The Green Bay Packers only lost one player off a group of cornerbacks that proved very strong in 2015 as Casey Hayward departed for San Diego in free agency. However, no cornerbacks were drafted and no unrestricted free agents were signed to replace him. Only three young men joined the Packers cornerback corps as undrafted rookie free agents. These three men now try to follow in the footsteps of Sam Shields and LaDarius Gunter and make the roster without being drafted.
Makinton Dorleant, No. 20
H/W: 5'11", 182 lbs.
School: Northern Iowa
2015 stats: 40 Tackles, 4.0 TFL, 1 Interception, 3 Forced Fumbles
Dorleant comes from the FCS ranks. Dorleant did impress at the UNI pro day with a 40 yard dash measured between 4.33 and 4.39 seconds. He has the strength to play the physical style shown by Damarious Randall and Quentin Rollins as well. In terms of size, he compares well to Shields and has the speed that earned Shields his first NFL look. The biggest downfall is the lack of interceptions. Fellow UNI cornerback Deiondre Hall was drafted by the Bears and Dorleant was the second cornerback in the scheme at UNI. Still, he only managed a single interception in his junior and senior years.
Josh Hawkins, No. 28
H/W: 5'10", 189 lbs.
School: East Carolina
2015 stats: 42 Tackles, 2 Interceptions, 1 Touchdown
Hawkins had five interceptions in his junior campaign and shows some of the ball skills that Dorleant did not put on tape. He also flashes the same speed as Dorleant. Hawkins put up a 4.39 second 40 at the ECU pro day. Hawkins was first-team all-conference in his senior season.
Hawkins is a bit undersized for the Packers. He would be the shortest cornerback on the team if he made the roster. He has good athleticism and good ball skills. He also has a great work ethic. Hawkins has fought the odds before. He walked on to ECU and left as an all-conference cornerback. Now he will struggle to take the spot vacated by Hayward.
Randall Jette, No. 41
H/W: 5'11", 193 lbs.
2015 stats: 45 Tackles, 6 Passes Defensed, 2 Interceptions
Jette seems to match the prototype established by the drafting of Randall and Rollins last year. Jette has the height/weight comparison and shows the ball skills Randall and Rollins demonstrated in college. He is physical and tackles well. In 2014 he put up 67 tackles (39 solo), 14 PD and 4 INT. His numbers dipped slightly in 2015. Jette's biggest issue is his reported 4.55 second 40 yard dash speed. Jette has seen a good share of playing time as he became a starter for the Minutemen in his redshirt freshman season and kept that job through his senior year.
In the end, with only one departure from last year's team and the return of practice squad player Robertson Daniel, there may not be enough spots to go around for any of these players to make the roster.