The Packers stayed true to form this week in replacing the unfortunately injured Randall Cobb and the slightly less injured James White: they stayed in house. Rather than reaching out to a veteran free agent, Ted Thompson shored up his needs at receiver the simplest way he could: he called two guys already in the building.
Let’s not pretend Myles White and Jake Stoneburner are going to change the 2013 Packers season. It’s exciting that they’ve gotten the chance to spend some time on the active roster, but the Packers’ season very likely won’t be shifted all that much by two undrafted rookies.
That said, they’ll both get chances to contribute, and they both have unique, if diametrically opposed, skills.
For starters, Jake Stoneburner may not be particularly fast, but he’s definitely large. At 6’3″ and 249 lbs., he’s not enormous, but he has experience using his size in unique ways.
Stoneburner spent his college years at Ohio State, working exclusively as a tight end before switching to an H-back/wide receiver role as a senior. That’s an intriguing kind of experience, considering how the Packers have used their back up tight ends this year. With John Kuhn slowly sliding into a lesser role, Andrew Quarless has begun to spend more time in the backfield as a fullback. With his experience in that sort of role, Stoneburner may be able to contribute as a blocker and receiver if called upon.
White, meanwhile, is almost the exact opposite. While Stoneburner is large and physical, White is small and lightning quick. Listed at a generous 6’0″, White ran a 4.3 in the 40 yard dash at his Pro Day, and he plays with a tenacity that belies his size. If he gets into space, he could be a handful, and while he’s certainly no Randall Cobb, his speed could help him play a similar role if he’s asked to do so.