By Gage Sutton
In late April, former Texas State Bobcat Frankie Griffin agreed to sign as an undrafted, free agent with the Green Bay Packers. Griffin played outside linebacker for the maroon and gold, but signed as a safety with the Packers to help a very young secondary in Titletown.
The Packers are one of the most historic franchises and have been one of the most consistent in the NFL for more than a century. Despite their consistency, the Packers have not been to the Super Bowl since the 2010 season due to injuries and defensive struggles.
Since the departure of key players like Charles Woodson and Sam Shields, the Packers defense have seemingly been the achilles heel to many of their most recent playoff teams.
The Packers have since then focused on building a solid defense and special teams to assist the aging Aaron Rodgers who doesn’t have to give a herculean effort every game like he has had to in previous seasons.
With this approach, Green Bay has prioritized drafting defensive players early and often, as well as making big free agent signings in hopes that they can win Rodgers one more ring before he calls it quits.
While Frankie Griffin isn’t a splash-free agent signing like last summer’s addition of Za’Darius Smith, he could prove to be a valuable asset to the Packers defense and special teams.
Griffin is entering a defensive back room full of young talent and potential with players like Jaire Alexander, Kevin King and Darnell Savage.
Griffin seems to be the right fit for what Packers defensive coordinator, Mike Pettine, looks for in his defensive backs.
Pettine aims for athletic, smart and versatile players who can play man and zone coverage as well as get to the quarterback off a blitz. Griffin brings all of these things, as well as solid tackling to the table, which translates to him getting snaps as a hybrid linebacker in Pettine’s defense.
Green Bay was probably most intrigued by Griffin’s impressive tackling ability. In 44 games played for the bobcats, Griffin recorded 258 total tackles, including 67 in his senior season.
Realistically, Griffin will most likely start the season on the practice squad. It’s also possible that Griffin finds his way onto the main roster as a special team’s player and backup to his teammate Chandon Sullivan, who is expected to be at the top of the depth chart at the slot cornerback position.
When evaluating Griffin’s film during his time at Texas State, it’s evident that he has the potential to be a solid player for the Packers. At six-foot, 206 pounds, Griffin has the perfect size to play coverage and bring down big running backs.
Adding a player like Frankie Griffin to a secondary that is young and hungry like Green Bay’s is an excellent move by management. Griffin finds himself in a viable situation, one that can’t be matched to Lambeau.
With the Packers preparing for life after Rodgers by building a strong defense, the signing of a player like Griffin has the potential to help the depth of a defense that is aiming to bring the city of Green Bay their fifth Lombardi Trophy.
Featured image retrieved from NFL Green Bay Packers.