Green Bay Packers Undrafted Free Agents: Need-to-Know Info for Every Signee
Consistently one of the youngest teams in the NFL, the Green Bay Packers almost exclusively build through the draft. After three days, over a dozen spots on the 90-man camp roster are still open. To fill these spots, the Packers will turn to undrafted free agency.
General manager Ted Thompson believes competition is the key to building a team. If one spot needs to be filled, bring in two guys—that will ensure you get each of them working to keep his job. In camp, that theory is on at all times.
The Packers will give rookie free agents a better shot at making a roster by giving them a legitimate shot in competition with veterans. In reputation, the Packers are known as one of the most active teams with undrafted free agency, which then also leads to better rookie signings due to getting a better shot to stick with Green Bay than other teams.
For example, both of Green Bay's starting cornerbacks, Sam Shields and Tramon Williams, were undrafted free agents coming out of college. Now they're NFL starters. Not every team gives players the shots that Green Bay does, which works for Green Bay.
Who will be this year's Shields? Will it be an inside linebacker to replace Brad Jones or A.J. Hawk in the future? A surprise camp star at tight end who takes over the role for the team? Nothing is certain, but there's a high chance that the Packers will hit on a signing. It's likely that one will make the roster, at least, after being deemed not worthy of a draft pick by every other team in the NFL.
Joe Thomas, ILB, South Carolina State
Source: Tom Silverstein
Listed at 227 pounds at his pro day, Joe Thomas likely is an inside linebacker. He put up impressive vertical and 10-split numbers, which may show up as a great first step—an important trait on defense. In 2013, Joe Thomas made 115 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, and was the Defensive Player of the Year in his conference. The 6'1" linebacker was also second-team All-FCS by the AP.
Chase Rettig, QB, Boston College
Source: Tyler Dunne
A long-time starter at Boston College, Chase Rettig first got the job in 2010 as a freshman. Since then, he hasn't missed a game—starting 46 games straight to finish out his college career. He never earned ACC honors, but he did share the team's MVP award with linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis. Rettig weighed in at 214 pounds and measured in just over 6'2" at the Detroit Super Regional Combine.
Rajion Neal, RB, Tennessee
Source: Tom Silverstein
With McCarthy historically liking heavier backs that can move, this move is no surprise. Rajion Neal put up 2,163 yards in four years, but only had the starting role full time for one. In 2013, he rushed for 1,163 yards and 12 touchdowns. The 6'0", 220-pound running back also had a 38" vertical at his pro day.
John Fullington, OL, Washington State
Jake Doughty, ILB, Utah State
Source: Packers News
A two-year starter, Jake Doughty made both All-Mountain West and All-WAC his two years as a full-time player. He was also a four-time All-Academic player, three times in the WAC and once in the Mountain West. Doughty is a light linebacker, coming in at 227 pounds for his pro day.
Jayrone Elliot, OLB, Toledo
Ryan White, CB, Auburn
James Sims, RB, Kansas
Source: Mike Loyko
A three-year starter at running back for the Jayhawks, James Sims earned All-Big 12 second team honors his final two seasons at Kansas. In total, he went over 3,500 rushing yards and scored 34 touchdowns in his career at Kansas. At his pro day, he measured just over 5'10" and weighed in at 207 pounds.
Mike Pennel, NT, Colorado State
Source: Shane Hallam
After starting off his career at a JuCo, Pennel signed on with the Arizona State Sun Devils, before a suspension led to his transfer. At Colorado State, he played around 360 pounds his senior year. At the Combine, Pennel measured in at just over 6'4" and weighed around 330 pounds.
Justin Perillo, TE, Maine
Carlos Gray, DE, North Carolina State
Demetruce McNeal, FS, West Alabama
Source: War Eagle Extra
After being charged with marijuana possession before the 2013 season, Demetruce McNeal was dismissed from Auburn, which lead to his enrollment at the West Alabama. In total, McNeal spent three seasons as a starting safety in college. At Auburn's pro day, he came in at 190 pounds and about six and a half feet tall.
Wilson Van Hooser, WR, Troy
LaDarius Perkins, RB, Mississippi State
Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Alabama
Source: Wes Hodkiewicz
After two years as a starting rusher at Alabama, Adrian Hubbard declared for the draft early. Unfortunately for him, the toe injury that held him out of some Combine drills may have also held him from being selected in the draft. At the Combine, Hubbard came in at 6'6" flat and 257 pounds. He didn't do all the drills, but in those he did compete in, he did well.
Denico Autry, OLB, Mississippi State
Source: Green Bay Press Gazette
After spending time at East Mississippi Community College, Denico Autry signed with the Mississippi State Bulldogs and started for two seasons as a pass rusher. At his pro day, Autry almost hit the 6'5" mark and weighed in at 273 pounds. With a body like his, it's hard to figure out a spot for him on the defense, but it's most likely at outside linebacker.