Packers' undrafted rookie tradition continues with Allison, Brice, Price

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Back in May, when the Green Bay Packers assembled their class of undrafted free agents, an NFL scout identified three players as the best of the group: receiver Geronimo Allison, defensive tackle Brian Price and running back Don Jackson.

Jackson never made it to training camp; he was released because of an undisclosed non-football injury.

The other two have lived up to their billing.

Allison and Price -- along with safety Kentrell Brice -- stand the best chance among the undrafted rookies to make the Packers’ roster when final cuts are made on Saturday.

The undrafted class is so good that there’s a good chance general manager Ted Thompson will keep more than the two he kept each of the last two seasons (running back Alonzo Harris and cornerback LaDarius Gunter last year; outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott and defensive tackle Mike Pennel in 2014).

It could rival 2013, when Thompson kept three: safety Chris Banjo, outside linebacker Andy Mulumba and guard Lane Taylor. Or 2013, when he kept four: tackle Don Barclay, receiver Jarrett Boykin, outside linebacker Dezman Moses and safety Sean Richardson.

How good is this year’s class?

“I don’t know how you measure that,” Thompson said last week, when he declined to elaborate on the group likely because he doesn’t want to tip off other teams to his plans.

Heading into the final week of the preseason, here’s a look at the Packers’ top undrafted free agents:

Allison: The 6-foot-3, 202-pound receiver from Illinois leads the team in receiving yards (106 on five catches) in the preseason, a continuation of what he’s done all month in practice. He caught three passes for 78 yards on Friday against the 49ers, including a 51-yard deep ball from Joe Callahan. It’s a crowded receiver group, but with Jeff Janis sidelined indefinitely because of a broken hand and inconsistent play from Jared Abbrederis, Davante Adams and rookie fifth-round pick Trevor Davis, Allison has a chance -- especially if Thompson thinks he can’t sneak him through the practice squad without someone claiming him off waivers.

Brice: The safety from Louisiana Tech has shown off his 4.44-second 40-yard dash speed several times this summer, including on Friday against the 49ers. He sped down field on the kickoff team to tackle Bruce Ellington at the 49ers’ 17-yard line. He leads the team with 12 tackles this preseason and with the hamstring injury Banjo sustained at San Francisco, Brice’s hold on a roster spot might have gotten even stronger.

Price: The defensive tackle from Texas-San Antonio got the call ahead of Christian Ringo when the starters departed on Friday night. He and Dean Lowry came in after Mike Daniels and Pennel were finished in the second quarter. Brice recorded one tackle but has shown good push in practice. With Pennel suspended the first four games and first-round pick Kenny Clark battling a back injury, Price stands a good chance to contribute early.

Other undrafted rookies to watch in the final week: Punter Peter Mortell, who appears to be in a tight battle with veteran Tim Masthay; safety Marwin Evans, who had an interception against the 49ers; cornerback Josh Hawkins, who appears to have moved ahead of fellow undrafted rookie Makinton Dorleant (who injured his hamstring); running back Brandon Burks, who had a 19-yard touchdown run against the 49ers after John Crockett left with a shoulder injury; quarterback Joe Callahan, who might be needed to backup Aaron Rodgers in Week 1 if Brett Hundley's sprained ankle remains an issue.