Assessing Every Green Bay Packers UDFA's Chances of Making Final Roster

Matt Stein@MatthewJSteinCorrespondent IIMay 22, 2014

Assessing Every Green Bay Packers UDFA's Chances of Making Final Roster

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    Tight end Colt Lyerla has a great chance of making the Packers' final roster.
    Tight end Colt Lyerla has a great chance of making the Packers' final roster.Paul Connors/Associated Press

    Few teams are as good at finding talent in undrafted free agents as the Green Bay Packers.

    The most recent example of this success is cornerback Sam Shields. He was an UDFA back in 2010 and just signed a hefty contract this offseason to lock him up long-term.

    This year the Packers are hoping to find a similar success story. Green Bay has signed 17 undrafted free agents to date. While a good chunk of them won't find themselves on the final roster when the regular season begins, a handful of these players have legitimate shots to not only make the roster, but see significant playing time.

    Today we're going to assess the chances of making the final roster for all 17 UDFAs. We'll go through the strengths of each player, what they could ultimately bring to the team and decide whether or not they're likely to be part of the final 53 Packers.

Charles Clay, S, Hawaii

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    USA TODAY Sports

    After starting his career at SMU, safety Charles Clay ended his college days with Hawaii. While he only made seven starts during his three years with the team, he still put together some solid numbers. Clay finished his senior season with 69 total tackles, one sack and one forced fumble.

    What ultimately makes Clay attractive to the Packers is his speed and quickness. He ran a 4.44-second 40-yard dash at Hawaii's pro day with a 37.5" vertical. Clay also displayed quality instincts at locating the football while in college.

    With so little depth at the safety position, there is no doubt that the Packers could use a player like Clay to shore up that issue. Even if Clay doesn't see much playing time in the secondary, he could still make an impact on special teams.


    Chances of Making Roster: 50 percent

Jake Doughty, ILB, Utah State

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    Darryl Bush/Associated Press

    There's really quite a bit to like about what inside linebacker Jake Doughty brings to the field. For starters, he's an extremely experienced player, having started all 27 games for Utah State in his final two years.

    Doughty also put up incredible numbers during his junior and senior seasons. Over those two years, Doughty recorded 257 total tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. Simply put, Doughty is a tackling machine.

    Unfortunately, the Packers already have an extremely similar player to Doughty on the roster in A.J. Hawk. And the last thing the Packers need on defense is another Hawk at inside linebacker.

    Doughty has a good chance at making the practice squad, but it's unlikely he'll be a member of the final roster.


    Chances of Making Roster: 20 percent

Jayrone Elliott, OLB, Toledo

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    Had Jayrone Elliott played at a bigger university and put up the numbers he did, it's unlikely he would have been an undrafted free agent. However, no one saw much of Elliott while at Toledo and now he faces an uphill battle just to get on a final roster.

    Elliott recorded an impressive 14 tackles for loss and nine sacks as a senior. Those numbers were enough to earn him First Team All-Mid-American Conference honors following the 2013 season.

    The problem for Elliott is the amount of depth that the Packers already have at outside linebacker. Elliott would likely have to beat out Andy Mulumba, Nate Palmer and Adrian Hubbard to even have a chance at making the final roster.

    Had Elliott signed with any team other than the Packers, he would have had a better chance at making a final 53-man roster. Unfortunately, it just isn't very likely to happen in Green Bay.


    Chances of Making Roster: 10 percent

John Fullington, OT/OG, Washington State

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    Tony Medina/Getty Images

    It's going to be very difficult for any offensive lineman that's an undrafted free agent to make the final roster in Green Bay. This is one positional group where the Packers have plenty of depth and talent.

    However, John Fullington of Washington State has a pretty decent chance of doing it for a couple of reasons. For starters, Fullington has the experience at a top university to be able to play right away in the NFL. He started 43 straight games for the Cougars over the course of his career.

    The second reason, and more important reason, Fullington could stick in Green Bay is because of his versatility. He played all over the offensive line while at Washington State and was successful at each of those positions.

    It'll be hard for Fullington to make the Packers' final roster, but it could happen thanks to his experience and versatility.


    Chances of Making Roster: 35 percent

Carlos Gray, DE, North Carolina State

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    The decision to declare for the NFL draft was a puzzling one for defensive lineman Carlos Gray. He only had one year as a starter for North Carolina State, and he wasn't overly productive in that lone year.

    In fact, Gray only recorded 23 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He was also extremely inconsistent when he was on the field.

