Undrafted free agent from Vanderbilt made his mark on special teams this season
The Green Bay Packers began the season with 10 rookies on the 53-man roster. That’s a pretty high number – especially for a team than won 15 games the previous year. But GM Ted Thompson didn’t hang on to all those rookies to save money or to make himself look good. He kept them because they could play. In fact, seven have played significant roles in the team’s march to its second straight NFC North title.
I’ll be ranking the rookies – from least productive to most productive – over the next couple of weeks. Here’s #9:
Story of 2012 - Safeties that weigh 215 pounds and run 4.5 don’t usually go undrafted, but that’s what happened to Sean Richardson last April. Scouts didn’t think he had the skills necessary to cover in the National Football League. They might’ve been right. The former Vanderbilt standout looked stiff in the hips during camp and had trouble breaking down in the open field. He did, however, show plenty of toughness. That served him very well on special teams and could keep him employed for a number of seasons.
What to expect in 2013 - Richardson underwent neck surgery recently and his future is uncertain. If healthy in time for camp, he’ll stand a pretty good chance of making the 53-man roster due to his stellar work covering kicks. He might also be useful against the new breed of quarterbacks currently taking the league by storm. With Colin Kaepernick (49ers) and Robert Griffin III (Redskins) on Green Bay’s 2013 schedule, it might be nice to have someone as big and as fast as Richardson to use as a spy. We all saw what happened when Brad Jones and Erik Walden were used in that role a few weeks ago.