WHO ARE THESE GUYS?
by Jerry Gilbert
PROFILES OF THE OFFENSIVE LINE "LONG SHOT" PROSPECTS
The Green Bay Packer offensive line is set for starting tackles with Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher; however their veteran back up players, Adrian Klemm and Kevin Barry have both suffered season ending injuries. At every other starting and reserve position, there is a question as to who will emerge to make the final roster. This situation has presented opportunities for an unknown to shine through. Last season, an undersized converted offensive tackle from Southern Mississippi, Chris White, made the team even though there were veterans and draft choices ahead of him at every position. This season the chances for such a break through are even stronger.
Now a second year player, White is one of the young prospects on the roster who will provide competition for an undrafted player trying to stick. Joining White are guard or tackles William Whitticker and Junius Costen and, projected starting center, Scott Wells. In addition, three rookie offensive linemen were drafted. Second round selection Darren Colledge is currently a reserve left guard, while third rounder Jason Spitz and fifth rounder Tony Moll are currently penciled in as starting guards. It is almost unthinkable that the coaches would enter the season without at least one proven reserve at guard and tackle. This is a golden opportunity for an unknown to survive and make the final roster.
WAYNE LUCIER G/C 6-4 315 COLORADO
Lucier's profile is maintained here, but he has been dropped from the roster
Wayne Lucier is the free agent who seemed to have best chance to make the team. He has some proven success as an NFL lineman on his resume, and he has played all three interior positions. He rates unknown status because, in spite of two seasons in which he usually started for the New York Giants, Lucier was out of football last season. In other words, he was available and no one signed him.
The concern may be durability. His rookie year, in which he started 11 games, was cut short by injury. In 2004, the season in which Lucier helped pave the way for Tiki Barber to enjoy a record setting season, he again sustained injuries. This is ironic because it was injuries to projected starters that gave him his initial opportunity. Once the higher rated players were ready to go, his past play was not enough to keep him on the 2005 Giants roster. Wayne Lucier started his collegiate career at Northwestern and switched to Colorado. He was all Big 12 as a senior and made two All America teams. As a pro, he was recognized following the 2004 campaign for most key run blocks.
JOSH BOURKE OT 6-7 310 GRAND VALLEY STATE
With all his experience having been at the Division II level, Bourke will beat the odds if he makes it in the National Football League. However, he has taken advantage of the injury situation, and his good play has made him a front runner to make the roster. What he offers is the size and athleticism to play left tackle, and every team needs a reserve at that position.
A starter in 38 consecutive games over three seasons for the highly successful Grand Valley Team. Bourke was a key part of a team with a 42-2 record during his career. In his senior season, the offensive line contributed to an average of 439.6 yards per game and allowed only 19 quarterback sacks. His league selected him offensive lineman of the year, and he played in the Cactus Bowl as a result of being named to several all America units.
At his pro day, Josh Bourke produced a 5.22 forty and a 7.45 three cone shuttle. He benched 27 reps at 225# and long jumped 8-2. As a comparison Jason Spitz, who may start this season, displayed a 5.4 forty, 7.82 on the shuttle, 25 bench reps and 8-6 on the long jump. Bourke has an NFL body and sufficient raw skills.
With the injuries to Clifton and Klemm, Bourke gained experience during minicamps, and has gained more reps at Training Camp as the top reserve at left tackle, and he often plays with the regulars to rest Chad Clifton.
PETE TRAYNOR G/C 6-3 311 IOWA
Never a starter in college at Iowa, Peter Traynor signed with the Quad Cities Arena League Team and has been a valuable contributor to that team for three seasons. The Packers signed him and dispatched Traynor to Germany to play for Rhein in NFL Europe.
Primarily a defensive standout at Milton High School in Wisconsin, Traynor was also an outstanding high school wrestler, as was Green Bay Center Scott Wells. The fact that he was second team at Iowa is not a disqualifier necessarily because of the outstanding linemen that have started at that program over the past several seasons. Nevertheless, success in the Arena Leagues has seldom translated into success as an NFL lineman. Traynor is strictly a camp body.
