Packers roll on, adding Alabama's Adrian Hubbard

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Bob McGinn and Tom Silverstein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Monday, May 12, 2014

GREEN BAY—Alabama outside linebacker Adrian Hubbard, one of the best players not to be selected in the National Football League draft, blamed his snub on a minor heart abnormality for which he has been cleared.

Hubbard flew to Green Bay on Sunday afternoon after agreeing to terms on a free-agent contract with the Packers shortly after the draft concluded Saturday.

“I didn’t know it could be a problem because we had all the issues fixed,” Hubbard said. “I think the big problem was somehow, some way the papers didn’t get to all the teams. But, oh well.”

Hubbard said he had been cleared by Charles Brown, chief medical officer at Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta and the Falcons’ cardiologist since 1992.

One league source said his team took Hubbard off its draft board because of the condition.

“My heart’s big because I’m big,” said Hubbard, who indicated it was discovered on his EKG at the combine. “There’s nothing wrong with it at all. This is more than 85 percent of the league. Dr. Brown looked at me and cleared me.”

He was carrying papers from Brown for the Packers’ medical staff. He must pass a physical before officially joining the team.

“It’s going to pass,” Hubbard said. “Not too much worry. I’m fine. I’ve been playing in the worst conditions the last four years in the heat of Alabama. I’ve been playing sports my whole life. I’ll be OK.

“Situations happen. I wasn’t drafted. I’ll have to go a different route. Teams don’t want to take risks. They don’t want to write off on people.”

Hubbard, 6 feet, 6 inches and 257 pounds, was projected as a midround draft choice. A fourth-year junior, he started the past two seasons as strong outside linebacker in the Crimson Tide’s 3-4 defense.

He finished with 83 tackles (18 for loss) and 10 sacks in 36 games, including 26 starts.

“I talked to Eddie (Lacy) last night,” said Hubbard. “He said, ‘Come in here, you know how to work, do what you do.’”

Meanwhile, the Packers added another free agent when safety Tanner Miller of Iowa said he agreed to terms Saturday.

“Four teams called me toward the end of the draft,” Miller said. “Dallas, Minnesota, Chicago, Green Bay. I talked to my agent and we decided Green Bay would be the best situation for me.”

Miller (6-1, 212) started at free safety the past three seasons, finishing with seven interceptions. He became a starter in September 2011 when Micah Hyde, the Packers’ fifth-round draft choice in 2013, was moved from free safety to cornerback.

“It’s just a great situation where I can come in and have him there to help me out,” Miller said. “To be able to pick his brain and jump the learning curve a little faster.”

Miller ran the 40-yard dash in 4.60 seconds and had a 35-inch vertical jump.

The Packers also signed a pair of Mississippi State players, both former teammates of defensive end Josh Boyd and clients, along with Packers third-round pick Khyri Thornton, of agent Rodney Edwards.

Running back LaDarius Perkins and defensive end Denico Autry joined the list of undrafted players the Packers signed to their roster.

The 5-7 Perkins was a combine invite who never heard his name called during the three days of the draft. He finished second in school history in all-purpose yards with 4,253 and scored 25 touchdowns, 15 rushing and 10 receiving.

In two years, Autry had 73 tackles, including 16 for loss and six sacks with three forced fumbles.

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