Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Summary of the Packers 2013 Undrafted Free Agents

By Justis Mosqueda

After the draft, the Packers had 74 players on their roster (63 on contract and 11 draft picks) and Sam Shields, who is reportedly working on a long term deal with the team. Assuming that he will sign back with the Packers, 75 of the 90 possible spots for training camp are taken up, meaning that the Packers have room for 15 undrafted free agents. So far, they have signed 12, but I will keep the list updated if they do choose to add more. Typically one or two guys get signed after the rookie camp (May 10th this year).

Matt Brown QB Illinois State

Brown went to Illinois State as a three year high school starter, but redshirted his first year. After that, he lost out the starting his redshirt freshman year, but he didn't wait for his time much longer. In the season opener the starter went down and Brown started the next 45 straight before ending his ISU career in the FCS playoffs. He progressively got better while at ISU, starting off with winning the Offensive MVP Award on his team and Freshman of the Year in the Missouri Valley Conference. His freshman year he was first team newcomer in the MVC, his sophomore year he was honorable mention MVC, his junior year he was 2nd team MVC, and his senior year he was 1st team MVC and the Offensive Player of the Year in the conference. In his four year he totaled 10,952 total yards and 78 touchdowns. His teams never had a losing season while at ISU, and they finished #18 and #8 in the FCS his last two years, including a playoff birth in 2012. After the season Brown playing in the Texas vs the Nation all star game. He did well at his pro day (35" vertical, 10'02" broad jump, 4.83 40 time) in front of the Packers, Buccaneers, Bears, and Bengals. He also played with Nate Palmer (the Packers 2013 draft pick) and Ben Ericksen (another Packers 2013 UDFA) while at Illinois State. He's most likely just a camp arm that won't replace B.J. Coleman or Graham Harrell, but will push them.

Angelo Pease RB Kansas State

Angelo Pease is an interesting running back prospect. After signing with Kansas State in 2009 (coming out of high school), he was asked to spend two years at Hutchinson C.C. before transferring to Kansas State. After his two years were up he made the move, but only had 96 carries in his two years at K State. With a lackluster career coming to and end, he made the most of his final game, on a national stage. Versus Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl he tallied seven carries for 47 years. After the game his offensive coordinator had this to say about Pease:

"I think people saw tonight what Angelo is really capable of, that talent that I’ve seen all along. I think he really has a bright future, I hope he opened some eyes tonight. I wish now we could’ve redshirted him."

Via: Kansas.com

The small running back was third on the team in carries last year. Maybe he just wasn't given the reps in college?

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2013/01/04/2624009/angelo-pease-gives-k-state-offense.html#storylink=cpy

Ryan Roberson FB Texas

Ryan Roberson went to Texas with the intention on being a fullback, but was moved to linebacker his redshirt year. That year, he was a scout team linebacker. The next spring he swung between linebacker and running back for the Longhorns, but he only got playing time as a linebacker and on special teams his redshirt freshman year. His sophomore year, he made the flip to fullback (although only seeing time in three games there) and played special teams every match. Roberson became a fulltime fullback last year, but was a special teams ace his entire career at Texas, playing in all 52 games from his redshirt freshman year to his senior season. Nicknamed Robo, his numbers are the opposite of science fiction. He only had eight carries his entire career at Texas. While Kuhn is the only other FB on the roster, I think Roberson was brought in more as a special teams guy, than to steal that spot from him.

Miles White WR Louisiana Tech

Myles White was an All-Midwest selection coming out of high school, who started his career at Michigan State. He spent two years with the Spartans before playing time became an issue and he fled for Northwest Mississippi Community College. After leading NMCC in receptions (with 63, which ranked him 6th nationally), he joined Louisiana Tech's roster. Along side Quinton Patton, White assisted in aiding Colby Cameron in making the LaTech offense one of the most potent in college football. He earned 2nd team All-WAC in 2012 and a spot in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. White had six catches for 46 yards and a rush for 21 yards at the all star game. He also tested well at his pro day, where Green Bay was one of 23 teams in attendence. Thompson targetted two freak WRs in the 7th round of the draft and added White, who isn't too far off of those picks, through free agency. I'd bet one or two of them stick. This is the first guy on the list I think has a legit shot to make the Week 1 53 man roster.

Jake Stoneburner TE Ohio State

The two biggest "needs" the Packers didn't address this draft were tight end and free safety. The Packers starting TE, Jermichael Finley, is vastly overpaid due to a backloaded two year contract that runs out this year, the 2012 #2 TE, Tom Crabtree, left this offseason to Tampa for a better contract, D.J. Williams, a TE/HB hyrid, hasn't been able to produce as well in the passing game as hoped, and Ryan Taylor is more of a special teams ace than a true TE. While the Packers did sign Mulligan, a blocking specialist, they still needed help in the passing game. At first I thought Eifert was going to fall in their lap until the Bengals (who really didn't have a TE need) snatched him up. After guys like Gavin Escobar and Vance McDonald (who was picked with #55, a pick the Packers held) went earlier than expected, and Travis Kelce went two picks after the Packers's selection of Lacy, I had doubts of Green Bay picking a TE the rest of the draft. Green Bay seemed to have missed out on the TE run. Because of this, and the fact he had draftable talent, I think that Jake Stoneburner could make a run for a spot in the 53 man roster. The former high school All-American has flashed, while not used much, at Ohio State. He started 23 games for the Buckeyes and played 48 total. While Ohio State did run a run first offense, Stoneburner did what he could with his limited catches, taking 13 of his 53 receptions in for touchdowns. I truly think that Stonerburner, the former blue chip prospect, has the skill to play TE on a high level and was just not used to compliment his skill set in college.

