The Green Bay Packers have released their official list of undrafted free agent signings following the 2014 NFL draft. General manager Ted Thompson signed a total of 12 college free agents.
For some clubs, such a list wouldn't carry much importance. That's not the case for the Packers. Since 2010, 13 undrafted free agents have made the opening-day roster in Green Bay. And the Packers have had at least three college free agents make the opening 53 in each of the last four years.
Expect a couple of the names below to make the team's roster to start 2014:
LB Jake Doughty, Utah State (6-0, 234)
A former walk-on who turned into a tackle machine in the Mountain West. He replaced Bobby Wagner, a second-round pick of the Seahawks. Doesn't possess great size, but he's a good athlete who reads and reacts quickly.
LB Jayone Elliott, Toledo (6-3, 255)
A college defensive end who will make the transition to stand-up linebacker in the 3-4. He dominated the Mid-American as a senior, tallying nine sacks, 14 tackles for losses and five forced fumbles. Questionable athleticism and flexibility off the edge.
DE Carlos Gray, NC State (6-2, 313)
A redshirt sophomore who should have stayed in school. Made only four starts in 2013 and recorded just four tackles for losses and 2.5 sacks. Not overly athletic (5.20 40) or strong (21 reps). Big project.
LB Adrian Hubbard, Alabama (6-6, 257)
The biggest name on the list. Some expected him to be a second-day pick, but he went undrafted—partly because he had a heart issue, but also because he wasn't especially good at Alabama. He has the perfect frame and length for an edge player in the 3-4, but he looks like Tarzan and plays more like Jane. Maybe the Packers can finally light a fire under him. He has the upside.
G Jordan McCray, Central Florida (6-3, 322)
Made 27 starts over the last two seasons, including nine at right tackle. Is he Josh Sitton 2.0? Probably not. He ran a terrible time (5.49) but did 33 reps. A power player who isn't athletic enough in space.
RB Rajion Neal, Tennessee (5-11, 220)
Most believed he'd be drafted. Good size with a powerful lower body. Ran for over 1,100 yards over 12 games in 2013. Versatile. Caught 66 passes during his collegiate career. Worth monitoring in camp.
DT Mike Pennel, Colorado State-Pueblo (6-4, 332)
Bounced all over the place because of off-the-field issues. A mountain of a man who won't be moved easy in the run game. If his head is on straight, there's talent to be discovered. Could fill a Ryan Pickett-like role if he made the final roster. Played some fullback near the goal line for CS-P.
TE Justin Perillo, Maine (6-3, 250)
Caught 128 passes and scored 15 times in 44 games in the FCS. Decent size at tight end but a limited athlete. Only averaged 44.5 receiving yards per game as a senior. Would need to carve out a blocking role.
RB LaDarius Perkins, Mississippi State (5-7, 195)
Short in stature but quick-footed and tough. Very productive in college but battled some injuries. Experience catching the football and returning kicks. If he makes the team, it will be due to his ability to impact special teams.
QB Chase Rettig, Boston College (6-2, 215)
Started for four years in the ACC with mixed results. Completed only 55.2 percent of his passes and tossed 39 interceptions. Has the size and arm NFL teams want, but he needs to completely remake his mechanics and footwork. Only an average athlete at the position. The team's fourth quarterback, but his upside is the practice squad only.
LB Joe Thomas, South Carolina State (6-1, 227)
Maybe the most intriguing UDFA. Was named the MEAC defensive player of the year after tallying 116 tackles, 19 tackles for losses and 7.5 sacks. The rock in the middle for the best run defense and second-best scoring defense in the FCS. Doesn't have ideal size, but the Packers need playmakers at inside linebacker. He'll get a chance.
CB Ryan White, Auburn (5-10, 197)
Combo corner/safety who is undersized and not particularly fast (4.51 at pro day). Only started two games for Auburn as a senior. He'd really need to light the world on fire on special teams to crack the roster. Can hold on kicks.
Zach Kruse is a 25-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV and is the Lead Writer for the NFC North at Bleacher Report. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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