Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fresh Cheese: The Packers 2013 Rookies

by Justis Mosqueda

For the benefits of all my fellow Packer fans I decided to compile a list of all the new rookies that are on the Packers roster at this point. I included UDFA's and threw in a summary of their college time/scouting report. I hope you guys enjoy 6,000+ words on Packers football.

Draft Picks:

Datone Jones DE UCLA
Jones's measurables compared to other Day 1 3-4 DL:

Before the draft I ranked the defensive line as the Packers number one need, but I didn't think they would address it high, if it wasn't in round one. The reason I say that is because their starters aren't bad: Ryan Pickett, B.J. Raji, C.J. Wilson. The issue was that everyone was set to be a free agent in 2014. C.J. Wilson (last year's starting RE), B.J. Raji (last year's starting NT), Ryan Pickett (last year's starting LE/only other player who can play NT on a starting level), and Mike Neal (third DE) are all off the Packers books after this year.

With their first pick, to my approval, the Packer went with Datone Jones, a 3-4 lineman who has the combo of athleticism, length, and strength, which is unmatched by anyone in this class outside Margus Hunt.

The question I have about Jones is regarding the nickel. What's he going to do on first and second down in the 2-4-5? Typically, the Packers run a LE-NT combo on those two downs, and Jones is clearly a RE. With the Packers running a majority of their snaps out of the nickel, the RE basically has the same value as a nickel CB (12th defender) in most defenses.

While the nickel fit is questionable, Jones is probably going to be the best LE the Packers have seen since Cullen Jenkins left for the Eagles after the Super Bowl run. Honestly, they were still looking for his replacement until this weekend. C.J. Wilson, last years starting RE, while not terrible, isn't great by any means, and he will most likely flip to LE, leaving Datone Jones-Mike Neal-Mike Daniels as the RE depth chart. Jones also needs to gain some weight, in my opinion. He gained weight for the combine but reportedly dropped down into the 270s again for his pro day. He's going to need to be closer to 300 than 270, if he wants to play all three downs. When McCarthy was asked about the subject, though, he stated, “Datone Jones has ability to be a 3-down-lineman.”

Eddie Lacy RB Alabama
Lacy's measurables compared to other Day 2 RBs:

After trading back from #55, the Packers selected the free falling running back at #61. I think Lacy's draft process really hurt him. He went from being the number one ranked running back almost unanimously and running all over Notre Dame in the National Championship, to missing the combine due to injury and preforming poorly at his pro day. What's weird is the only drill he really did terrible in was the 3 Cone, which Bell also did bad in, but he went to Pittsburgh, even though he had way more wear on his tires than Lacy had by a huge margin. Lacy's been kept fresh. His first season as a full time starter was this year (backed up #3 overall pick, Trent Richardson, prior to starting.)

At first glance this is an amazing pick for Green Bay, but there's a reason Thompson traded back and didn't take him at #55. Lacy isn't a great fit in the Packers offense, but he's going to be good enough to start. Cedric Benson (gone), Ryan Grant (gone), Alex Green, and James Starks all started games last year at RB before DuJuan Harris really started to take over the show. Because of his lack of impact in the passing game, Harris didn't start a game until the playoffs. The Packers didn't really need a running back as much as they needed a three down back. They need someone the defense has to respect, a threat on 3rd and mediums so the defense doesn't just play two high, like they did all last year. Another way for Lacy to prove he is an every down back would be through the passing game. He ran routes a majority of the time during passing plays at Alabama, but if he can add a pass blocking dimension to his game, he might never come off the field.

Lacy brings that to the table, but I hope his vision is better than I give it credit for. If there was ever a RB that could get through college with a lack of vision and be highly touted, he would be thrusted into that spot by an offensive line like Alabama's. Vision is the key to the RB position in Green Bay's zone scheme. There have been talented players that lack vision that busted, like Brandon Jackson, in the past in this system.

While I don't think Lacy is a tremendous fit for Green Bay, he runs routes pretty well and is the most talented RB on Green Bay's roster already. That alone will get him on the field as the starter while McCarthy tweaks with the run offense to fit Lacy.

