Defensive tackle Mike Pennel is making the Green Bay Packers roster this season.
Yeah, exactly. Here’s another guy who’s come out of nowhere to impress this preseason. Unlike some of the other no-name guys we’ve looked at up to this point, Pennel appears to have a roster spot secured.
That’s pretty amazing considering the route he took to get here.
Pennel was, of course, an undrafted free agent signing this year. Pretty soon, the entire Green Bay Packers roster will be made up of undrafted free agents. Or undrafted free agents and Aaron Rodgers, anyway.
It’s pretty obvious why Pennel wasn’t drafted. The dreaded: character issues.
Also, he played his final year of college football at Colorado-State Pueblo.
Pennel never finished high school and ended up getting a GED. He spent his first two collegiate years playing for Scottsdale Community College. As a junior, Pennel got into Arizona State, played in five games and then promptly got suspended twice in the course of a month.
He never played another game for the Sun Devils.
Pennel transfered to Colorado-State Pueblo, a Division II program, for his senior season.
I bet you’re thinking he dominated the competition there? Well, not really.
In 2013, Pennel had 36 tackles, including six for loss and three sacks, and three forced fumbles.
Those numbers are decent, but far from dominant.
You know what though? You can’t teach size.
Pennel is 6-4, 332, so he was going to get an NFL shot. It now looks like the Packers are fortunate to be the team that gave him that shot.
In college, it’s pretty clear that Pennel had maturity issues mixed in with a bit of Jay Cutler Disease — dooooooooooon’t caaaaaaaaaaaaare.
Now he’s faced with the cold, hard fact that if he doesn’t dedicate himself to the game, that dream is going to be over and he’ll be just another fat ass taking up a whole booth at McDonald’s crying onto a soggy Big Mac.
Reality is often a great motivator.
So we’ve given Pennel a roster spot and the Packers probably did the same when they shipped Jerel Worthy to the Patriots. The only remaining question appears to be how much playing time Pennel will get.
It could be substantial. The Packers brought in Letroy Guion in the offseason to be B.J. Raji’s backup at nose tackle. Well, in true Packers fashion, he showed up a with a hamstring injury and hasn’t played a snap in training camp.
Unless Guion gets on the field soon and starts disrupting everything, he probably isn’t even going to make the final roster. You know Raji isn’t an every-down player.
That puts Pennel right there in the rotation.