    Tony Pauline of Draft Insider described Gray and his situation perfectly in his scouting report, saying:

    Gray showed flashes of ability last season but was premature in his decision to enter the draft, though he had few options. He shows a lot of inconsistency, which will make it difficult for him to be anything other than a practice squad player in 2014.

    Simply put, it'd be an extremely huge surprise to see Gray make the final roster in Green Bay this year.


    Chances of Making Roster: 5 percent

Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Alabama

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The UDFA with the best chance at making the Packers' final roster is outside linebacker Adrian Hubbard.

    While Hubbard wasn't a superstar in college, it was still a major surprise that he went undrafted. He's an exceptional athlete who has shown the ability to be an impact player early in his career.

    What ultimately kept Hubbard from being drafted was a heart condition that scared teams away. He's since been cleared physically and now can focus on making the final roster.

    If Hubbard can reach his high ceiling quickly, he could ultimately pass Nick Perry on the depth chart and become a starting outside linebacker for the Packers.


    Chances of Making Roster: 95 percent

Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon

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    Paul Connors/Associated Press

    The player with the second-best chances of making the Packers' final roster is Colt Lyerla. While it may sound crazy for a player with the background of Lyerla to make the team in Green Bay, it's the absolute truth.

    Had Lyerla not had all his off-field issues and played the 2013 season at Oregon, there's no doubt he would have been an early-round pick. He's got a unique skill set that allows him to be an extremely dangerous receiving threat.

    The Packers could certainly use some more talent at tight end this year. Not only does Lyerla have the potential to produce in Green Bay, but he also has the overall ceiling to start in year one for the Packers.

    The only reason Lyerla isn't a lock to make the roster is because of his off-field issues in the past.


    Chances of Making Roster: 95 percent

Jordan McCray, OG, Central Florida

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    USA TODAY Sports

    We've already talked about how difficult it's going to be for an undrafted offensive lineman to make the roster in Green Bay. While Fullington has a decent chance, Central Florida's Jordan McCray isn't quite as lucky.

    McCray can really only play guard in the NFL. He isn't quick or athletic enough to play tackle and his inexperience at center would make it difficult for him to transition to that position. 

    The problem is that the Packers have two of the better guards in the league in Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang. They also have quality depth behind them with Lane Taylor and Don Barclay.

    If McCray was a little more versatile he'd have a better chance at making the final roster. Unfortunately, that just isn't the case, so look for McCray to be searching for a new team before the offseason is over.


    Chances of Making Roster: 25 percent

Tanner Miller, S, Iowa

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    USA TODAY Sports

    What the Packers ultimately need to improve in their secondary is the playmaking ability of their safeties. The group recorded zero interceptions last year, which is just ridiculously bad.

    While Tanner Miller isn't an exceptional playmaker, he did record seven interceptions during his three years as a starter at Iowa. Miller was also consistent at tackling in the open field. This was another area where the safeties in Green Bay struggled.

    The only thing working against Miller is that he doesn't have much upside and is basically a finished product. Unfortunately, that finished product only projects to be a decent NFL player at best.

    Green Bay certainly needs more quality depth at the safety position, but it's unlikely that Miller will provide that depth.


    Chances of Making Roster: 25 percent

Rajion Neal, RB, Tennessee

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Packers have really struggled to field a solid group of running backs over the past few seasons. Well, that all changed last year with the drafting of Eddie Lacy and the impressive play of backup James Starks.

    Now running back is one of the strongest positions on the roster heading into the 2014 season. However, that shouldn't hurt Rajion Neal's chances of making the final roster.

    What ultimately gives Neal a fighting chance to being in Green Bay when the offseason is over is his all-around ability. Neal can run, catch, block and play special teams. Players like Neal can always be used on a contending team like the Packers.

    If the Packers decide to keep four or five running backs on its final roster, look for Neal to have a good chance at stealing that final spot. 


    Chances of Making Roster: 50 percent

Mike Pennel, DT, Colorado-State Pueblo

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    If there's one thing Mike Pennel really has going for him, it's the way he carries his body. At 6'4" and 332 pounds, Pennel is light on his feet and moves extremely well for a player his size.

    The issue with Pennel is that he is nothing more than a massive object in the middle of the defensive line right now. He can act as a run stopper but has little impact in every other aspect of the game.

    Another reason Pennel isn't likely to make the final roster is due to the depth at defensive tackle. With B.J. Raji moving back to that position, the Packers already have three defensive tackles who are quite a bit better than Pennel.

    Should Pennel prove he can do more than just plug up holes during the offseason, his chances of making the roster would improve quite a bit. However, chances are he'll be either cut or put on the practice squad before the regular season starts.


