Green and Bold: UDFA S Kentrell Brice Strong Candidate to Make Final Roster

Louisiana Tech safety Kentrell Brice is a talented, hard-hitting defender perfect for Green Bay's roster.

Louisiana Tech safety Kentrell Brice is a talented, hard-hitting defender perfect for Green Bay's roster.

The Packers had a lot of spots to fill on their 90-man offseason roster and, as a result, signed 19 undrafted free agents following the draft.

Then, the team signed four more after releasing defensive tackle Josh Boyd, a fifth-round pick in 2013, as well as defensive tackle William Campbell, tight end David Grinnage, wide receiver Dennis Parks and tackle Jeremy Vujnovich on Monday. 

The group of undrafted free agents includes mutliple intriguing players, especially quarterback Joe Callahan out of Wesley and inside linebacker Beniquez Brown out of Mississippi State. 

But one who appears to have a strong shot to make the final roster is Louisiana Tech safety Kentrell Brice.

The Packers have both their starting safeties under contract through 2017; strong safety Morgan Burnett will become a free agent in 2018 and free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix will be eligible for his fifth-year option at that time. 

However, versatile defensive back and chess piece Micah Hyde will become a free agent in March, as will Chris Banjo. With second-year players Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins entrenched at the corner position, the Packers could definitely stand to add some depth to their stable of safeties. 

That's where Brice comes in. 

The Louisiana Tech product was on a watch list of top 200 draft prospects by NFL.com draft analyst Chad Reuter as early as July 2015. At the time, Reuter noted that Brice "not only makes plays in coverage (two interceptions, five pass breakups in 2014) but is also a very effective blitzer (four sacks [in 2014]) and could offer help in slot coverage."

However, the Ruston, Louisiana native didn't earn an invite to the NFL combine in February, and had to rely on his pro day to catch scouts' attention. 

Luckily, scouts were already making the trip to Louisiana Tech to see defensive lineman Vernon Butler and running back Kenneth Dixon, and that gave Brice an opportunity. 

Brice performed well in his drills, running a 4.44-second 40-yard dash, making a 42-inch vertical leap and an 11'1"broad jump, and benching 21 reps of 225 pounds. 

Still, the lack of an invite to the NFL combine and late buzz at the pro day contributed to Brice falling out of the draft, though the safety did tell Sean Isabella of The News Star that Washington contacted him during the draft. 

But early on, the Packers took notice of Brice, working him out privately immediately following his impressive pro-day performance.

Green Bay did not have a seventh-round selection this year after trading it to the Indianapolis Colts to move up in Round 2 and select offensive tackle Jason Spriggs, so who knows if Ted Thompson would have targeted Brice in Round 7. 

But, luckily enough, Thompson still managed to land the safety in undrafted free agency. 

Brice was also offered a free-agent contract by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars, but the Bulldog preferred to sign with Green Bay because he sees an opportunity to make a 53-man roster. 

"I looked at their depth situation and know that I can make the team," he said, per Isabella. "I decided to go with Green Bay instead of the other teams."

It wouldn't be the first time a former Bulldogs defender made the Packers' roster as an undrafted free agent. Cornerback Tramon Williams did it in 2006.

Brice made a name for himself at La. Tech as a hard-hitter, finishing with 60 tackles, a sack, and an interception for the Bulldogs in 2015.

The Packers value Brice's ability to contribute right away on special teams, play in coverage and cover the slot. He's a versatile and talented defender who could signifiy the future at the Packers' thinning safety corps. 

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Comments (50)

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Packer_Pete's picture

May 11, 2016 at 06:03 am

Seems very athletic. I think this young man has a chance if camp goes well for him.

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Mojo's picture

May 11, 2016 at 02:04 pm

"Very athletic" almost seems like an understatement.

I looked at the combine numbers for safeties and if his pro-day numbers are accurate he would be first in the vertical jump and broad jump plus second in the 40 and bench press. (The 40 at pro-days can skew, but the other measures should be right on).

Maybe a little undersized for a safety, but from a pure athletic standpoint he looks down to no one at his position.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

May 11, 2016 at 02:23 pm

Man, I'm hoping he can cover. I'd love to see what our coaches can create with his talents.

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RCPackerFan's picture

May 11, 2016 at 02:49 pm

From what I have seen of him, he mostly played deep safety. So I'm not sure if he can or not.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

May 11, 2016 at 03:11 pm

Me either. I've watched 3 games so far (Miss. State, Arkansas and Oklahoma) they use him a lot around the box/LOS on passing downs, but he's usually in a zone.

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dobber's picture

May 11, 2016 at 03:26 pm

I figure with his measurables there has to be something missing from his arsenal that left him UDFA. His size is a little less than ideal, but not out of line with some guys who were drafted. I figure it has to be something on the field...

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 11, 2016 at 05:55 pm

Well, Dobber, the 7.66 3-cone time is atrocious. Given every other measurement was good with excellent broad and vertical, I would be watching his COD on tape.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

May 11, 2016 at 06:14 pm

That stood out to me in some film, but I didn't post because the pass was either incomplete, dropped or tipped before reaching the WR.

