Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Who Are These Guys? Illinois State S Ben Ericksen

Update: Ericksen is the one undrafted defensive free agent I write about and it doesn't look like they signed him. He wasn't listed on the official roster at Packers.com after the rookie minicamp ended on May 12th. 
As one-third of the trio of players drafted and/or signed from Illinois State by the Packers, S Ben Ericksen should see some familiar faces when he's in Green Bay. I'm not sure what it was at their Pro Day, but these three stood out to their scouts.

Ericksen doesn't seem to be much of a ball-hawk for a free safety, he only recorded his first collegiate interception in his senior season, but his size (6-1, 194 lbs.) and Pro Day results (4.54 40, 2.59 20, 1.51 10 yard dash, and 16 bench press reps) seem comparable to highly drafted players like Texas's Kenny Vaccaro. So he has the athleticism to succeed, even though he doesn't have the major college production.

Tyler Dunne recently asked S M.D. Jennings about his situation, which seems more secure after the Packers decided not to draft a safety (though 5th round DB Micah Hyde seems like a better fit at safety than corner):
"I wouldn't look at it like that," Jennings said. "I'm going to go out there and compete every day, just like last year. We have a lot of depth at our position. You just have to go out there and fight for your job."
With rookies like Hyde and Ericksen entering camp, Jennings, a former undrafted free agent in his own right, probably well knows that players like Ericksen can make an impression on the coaches. Ericksen seems more likely to be a miss if he can't keep up with the speed of the NFL, but he does have some potential.

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