Draheim’s A Long Shot Worth Betting On
GREEN BAY- Tommie Draheim may never play a game in the NFL, but the former San Diego State standout is a better-looking prospect than Nick McDonald, another undrafted free agent who wound up spending the entire 2010 season with the Packers before being waived and ultimately hooking on with New England.
Green Bay signed Draheim immediately following April’s draft. Like McDonald, he was given a small signing bonus and told that he was moving inside from the left tackle. And the similarities don’t end there. Both players are exactly the same size (6’4, 305) and both competed at positions that lacked proven depth. But based on what I witnessed the past two nights, there are some differences on the field.
Draheim might be the same size as McDonald, but he looks and plays stronger. I remember defensive linemen throwing McDonald around quite a bit. That hasn’t happened very often to Draheim – although he did get run over once by nose tackle B.J. Raji during Friday’s scrimmage. And while both players are quick, Draheim seems better able to initiate contact on the second level. He also came into the NFL having faced a much higher level of competition. McDonald played collegiately at Grand Valley State.
None of this means Draheim is going to make the 53-man roster. For one thing, Evan Dietrich-Smith wasn’t nearly as good a player in 2010 as he is today. For another thing, the Packers kept only eight O-linemen last summer after keeping a whopping 10 two years ago. So the odds are stacked against Draheim, but he’s more than a training camp body. He has a chance to play in the NFL, either here or someplace else.