In Part 6 of Know Your Undrafted Free Agents, we introduce you to ....
Name: Shea Allard.
Position: Offensive tackle.
Height/weight: 6-foot-5, 305 pounds.
40 time: 5.19.
Scout Dave-Te’ Thomas’ grade: 4.3.
Career highlights: Allard was a three-year starter at left tackle, making 33 starts. As a senior, he was named first-team all-Colonial Athletic Association and third-team all-FCS All-American by College Sports Madness. As a junior, he anchored an offense that scored 27.9 points per game in reaching the national championship game.
Shea Allard wasn’t drafted. He wasn’t signed in the hours after the draft. In fact, there were no feelers at all from the NFL.
His football career appeared to be over.
“I was kind of looking at Plan B, to be honest,” Allard, a three-year starter at left tackle for FCS powerhouse Delaware, told Packer Report. “I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do. I had a couple opportunities to play ball up in Canada but the call from Green Bay (last Wednesday) was completely unexpected. I thought it was a great opportunity, and I had a good week and they decided to keep me around for a little bit.”
So, rather than packing up his apartment at Delaware and returning home to Buzzards Bay, Mass., to put his degree in hotel and restaurant management to work, Allard jumped at the opportunity to keep his dream alive by participating in last weekend’s rookie orientation camp on a tryout basis.
On Sunday, he got the good news. Of the 29 players participating on a tryout basis, he would be one of five signed to a contract.
“It was overwhelming, to be honest,” Allard said. “It completely took me off-guard. It felt amazing. I had a great weekend up here, loved the coaches and facilities and staff. Everything was awesome. I found myself on Sunday thinking to myself, ‘I don’t really want to leave here. It’s going to stink to have to fly back tonight and maybe never come back.’ Then I got that news and I was overwhelmed with joy.”
The first person he called was his mother, Victoria. Talk about a perfect Mother’s Day present.
“She thought I was playing a sick joke on her,” Allard said. “She said, ‘Are you on your way to the airport?’ I said, ‘I don’t think I’m coming back for a while, Mom.’ It was awesome.”
Allard played left tackle at the camp and said he’s penciled in to stay at that position. The Packers covet athleticism from their linemen, and Allard has that. Delaware ran a spread offense, and the Blue Hens’ running game featured zone blocking and a lot of pulling.
A couple times during Friday’s practice, which was open to reporters, offensive line coach James Campen shouted praise as Allard ran a pad-holding linemate posing as a defensive lineman out of the way.
“I think my athleticism is a big thing for me and blocking in space is one of my strong suits,” Allard said. “I like to think of myself as a hard worker, not only in the weight room but on the field. I think Coach Campen saw that in me. I like to finish plays, also.”
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.