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Undrafted RB Pease catches McCarthy's eye

May 11, 2013
 

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Green Bay Packers running back Angelo Pease played for Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl last January. File/Getty Images

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Of the 57 rookie or first-year players taking part in this weekend’s rookie orientation, one individual in particular stood out to Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy on Friday.

No, it wasn’t any of the team’s 11 draft picks, but rather undrafted rookie Angelo Pease, a 5-foot-11, 211-pound running back out of Kansas State.

Pease, 21, was used sporadically in the Wildcats’ offense, but made them count with 477 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 96 carries during his final two collegiate seasons after transferring from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College.

Pease signed with the Packers as an undrafted free agent two weeks ago despite that the team burned a second-round pick on Alabama’s Eddie Lacy and fourth-round selection on UCLA’s Johnathan Franklin.

The duo, which combined for rush for nearly 3,000 yards last season, joined a running-back contingent already consisting of DuJuan Harris, 2011 third-round pick Alex Green and James Starks, who entered camp last season as the incumbent at the position.

Still, the one catching McCarthy’s attention on Friday was Pease, who torched the defense during team drills with an ankle-busting cut past the defense for a big gain up the field.

McCarthy spent most of the day watching the defense, but saw the play and mistakenly assumed it was the more highly regarded Lacy.

“He jumped out early in the run. That’s a big-time cut,” McCarthy said. Frankly, I thought it was Eddie Lacy, the way he dropped his weight and hit the hole. Those are things we’re looking for.”

Pease will need more days like Friday to stay in the heat of the competition at a suddenly crowded position, considering the Packers finished last season without a 500-yard individual rusher for the first time since 1998.

However, it wasn't a bad first impression to leave, either.

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