David Bakhtiari OG Colorado
J.C. Tretter OG Cornell
Bakhtiari and Tretter's measurables compared to other Round 4 interior linemen:
Via: NFLDraftScout.com

Right when the Packers media members thought they had Thompson figured out, he threw a curve ball at them. With many wide receivers, like Quinton Patton, falling everyone thought that Green Bay was going to go WR with one or both of their forth round picks. This was based on the assumption that WR or FS were the biggest needs left for the Pack. With Greg Jennings already gone (along with their #2 TE Tom Crabtree), Jermichael Finley (#1 TE) and James Jones (league touchdowns leader in 2012) coming off the books in 2014, and Jordy Nelson (league touchdowns leader in 2011) coming off the books a year later, it seemed like Green Bay needed some youth to keep the arsenal of weapons goings. Ted Thompson wasn't having any of that.

Instead, he went offensive line. Twice.

First was David Bakhtiari (Bock-T-R-E), a three year starter from Colorado, who declared a year early. After his redshirt season, he started 33 games for the Buffalo over three years. First starting at RT, he moved to LT his sophomore year, taking over for Nate Solder (1st round LT) who left for the NFL. If there is an offensive line type Thompson likes to target in the middle rounds, it's guys that can swing to at least three positions on the offensive line. While I don't think that Bakhtiari can play left tackle on the pro level like he did in college (even though he was lining up at LT during rookie camp), I think he has the skill set to develop to a nice RT, or guard.

The athletic and mobile Bakhtiari was reportedly ranked as the #7 offensive lineman on the Packers big board. If nothing else he will be able to push Marshall Newhouse as the #3 OT, this year. Newhouse is a free agent next off-season, so I imagine if Bakhtiari does well we don't see Newhouse back, unless the market for him isn't very good. Some even think Bakhtiari could play center at the next level.

J.C. Tretter reminds me a lot of an offensive lineman the Packers already had: Evan Dietrich-Smith. EDS and Tretter both played left tackle in college, but both will most likely be remembered as athletic centers in the NFL. Tretter actually spent his first two years at Cornell as a tight end before swinging inside to left tackle. While the center position is often the toughest position to play mentally on the offensive line, we have got to assume the Ivy League grad has something going on upstairs and can be taught the position. While I think Tretter does project inside, he played right tackle during Packers rookie camp.

Unlike Bakhtiari, who was really a swing depth guy, Tretter is going to be play a position (center) which he has a legitimate shot to be in the running for. Evan Dietrich-Smith is really the only 53 calibre center on the team, and he's only on a one year deal after taking over as the starting center the second half of the Packers 2012 season.

While I don't think either of these guys should see the field in an injury-free world, they should be nice OL projects that have the potential to start between the tackles for Green Bay, within two or three years. It's hard to say exactly where these guys will play, because they seem to have the flexibility to play almost every spot on the line. Basically every OL Thompson has drafted was an OT in college, so I see no reason why these two left tackles couldn't swing inside to guard or center like many have before them.

Johnathan Franklin RB UCLA
Franklin's measurables compared to other Round 4/5 RBs:

Not only did Green Bay (a team which doesn't value RBs much) pick two running backs in the first four rounds of the draft, but they actually traded up to grab Franklin. After sending a fifth and sixth round pick to Denver, the Packers doubled dipped with UCLA players.

Heading into the day Franklin was arguably the best running back on the board. After Bernard, Bell, Ball, Lacy, Michael, and Davis went Day 2, no one selected a running back until this pick. 

Honestly, Franklin's got a shot at starting over Lacy long term for the Packers. While Lacy is more talented, but a questionable fit, Franklin is a smaller, faster back whose skills might actually translate better in a zone blocking system. Franklin's got experience in zone blocking in his years at UCLA, while Lacy was running with the power system at Alabama. Another way the two new Packers backs are different is their college workload. While Lacy just became a starter this year, Franklin is a four year starter who never rushed for less than 126 carries (almost had 300 this year alone.) Lacy only had one 100+ carry season his whole career.

Franklin, like Lacy and unlike the rest of the RBs on the Packers roster, also brings three down ability to Green Bay as he was effective as a pass catcher for the Bruins. Like Lacy, I'd like to see him block a little more.

I'm actually pretty surprised that Thompson made the move up for Franklin because he already took a running back and he doesn't draft players that are smaller than 5'11", typically. The fact that he traded up for him makes me think that they value this pick a lot. If I were Lacy, I wouldn't sleep on Franklin, and if I were James Starks or Alex Green, I just wouldn't be able to sleep at night.

