If there’s one area where Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst has most clearly distinguished himself from his predecessor, Ted Thompson, it is in his willingness to acquire players from other teams to fill out the back end of his team’s roster. Gutekunst has submitted waiver claims on a frequent basis since getting the GM job in an effort to find players who can help his team despite being cast off by other NFL franchises.
On Monday, Gutekunst was apparently back at it, illustrating this strategy despite a futile effort. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Packers submitted a claim for tight end Jordan Leggett, whom the New York Jets waived on Monday. Although the Packers did not receive the rights to Leggett — he went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who had a higher waiver priority — this continues to show Gutekunst’s willingness to trust his pro scouts when a player from another team becomes available. In fact, the Packers have successfully claimed two players on waivers in just the past two weeks, snagging kick returner Jawill Davis and safety Mike Tyson.
As for the player himself, Leggett was a highly productive player in college for the Clemson Tigers, recording at least 40 receptions, 500 yards, and seven touchdowns in each of his final two seasons. Both of those came with DeShaun Watson at quarterback, and the Tigers won the National Championship in the players’ final collegiate season. At 6-foot-5 and 258 pounds, Leggett then ran solid agility times at the 2017 Combine and posted a reported 4.71 40-yard dash at Clemson’s Pro Day.
The Jets drafted Leggett in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, but he did not suit up on gameday as a rookie before going on injured reserve at midseason. He played in 15 games in 2018, however, catching 14 passes for 114 yards and one touchdown.
The Packers currently have six tight ends on the 90-man roster: veterans Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis, second-year pro Robert Tonyan, returning first-year player Evan Baylis, 2019 third-round pick Jace Sternberger, and undrafted rookie Davis Koppenhaver.