Pro Football Draft Preview March 2012
QB Andrew Luck “the most NFL ready quarterback since John Elway”
Presented by: CheeseheadTV
Contents 4 5-6 7 8-13 14 15 16-17 18-19 20-24 25-28 29-30 31-35 36-40 41-45 46-50 51-55 56-60 61-64 65-69 70-74 75-77 78-79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86-89 90-91 92 93 94-95 96-97 98
Letter from the Editor Improve From Within The Top 100 Prospects NFL Three Round Mock Draft Packers Team Needs NFC North Needs NFC Team Needs AFC Team Needs Quarterbacks Runnings Backs Fullback and H-Back Wide Receivers Tight Ends Offensive Tackle Interior Line Defensive Line Outside Linebackers Inside Linebackers Cornerbacks Safeties Special Teams Packers Mock Draft Packers QBs and RBs Packers WRs and TEs Packers Offensive Line Packers DL and Special Teams Packers OLBs and ILBs Packers CBs and Safeties From the Blue Turf to the Big Stage Cornering the Market The Senior Bowl The Shrine Game All-Bowl Team What Theyâ€™re Saying Writer Biographies
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Publisher: Corey Behnke Editor: Brian Carriveau Design: Alex Tallitsch Writers: Al Bracco Andrew Garda Max Ginsberg Paul Guillemette Zach Kruse Aaron Nagler Tony Wilson
Special thanks: Robert Hammen Thanks to everyone who bought the second-annual edition of the Cheesehead TV NFL Draft Guide. We would never be able to create this publication without all of the great readers, followers and supporters of Cheesehead TV. Thanks to the following schools for providing photos: Alabama, Baylor, Boise State, Boston College, Cincinnati, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi State, North Carolina, South Carolina, Stanford, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin. * All stats from 2011 unless indicated * All rankings are authorâ€™s opinion * Bench Press and 40 numbers are from the NFL Combine. If none is listed, players were either not invited or did not participate.
Letter From The Editor Dear NFL Draft fans, Thank you for purchasing Pro Football Draft Preview, the second annual NFL Draft guide put out by Cheesehead TV. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from our first edition in 2011 that has allowed us to follow it up for a second consecutive year and hopefully for many years to come. We’re very proud of the affordability of our product that we believe is also of outstanding quality. It’s geared to fans of the Green Bay Packers, but any football fan interested in learning how defensive players fit in a 3-4 system will enjoy our unique analysis as well. This year’s version of our Draft guide will have many of the same features as last year and some new ones too. Over 300 college prospects have been ranked and analyzed. We also examine the needs of every team in the NFL with the most attention and coverage given to opponents within the same division as the Packers and decreasing accordingly outside the conference. We have an entire three-round mock draft in addition to a Packers-specific mock draft that attempts to predict who Green Bay will take with their picks in each of the seven rounds. There are columns with opinions coming from some of best and most knowledgeable writers in the Packers blogosphere and feature articles including player interviews. After listening to our readers, we also made several improvements to our publication as well. We profiled every position on the current Packers roster in order to see where the new rookie class will fit in on the team. And we also included a section on the fullback/H-back players, features on the all-star and bowl-game circuit and a listing of bench press reps for players in the trenches. As far as a look at how the Packers will approach the Draft, it’s shaping up to be an incredibly busy weekend in late April. With a draft choice all seven rounds, what’s very likely to be four compensatory draft choices and one more from the trade that sent the Jets offensive lineman Caleb Schlauderaff last season, the Packers have plenty of ammunition to help bolster their team. That adds up to 12 selections, assuming the Packers are awarded the full complement of four compensatory draft choices for last year’s free agent losses during the NFL’s owners meeting in late March. Whether they use all 12 picks or package a couple of them to trade up remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure, if the Packers want to move up, they have the flexibility to do so this year. Green Bay needs help on defense. After a year in which they gave up the most passing yards in NFL history and the secondmost yards ever, the Packers need help in both the pass rush department and in coverage. Even if they happen to trade away a couple picks, they should still have enough left over to make multiple selections in an attempt to upgrade the defensive line, outside linebacker and the secondary. With that, enjoy the NFL Draft and enjoy our publication. I’m positive you won’t find one better suited to Packers fans anywhere.
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NFL Draft 2012
Improve From Within
It's a cliché, but Thompson truly adheres to the line "You can't have too many good football players.” And it's true—you can't. There is one all-encompassing need for every football team ever assembled—good football players. That's what Thompson sets out to find, and more often than not that's what he ends up with at the conclusion of the Draft.
Last year at this time, fresh off a Super Bowl victory Packers fans bought into “Improve From Within” and came up with their own mantra
“In Ted We Trust” BY AARON NAGLER t’s the Packers’ mantra, their lifeblood. This year, that refrain has changed somewhat. Now whenever the phrase “In Ted We Trust” is invoked by fans, it is most often followed by a qualifying “but he’d better draft … (insert said fans’ pet-favorite draft prospect here).
Yes, this Packers team needs to improve on the defensive side of the ball. That doesn’t mean Thompson will just blindly be drafting nothing but defense when the Packers are on the clock in late April.
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“I think you absolutely have to treat a draft choice, especially early in the draft, as a long-term investment,” Thompson told reporters at the NFL’s Scouting Combine back in February. “And the best policy, in my view, is to take the best player because it gives you the best chance at getting a return on your investment.” Thompson trusts his draft board and will take players he feels represent good value for where they are being picked. Fans can play "He should have drafted so-and-so" until the cows come home. It won’t change the fact that the Packers will almost always take the long-view when dealing with the Draft.
NFL Draft 2012
Lost amidst the gnashing of teeth about the defense is the fact that the Packers won 15 games in 2011. No, Thompson didn't do much to bolster the pass rush in last year’s Draft, but he also didn't reach for anyone or throw picks away needlessly in a vain attempt to manufacture help for Clay Matthews. That's what you want from a general manager, someone who sticks to his board and collects good football players. Save for the rare exception (see: Elmore, Ricky) Thompson did that last April and will most likely do the same thing in a few months. The championship window remains wide open for the Packers. This is due not only to what Thompson has done but also what he has NOT done. People point to his letting Cullen Jenkins go—what Thompson did not do was overreact to the loss by going out and signing some washed-up veteran. Two years ago, when fans were screaming for Thompson to trade for running back Marshawn Lynch, the Packers general manager held firm with what he had, signed Dimitri Nance off Atlanta's practice squad and didn't waste a valuable draft pick. Oh, and his team ended up winning the Super Bowl that year. One other thing that some fans tend to overlook when complaining about Thompson’s approach is how badly many of the defensive players regressed in 2011. Yes, the team missed Jenkins. But the defensive lineman’s absence did not make Tramon Williams regress harshly. Jenkins' absence did not render Howard Green an ineffectual blob. And yes, B.J. Raji missed Jenkins' presence inside—but it certainly didn't lead to his sudden inability to win one-on-one matchups on early downs. Jenkins leaving town didn't cause Sam Shields to shy away from contact almost every time it was on offer. No one Thompson would have drafted or signed would have fixed those issues. No general manager is going to build a perfect team, let alone a perfect team from year to year, in today's
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NFL. The best ones build a contender and make the moves they deem prudent from offseason to offseason, always with the long-term good of the team foremost in their mind. That's what Thompson does, and Packers fans should be thrilled that's the way he operates. Teams like the Steelers, the Patriots and, up until last year, the Colts figured this out some time ago. The trick is not to load up for "a run" (see: The 2011 Eagles). You want to be consistently good with a chance to win a championship every year, and that is where Thompson has brought the Packers. Sure, you'll have seasons where you exit early from the playoffs or even lose in the Championship game, but overall the team has a chance to get to the Super Bowl each and every year. That's what you want. The Packers’ window of opportunity remains wide open. You can expect Thompson to continue to take the long view when it comes to the Draft in order to ensure that window remains open for as long as he’s in charge at 1265 Lombardi Avenue.
NFL Draft 2011
“Pigskin” Paul Guillemette
David Stluka – Wisconsin Athletic Communications
THE TOP 100 Prospects 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50.
Andrew Luck – QB – Stanford* Robert Griffin – QB – Baylor* Quinton Coples – DE – North Carolina Matt Kalil – OT – Southern Cal* Justin Blackmon – WR – Oklahoma State* Morris Claiborne – CB – LSU* Trent Richardson – RB – Alabama* Alshon Jeffery – WR – South Carolina* Courtney Upshaw – LB – Alabama David DeCastro – OG – Stanford* Michael Floyd – WR – Notre Dame Riley Reiff – OT – Iowa* Michael Brockers – DT – LSU* Dre Kirkpatrick – CB – Alabama* Cordy Glenn – G/T – Georgia Devon Still – DT – Penn State Jonathan Martin – OT – Stanford* Alfonzo Dennard – CB – Nebraska Zach Brown – OLB – North Carolina Kendall Wright – WR – Baylor Mike Adams – OT – Ohio State Luke Kuechly – LB – Boston College* Dontari Poe – NT – Memphis* Janoris Jenkins – CB – North Alabama Mark Barron – S – Alabama Joe Adams – WR/RS – Arkansas Peter Konz – OC – Wisconsin* Fletcher Cox – DT – Mississippi State* Audie Cole – OLB – N. C. State Stephon Gilmore – CB – South Carolina* Alameda Ta’Amu – DT – Washington Chase Minnifield – CB – Virginia Lamar Miller – RB – Miami (Fla)* Dont’a Hightower – ILB – Alabama* Ryan Tannehill – QB – Texas A&M Melvin Ingram – DE – South Carolina Keleche Osemele – OG – Iowa State Dwayne Allen – TE – Clemson* Mohammed Sanu – WR – Rutgers* Brandon Thompson – DT – Clemson Brandon Washington – OG – Miami (Fla)* Brandon Boykin – CB/RS – Georgia Coby Fleener – TE – Stanford Micanor Regis – DT – Miami (Fla) David Wilson – RB – Virginia Tech* Kendall Reyes – DT – UConn Reuben Randle – WR – LSU* Jerel Worthy – DT – Michigan State* Jarius Wright – WR – Arkansas Doug Martin – RB/RS – Boise State
51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100.
Donte Paige-Moss – OLB – North Carolina* Orson Charles – TE – Georgia* Juron Criner – WR – Arizona Jamell Fleming – CB – Oklahoma Kevin Zeitler – OG – Wisconsin Vontaze Burfict – ILB – Arizona State* LaMichael James – RB/RS – Oregon* Casey Hayward – CB – Vanderbilt Cam Johnson – DE – Virginia Nick Perry – OLB – Southern Cal* Vinny Curry – DE – Marshall Brock Osweiler – QB – Arizona State* James-Michael Johnson – ILB – Nevada Whitney Marcilus – DE – Illinois* T. J. Graham – WR/RS – N.C. State Travis Lewis – OLB – Oklahoma Billy Winn – DL – Boise State Matt McCants – OT – UAB Dwight Jones – WR – North Carolina Brandon Weeden – QB – Oklahoma State Devier Posey – WR – Ohio State Antonio Allen – S – South Carolina Jayron Hosley – CB/RS – VA Tech* Zebrie Sanders – OT – Florida State Andre Branch – DE – Clemson George Iloka – S – Boise State Ronnell Lewis – OLB – Oklahoma* Bobby Wagner – OLB – Utah State Ryan Broyles – WR/RS - Oklahoma Michael Egnew – TE – Missouri Jeff Allen – OG – Illinois Lavonte David – OLB – Nebraska Keenan Robinson – OLB – Texas Nick Foles – QB – Arizona Brandon Brooks – OG – Miami (Oh) Josh Norman – CB – Coastal Carolina Brandon Taylor – S – LSU Marvin McNutt – WR – Iowa Jared Crick – DT – Nebraska Trevor Guyton – DE – California Ben Jones – C/G – Georgia Nick Toon – WR – Wisconsin Isaiah Pead – RB/RS – Cincinnati Cliff Harris – CB/RS – Oregon* Nigel Bradham – OLB – Florida State Josh Chapman – DT – Alabama Mike Martin – DT – Michigan Vick Ballard – RB – Mississippi State Matt Reynolds – OT – BYU Kirk Cousins – QB – Michigan State
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NFL Mock Draft 2012
MOCK DRAFT 2012 #1 Colts
THE FIRST TWO ARE EASY “Could the Colts go another way? Sure, anything can happen.” BY ANDREW GARDA
Andrew Luck , QB - Stanford
Robert Griffin III, QB - Baylor
Could the Colts go another way? Sure, anything can happen. However, all signs indicate to this being the pick.
The Redskins made the power move up to the No. 2 slot, trading away a farmload of picks (three first rounders and a 2012 second rounder) for the right to pick either Luck or Griffin, whomever is here.
Luck is a tremendous quarterback with a good arm, the ability to read defenses and tremendous leadership. He’s called his own audibles since sophomore year and at the Combine, he reminded us that he’s got athleticism as well.
There’s no way this pick doesn’t happen this way—Washington is in desperate need of a quarterback and spent the first day of free agency acquiring wide receivers to upgrade their corps.
The Colts need a quarterback of the future—
Griffin will have his ups and downs, but the Redskins are bent on him becoming their franchise savior.
Luck will make that future bright.
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NFL Mock Draft 2012
Matt Kalil, OT
Trent Richardson, RB
Morris Claiborne, CB
Justin Blackmon, WR
Kalil is too good, that offensive line too bad and the development of Ponder too critical to let a talent like the former USC tackle slide by.
Since the Browns couldn’t pull the trigger to get Griffin, they need to add weapons to help whomever they have under center.
Morris Claiborne fills a big need for the Bucs with Ronde Barber contemplating retirement in the near future and Aqib Talib being a powder keg of poor decisions.
