Packers announce rookie free-agent signings
GREEN BAY, Wis. — The names have been out there for a while, but with rookie workouts starting Friday, the Green Bay Packers made it official that they’ve signed 14 undrafted free agents to contracts.
General manager Ted Thompson has a history of finding players after the draft who end up sticking with the team, so it’s worth getting to know the players who will be battling for jobs this summer.
G Don Barclay (6-4, 305), West Virginia. Barclay, 23, tied a school record by appearing in 52 career games with 40 starts. A three-year-starter at left tackle, he was named first-team All-Big East by the conference’s coaches in 2011. In 2011, he helped the Mountaineers post 6,104 yards of total offense, which ranked 17th in the country.
RB Duane Bennett (5-9, 213), Minnesota. Bennett, 22, started all 12 games for the Gophers in 2011 and led the team with 639 rushing yards and three TDs on 166 carries (3.8 avg.). He finished his career with 2,126 rushing yards, good for No. 13 in school history. In 2007, he earned Freshman All-Big Ten honors from Sporting News as he posted 370 yards rushing in conference play, No. 2 among Big Ten freshmen.
G Jaymes Brooks (6-2, 300), Virginia Tech. Brooks, 22, was a three-year starter at right guard for the Hokies, finishing his career with 42 consecutive starts. As a senior, he started all 14 games and earned second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors. Brooks also was named second-team All-ACC as a junior, when he started all 14 games at right guard.
FB Nic Cooper (5-10, 249), Winston Salem State. Cooper, 23, rushed for 3,430 yards in his career, the fourth-best mark in school history. In 2011, he helped lead the Rams to a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association title and the NCAA Division II semifinals, rushing for 1,808 yards and 22 TDs on 267 carries (6.8 avg.). It was the third-best single-season rushing total in school history. Cooper added 22 receptions for 233 yards (10.6 avg.) and two TDs as a senior and finished his career ranked third in school history for the most total touchdowns with 43.
C Tommie Draheim (6-4, 309), San Diego State. Draheim, 23, earned first-team All-Mountain West Conference honors as a senior, becoming the first Aztecs offensive lineman to be named first-team all-league since Brendan Darby in 2003. A three-year letterman, he helped SDSU rank 10th in the country in 2011 in fewest sacks allowed (0.83 per game) and blocked for Ronnie Hillman, who finished No. 3 in the country with 1,711 rushing yards on the season. Draheim started 33 games for the Aztecs, including 30 straight to end his career.
TE Cameron Ford (6-3, 245), Wake Forest. Ford, 23, started a career-high 10 games as a senior and caught 12 passes for 99 yards (8.2 avg.) and three TDs. He appeared in all 12 games with six starts as a junior in 2010 and caught 11 passes for 120 yards (10.9 avg.). Ford played in 38 games with 19 starts at Wake Forest and finished his career with 34 receptions for 347 yards (10.2 avg.) and three TDs.
TE Eric Lair (6-2, 238), Minnesota. Lair, 22, was a four-year letterman for the Gophers, appearing in all 12 games with three starts as a senior. He caught 11 passes for 168 yards (15.3 avg.) and a TD in 2011. As a junior, Lair played in 12 games with 11 starts and hauled in 39 passes for 526 yards (13.5 avg.) and two TDs. He finished his career with 51 receptions for 706 yards (13.8 avg.) and three scores.
T Mike McCabe (6-5, 313), Holy Cross. McCabe, 23, was a first-team All-Patriot League selection and a first-team All-New England choice in 2011, the third straight season he earned all-conference honors and the second straight he was named all-region. He started all 11 games at left tackle as a senior, helping the Crusaders average 400.9 yards of offense per game. McCabe played in 47 career games with 36 starts along the offensive line, including a streak of 34 straight to end his career.
LB Dezman Moses (6-2, 249), Tulane. Moses, 23, was a two-year starter at defensive end for the Green Wave after transferring from the University of Iowa. He started 22 of 23 games played at Tulane, including all 13 in 2011, and finished his career there with 114 tackles (59 solo), including 241/2 tackles for loss, 151/2 sacks, six forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one interception. Moses was a second-team All-Conference USA selection as a senior when he registered 52 tackles, including 12 tackles for loss, and 91/2 sacks. Despite playing just two seasons at Tulane, his career sacks total ranks No. 5 in school history.
WR Dale Moss (6-3, 213), South Dakota State. Moss, 23, played just one season of college football after lettering four years in basketball for the Jackrabbits. In 2011, he played in 11 games with nine starts and caught 61 passes, tied for the team lead, for a team-high 949 yards (15.6 avg.) and six TDs. Moss earned second-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honors and was also selected to the MVFC All-Newcomer team. He had four 100-yard receiving games.
S Sean Richardson (6-2, 216), Vanderbilt. Richardson, 22, was a three-year starter for the Commodores and finished his career with 256 tackles (156 solo), including 18 tackles for loss, three sacks, one interception and 10 passes defensed. As a senior, he started all 13 contests and finished No. 2 on the team with 63 tackles (41 solo). Richardson set career highs as a junior in tackles (98), tackles for loss (seven) and passes defensed (five).
WR Marcus Rivers (6-3, 218), Buffalo. Rivers, 22, posted a career-best 60 receptions for 615 yards (10.3 avg.) and two TDs as a senior on his way to earning second-team All-Mid-American Conference honors. As a junior, he had a career-high 690 receiving yards on 50 receptions (13.8 avg.), which led the team, and tied for the team lead with five TD catches.
CB Dion Turner (5-11, 194), Southern Utah. Turner, 22, was a two-time All-Great West Conference first-team selection at cornerback after playing safety his first two seasons. As a senior, he posted 69 tackles (48 solo), including four tackles for loss, four passes defensed and an interception that he returned for a touchdown. Reynolds posted 54 tackles (36 solo), including 21/2 for a loss, a fumble recovery and an interception as a junior.
RB Marc Tyler (5-11, 226), USC. Tyler, 23, rushed for 1,751 yards and 15 TDs on 334 carries (5.2 avg.) while adding 29 receptions for 245 yards (8.4 avg.) and two scores. He finished No. 2 on the team in 2011 with 568 yards and four TDs on 122 carries (4.7 avg.), while adding 11 receptions for 108 yards (9.8 avg.). As a junior in 2010, Tyler led the team with a career-best 913 rushing yards on 171 carries (5.3 avg.) with nine TDs. He also had 17 catches for 127 yards (7.5 avg.) and a score, giving him a team-high 10 total TDs on the season.