Rookie free agents for the Green Bay Packers
From the great Bob McGinn of the Journal Sentinel
~Green Bay — Here is a look at the rookie free agents for the Green Bay Packers. There has been no announcement by the club on the signings.
The team also can invite an unlimited number of rookies to its three-day rookie orientation camp that begins Thursday. Those players will be competing for a couple of berths on the 90-man roster.
MALCOLM AGNEW, RB, Southern Illinois
Basics: From Chesterfield, Mo. Played two seasons at Oregon State, rushing 152 times for 692 yards (4.6) and six TDs and catching four passes for 16 (one TD). Although he “loved” then-coach Mike Riley and his staff, Agnew said he transferred to Southern Illinois to play alongside his older brother, Ray, a fullback, and because “I needed to make a change of scenery.” Immediately eligible at the FCS school, he started two years (19 games), rushing 316 times for 1,708 (5.4) and catching 29 passes for 329 (11.5) and three TDs. Missed last four games of 2014 (ankle). Father, Ray, was the 10th pick in the 1990 draft (Patriots) as a DE and started for seven of his 11 NFL seasons.
Measurables: 5 feet 9 inches, 207 pounds, 40-yard dash time of 4.63 seconds. Vertical jump of 37 inches, broad jump of 10-9, 19 reps on the 225-pound bench press and a score of 26 on the 12-minute, 50-question Wonderlic intelligence test. Arms measured 30 3/8 inches, hands were small at 8 7/8 inches.
Agnew: “I feel I just run really hard. I’m good running between the tackles. I love the zone running scheme. I’m a one-cut back. I’ll get downhill fast. I stick my nose in there. I may not be the biggest guy, but I feel like I’m a pretty good blocker. My best trait would be my burst through the hole….Good riddance to the 40. I had a good 10 (yards) time (1.54), the vertical was decent, the broad jump was really good. That shows more what a running back needs than long straight-line speed….I pretty much know all the running-back depth charts from one to four. I was aware they didn’t sign DuJuan Harris back, and Rajion Neal is coming back as the third back and there could be opportunities there.”
NFC scout: “Got a little juice. He runs tough. He’s just small.”
AFC scout: “I saw him in the NFLPA (all-star) game. Little bit undersized, but he’s got vision and feet. He runs with purpose.”
BERNARD BLAKE, CB, Colorado State
Basics: From Bastrop, Texas. Played off the bench in 2011, served as nickel back in ’12 and started last two years. Played 47 games, finishing with 141 tackles (8½ for loss), two interceptions, two forced fumbles and 27 passes defensed. Signing bonus was $3,500.
Measurables: 5-11, 183, 4.51. Vertical jump of just 31½, broad jump of 10-7, only nine reps on the bench and Wonderlic of 12. Arms were 30¼, hands were 9 5/8.
Blake: “At the time there were three teams calling me but I signed pretty quickly with Green Bay. They were the first team to reach out….I’m a passionate player. I’m going to lay it all on the line. I just love everything about the game. It’s life….I played man and zone. I was predominantly press my senior year….I’ve had minor injuries but nothing that made me miss anything.”
AFC scout: “He has adequate speed and quickness. He also has a slender frame, questionable aggressiveness and no closing burst.”
JAVESS BLUE, WR, Kentucky
Basics: From Lake Wales, Fla. Played two seasons at Butler (Kan.) Community College. Started two years at UK, finishing with 72 receptions for 1,111 (15.4) and nine TDs. As a junior, he returned 25 kickoffs for a 20.4 average.
Measurables: 5-11½, 194, 4.55. Vertical jump of 33, broad jump of 10-1, 13 reps on the bench and Wonderlic of 13. Arms were 31 7/8, hands were 9.
Blue: “I see myself as more of a speed receiver. I got used mainly to playing inside but I’ve been all over. Very first catch I had this year I got my ankle twisted. It was a high ankle sprain. That took me out for a couple weeks. I was rehabbing and playing on it. With that injury they took me off kickoff and punt returns….I had 18 teams (interested) but it was mainly Green Bay to me because of the two UK guys already being there. That’s two I’ve always been looking up to. Randall (Cobb) and Tim (Masthay). (Randall) is a nice person to be my mentor.”
AFC scout: “I gave Javess a draftable grade. He’s a smooth athlete. He didn’t have a lot of opportunities. He’ll have a shot to make the team. Good route runner. Not a blazer. Plays with good awareness.”