The Rams desperately need to upgrade quarterback Sam Bradford's targets. Blackmon plays on film, so even though he isn’t the fastest receiver available, his physical ability will trump any of the wide receivers available.
After a great Combine, he solidified himself as a top-three pick and the only thing that could knock him out of the top three is some trading or a very odd choice by the Vikings.
Running backs don’t often go this high in the Draft anymore, but Richardson is an elite back—the best since Adrian Peterson. They need someone to grind out the tough yards and make some big plays on the ground.
Quinton Coples, DE
Riley Reiff, OT
Michael Brockers, DT
Courtney Upshaw, OLB/DE
Coples did plenty at the Senior Bowl, Combine and other workouts to justify the high pick. He has great burst off the snap and can cause havoc in the backfield.
Miami’s offensive line needs help and Reiff and Mike Pouncey would form a good foundation for a line in need of assistance.
Brockers remains a bit raw, but his speed and size make him a very high-upside pick. He’ll step into the middle of the line and help plug the run up as well as get after the quarterback.
Upshaw is another versatile player who would likely play linebacker but could easily slide to defensive end in a pinch as well. He’s got the speed to attack from the edge.
The Jags need someone to pressure the quarterback, and Coples could step in right away and have an impact. The Jaguars need a wide receiver as well, so that is a possibility too.
Reiff plays with a nasty streak and is equally adept at blocking. His arms are a bit short, which might make him a right tackle in the eyes of some, but his skills translate to either tackle position.
Claiborne would help support an up-andcoming coming front seven by making it that much more difficult to find an open receiver. If Barber returns in 2012, he can help mentor.
He can play at several spots on the line. The Panthers desperately need help along the defensive line, and Brockers is a good start.
Expect the Rams to get a real weapon, real early, in the 2012 NFL draft.
The Bills need more help rushing the passer and Upshaw is a tremendously talented player they could use in multiple ways.
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NFL Mock Draft 2012
Jonathan Martin, OT
Melvin Ingram, OLB
David DeCastro, OG
Janoris Jenkins, CB
Kansas City’s offensive line isn’t as bad as its reputation (Pro Football Focus ranked it 10th overall for 2011) but still struggles in pass protection and is weak at the tackles.
Ingram is a linebacker who can not only play immediately at the outside linebacker position, but he could also play any spot along the defensive line. He possesses the speed to come off the outside edge .
The Cardinals would much rather have Jonathan Martin drop to them, but it’s not to be. Still, they need to improve the offensive line, and they might be better off with DeCastro anyway.
The Cowboys need to improve their secondary, and while Jenkins has some character issues, he’s the most talented cornerback on the board by far.
After protecting Andrew Luck’s blind side at Stanford, Martin would be an immediate upgrade over either current tackle. He won’t falter in the pass and is very good in the run.
Jenkins is a ball-hawk of the highest order, and if the Cowboys can help him stay on the straight and narrow, he will be a huge asset against the quarterbacks in the NFC East.
In a division that has two teams with real problems keeping their quarterbacks upright, Ingram could be a real difference-maker.
Not only is he outstanding in pass protection, but also the run. The Cardinals need to improve their run game— DeCastro could step in and do that right away.
Luke Kuechly, ILB
Cordy Glenn, OG/OT
Stephon Gilmore, CB
Mike Adams, OT
The Jets are a mess on the offensive line. Matt Slausen had shoulder surgery that was much worse than anyone knew, and Brandon Moore isn’t getting any younger.
If anyone sneaks up and jumps a guy like Janoris Jenkins, it’s going to be Gilmore. He’s not as good a cornerback as Jenkins, but he is still very solid and has none of the character and maturity issues.
The Chargers are in desperate need of help along the offensive line with Jared Gaither possibly leaving, Marcus McNeill possibly retiring due to a neck injury and Kris Dielman unde due to concussions.
The Bengals need secondary help. Gilmore would step in and have an immediate positive impact for this secondary.
Adams is pro-ready and can play left or right tackle if need be. He’s a big guy but agile and quick for his size.
Kuechly is something the Eagles found they sorely needed in 2011—a linebacker who can plug up the middle and stop the run. The Eagles played with an undersized linebacker Casey Matthews who never showed enough on tape -- Kuechly has. Kuechly’s size might not be prototypical, but he makes plays.
Glenn could also kick over to tackle and replace Wayne Hunter and Vlad Ducasse. Glenn can play tackle or guard, and there is plenty of need.
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NFL Mock Draft 2012
Michael Floyd, WR
Dontari Poe, DT
Doug Martin, RB
Kendall Wright, WR
The Bears will grab a local boy in Floyd. He had a tremendous Combine, flashing outstanding hands and route running in drills, and answering questions about his alcohol issues with honesty.
The Titans have some issues in the interior of their defensive line, and Poe has the size and strength to clog up the hole.
Martin is a full-service back—able to do whatever you need in the offense.
Wright is a guy who is a vertical threat (who plays faster than his 40 time) and a dangerous player once he has the ball in his hands.
His size and “my ball” mentality make him a threat in the red zone. He is capable of breaking a big play—and not averse to running someone over.
He also showed the ability to move quickly and fluidly at the Combine, especially for such a big guy (346 pounds).
The Bengals lack a playmaker at running back and by the time the Draft happens, Martin’s value will be sky high and worthy of this pick.
The Browns have something in Greg Little, and adding Wright would finally give them a wide receiving corps worth throwing to.
Expect the Bengals to jump on him early if this all-around back is availabe.
Dre Kirkpatrick, CB
Peter Konz, OL
Jerel Worthy, DT
Fletcher Cox, DT
Kirkpatrick’s stock dropped a bit postIndianapolis when he struggled in drills, but his size and speed will guarantee him a spot in the first round.
While Konz played center the majority of his time at Wisconsin, he’s actually capable of playing center or guard, and he could slip in at right tackle.
The Lions could bolster the offensive line more, add another defensive player, or even grab a running back if Mikel Leshoure or Jahvid Best’s rehabs give them pause.
Maurkice Pouncey can’t do it all by himself at center. Konz can run block as well as he pass-blocks, and whatever the offense, he’ll be able to step right in and start.
The Broncos do need some help offensively, but they may not be able to pull the trigger on wide receiver here. Worthy is a space-eater in the middle and he can attack the run and pressure the quarterback. His ability to pull coverage away from other defenders like Miller and Dumervil is going to have a domino effect.
Cox is a versatile lineman who is quick off the snap and able to get at the gaps. The Texans definitely need some help in the middle of the line and the already-big Cox could help improve the run defense. He could also slide to defensive end so having that flexibility would only mean good things for the defense.
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NFL Mock Draft 2012 #27 Patriots
#28 Green Bay Packers
Whitney Mercilus, DE Mercilus is a guy who always found a way to make a big play last season. The Patriots are masters of getting a ton of production from players who are often looked upon as average—in New England, these players often play far beyond expectations. Mercilus, who has the talent, should flourish under this coaching staff.
Nick Perry, DE/OLB
Nick Perry is the type that could line up as either a defensive end or an outside linebacker. The move to linebacker, however, might finally give the Pack someone who could take consistent advantage of the pressure Clay Matthews generates. Perry is sure to bring some pressure of his own to the quarterback, something the Packers can never have enough of and sorely lacked last season.
Dont’a Hightower, ILB
Alshon Jeffrey, WR
Mark Barron, S
Andre Branch, DE
There is a great value in Hightower who could eventually take over for Ray Lewis when RayRay rides off into the sunset.
The Niners need more weapons. Vernon Davis continues to be a tremendous asset, but Michael Crabtree has yet to live up to his billing.
In need of secondary help, the Patriots can take a chance on a guy who just had hernia surgery a short while ago.
It’s a bit of a luxury pick, but that’s what happens when you win the Super Bowl.
The best-case scenario is to bring in his replacement and try to get Lewis to pass along some wisdom. He’s effective plugging up the middle of the field as well as rushing in from the edge.
Jeffery is a physical, versatile wide receiver who isn’t afraid to go up and make tough catches, even in traffic. He’s got speed and will be a vertical threat the 49ers are looking for.
Barron is very good at reading where the quarterback will be throwing the ball and breaking on the pass. He’s willing to take on running backs but misses too many tackles in the open field.
The concern with Branch is whether he is too one-dimensional to be a top-end pass rusher, but the Giants have a way of getting the most out of their defense and Branch would excel in this defensive scheme.
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NFL Mock Draft 2012 Round Two
33. St. Louis Rams: Zebrie Sanders, OT 34. Indianapolis Colts: Zach Brown, OLB
65. Indianapolis Colts: Chris Polk, RB 66. St. Louis Rams: Brandon Mosley, OT
35. Minnesota Vikings: Devon Still, DT
67. Minnesota Vikings: Dwight Jones, WR
36. Tampa Bay: Lavonte David, OLB 37. Cleveland Browns: Lamar Miller, RB 38. Jacksonville Jaguars: Stephen Hill, WR 39. St. Louis Rams: Ronnell Lewis, OLB 40. Carolina Panthers: Jared Crick, DE 41. Buffalo Bills: Cam Johnson, DE 42. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB 43. Seattle Seahawks: Chase Minnifield, CB 44. Kansas City Chiefs: Kendall Reyes, DT 45. Dallas Cowboys: Shea McClellin, OLB 46. Philadelphia Eagles: Bobby Wagner, OLB 47. New York Jets: Demario Davis, OLB 48. Patriots (from Oakland): M. Sanu, WR 49. San Diego: Mychal Kendricks, ILB
68. Cleveland Browns: Billy Winn, DE 69. Buccaneers: Bernard Pierce, RB 70. Rams (from Washington): J. Norman, CB 71. Jacksonville: Brandon Washington, OG 72. Buffalo Bills: Nate Potter, OT 73. Miami Dolphins: Marvin Jones, WR
50. Chicago: Mitchell Schwartz, OT
51. Eagles (from Arizona): Bobby Massie, OT 52. Tennessee Titans: Amini Silatolu, OG 53. Cincinnati Bengals: Ben Jones, C 54. Detroit Lions: Ronnell Lewis, OLB
55. Atlanta Falcons: Orson Charles, TE 56. Pittsburgh Steelers: David Wilson, RB 57. Denver Broncos: Rueben Randle, WR 58. Houston Texans: Marvin McNutt, WR 59. Saints: James-Michael Johnson, ILB
74. Chicago: from Carolina): B. Boykin, CB
75. Kansas City Chiefs: Brandon Weeden, QB 76. Seattle Seahawks: Joe Adams, WR 77. Philadelphia Eagles: Harrison Smith, S 78. New York Jets: Brian Quick, WR 79. Raiders: Forfeited (Supplemental Draft) 80. San Diego Chargers: Sean Spence, OLB 81. Chicago: Josh Kaddu, OLB
82. Arizona Cardinals: Bruce Irvin, OLB 83. Dallas Cowboys: Kelechi Osemele, OG 84. Tennessee Titans: T.Y. Hilton, WR 85. Cincinnati Bengals: Jarius Wright, WR 86. Atlanta Falcons: Olivier Vernon, DE 87. Detroit Lions: Antonio Allen, S
88. Pittsburgh Steelers: Leonard Johnson, CB 89. Denver Broncos: LaMichael James, RB 90. Houston Texans: George Iloka, S 91. New Orleans Saints: Kheeston Randall, DT
60. Packers: Trumaine Johnson, CB
92. Packers: Brandon Brooks, OG
61. Baltimore Ravens: Nick Toon, WR 62. San Francisco 49ers: Dwight Bentley, CB 63. New England Patriots: Isiah Pead, RB 64. New York Giants: Coby Fleener, TE
93. Baltimore Ravens: Audie Cole, ILB 94. San Francisco 49ers: Kevin Zeitler, OG 95. New England: Nigel Bradham, OLB 96. New York Giants: Robert Turbin, RB
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NFL Draft 2012
Packers Team Needs 2011 Season Recap
The Green Bay Packers came into the 2011 season with a goal that Vince Lombardi’s championship teams accomplished but Mike Holmgren’s couldn’t: repeat as Super Bowl champions. Expectations among the national media and fans alike were that a young, talented roster would welcome back injured players such as Jermichael Finley and Ryan Grant and make a serious run at back-to-back Super Bowls. When the regular season was complete, the Packers looked ready to make good on those expectations. Green Bay started the season by winning 13 straight, which extended their win streak to the NFL’s second longest ever at 19 overall and finished the season with just a single blemish at 15-1. Owners of home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, Green Bay threw away its chance at a Super Bowl appearance as the New York Giants buzzsawed through Lambeau Field for the second time in four postseasons. What once had the potential to be among the greatest seasons in Packers history will now enjoy footnote status in franchise annals.
B.J. Raji, Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Desmond Bishop and Nick Collins (if healthy) make up the rest of the core.
Help Wanted The Packers have needed help at outside linebacker since switching to the 3-4 defense, but this offseason might represent the breaking point for Ted Thompson at that position. Without an impact player opposite Matthews, his defense may not survive. On the defensive line, losing Cullen Jenkins had a bigger impact than Thompson planned for. Another early pick could be spent on upgrading the talent at that position, especially after what Mike Neal put on tape after returning from another injury. The Packers will also have to look into a safety early if Collins (neck) isn’t cleared to play, and cornerback depth might be an issue if Jarrett Bush bolts and/or Woodson moves to safety. The offense is set at most positions. But Mike McCarthy is rumored to desire a bruising running back, and offensive tackle depth is a question due to the combination of Chad Clifton’s likely departure and Derek Sherrod’s leg injury. If free agent Scott Wells can’t be retained, center would immediately become a huge need.
