7

May

Intriguing Packers UDFAs: Present and Future

Lonnie Ballentine, S Memphis

Lonnie Ballentine, S Memphis

As those who have posted with me for years know, the underdog UDFAs are the players I pull for more then any other. Of course you want that high draft pick to make an impact but seeing these last round and UDFA’s types make the practice squad, or the 53 man roster, you got to pull for them. Y

ou will see them giving it all up to make the team. You see them get better and better as the pre season goes on. And a few of them end up on the team, and few of those turn into the Donald Drivers, Tremon William’s, Sam Shields and Don Barclays for the Packers.

For what ever reason these players are not drafted and there is a list of those UDFA’s that have ended up in the NFL Hall of Fame. And there have been more then a few with the Packers to do big things.

I will first bring up two current players most have not heard of that made the practice squad last year, but I really want to see what a full season on the practice squad and a off season program does for them.

James Nixon CB played in 3 games after being moved up from the Practice squad. Very fast and quick with a 4.31 40 time and a amazing 1.43 ten yard time. One of those physically gifted players that needs development after playing both offense and defense in college.

Now here is one of the more interesting practice squad players IMO. Jeremy Vujnovich OT 6-5 300#. Athlete 4.87 40 time, 1.72 ten yard, 35 reps at 225#.

Now for some 2014 UDFA prospects I’d love to see in the Packers’ camp:

With the great Safety debate going on here is a late round/UDFA type that needs some investigation. Lonnie Ballentine FS Memphsis. 6-3 219# 4.39 Speed, 1.51 ten yard time, good strength with 18 reps at 225#.

Here’s another safety Strong Safety this time. Daniel Sorenson BYU, 6-1 205# 4.54 40 1.65 ten yard time, Excellent agility with a 3.95 short shuttle and 6.47 3 cone drill. Good change of direction, fluid hips to turn and run.

Another ILB for you viewing pleasure, -Marquis Spruill, Sr., Syracuse 6-1 231# 4.53 40 time 1.64 ten yard. You can see his quickness in the video and good change of direction.

(warning: strong language…)

These players are above average athletes and with NFL level training and coaching they could turn into that next great find. That Packers under Ted Thompson have had a exceptional record in signing this type player that not only make the team but become starters.

---- Get AddToAny

6 Responses to “Intriguing Packers UDFAs: Present and Future”

  1. Tmoneey says:

    What was that guy with the long hyphen name from Canada they brought in for pre draft workout, think he was a offensive tackle???

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    • Stroh says:

      Laurent Duvernay-Tardif… He’s a 5th round pick most likely. 6’5 300 and he’s pretty athletic, someone will take a shot on his athleticism and hope he can develop into a serviceable OT or OG.

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  2. Two Bears, One Cup says:

    Hard not to like the size/speed combo on Ballentine. The videos aren’t coming up on my iPad, but I’m guessing he has some serious flaws in his game to have that height/weight/speed and be considered a probable UDFA. Anyone out there know much about him?

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  3. CBS rates Ballentine 231 overall, and has him drafted in the 6th or 7th round. It has no description of him. NFL also rates him as 6th/7th round prospect and notes that he does not play to his speed, is not a strong tackler, is late to see plays develop, does not transition from his backpedal well, has shaky hands and mistimes his jumps. Developmental player with tools.

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  4. Ed Schoenfeld says:

    Great article idea, people forget that there are more than 256 talented players available.

    This year it seems like there will be good options for receivers in UDFA, but still think the Packers will take at least one pass catcher (WR or Te) fairly high.

    BTW: Driver wass a 7th round pick, not a UDFA.

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