many, need and BPA make a convergence in this draft with a number of DT/DE prospects rated around the Packers #26 pick. All of these Defensive linemen have those warts I talked about in the offensive piece.

Lets start with Sylvester Williams,
A some what under rated DT, not as hyped as others right now, but very talented. But there are questions about him, Real concerns? Hype? Misinformation? All in the eye of the beholder.

To continue the Williams theme lets go with Jesse Williams NT/DE Alabama,.  I like this Williams because he can play NT, DE and that 3 technique used in the nickel and dime for the Packers. He is raw and limited in pass rush. Back to these players having questions.

Lets look at Jonathon Hankins,  more warts, but a possibility for the #26 pick, what I don’t like is two years of knee injuries. But quick long arms another prospect that can play multiple spots in the defense.

The player that is getting more and more buzz right now for the Packers is, Datone Jones. He might be the best fit as 3-4 DE in the entire first round. Like the rest of the group of Dlinemen at the #26 pick, he has questions about his effort but there is no question of his ability.

And last but not least is this D-line Prospect.  Rankings on him are all over the map. This is a high risk, possibly high reward pick. Big men with his athletic ability are few and far between, he will be drafted higher then he should be because of that. But I would think he is in the mix. He is a high effort, great work ethic prospect, and is a physical freak, The thing with this pick would be the teams projection of what he could be with development.  Margus Hunt offers the type of player along the defensive line the team does not have now. The question is, when do you draft him.

16

April

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: William Campbell, DT Michigan

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: DT William Campbell

Player Information:

William Campbell, DT Michigan
6-5, 311 pounds
Hometown: Detroit. MI

STATS

Pro Day: 

40 yard: 5.15

Bench: 35

Vert: 27″

Broad: 107″

3 cone: 7.28

News and Notes:

William Campbell is your quintessential late round/priority rookie free agent.  Coming into Michigan, Williams was a 5 star recruit who never lived up to expectations; typically overweight and unrefined, Williams bottomed out when he was asked to switch to offensive line during his sophomore season.  That didn’t work out either and by his junior year he was back to defense.  Things took a turn for the better when Williams reported to camp in his senior year after dropping 46 pounds, which translated to on the field production.  However, just as things were improving, Williams was charged with  felony malicious-destruction-of-property when he attempted to slide across a car hood ala Starsky and Hutch.  In the end Campbell presents an enticing mix of size and athleticism muddled with immaturity and inexperienced.

 What they’re saying about him:

  • CBSSports.com: “Looks the part with a tall, well-built frame, broad shoulders and a large wingspan (80 inches). Can carry a lot of weight on his frame without losing his athleticism. Quick feet for his size with the agility to collapse inside and disrupt the pocket. Natural power to bully blockers at the point of attack, reset and redirect. Takes up room and has the size/strength combination to command double-teams.”

Video:

Video Analysis:

  • Looks the part of a potential 3-4 DE.
  • Very fast for a guy his size; at about 1:20, Campbell starts at the line of scrimmage at the Alabama 35 and hustles to make the tackle at the Michigan 35.  Not many 300+ lbs defensive tackles can run 30 yards to catch up to a running back.
  • Up against the best representation of a NFL offensive line in college, I though Williams acquitted himself fairly well.  He managed to beat Barrett Jones twice (thought to be the best center in the draft) and Chance Warmack three times (though to be the best guard in the draft), once for a sack where Williams swatted Warmack’s punch and “turned the corner” on Warmack (check it out at 2:40, it’s like Clay Matthews in super slow motion)  It should be mentioned that Williams was also destroyed on a couple plays, and it’s not like he’s the second coming of Reggie White.
19

March

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Jordan Rodgers, QB Vanderbilt

Jordan and Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: QB Jordan Rodgers

Player Information:

Jordan Rodgers, QB Vanderbilt
6-1, 212 pounds
Hometown: Chico, CA

STATS

NFL Combine:

Not invited

News and Notes:

Based on the comments from my previous draft posts, I’d like to point out that this is a prospect profile, not a draft prediction.  I haven’t analyzed a player who I think the Packers will take at 26 and that trend is going to continue; in fact I’m not advocating one way or the other that the Packers should draft/sign Jordan Rodgers at all. With that being said, Jordan Rodgers is an interesting prospect because he’s almost a reflection of what Aaron Rodgers’ story might have been had it not gone as well; Jordan also started at Butte Community College, where he lead the team to it’s first undefeated season in his second year.  He then transfered to a big name football program (Vanderbilt) but ended up redshirting his freshmen year with a shoulder injury.  From there he rode the bench until injuries struck and ended up as the starter, again much like his brother.  However, it took Jordan two years to transfer out of JUCO, then lost a year after getting a medical redshirt and only ended up as the legitimate starter in his senior year.  All in all, Jordan Rodgers will begin his NFL career at 25 while his older brother was only 21, which makes Aaron’s story all that more incredible.  It’s hard to imagine how different Aaron Rodger’s story would be if Jeff Tedford hadn’t come up to Chico to scout a tight end or if Rodgers hadn’t had the chance to start as a junior, but in fact that story might be Jordan Rodgers.

 What they’re saying about him: 

  • CBSSports.com: “Short, but otherwise possesses a reasonably stout and athletic build for the quarterback position. Boasts the same quick-strike release that has helped his brother compensate for his lack of elite size (6020, 223 at 2007 Combine). Appears to have just average arm strength, overall, but possesses impressive velocity on short and intermediate throws, as the ball zips out of his hand.”

Video:

Video Analysis:

  • Good ball carriage, looks to have copied Aaron’s NFL carriage (luckily not his college carriage, which was criticized coming into the NFL).