The Green Bay Packers wasted no time getting busy on the first day of free agency Monday, agreeing to terms with eight undrafted free agents. Here is a list of the eight players, who can officially sign Tuesday morning, and their chances of making the team’s final roster.
Shaky Smithson, WR/KR, Utah: We profiled Smithson on his own tonight, and you can read all about the return specialist right here.
Tori Gurley, WR, South Carolina: At 6-feet, 5-inches, Gurley brings a dimension that no other Packers receiver can: size. His 4.56 forty-yard dash is quite impressive given that size, and the possession receiver could stick if James Jones leaves for greener pastures. Randall Cobb is a lock and free agent Brett Swain should get the first look in training camp, but Gurley has the size and speed to groom into a solid fourth receiver.
Sampson Genus, C, South Florida: Aside from having one of the cooler names of all undrafted free agents, Genus has produced in the Big East. A team captain and first team All-Big East selection, Genus started all 13 games his senior season and was a Wuerffel Trophy candidate, given to the best college football player who “best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.” The offensive line surprisingly has become a log jam, so Genus will have his hands full trying to make the roster. Aside from Scott Wells, the Packers do not have a true center (Even Deitrich-Smith and 2010 UDFA Nick McDonald both have the ability to play the position, while free agent Jason Spitz does as well).
Anthony Bratton, SS, Delaware: Anthony Smith is a free agent, meaning Bratton finds himself in a good position to fight for a roster spot. An All-CAA first team selection, the safety collected 66 tackles, intercepted two passes, forced two fumbles and broke up eight passes. Bratton and Smith could fight for the final roster spot in the secondary, but don’t expect Bratton to make the 53-man roster.
Diondre Borel, QB, Utah State: Borel will be brought in as a wide receiver as his 2010 stats at quarterback (2108 yards, 8 touchdowns, 13 interceptions) were less than stellar. He has the athleticism to play as a wide receiver but will need to impress in training camp to grab a practice squad spot.
M.D. Jennings, FS, Arkansas State: Like Bratton, Jennings will need to prove his worth in training camp if he has any shot at the 53-man roster. He put up impressive numbers for the Red Wolves in 2010, racking up 84 tackles and intercepting three passes. His most impressive showing came against the eventual national champions, recording 11 tackles and a sack against Auburn.
Jamari Lattimore, OLB, Middle Tennessee State: Consider Lattimore a major project for linebackers coach Kevin Greene. His 2010 production was impressive as he recorded 11.5 sacks, breaking current Packer Erik Walden’s MTSU team record. However, at just 230 pounds he will need to add bulk before he can seriously contend for a roster spot. He could be a perfect practice squad candidate.
Theo Sherman, OL, James Madison: Sherman is an interior lineman who can play both center and guard, but at this point remains a longshot to make the 53-man roster. He could be a practice squad filler if he impresses, as his versatility should help him.
Vic So’oto, DE, Brigham Young: An outside linebacker candidate due to his size, So’oto is versatile enough to make the transition from defensive lineman, much like Brady Poppinga did when he arrived in Green Bay.
**UPDATE** The Packers have agreed to terms with seven other undrafted free agents. Here they are.
Ray Dominguez, G, Arkansas
Jon Hoese, FB, Minnesota
Eli Joseph, NT, Temple
“Peanut” Joseph, ILB, Temple
Brandian Ross, CB, Youngstown State
Brandon Saine, RB, Ohio State
Kerry Taylor, WR, Arizona State