Micah Hyde CB Iowa
Hyde's measurables compared to other Round 5 CBs:
Via: NFLDraftScout.com

Hyde was my second ranked player that I thought could swing from CB or FS for the Packers (behind David Amerson.) When this pick was first made I thought he was going to be a free safety, because the depth there is pretty bad. Morgan Burnett, a SS, played at FS when we were in the nickel/dime, which was a majority of the time. Joe Whitt, the Packers CB coach, let everyone know that Hyde is going to be a CB to start out for the team and work in the nickel, dime, and special teams.

The cornerback position is pretty crowded at this point. Tramon Williams, Sam Shield (who's working on a long term deal), Casey Hayward (stud rookie nickel CB in 2012), Davon House, and Jarrett Bush all could be on the roster next year. House has been highly praised by the coaching staff, too, but his shoulder injury, similar to Tramon's, has been holding him back as of late. Jarrett Bush is a special teams ace that swings between safety and corner, much like Hyde is projected to do. If I had to guess, I would say Hyde's role will be closer to Bush's than a true CB. After Bush, now 28, started at CB Week 1 for the Packers, he saw very little playing time. He's going to to cost $1.68 and $1.99 million in salary cap over the next two years, and while that not very much, Thompson always is trying to take advantage of his cap situation. A cheap replacement to Bush could come in handy when Green Bay tries to extend quality players who become free agents next year.

Hyde isn't the fastest player in the world, but he seems like the effort guy. He played special teams his freshman year and was Iowa's ace player in that corp. From then on he was a starter, even starting a couple games at FS before flipping back to CB. He's also a good tackler, something the Packers need in the secondary if they plan to stay out of the wrong side of highlights this year. He did have an arrest in college, but Thompson must have not thought it was that big of a deal.

Josh Boyd DE Mississippi State
Boyd's measurables compared to Robert Woods's:

Josh Boyd out-weighted Robert Woods by 109 pounds at the combine and they basically had the same 3 Cone time. That's all I really have on that one. Boyd and Mike Catapano were the two DE prospects I really wanted the Packers to give a shot in the later rounds. While Green Bay took a DE in Round 1, Jones is more of a RE and Boyd is more of a LE. This move could mean a number of things. I thought the Packers would have leaned LE over RE in the first round. The reason I thought so was because the depth chart doesn't look good for the future. Ryan Pickett is the starting LE, he's making around $8.4 million this year, is heading into 2014 as a free agent, and will be 34 by the end of the year. The Packers second LE going into the draft was Jerel Worthy, a 2012 rookie that got injured at the tail end of last season and may have to start on PUP. After that there was nothing. While the Jones pick probably does mean a flip from RE to LE for 2012's starting RE C.J. Wilson, he's nothing amazing, and he's also a free agent in 2014. So basically, every LE on the roster is most likely leaving in 2014 or is injured to start 2013.

While many have speculated that he was going to be a NT, he had to gain a significant amount of weight to get to 310 and is probably going to get lighter, than not. I feel like he's going to be the third NT behind Raji-Pickett, but really won't see that much time on the field there, although he's stated that he thinks he can play a little of DE and DT in the 3-4.

If his agility times tell us anything, it's that he's athletic for his size. Assuming that losing about ten pounds would make him even more athletic, you can guess that he could get a rush on 3rd down from the LE or NT spots. Combo that with his motor and strength, he's going to be a nice backup/situational lineman for the Packers in the future. He might even have the ability to start if Worthy doesn't pan out. A base nickel with Datone Jones-Josh Boyd-Mike Neal with Clay Matthews or Nick Perry coming off the edge could generate some nice pressure. People forget how great of a season he had with Fletcher Cox next to him last year, another player the Packers were high on. With Cox gone it allowed SEC offensive lines to target Boyd as the only real threat on Mississippi State's defensive line. Very few win that battle, and I think that's why Boyd's stock dropped his senior year.

Nate Palmer OLB Illinois State

After signing Clay Matthews to a long term deal and taking Nick Perry in the first round, you would think that outside linebacker wasn't a big need for the Packers, but you'd be wrong. It isn't so much the quality, it's the quantity of outside linebackers that's the issue.

