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Cheese Curds, 5/10: Packers’ UDFA class may be small, but has potential and experience

Coy Cronk might not be a household name, but his starting experience as a Big Ten left tackle could help him push for a roster spot this fall.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 30 Indiana at Penn State Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Every year, the Green Bay Packers’ week one roster features an undrafted rookie. Technically, there were none on the opening roster after the first 53 was announced in 2020, but injured reserve moves ensured that Krys Barnes was elevated before the team’s first game, which he would go on to start.

In 2021, the Packers have a smaller class of undrafted rookies than usual — just seven players for now — but there is certainly some talent and experience at high levels of college football for these players to call upon. It seems that the Packers went with players from nearby schools as well, with four of the seven playing at Big Ten schools and a fifth coming from an FCS school in Illinois.

Of these players, all have substantial starting experience, including one player who lined up at left tackle for 40 straight games and another who spent some time rotating with one of the Packers’ 2021 draft picks. With rookie minicamp set for this coming weekend, there should finally be an opportunity to get to know some of these players a bit better, along with the 2021 draft picks and a number of other members of the Packers’ roster who are eligible for the weekend’s workouts.

Jon Dietzen, Carlo Kemp, Jacob Capra: Get to know Packers' rookie free agents – The Athletic (subscription)
This year's class includes a pair of offensive linemen who played with 2020 Packers draft picks before transferring, another former Badger who worked next to (and with) 2021 pick Cole Van Lanen, and a nephew of former NFL coach Chuck Pagano.

Packers Rookie Coy Cronk ‘May Be Steal of College Free Agency’ - Sports Illustrated
Cronk is one of those transfers, who played three-plus years at Indiana as the team's left tackle before breaking his ankle early in 2019. He moved on to Iowa, where he played right tackle before issues due to rehab and COVID-19.

Packers see rookie WR Amari Rodgers as ‘complete football player’ | Packers Wire
Rodgers lined up all over the formation at Clemson, something that will surely factor into Matt LaFleur's plans for deploying him in the Packers' offense. Furthermore, he isn't just a chain-mover from the slot - he had more big plays from the inside than any other receiver in college football in 2020.

Inbox: He’s the perfect player for this team | Packers.com
"He" refers to Rodgers and that fit within the offense. Mike Spofford also looks at Kamal Martin and the development of the team's second-year players.

Forbes pegs Green Bay Packers as world's 31st most valuable sports franchise | Green Bay Press-Gazette
Forbes calculates that the Green Bay Packers' value increased 56% during the past five years. This year's 31st-place ranking is four spots lower than the team was in 2020, but the valuation still increased from $2.85 billion to $3.05 billion, about a 10% jump.

SpaceX to launch dogecoin-funded mission to the moon - National | Globalnews.ca
A private company is going to the moon with funding from a meme currency based around a picture of a dog. This is a real story from 2021.