After processing their final cuts and seeing no new faces awarded to the team on waivers, the Green Bay Packers made a few tweaks to their 53-man roster on Monday, adding a pair of players who had been released by other organizations. In addition, they added a pair of players to the practice squad to fill up that unit, with just one member of the ten-man squad having spent training camp elsewhere.
The two 53-man additions are linebacker Korey Toomer and running back Darius Jackson, while cornerback Tony Brown joined the practice squad after being released by the Los Angeles Chargers. Looking at these three players more closely shows one clear connection that they all share: ridiculous athletic ability.
All three of these players have blazing speed and all three have good short-area quickness, something that the Packers tend to prioritize. In addition, the two active roster additions showed off absurd explosiveness in workouts as well.
Toomer entered the NFL in 2012 as a fifth-round draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks. Although he did not suit up for a regular season game until 2014, he has quietly become a solid reserve and special teams linebacker, and he started eight games in each of the last two seasons for the Chargers. As a bigger and more athletic player than departed Packer Ahmad Thomas, it’s clear to see that the Packers prioritized innate ability in adding this player.
Meanwhile, Jackson — a sixth-round pick in 2016 — takes the spot on the active roster that none of the Packers’ reserve running backs could. And it’s again easy to see why when you look at his workout numbers.
As for Brown, his going undrafted this spring was a surprise to many, including this writer. His athletic traits fit the Packers’ traditional cornerback profile perfectly, and that 4.35 time in the 40 is now the best of any corner in the organization. With athletic tools like his at six feet tall, it’s no surprise that the Packers would want to take a chance on him.
Here’s a look at all three players’ workout numbers from their pre-draft workouts:
New Packers’ Workouts
|Korey Toomer||LB||2012 Pro Day||6022||234||4.53||1.61||20||42"||10'10"||6.87||4.00|
|Darius Jackson||RB||2016 Pro Day||6000||220||4.40||1.56||20||41"||11'1"||6.87||4.29|
|Tony Brown||CB||2018 Combine||5117||199||4.35||1.53||14||31.5"||10'6"||6.78||4.11|
That’s two players with verticals over 40 inches, while all three ran the 40 in less than 4.55 seconds and the 3-cone in less than 6.90.
Toomer and Jackson will likely be special teams players at the outset, though Toomer could fill in as a sub package linebacker in a pinch. Jackson provides some depth behind Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery until Aaron Jones returns from his two-game suspension, but he can fly and should find an early niche on Ron Zook’s coverage teams.
If one thing is clear from these moves, it’s that the Packers want the players on the margins of their roster to be great athletes.