Outside of Matthews and Perry (who is recovering from a rookie injury), the Packers really only had Dezman Moses on the roster at OLB. The Packers #3 OLB was Erik Walden last year, and he split to Indianapolis for a lot more money than he would have netting in Green Bay. Brad Jones has some experience playing OLB, but after resigning for what seemed to be a huge amount (3 years $11.75 million) the Packers have decided he's more of an ILB. That left, like I said, Dezman Moses, a 2012 UDFA, as the lone OLB outside the two Packer first round picks.

With the selection of Nick Palmer the Packers have basically secured their Matthews-Perry-Palmer-Moses OLB corp, unless for some reason a UDFA flies up during the preseason.

Palmer is an Illinois transfer that left due to playing time issues. While at Illinois he was a Big Ten All Academic team member. He played two years for the Illini before heading off to Illinois State, but not before breaking his foot in a scooter/car accident. Like many Illinois natives, unfortunately, Palmer grew up as a Chicago Bears fan.

At Illinois State, Palmer played a hybrid DE/OLB role. A DE in the 4-3, an OLB in the 3-4. The reason for this was his small size, reportedly around 220, but he's got that up to 248 by his pro day and still flashed good numbers. Those numbers earned him his one and only visit with an NFL team, the Green Bay Packers.

Palmer is a good, athletic pass rusher (17 sacks in two years at ISU) that lost very little by gaining almost 30 pounds this offseason, at least by numbers standards. If he is the same football player with an added 30 pounds to his frame he will have no problem rotating in Dom Capers's defense. Most likely a second stringer, he's going to be able to help on special teams, too.

Charles Johnson WR Grand Valley State
Kevin Dorsey WR Maryland
Instead of nabbing a dropping WR in the 4th, when Thompson double dipped on offensive linemen, the Packers got two project WRs in the seventh round. Much like OLB, the Packers didn't have quality problems with WRs, but they had quantity issues. The Packers two starting WRs, Nelson and Jones, have lead the league in touchdowns the past two years, and the Packers slot WR, Randall Cobb, broke the team record for all purpose yardage in only his sophomore year. With Jennings departure, though, the Packers were only left with two other receivers from their 2012 season: Jarrett Boykin and Jeremy Ross. Jarrett Boykin was viewed as a UDFA who should have been drafted in 2012, but he only caught five passes his rookie season. Jeremy Ross, also an UDFA rookie in 2012, saw a majority of his time on special teams, where he became a returner late in the year. He had no catches last season. The Packers top three could be the best three, but the rest of the roster only had three combined catches in their combined careers.

The first WR chosen was Charles Johnson, a small school prospect from Grand Valley State. Thompson has plucked players from small schools repeatedly, so this was nothing new (Nick McDonald, a former GVSU lineman, was on the Packers roster for a while as a UDFA.)

Both of the receivers have medium height and weight, and extraordinary workout numbers. Charles Johnson even ran a legit 4.3 twice at his pro day. Both were also brought in for visits at one point by the Packers.

Johnson started out at Eastern Kentucky (an FCS school) before being suspended, enrolling at a community college, and ending up at Grand Valley State (a D2 school.) The suspension raises some flags, but everything must have gotten cleared up during his visit in Green Bay. His body control is part of the reason he was able to catch 31 touchdowns in only two years at GVSU. Many small school guys that have crazy numbers don't show dominance over weaker competition. Johnson totally blew his competition out of the water.

Kevin Dorsey is very much the same as Johnson but very different, as well. Dorsey put up crazy workout numbers (Maryland WR's like Darius Heyward-Bey have done so in the past) and took a visit to Green Bay, but his production is the opposite of Johnson's success. After only racking up 18 catches his first two years, Dorsey started to breakout his junior year with 45 catches. His senior year, though, three quarterbacks got injured (not including O'Brien, who transferred to Wisconsin), which ended up making a freshman linebacker move to QB and start. He finished with only 18 catches. You can blame him for not getting open, but it must be hard when you are on your fourth best quarterback on the roster, again not including O'Brien. He did the best he could with the limited catches, though, tallying up 17.3 yards per catch.

In reality both of these receivers could make the roster, or both could be cut by the third preseason game, depending on how many the Packers plan on holding on their roster. Thompson took two freak athletes with very different senior years and is hoping one sticks.

