Undrafted Player Rankings

With the NFL Draft concluding and free agent signings more or less finished, the flurry of NFL offseason activity has come to an end. During the first portion of free agency, Ted Thompson was uncharacteristically active, making several splash signings rather than resigning many of the Packers’ own free agents. Thompson traditionally receives flak for his free agent signings, but there are few better when it comes to the second wave of free agency, when teams sign undrafted free agents. As of now, Green Bay has 21 players on their 90 man roster that went undrafted in 2017. It’s unlikely they all make it to camp, but it is likely that at least a few make the final roster (six undrafted players made the roster last season), and several more make the practice squad. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the new faces, listed in order of their likelihood of making the final roster.

1. Geoff Gray, G, Manitoba (Canada)
A 6-5 guard with a 31” vertical leap isn’t something you see everyday. Though Gray went undrafted, he has no shortage of talent. Hailing from Manitoba, he was the second overall pick of the CFL draft a couple weeks ago, but he won’t differ to Canadian football unless his NFL dreams fall through. With the departures of T.J. Lang (Detroit) and J.C. Tretter (Cleveland) in the offseason, the Packers need some help in the interior of the offensive line. Gray has as good a chance as any to land a backup role and even make some spot starts over the course of the 2017 campaign.

2. Justin Vogel, P, Miami
A punter at No. 2 may be surprising, but don’t forget this list is ranked based on likelihood of making the roster. One year after Peter Mortell almost made the roster as an undrafted punter, Justin Vogel will have the chance to do the same. He’s tall for the position, standing at 6-4½, and he averaged 43.8 yards per punt for the Hurricanes last season (by comparison, Jacob Schum averaged 43.2 yards for the Packers last year). Vogel was consistent in his time in college and, in a year no punters were drafted, is considered the best punter in the 2017 class. He could conceivably be the Packers’ punter for years to come.

Photo via the Miami Herald

3. Adam Pankey, G, West Virginia

If you can’t tell, two guards in the top three of this list is indicative of the Packers’ needs. Built in a similar mold to Geoff Gray, Pankey comes from the same school as Don Barclay and played in a blocking scheme very similar to Green Bay’s. He should be able to adapt quicker than most and fill a need as a mauling blocker on the inside.

4. David Talley, LB, Grand Valley State
Talley is unquestionably the most athletic pure linebacker on the Packers’ roster (Josh Jones and Morgan Burnett are more athletic, but they are safety/linebacker hybrids). Standing at 6-1 and weighing in at 236 pounds, Talley is roughly the size of Blake Martinez and Jake Ryan, but he bests them both in the 40, clocking in at 4.51 seconds, and the vertical leap, jumping an absurd 41 inches. He didn’t play against great competition in college and his instincts are in question, but his combination of size and speed could make him a perfect fit at inside or outside linebacker in Green Bay.

5. Michael Clark, WR, Marshall
Clark is a classic case of a player who should’ve stayed in college longer, as he likely could have been drafted next year. Relatively new to football, Clark is a 6-5½ wideout with a 4.53 second 40 yard dash. He’s a raw talent with all the measurables of top flight player.

6. Taysom Hill, QB, BYU
Were it not for Joe Callahan, Hill would be higher on this list. He ran for 2,812 yards in his time at BYU and is unquestionably the most athletic quarterback the Packers have had on the roster in quite some time. Don’t be surprised if he beats out Joe Callahan for a spot on the practice squad.

7. Aaron Peck, TE, Fresno State
Peck’s chance at the roster is diminished by the signings of Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks. He played wide receiver in college but, standing at 6-2 and weighing in at 239 pounds, he has the body of an athletic tight end. If Green Bay keeps four tight ends, which they’ve done in the past, Peck could round out the depth chart behind Bennett, Kendricks, and Richard Rodgers.

8. Montay Crockett, WR, Georgia Southern
Crockett is a player you can’t help but root for. His mother passed away from stomach cancer two years ago and he’s dedicated his NFL push to her. As things stand, the Georgia Southern product is the fastest player on the roster, reportedly clocking 40 times as fast as 4.25 seconds. He’s cut in the mold of Tyreek Hill, who made a name for himself as a small, speedy receiver with the Chiefs last season. If he can show some chops on special teams he could be the Packers’ final receiver.