SITUPE PEKO OG 6-4 310 MICHIGAN STATE
Tupe Peko was drafted in the seventh round in 2001 by the New York Jets. He was cut in training camp , but appeared in training camp in 2002 with Seattle before being cut again. In 2003, Peko signed with Indianapolis and played in a 16 games on special teams and as a reserve guard. In the 2004 season, Peko started 8 games for the Colts, but was let go. He again was in training camp in 2005, this time with Carolina. . Houston signed Peko in 2006, but also cut him in May. He signed with Green Bay afte Training Camp began.
Between training camps Peko played offensive and Defensive lineman for the Las Vegas Gladiators in an Arena League. While with Las Vegas, he was a teammate of former Packer Chukie Nwokorie.
Peko began his college career at Cerritos Junior College in California as a tight end. As a sophomore he swwithed to offensive tackle and was all conference. He transferred to Michigan State and started eleven games at left tackle as a junior, and ten as a senior. NFL Draft Report selected Peko him as Second Team All Big Ten following his Senior season. Peko was invited to the combine in 2001, and his totals were not anything special, a 5.6 forty, 18 reps at 225# . He did score a 23 on the Wonderlic.
Peko is currently either second or third on the depth chart at right guard.
TODD WILLIAMS OT 6-5 320 FLORIDA STATE
Todd Williams was a seventh round selection of Tennessee in 2003. he made the roster but was inactive all season. In 2004 he was active for 6 games, but was release in September 2005. Tampa Bay signed Williams in Jauary 2006, and when they released him, the Packers signed him.
A two year part time starter at both guard and tackle for Florida State, Williams was invited to the combine and recorded 32.5 on the verticle jump and 9.0 on the long jump, and a 22 on the Wonderlic. His best number was 27 reps at 225#.
Todd Williams is a big man who takes up space. He is currently listed as third team at right tackle. However, the man ahead of him, Junius Costen, has not been impressive at tackle.
MOOKIE MOORE OG 6-2 318 TROY STATE
His real name is Michael. Mookie Moore is the latest addition to the offensive line and could be the best prospect to stick at offensive guard. He was the fourth round selection of Washington in the 2000 draft. Oince themn he has experienced the repeating story of being considered a bright prospect for a team only to have his career set back by an injury. In 2000 he played a few games at guard for the Redskins because two players ahead of him were injured. He was cut the nest year and them spent two years inactive or on the injured list with the Broncos. In 2003, Moore joined the Falcons, and was the projected starter at right guard in 2004. A shoulder injury ended that season and he was waived injured. Moore spent the better part of two years rehabbing his injury, and when cleared to play, his agent contacted Green Bay Offensive Coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski who had coached Moore in Atlanta. Since arriving at Camp, Moore has excelled at one on one blocking drills. However, he is still learning the schemes. In the preseason game against Atlanta, Moore executed a run block on a passing play which produced a sack of Aaron Rodgers.
Mookie Moore is a prospect because he has worked with the zone blocking schemes in both Denver and Atlanta. An excerpt from an interview with Falcon Coach Jim Mora which occurred whild Moore was on injurd reserve in Atlanta gives some reason to hop[e that Moore may have the right attitude. Asked about another player who was being very helpful to the coaches, Mora volunteered the following:
Mookie's doing the same thing, but people don't see Mookie because he's just not...I don't know, he's a lineman and lineman are always kind of...they disappear. But Mookie's doing the exact same things. Mookie's in on meetings, Mookie's taking notes, he's talking to guys, Mookie's taking charts and stuff on the sideline, Mookie's an extra set of eyes for Alex Gibbs and Clancy Barone. Between Mookie and Keion, we've got two guys on IR who are really acting as surrogate coaches.
Because of his physical talent and relevant experience, Moore, once he gets into shape, could earn a spot on the final roster.