The Green Bay Packers, and Ted Thompson specifically, love those undrafted free agents. As is the case every year, they love some more than others.
ESPN has published the list of signing bonuses the Packers handed out to their 2016 undrafted free agent class. Five players received the top signing bonus of $5,000, which gives us a good indication of who the Packers really coveted among these signees.
The players receiving the $5,000 bonus are as follows.
- Illinois receiver Geronimo Allison
- Mississippi State outside linebacker Beniquez Brown
- Northern Iowa cornerback Makinton Dorleant
- Nevada running back Don Jackson
- Miami receiver Herb Waters
If you’re in some sort of a pool — what a great idea! — to pick which undrafted rookies will make the team this year, you’d probably be wise to take one of those guys. Cornerback Ladarius Gunter fell into that group last year and he made the team out of training camp.
Here’s what the rest of the class got.
- ECU cornerback Josh Hawkins: $3,500
- Idaho State defensive tackle Josh Kuder: $3,000
- BYU inside linebacker Manoa Pikula: $2,500
- Texas San Antonio defensive tackle Brian Price: $2,500
- Louisiana Tech safety Kentrell Brice: $2,000
- Wesley quarterback Joe Callahan: $2,000
- Minnesota punter Peter Mortell: $2,000
- Utah State receiver Devonte Robinson: $2,000
- Arizona linebacker Reggie Gilbert: $1,500
- Troy running back Brandon Burks: $1,000
- Dartmouth center Jacob Flores: $1,000
- Carroll College tackle Josh James: $1,000
Don’t go and blow that all at The Oval Office, boys. Those girls are not in love with you!
The following players, some of which were tryout signees, received no signing bonus.
- UCF defensive end Demetris Anderson
- Utah State safety Marwin Evans
- UMASS cornerback Randall Jette
- Kent State tight end Casey Pierce
- Newberry College running back Alstevis Squirewell
- Slippery Rock guard Cory Tucker
Beniquez Brown is this year’s Ladarius Gunter, in that he was fully expected to be drafted but wasn’t for some or no reason. He has a good chance to make it. Dorleant could be a sleeper to make the team and would almost certainly be better than someone like Demetri Goodson, regardless. As for the receivers, I have a very hard time believing any of them will crack the final 53. If they are any good, they are most likely practice squad bound. RB Don Jackson is the underdog here that I’m rooting for, especially after reading his about his story and background. If he makes a good enough impression he could beat out Crockett for the #3 spot or at the very least make the practice squad.