For most NFL teams, signing undrafted free agents after the draft is an afterthought. In most cases, they are just filling out their roster. Looking to add bodies for training camp. But the Green Bay Packers have a history of utilizing them unlike any other team in the league. Former general manager Ted Thompson rarely dipped into free agency. Instead, he put a high emphasis on building the Packers roster through the NFL draft. For Thompson, the draft included the signing of undrafted free agents. Some of those players turned out to be key contributors for the Packers. Thompson might be gone, but undrafted free agents are still key for the core of the Packers roster. EDGE pass rusher Delontae Scott is hoping he can be another key contributor for the Packers as an undrafted rookie free agent.
Delontae Scott Hoping to Be the Next Contributing Undrafted Free Agent for the Green Bay Packers
In 2018, Brian Gutekunst took over for Thompson as the Packers top decision-maker for the Packers roster. He has shown he is his own man by utilizing free agency more than his predecessor. But he still puts to use some of the things he learned under Thompson. One of them is to prioritize the signing of undrafted free agents after the draft concludes.
After the conclusion of this year’s draft, the Packers signed 15 undrafted free agents to contracts. The theme of the group signed by Gutekunst is that they are very athletic and fit into the type of players Gutekunst is looking for. The majority of them won’t make the roster or even the Packers practice squad. Still, for one or even two of them, they have a chance to play themselves onto the roster.
One player that stood out from the group is SMU EDGE pass rusher Delontae Scott. Scott appears to possess the type of intangibles that Gutekunst is looking for.
Depth Needed at Outside Linebacker
For an undrafted free agent to make a roster as a rookie he needs a couple of things. First, and most obvious, he needs to have the ability to play at the NFL level. The second is that he needs to play a position that the team who signed him has a lack of depth at. It appears that Delontae Scott fits into both categories.
The Packers are set at the starting outside linebacker positions with Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith. The Smith’s were arguably the best starting outside linebacker tandem in the NFL last season. Behind them is last year’s top pick Rashan Gary. Gary has become the Packers top reserve at outside linebacker with the free-agent departure of Kyler Fackrell. Behind Gary, there will be a group of unproven players fighting for that fourth spot.
Scott will be battling Tim Williams, Greg Roberts, and Jonathan Garvin for the Packers fourth outside linebacker spot. Williams and Garvin appear to be Scott’s biggest competition. Williams, a former third-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens, was picked up by the Packers off waivers during last season. He saw time on the Packers roster as well as the practice squad. Garvin was recently chosen in this year’s draft in the seventh round. Gutekunst made some curious picks during this year’s draft. But Garvin appears to be one of the lone bright spots.
It won’t be an easy task for Scott, but the competition he will be facing isn’t overwhelming by any means. If he can display the types of things he did at SMU, he has a shot to win that fourth outside linebacker spot
Building off of Strong Senior Season
Like with all-rookie prospects, getting one that hasn’t peaked in college is always important. For Delontae Scott, it looks like his best football is in front of him.
Scott spent five years at SMU. He redshirted his freshman season in 2015. He then went on to play four more years for the Mustangs. His play and numbers got better in each year he played for SMU. His senior campaign turned out to be his best.
This past season, Scott played in 13 games. He registered 39 tackles, with 17 of them for a loss, a career-best nine sacks, and forced two fumbles. He improved his numbers in each season he played for SMU.
From all indications, Scott’s ability as a pass rusher is just starting to develop. Packers outside linebackers coach Mike Smith has made a name for himself in developing edge pass rushers. Under Smith’s guidance, Scott could reach his potential.
Scott very well could help out the Packers defense down the road. But there is one area that Scott could become an instant contributor.
Contributing on Special Teams
When reviewing one of Delontae Scott’s highlight videos, he reminded us of another former undrafted EDGE player who once played for the Packers.
Scott seems to have a similar build to Jayronne Elliott. Elliott also went undrafted after college. He spent three seasons with the Packers and made a name for himself as a solid special teams player. While Scott is taller than Elliott, both possess a long wingspan. That wingspan helped Elliott carve out a niche on special teams.
For any rookie, especially an undrafted one, the quickest path to making a roster is on special teams. Scott appears to have the type of athletic background that could make him a factor on special teams. He even blocked a field goal during his time at SMU.
The more he can show, the better his chances of making the Packers roster would be.
So You’re Telling Me There’s a Chance
For an undrafted rookie free agent, making the opening game roster is slim. But for Delontae Scott, he has a lot going for him in regards to his chances.
Scott plays a position that the Packers are in need of depth at. He has the type of athletic ability that the Packers top personnel decision-maker covets. He is at the early stages of becoming a solid pass rusher. Plus, he has the skill set to be a contributor on special teams. By no means is it a lock he will be on the opening game roster. But Scott has a lot of things going for him. Now it will be up to him to show the Packers coaching staff he is too good to cut.
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