2012 Outlook Despite a crash-and-burn performance in a home playoff game against the Giants, many will consider the Packers front-runners to get back to the Super Bowl in 2012. The team is loaded on offense, should gain an impact player or two on defense through the draft and, above all else, retains Rodgers, Thompson and McCarthy as heads of the franchise. It’s easy to forget that this team won 15 games with some major deficiencies in 2011, so there’s no reason why the Packers shouldn’t make another legitimate run at winning their fifth Lombardi Trophy next season.
Everything the Packers want to do on offense starts and ends with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who broke Peyton Manning’s single-season passer rating record in 2011 on his way to being named the NFL’s MVP. There is no better combination of physical attributes, athleticism and mental acuity than Rodgers at the quarterback position. Rodgers has help, as receivers Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson make up one of the NFL’s better duos. In just his second season, Bryan Bulaga developed into a top right tackle. On the other side of “center would immediately become a huge need” the ball, Clay Matthews is the superstar of the group.
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NFL Draft 2012
THE NFC NORTH
Help Wanted: The Bears haven’t had a legitimate No. 1 receiver since Marty Booker in the early 2000s, and there figures to be a couple of impact passcatchers available at the 19th overall pick. The secondary is also a pressing issue with upgrades at both cornerback and safety needed. A dark horse position the Bears could target is at defensive end where Chicago wants more production opposite Julius Peppers. 2012 Outlook: Getting both Cutler
and RB Matt Forte back makes all the difference. They’ll instantly be a playoff contender again with those two healthy. Forte, a free agent, has to be back, as the Bears will be a more run-heavy team in 2012 with Mike Tice taking over at offensive coordinator for the departed Mike Martz.
Season Recap: A four-game winning streak to end 2010 and the returning health of starting quarterback Matthew Stafford helped springboard the Lions to their best season in over a decade. Detroit won 10 games for the first time since 1995 and made the playoffs for the first time since ’99. Their season ended with the thud of allowing 45 points in back-to-back losses to the Packers and Saints, the latter coming in the wild card playoff round. Help Wanted: A secondary that played well to start the season crumbled late under the weight of injuries. Depth at both safety and cornerback could help ease that burden. Left tackle is a short-term and long-term issue, as Jeff Backus is an unrestricted free agent and will be 35 years old next season. And what about running back? Jahvid Best and Mikel LeShoure are both young but injured investments. 2012 Outlook: This isn’t a team that needs to make major changes during the offseason. A few tweaks here and there, particularly on defense, will make the Lions legitimate NFC contenders next season.
CHICAGO Season Recap: A 31-20 win over the San Diego Chargers in Week 11 improved the Bears’ 2011 record to 7-3, but it came at a cost that Chicago couldn’t endure. A season-ending broken thumb for QB Jay Cutler drastically altered the rest of the Bears’ season. Instead of making a return trip to the playoffs, poor quarterback play from backups Caleb Hanie and Josh McCown led to five straight losses and an 8-8 finish.
Season Recap: What a difference just
two years can make. Once on the verge of kicking a regulation-time field goal to beat the New Orleans Saints in the 2010 NFC Championship Game, the Vikings suffered through a laughing stock season the next fall before winning just three games in 2011. It goes without saying that the last 24 months have been rough at Winter Park.
Help Wanted:: Where to begin? The secondary needs to be completely rebuilt, a franchise left tackle has to be identified to keep Christian Ponder upright and there’s no No. 1 receiver on the roster. Those are the most pressing offseason priorities. The Vikings could also use a starting guard, linebacker and defensive tackle. As you’d expect with a three-win team, Minnesota has plenty of holes to fill this offseason. 2012 Outlook: The Vikings will only improve in 2012 if Ponder shows the kind of improvement from Year 1 to 2 that he failed to show from week-to-week during his rookie season. Getting Adrian Peterson back at 100% after knee surgery would help too, but 8-8 might be the Vikings’ ceiling.
“legitimate NFC contenders”
5 | Cheesehead TV 2012 Draft Preview 13
NFL Draft 2012 NFC
TEAM NEEDS New Orleans Tampa Bay
Help wanted: Carolina is a team on the rise with QB Cam Newton, but there are needs abound at defensive tackle, linebacker, cornerback and receiver. If they can shore up some of their more obvious holes in the draft, the Panthers might take a run at a playoff spot in 2012.
Help Wanted: The Cowboys finished in the bottom 10 of pass defense in 2011 and stand to lose CB Terrance Newman as a salary cap casualty. The pass rush around DeMarcus Ware also needs to be addressed, along with an upgrade on the interior of the offensive line.
Help wanted: By the time free agency is done, the Falcons could look like a much different team from the one that has won 23 regular season games over two seasons. Important free agents include Curtis Lofton, Brent Grimes, John Abraham and Thomas DeCoud. While Atlanta doesn’t have a first round pick, it needs help on every defensive level and the offensive line.
Help wanted: A defensive line that registered 44.5 sacks and a talented secondary that slowly gelled was undermined by the Eagles’ glaring weakness at linebacker. Addressing that position has to be a high priority. Philadelphia could also be in the market for a play-making receiver if the enigmatic DeSean Jackson leaves in free agency.
Help Wanted: New York is loaded on the defensive line but has annually lacked a presence at linebacker since Antonio Pierce retired. With a tackling machine at the second level, the Giants could have a scary defense. G.M. Jerry Reese might also look at a guard or center to help jump-start New York's 32nd ranked running game.
Help wanted: Another offseason in Washington means another round of wondering what the Redskins will do at quarterback. No team in the NFL currently needs a franchise-type player at the position more than Washington, as the veteran combination of Rex Grossman and John Beck might rank as the worst in the league.
Help wanted: Like the Falcons, New Orleans might be forced to fill a few cracks in the roster after free agency. Carl Nicks, Marques Colston, Tracy Porter and Robert Meachem are all unrestricted free agents this offseason, and the Saints can’t be expected to retain all of them. Offensive and defensive tackle should be high priorities.
Help wanted: A young roster took a huge step back in 2011. Now, following a 4-12 season, the Bucs need to use the draft to address holes at cornerback, receiver, linebacker and offensive tackle. Greg Schiano’s first draft has to find impact players to get this franchise back on track.
“could have a scary defense” 16 | Cheesehead TV 2012 Draft Preview
NFL Draft 2012
Help wanted: Injuries ravaged the Rams’ roster in 2011, but there’s no doubting St. Louis still has a number of holes that need filling. A play-making receiver for Sam Bradford tops the list, with offensive tackle, defensive tackle and cornerback not far behind.
Help wanted: QB Alex Smith threw a total of 68 passes in the 49ers’ two playoff games, and just eight were completed to receivers. That stat alone highlights the 49ers’ most obvious need. Both CB Carlos Rogers and S Dashon Goldson are free agents, so San Francisco might also look to the draft to replace one or both in the secondary.
Help Wanted: Did Tarvaris Jackson earn himself another year as the Seahawks’ starting quarterback? We’ll get a better idea of that answer in the draft. Seattle could still pick a project QB to groom behind him regardless of that decision. On defense, the Seahawks might be one or two good players away from being one of the NFC’s best.
Help wanted: The Cardinals struck gold last April when they took cornerback/returner Patrick Peterson, and he was a big reason for their ensuing 8-8 season. For Arizona to take the next step, upgrades are needed at guard and offensive tackle, as well as an impact pass rusher to replace OLB Joey Porter.
“two good players away being one of the best”
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The Packers and the rest of the NFC will have plenty of questions at the NFL Draft.
NFL Draft 2012 AFC
Help wanted: Ray Lewis can’t outrun Father Time forever, and the Ravens do not currently have a long-term option in place to replace the Hall of Famer. Finding Matt Birk’s successor at center is a pressing need too.
Help wanted: Most mock drafts will tell you that the Bengals want to replace aging running back Cedric Benson, but there are more pressing needs at cornerback, safety and guard. If the Bengals can fill the needs in the secondary, this could easily be a top 10 defense in 2012.
Help wanted: Few teams have as many holes to fill as the Browns, especially on offense. Cleveland could take a player at any offensive position besides left tackle and center and still hit on a need.
"pull out the magical draft hat”
Help Wanted: Only the Packers gave up more passing yards than the Patriots in 2011, so the needs likely start in the secondary. Cornerback depth and a new starter at safety are good bets. You also have to think Bill Belichick will try pulling another playmaker on offense out of his magical draft hat.
Help Wanted: A defense that once carried this team now needs major upgrades, including a physical safety to combat the Patriots’ tight end duo and an outside linebacker to jump start the pass rush. Receiver, guard and running back are all offensive positions the Jets may look into.
Help wanted: The hire of Joe Philbin likely signals a change of course at quarterback. While that might point to free agent Matt Flynn, it could also suggest that Miami goes after one in the draft. On the defensive side, Miami’s need for more pass rush is very real.
New York Baltimore Cincinnati
Help wanted: The promotion of Dave Wannstedt to defensive coordinator means the Bills will be transitioning back to a 4-3 defense in 2012. Some pieces are already in place, such as 2011 first-rounder Marcell Dareus, but adding another pass rusher is still a high priority.
Help wanted: Depth along the offensive line is a huge issue for the Steelers. They can’t continue using a patchwork line and expect different results. A veteran defense also needs a youth movement at both nose tackle and inside linebacker.
“few teams have as many holes” 18 | Cheesehead TV 2012 Draft Preview
NFL Draft 2012
Help wanted: Blaine Gabbert had a worrisome first season, but the lack of receiving options at his disposal was painfully obvious. If Jacksonville doesnâ€™t go offense, cornerback is also a position of need.
Help Wanted: The Titans have to be better running the football in 2012, so drafting a mauler on the interior of the offensive line tops the list. The pass rush from defensive end could improve as well.
Help wanted: Despite a breakout year from Tim Tebow, John Elway wants a guy at quarterback that can win championships. Who knows if Tebow can pull that off running a gadget NFL offense. Defensive line is also a problem area. Help wanted: The Chiefs are a tackle away from having a complete offensive line. Right tackle Barry Richardson is a free agent, so it only makes sense to replace him with a high pick.
Oakland San Diego
Help wanted: The Colts are rebuilding, and that process begins this April. Andrew Luck is a lock at No. 1 but from there, Indy has options. New G.M. Ryan Grigson could draft any position on defense and still find a starter for 2012.
Houston INdianapolis Jaguars
Help wanted: Houston has as well-rounded a roster as there is in the AFC. But if the Texans wanted to get greedy, taking an impact receiver early could give them a top five offense. The safe bet says Houston continues to build on defense.
Help wanted: The Raiders traded away their top pick for Carson Palmer, which means theyâ€™ll need to be savvy in the middle rounds. Finding an impact player or two at cornerback is a must.
Help wanted: The offensive line in San Diego could undergo a massive makeover this offseason, and the draft should be the tool in which the Chargers find two or more starters. Pass rush at outside linebacker is also a first-round need.
Who will be "that guy" in the AFC?
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Quarterbacks 1 Andrew Luck School Stanford, Jr Height 6' 4" Weight 235 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.67
QB “touted as the best prospect since John Elway” move, keeping his eyes downfield at all times.
288 of 404, 3517 yards, 67 TDs, 10 INTs
In a nutshell: Luck has been touted as the best quarterback prospect since John Elway and it isn’t just hyperbole. He’s incredibly accurate with his passes to any part of the field and while he doesn’t have a rocket launcher for an arm, he can make every NFL throw. Luck has an extraordinary knack for reading defenses and adjusting to them. He looks off coverage effectively and has been calling audibles at the line of scrimmage since he was a redshirt sophomore. Occasionally makes some poor decisions and tries to fit a pass in coverage which is too tight. Is also great on the
Bowl game: Luck finished off his Stanford career with a very good— if not perfect—game against Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl. He threw for 347 yards and two touchdowns, including a 63-yard drive with under three minutes to go in the final quarter to set his kicker up for a game winning field goal (the kick was wide). Luck’s one interception came when he was moving outside the pocket, on a play in his own end on 3rd and 2. Aside from that, Luck showed his usual talent for reading the defense as he continually picked the Cowboy secondary apart for gains both long and short. Rivalry game: Stanford’s triple overtime victory over Pac-12 rival USC was a thrilling example of what Luck can do against a tough defense at a hostile venue. Luck was often under pressure from the Trojan front seven but kept cool and patient waiting for receivers to break open. He did throw a crucial interception late in the fourth, which was returned for a touchdown and gave USC the lead. Luck
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came right back, however, leading his team down the field for a gametying score. He then led his team on three consecutive touchdown drives in overtime to win the game. 2 Robert Griffin III School Baylor, Jr Height 6' 2" Weight 220 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.41
2011 stats: 291 of 402, 4293 yards, 37 TDs, 6 INTs, 179 carries, 699 yards, 10 TDs
In a nutshell: Griffin’s accuracy is exceptional with a career completion percentage of 67.1%. He has great touch downfield and can drop the ball in the bucket with ease. Not surprisingly, Griffin is very accurate outside of the pocket and on the run, and he sometimes actually seems uncomfortable in the pocket. He was not required to make a lot of reads in college and struggles reading defenses at times, including CheeseheadTV.com
Quarterbacks pre-snap. Griffin is an elite athlete with tremendous leadership skills who remains even keeled regardless of the situation. Despite what many think, Griffin is a passer first, a runner second, and he is not prone to yanking the ball down too quickly. Vs. ranked opponent: Griffin had a virtually flawless game against No. 5 Oklahoma, throwing the ball for a school record 479 yards and four touchdowns while running for another 72. It was his arm which won the game for the Baylor Bears, however, as Griffin saw wide receiver Terrance Williams drift open in the back corner of the end zone and hit him for a 34-yard touchdown with eight seconds left in the game. Griffin also had a touchdown caught after the ball bounced off another receiver’s hands and helmet and ran 22 yards for a crucial first down with 46 seconds left, no time outs and in his own end of the field. Bowl game: The Alamo Bowl proved an exciting end to a fantastic career for Griffin, though his stats were low-key compared to many of his previous games. Griffin was able to throw for 295 yards and a touchdown, while running for another score on the ground and 55 yards. The Huskies were able to contain him for much of the game, though the cost was allowing running back Terrance Ganaway to blow them up for 200 yards and five touchdowns. Griffin was willing to sit back and let someone else be the star while he kept the defense honest with smart, accurate throws to move the chains.