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gr7070's picture

May 11, 2016 at 06:36 am

Nice writeup.

It would be great if we could replace Hyde with someone who can cover. Hyde is likeable, but just can't cover anything.

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RCPackerFan's picture

May 11, 2016 at 07:38 am

Hyde is a good S/CB hybrid. He does well against TE's. But he is not a pure cover corner.

Using him in the Hybrid role best fits his abilities.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 11, 2016 at 05:42 pm

Sorry, RC, but I do not agree. I like Hyde, but he does not cover TEs very well. He tackles well, but Hayward was good in zone and lousy in Man, and did not takcle well, so Hyde continued to get snaps. I am definitely looking to upgrade Hyde.

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RCPackerFan's picture

May 11, 2016 at 06:54 am

Brice is one of the 3 right now that I think have the strongest chance of making the 53. Based on their skill sets and based on the positions they play.

Brice, Brandon Burks and Makinton Dorleant are 3 guys that I will be watching closely. I think they have the strongest chance to make it without seeing them in the Packers uniform.

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John Galt III's picture

May 11, 2016 at 07:55 am

Tyler Kuder - NT will make team or Practice Squad - best FA defensive lineman.

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RCPackerFan's picture

May 11, 2016 at 08:17 am

DL and LB are also positions that have good possibilities of making the 53.

Almost every year it seems that an UDFA LB makes the 53. And with Pennel suspended, cutting Boyd, and Jones playing more OLB this year, they could definitely keep an UDFA DL.

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Razer's picture

May 11, 2016 at 04:48 pm

I hope so.

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tm_inter's picture

May 11, 2016 at 07:04 am

"I looked at their depth situation and know that I can make the team," he said.
.................................................................................
Sean Richardson had neck injury and most likely would not be back. Casey Hayward left in the free agency. Demetri Goodson is on the bubble. Ladarius Gunter is not that fast.

And the Packers did not draft any Safety or Cornerback. I'd say that the Packers are likely to keep maybe two defensive backs from UDFAs this year. Besides Brice, Makinton Dorleant and Josh Hawkins are strong candidates to make the team.

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RCPackerFan's picture

May 11, 2016 at 07:19 am

Yeah, I agree. I do think that there could be a possibility that 1-2 of these UDFA DB's making the 53. I think of all the positions on the roster that DB is the best chance for an UDFA to make it.

What I really like about Dorleant and Brice is they have really good speed. Both could be really good special teams players and that is where these guys will have to earn their roster spots.
Dorleant has return ability also.

I am looking forward to seeing these guys compete.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 11, 2016 at 05:46 pm

I agree, TM and RC. Good chance for 1 or 2 DBs to make the 53, and for 1 or 2 to make the PS. Not much hype for Beniquez Brown so far on this site. I was a bit surprised he was not drafted.

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RCPackerFan's picture

May 12, 2016 at 06:37 am

Packers have had good luck finding UDFA DB's. Without drafting a CB and losing Hayward, Richardson, and Goodson being suspended it wouldn't be to surprising if they added 1-2.

I wasn't to impressed with what I have seen from Brown. I had heard experts thought he would go in the 4th round. So that is good value. I just haven't seen anything to impressive from what I have seen of him.

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dobber's picture

May 12, 2016 at 07:15 am

I know that Dre has been talking about Pikula as an UDFA and his athleticism (it's intriguing), but I think Brown has a shot at making this roster based on the dearth of talent at ILB (despite the knocks against his recognition skills). You watch Pikula play and he makes you cringe as much as anything else, but either guy would have to make it on ST first and flash something in preseason as an ILB.

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lucky953's picture

May 11, 2016 at 07:42 am

The Packers have publicly stated they need to add speed to their roster. Brice has the measurables. How quickly can he pick up the complexity of NFL schemes and can he harness that knowledge with football instincts to make plays? Big unknowns to get sorted out in training camp and exhibition games. I like his chances. They need a better backup than Banjo and better speed than Hyde.

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Spock's picture

May 11, 2016 at 08:21 am

Michelle,
Some really valid points (although you might want to change that "contracted by Washington" to "contacted" :)). One thing that "Swiss army knife" Hyde brings to the Packers is being one of the most sure-handed punt returners I've ever seen. Hope we can resign him as well next March.
Thanks for the article!

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RCPackerFan's picture

May 11, 2016 at 08:29 am

While Hyde has been valuable as a PR in the past, I thought he regressed there last year. He seemed to be hesitant on returning. Wasn't aggressive.

With many players having the ability to return punts, Hyde will have a battle to retain the job. Montgomery, Abbrederis, Davis, Dorleant all have the ability to return punts and could win the job.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 11, 2016 at 05:47 pm

True, RC, but I never worry about a muffed punt with Hyde.

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RCPackerFan's picture

May 12, 2016 at 06:39 am

He was reliable in catching punts. But at times you need that play to change a game. He just seemed to be hesitant in returning punts last year. I'm not sure why.

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dobber's picture

May 12, 2016 at 09:30 am

He does have a strong track record in punt returns prior to last season, so I think he earns the benefit of the doubt there. But a drop to only 6 yd/ret from a career average around 13 is concerning.

