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Green Bay Packers Sign Wide Receiver Alex Gillett

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Is this former quarterback going to play at wideout, or will be used on the scout team to simulate the athletic signal-callers that have taken hold around the NFL?

Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

With three open spots on their roster, the Green Bay Packers have room to take a flier or two on unproven rookie free agents. Today they did just that, and the Green Bay Press-Gazette's Wes Hodkiewicz was on the case.

The Packers have since added him to the roster on their website, which is as much confirmation as we are likely to get at this time.

Some digging on Gillett shows that he played quarterback for the Eagles, but that he was a versatile threat with multiple offensive talents. He was not the primary starter throughout the 2012 season, and in fact switched to wideout midway through the year when he lost the starting job. His stat line for the season is as follows, according to the Eastern Michigan website:

Passing: 45-96 (47%), 553 yards, 5 touchdowns, 7 interceptions
Rushing: 63 attempts, 407 yards, 4 touchdowns
Receiving: 14 receptions, 132 yards, 1 touchdown

In 2010 and 2011, however, Gillett was the primary quarterback and led his team in both passing and rushing with these statistics:

2011
Passing: 109-198 (55%), 1504 yards, 14 touchdowns, 7 interceptions
Rushing: 169 attempts, 736 yards, 3 touchdowns

2010
Passing: 127-229 (56%), 1633 yards, 13 touchdowns, 13 interceptions
Rushing: 179 attempts, 766 yards, 5 touchdowns

Clearly, Gillett is an athletic player and one who was unlikely to make it in the NFL as a quarterback. He stands 6'1" and weighs in at 214 pounds. He is not especially fast, timing in at 4.59 in the 40-yard dash at EMU's pro day, but he has impressive leaping ability with a 38-1/2" vertical. With ten receivers on the depth chart ahead of him, Gillett is obviously a long shot to make the roster.

However, he could prove to be a useful asset on the practice squad and in training camp, especially if the Packers choose to use him on a scout team to simulate young, athletic quarterbacks like Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, or Robert Griffin III. He has experience as a dual-threat quarterback and it's feasible to think that he may turn out to be helpful in preparing the defense for the biggest offensive threats on certain opposing teams.

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