3 Ryan Tannehill School Texas A&M, Sr Height 6' 4" Weight 255 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA
327 of 531, 3744 yards, 29 TDs, 15 INTs
In a nutshell: Tannenhill arrived at Texas A&M and changed positions from quarterback to wide receiver, then back to quarterback in 2010 when incumbent Jerrod Johnson struggled. He has very good accuracy on shorter passes and can throw on the run, but his accuracy wavers on intermediate and long throws. Definitely has the arm strength to make all the NFL throws though his release varies and causes some problems. Tannenhill needs to be more patient and wait for plays to develop—often he reacts to pressure too quickly. He is still developing his ability to read the defense and has a tendency to expose his receivers to big
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hits. Tannenhill is highly intelligent and a hard worker whose potential has not been reached yet. Vs. ranked opponent: Tannenhill had a rough outing against sixthranked Oklahoma, throwing for 379 yards and a pair of touchdowns but also three interceptions. Not all of the interceptions were on Tannenhill—his first of two third quarter picks was off a tipped pass, and the wind was brutal on both quarterbacks—but all three put together were deadly for any momentum the Aggies had. He did show great mobility scrambling free from pressure and found receiver Ryan Swope for a 79-yard touchdown. Other than that long pass, Tannenhill mostly threw short dink and dunk passes. He threw a staggering 63 pass attempts, of which he completed 32. Bowl game: Heading into the Texas Bowl, the Aggies had gone through a tumultuous time—one of their teammates died in an auto accident and their coach, Mike Sherman, had just been fired. They came into the game against Northwestern very focused, however, in large part due to Tannenhill. He kept the team’s attention on the task at hand and led the offense down the field on the final drive, converting two very crucial third downs in the process and burning a tremendous amount of time. He did throw an interception, which Northwestern was able to convert into points but made very few other errors.
“staggering 63 passes” CheeseheadTV.com
Quarterbacks 4 Brandon Weeden School Oklahoma State, Sr Height 6' 4" Weight 219 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA In a nutshell: Weeden is 28, which will make some teams hesitate to rate him highly. He spent most of his 20s playing minor league baseball, which gave him confidence and patience younger quarterbacks haven’t developed. Weeden has a very strong arm and can stick a throw in a tight spot but can rely on his arm too much at times. Pats the ball before throwing.
a bit of an odd release, and when pressured, throws off his back foot and sails passes high and wide. Very athletic and will stand in the pocket, not afraid of taking a big hit to deliver the ball. Has very few starts and is very raw. Bowl game: Facing No. 7 Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl, Osweiler had a solid game that came up short. His 395 yards and two touchdowns were marred by a costly interception at the one-yard line in the third quarter. Osweiler was late getting his team to the line of scrimmage, seemed somewhat confused and didn’t call a time out right before the play.
Bowl game: Weeden and the Cowboys had one of their toughest 2011 stats: 326 of 516, 4036 tests to date as they beat No. 4 Stan- yards, 63.2%, 26 TDs, 13 INTs ford in the Fiesta Bowl. Weeden compiled 399 yards and a trio of 6 Kirk Cousins touchdowns, keeping pace with School Michigan State, Sr likely No. 1 pick Andrew Luck. Height 6' 2" He added one more score on the Weight 209 lbs. ground, bulling his way for a two40-Yard Dash 4.93 yard touchdown to tie the game at halftime. In a nutshell: Cousins is pretty accurate on short and intermediate 2011 stats: 379 of 522, 4328 throws but lacks the strength for yards, 72.3%, 34 TDs, 12 INTs long vertical passes. He’s an intelligent player who can read defenses 5 Brock Osweiler but often double-clutches and does School Arizona State, Jr not step into his throws. If forced Height 6' 7" to move out of the pocket, Cousins Weight 240 lbs. often makes poor decisions. 40-Yard Dash NA All-Star game: Cousins had a very In a nutshell: Osweiler is a strong good week of practices at the Senior Bowl followed by an average game. armed, accurate quarterback who Throughout the week, he looked shows good anticipation of his good, throwing his trademark short receivers’ routes and timing. Has 22 | Cheesehead TV 2012 Draft Preview
passes with success. His game was a little weaker, though Cousins threw a key 41-yard touchdown in the third quarter that gave the North squad enough of a cushion to win. 2011 stats: 296 of 469, 3641 yards, 63.7%, w24 TDs, 12 INTs 7 Nick Foles School Arizona, Sr Height 6' 5" Weight 244 lbs. 40-Yard Dash:5.14 In a nutshell: Foles is an intelligent, confident quarterback with good accuracy and a knack for staying cool under pressure. He’s able to anticipate when his receivers are coming out of a break and have the ball there. Foles tends to hold the ball too long and then tries to thread the needle too much. Durability is also a concern. Rivalry game: Foles came away with a victory over rival Arizona State in their yearly “Duel in the Desert” game for the Territorial Cup. During the game, Foles broke Arizona single-season records for yards passing and pass completions, totaling 370 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game after being shaken up. 2011 stats: 387 of 560, 4334 yards, 69.1%, 28 TDs, 14 INTs
Quarterbacks 8 Ryan Lindley School San Diego St.,Sr Height 6' 4" Weight 230 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.90
Vs. ranked opponent: Facing tenth ranked Boise State, Lindley had a very good outing, throwing for 350 yards and three touchdowns, though much of his production came in garbage time when the game was out of hand. Still he showed better than usual accuracy, save for an early interception which Boise State turned into a touchdown. 2011 stats: 237 of 447, 3153 yards, 53.0% 23 TDs, 8 INTs
10 B.J. Coleman School Tenn-Chatt, Sr Height 6' 1" Weight 203 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA
David Stluka â€“ Wisconsin Athletic Communications
In a nutshell: Lindley has an odd release point, which hampers his accuracy and makes it very inconsistent. While he sees the field well and has good arm strength, he trusts himself too much and throws where he shouldnâ€™t. Does not feel backside pressure and will often get blasted on blitzes.
9 Russell Wilson School Wisconsin, Sr Height 5' 11" Weight 203 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.55
throw. However, he often became more conservative during the week and held the ball too long. He threw for a touchdown in the game but was also sacked twice in the game.
In a nutshell: Transferred from Tennessee to Chattanooga after spending a year as a third string backup. Missed four of the last five games this past year with an injured shoulder. A big, strong player, Coleman can appear stiff and has poor footwork. Was average at best against less-than-stellar competition.
225 of 309, 3175 yards, 33 TDs, 4 INTs, 79 carries, 338 yards, 6 TDs
In a nutshell: Wilson is an accurate, efficient quarterback with plenty of experience in a pro style offense. Despite his size, he possess tremendous arm strength. Wilson is a smart player who can read the defense and fool them with his eyes and body movement. Is highly mobile and elusive and is anticipates pressure. All-Star game: Wilson impressed in his first practice at the Senior Bowl in Mobile by coming out and playing very aggressive football, attacking the secondary with every
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All-Star game: Coleman stood out at the East-West Shrine game with a week of very good practices. He showed off his big arm and good mobility, as well as leadership. Coleman also seemed like an astute student and a willing worker, able to hear criticism and adjust accordingly. 2011 stats: 135 of 227, 1527 yards, 60.9%, 9 TDs, 9 INTs 11 Kellen Moore School Boise St SR Height 6' 0" Weight 191 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.94 In a nutshell: Moore was a very CheeseheadTV.com
Quarterbacks productive college quarterback who won a lot of games, but will likely struggle to replicate his success at the pro level. He lacks the size, arm strength and overall athleticism other quarterbacks in this Draft class have. Moore is a very savvy and smart quarterback, though, and has great accuracy on shorter passes. All-Star game: In a week of practices for the Senior Bowl, Moore’s strengths were highlighted but so were his weaknesses. While Moore proved to be every bit as smart as scouts expected, his lack of arm strength, odd mechanics and struggles under center were also on display and will reinforce his place as a future backup as far as most teams are concerned. 2011 stats: 300 of 406, 3507 yards, 74.3%, 41 TDs, 7 INTs 12 Chandler Harnish School Northern Il, Sr Height 6' 2" Weight 219 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.76 In a nutshell: An athletic player who can hurt teams with his feet, Harnish is elusive when he leaves the pocket and shows good instincts running the ball. He possesses average arm strength and will struggle to slip balls past defenders. Receivers find they have to adjust to the ball on many of his throws. All-Star game: Harnish was the biggest, most athletic quarterback
at the East-West Shrine game in what was really a very disappointing quarterback group. He was very accurate on short and intermediate routes, but struggled with passes thrown over 15 to 20 yards. Harnish showed good leadership and poise throughout the week. 2011 stats: 219 of 348, 2942 yards, 61.7%, 26 TDs, 5 INTs, 194 carries, 1379 yards, 11 TDs 13. Aaron Corp, Richmond Corp has the arm strength to make throws anywhere on the field and the accuracy to make them count. He has a thin frame and has battled injuries throughout his career. 14. Case Keenum, Houston Keenum is proficient reading a defense pre-snap and making quick, accurate decisions when he gets the ball in his hands. Does not have a NFL-caliber arm and struggles with longer throws. Keenum also has virtually no experience under center. 15. Austin Davis, Southern Miss. Davis throws a nice ball with good touch and is very dangerous with his feet as well. He lacks arm strength and struggled with longer passes. Davis wasn’t asked to make many reads, playing in a simple zone offense.
16. Darron Thomas, Oregon Thomas was very productive at Oregon, but was predominantly a spread quarterback, which tends to inflates numbers a bit. Rarely asked to take snaps from under center, struggles to read defenses and stares his primary receiver down too much. Very raw, but has a lot of upside. 17. Tyler Hansen, Colorado Hansen has proven to be a tough competitor both on and off the field, overcoming adversity in both areas through hard work and determination. He has a tendency to be erratic in his throws and appears to struggle reading the field. 18. Patrick Witt, Yale A very intelligent quarterback who had applied for a Rhodes Scholarship, Witt is a decent athlete with a limited skill set. He has shown good accuracy on his passes, although the level of competition and shorter passes he threw need to be kept in mind. 19. Jordan Jefferson, LSU 20. G.J. Kinne, Tulsa 21. Jacory Harris, Miami 22. John Brantley, Florida 23. Dominique Davis, E. Carolina 24. Marshall Lobbestael, Wash. St. 25. Barrett Trotter, Auburn 26. J.J. McDermott, SMU
“proven to be a tough competitor both on and off the field”
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Running Backs 1 Trent Richardson School Alabama, Jr Height 5' 11" Weight 224 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA In a nutshell: Richardson began to make a name for himself in 2011 spelling Heisman winner and NFL Draft first-rounder Mark Ingram. He finished his junior campaign with 1,679 yards on the ground and a whopping 21 touchdowns. In his career in Tuscaloosa, Richardson finished up with 3,130 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns. He shows the rare mix of elite power and elite speed that has NFL Draft scouts’ jaws on the floor. He’ll be a sure-fire top-10 pick and can enter the starting role with whatever team picks him. He can definitely fit in with a West Coast team, as he had 26 receptions for 338 yards in 2011. Postseason game: In the BCS Championship game, Richardson and Roll Tide, well, rolled over LSU. He was extremely effective against one of the best defenses in the country, running for 96 yards on 20 carries with a 34-yard gamesealer that put LSU totally out of it. What made this night so special was that he averaged 4.8 yards per carry, almost a full yard better than when the two teams met in the “game of the century” last November. Richardson was the focal point of the offense in the BCS title game, and he showed scouts that he’s capable of carrying a team on his back—even if it’s an NFL team.
RB “Richardson rolled over LSU” Rivalry game: In the Iron Bowl against Auburn, Richardson and ‘Bama were looking for revenge after a close loss to Cam Newton and the eventual national champion Tigers. Richardson exploded for 203 yards on 27 carries for a ho-hum 7.5 yards per carry. While he didn’t find the end zone on the ground, he did on a five-yard reception, his only one of the game. While this Auburn team wasn’t the same one that won it all in 2010, Richardson showed speed and power makes him a talent that shouldn’t go overlooked. 2011 stats: 283 yards, 1,679 yards, 21 TDs, 29 receptions, 338 yards, 3 TDs 2 Lamar Miller School Miami Fl, So Height 5' 11" Weight 212 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.40
mark a season ago, rushing for 1,272 yards and nine touchdowns for the 6-6 Canes. Only a redshirt sophomore, he hasn’t taken the beatings that the heavy ball carriers have taken. Miller doesn’t have world-class sprinter speed, but has enough to turn the corner and go the distance. Look for him to go early on day two. Vs. ranked opponent: In Week 2 of the season, Miller and the 0-1 Canes played host to the Jim Tressel-less and Joe Bauserman-led Buckeyes. Miller ran absolutely all over the then-ranked Buckeyes, racking up a career-high 184 yards on 26 carries with a touchdown. It was his second in a string of five straight 100-yard games, which put him on the map early in the season. Miami put the Bucks away 24-6, winning their first game of the year. Rivalry game: In a November matchup with in-state rival Florida State, it appeared to be the battle of perennial powers looking to get back to the top of the rankings. On the road in a slugfest, Miller wasn’t able to blow up on the home-team Noles. He still finished admirably, rushing for 92 yards on 22 carries, a 4.2-yard average. It certainly wasn’t his best game, but it was one where the Hurricanes were down by as many as 17 points, taking Miller out of the game. He also faced a tough defense that only allowed him a long of 11 yards in the game.