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mnbruton's picture

May 11, 2016 at 03:19 pm

Thanks, Spock! Nice catch.

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Since'61's picture

May 11, 2016 at 08:33 am

Depending on how he performs during training camp I think that Brice has a legit shot to make the team. He brings the speed and hard hitting the Packers need more of. If Brice proves himself during TC I can see either Goodson or Banjo being released. TT has done a nice job with the draft and his UDFA selections this year. Our depth should be significantly improved after the preseason plays out. Thanks, Since '61

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croatpackfan's picture

May 11, 2016 at 09:06 am

Nothing else to add. Very well said, Since!

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The TKstinator's picture

May 12, 2016 at 06:35 am

I too have nothing else to add.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

May 11, 2016 at 10:11 am

I think Brice has a better chance replacing Goodson than he does replacing Banjo. I really like Banjo. ST contributor and assignment sure when he's asked to replace Burnett.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 11, 2016 at 05:51 pm

Totally agree, Drealyn. Banjo is consistently underrated by many commenters. Banjo is not great, but he is solid. I would put him about 40th best player on the team. I did not see much of Banjo last year, just 102 snaps.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

May 11, 2016 at 11:04 am

If Brice can show that he's good at man coverage his chances of making the final cut should skyrocket.

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Tundraboy's picture

May 11, 2016 at 11:19 am

Maybe they found another Nick Collins. Wouldn't that be nice.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

May 11, 2016 at 11:27 am

I haven't seen any hard hitting from Brice (yet), but whoever his teammate #7 is -- that's the guy.

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Guisado's picture

May 11, 2016 at 11:41 am

That's a really well written article. Thanks for doing the research and making this UDFA relevant to me.

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mnbruton's picture

May 11, 2016 at 03:19 pm

Thanks for the kind words, Guisado!

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Guisado's picture

May 11, 2016 at 11:50 am

After watching his Junior year highlights, he appears to have a skill set similar Charles Woodson. Looks comfortable blitzing, tackles well with his arms, and has a nasty streak.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH_Lf4IlJ-o

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 12, 2016 at 12:05 am

Everyone looks good in their highlights. Some people might think I can dance if they only see me with a strong strobe light flashing!

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The TKstinator's picture

May 12, 2016 at 06:36 am

Methinks you underrate yourself.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 12, 2016 at 09:00 am

Trust me on this!

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Razer's picture

May 11, 2016 at 04:55 pm

Every Spring, we get pumped about our "hidden gem" UDFAs. Like most of you, I want these guys to overcome the odds and find a spot on the roster. It wasn't too long ago that guys like Tramon Williams and Sam Shields made it the hard way. If we could get two starters out of this year's crop, it would be a huge help in a playoff run.

I am predicting someone for the secondary and another big body for the Dline.

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Lphill's picture

May 11, 2016 at 05:01 pm

Beniquez Brown is going go get a lot of attention also . Another player that should have been drafted.

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al bundy's picture

May 11, 2016 at 05:55 pm

Didn't see his size? My bet he is smallish, 5'9 5'10 that teams are passing on due to the taller receivers these days. The packers love these guys, don't have a clue why, must come cheap maybe. Hey if he was 6'1, strong, fast and can cover he would have been invited to the combine.

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The TKstinator's picture

May 12, 2016 at 06:40 am

Pretty lazy. With the time you took to post this, you could have googled that info easily. Or taken out the trash. Or trimmed your toenails.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

May 11, 2016 at 06:21 pm

I found the article a bit frustrating. After reading it, I did not know his height (okay at 5 11.4), weight (okay at 200), whether he was a strong safety or a free safety, or how Brice might fit in the secondary. Is he going to back up Dix, Burnett, challenge Hyde, or fill the Richardson role (something Richardson was not able to fill himself, but I digress)? Extolling his measurables is fine, but omitting his 7.66 3-cone stat is significant. It probably explains why he was not drafted all by itself. Edit: Okay, in the link to Reuter, he mentions that Brice could provide help in the slot.

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tm_inter's picture

May 11, 2016 at 10:09 pm

In contrast to Brice's 3-cone time of 7.66, Makinton Dorleant's 3-cone stat is 7.03 which is very good. Josh Hawkins' 3-cone time is 7.22.

The last UDFA the Packers have signed is Safety Marwin Evans, 5-11.4, 211,
40 Yrd Dash: 4.47
20 Yrd Dash: 2.59
10 Yrd Dash: 1.57
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 19
Vertical Jump: 42
Broad Jump: 10'01"
20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.27
3-Cone Drill: 7.26
Nice stats IMO.

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Allan Murphy's picture

May 11, 2016 at 11:12 pm

What's up with Dale Pierson OLB Out of all the undrafted players his tape was the best what's up with him does anyone no ?????????????????

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The TKstinator's picture

May 12, 2016 at 10:23 am

Everybody no's butt no bodies tellin

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Alex559's picture

May 13, 2016 at 05:20 pm

Really cool article. The fact that we worked him out right after the pro day has me excited. Thanks!

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