RICKY COLLINS, WR, Texas A&M-Commerce
Basics: From Tyler, Texas. Played two seasons at Kilgore (Texas) junior college. Played six games at NCAA Division II Midwestern (Texas) State in 2012, catching seven passes for 98 yards before departing at midseason after his father suffered a stroke. Redshirted at A&M-Commerce, another Lone Star Conference school, in 2013 before breaking out as a senior with 71 catches for 1,187 (16.7) and 14 TDs.
Measurables: 6-0, 201, 4.53. Vertical jump of 36, broad jump of 9-11 and Wonderlic of 16. Arms were a long 32¾, hands were 9.
Collins: “My strengths are my routes, my hands and my speed. I think I had like three drops the whole season….I had like 10 teams. It came down to Green Bay, Dallas and San Diego. I picked the Packers because they brought me in on a (pre-draft) visit and I like the winning tradition they have. The town, I’m used to a small town. When I went up there I felt I was at home….Coming from a DII school where you basically don’t have nothing and then ending up in the NFL where you have everything you need, it was kind of, like, ‘Wow.'”
NFC scout: “He’s got some up side and some tools. Small school.”
NFC scout: “Could be a sleeper. He’s fast, quick. Good hands.”
ADRIAN COXSON, WR, Stony Brook
Basics: From Baltimore. Started career at Florida in 2010. Departed for home after two weeks when his father suffered a major health problem. Redshirted that year at Maryland under coach Ralph Friedgen and stayed there under new coach Randy Edsall in ’11, catching four passes for 90 yards (one TD). Transferred to Stony Brook, an FCS school on Long Island. Started two of three seasons, finishing with 84 catches for 1,335 (15.9) and 10 TDs. Visited Green Bay before the draft.
Measurables: 6-0½, 207, 4.46. Vertical jump of 32, broad jump of 9-3, 15 reps on the bench and Wonderlic of 16. Arms were 31¾, hands were 9¾.
Coxson: “I’m very physical. I can stretch the field. Good after the catch. Make people miss. I’m able to turn a 2-yard pass into a 90-yard touchdown. Love to block….I returned (seven kickoffs, 12.6) and covered the gunner. Been the gunner….Atlanta, the Giants, Miami and Buffalo also were (interested). Me and my agent thought Green Bay was the best fit for me and my playing style….I just (need to) come in, work hard, prove myself and be great on special teams.”
AFC scout: “He’s OK. Late-round shot in the dark guy.”
NFC scout: “Big, fast, had some production. He’s a three-school transfer.”
JOHN CROCKETT, RB, North Dakota State
Basics:From Minneapolis. Redshirted in 2011, split time with 1,000-yard rusher Sam Ojuri in 2012 and ’13 before setting school records for carries (368) and yards (1,994) in ’14. Gained 1,038 in ’12 and 1,277 in ’13 as Bison won FCS national title each of his three seasons. Made 30 of his 43 receptions last season. Career-long 80-yard run Aug. 30 helped Bison win at Iowa State, 34-14. High-school high jumper at Totino-Grace with personal best of 6-6. Worst injury was broken wrist in 2012 off-season.
Measurables: 6-0, 218, 4.57. Vertical jump of 40 (fourth best among RBs at the combine), broad jump of 10-5, 15 reps on the bench and Wonderlic of 15. Arms measured 31, hands were 9¾.
Crockett: “My style is to kind of do it all. Catch out of the backfield, that’s one of my strongest suits. Run inside, run outside and block. I’m not afraid of sticking my nose in there. We ran a pro-style offense with the power scheme and the zone scheme. I would say my (favorite play) was power. It’s a grown-man play. You go right down the ‘A’ gap and see what happens.”
AFC scout: “He’s intriguing. He could sneak into the third, fourth round. He’s big, runs tough, can catch out of the backfield, good blocker.”
NFC scout: “Watch all the times where the hole almost closes and he runs through an arm tackle. He’s got the big thighs and hips. You see that low-body power. I’m not going to say he has a burst of quickness because he really doesn’t. I wonder if he can make a team just because his speed will so limit him.”
NFC scout: “Very productive. You just wonder if he has the lateral explosion to create space when he needs to.”
TAVARUS DANTZLER, ILB, Bethune-Cookman
Basics: From Homestead, Fla. Played 46 games from 2011-’14, starting the final three seasons on the strong side in a 4-3 defense. Finished with 176 tackles (19 for loss), 2 ½ sacks, six forced fumbles and five passes defensed.
Measurables: 6-2, 240, 4.61. Vertical jump of 35½, broad jump of 10-1 and 21 reps on the bench. Arms were extremely long at 34¼, hands were 9 5/8. Ran the 40 at NFL regional and super-regional combines but didn’t run March 24 at pro day. Impressive workout numbers.