In a nutshell: Miller was a bit under the radar in 2011 as he was playing for a mediocre Hurricane team that plays in the ACC—a conference that doesn’t exactly have 2011 stats: 227 carries, 1,272 a penchant for football dominance. yards, 9 TDs, 17 receptions, 85 yards, 1 TD But Miller broke the 1,000-yard
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Running Backs 3 David Wilson School Virginia Tech, Jr Height 5' 10" Weight 205 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.49 In a nutshell: Wilson finished up his junior campaign in Blacksburg with a whopping 1,709 yards rushing and nine touchdowns for the Hokies along with ACC Player of the Year honors. He burst on to the scene replacing Arizona Cardinals rookie running back Ryan Williams and filled in extremely well. He rushed for over 100 yards in every one of Virginia Tech’s games but three in 2011, including seven in a row in the middle of the season. His size might be a question mark at only 205 pounds, but he has enough speed to be successful at the next level. Look for teams to try to bulk him up. Postseason game: In the 2011 Sugar Bowl against Michigan, Wilson had a tough time against the rejuvenated Wolverine defense. He managed a decent 82 yards on 24 carries but couldn’t find the lanes he was used to during the season. He managed to find his way for a long of 32 yards, but was ultimately shut down as the Wolverines forced Virginia Tech to run with the quarterback or throw the ball down field. It wasn’t Wilson’s best game of 2011 by any means, but his success throughout the year made him a focal point of a solid opposing defense.
Rivalry game: In the yearly matchup with ACC rival Miami, Wilson had his way with the Hurricanes defense, rushing for 128 yards on 23 carries. He also threw in a season-high four catches for 25 yards and a score. It was his fifth game in a row with 20-plus carries, a great sign that he can handle a large workload and be consistently productive. In a 38-35 squeaker for the Hokies where quarterback Logan Thomas threw for 310 yards and three scores, Wilson remained consistent, keeping Miami’s defense guessing.
his most productive game, and it came against a conference opponent. 2011 stats: 293 carries, 1,488 yards, 12 TDs, 31 receptions, 332 yards, 4 TDs 5 Doug Martin School Boise St., Sr Height 5' 9" Weight 215 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.55
2011 stats: 290 carries, 1,709 yards, 9 TDs, 22 receptions, 129 yards, 1 TD 4 Chris Polk School Washington, Jr Height 5' 11" Weight 222 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.57 In a nutshell: If Polk was anything at Washington, he was consistent. He rushed for over 1,100 yards all three seasons with the Huskies, including 1,400 his last two. Like the aforementioned Wilson, Polk likewise rushed for over 100 yards in all of the Huskies’ games but three. Best game: In an October 42-31 win over the Arizona Wildcats, Polk rushed for 144 yards in 34 carries with four touchdowns and also tacked on 100 yards and a score through the air. It was far and away
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263 carries, 1,299 yards, 16 TDs, 28 receptions, 255 yards, 2 TDs
In a nutshell: Martin flew under the radar for a Broncos team that had quarterback Kellen Moore in the spotlight. But that didn’t stop the undersized Martin from tearing up Moutain West opponents. He finished the season with 1,299 yards and 16 touchdowns, giving him 3,431 and 43 touchdowns over
Running Backs his career in Boise.
6 LaMichael James School Oregon, Jr Height 5' 9" Weight 185 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.45 In a nutshell: James is as fast as anyone coming out in the 2012 NFL Draft. He ran all over opponents in his three seasons for the Ducks, accumulating 5,082 yards and 53 touchdowns. So why isn’t he ranked No. 1? His size is definitely a question mark at the next level. At only 5’ 9”, 185 lbs., can James hold up to hits from linebackers outweighing him by 100 pounds? Vs. ranked opponent: In the season opener at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, James struggled mightily against one of the country’s elite defensive units in LSU. His 18-carry, 54-yard game was definitely not something he, nor anyone following Oregon, was used to. It was the exception to the rule in 2011, though. 2011 stats: 247 carries, 1,805 yards, 18 TDs, 17 receptions, 210 yards, 1 TD
In a nutshell: A James Starks-like running back, the taller Pierce was the focal point of a Temple offense that became pretty solid over the last couple seasons in the MAC. Pierce rushed for over 1,000 yards in two of his three seasons in Philly, accumulating 3,570 yards and 52 touchdowns for the Owls.
237 carries, 1,259 yards, 12 TDs, 39 receptions, 319 yards, 3 TDs
In a nutshell: Ever since Brian Kelly left Cincinnati and a Bearcats team that moved the ball at will, Pead fell back under the radar, along with the rest of his team. But as the season wore on and after a solid Senior Bowl, Pead finds his draft stock climbing again. He finished with 1,259 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2011 on a careerhigh 237 attempts. Bowl game: In the 2011 Liberty Bowl win against Vanderbilt, Pead finished up his career at Cincinnati with a bang. He rushed for 149
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yards on 28 carries (a 5.3-yard average) and a score. It was one of his most productive games of the year, and one that sealed a very good season for the Bearcats. 8 Bernard Pierce School Temple, Jr Height 6' 1" Weight 218 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.49
UC Sports Communications
Bowl game: In the MAACO Bowl in Las Vegas, Martin had his way with the Pac 12’s Arizona State Sun Devils. Martin rushed for 151 yards on 31 carries and a touchdown as well as a 100-yard kick return for a score. It was an embarrassment for the Sun Devils, as the Broncos dominated 56-24 in a laugher.
7 Isaiah Pead School Cincinnati, Sr Height 5' 11" Weight 200 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.47
Postseason game: Pierce was about as good as could be in the Owls’ 37-15 New Mexico Bowl win over Wyoming. He ran the ball 25 times for 100 yards-even and two scores. It wasn’t his most dominating game of 2011, but it was in a bowl game on national television— something rare for Temple. 2011 stats: 273 carries, 1,481 yards, 27 TDs, 3 receptions, 52 yards 9 Dan Herron School Ohio State, S Height 5' 10" Weight 205 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.66 In a nutshell: Herron played in only seven games in 2011 for the CheeseheadTV.com
Running Backs Buckeyes, after serving his suspension in the alleged tattoos-formemorabilia scandal that essentially cleaned house in Columbus. In those six games, he started off hot then trailed off toward the end. In his first three games back, he rushed for 415 yards and two scores.
In a nutshell: Ballard’s a big guy that lacks ideal speed for a NFL running back. But he’s a bruiser and would find a spot on a team looking for a between-the-tackles or goal-line back. He rushed for 1,189 yards and 10 scores in 2011, efficient numbers for a competitive SEC team.
Best game: In a thrilling 3329 win over Wisconsin, Herron showed flashes of brilliance rushing for 160 yards on 33 carries for a 4.8 yard average against a solid Badger defense. It was his third game back and arguably his most productive since his return.
Rivalry game: On the road against tough SEC West rival, Auburn, Ballard rushed for 135 yards on 21 carries with a score and hauled in five passes for an additional 63 yards. He performed admirably against one of the conference’s better defenses on their home turf. It was his second 100-yard game of the year.
2011 stats: 135 carries, 678 yards, 3 TDs, 8 receptions, 34 yards 10 Vick Ballard School Mississipi St., Sr Height 5' 11" Weight 220 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.65
193 carries, 1,189 yards, 10 TDs, 20 receptions, 187 yards, 1 TD
11 Cyrus Gray School Texas A&M, Sr Height 5' 10" Weight 200 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.47 In a nutshell: Gray was solid for an underachieving Aggie squad led by former Packers coach Mike Sherman, but there are injury concerns. He missed the final two games of the season, including A&M’s bowl game, and then failed his physical at the Senior Bowl and did not participate. Gray has the size for the NFL, but he lacks the explosive speed seen by elite running backs. Best game: In a thrilling 53-50 four-overtime loss at Kansas State, Gray had his best game of the season, rushing 30 times for 218 yards and two score. He had a long of 63 in the loss.
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Gray was incredibly productive on the road against a solid ranked opponent. 2011 stats: 198 carries, 1,045 yards, 12 TDs, 31 receptions, 239 yards, 2 TDs 12. Robert Turbin, Utah State Turbin was an explosive runner for the Aggies, amassing over 1,500 yards on the ground in 2011 in Provo. 13. Tauren Poole, Tennessee Was rather ineffective in 2011, but was it Poole or was it his 1-7 Volunteers team? 14. Ronnie Hillman, San Diego Lacks ideal size for an NFL back, but his 1,711 yards and 19 touchdowns are something to make note of. 15. Bobby Rainey, W. Kentucky 16. Edwin Baker, Michigan State 17. Chris Rainey, Florida, Sr. 18. Marc Tyler, USC 19. Terrance Ganaway, Baylor 20. Brandon Bolden, Ole Miss 21. Bryce Brown, Kansas State 22. Adonis Thomas, Toledo 23: Darrell Scott, South Florida 24: Davin Meggett, Maryland 25. Mike Harris, Murray State 26. Lennon Creer, Lousiana Tech 27. Jewel Hampton, Southern IL. 28. Alvester Alexander, Wyoming 29. Ryan Houston, North Carolina 30. Zach Brown, Pittsburgh
Fullbacks and H-Backs 1 Evan Rodriguez School Temple, Sr Height 6' 3" Weight: 250 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.58 In a nutshell: Rodriguez is a solid athlete who can line up all over the formation but is best suited as an H-back. As a run blocker, he takes good angles and delivers a nice initial burst but doesn’t always sustain his blocks. As a pass catcher, he sells his routes well and thrives in the flat hauling in short passes. After the catch, he displays good balance, decent speed and doesn’t shy away from contact. Best game: The senior’s careerbest game came against the Maryland Terrapins last September. Leading every pass catcher in the game, Rodriguez finished the day with 96 yards. On the Owls’ first play from scrimmage, quarterback Chester Stewart connected with Rodriguez for a 54-yard reception that led to a rushing touchdown on the next play. On the ensuing drive, Rodriguez hauled in two separate 18-yard passes on a second straight touchdown drive that helped put the game out of reach. 2011 stats: 35 receptions, 479 yards, 2 TDs
FB 2 Drake Dunsmore School Northwestern, Sr Height 6' 3" Weight 235 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.64 In a nutshell: Dunsmore is a versatile athlete who is officially listed as a “superback” on Northwestern’s roster. Fittingly, the senior does it all. He lines up as a lead blocker, tight end or an H-back, but does the most damage from the slot. He possesses good hands, finds holes in zone coverage, and is tough to bring down after the catch. In the running game, he seals the end well, but doesn’t have the explosive pop of a typical fullback. Overall, he’s a unique athlete who needs a creative coaching staff to complement his special talents. Best game: In one of the better performances of the entire 2011 season, Dunsmore put on a show against the division-rival Indiana Hoosiers. The senior broke his school’s career record for receiving yards by at tight end with 112 yards on seven receptions. Of his seven catches, four of them went for touchdowns, setting another Northwestern record for singlegame touchdown catches. 2011 stats: 45 receptions, 522 yards, 6 TDs
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3 Cody Johnson School Texas, Sr Height 5' 11" Weight 250 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA In a nutshell: The Texas native’s production slipped his senior season after being asked to be a lead blocker instead of a primary ball carrier. He’s not overly explosive nor does he possess top-end speed, but he does have good size and is a bulldozing runner who looks to run over defenders. Johnson played the Wildcat role at times this past season, but if he makes it in the NFL, it will be as a short-yardage type of back. He has to show he can catch the ball out of the backfield. Postseason game: Even though Johnson had a productive season where he never registered a carry for negative yards, the fullback really showcased his skills in the Holiday Bowl where he logged five carries for 21 yards and scored a touchdown. The touchdown came on the first play of the fourth quarter and ended up being the final points scored in a tightly fought game. 2011 stats: 48 carries, 200 yards, 6 TDs, 1 reception, 4 yards
Fullbacks and H-Backs 4 Bradie Ewing School Wisconsin, Sr Height 6' 0" Weight 245 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.76
rival Michigan. His presence was felt on special teams as well where the Wisconsin-born Ewing added a career-high three tackles and a forced fumble.
10. Taylor Gentry, N. Carolina St
2011 stats: 20 receptions, 246 yards, 0 TDs
11. Joe Halahuni, Oregon State 12. Broderick Green, Arkansas 13. Joe Suhey, Penn State 14. Alfred Morris, Florida Atlantic 15. Joe Martinek, Rutgers 16. Derrick Coleman, UCLA 17. Dan Paul, Boise State 18. Jermaine Robinson, ARK St. 19. Adam Harris, Syracuse 20. Eric Lair, Minnesota
5. Emil Igwenagu, Mass. A late invite to the Senior Bowl after his strong performance in the East-West Shrine Game, Igwenagu is the type of player who catches the eye of Ted Thompson’s scouting department by showing up in big games.
More of a pass catcher than a lead blocker, Gentry is also a special teams leader.
6. Chad Diehl, Clemson Diehl is a big, hard working fullback and was a team captain for Clemson this past season. 20 receptions 246 yard
7. Devon Ramsay, N. Carolina
In a nutshell: A team captain for the Badgers this season, the fullback was a leader on and off the field. He rarely carried the football, but was a serviceable pass catcher. He packs a good punch and ability to drive through defenders as a lead blocker and is a special teams standout. One of two fullbacks invited to this year’s combine, Ewing has a shot at an NFL roster because of his toughness and superb work ethic.
Ramsay has the skills to be an NFL fullback and is especially adept at picking up blitzing defenders.
Best game: In November of 2010, Bradie Ewing was named co-offensive player of the week as part of a Badger offense that rushed for a whopping 357 yards against
A great special teams player, Houston has the size and frame to be an NFL fullback.