    Chances of Making Roster: 10 percent

Justin Perillo, TE, Maine

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    Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press

    Despite playing at a small school like Maine, Justin Perillo still became a rather familiar name heading into the draft. This was mostly due to a draft diary that Perillo put out for the website The Big Lead. 

    Perillo put together some rather solid numbers while playing at Maine. He finished with 128 receptions, 1,318 yards and 15 touchdowns over his four-year career.

    Unfortunately, the Packers are starting to develop some depth at tight end with third-round pick Richard Rodgers and Lyerla. Having a third rookie tight end on the final roster just seems too unlikely.

    Perillo is a great candidate to make the practice squad, but making the 53-man roster seems unlikely.


    Chances of Making Roster: 10 percent

LaDarius Perkins, RB, Mississippi State

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    Danny Johnston/Associated Press

    We've already briefly discussed the depth the Packers have at running back this year. It's that depth that makes LaDarius Perkins from Mississippi State such a long shot to make the final roster.

    There's actually quite a bit to like about what Perkins brings to the field. Rob Rang of called Perkins a "determined, well-rounded player" in his scouting report. Unfortunately, Perkins lacks the athleticism or explosion to make an impact for the Packers

    It wouldn't be surprising at all to see Perkins get a chance on a final roster in the NFL. However, that simply won't happen in Green Bay with so many talented runners already on the team.


    Chances of Making Roster: 5 percent

Chase Rettig, QB, Boston College

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    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    Many people, myself included, expected the Packers to draft a quarterback in the later rounds of this year's draft. However, they decided to go the undrafted free agent way by signing Boston College's Chase Rettig.

    Rettig started games in all four of his seasons while at Boston College. However, his overall numbers really aren't that impressive. He finished his career with only 8,263 yards and 52 touchdowns. Of course, Rettig also didn't have much talent surrounding him.

    The reason why Rettig is such a long shot to make the final roster is two-fold. First, he needs to beat out either Scott Tolzien or Matt Flynn for the No. 3 job. Then he'd actually need the Packers to keep three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster.

    Rettig could stick on the practice squad for a year and challenge for a backup job next year, but it'd be a major surprise to see him on the final roster this year.


    Chances of Making Roster: 15 percent

Luther Robinson, DE, Miami

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    Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

    The Packers have spent quite a few high draft picks in the past few years to improve their defensive ends. Datone Jones, Mike Daniels, Khyri Thornton and Jerel Worthy were all drafted in the first four rounds of their respective drafts.

    What that ultimately means for a player like Luther Robinson is that he needs to be nearly flawless during the offseason. Unfortunately, Robinson is far from being a flawless, or even a complete, prospect. While he has solid upside with his size and athleticism, it could take him years to reach that potential.

    The Packers simply don't have the roster space to wait for a player like Robinson to develop.


    Chances of Making Roster: 5 percent

Joe Thomas, ILB, South Carolina State

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Had Joe Thomas played at a bigger school than South Carolina State, there is simply no way he would have gone undrafted. Thomas dominated while at SC State, but it was against lesser competition than he would have seen in the SEC or Big Ten.

    That's not to say that Thomas isn't talented, because he certainly is. He finished last year with 115 total tackles, 19 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. Those are extremely impressive numbers, no matter the school you're playing at.

    It's Thomas' ability to make an impact in a number of ways that gives him a decent shot at making the final roster. He has the athleticism to play in the open field, but he can also get pressure on the quarterback and drop into coverage.

    Should Thomas not make the final roster, the Packers should do whatever it takes to keep him on the practice squad. Thomas has a good shot at developing into a very nice player for Green Bay.


    Chances of Making Roster: 50 percent

Ryan White, CB, Auburn

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    While the whole secondary struggled for Green Bay last year, its group of cornerbacks actually project quite well. The Packers have three solid starters in Tramon Williams, Sam Shields and Casey Hayward. They also have the depth behind them with guys like Davon House, Jarrett Bush and Demetri Goodson.

    That's why it was a surprise to see the team bring in an undrafted free agent like Ryan White of Auburn. White played both cornerback and safety at Auburn and could play a hybrid role for the Packers. However, that's the likely role of second-year player Micah Hyde, and White doesn't have the overall talent or potential of Hyde.

    White could ultimately make the team as a special teams player, but even that seems like a stretch. He'll likely be looking for a new team following the preseason with slim chances of making the final roster in Green Bay.


    Chances of Making Roster: 10 percent