Ladarius Gunter Could Push Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins For Playing Time

Green Bay Packers cornerback Ladarius Gunter may have been passed over 256 times during the 2015 NFL Draft, but now that the annual rookie selection process is over, that means little for his NFL future.

Gunter, 6-foot-1, 202-pounds, has prototypical size for the corner spot in the NFL and performed very well at the Senior Bowl. He finished 2014 at Miami with 28 tackles, six pass break ups and two interceptions.

Despite his physical talents and quality production, a 4.69 40-yard dash at the NFL rookie scouting combine likely helped push Gunter down and completely off most draft boards.

Now a Packer, Gunter seems to enter a crowded secondary field after Green Bay GM Ted Thompson spent the team's first two picks on safety/cornerback Damarious Randall and safety/cornerback Quinten Rollins.

While Gunter seems unlikely to crack the active lineup his first season, with the Pack planning to have Randall and Rollins start their NFL careers at corner - they played mostly safety in college - should either player stumble, Gunter may actually have the inside track on one of the Packers 53 roster spots.

"Given both players' potential issues at converting to new positions, Gunter could have the opportunity to stand out during training camp and the preseason to earn a roster spot. It won't be easy, but Gunter has a shot at winning the final corner spot on the Packers' roster," writes Charlie Campbell of Walter Football.

With Davon House and Tramon Williams defecting to new NFL homes in free agency, Thompson and the Packers focused their draft efforts on the secondary in order to plug the holes left by their veteran departures.

While Randall and Rollins will get the first few shots at securing starting jobs, if Gunter can show the same kind of playmaking ability he did at Miami, he has a better shot at playing right away than his undrafted status would suggest.

Still, as Campbell notes, the knock against Gunter has and will continue to be his speed.

"Teams aren't confident that Gunter can run with receivers and will be limited to only being a press-man corner against bigger, slower receivers. There were doubts that Gunter would be able to run with NFL receivers and prevent separation," writes Campbell.

Despite concerns over his quicks, some, like's Lance Zierlein pegged Gunter as a likely fourth or fifth-round pick.

"Has the desired size, length and playmaking qualities to be a starting cornerback but his perceived lack of play speed and inconsistency in man coverage could cause teams to peg him as a zone corner, which might drop him by a round."

Thompson and the Packers are consistently lauded for their ability to mine gems from the latter portion of the draft - if Gunter develops, he could prove the latest success story in Green Bay and, more importantly, potentially find himself making an impact on the team from Day One, perhaps in place of his more heralded new Packers teammates.

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