8. Bruce Figgins, Georgia Figgins has a huge frame (6’ 4”, 272 lbs.) and is a hybrid fullback/tight end who is worth a training camp invite as a project player for a willing coaching staff. 9. Ryan Houston, N. Carolina
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“team captain for the Badgers this season”
Wide Receivers 1 Justin Blackmon School Oklahoma St, Jr Height 6' 1" Weight 215 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA In a nutshell: Blackmon is a strong, physical receiver who can beat press coverage off the line but also is able to gain separation through speed and crisp route running. Has great hands and a “my ball” mentality which allows him to wrestle balls away from defenders. Even though he lacks top shelf speed, Blackmon is able to turn short receptions into big gains through acceleration, head fakes and sheer strength. Some scouts have concerns about his character, as he has been arrested for driving while intoxicated during the 2010 season and suspended for one game. Ultimately, his ability will far outweigh those concerns. Vs. ranked opponent: On September 24, Blackmon and Oklahoma State took on Texas A&M, then the eighth-ranked team in the country. After falling behind by 17 points in the first half, the Cowboys rallied in the second, behind Blackmon’s 121 yards and a touchdown on 11 receptions. Blackmon dominated the Aggie secondary, using his size to block out cornerbacks and beat them to the ball when the throw was high. On Blackmon’s score, he made a tough catch in the corner of the end zone, which was originally called an incomplete pass.
WR “my ball mentality”
2 Kendall Wright School Baylor, sr Height 5' 10" Weight 190 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.61
Blackmon yelled at an official as he walked away that it was a touchdown and the play was reviewed and ultimately ruled a score. Best game: Blackmon’s best game his senior year was against Kansas State where quarterback Brandon Weeden threw for a school record 502 yards. Blackmon himself tallied 205 yards and rung up two scores, completely dominating the Wildcats. He did cough the ball up twice (once on a punt return), but more than made up for it during the course of the game. Along with his touchdowns, Blackmon scored on a two-point conversion. His biggest play was a fantastic 54-yard reception. On the play, Blackmon ran his route over the middle, knowing the safeties were playing back. Weeden made a nice throw over the top and Blackmon hauled in the ball with a defender right on his heels. Blackmon then streaked towards the end zone for a score. 2011 stats: 121 receptions, 1522 yards, 18 TDs, 5 carries, 7 yards
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108 receptions, 1663 yards, 14 TDs, 10 carries, 72 yards
In a nutshell: Baylor’s all time leading receiver is a tremendous athlete who gets to his top speed swiftly and has a habit of finding the open seam in a defense. He’s fearless across the middle and wants the ball on every down, always playing with a chip on his shoulder. Wright has great hands and focus, as well as the ability to come down with any ball thrown in his area. Wright is shorter than most teams look for in a big-time receiver, and lacks a big frame to box out defenders. May struggle at times with bigger defenders and might have issues beating press coverage, which he didn’t see much of in college. CheeseheadTV.com
Bowl game: For what ended up being a massive, back-and-forth shootout, Wright had a pretty quiet Alamo Bowl as most of Baylor’s yardage came on the ground. Still, Wright kicked things off early with a short touchdown reception where he was able to overpower defenders for an 11-yard score. When the ball came his way, he was effective at making the catch and keeping the chains moving. As the game wore on, he found a little more room as defenders were concentrating on the ground attack but couldn’t find the end zone again nor break the 100-yard mark.
3 Michael Floyd School Notre Dame, Sr Height 6' 3" Weight 224 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.47 In a nutshell: Floyd has a ton of talent but has also had a ton of issues in his time at Notre Dame. He will bowl over would-be tacklers after a catch and can take advantage of his large frame to block out cornerbacks. Floyd’s not afraid to go across the middle and take a big hit while holding onto the ball. Can be inconsistent in his focus, lacks the top-end speed to run away from defenders and will run sloppy routes. Floyd had three alcohol-related incidents while at school and was cited for underage consumption twice in Minnesota as well as for drunken driving in 2011 on campus. Maturity may be an issue. Rivalry game: In the 39th meeting with the Michigan Wolverines, the Fighting Irish choked away a 17-point lead and dropped their third straight game in the rivalry. Floyd covered a ton of ground, catching 13 balls for 159 yards but struggled to score and was unable to break off a catch for a touchdown. His 13 catches came on 16 targets, and Floyd was able to outmuscle defenders on several contested balls. Ultimately, the Wolverines seemed content to let Floyd get yards but keep him out of the end zone. A few times Floyd seemed to be frustrated and lose focus as Michigan kept it physical with the big wideout.
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Vs. ranked opponent: While Notre Dame fell behind early and never recovered against sixthranked Stanford, Floyd actually had a very consistent game and, in fact, seemed to be the only offensive player to do so in the first half. Floyd totaled 92 yards and a touchdown on eight catches, his score coming on a short six-yard pass where he outfought coverage to come down with the score. Floyd failed to top the 100-yard mark in this game, but he was effective in moving the chains and came down with eight of his thirteen targets. 2011 stats: 100 receptions, 1147 yards, 9 TDs, 2 carries, 13 yards, 1 TD 4 Alshon Jeffery School South Carolina, Jr Height 6' 4" Weight 229 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA South Carolina Athletics
Vs. ranked opponent: Facing off against No. 3 Oklahoma State, Wright had a good day but was overshadowed by Justin Blackmon of the Cowboys. While Wright was able to put up 117 yards on 11 receptions, he was kept out of the end zone for the first time all season. He was able to make several big catches in traffic, but he couldn’t seem to find the seams and cracks in the defense that normally allow him to score. Wright was given a lot of attention by the Cowboys’ defense, which did allow other players to have some success, albeit too late to change the outcome of the game, which Baylor lost 59-24.
108 receptions, 1663 yards, 14 TDs, 10 carries, 72 yards
Wide Receivers In a nutshell: Jeffery has great hand-eye coordination and can make ridiculous catches look easy with his body control and agility. He lacks elite speed and wasn’t asked to run very many complex routes at South Carolina but is very dangerous after the catch and shows good acceleration and elusiveness in the open field. Can fight through tackles to gain extra yards.
Best game: Sanu had a big game against Big East rival Louisville, compiling 128 yards and a touchdown on 10 receptions. Throughout the game Sanu was able to outmuscle the coverage and make catches for big gains. Sanu’s score came against zone coverage where he found himself open for a 12yard touchdown and put the Scarlet Knights ahead for good.
Bowl game: Jeffery had an outstanding showing in the Capital One Bowl against an overmatched Nebraska secondary, overshadowed by an ejection for fighting. While Jeffery only caught four balls, each was for a huge gain as he totaled 148 yards and a touchdown. What makes the performance more impressive is that Jeffery was only a few weeks removed from hand surgery.
2011 stats: 115 receptions, 1206 yards, 7 TDs
5 Mohamed Sanu School Rutgers, Jr Height 6' 2" Weight 215 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.67 In a nutshell: Sanu is a big, tough, physical wide receiver with outstanding hands who can out-leap and out-grab defenders for the ball. Not afraid to go over the middle and catch the ball in traffic. Sanu is a willing and effective blocker as well. Won’t make defenders miss after the catch but strong enough to break arm tackles and gain extra yards. A great teammate with a fantastic work ethic.
6 Reuben Randle School LSU, Jr Height 6' 4" Weight 208 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.55
7 Nick Toon School Wisconsin, Sr Height 6' 2" Weight 220 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.54 In a nutshell: Toon, son of former Jet Al Toon, is a very physical receiver with a strong release off the line. While Toon has shown strong hands, he drops too many balls and often in crucial situations. Toon is more raw than you’d expect and teams will have to be patient with him. Health is a concern after suffering a foot injury while training in January.
Bowl game: Toon had a productive game in a losing effort against Oregon in the Rose Bowl. Targeted In a nutshell: Randle had an aver- often by Wisconsin quarterback age of 18.1 yards per catch, putting Russell Wilson, Toon caught nine him amongst the top receivers in passes for 104 yards and a touchthe SEC. He’s able to gain separadown, which put the Badgers ahead tion using his speed and then uses in the third quarter. Toon did a his size to fight off defenders for the great job focusing on the ball on ball. Randle’s size also allows him to every pass in a tight game. be an effective red-zone target. Vs. ranked opponent: In a game against 20th ranked Auburn, Randle didn’t catch many passes but made those he did get, count. Randle totaled 106 yards and two touchdowns on just five catches. Both of Randle’s touchdowns were long bombs where he was able to get behind the coverage.
2011 stats: 64 receptions, 926 yards, 10 TDs
2011 stats: 53 receptions, 917 yards, 8 TDs
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Wide Receivers 8 Marvin McNutt School Iowa, Sr Height 6' 2" Weight 215 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.54
9 Dwight Jones School N Carolina, Sr Height 6' 4" Weight 225 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.55 In a nutshell: An experienced starter for UNC, Jones has a huge frame and a very long reach (his arms are nearly 34 inches long) but sometimes fails to utilize them when going after a contested ball. Lacks great speed and quickness but was a playmaker at college.
82 receptions, 1315 yards, 12 TDs
In a nutshell: Another tall, bigbodied receiver, McNutt does a good job using his size to block out defenders and shield the ball from them. He’s fearless in traffic and shows good focus, even under duress. Since he was a quarterback just three years ago, he’s still very raw. McNutt has high upside but has a long way to go. All-Star game: McNutt got better as his week at the Senior Bowl progressed. He started out looking a bit awkward, running some sloppy routes and dropping catchable balls. Then he settled in and had a solid week of practice, showing off good hands, great body control and an ability to make a tough catch.
All-Star game: Jones had a pretty disappointing week in Mobile for the Senior Bowl, as he looked very ordinary during both the practices and the game. He didn’t seem to be able to catch the ball smoothly, fighting it much of the time and was often out-fought by defensive backs who seemed to want it more. 2011 stats: 85 receptions, 1196 yards, 12 TDs 10 Juron Criner School Arizona, Sr Height 6' 4" Weight 215 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.68 In a nutshell: Criner has good overall speed, but he doesn’t posses great acceleration and his gradual build up may be an issue at the pro level. The lack of explosion also causes issues in his routes as his breaks are not very sudden. Criner has great hands, though, and shows great concentration catching the ball in traffic.
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All-Star game: Capped off a great week at the Senior Bowl with a six catch, 77-yard, one-touchdown performance. While he started out slow during the game, Criner had a big second half when his college quarterback came in and found him four times for 50 yards. Criner used his size and strength to good effect, especially on his touchdown catch. 2011 stats: 75 receptions, 956 yards, 11 TDs 11 Brian Quick School Appalachian St, Sr Height 6' 4" Weight 216 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.55 In a nutshell: Quick is a smallschool player with big potential but also big questions. A basketball player who converted to football at Appalachian State, Quick showed a propensity for big plays. He has decent speed and a big, long frame but is an incredibly raw prospect. All-Star game: Quick seemed uncomfortable at the Senior Bowl all week with the level of competition. While he made several great catches, he dropped far too many passes, caught too many balls with his body and even quit on a few routes and throws. You could see the pure physical ability Quick has, but his rawness at the position was also on full display. 2011 stats: 71 receptions, 1096 yards, 11 TDs CheeseheadTV.com
Wide Receivers 12. Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech.
16. Tommy Streeter, Miami
19. Eric Page, Toledo
Hill is a tremendous athlete with great leaping ability and good hands. The concern with him is whether he has the speed to gain separation from faster defensive backs in the NFL.
Streeter has tremendous size, but has yet to show what his true potential is, having only one season of production (prior to 2011 he had just five career catches). Strong workouts will be key for him to stand out in a deep wide receiver class.
An insanely productive receiver at Toledo, Page’s role in the NFL likely lies in special teams, especially kick and punt returns. A bit thicker than some of the other small receivers on this list, he may have a bit better luck staying healthy, though his upside isn’t as high as the other players.
13. Joe Adams, Arkansas Adams is undersized, but very fast and possesses an elusiveness, which makes him dangerous after the catch. He’s also a very good punt returner who ran back four punts for touchdowns this past season.
14. Marvin Jones, California Jones possesses a deadly combination of burst and extremely good footwork in running routes, making him tough to cover. He sometimes struggles with physical defensive backs in coverage and since he’s pretty much maxed out on his frame it may continue in the NFL.
17. DeVier Posey, Ohio State Suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for selling championship and game memorabilia, Posey spent time mentoring younger wide receivers. He’s quick off the line, runs solid routes and is elusive after the catch.
18. Jarius Wright, Arkansas
Physically, Fuller looks the part. He’s tall, strong, athletic and fast. The problem is in execution. Fuller is very inconsistent, making an amazing catch one minute, then dropping the next three passes. A guy can be as naturally athletic as you want, you have to catch the ball. 21. Gerrell Robinson, Arizona State 22. Jordan White, W. Michigan 23. Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma 24. A.J. Jenkins, Illinois 25. Rishard Matthews, Nevada 26. T.J. Graham, N. Carolina State 27. B.J. Cunningham, Michigan St. 28. Chris Givens, Wake Forest 29. Tim Benford, Tennessee Tech 30. Danny Coale, Virginia Tech
15. T.Y. Hilton, Florida Int. Hilton is very quick, very fast and has tremendous hands and the ability to make big plays after a catch. However, he’s undersized and the concern will be if he’ll be knocked off routes and away from the ball too easily at the pro level.
“is a tremendous athlete”
20. Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M
Wright has great hands, good speed and runs precise routes. Size will be a concern with Wright, and his role in an offense could be hampered by worries about how his body will hold up to a full year of NFL snaps.