Jeremy Vujnovich OT Louisiana College

Not much is known about Vujnovich and for good reason; he played for a Division 3 school. The Packers have never been afraid of going after small school kids, though. In the 2013 draft alone they took two FCS prospects in J.C. Tretter (Cornell) and Nate Palmer (Illinois State), and a Division 2 pospect in Charles Johnson (Grand Valley State). The big (6'5"), strong (35 bench reps), and athletic (4.8 at 290) lineman is most likely a project OL type that will be a practice squad type player. He was a two time all conference player at Louisiana College and an honorable mention all conference player his sophomore year, too. His senior year he tallied up 27 pancakes and was the left tackle for the first Louisiana College football team with a 3,000 yard pass and a 1,000 yard rusher in the same season.

Lane Taylor OG Oklahoma State

Green Bay already took two picks that project to be interior linemen in the 2013 Draft, but they nabbed up Lane Taylor as a heck of an insurance policy. Taylor took over as the right guard for Oklahoma State his redshirt freshman year and the only missed start he had was in his sophomore season opener. In total, Taylor played in 50 games for the Cowboys. The unanimous first team All Big 12 guard (by the coaches) allowed zero sacks his final two years at Oklahoma State. Zero. After visiting Green Bay earlier in the draft process, he chose the Packers over the much closer Texans and Cowboys, and the Raiders and Ravens. Lane Taylor is most likely a right guard or center on the NFL level, if he makes it out of the preseason.

Patrick Lewis C Texas A&M

Patrick Lewis has a Packers connection. At Texas A&M he played alongside two of Clay Mattews's cousins. Mike Matthews was actually the backup center behind Lewis. Patrick Lewis has a legit shot at making a run for the roster because of the lack of centers on the Packers roster. Jeff Saturday, who started a majority of the games at center last year, retired after being benched last season. Evan Dietrich-Smith signed a one year tender to come back to Green Bay and is most likely the Week 1 starter for the Packers. J.C. Tretter, the 2013 draft pick from Cornell, has the ability to move from guard to center. After EDS and Tretter, there is really no NFL caliber center on the team. Due to Lewis's size, though, he's most likely a center only prospect on this level. Coming out of high school he was actually ranked the #4 C in the nation. He started his career at RG where he started for two years, gaining All Big 12 honorable mentions before moving to center. As a junior he moved to center and earned All Big 12 honorable mention at that position, too, before Texas A&M moved to the SEC. He also worked out for Green Bay during the draft process.

Gilbert Pena NT Ole Miss
Via: NFLDraftScout.com

With only two players on the roster that play true nose tackle, it's no surprise that the Packers signed a guy like Pena as a UDFA. Pena had the potential to be drafted, but it's hard to assume that an NFL team would be confident turning the card in with the name of the 26 year old NT who only started six games in his two years at Ole Miss. Prior to Ole Miss, Pena was playing at ASA College, earning All Conference honors. Pena's body type is only comparable to B.J. Raji's and Jordan Miller's. They are the only other nose tackles on the roster, and while Thompson does tend to keep two NT's, one of which is typically picked up as a free agent, Miller has only been active in one game in his two NFL seasons. That shows some lack of confidence in Miller. While Pickett and Jolly can probably move out to NT, they will see more DE time than anything else. Some have speculated Josh Boyd (the 2013 draft pick) could gain more weight and play NT, but it sounds like he's going to cut some of the weight he put on during the draft process and be a LE for the Packers. All this allows a guy like Pena to make an honest attempt to make the Packers roster. While he doesn't blow people away with his workout numbers, he's not just a space eater. Pena was able to rack up 6.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks while only starting six games at NT for the Rebels in 2012.

Andy Mulumba OLB Eastern Michigan
Via: NFLDraftScout.com

Like Pena, a big part of Mulumba's signing is how many players at his position are on the roster. While listed as a defensive end, Mulumba is going to be a OLB for the Packers. Outside of Clay Matthews and Nick Perry (both first round picks), the Packers only have Dezman Moses (2012 UDFA) and Nate Palmer (late 2013 draft pick) on the roster at OLB. While Brad Jones has spent some time at OLB, it seems more and more likely that he will be a full time ILB with the Smith release and Bishop rumors. Mulumba has decent size and workout numbers, but didn't produce much at Eastern Michigan. The Canadian native only had one sack last year. Unless he plans to make a living on special teams only, he should be able to get to the passer better than that.

Ben Ericksen S Illinois State
Via: NFLDraftScout.com

Ben Ericksen joined Illinois State as a wide receiver in 2009. After planning to reshirt his first year, his redshirt status was burned mid-way into the year. Luck fell the wrong way again for Ericksen as he injured his leg after a couple of games his sophomore year. After spending two years at WR he made the switch to FS and never missed a start since. He returned kicks for part of his sophomore and junior years before moving to other spots on special teams. While he didn't have any interceptions his junior year, his senior year made up for it. His seven interceptions helped propel him onto various All American lists and his conference's All Conference team. Green Bay was one of four teams that were at the Illinois State pro day to see him and his teammates (Nate Palmer and Matt Brown, also 2013 additions to Green Bay.) Ericksen's senior year and workout numbers hint that he could last on Green Bay's roster with weak FS depth.

James Winchester LS Oklahoma
Via: NFLDraftScout.com

He snaps footballs and shares his name with a Revolutionary War officer. While Winchester does have some crazy explosion numbers (38" vertical jump and 11'5" broad jump), he's not a threat to Brett Goode, who recently signed an extension to stay in Green Bay. There are three kickers/punters on the team; you have to sign more than one LS.

You can follow Justis at: https://twitter.com/JustoFS

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