Why Undrafted?: Ladarius Gunter

Why Undrafted?: Ladarius Gunter, S, Miami
By Charlie Campbell, @draftcampbell

Even though Miami didn’t put together a big win total in 2014, the Hurricanes sent a lot of talent to the NFL via the 2015 NFL Draft, including first-round picks Ereck Flowers and Phillip Dorsett. Denzel Perryman, Clive Walford and Duke Johnson ended up going on the second day of the 2015 NFL Draft, and many thought that Gunter would represent the Hurricanes on Day 3. The 6-foot-1, 202-pound Gunter has ideal size for an NFL cornerback and helped himself with a strong Senior Bowl. Gunter totaled 28 tackles with six passes broken up and two interceptions in 2014. In Mobile, he did a better job of running with receivers than expected. However at the Combine, he hurt himself with a slow 40 time of 4.69 seconds.

Sources say the reason that Gunter went undrafted because of speed concerns. 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.

After going undrafted, Gunter signed with the Green Bay Packers. That’s a mixed bag for Gunter as a destination. The organization lost some veteran corners in free agency and is somewhat thin at the position, plus Casey Hayward is entering the final season of his contract. On the other hand, the Packers also drafted defensive backs with their first two picks of the 2015 NFL Draft. Green Bay took Arizona State safety Damarious Randall in the first round, but are planning on starting him out of position at corner. In the second round, the Packers took Miami of Ohio cornerback Quinton Rollins, but some believe that he will have to move to safety in the NFL. Still, Green Bay is starting out Rollins. He also didn’t play a lot of college football and needs development. 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. The practice squad could be a likely destination for Gunter if he is to stick in Green Bay.

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