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Tight Ends 1 Orson Charles School Georgia, Jr Height 6' 3" Weight 241 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA In a nutshell: Charles embodies the modern NFL tight end. He possesses the size to be an in-line blocker while still being a quick, fluid route runner that looks the part of a wide receiver. He easily finds holes in zone-coverage and uses his speed to gain separation in man-coverage. After the catch, he is rarely taken down by first contact and has the speed to outrun defensive backs. As good off the field as he is on, this is the type of player Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy love. A team captain who does everything—plays in the slot, on the line, as an H-back, and special teams. If the Packers coaching staff could get their hands on this young tight end, they could mold him into a fantastic football player. Vs. Ranked Opponent: Sporting a fresh Georgia-red Mohawk for the game, Charles was a one-man wrecking crew against the No. 5 ranked Boise State Broncos. In both teams’ first game of the season, Charles led all receivers in receptions and yards. While Charles’ teammates may have begun the season a bit rusty, the junior tight end was in midseason form. On his way to six receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown, Charles made a statement during the first game of
TE “the modern NFL tight end”
2 Coby Fleener School Stanford, Sr Height: 6' 6" Weight 244 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA
his junior season. His performance catapulted him towards the 2012 NFL draft, and he should end up being the top tight end taken on draft day. Rivalry game: In the aptly named “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate” rivalry game against Georgia Tech, Orson Charles was impossible to cover. He led all pass-catchers with five receptions for 95 yards against the then No 21 ranked Yellow Jackets. In the 103rd meeting between these two schools, Charles hauled in over one-third of quarterback Aaron Murray’s 252 passing yards, taking in passes on screens, crossing patterns, and seam routes on the way to a 31-17 rout over the in-state rival. NFL teams like to see college players show up in big games, and Charles’ performance against Georgia Tech gave scouts plenty to like about this 21-yearold. 2011 stats: 45 receptions, 574 yards, 5 TDs
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34 receptions, 667 yards, 10 TDs
In a nutshell: It certainly doesn’t hurt to have Andrew Luck throwing you passes, but Fleener would shine no matter who was under center. A tall, athletically gifted athlete, Fleener led all tight ends in the nation with 10 touchdown catches this season. He seems to always find a way past his defender to gain separation and then uses his long arms and soft hands to haul in receptions. He’s a serviceable blocker, but his strengths lie in the passing game. His deceptive speed catches even the most nimble of cornerbacks off guard, and once past defenders, he uses his size to
Tight Ends exploit smaller defensive backs. His balance and route running are superb and he is tough to bring down after the catch. Overall, Fleener is an intriguing prospect who should blossom at the next level. Best game: Fleener’s best career performance came in front of a national audience in the 2011 Orange Bowl. During Stanford’s 40-12 trouncing of the Virginia Tech Hokies, Fleener set Stanford and Orange Bowl records with 173 receiving yards. On his way to a career game, Fleener embarrassed the Hokies secondary with three touchdown catches. On a day where no one expected the tight end to stand out, Fleener ran away from the competition. With all three touchdowns coming in the second half—from 41, 58 and 38 yards away—Fleener propelled his NFL stock and helped the Stanford offense turn the game into a rout. Rivalry game: Playing for the “Legends Trophy” against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Fleener and Luck made sure the prize remained in California. In both teams’ last regular season game of 2011, Fleener caught four passes for 97 yards to lead all receivers and added a pair of touchdowns. On his first score, Fleener made the catch, turned up field, and dragged his defender the remaining 10 yards to the end zone. His second score, however, was much easier. His double move upended the Notre Dame defender and Fleener used his long arms to reach up and haul in the pass before
proceeding to outrun the entire Irish defense for a 55-yard touchdown. 3 Dwayne Allen School Clemson, Jr Height 6' 4" Weight 255 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.89 In a nutshell: The recipient of the 2011 John Mackey Award for the nation’s top tight end, Allen is a versatile player who can play tight to the formation, up as an H-back or in the slot. He does a nice job of extending his arms to go up and make the catch and adjusts to the ball very well. He is assignment sure and uses his big frame to bump defensive ends before taking off on his routes. Not a burner, but makes up for it with crisp, clean route running. Plays faster than his 40-yard dash time and possesses great hands. For a big man, he is surprisingly athletic and nimble making him difficult to bring down after the catch. Last season’s John Mackey Award winner (D.J. Williams) was drafted by the Packers, but Dwayne Allen would have to drop pretty far on draft day in order to end up wearing Green and Gold.
pull off the upset against the then No 21 ranked Tigers. Allen’s final stat line read seven catches for 80 yards and a touchdown, and it was clear that this day belonged to Clemson. Allen looked like a future star and his performance paved his way for an early exit from Clemson and a jumpstart on his NFL career. Bowl game: The consensus firstteam All-America tight end did not record many catches in the ACC Championship game, but he made his pair of receptions count, both going for touchdowns. Allen’s sure hands and big-play ability helped the Clemson Tigers capture their first ACC Championship in 20 years. In the game, Allen broke the school record for touchdown catches in a season by a tight end, and added to his single-season records for the Tigers in receptions, yards and touchdowns. The Fayetteville, North Carolina native was the best thing to come through Clemson’s campus in quite some time, and he should make a professional team just as pleased. 2011 stats: 50 receptions, 598 yards, 8 TDs
Best game: Allen was a human highlight reel against Auburn last September. Snapping Auburn’s 17game winning streak, Allen made three separate leaping catches, the last of which went for a touchdown in the corner of the end zone. Allen’s athleticism helped Clemson
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Tight Ends 4 Ladarius Green School Louisiana-La, Sr Height 6' 6" Weight 230 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.53
Bowl game: In the final game of his four-year collegiate career, Green showed why he deserves to play on Sundays. With a ten-point lead entering the second half of the New Orleans Bowl, Green’s touchdown on the first possession gave the Ragin’ Cajuns a commanding lead. San Diego State eventually mounted a comeback, but Green’s five receptions for 121 yards and a touchdown ensured LouisianaLafayette’s first-ever bowl game victory. 5 Michael Egnew School Missouri, Sr Height 6' 6" Weight 245 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.62
51 receptions, 606 yards, 8 TDs
In a nutshell: Green is a very talented athlete but remains a bit raw. He needs the right situation and coaching staff to reach his full potential. His 6-foot-6 frame is ideal for the NFL and during his tenure at Louisiana-Lafayette, he established himself as a vertical threat in the passing game. He will not overpower defensive ends in the running game but is able to hold his ground. He will need to add some bulk as a rookie, but he’s the kind of player that has the potential to blossom into a playmaker at the next level. Green is the kind of talented, project-type player the Packers like to draft.
In a nutshell: Egnew’s production dropped after former Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert joined the NFL ranks, but Egnew still put together a solid senior season. He has ideal size to be an in-line blocker, but needs work to become a solid cog in the running game. He traditionally lines up wide and uses his big frame to box out defenders and go up and pluck the ball out of the air. A team captain who graduated college in three and a half years, Egnew is the type of highcharacter player the Packers love to bring into the locker room.
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Rivalry game: In what was likely the final “Telephone Trophy” game against rival Iowa State, Egnew almost single-handedly ensured the crown would permanently remain in Missouri. His six receptions for 105 yards a touchdown led all receivers and helped the Tigers blow out the Cyclones, 52-17. 2011 stats: 50 receptions, 523 yards, 3 TDs 6 Rhett Ellison School Southern Cal, Sr Height 6' 5" Weight 250 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA In a nutshell: Ellison, a special teams ace during his time at USC, is a solid football player. A team captain who has the versatility to play tight end, fullback or the H-back position, Ellison isn’t an elite athlete but has the intangibles to stick at the next level. A smart and tough player, he uses his body to shield defenders in the passing game. He’s a good blocker in the running and passing game as well. Rivalry game: In a game that would have sent USC to the Pac12 Championship in any other season, the post-season ineligible Trojans thumped their cross-town rival Bruins to claim the Victory Bell Trophy. Ellison hauled
Tight Ends in three passes for 16 yards and a touchdown, and as usual, his presence was felt as a run blocker, pass blocker, and on special teams. Ellison seemed to have UCLA’s number; of his six career touchdown receptions, two have come against UCLA. 2011 stats: 22 receptions, 133 yards, 2 TDs 7 George Bryan School N. Carolina St, Sr Height 6' 5" Weight 265 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA In a nutshell: A contributor since his freshman year, Bryan is a hard working, productive tight end. His hands are like glue, and he has a knack for finding soft spots in zone coverage. He is a bit slow and not that agile for a tight end, but is a quality blocker. Overall, this team captain has the intangibles to succeed in the pros and be a quality player for years to come. All-Star game: Bryan shone brightly in the East-West Shrine Game. He caught two of his teamleading three passes on the final drive to help the West to a 24-17 victory. Bryan finished the game with three catches for 55 yards.
8 Kevin Koger School Michigan, Sr Height 6' 4" Weight 255 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA In a nutshell: One of Michigan’s team captains, Koger is a tall, athletic player with good hands. He uses his big frame and long arms to make catches but was underutilized in Michigan’s offensive scheme. Koger has the size to be a good blocker but needs some guidance on the finer points of that aspect of the game. He will be a nice project for an NFL coaching staff and under the right conditions could develop into a good player.
9 Brad Smelley School:Alabama, Sr Height 6' 3" Weight 229 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA In a nutshell: A high-character player who has the versatility to play all over the offensive formation and really blossomed as a pass catcher his senior year. While he is a bit undersized and doesn’t stand out in any particular area of the game, he catches the football and has a good feel in coverage. Overall, he is reliable, shows up in the big games and catches everything thrown in his direction.
Rivalry game: Koger saved his best game of the year for the archrival Ohio State Buckeyes. The tight end led all pass catchers in receptions (four) for a total of 40 yards and a touchdown. His score came on a third-and-one from the Ohio State four-yard line and was the culmination of an eight play, 75yard drive that effectively sealed the game for the Wolverines.
Bowl game: In a defensive battle for this season’s national championship, Smelley did what he did all year. He wasn’t flashy, but he was productive. Smelley led all receivers with seven receptions. His 39 total yards wasn’t overly impressive, but he hauled in passes on three separate scoring drives. Ultimately, Smelley and the Tide rolled over Louisiana State to claim the national title.
2011 stats: 23 receptions, 244 yards, 4 TDs
2011 stats: 34 receptions, 356 yards, 4 TDs
2011 stats: 33 receptions, 331 yards, 4 TDs
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Tight Ends 10 David Paulson School Oregon, Sr Height 6' 4" Weight 241 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.93 In a nutshell: Paulson possesses great hands, but is a bit stiff in his route running. He can make a play downfield or stay put and block. Overall, he’s dependable and consistent, but could use some bulk to be more a more effective blocker. He doesn’t rack up statistics, but his presence on the field is difficult to quantify; for two straight seasons, he was one of the Oregon’s 16 “squad leaders” and his teammates voted him the co-most valuable player on an extremely talented 2011 Ducks squad. May be considered more of an H-back by some teams. Rivalry game: In the “Civil War” between Oregon and Oregon State, Paulson had a career day. Midway through the second quarter, Paulson’s 16-yard touchdown reception opened up the floodgates and was the first of five unanswered Ducks’ touchdowns. The senior finished the afternoon with a game-high 105 yards on eight receptions and a touchdown. 2011 stats: 31 receptions, 438 yards, 6 TDs 11. Deangelo Peterson, LSU Peterson’s work ethic may scare a team like the Packers away, but at some point, his talent may be too
good to pass up. He’s a gifted athlete postseason, hauling in four passes who can run down the seam and for 41 yards and a touchdown in create mismatches with safeties. the Casino Del Sol College All-Star game. 12. Brian Linthicum, Mich. St. 17. Anthony Miller, California A misdemeanor assault charge in 2011 stemming from an incident in Miller is an athletic tight end who a Colorado bar will raise questions lacks consistency. Regardless, he’s about Brian Linthicum’s character, worthy of a training camp invite. but his athleticism may garner him NFL consideration. He is limited in 18. Jake Byrne, Wisconsin his run-blocking ability, but moves the chains in the passing game. He Byrne possesses a large frame isn’t afraid to go over the middle of that he uses to be an effective run the field and make catches in traffic. blocker. In the passing game, he uses his size to create a big target 13. Chase Ford, Miami for his quarterback. Ford is a junior-college transfer who only logged two seasons at Miami. The 6’ 6” prospect impressed scouts with a great week of practice before the East-West Shrine Game. 14. Nick Provo, Syracuse Provo possesses above-average hands and displays the versatility to play all over the offensive formation. 15. Josh Chichester, Louisville Chichester’s tall (6’ 8”) frame and decent speed make him a vertical receiving threat. Without much to offer in the running game, however, it will be his potential that will earn him a roster spot. 16. A. Gottlieb, William & Mary Gottlieb is a small-school standout who stepped up his game in the
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19. Beau Reliford, Florida State Reliford is a talented athlete and former basketball standout who has a shot to land a spot on an NFL roster. 20. James Hanna, Oklahoma Hanna is a natural route runner and blocker. In the right system, he could be a solid role player on an NFL squad. 21. Blake Ayles, Miami 22. Cory Harkey, UCLA 23. Lamont Bryant, Morgan State 24. Kavario Middleton, Montana 25. Tyler Urban, West Virginia 26. Phillip Lutzenkirchen, Auburn 27. Michael Williams, Alabama 28. Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State 29. D.C. Jefferson, Rutgers 30. Brandon Barden, Vanderbilt
Offensive Tackle 1 Matt Kalil School USC, Jr Height 6' 7" Weight 295 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.99 Bench Press 30 In a nutshell: After two years as a starter at USC, the redshirt junior enters the 2012 Draft as the closeto-consensus top offensive tackle prospect. In pass protection, Kalil looks every bit the part of a future franchise left tackle. He has the quick feet and lateral speed to shut down speed rushers on the edge and did not give up a sack in 2011. As a run blocker, Kalil hasn’t shown the strength to push people backwards, but he seals well, doesn’t get beat often and can get to the next level comfortably. A year or two of strength work on his lower body will surely bring improvement in his run blocking. As a bonus, his drafting team will get a valuable special teams contributor as Kalil blocked four kicks (two field goals and two PATs) as a senior.