Dantzler: “We were a base 4-3 but I feel my best fit is the 3-4 defense. They (the Packers) have me at ‘Mike.’ It’ll be no problem….I’m a player who prides myself on bringing energy and effort. Someone who puts the team first. Someone who is very humble and looking forward to making the most of his opportunity. Once camp gets rolling my man-to-man (pass) coverage will be one of my strengths.
NFC scout: “Heck of a player. Competitive, active.”
AFC scout: “He’s all right. He popped up on pro timing day. Just a free agent.”
FABBIANS “FABO” EBBELE, T, Arizona
Basics: From Chicago (Simeon High School). Started 51 of 52 games at RT, including the last three seasons in coach Rich Rodriguez’ spread offense. Contacted by 10 teams after the draft. Vacationed several times at Wisconsin Dells. Signing bonus of $2,000.
Measurables: 6-7½, 317, 5.55. Vertical jump of 31, broad jump of 8-3, 22 reps on the bench and Wonderlic of 16. Arm length (36¼) might have been the longest of any player in the draft. Hands were 10 1/8.
Ebbele: “In the run game, that’s where you show where your power is. I like to keep the quarterback comfortable and off the ground. I like communication among the O-line. We move in harmony as one unit….I’ve been pretty durable. The most I was sidelined was a couple practices. I always got injured the week before the bye week…. There was like 10 teams….After my sophomore year (at Simeon) it was be all football or be all basketball. It’s tough to play both, especially at my high school.”
NFC scout: “He’s huge. Doesn’t have great feet. Long. Can get in somebody’s way. Position and shield blocker.”
AFC scout: “He’s tall and has long arms. His weaknesses are strength, body control and balance.”
LADARIUS GUNTER, CB, Miami (Fla.)
Basics: From Montgomery, Ala. Spent two years at Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College, redshirting in 2010 and playing CB in ’11. At Miami, started five of the last six games at CB in 2012 before starting 25 games in 2013-’14, mostly at safety. Finished with 101 tackles (three for loss), six interceptions and 18 passes defensed. Selected the Packers over a host of teams, including Dallas, Carolina and Detroit.
Measurables: 6-1½, 201, 4.65. Vertical jump of 33½, broad jump of 9-0, 12 reps on the bench and Wonderlic of 18. Arms were 31½, hands were 9 5/8.
Gunter: “I’m a high-motor guy. I’m a physical guy. I learn very well and I’m very versatile. I can play safety and corner. It really doesn’t matter. I’ll come there and work. That’s all I know. If someone’s ahead of me I’ll just keep working….A lot of teams called. I was just basically going after a place that was best for me to fit in at. ”
NFC scout: “Down the line guy. Miami has fooled me over the years. There are some defensive backs that come out of there that played better than I ever thought they would. The kid in Green Bay (Sam Shields) is one of them.”
AFC scout: “Great kid. Heart. Tough. Better safety than corner. I just don’t think he runs well enough. If he plays corner he’s got to be in a (Cover) 2 press kind of deal. He will put his hands on you. The turn and the running and the flexibility and the twitch, I worry about that.”
ALONZO HARRIS, RB, Louisiana Lafayette
Basics: From Gadsden, Ala. Played extensively in 49 games over four seasons. Highest rushing output was 942 in 2013; lowest was 700 in ’11. Finished with 704 carries for 3,330 (4.7) and 44 TDs and 29 receptions for 234 and one TD. Had about five offers, ultimately choosing Green Bay over Dallas. Signing bonus of $3,500.
Measurables: 6-1, 235, 4.65. Vertical jump of 36, broad jump of 10-7, 15 reps on the bench and Wonderlic of 18. Arms were a long 33½, hands were 10 1/8.
Harris: “I’m more the type of guy that gets a lot of yards after contact. I can hit a home run if necessary. We had a zone scheme. I was probably 60-40 inside zone. I’d say I’m a guy that doesn’t go down easy….Go in with a mind-set really to learn. Confident, but not cocky. I feel like fear will get me nowhere. It’s what I’ve been waiting on for years. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. God has blessed me to come this far. If I do what I’ve got to do as far as practicing and being on time, taking care of my body, keep my head and my nose in the playbook, then I should be fine.”
NFC scout: “Big downhill back. Doesn’t have great top-end speed. Got a little inside run ability. Worry about him getting to the edge. ”
NFC scout: “Big, strong runner with average speed. He had a disappointing senior season compared to early in his career. Underachiever.”
