Five Undrafted Free Agents with a Chance to Stick with the Packers in 2020

 

The Green Bay Packers signed 15 undrafted players after the 2020 NFL Draft and all of them will fight for a roster spot. The shortened offseason will certainly make that task more difficult for these players once training camp (hopefully) gets under way in late July.

Here is a look at five of those undrafted free agents and their chances to make the Packers roster or practice squad this season:

1. ILB Krys Barnes UCLA

Barnes presents an intriguing skill set for the Packers. He has the speed the Packers are looking for in an inside linebacker, something the team lacked in recent years when Blake Martinez had the starting job.

Barnes was a steady, consistent and well-rounded player at UCLA. He reads plays well and puts himself in a position to make tackles. He showed some ability to blitz and rush the passer and plays the run well. He was also good in pass coverage in college.

The biggest reason Barnes wasn’t drafted was his lack of size. At 6’2” and 235 pounds, he is undersized for an NFL inside linebacker. If he adds weight, will that reduce his quickness and speed?

Barnes is the kind of player you root for, smart, steady and solid. If he can prove himself during the preseason, he has a chance to make the team at a position where the Packers lack depth and experience.

2. DB Marc-Antoine Dequoy, Montreal

Dequoy is not your typical prospect. The Canadian import will be 26 in September and played his college football in Canada.

Dequoy ran an impressive 4.36 in the 40-yard dash and he ran that while feeling ill. He has good size at 6’3” and outstanding raw athletic ability. Dequoy was selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game last year but had to sit out because of a broken forearm.

He had a knack for making big plays in college. He intercepted 12 passes in his three seasons and returned six of them for touchdowns.

In college, Dequoy played mostly safety but his size and speed make him better suited to play corner in the NFL.  The raw tools are there, but he will need to adjust to playing 11-man American football rather than the 12-man Canadian version.

The Packers secondary can use a player with Dequoy’s speed and playmaking ability. Dequoy is a prime candidate for the practice squad if he doesn’t make the opening day roster.

3. S Frankie Griffin, Texas State

Griffin would be a fit for the Packers hybrid safety/ILB position that defensive coordinator Mike Pettine likes to employ. He played mostly linebacker at Texas State but at 6’0” and 205 pounds, is better suited to play safety in the NFL.

Pettine will certainly like Griffin’s versatility. He can line up in several places on the field and that can help disguise the Packers defense and allow the team to do different things out of similar formations.

Griffin was a playmaker in college, making 7.5 sacks, forcing seven fumbles and 25.5 tackles for loss in his three seasons at Texas State.

The one thing Griffin lacks is elite speed. He is better suited to playing in the box than in man coverage. He changes direction well and is strong against the run. His instincts and tenacity should help him contribute on special teams.

The big issue for Griffin will be making the jump from Texas State to the NFL. If he can do that, he can compete for a roster spot or a berth on the practice squad.

4. WR Darrell Stewart, Michigan State

The Packers have questions at wide receiver and Stewart may be able to help fill a specific need. He spent a lot of time in the slot in college, a position the Packers need to address in 2020. At 6’0” and 212 pounds, he has a different body type than the rest of the Packers larger receiving corps.

Stewart was consistent and productive in college. He was also versatile. He returned kicks, ran on jet sweeps and runs well after the catch.

He also has good awareness of the field and gets open well when plays break down and his quarterback must scramble to extend the play, something Aaron Rodgers does well.

Stewart has average speed which may make it difficult for him to gain separation from elite corners, but he was able to run away from safeties in the slot with the Spartans, something the Packers truly need.

Stewart has a chance to make the team if he can get on the field and show the coaching staff what he can do.

5. DL Willington Previlon, Rutgers

Anybody who watched the NFC Championship Game last January knows the Packers are looking for more depth along the defensive line. They added Previlon, the 6’5”, 287-pound Rutgers alum, as an undrafted free agent in April.

Previlon played all along the line in college and that versatility is something the Packers look for on defense. He has good burst and quickness and knows how to use his hands to shed blocks and make plays.

