The Green Bay Packers may not be as thin at inside linebacker as has been suggested. They still have Blake Martinez and now Antonio Morrison. Oren Burks shouldn’t be out too long and it’s starting to sound like Ahmad Thomas is going to get a roster spot.
Thomas went undrafted out of Oklahoma last year. He played safety in college, but the Packers moved him to linebacker when they put him on their practice squad in November.
It looks like the move is paying off. Thomas is still probably a little small to be an every-down linebacker, but he is able to play in coverage.
“He’s an explosive athlete,” Pettine said. “I think that’s what you need in the National Football League to play defense. The movement skills and explosiveness trump the bulk size you’re looking for in the new era linebacker. You’re looking for guys who are hybrid safety types.”
That’s really what the Packers seem to love about Burks, as well. Both guys can get eaten up by blocks, but they are athletic and dynamic when able to operate in space.
That isn’t to say Thomas can’t play the run. In fact, he might be better than Burks is at it.
What Thomas’ regular season role might be remains to be seen. It could simply be special teams or as Pettine has suggested, maybe he’ll get time in subpackages.