MITCHELL HENRY, TE, Western Kentucky
Basics: From Elizabethtown, Ky. Backed up in 2011-’12 under coach Willie Taggart in a West Coast offense. Started in ’13 under Bobby Petrino and in ’14 under Jeff Brohm in more pro-style offenses. Finished with 78 catches for 1,094 (14.0) and 12 TDs. Also had an offer from Denver.
Measurables: 6-3½, 250, 4.69. Vertical jump of 37, broad jump of 9-6, 15 reps on the bench and Wonderlic of 16. Impressive athletic numbers. Arms were 31 7/8, hands were 9 1/8. Added almost 10 pounds since November.
Henry: “Up there in the sixth round I felt I had a pretty good shot (to be drafted). I think it came down to me and the kid (Kennard Backman) they drafted from UAB….I’m more of a pass-catching tight end. I never did it (block) until I got to college. I kind of embraced that role and got a lot better at it through my four years. More of an athletic, speed, quick, get in and out of breaks type player. Getting open in space and using my athleticism more than my blocking skills probably….Worst injury I had was this year. I separated my shoulder twice but no surgery.”
AFC scout: “Good hands. Extends and bends. Adequate release, speed, quickness, run after the catch. Not a blocker. H-back type.”
AFC scout: “He’s a camp guy. He’s below average at everything. He’s tough. He does compete. But he’s just very limited in every athletic aspect. But he tries hard.”
NFC scout: “He’ll make a team. Kind of athletic. Big, strong kid. Good hands. Blocks OK.”
LAVON HOOKS, DE, Mississippi
Basics: From Norcross, Ga. Outstanding basketball player. Played basketball at a military school in 2010, then both sports at Northeast Mississippi Community College for two years weighing 295. Recruited by some low-majors for basketball but decided on football. Started just two of 24 games for Rebels, finishing with 27 tackles (nine for loss) and three sacks. Averaged between 11 and 15 snaps as a senior. Had seven NFL offers, picked Packers over Kansas City.
Measurables: 6-3½, 309, 5.26. Vertical jump of 27, broad jump of 8-9, 18 reps on the bench and Wonderlic of 17. Arms were 33¼, hands were 10¼.
Hooks: “I was a receiver in high school. I graduated at 250. I’m pretty raw at the position, but I believe I’m very athletic and I’m strong. I’d say I’m a power player right now. I have pretty good feet. Green Bay looks at me more as a 5-technique. That’s mainly what I did at my JC. …It (bench press) wasn’t good at all, but I got a lot stronger since then (March 5). I was never really big in the weight room (before). I loved basketball but I wasn’t long enough to go play at a major DI. I played post. I ran the floor, though. Those 6-8, 6-9 guys really couldn’t run with me.”
NFC scout: “Big kid with some athleticism.”
JIMMIE HUNT, WR, Missouri
Basics: From East St. Louis, Ill. Redshirted in 2010, seldom played in ’11, made big plays in ’12 as a backup and played extensively in 2013-’14. Finished with 74 receptions for 1,204 (16.3) and 12 TDs. Posted career bests (6-169) against Alabama in 2014 SEC Championship Game. Had shoulder surgery after the season. Dogged by injuries throughout career.
Measurables: 6-0, 208, 4.55. Vertical jump of 31½, broad jump of 9-8, 10 reps on the bench and Wonderlic of 6. Arms were 30 3/8, hands were 9½.
Hunt: “Honestly, my last four games were my best games. I got healthy. I showed my team I was still that guy that could make big plays….You might not think it but I’m very physical. I like to stick my nose in things. Show the coaches I’m not a guy who just catches the ball. I also block for my teammates….Green Bay talked to my high-school coach a lot. I got a lot of feedback. I had a few other places I could have went to, but Green Bay seemed like the best fit.”
AFC scout: “He’s quick, has adequate speed and plus hands. He has had the injuries and a low test score.”
LARRY PINKARD, WR, ex-Old Dominion
Basics: From Washington, D.C. Redshirted in 2010, started from Game 5 of 2011 through ’13. Dismissed from team by coach Bobby Wilder in late June 2014. The sole reason, said Pinkard, was the failed drug test for marijuana (he said it was his only positive test) that summer. Finished with 160 catches for 2,338 (14.6) and 25 TDs. Shortly thereafter enrolled at NAIA Bluefield (Va.) State where he practiced but wasn’t eligible to play. Chose Packers among five offers. Signing bonus of $3,000.
Measurables: 6-0, 196, 4.51. Vertical jump of 36½, broad jump of 10-8, 18 reps on the bench and Wonderlic of 17. Arms were 32½, hands were 8 7/8.
