3 Packers Undrafted Free Agents With a Chance to Make the Roster

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By Guest Author, Pigskin Paul

Our friend Pigskin Paul takes a close-up look at three of the Packers’ undrafted free agents that are hoping to snag a roster or practice squad spot:

One of the free agent mystery men who won a contract after his audition as an unsigned invitee to the Green Bay Packers 2010 Rookie Camp, was SHAWN GORE, who played his prep and college ball north of the border. So who better to give us a scouting report on GORE than our good friend COLIN LINDSAY from The Great Blue North Draft Report. Here is his synopsis in evaluating GORE coming out of college.


When word leaked out that Green Bay had a WR in for a tryout from little Bishop’s University in Canada, just about everyone assumed it was Stephen Turner who put on a remarkable athletic performance at this year’s Canadian league draft combine where he ran the 40 in just over 4.30 seconds.

The former Gaitor signed by the Packers, though, was actually the less heralded, but ultimately more polished Shawn Gore. In fact, when the picks were in at the CFL draft earlier this month, Gore was selected 10th overall by British Columbia, whereas Turner lasted into the 4th round.  And while he lacks the jets that put former teammate Turner on notice, Gore is no slouch.Indeed, Gore’s  a pretty good athlete with a respectable 40 time of 4.50 seconds of his own run at the CFL combine.

What caught pro scouts attention, though, was the fact that the 5-11.5, 198-pound Gore was quicker than that with a 1.44 second time for the first 10-yards, while he also posted very athletic leaps of 39.5-inches in the vertical and 10-3 inches in the broad jump, both of which would have been among the top 5 figures at the position at the NFL combine.

Gore is also a decent receiver who had 37 catches in 9 games in 2010 despite playing in an offense that didn’t throw the ball all that well; he also has a 21-game streak with at least one reception.

Gore has good hands, but tends to let the ball get into his pads too often; he is also a decent route-runner who can find the soft spot underneath, but has never been asked to read coverages at the speed he’ll need to make it in the NFL. He also uses his body well to shield defenders away from the ball and is a physical receiver who wins his share of jump ball type situations.

Gore also has a quick first step after receiving the ball and averaged 16.5 yards per catch last fall while scoring 5 TDs, but lacks that extra gear when the ball is in the air. For good measure, Gore is also a solid special teams cover guy.

Certainly, Gore has the physical skills to play at the next level, including the NFL, but it is a very long way from the CIS to the NFL. College football in Canada is the equivalent of DIII or even NAIA. Teams play a somewhat limited schedule, there is no spring practice and the weight training and technical aspects of the game are very rudimentary compared with that which characterizes U.S. football programs.

Canadian players simply don’t face the kind of pure aggression and athleticism like their counterparts in the U.S. do every day in practice and on game days.  Thanks a bunch to friend Colin for his insight.

To follow up on more of the PACKERS Rookie Free Agents,  I put on the tape of the TEXAS Vs. NATION All-Star game and checked out several players who ended up signing with the PACK. So here are my observations based on their play in that game.


KNICKY was without a doubt the best overall performer of the new PACKERS, in this game. He played extensively, as a stand-up OLB for the TEXAS team. He is long and lean, looking taller and lighter than his listed numbers.

He has a BRYCE PAUP type body to my eyes. He also appears to have very long legs, which begs the question as to whether or not he can be tied up in knots, like a pretzel, trying to change direction multiple times to cover potential receivers in his pass coverage area.

Having raised that question, let me note that he seemed to be very fluid in his coverage duties during much of this game. He looked comfortable in his back pedal, and was able to change direction well. I was particularly impressed with the way he jammed the TE at the line of scrimmage several times knocking that player off his route immediately.

He also appeared to have a nose for the ball, and a willingness to pursue through the whistle. He stayed on his feet well, which is a big issue for a LB. He seems to have decent functional strength, but I am guessing he can add some muscle to his upper body in an NFL weight room.

This guy looks like a football player, and I can’t help but believe that more than a few other NFL teams had him on their watch lists. The challenge for the PACK may be figuring out how to hang onto this player and get some usefulness out of him this coming season.