The biggest question for Previlon is his size. He will need to add to his 287-pound frame to anchor well against NFL lineman that would outweigh him by at least 15 pounds on average.

Previlon was not an elite pass rusher in college, he totaled four sacks in 36 games over three seasons. He did make 11.5 tackles for loss which shows he can penetrate occasionally. One issue obviously is that at Rutgers, he was playing on teams that were often overmatched physically across the line of scrimmage.

Previlon will have to put on some weight to excel in the NFL, but if he can show the versatility, quickness and technique that served him well in college, he could earn a spot on the practice squad or even sneak onto the roster with a strong training camp.

 

You can follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

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Comments (43)

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gkarl's picture

June 18, 2020 at 01:05 pm

I would think Barnes will get a good look just because we are so thin at ILB. I like Deqouy chances to, you can never have to much speed and 4.36 is fast even in the NFL.

As for the rest of the UDFA who knows, other than hopefully our coaching staff after they have had a chance to see them in practice. I hope they expand the PS to 16 TY to give more of these type players a chance to live there dream of playing in the NFL.

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GilMartin's picture

June 18, 2020 at 01:20 pm

Expanding the practice squad would make sense especially since rookies will not have as much time to make an impression on coaches because of the pandemic. Will be interesting. Thanks for the comment, gkarl.

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TheBigCheeze's picture

June 18, 2020 at 01:09 pm

Begelton just may become a day-one starter......

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GilMartin's picture

June 18, 2020 at 01:21 pm

He'd be the slot guy at best, but we'll see. I am hopeful he could become a contributor if he makes the adjustment to the NFL. Didn't include him in the article because he has professional experience in the CFL. Thanks for commenting, TheBigCheeze.

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dobber's picture

June 18, 2020 at 02:25 pm

There's a lot of guys for him to outplay, and given the Packers have shown less use of 11 personnel under LaF, and like to use that second TE standing up, that means he's got to fight past personnel groupings, too. Uphill climb, and will likely need to show an affinity for special teams.

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GilMartin's picture

June 18, 2020 at 04:03 pm

Rookies in general and undrafted free agents in particular will have a tougher time making an impression on the coaching staff this year because of the lack of OTAs and minicamps this spring. We shall see. Thanks for commenting, Dobber.

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nostradanus's picture

June 18, 2020 at 01:33 pm

Good choices Gil,

The two players I like out of this group are Barnes and Stewart.
*Barnes was highly thought of at UCLA and had a knack for the big play, he’s also a childhood friend of Jordan love and plays a position that the Packers are Woefully thin at. He has a chance to make it as a back up and special teams player. Or at the very least a practice squad guy.
*Stewart was a jack of all trades offenseive player for Michigan State, he returned kicks he ran jet sweeps he played in the slot played outside. Stewart is built more like a running back, he does have some drops here and there but is extremely tough. I believe he’s destined for the practice squad and a year of development.

A couple of my favorite UDFA are Stanford Samuels III, an extremely competitive and tough ball hawking CB from Florida State. He ran a 4.65 at the combine but plays faster, I think he has an outstanding chance at the 53. Patrick Taylor is a bigger running back with a nose for the end zone and the Packers will need depth at the position going into 2021, a year on the practice squad would do wonders for the lad. Lastly Delonte Scott OLB was a pass rushing force at SMU and shows enough to possibly challenge for a back up on the 53.
Thanks again for the article, I always look forward to your insight.

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dobber's picture

June 18, 2020 at 02:38 pm

Patrick Taylor is the guy I'm watching, too. I think he's got the chops to push Dexter Williams off the roster and be the 4th back. I think he's certainly practice squad material.

Curious about Zack Johnson.
https://gobison.com/sports/football/roster/zack-johnson/8452
Big guy who played a lot of RT before moving to RG as a senior. Seems to have good feet. Played on perennial power NDSt, where he's got good players (at that level) around him, but a 2-time All-American at two different positions. Watch some film...nasty guy (again, beating on FCS talent). As mentioned earlier, expanded practice squads help some of these guys out, but this guy is very intriguing.

