Quarterbacks coming in as Packers' undrafted free agents
GREEN BAY – Brian Gutekunst didn’t present new coach Matt LaFleur with any new quarterback prospects through the NFL draft, but the Green Bay Packers general manager gave him a couple of arms to evaluate at his rookie minicamp next week.
After the draft was over, Gutekunst signed Arizona State quarterback Manny Wilkins to an undrafted free agent contract and arranged for Southwestern Assemblies of God University quarterback C.J. Collins to come up next weekend on a tryout basis.
With DeShone Kizer and Tim Boyle, LaFleur already has two quarterbacks behind starter Aaron Rodgers and he didn’t seem that keen on taking four quarterbacks to training camp. But Gutekunst wasn’t shy about giving him some alternatives to look at.
“I am comfortable carrying three because it truly is hard to give four guys reps,” LaFleur said of training camp this summer. “It’s more or less taking throws off a guy — you know, saving the guy’s arm. I’ve got no problem.
“Last year (in Tennessee) we carried three. Just from a rep standpoint, when you get into the team periods, it’s definitely easier to give them some reps.”
Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to have some young arms around.
Neither Kizer nor Boyle have played in LaFleur’s offense, and there’s no guarantee they’re going to light it up in the offseason or training camp.
A fifth-year senior last season, Wilkins completed 247 of 393 passes (62.8 percent) for 3,025 yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions. Over a three-year period, he started 28 games. At 6-2 and 193 pounds, he doesn’t have a big build, but the Packers may have liked the fact he ran a solid 4.7-second 40-yard dash.
Collins has a unique story beyond playing at a small Christian college.
According to his agent, Robert Sheets, he played poorly in a Texas all-star game and couldn’t get into a pro day to show off his skills. Eventually, he was invited to throw to receiver Jalen Hurd at Baylor’s pro day, which gave him the chance to perform in front of 29 NFL scouts.
“He couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn in January, but fast forward to March and it was a completely different story,” Sheets said. “One scout (at the Baylor workout) told him that was the best quarterback workout he’s seen this year.”
The 6-5, 230-pound Collins ran the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds.
After his season was over, Collins worked with former Stephen F. Austin quarterback Zach Conque on his delivery and Sheets said the results were startling. He said Collins began throwing accurate spirals and started to look like a real quarterback.
The Packers were one of the teams who attended Baylor’s pro day and they were impressed enough to offer him a tryout.
Here are the rest of the undrafted free agents that were known to have signed with the Packers with height, weight, 40-yard dash time and bench press listed:
» Nate Brooks, CB, North Texas: 6-0, 4.66, 40 ½, 11. Had 67 tackles and a team-leading six interceptions with 10 break-ups as a senior. In four years, he had 193 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 10 interceptions, 29 pass break-ups and three forced fumbles.
» Randy Ramsey, DL, Arkansas: 6-3, 238, 4.78, 30, 24. Played in 39 games with 22 starts. He totaled eight sacks in four seasons. Will be used as an outside linebacker in the pros.
» Greg Roberts, DE, Baylor: 6-5, 258, 4.72, 34 1/2 , 23. Played in 42 games with 26 starts in three seasons. Had 81 tackles, 15½ for loss, and three sacks, all during his senior season. He played defensive end but could wind up being an outside linebacker in the NFL. UPDATE: Signed three-year rookie deal.
» Javien Hamilton, DB, Mississippi: 5-10, 184, 4.5, 39, 13. Joined Ole Miss after two years in junior college and made four starts as a junior and four as a senior. Had 38 tackles and three interceptions. UPDATE: Signed three-year rookie deal.
» Yousauh, Nijman, OT, Virginia Tech: 6-6 ½, 314, 4.89, 30 ½, 27. Started out as a defensive end, then moved to tackle. Became the starting left tackle his sophomore season. Missed five games in ’17 due to a leg injury and two games in ’18 due to undisclosed injuries.
» K.B. Ento, WR, Colorado: 6-1 ½, 187, 4.52, 41 ½, 11. Played two seasons at East Central (Mississippi) Community College where he caught 59 passes for 885 yards (15.0 average) and 10 touchdowns. Caught eight passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns as a junior, redshirted the next season so he could build up his body and caught 12 passes for 161 yards as a senior. Will attempt to make team as a cornerback.
» Curtis Bolton, ILB, Oklahoma: 6-0, 228, 4.58, 38, 17. He played mostly as a reserve early on, playing in just three games as a sophomore and eight as a junior due to an ankle injury. But he became a starter last year and had 142 tackles, including 12 for loss and 4½ sacks. UPDATE: Signed three-year rookie deal.
» Matt Eaton, WR, Iowa State: 6-4, 209, 4.64 34, 10. Started out at Temple, but after two years transferred to a JC and then played two seasons for the Cyclones. He caught 48 passes for 512 yards and six touchdowns.
» Davis Koppenhaver, TE, Duke: 6-3 ½, 245, 4.89, 32, 14. Played 41 games but only started one. Caught 49 passes for 431 yards (8.80) and 12 touchdowns, the latter a career record by a tight end at Duke.
» Larry Williams, OL, Oklahoma State: 6-4, 330. Injuries marred his college career.