Green Bay Packers: Top 5 Undrafted Free Agents Most Likely to Make the Roster
The third NFL preseason game is known as the most important one because the starters usually get to play an extended amount of time.
That isn't great news for undrafted free agents who are already long-shots to make the 53-man roster.
With shortened training camps due to the lockout, undrafted free agents have had a short time to make impressions.
By August 30, the rosters must be shaved down to 80 players. After that, the players will have only a short time to make an impression as the roster gets cut down to 53 players on Sept. 5.
That said, it seems like Ted Thompson always finds a diamond in the rough, an unheralded player who ends up making the roster.
Here are the Green Bay Packers' top five candidates for this year's diamond in the rough.
5. Ray Dominguez, OL (Arkansas)
Dominguez (background) was solid at guard last season.
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Dominguez is a long-shot to make the roster, but unlike many of the other free agents the Packers signed, Dominguez at least has a chance.
The former Arkansas guard was one of the highest-rated undrafted free agents, but he'll need more than that to crack the roster.
After struggling early on in camp, Dominguez has shown improvement. He played both tackle and guard in camp.
Dominguez could make the roster, but the practice squad is a more likely destination.
4. M.D. Jennings, S (Arkansas State)
No. 43, M.D. Jennings http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/host.madison.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/99/8998d901-7d44-5b1a-9be0-1ff77c32fb5f/4e40cee0897d1.image.jpg
This isn't really a case of M.D. Jennings standing out in camp—there's just a lack of depth at safety.
Besides the main three safeties—Nick Collins, Morgan Burnett and Charlie Peprah—there hasn't been any other surefire players.
If he wants a roster spot, Jennings will have to beat Anthony Levine, a second-year former practice squad member. Jennings is small, but he made a nice play in recovering the onside kick in Indy last night.
It wasn't as if Jennings made a great play on the recovery, but it doesn't hurt his chances.
3. Tori Gurley, WR (South Carolina)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Though physically imposing as a receiver, Gurley has made his biggest impression on special teams.
However, there are two questions getting in Gurley's way of a roster spot.
With Randall Cobb as the fifth receiver and Jermichael Finley's prominent role in the passing game, do the Packers really want to keep six receivers on their roster?
And if so, could Green Bay deny Chastin West that extra spot?
2. Vic So'oto, OLB (BYU)
Vic So'oto, No.37 in college.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
The first of two outside linebackers who have a shot at cracking the roster, So'oto's hopes were lifted after yesterday's performance versus the Colts.
So'oto had four tackles, a sack, an official forced fumble and another forced fumble that was called back after video replay showed Colts RB Delone Carter's knee hit the ground before the ball came out.
So'oto stands at 6'3" and 263 pounds—good size for an outside linebacker.
The former BYU defensive end uses a bull-rush and strength to get to the quarterback. At his pro day in college, So'oto benched 225 pounds 35 times.
In order to make the roster, So'oto will have to beat out Brad Jones and this next rookie.
1. Jamari Lattimore, OLB (Middle Tennessee State)
Jamari Lattimore (No.47) in back of Vic So'oto (No.97) http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lTMt37hCem0/Tjob3cCqzzI/AAAAAAAAGDc/VmtzPlnYu9E/s400/AUG_6309.JPG
While So'oto uses his power to get to the quarterback, the much lighter (33 pounds lighter) Jamari Lattimore uses speed.
At 230 pounds, Lattimore is undersized for an outside linebacker and must add some weight, but he has the frame to do so.
Like So'oto, Lattimore notched a sack against the Colts in their exciting preseason showdown.
Keeping the Middle Tennessee State star would mean the Packers would have two OLBs from Middle Tennessee State (the other being Erik Walden).
While only one of the two undrafted linebackers will likely make the roster, these two have a far better chance than any of the other undrafted rookies.