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BAMABADGER's picture

June 18, 2020 at 02:48 pm

Zack Johnson should be first on this list. Reminds me of Adam Timmerman. The Canadian DB is a Joke. His tape looks like a high school reel. No football abilility.

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GilMartin's picture

June 18, 2020 at 04:14 pm

Thanks for the comment, BamaBadger. I didn't add Zack Johnson because of how deep the roster is at his position. I am interested in seeing what he can do once camps begins.

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dobber's picture

June 18, 2020 at 05:03 pm

I would argue that the impending need on the OL makes him someone they'll look at closely and he'll have a real shot to stick on an expanded practice squad. I agree, though, Gil: there's a lot of bodies he'll have to play through.

Bama points to Timmerman, but I would argue his length takes him out of that category and he's not the mauler that Timmerman was. Closest physical comp I can come up with is Mike Wahle, but I think his guard film plays more like TJ Lang (keeping in mind the level he's playing at).

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GilMartin's picture

June 18, 2020 at 05:10 pm

Good comparisons dobber. Quite honestly, if he's anything like any of those players, he'll be in good shape to make the roster. Thanks for the extra info dobber.

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Johnblood27's picture

June 19, 2020 at 12:59 am

Darren College comp

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GilMartin's picture

June 18, 2020 at 04:08 pm

I like Zack Johnson and he has some potential but I didn't include him in the article because the Packers drafted three OL late in the draft. Not sure where there would be room for him unless he makes a big impression in camp. Practice squad maybe? We shall see. Thanks for commenting.

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GilMartin's picture

June 18, 2020 at 04:05 pm

Thanks for the kind words nostradanus.Samuels will be interesting, I like him too. If Williams isn't re-signed, he'll have a better chance. Would love to see what Taylor can do but it's a crowded depth chart at RB especially after Dillon was drafted. Maybe he can make the practice squad. Thanks as always for the comment.

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Coldworld's picture

June 19, 2020 at 10:20 am

Samuels is another where his speed as timed killed him. If he is that slow he is a safety at best. Just too slow to play corner, but there is the question. If his time is as his camp claim, he could be a major steal. Same argument as Funchess, Combine versus pro day fir Funchess or simply claims with Samuels because he didn’t get one. Some irony in that.

4.65 is abysmal for a 187 pound db if a true reflection, clearly the slowest at the combine. I think Redmond the current 3rd safety had unofficial timings around 4.4. Sullivan is interesting as he ran a slow 4.6, but recorded elite explosiveness that isn’t credited to Samuels. Since Samuels did no agility drills at the combine, nothing else at the combine to cast doubt on that.

He could be the defensive steal among UDFAs or the first to look out of his depth in camp. His other qualities, physicality and ball skills won’t carry him if he is that slow. Well worth a flyer to see if his time was an outlier, but if it wasn’t a PS safety conversion project at best.

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jannes bjornson's picture

June 19, 2020 at 09:12 pm

Barnes is a guy that never should have lasted past the 4th round. He is dissed for his speed , but he knows the game and is a leader. He should put pressure on Burks.

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greengold's picture

June 18, 2020 at 02:24 pm

Marc-Antoine Dequoy is the player I believe will make a very big impact for the Packers at FS. I can easily see him being inserted there when Savage shits over slot, as rumored...

Projecting a bit, but he has real potential to be one hell of a great player for the Packers, especially with his size, speed and insane ball skills. Dequoy is also a very willing tackler v. run. Never shies away from a hit. The guy is super hustle, and I think he's going to be another UDFA gem for Green Bay. He was considered the #1 DB in all of Canada and a lock to be a top 10 pick in the CFL draft. Great find by Gutekunst and his staff, especially with that dynamic skill set. 6-3 195 4.36. FS is his more natural position, and I think he'll stick there... WOW

Jerry Gray is going to LOVE coaching this kid.

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dobber's picture

June 18, 2020 at 02:27 pm

"I can easily see him being inserted there when Savage shits over slot"

I would think they would need a bidet rather than a Duquoy...

