The Green Bay Packers are making one roster transaction on Tuesday, according to a report from Aaron Wilson that says the team is signing a player to the practice squad. That player is Brady Sheldon, a 6-foot-5 linebacker.
Sheldon is in his second professional season, spending the entirety of 2017 with the Oakland Raiders organization. He signed with Oakland as an undrafted free agent in July of last year, then was released at final cuts. He came back to the team on their practice squad in November, eventually earning a late-season call-up to the active roster, where he suited up in the final two games of the season.
Sheldon then spent the offseason with the Raiders until being waived in June around the start of minicamp. At that point, the Cleveland Browns claimed him and he spent the first two months of the 2018 regular season on their practice squad before being released on October 30th.
A product of Ferris State University in Michigan, Sheldon would seem to have an odd build for a linebacker, as he was listed at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds on the Browns roster. However, Sheldon reportedly was working out at 236 pounds this summer, a noticeable jump in bulk from that listed weight. Even at that bigger size, he would seem to be a better candidate to play inside linebacker for the Packers than on the edge, the position he played in Oakland.
His excellent speed and athleticism should help him in his continued search for an NFL career as well. At Central Michigan’s Pro Day in 2017, Sheldon reportedly ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash (though he says it was a 4.47) with a 37-inch vertical and a 7.07-second time in the 3-cone drill. However, that workout took place with him weighing about 215 pounds due to a stomach bug that hit him before Pro Day.
Like Packers rookie Oren Burks, Sheldon is a converted safety, and he described his transition to a 3-4 edge rush position as a rookie in an interview this summer with Hometown Life:
I was a nickel, strong safety in college, then (the Raiders) moved me to linebacker, which is a glorified defensive end. I weighed 230. Bruce Irvin and Shilique Calhoun are 260, 265. I felt a little underweight, but I felt I could use my speed and, basically, it was a little rough putting my hand in the dirt.
Perhaps the Packers feel that he has the frame to add more weight and develop as a pass-rusher; otherwise he could be a candidate to help out on the inside or on special teams.
UPDATE: The Packers announced Sheldon’s signing on Tuesday afternoon, in conjunction with a series of other roster moves including sending Geronimo Allison to injured reserve and releasing Jermaine Whitehead.