Editor's note: I'm happy to promote this to the front page. This is a great look at an under-the-radar player who just might make the team this year.
While the uber-talented Jermichael Finley will continue to attract the attention of defenses, fans and the media, another tight end on the Packers roster is worming his way up from being buried on the depth chart.
If the soon-to-be free agent Finley and the Packers decide to break up at the conclusion of the season, converted wide receiver and 2012 practice squad darling Brandon Bostick is the most dynamic choice to replace him on the roster.
The 6'3" 245-pound speedster dominated the South Atlantic Conference defenders that tried to cover him at Newberry (S.C.) College his senior year. While Bostick only tallied 35 catches for 439 yards in 10 2011 games, seven of those grabs were for touchdowns. (Hey, having wideout speed while lining up at tight end has its benefits.)
At Bostick's 2012 two pro days (at Newberry and at Coastal Carolina), he blazed his 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds and notched a 36-inch vertical jump. For comparison's sake, those measurables would have been best and second-best among tight ends at this year's NFL combine.
After working out and not getting a contract offer from the Jets, Bostick made it all the way to the final cut down in Green Bay last year. Wasting no time (and in a fairly obvious sign that he knew he had a significant talent) GM Ted Thompson signed Bostick to the practice squad as soon as he could.
And Green Bay's new "move" tight end did not disappoint. While toiling on the scout team all season, and being asked to play the roles of Pro Bowl tight ends like the New Orleans Saints' Jimmy Graham and Vernon Davis of the San Francisco 49ers, Bostick gave many of his coaches whiplash from turning their heads so much.
The rookie was named Packers Scout Team Player of the Week multiple times. And this was after never even playing tight end in college.
Perhaps the biggest roadblock to success in the NFL though is gaining an opportunity. Fortunately for Bostick, after Finley, Green Bay's tight end depth chart is littered with underwhelming options.
2012 Backup tight end Tom Crabtree bolted for Tampa Bay. 2010 fifth round pick Andrew Quarless can't seem to stay healthy or make enough plays when he is on the field. And 2011 fifth rounder D.J. Williams has only been able to notch nine catches for 70 yards in his professional career.
And when you consider that Thompson did not draft a tight end this year and the other two tight ends on the Packers roster--Matthew Mulligan and Ryan Taylor--are predominantly blockers while Bostick is a pass-catcher, the opportunity is certainly there.
Deep dynasty league fantasy football players should get Bostick on their rosters now. Because the secret will be out on Bostick this season. And with Aaron Rodgers throwing to him, the future is bright for the Division II prospect.