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Since'61's picture

June 18, 2020 at 10:31 pm

Dobber earns yet another cookie! Thanks, Since ‘61

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dobber's picture

June 19, 2020 at 06:23 am

Cheers and thanks, friend! Be well!

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Since'61's picture

June 19, 2020 at 09:09 am

Same to you Dobber! Thanks, Since ‘61

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gkarl's picture

June 19, 2020 at 01:52 pm

I think that depends Dobber.

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GilMartin's picture

June 18, 2020 at 04:09 pm

I could totally see that greengold. The raw ability is there. Now he has to make the transition to the NFL. Thanks for commenting.

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PatrickGB's picture

June 18, 2020 at 04:18 pm

Marc-Antoine Dequoy has the skills alright but after watching the CFL, I don’t know about how well those skills translate in the NFL. Don’t get me wrong, I really hope he does well but I expect him to struggle with quality WRs. The route trees in the CFL all look like “go” routes to me. He has the speed against those CFL receivers but a guy like Adams would have him spinning.

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Coldworld's picture

June 18, 2020 at 06:15 pm

He played defensive half back, a sort of heavy interior corner with some run and some center field pass responsibilities. I think he projects as a larger DB in multiple back sets in the middle facing the play. But let’s face it, with his size, could be one heck of a gunner on special teams with that speed. That’s likely his route on to a roster initially.

I see the biggest natural opening as being at ILB and Hybrid. Need depth at both and, behind Greene we have none and nothing proven after ILB 1. I could see two UDFAs getting spots there (maybe not from this year) and another two making the PS in addition to standard dbacks.

So I hope those UDFAs show, but any UDFA that breaks out is a huge bonus and seldom predictable. Taylor intrigues, but so do others. I really hope the PS is expanded given the truncated opportunities for less heralded newcomers.

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wildbill's picture

June 19, 2020 at 07:36 pm

Uhh name any NFL DBs that Adams doesn’t abuse

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Slim11's picture

June 19, 2020 at 07:52 am

After seeing some tape of Dequoy, my second thought was the same as my first thought...could he be another Sam Shields?

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PatrickGB's picture

June 18, 2020 at 04:01 pm

I like articles that discuss new prospects that the team has added. The draft picks get all the write ups. But lots of undrafted players make the team.
1. Undersized Barnes at MLB. He is reportedly jack of all trades but master of none. Kinda like Martinez but who knows? Maybe down the road we snagged a good backup?
2. Speedy DB Marc-Antoine Dequoy. I watched a lot of the CFL. It’s a totally different game! But he has tools.
3. Griffin,. Average speed hybrid safety/ILB. He was a playmaker in college but we already have those tweeners. Maybe this time is the charm?
4. Stewart looks like the type of player the team has been needing for the slot. I hope he is better than Sheppard in the slot and quicker than some of the players we had. I like that he comes back to the ball. So will Aaron.
5. DL Willington Previlon. I like his versatility. But because of his weight he might get pushed around a bit.
There are reasons that other teams passed on these guys but you are right they do bring fresh competition to the team with different skill sets. The practice squad is larger this year and some of these guys just might make it. But even if they don’t, competition is always good. Best of luck to them.

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GilMartin's picture

June 18, 2020 at 04:12 pm

Thanks PatrickGB. These guys will have a handicap because of the reduced time this offseason. Sometimes, they are good fits in a team's system or the role they're asked to play. Willie Wood was undrafted and made the Hall of Fame. Looking forward to training camp and seeing what these players can do. Thanks for commenting.

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PatrickGB's picture

June 18, 2020 at 04:46 pm

Your welcome Gil. The Packers have a history of giving UDFA’s a chance. I like that about my team. And sometimes a player who has unique skills carves out his own place.

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dobber's picture

June 18, 2020 at 04:57 pm

Just not a fan of Stewart. LIving in MI we see a lot of MSU and, IMO, he was only an above-average college player. Granted Lewerke wasn't a terrible college QB, but he's not a great one. I think the Packers could go out and sign half a dozen Stewarts off the street right now if they wanted to.

