Every season, while the stars prepare for the season with job security, there are a select few guys who are on the “roster bubble.” These guys are at a crossroads. At one end, they could be playing professional football for a full year, making great money and doing something they love. On the other hand, some of these men will hang up their cleats and have to find another profession.
The Packers are no different. There are a few players who the media cannot agree on whether they will be on the roster this season or not. We will take a look at some me of these players with camp around the corner. Starting off is one guy who I believe has a solid chance of making the roster: linebacker Adrian Hubbard.
Hubbard is a second year undrafted free agent out of Alabama who was seen as a highly regarded player during the 2014 Draft season, but fell dramatically due to a number of reasons. The first was some minor health concerns that dropped him, but those were cleared up before the draft. The biggest knock on him was whether he had the athleticism to stick as a linebacker in the NFL.
A huge, hulking player in the mold of Julius Peppers, the 6’6” Hubbard got off to a slow start at Alabama but excelled as a sophomore, getting 7 sacks and 11 tackles for loss on the outside. He suffered a down year as a junior, with only 3 sacks, and then declared for the draft.
After going undrafted, he signed with Green Bay and was a popular pick among fans to make the final roster, but struggles in the earlier portions of camp along with the emergence of Jayrone Elliott sealed his fate. He did have a strong end to the preseason, and with that got an invite to the practice squad.
A size prospect if there was one, Hubbard has bulked up since then, now at 256 and a lot more muscular than last camp. He has remained in Green Bay throughout the offseason training with the staff, and looks to impress the second time around. In an article for the Milwaukee Journal, he listed his motivations for staying in Green Bay.
“It’s your job. You don’t want to be too far from your job. So I came back here and I was able to be in front of the coach’s face every day, so they see I’m in here working, in here putting in the effort.”
Compared often to Peppers, Hubbard has taken to shadowing the veteran during practices and during OTAs studied him intently, trying to develop his talents to emulate the 14-year veteran. With Nick Perry and Mike Neal in contract years, Hubbard has a chance to make some noise, and with the work ethic that he has shown, he appears to have a good chance.——————
Mike Wendlandt is originally from Iola, Wisconsin and graduated from Drake University in 2015 with a degree in History. With a significant journalism background both in writing and broadcasting, Mike can be heard as the play-by-play voice of Central Wisconsin High School sports on WDUX FM 92.7 and on Twitter @MikeWendlandt.
Mike Wendlandt is a writer covering the Green Bay Packers for PackersTalk.com.