9. Derek Hart, LS, James Madison
Similar to Justin Vogel, Hart finds himself in the top half of this list due to the position he plays. For the second offseason in a row, longtime long snapper Brett Goode is unsigned as the Packers look to go younger and cheaper. If Hart can prove reliable, he’ll earn the spot.

10. Aaron Taylor, S, Ball State
Tayler is essentially a slower version of Josh Jones, Green Bay’s second pick in the 2017 draft. Standing at 5-11 and weighing in at 206 pounds, Taylor projects as a safety/linebacker hybrid. He’s a punishing tackler who is constantly looking to land a knockout blow. If his instincts make up for his 4.59 second 40 time, he’ll have a chance.

Photo via Draft Diamonds

11. David Rivers, CB, Youngstown
Standing at 6-1 and running a 4.55 second 40, Rivers looks strikingly similar to Ladarius Gunter when he plays. Rivers is a strong press corner who could impress early on, but he’s likely to be exposed against receivers with top flight speed.

12. Johnathan Calvin, OLB, Mississippi
Calvin impressed as a pass rusher in 2016, ending the year with 7.0 sacks in his first season as an outside linebacker. He doesn’t have great speed (4.88 second 40), but he’s a powerful player who looks similar to Jayrone Elliott.

13. Cody Heiman, ILB, Washburn
Heiman may be the hardest player to judge. He played 8-man football in high school and low level talent at Washburn. That being said, he’s cut in the same mold as fellow Packer linebackers Blake Martinez and Jake Ryan, which could lead to the team favoring his style of play.

14. Lenzy Pipkins, CB, Oklahoma St.
Pipkins fits the mold of new age NFL corner backs, standing at 6-0 and running a 4.46 second 40. At Oklahoma St. he showed several technical shortcomings that he was able to mask with speed. He’s fast enough to hang with NFL players, but he doesn’t have the speed to mask errors in the NFL. If he can develop quickly as a corner he could be a suprise player who lands on the bottom of the depth chart.

15. Christian Schneider, T, California-Davis
Schneider has prototypical size for the position (6-5½, 302 pounds) and is a good athlete, but he lacks functional strength and NFL caliber technique. Like Pipkins, he’ll have a shot at the practice squad or tail end of the roster if he can quickly develop his skills.

16. Raysean Pringle, CB, Southern Utah
The first thing to note about Pringle is he has probably the best name of the group, sounds like he belongs in a Key and Peele sketch. At 5-11, 191 pounds, with a 4.42 40, Pringle is a fast corner but he doesn’t jump off the charts in any metric. He’s an instinctive player who can make up for his average physical traits with smart plays.

17. Izaah Lunsford, NT, Bowling Green
Lunsford is a fun player to watch. He looks the part of a nose tackle (6-3, 315 pounds), fires off the ball well, and has a relentless play style. That being said, much like other players near the bottom of this list, he lacks NFL quality technique and may struggle against more technically sound players at the NFL level.

18. Thomas Evans, G, Richmond
Evans is the definition of a mauling run blocker. He squats 690 pounds, benches 525, and power cleans 425. That strength translates to blowing people off the ball and opening up holes. However, Evans isn’t nearly as good a pass blocker as he is a run blocker. He lacks lateral quickness and will likely struggle in a pass happy Packers’ system.

19. Donatello Brown, CB, Valdosta State
Brown played D2 ball at Valdosta State and doesn’t jump off the page in any metrics. Unless he busts out some shocking skills as a cornerback that weren’t apparent in college, he won’t be around long into training camp.

20. Kalif Phillips, RB, Charlotte
Watching Phillips run is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. At 5-9½ and 218 pounds with a 4.65 second 40, Phillips has the make of a pounding, between the tackles running back. Rather than smash into defenders, Phillips tries to dance around contact and bust plays wide when he simply doesn’t have the breakaway speed. Phillips’ play style, coupled with his clear lack of urgency and all the other running backs on Green Bay’s roster, gives him a snowball’s chance in hell at sticking around long.

21. Josh Letuligasenoa, LB, Cal Poly
Letuligasenoa is a big bodied linebacker (6-1, 294 pounds) who can deliver punishing hits, but his speed is of great concern (4.94 second 40). He’ll need to showcase otherworldly instincts to make up for his speed limitations and have any chance at the practice squad in Green Bay.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here