My fear would be that if he is cut some team with a 4-3 scheme will sign him quickly with the thought of bulking him up a bit and putting him back at a DE position. In essence, I am saying he reminds me quite a bit initially of AARON KAMPMAN, and may indeed be best suited for a 4-3 scheme.

Only time will tell, but based on what I saw of KNICKY in this particular game he will be a guy well worth watching for his progress (or lack thereof) during OTAs and Training Camp in Green Bay.


This player rose up draft  boards rapidly once Pro Days got under way. I was a bit surprised that he was not Drafted in Round 7, but he was probably a victim of the overall strength of this year’s Draft Class. I
N 2009 he certainly would have been Drafted late. He alternated time at LT in this All-Star Game with NIC RICHMOND, MARSHALL NEWHOUSE’s teammate at TCU.

The first thing that struck me about CAMPBELL was his quick, agile feet for his size. He did a great job of getting to the second level for blocks on the LB/DB in the running game. His strength looks good, and his body certainly looks like he could add some additional functional muscle.

His arms are long and he uses them well… most of the time. He is not overpowering, but once he locks onto his man there is no way to escape. And I do not mean to imply he was holding.

His style of play, and size seem very well suited for the  PACKERS zone-blocking scheme. He dropped very nicely into his pass pro stance, without standing upright immediately, most of the time.

He looks like a natural knee-bender. I think he gave a bit too much ground, too quickly on some occasions, but that should be a minor correctable coaching situation.

In essence, I saw a very athletic player, who looks to have the talent needed to clean up some of his minor technique flaws with pro coaching. It will be a matter of want-to, hard work and desire on CAMPBELL’s part in making the jump in competition from small school to the NFL.

Here’s an interesting dilemma for the PACK potentially: if  CAMPBELL comes on strong, would the team part with all of their back-up vets at OT (BARBE & GIACOMINI) and go to war with both BULAGA and CAMPBELL as their OT back-ups.

Once again I am fearful that CAMPBELL may be too talented to risk losing if placed on the Practice Squad. Remember the team was burned twice last season when BROHM & MEREDITH were both grabbed by the BILLS. That stung, and the Personnel Department was not pleased by that development.

It is way too early for serious speculation, but give some thought to the following players actually being the 2010 OL group come September:


That would mean cutting/trading the following players currently on the roster:


Just had to throw that last segment at you. It seems risky to be that inexperienced, but hey, TED THOMPSON loves that young, cheap talent to work with, doesn’t he?

20 thoughts on “3 Packers Undrafted Free Agents With a Chance to Make the Roster

  1. Very nice article, don’t know anything about the UFAs to really comment on it…

    Doubt EDS gets cut, though…

    1. I like the Campbell kid, myself. Better than I liked Jamon Meredith. EDS could very well get cut if Newhouse is better. Newhouse gives them the same multi-position flexibilty.

      1. Not at C, I don’t think…

        Spitz isn’t a center. That’s very clear to me. He just doesn’t know how to diagnose the blitz and/or transmit that information correctly to the line.

        I haven’t seen EDS do it, but he’s very young, and was good in preseason last year.

        1. I don’t think the Packers coaches agree with you on Spitz. But I agree with you that he was not productive at center. Wells came in and you could visually see the difference. he’s be pointing out assignments to his fellow linemen and took charge. If we could combine Spitz’s body with Wells’ mind, we’d have a very good center.

  2. Thanks for the intros to some of the unkowns. It is obvious why Campbell gets attention. He is 6’5″ and 328. More imnportantly, you point to a perplexing problem GB will have. The two pillars of their offensive lines are going into their 11th year. At 33 and 32 and their recent injury histroy indicates that the team must be prepared to have a skilled backup avaikable for each. If two pure Tackles are selected for backups the remainder of the Oline backups will most be guys who can play more than one position. They will probably only be able to keep 9, maybe 10 of the 15 carried on the roster now. The only other choice is to drop Tauscher and Clifton and go young. We saw how well that worked last year.

    This will be a though decision for MM and the boys. They must bring the 51 sacks down to 25 this year.