Previlon is a PS candidate because of his length and the fact that he's still pretty raw. Has the chance to be a true 5-tech with some upfield burst. Don't see him having a chance at the 53, though, unless he totally lights up camp.

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stockholder's picture

June 18, 2020 at 04:11 pm

Patrick Taylor RB! Yea, I know it's crowded.

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GilMartin's picture

June 18, 2020 at 04:15 pm

That's the only reason I didn't put him in the article. I like his potential but yes, as you said, the depth chart is crowded there. Thanks for commenting, stockholder. Always good to hear from you.

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PatrickGB's picture

June 18, 2020 at 04:29 pm

https://thedraftnetwork.com/player/patrick-taylor-jr/D0U6vBx0cH
This site did not have too much good to say about him. Kinda discouraging.

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GilMartin's picture

June 18, 2020 at 04:45 pm

Yeah, that wasn't a pretty scouting report. Thanks for sharing it.

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Leatherhead's picture

June 18, 2020 at 06:13 pm

I wouldn’t hope for the Texas state safety, Griffin. I went to grad school there and follow the team a little. We’re not very good. Spurgeon Wynn played for us.

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Lphill's picture

June 18, 2020 at 07:34 pm

Barnes maybe hangs on for a practice squad spot maybe a shot at special teams down the road.

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Since'61's picture

June 18, 2020 at 10:36 pm

I can see Barnes and Dequoy making the PS and maybe even the 53 on Special Teams. The rest are probably camp fodder but you never know, someone could surprise. Thanks, Since ‘61

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PackEyedOptimist's picture

June 19, 2020 at 06:14 am

Thanks for this article, Gil; one of my favorite things through the years, has been getting excited about UDFAs at this time of year. Sadly, I'm not seeing any of this year's crop making the 53; there simply is too much depth ahead of them, especially in the Covid-19 shortened window.
Additionally, every player listed above has a former UDFA with more potential in front of them. MAYBE DeQuoy or Griffen can beat out Kabion Ento, Kadar Hollman, Will Redmond, and Vernon Scott, but I don't see it.
ILB is "in need" but can Barnes actually out-impress Ty Summers, Curtis Bolton and Kamal Martin--and even Raven Greene? Unlikely.
The WR room is loaded with players; Stewart will need to out-perform Reggie Begelton (who reminds me of Antonio Freeman), Jake Kumerow, and Darrious Shepherd, as well as Devin Funchess and MVS possibly.
Patrick Taylor would need multiple injuries to hit the RB room for him to make the squad, in my opinion. Jones/Dillon/Williams/Ervin are locks, I believe, and Dexter Williams and Damarea Crockett (who I really like) are ahead of him.
Previlon might have the best shot, but that's assuming that Treyvon Hester is washed up and Montravious Adams is finally given up on, plus any veteran DL that the team is still eyeing...
If one or two of the above guys make enough of an impression, they MAY make the PS, especially if the NFL grants a larger roster due to Covid, but I think the veteran UDFAs have a considerable advantage over this year's crop. Still...you never know!

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blacke00's picture

June 19, 2020 at 07:36 am

I don't think any of these guys will make the roster. I like to root for the underdog, but I'm skeptical.

The extra year for the young WRs should help. I'm anxious to see how Shepperd(sp?) does in his second year. I think he got screwed after that horrible throw by Rodgers that got picked off. It was clearly Rodger's fault and Shepherd got the blame and was cut. Thankfully, he made the PS.

I'm also very interested in the drafted OL guys.

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Coldworld's picture

June 19, 2020 at 10:35 am

I think there is quite a good chance that a UDFA makes it as an ILB, Hybrid safety or central field db in multiple db sets. Maybe two. Lack of depth there killed and the team know it. Sullivan has moved up. At ILB, the UDFA could be from last year as well of course.

I could see Taylor or Crockett making the roster as a backup to Dillon’s role. I think Dexter Williams is deep in the hole after last year.

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ABZdroik's picture

June 19, 2020 at 07:59 am

Would love to see Previlon make it. Have watched him play at Rutgers. Great motor. May need a year to gain the weight and make the jump.

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