From draft and develop to their loyal fan base, the Green Bay Packers have a reputation for more than just winning. Not the least of these things is their desire and ability to turn undrafted players into starters. As a result, Packers fans have more than just 7 or 8 drafted players to be excited about. For that reason, we’ll take several days to outline each of the Packers current UFA players. What are the pros, cons, and chances of making the team?
To see other UDFA write-ups, click here.
Donatello Brown, or as I like to call him, Bo, played 3 years at corner for Valdosta State, a D-II football program. His career stats indicate he played 10 games in 2011, 13 games in 2014, and 5 games in 2015. His 2016 stats are hard to find but from what I can tell he played 11 games. Over his first three seasons, Brown totaled 34 tackles, 6 pass deflections, and 1 interception. His senior year he added an additional 2 picks.
Brown measured in at 5’11 1/2, 190-pounds, and ran a 4.5 40.
As best as I can tell there are two kinds of undrafted players. There are the guys that simply aren’t good enough to be drafted but have 1 or 2 elite qualities that at least warrant a look, and there are guys that are play well enough to be drafted but have red flags that cause them to fall. I tend to think Brown is the latter.
Brown’s college career was exceptionally long. He was a freshman in 2011 and was kicked off the team for academic reasons. He returned in 2014 and played a full 13 games. In 2015, Bo played 5 games before returning for a full 2016 season.
Just from what I listed above we can see he’s an older guy (26), missed school for poor academic performance, missed most of the 2015 season (injury?).
Add in the fact that he ran a 4.5 and played for a division II school and it’s unclear why the guy is even on an NFL roster.
The assumption would have to be that the Packers genuinely like him as a football player.
Chances of making the team
The first thing we need to ask is, what position would Bo play? If you ask him or look at the commentary around the web, the assumption seems to be that he is fast, big bodied corner that belongs on the boundary. At 5’11 1/2 running a 4.50 40, I’m not sure where that comes from.
He played as a boundary corner in college but the Packers have already tried their hand at slow short corners on the outside. It led to disaster and the Packers promptly added 6’1 Davon House and drafted 6’3 Kevin King.
Size and speed isn’t everything but my money is on Donatello fighting for the slot corner spot behind Randall and Rollins.
How many corners the Packers take into the regular season, as well as Bo’s versatility will ultimately answer the question of whether he plays for the Packers. If he can play inside and outside, he has a great chance. If his making the roster comes down to him beating Randall and Rollins for a job, he’s in trouble.
There is a lot of love for Brown, but there are currently 12 corners on the Packers roster. If we assume King, House, Gunter, Randall, and Rollins will make the final cut, which we should, that leaves 7 players fighting over 1 or 2 roster spots. Those aren’t fantastic odds for any of them.
-Bonus points for anyone that can tell me where “Bo” comes from.-