Green Bay Packers Undrafted Free Agents: Tracking the Latest Signings
Over the past 30 years, the NFL has turned what was just hours and hours of a bunch of old guys in suits in a hotel ballroom into a national prime-time red carpet Radio City Music Hall gala event.
What happens after the fanfares fades and the Klieg lights go dark, though, hasn't changed one bit.
Across the nation, some college football players are glued to their phones, waiting desperately for a team, or their agent, to call. Others are wielding multiple phones, frantically comparing contract offers and depth chart outlooks and weather and tax rates and living situations, hoping they make the right choice for what might be their only shot to play football for a living.
On the other end of the line, teams like the Green Bay Packers started working the phones during the final rounds of the draft, calling small armies of prospects trying to gauge interest, availability and contract demands.
Somehow, these players and teams settle on each other, and somewhere between a handful and a couple of dozen undrafted free agents come to every NFL team's camp every season.
Here at Bleacher Report, we're keeping track of all of these crazy, quickie deals so you don't have to work your phone into overtime like the teams and players do.
If you want to know which NFL hopefuls are coming to Ray Nitschke Field this season, just keep refreshing this signing tracker to find out!
Matt Brown, Illinois State QB
Signing announced by Matt Brown on his Twitter feed.
Matt Brown, the only Illinois State Redbird to throw for over 2,000 yards in four consecutive seasons, has been signed by the Packers. The 6'4", 220-pound signal-caller holds every significant Illinois State passing record, according to the Illinois State athletics site, and many insignificant ones.
Brown may just be a camp arm, but he was certainly productive enough in college to warrant a long look.
Myles White, Louisiana Tech WR
Signing announced by Louisana Tech Football's official Twitter feed.
White, a 6'1", 182-pound receiver, was second-team All-WAC as a senior at Louisiana Tech. White's path to that point, though, involved two years at Michigan State, his suspension from the team, and career rehabilitation at Northwest Mississippi Community College.
White has talent, but he'll need to prove to the Packers he's learned from his significant errors in judgement.
Damond Smith, South Alabama CB
Announced by Damond Smith on Twitter.
Smith, a 5'11", 181-pound (as listed on Western Michigan's athletics site before his transfer to South Alabama) cornerback, has had a difficult path to the NFL.
Smith was the No. 1 cornerback recruit in the state of Michigan as a high school senior, and chose Western Michigan over other offers. After transferring in the middle of his career at Western, Smith played just a few games for the Jaguars before being suspended for a violation of team rules.
BeyondSportsNetwork.com has more of Smith's compelling story, if you're interested.
Ben Ericksen, Illinois State S
Announced by Ben Ericksen on his Twitter account.
Safety Ben Ericksen is the third Illinois State Redbird to be plucked by the Packers, along with sixth-round draftee Nate Palmer and fellow undrafted free agent Matt Brown. Ericksen told the Pantagraph, the Illinois State paper, “There is no better opportunity I could put myself in. They didn’t take a safety in the whole draft, and they have five total safeties on the roster.”
Cedrick Moore, Stony Brook S
Reported on Twitter by Packer Report, Scout.com affiliate site.
Moore, a safety with a 5'11", 205-pound frame, led Stony Brook with 85 tackles in 2012. The Packers could use some extra safety depth, after the departure of Charles Woodson; Moore could compete to be that depth.
Patrick Lewis, Texas A&M C
Reported on Twitter by Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Lewis, who has played both center and guard for Texas A&M, stands 6'2" tall and weighs 312 pounds. According to his pro day results, Lewis isn't blessed with extraordinary athleticism. Recording a 5.28 40-yard dash and 8'0" broad jump, Lewis didn't wow with his explosion numbers. His 25 bench press reps of 225 pounds, though, proves Lewis has big-league strength.
Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State TE
Announced by Jake Stoneburner on Twitter.
Packers fans are likely quite familiar with Jake Stoneburner, the productive Ohio State tight end made waves against Big Ten opponents for years. At 6'3", 252 pounds, Stoneburner was an effective two-way tight end in college but may be more of an H-back or special teamer in the NFL. His 4.65 40-yard dash time hints at his athleticism and versatility.
Angelo Pease, Kansas State RB
Reported on Twitter by Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net.
Pease, a 5'10", 211-pound tailback, has good speed and a powerful frame. According to NFLDraftScout.com, Pease cut a 4.50 40-yard dash at Kansas State's Pro Day. Pease also notched a 32" vertical leap and benched 225 pounds an impressive 25 times.
Pease, a former high school quarterback, occasionally served as the "Wildcat" quarterback for Kansas State, according to the official Kansas State Althletics page.
Lane Taylor, Oklahoma State G
Reported on Twitter via Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net.
Lane Taylor is a classically built guard, with the size and bulk to open holes in professional defensive lines. At 6'3", 324 pounds, Taylor's size is imposing. Still, he was athletic enough to prevent defenses from notching a single sack on him his senior year.
That may or may not translate to the big leagues, but he's the kind of naturally talented prospect fans should love to see in camp.
Gilbert Pena, Mississippi State DT
Reported on Twitter by Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net.
The Packers drafted defensive end Datone Jones in the first round, but didn't take a defensive tackle until their second pick in the fifth round. Gilbert Pena, a 6'4", 317-pound hopeful from Ole Miss, would love to be part of the competition to add defensive line depth.
According to James Carlucci of The Journal News, the 26-year-old Pena is looking to make the most of his big chance.