We’re back with a third installment of our examination of the 2017 NFL Draft class with an eye on which players might fall out of the draft and intrigue the Green Bay Packers as undrafted free agents. After looking at cornerbacks and running backs last week, we turn our eye over to the wide receiver position, one which the Packers tend to sign players each year and in large numbers.
Once again, we’ll start by looking at the criteria that Justis Mosqueda has developed as the Packers’ targets for draftable receiver prospects, then we will examine recent UDFA signings and how that affects those criteria. First off, here are Justis’ requirements for the draft:
Packers WR Draft Criteria
- Height > 5116
- Weight > 187
- 40 time < 4.57 seconds
- 3-cone time < 7.09 seconds
Now we take a look at the Packers’ recent receivers that they have signed as priority free agents immediately following the NFL Draft and how they match up with the filters. As always, bold indicates that the player exceeds the criteria, italics means that the player is very close to the limit but does not quite meet it, and
strikethrough indicates that the player fell significantly short of the requirement. This time, I also added another indicator, bold and italic, which shows that the player hit the target almost exactly.
As mentioned earlier, the Packers have signed a lot of receivers recently as priority free agents. The total over the past seven years is 19 players, or an average of nearly three per year.
Packers’ Past WR UDFA Signings
Geronimo Allison (2016): Height, Weight, 40 time (4.56 Pro Day, 4.67 Combine),
Dennis Parks (2016): Height, weight, 40 time (4.61),
Devonte Robinson (2016): Height, weight (188), 40 time (4.33),
- Herb Waters (2016): Height (5116), weight (188), 40 time, 3-cone
- Javess Blue (2015): Height (5116), weight (188), 40 time (4.56), 3-cone
Ricky Collins (2015): Height, weight, 40 time,
- Adrian Coxson (2015): Height, weight, 40 time, 3-cone
- Jimmie Hunt (2015): Height, weight, 40 time, 3-cone
- Larry Pinkard (2015): Height, weight, 40 time, 3-cone (7.15)
- Alex Gillett (2013): Height, weight, 40 time (4.59), 3-cone (7.13)
Myles White (2013): Height,
weight (182),40 time, 3-cone
- Dale Moss (2012): Height, weight, 40 time, ***3-cone (6.32)***
- Darius Reynolds (2012): Height, weight, 40 time, 3-cone
Diondre Borel (2011): Height (5116), weight, 40 time,
Tori Gurley (2011): Height, weight,
40 time (4.68), 3-cone
Shaky Smithson (2011):
Height (5110), weight, 40 time (4.65), 3-cone (7.20)
- Kerry Taylor (2011): Height, weight, 40 time, 3-cone
- Chastin West (2010): Height, weight, 40 time (4.60), 3-cone (7.12)
- Jeff Moturi (2010): Height (5115), weight (183), 40 time, 3-cone
Much like running backs, we find that the Packers still prioritize a certain minimum height and weight measurement - only two players were below the 5116 height, and only two were below the 188-pound weight. Likewise, we see that most of the players still met the 40-yard dash time requirement (14 of 18), and that about half met the 3-cone maximum. If we extend that filter out to 7.15 seconds, that captures 13 of the Packers’ 18 undrafted free agent receiver signings. That cone time is the only criterion we will change from the draft filters when breaking down the 2017 prospects.
Once again, these names are taken from NFLDraftScout.com’s database of players labeled as “7th round to free agent” or lower.
Possible Packers UDFA WR Targets
Rodney Adams, USF
4.44 40, 6.98 3-cone
Adams would be able to contribute on kickoff returns immediately, as he averaged over 25 yards per return for his career. He also was a versatile player for USF, compiling over 1,000 yards from scrimmage last year as a senior (822 receiving and 236 rushing). He also scored ten total touchdowns, five each through the air and on the ground. While he’s probably too lean to be looked at as a candidate to take snaps at running back, that skill set could serve him well out of the slot.
Quincy Adeboyejo, Ole Miss
4.42 40, 6.73 3-cone
Adeboyejo started 27 games at Ole Miss, and his best season was in 2015 when he caught 38 passes for 604 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Jehu Chesson, Michigan
4.47 40, 6.70 3-cone
Chesson’s best season was in 2015, when he earned first-team All-Big Ten honors after a season that saw him catch 50 passes for 764 yards and nine scores while adding three more touchdowns (two rushing, and one on a kickoff return). As a senior, he played third fiddle behind Amara Darboh and tight end Jake Butt, however. He has a great size/speed/quickness combination, however, and could be an interesting late-round pick or free agent prospect.
Francis Owusu, Stanford
4.35 40, 7.07 3-cone
Check out the section on Michael Rector below for a discussion of Stanford’s offense. In short, Owusu was a reserve for his entire career, but ran a blistering 40 at his Pro Day. He never caught more than 13 passes in a season, however, and will need to make a team based on his physical potential.
Zach Pascal, Old Dominion
4.55 40, 7.11 3-cone
Pascal was the first player in his school’s history to earn a Combine invite, where he had a solid overall performance. He nearly hit 1,000 yards in each of his final two seasons, and he returned some kicks during that span as well.
Tim Patrick, Utah
4.47 40, 6.99 3-cone
Patrick was a junior college transfer in 2014, and he started a handful of games before breaking his leg and missing the rest of that season and almost all of 2015. His senior season saw a bounce-back with 45 receptions, 711 yards, and 5 touchdowns.
Michael Rector, Stanford
4.42 40, 6.77 3-cone
Rector has some very impressive testing results, which include good Combine numbers in the vertical (36.5”) and broad jumps (10’9) as well as the 20-yard shuttle (4.19). However, his college production does not seem to match the physical tools; his career highs came in 2015, with 34 catches for 559 yards (16.4 YPR) and 7 touchdowns. This also is in part due to Stanford’s offensive system, however, which has leaned primarily on running back Christian McCaffrey. In fact, McCaffrey was the leading receiver in 2015 and nearly matched Rector’s 2016 numbers.
Fred Ross, Mississippi State
4.51 40, 6.99 3-cone
Not to be confused with John Ross, Fred was a pretty good player in his own right, as he eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards as a junior (with Dak Prescott as his quarterback) before setting a career high in touchdowns with 12 in 2016. He also brings some punt return ability.
Jamari Staples, Louisville
4.51 40 (Combine), 7.08 3-cone (Pro Day)
Staples was a teammate of former Packers draft pick Kennard Backman at UAB, but transferred to Louisville after UAB ended its football program. He had consistent production in his two years at Louisville, finishing with almost identical stat lines:
- 2015: 37 receptions, 638 yards, 17.2 YPR, 3 TDs
- 2016: 36 receptions, 615 yards, 17.1 YPR, 2 TDs
DeAngelo Yancey, Purdue
4.56 40, 6.84 3-cone
Yancey is the one player in this list who has had an official pre-draft meeting with the Packers (at least as far as we know). He is in the top 10 in Purdue history for receiving yards, and had a great senior year as a big-play threat, catching 49 passes for 951 yards — an impressive 19.4 average — and 10 touchdowns.