Pinkard: “One practice at Bluefield a Green Bay scout (Lee Gissendaner) came and watched. He talked to me. That was one of the key factors in me deciding to come to Green Bay. They were there even though all that stuff happened. I definitely would have got drafted (otherwise)….You can put me anywhere on the field and I’ll make a play. I can take it the distance from basically anywhere on the field.”
AFC scout: “I had him on our priority free-agent list. He’s got size and he can catch. He can run a little bit, too.”
NFC scout: “Exciting player. Not real fast but a good player.”
JERMAURIA RASCO, OLB, Louisiana State
Basics: From Shreveport, La. Backed up in 2011-’12, started at DE in a 4-3 defense the past two seasons opposite Danielle Hunter. Finished with 154 tackles (19½ for loss) and 10 sacks (team-high four in ’14). Picked Green Bay over six other offers.
Measurables: 6-3, 252, 4.76. Vertical jump of 28½, broad jump of 9-0, 12 reps on the bench and Wonderlic of 9. Arms were 32 5/8, hands were 9.
Rasco: “I feel like I’m a real finesse player. I’m a real smart football player. I feel like I have great play recognition. Definitely a student of the game. …I had no contact with the Packers at all. I had a good idea of the players there, and they’re a lot older. So if I make the team I feel like I’ll have a good career there.”
NFC scout: “Big and athletic, but no instincts. He was a guy to consider because he has some size and there’s a little speed.”
NFC scout: “Tough, active, physical player. Played big-time football.”
MARCUS REED, G, Fayetteville State (N.C.)
Basics: From Houston. Played two years at Kilgore (Texas) junior college. Transferred to Division II Fayetteville, where he started all 20 games the past two years (18 at RG, two at LT). Had offers from Green Bay, Kansas City and Indianapolis.
Measurables: 6-3½, 348, 5.43. Vertical jump of 25½, broad jump of 8-3, 26 reps on the bench and Wonderlic of 18. Arms were 33 5/8, hands were 9¾.
Reed: “I’m very physical. Probably the most athletic big guy you probably could ever see. I’m ready to put it into work. It was a zone (scheme). Somewhat simple. I’ll conform to any kind of system they have….I just felt Green Bay was a great organization. I felt like I had a great opportunity to come up and contribute to this great team that they have.
AFC scout: “Huge, huge, huge. He’s got an outside chance at the practice squad.”
NFC scout: “Talented kid. He’s got some up side.”
MATT ROTHERAM, G, Pittsburgh
Basics: From North Olmsted, Ohio. Redshirted in 2010, started two games in ’11 and all 38 games from 2012-’14. His starts included 27 at RG and 13 at RT. Practiced at center last year. Paid pre-draft visits to Green Bay and New England. Had approximately 15 offers, choosing Green Bay over Minnesota. Signing bonus of $5,000.
Measurables: 6-5, 326, 5.38. Vertical jump of 28, broad jump of 8-8, 22 reps on the bench and Wonderlic of 24. Arms were 33, hands were 9 5/8.
Rotheram: “I feel I’m kind of a power run game guy. Just a downhill kind of blocker. I do have the athleticism to be a great pass protector. I probably need some work in that area of my game. I’ve always felt I excelled in run blocking. I do fit in well with what the Packers do….I played at 342. I cut down for (pro day) because a lot of teams told me I wouldn’t fit into their style of play being how big I was.”
NFC scout: “Probably try to make him a center. Big, slow-footed guy. Just size.”
JAMES VAUGHTERS, OLB, Stanford
Basics: From Stone Mountain, Ga. Played in a 3-4 scheme. Backed up at OLB in 2011, started four of 14 games at ILB in ’12 and started at OLB in 2013-’14. Finished with 124 tackles (22 for loss) and 12½ sacks. Narrowed seven offers down to Green Bay, San Diego and San Francisco. Signing bonus of $5,000.
Measurables: 6-2, 248, 4.87. Vertical jump of 32½, broad jump of 9-4, a phenomenal 35 reps on the bench and Wonderlic of 25. Arms were 32 1/8, hands were 9¼.
Vaughters: “If they ask me to play inside I’ll play inside. I love playing the game….One of my best attributes is my strength. I try to work leverage. I feel I can do a lot of things pretty well….I had a bit of an issue with continuity. I wanted to put the team’s goal before mine. I’d always just do what I was told so sometimes I lacked a little continuity in my development….I’m a big fan of the Packers’ organization. I felt like I’d have a good opportunity to make the team.”
NFC scout: “Doesn’t have a lot of speed. I wouldn’t say a super athlete or anything, but he’s got a little feel for rushing the passer.”
AFC scout: “He’s best as an edge rusher. He has…some burst to the quarterback. He is tight and will struggle in space as an inside linebacker.”
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