    1. I love the competition on the line last year. Last season I predicted an UDFA lineman would make the roster, as the depth was rather poor. With Tauscher back and the addition of Newhouse, it will be much tougher this year. I think Newhouse ability to play multiple positions gets him on the team, so for Campbell to make it. Some vets will have to be cut or traded.

  3. I really think we already have the future guys in our line.

    Bulaga/Newhouse/EDS/Sitton/Lang. I believe in one or two years, that will be the line.

  4. We KNOW that Barbre sucks, and we KNOW that Giacomini wasn’t good enough to even see the field last year. So if they’re both gone, I’m fine with the UNKNOWN that is Bulaga and Campbell as backup tackles. That illustrates how dire the tackle situation could become, of course, but still…

  5. Very bold with the prediction of an OT being able to snag a roster spot. Anyone think it is possible that 2 UDFA OLB’s make it? One to take the spot vacated by Kampman and the other to move out Poppinga?

    1. That would be quite a surprise development. You have to remember they have Obiozor, as well, so it would not be very likely. Poppinga has special teams value so for him to be cut, his replacement would need to do well there, also.

    2. OLB could be almost as intresting as the OL corps. I am still optimistic on the potential of last year’s RFA OBIOZOR. There is something i can’t quite define that intrigues me about his potential. I do think there is a chance that BRADY may be gone if the younger guys show much.BRADY is getting to the stage where he has been aorund too long to just be a Specail Teamer, and a 3-4 scheme does not play to his srengths, overall.
      Watch to see if HAVNER doens’t move back to OLB and allow them to cut POPINGA.

  6. I think Gore would have the hardest chance of making it on a team with the WR’s it has. He could replace Swain if he shows return ability.

    Knickey and Zombo are the two OLB’s you will want to keep an eye on.
    Both are VERY good athletes and were productive players in college.
    The one I look forward to seeing most in training camp is Obiozor.
    When you look at his work out numbers and how he played in college, compare him to Kindle, Hughes, Graham you know why he is with the team.
    And he did those numbers at 270#, he is now 250# to play OLB.

    I was very happy when they signed Campbell, his only negative is strength with only 14 reps@225# and a 25″ vertical, good quickness with a 1.77 10 yard time, good 40 time for his size at 5.28 EXCELLENT agility testing.

    A couple other UDFA’S that interest me are Nick McDonald OT from Grand Valley State, Will play OG in the NFL.
    Alex Joesph ILB from Temple, Same size as Bishop but a much better athlete, above average in coverage and good on special teams.
    And my big sleeper pick is Quinn Porter RB Stillman, 6′ 201# 4.48 40 time, played RB, Returned kick offs and Punted.
    A very good fit for the ZONE scheme.

    I do know this, TT has brought in a LOT of talent and on Defense I think this team has one of the best Coaching staffs top to bottom, that is what is going to make the biggest difference.
    Offense is very good, it can and will get even better with the Competition for Oline spots, added Depth and more experience for some younger players.

    I was cautiously optimistic to see how everything got moving last year.
    But this year, I don’t think I have been as excited to see a training camp start since the mid 90’s.

    1. I agree with you on Gore.

      Obiozor has been my pet project since he was signed. I predicted he would make the roster, despite how raw he was. Now with a full year of coaching, it’s time for him to shed the “potential” tag and show some results. Otherwise, as you said, Knicky or Zombo will have his job.

      I like Joseph, also. I think it’s time for the Packers to part ways with Bishop, as the coaches just can’t put up with his inconsistencies. Hopefully, Joseph is the guy.

      Didn’t know much about Porter, so thanks for the video. I think I still like Starks better, but Porter does have the special teams edge.

      This is by far the most talented crop of UDFAs I’ve seen in Green Bay in Thompson’s tenure. I hope a few break through…

  7. I doubt that Porter coming from Stillman would beat out Starks, but I think he can beat out say Lumpkin. To me Porter is that kind of quick, slashing RB they don’t have now.
    With his return ability he adds special teams play.
    Besides maybe he ends up the punter lol.

    1. But there isn’t room for 4 RBs, so it’s Grant, Jackson and either Lumpkin/Starks/Porter. Unless they like two of those three enough to move Jackson out. I wouldn’t be opposed…

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