Green Bay Packers Undrafted Free Agents: Need-to-Know Info for Every Signee

Justis Mosqueda@justisfootballFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2014

Green Bay Packers Undrafted Free Agents: Need-to-Know Info for Every Signee

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    Source: Brian Carriveau

    A four-year starter on the offensive line, Fullington split time between guard and tackle in 2013. He also played two sports at Washington State, also throwing shot put and discus for the Cougars' outdoor team. Fullington came in just over 6'5" and 301 pounds at his pro day.

Jake Doughty, ILB, Utah State

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    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

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    Source: Packers News

    A pass-rushing defensive end at Toledo, Jayrone Elliott was the team's starting defensive end in 2012 and 2013. In 2012, he led the team in sacks with six. The 6'3", 255-pound edge player will likely be a linebacker in camp.

Ryan White, CB, Auburn

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    Source: Montgomery Advertiser

    A flex corner and safety hybrid in college, Ryan White only started two games in his Auburn career. He also was the team's holder for the past three seasons. White came in at 194 pounds and just over 5'10" at his pro day.

James Sims, RB, Kansas

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    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

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    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

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    Source: Eric Gullickson

    A three-year starter at Maine, Justin Perillo was a two-time all-conference player. He was also on the AP third team all FCS team in 2013. At his pro day, he came in at 250 pounds and just a hair under 6'3."

Carlos Gray, DE, North Carolina State

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    Source: Aaron Wilson

    An early declaration, Carlos Gray spent time at Oak Ridge Military Academy before playing for three years at North Carolina State. He didn't see much time there, so there wasn't much production from him. At his pro day, Gray measured just over 6'2" and weighed 313 pounds.

Demetruce McNeal, FS, West Alabama

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    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

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    Source: Troy Football

    After two years of significant action at Tulane, Wilson Van Hooser transfered to Troy for his final season. At his pro day, Van Hooser measured in over 5'11" and at 192 pounds. He also performed well in timed drills.

LaDarius Perkins, RB, Mississippi State

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    Source: Mike Loyko

    After four years playing at Mississippi State (two as a starter), the Bulldog notched a combined total of over 4,000 total yards. At Mississippi State's pro day, Perkins came in at 195 pounds and measured in just over 5'7".

Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Alabama

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    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

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    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.