Sam Barrington ILB South Florida
Via: NFLDraftScout.com

Confusion at the ILB position started the day before the draft in Green Bay. D.J. Smith, who was a spot starter his first two years in Green Bay, was cut after a failed physical, but he was signed by San Diego shortly after, leading many to think the physical meant little to nothing. The Packers wanted Smith out. It continued on Day 3 as rumors of a trade for starting ILB Desmond Bishop, who has been recovering from an injury that kept him out of almost all of 2012, started swirling.

Brad Jones, a weak-side ILB like Smith and Bishop, was brought back this off-season after being projected to leave for a starting job. All of this lead me to think the Packers were moving on from the Smith's and Bishop's and making Jones a full time starter at some point this year.

I was slightly shocked when Barrington was picked because of this. Barrington has so many similarities to D.J. Smith, it's hard to count. What's interesting, is he seems like a better athlete than him, but only by his pro day numbers. I don't know what happened between the combine and his pro day, but his numbers got a lot more explosive.

There are red flags with Barrington, as he's had four arrest for a revoked license. He's since gotten his license back and said it's a non-issue for the future.

The Packers have never been shy about keeping ILBs on their roster for reserve and special team purposes. With Hawk, Jones, and Bishop all having large dollar signs attached to their names, Barrington will have to compete with Robert Francois, Micah Johnson, Jamari Lattimore, and last year's fifth round pick, Terrell Manning, for special teams time and a roster spot.

Undrafted Free Agents:

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 Tyrone Walker (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 I've seen all along. I think he really had 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? McCarthy said Pease made a run during rookie camp that made him think he was Eddie Lacy, the Packers second round pick.

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

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

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

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. Mulumba was also the #2 overall pick of the most recent CFL draft.

Jonathan Amosa FB Washington

A former walk-on, Amosa beat out Ryan Roberson in rookie camp. Previously Roberson, the former Texas fullback, had a contract with the Packers. After camp was over he was cut and Amosa was added to the roster. Like Roberson, Amosa projects to me more of a camp body/special teams filler than an actual fullback that can make the roster. Amosa was a linebacker his first three years at Washington, not playing in a single game. After earning a scholarship in 2010 he was Chris Polk and Bishop Sankey's (both 1,000 yard rushers) lead blocker, which eventually earned him honorable mention Pac-12 his senior year. An honorable mention honor is a pretty big deal when you are a skill position player that rarely saw the ball.

Tyrone Walker WR Illinois State

Tyrone Walker joins three other former Illinois State players (would have been four had Ben Ericksen not reportedly failed a physical) in the Packers new class. While Walker didn't put up great workout numbers (besides his vertical), he did have great production in college. His freshman year he was on the conference All-Newcomer team, followed by two back to back 2nd team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference, leading up to his senior year's 1st team All-MVFC and All-FCS honors. He was also voted All-State in high school both years that he played football. While at ISU, he racked up 250 receptions for 3,565 yards and 32 touchdowns. Walker most likely won't make the Packers roster due to the stacked WR corp, but he's got a shot for the practice squad if he continues to flash, like he did in college.

Donte Savage OLB New Mexico State

Donte Savage joins his former teammate, Davon House, on the Packers roster. Savage played defensive end for the Aggies, but is moving to outside linebacker for the 3-4 scheme. The first thing that stands out about Savage is his size. He's a little too short to be rushing the passer in the pros at 6'1". Before going to NMSU, he played a year at Fork Union Military Academy, and he also redshirtted while at NMSU. All that means is he's going to be three years older than say a true junior that declared early. After missing all of 2011 due to academics, he did flash his final year at NMSU.

Jarvis Wilson OLB Prairie View A&M

A two year starter at Prairie View A&M, Wilson had a knack at getting runners behind the LOS, but not quarterbacks. In fact, he only had .5 sacks his entire 2012 campaign with the Panthers, but tallied 8 tackle for losses. Wilson must have flashed though, as he was one of the four players (out of twenty-seven) that parlayed a Packers tryout into a roster spot, after last week's rookie camp.

Justis Mosqueda is a Journalism student that writes for DraftFalcons.comPackers-Backer.blogspot.com, and cuts videos of NFL Draft prospects for DraftBreakdown.com

You can follow Justis on Twitter: Twitter.com/justismosqueda

No comments:

Post a Comment