Call Jayrone Elliott a player for the Packers


GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers started calling him "The Sackmaster" after his three-sack performance against the St. Louis Rams on Aug. 16.

The Green Bay Packers' trainers dubbed him "Shakespeare" because they said all he does is make plays.

And then in Friday night's preseason finale, Randall Cobb and Eddie Lacy dubbed him "LeBron" after he had to come out of the game because he started to cramp up.

By Saturday, you could just call Jayrone Elliott an NFL player, and that would be just fine with him.

The outside linebacker from Toledo was one of two undrafted rookies to make the Packers’ roster. Defensive tackle Mike Pennel of Colorado State-Pueblo was the other.

When cut-down day came and went without a phone call from anyone in the Packers' personnel department, Elliott reported for the scheduled team meeting at 2 p.m., and it was all business. After three hours of meetings, Elliott had no plans to celebrate his new status as a bona fide NFL player.

"No, I've got a game Thursday, so tomorrow is our Wednesday," Elliott said Saturday evening. "We've got to get ready for Seattle."

Elliott likely solidified his spot on the Packers' roster with his fifth sack of the preseason on Friday against the Kansas City Chiefs. No one in the preseason recorded more sacks than the Packers' 6-foot-3, 255-pound rookie outside linebacker.

If he needed one last push, it came against the Chiefs.

Unlike his previous four sacks which came against backups who got released in the final cuts, Elliott had no trouble making plays against a starter. Working against the Chiefs' top right tackle Donald Stephenson, Elliott used a power move to sack Chase Daniel in the first quarter. One play earlier, Elliott showed his versatility by using a speed move to beat Stephenson to the inside. The third-year pro, who has 14 regular-season starts in his first two seasons, had no choice but to hold Elliott, and he was flagged for it.

There were times when Elliott wondered whether this day would come. He got only six snaps in the preseason opener and eight the next week.

"A couple of times it crossed my mind, because I thought I was doing everything I can to find some reps, and then some days you wouldn't get any reps," Elliott said. "Some days I got down on myself, but there were certain veterans that helped me pick my head up, guys like Jarrett Boykin, Andy Mulumba and Morgan Burnett. So I just had to stay around the vets as much as possible and keep my spirits up."

He tweeted that Saturday was like his draft day and posted a video on Instagram, but then it was back to business after briefly contemplating his journey and thinking back to earlier this offseason, when most veterans around the locker room did not even know his name and called him by his uniform number 91.

So what's next for Elliott?

"The same thing that got me here," he said. "Just go out every day and try to better myself and become a smarter football player. I know it seems like I made it, but you can still be cut at any time. You've still got to attack every day like it's your last, and you've still got to have that same chip."