Notable Undrafted Free Agents
Beniquez Brown, ILB, Mississippi State
Admittedly, I overestimated Brown leading up to the draft. I projected him as a 3rd-4th round pick, but poor workout numbers at the combine as an undersized linebacker may have led to him going undrafted.
As a junior, Brown led the Bulldogs in tackles with 99, and proved to be a reliable leader and defensive captain on the field. Brown’s a smart player with good football instincts that was constantly around the ball, which is a big reason I valued him higher in the draft.
He’s also a smooth player out in space and a reliable defender in coverage, something the Packers could use with their inside linebacker group.
However, Brown showed up to the NFL Combine weighing 229 pounds, and put together a disappointing workout. As a lighter linebacker he only ran a pedestrian 4.77 forty and recorded a 31-inch vertical. Brown appears much faster and more athletic on film, but he didn’t do himself any favors during the pre-draft process.
He’s still a player I like a lot and a guy I think can make the Packers 53-man roster. He’d be an intriguing player to experiment with in certain dime or nickel looks.
Kentrell Brice, SS, Louisiana Tech
On paper, Brice is a very intriguing prospect. He has some eye-popping workout numbers. Listed at 5-foot-11 and 198 pounds, the Louisiana Tech safety ran a blazing 4.34 forty at his pro day and recorded a 42-inch vertical, 133-inch broad jump, and put up 21 reps on the bench press.
Brice was more than just an athletic freak in college, however. His production speaks for itself. As a senior he was one of his team leaders in tackles (60) and pass breakups (8). This was following an outstanding 2014 season where he recorded a team-high 86 tackles to go along with four sacks, two interceptions, four forced fumbles, and five pass breakups.
On film, Brice is a downhill safety who will light up receivers running across the middle or drop his shoulder and take down a back near the line of scrimmage.
Brice doesn’t have a great feel as a deep-zone defender in coverage and can find himself out of place, but he did excel in a nickel linebacker/safety hybrid role in Louisiana Tech’s defense.
He could try to make the Packers roster fulfilling a similar role, as well as factor in on special teams.
Brandon Burks, RB, Troy
Green Bay could really use a shifty third-down back that could be used as a weapon in the passing game. At 5-foot-8 and 205 pounds, Burks isn’t exactly a starting back in the NFL. However, he could carve out a Darren Sproles-type role for himself with some development.
He possesses excellent speed (4.41) and quickness. In college, he was highly productive in the passing game, recording 88 receptions for 665 yards and three touchdowns as a three-year starter. He also averaged over five yards per carry at Troy.
It remains to be seen if Burks can find similar production at the next level, but the potential for him to bring a new dynamic to the Packers backfield makes him well worth the look in camp this summer.