“Jersey” Al Bracco
Rivalry game: In late October, USC hosted Stanford who came into the game ranked third in the nation. What ensued was a wild and wooly triple-overtime affair that resulted in a win for the Cardinal. The Stanford defense came into the contest averaging over three sacks per game but was completely shut down by Kalil and the rest of the USC line. Stanford didn’t record a sack or a QB hurry the entire game, and thanks to Kalil, USC QB Matt Barkley didn’t have to worry about blind-side pressure. 2 Riley Reiff School Iowa, Jr Height 6' 6" Weight 300 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.23 Bench Press 23
College experience: Despite being all-everything and a five-star recruit coming out of high school, Kalil got off to a slow start with the Trojans. He was redshirted his first year and then hardly played in 2009 as a freshman. Something clicked for him in that offseason though, because he was so impressive in 2010 that he beat out Tyron Smith (drafted No. 9 overall by Dallas last year) for the left tackle spot. Ever since, Kalil has been a rock protecting Matt Barkley’s blind side. 41 | Cheesehead TV 2012 Draft Preview
In a nutshell: Offensive tackle is the fourth position Reiff has played (including high school), but he’s certainly found a home. A two-year starter and two-time All-Big Ten selection for the Hawkeyes, Reiff enters the Draft with one year of eligibility left. He’s an athletic left tackle and may be the most wellrounded tackle prospect in this draft. Performs well in all aspects of the position and shows an aggressive attitude as he will block anyone in his path and doesn’t stop until the whistle blows. With some improvement in technique, Reiff will be an NFL starter for years to come. College experience: An all-state defensive end and tight end in high school, Reiff was redshirted his first year and moved to the offensive line. He started 11 games as a freshman, seven at guard and four at tackle, filling in when Bryan Bulaga had to miss some games due to a thyroid condition. After Bulaga graduated, Reiff stepped in as the left tackle starter in 2010 and has been there for the last two seasons. He gives up his final year of eligibility to enter the 2012 draft.
OT “did not give up a sack”
Offensive Tackle Bowl game: The Hawkeyes played the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2011 Insight Bowl. While the Sooners were most likely disappointed to have fallen to that game, they still went out and took care of business, easily defeating Iowa by a 31-14 score. While the Hawkeye offense couldn’t get much done against a tough Sooner defense, Reiff did his job, completely shutting down Sooner defensive end Frank Alexander, the Big 12 co-Defensive Player of the Year. 3 Mike Adams School Ohio State, Sr Height 6' 7" Weight 322 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.40 Bench Press 19 In a nutshell: Adams has taken a back seat to other top tackle prospects, but he’s the guy that has the most potential to put it all together and be great. He has the prototype left tackle size and body type but would be better off starting at right tackle in the NFL for a year or two as he needs to improve on his footwork. Adams mirrors well in pass protection but tends to lose his balance if his feet are not moving correctly and is susceptible to pure speed rushers. Needs to spend more time in the weight room— did only 19 bench press reps at the Combine. He carries his weight well, is a very effective run blocker, and can get to the next level without issues.
College experience: Adams is a late bloomer on the Draft scene mainly due to some off-the-field incidents that have caused him to miss a total of seven games due to suspension. He saw limited action in four games in 2008 as a true freshman. Then as a sophomore, he was suspended two games for violation of team rules and missed three games due to injury. Adams then established himself as the left tackle starter and played a full season there as a junior earning All-Big Ten first-team honors. He was suspended for first five games of 2011 as part of the Ohio State selling memorabilia for benefits scandal, which did not help his cause any. All-Star game: Adams was the consensus high riser among offensive tackles at the 2012 Senior Bowl. Those who saw the practices said he performed well in all of the individual drills and looked the part of an NFL left tackle. In the actual game, he lined up against some of the best hybrid pass rushers in the nation (such as Courtney Upshaw, for example) and more than held his own. Any scouts that had discounted Adams due to the offfield issues are now taking a harder look at this intriguing prospect.
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4 Jonathan Martin School Stanford, Jr Height 6' 6" Weight 305 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA Bench Press NA
In a nutshell: Pass protection is Martin’s strong point, especially his ability to handle speed rushers. While he is not fast by any means, Martin has quick feet and moves well laterally. Has improved every season in the running game to the point where run blocking is almost a plus factor. The biggest concern about Martin is strength and physicality. He has a lot of weight-room work to do and even then, may lack the “nastiness” factor to be a toplevel tackle in the pros.
Offensive Tackle College experience: Martin was a three-year starter for the Cardinal, protecting Andrew Luck’s blind side with aplomb. Martin was named a second-team All-American in 2011 and decided to use that as a launching pad to the NFL, leaving school with one year of eligibility left. 5 Nate Potter School Boise State, Sr Height 6' 6" Weight 298 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.36 Bench Press 22 In a nutshell: An Academic AllAmerican already working on his Master’s degree, Potter has plenty of smarts to compensate for his average physicality. He’s a bit lean for a tackle but is a good athlete and has the quick feet and lateral movement skills that project to left tackle in the NFL. Still raw and will need a year or two to bulk up but could be a sleeper for a team that doesn’t need a year one starter. College experience: Listed at 250 lbs. in high school, Potter was gray shirted and then redshirted his first two years at Boise. Once he bulked up a bit, he played part-time on the line as a freshman and then took over as the left tackle starter halfway through his sophomore season, staying there until graduation. Potter earned first-team all-conference honors three years in a row.
“working on his Master’s”
6 Cordy Glenn School Georgia, Sr HeighT 6' 5" Weight 348 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.15 Bench Press 31 In a nutshell: Highly rated by most observers as a guard, Glenn is rated here as a right tackle/ guard hybrid that would fit well with a team that values offensive line versatility (yes, like the Packers). Glenn played 17 games at left tackle as well as 32 games at guard. Amazingly athletic for such a large man (as his 4.96 40 at the NFL Combine attests), Glenn was named first-team All-SEC and third-team All-America as a left tackle in 2011. College experience: Glenn is a four-year starter for the Bulldogs playing wherever they needed him and doing it well. Almost entered the Draft last year but came back for his senior season for the chance to play left tackle. Was moved back to guard for the Senior Bowl where he was fairly dominant all week.
7 Bobby Massie School Mississippi, Jr Height 6' 6" Weight 325 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.23 Bench Press 22 In a nutshell: A starter at right tackle for the last two and a half
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seasons, Massie leaves school a year early primarily for financial considerations. He’s improved every year as he shed the body fat and put on muscle via major diet change and weight training. Although a bit inconsistent, Massie is a strong player and a promising right tackle prospect. College experience: Massie went the prep school route out of high school and became the top rated prep prospect in the nation in 2009. He promptly snubbed Alabama and signed with Ole Miss instead. Massie started the last five games of his first season at right tackle and stayed there for the next two years. He’s worked hard to not squander his opportunity and left school early to help his family financially. 8 Matt McCants School UAB, Sr Height 6' 6” Weight 295 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.52 Bench Press 17 In a nutshell: McCants is one of the more intriguing tackle prospects in this draft. Athletically, he has everything scouts look for in a left tackle. He moves well laterally, has good foot speed and uses his long arms well. Level of competition is a concern, and he needs to gain weight and get a lot stronger. Mental toughness could also be a question mark but if McCants finds his way, he could be a real sleeper.
Offensive Tackle College experience: Didn’t play football until senior year in high school (his mother wouldn’t allow it but finally relented if McCants promised to get straight As, which he did). McCants started at left tackle as a true freshman but had to sit out the next year due to academic ineligibility. He then started 35 of 36 games the last three seasons, earning first-team All-Conference USA as a junior and senior. 9 Mitchell Schwartz School California, Sr Height 6' 5" Weight 324 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.45 Bench Press 23 In a nutshell: With all the Pac-12 tackle attention going to Matt Kalil and Jonathan Martin, Schwartz has been flying a little under the radar. Mostly a right tackle prospect for the NFL, Schwartz is a very effective run blocker that regularly gets a downfield push. As a pass blocker, he’s an eager participant but needs coaching on technique/footwork. College experience: Schwartz came to the Golden Bears as the 50th top prospect from the state of California (as a guard). He sat out a redshirt season and then started for the next four years. He played both the left and right sides his first two years then settled in at left tackle for his junior and senior seasons.
10 Andrew Datko School Florida State, Sr Height 6' 6" Weight 321 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.32 Bench Press NA In a nutshell: Datko is a very mobile left tackle athlete that would fit well in a zone blocking scheme. Despite his size, he’s not the strongest tackle prospect and can be powered through. With a year or two in the weight room, Datko would make an intriguing left tackle prospect, but there are serious health concerns that make him a risky pick. College experience: A four-year starter at left tackle for the Seminoles, Datko suffered a shoulder injury in 2010 that lingered over into the 2011 season. He tried to play with it but had to give up the fight after four games of essentially playing with one arm. Datko has had to undergo multiple surgeries on the shoulder to try to repair it fully. 11 Brandon Mosley School Auburn Sr Height 6' 5" Weight 305 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.21 Bench Press 30 In a nutshell: A junior college transfer, Mosely took over at right offensive tackle as an injury replacement early in 2010 and never
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relinquished the spot. He’s a former tight end and is still fairly raw with only two seasons’ experience as an offensive tackle. Still, he has skills that can be developed and has a real competitive and nasty edge to his game. He is a worthwhile project with plenty of upside. College experience: Mosely was an all-state tight end in high school that went the junior college route where he played first at defensive end and then at tight end. He signed with Auburn after one year where they asked him to gain weight and move to offensive tackle. Initially lost the right tackle competition in 2010 but ended up starting the last 11 games there due to an injury. Mosely started every game at right tackle in 2011. 12 Levy Adcock School Oklahoma St, Sr Height 6' 5" Weight 322 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA Bench Press NA In a nutshell: Adcock is a big, strong prospect that has struggled against speed rushers. He doesn’t show the lateral speed or quick feet to play left tackle but is strong in the run game and should make a decent NFL starter at right tackle. A move to guard is also an eventual possibility for Adcock. College experience: Adcock was redshirted his first season at the
Offensive Tackle junior college level, so you could say he’s come a long way since. He played on special teams his first season for OSU and won the starting right tackle job his second. He started every game that year at right tackle and this past season started at both tackle spots due to injuries. 13. Z. Sanders, Florida St., Sr. A four-year starter for the Seminoles (50 career starts), Sanders spent most of his time at right tackle but did also play at left tackle to fill in for the injured Andrew Datko. Sanders is stronger as a run blocker than in pass protection and especially struggles with protection on the edge. Needs to get stronger and looks like a right tackle prospect only. 14. Tom Compton, South Dakota A four-year starter, Compton played two years at right tackle before moving to the left side his junior season. A first-team FCS AllAmerican, Compton is much better inside than having to protect the edge. He often struggles with lateral movement and technique. 15. Tony Bergstrom, Utah
16. James Carmon, Miss. State
19. Matt Reynolds, BYU
Derek Sherrod’s replacement at left tackle for the Bulldogs, 2011 was Carmon’s first year playing offensive tackle and it showed. A JUCO transfer from defensive line, he played there in 2010, before being converted to the offensive side. He certainly has the size and athletic ability needed but is a pure developmental project.
Following in the footsteps of his father and two brothers who played offensive line for the Cougars, Reynolds was a four-year starter at left tackle. He has recently dropped weight in an attempt to gain some quickness but still looks more like an NFL guard than a tackle.
17. Bradley Sowell, Mississippi
While certainly having the size that NFL scouts will drool over, Oglesby has never lived up to his potential as the No. 1 rated tackle prospect coming out of high school. One reason for his lack of success has been injuries—he’s had six surgeries on his knees. He’s also been accused of playing “soft.”
A three-year starter and former tight end, Sowell is tall, lean tackle that displays some decent athleticism and the ability to take good angles in pass protection. He struggles most against power rushers and can get knocked back off the line in the run game. With a year or two of strength work, could be a pleasant surprise for some team. 18. Marcus Zucevics, Iowa A two-year starter at right tackle for the Hawkeyes, Zucevics is your typical hard-nosed Iowa offensive tackle. He doesn’t have impressive physical skills but is definitely a guy who has made the most of what he does have. He’s a very good run blocker but just adequate as a pass blocker.
Bergstrom was a three-year starter at right tackle for the Utes. A powerful tackle, he lacks fluidity in space and would not be a left “Derek Sherrod’s replacement” tackle prospect in the NFL. Even as a right tackle, he could struggle against speed. Bergstrom is a likely candidate to be moved inside to the guard spot. 45 | Cheesehead TV 2012 Draft Preview
20. Josh Oglesby, Wisconsin
21. Lamar Holmes, S. Mississippi 22. Jeff Adams, Columbia 23. Jarvis Jones, Oklahoma 24. Landon Walker, Clemson 25. Alex Hurst, LSU 26. Mike Ryan, Connecticut 27. Ryan Miller, Colorado 28. Kyle Nunn, South Carolina 29. Mike Harris, UCLA 30. Donald Barclay, West Virginia
In a nutshell: A truly special athlete who could certainly play on the outside at tackle in the pro game if a team asked that of him, but why fix something that’s not broken? DeCastro could be a good right tackle but should make a great guard. He has the feet and athleticism to play in a zone-blocking scheme but has played in the Stanford power running attack, basically starting for three seasons and should be pro ready no matter what the scheme design. Bowl game: If you question DeCastro’s game at all, just talk to the Oklahoma State coaching staff about his play in the Fiesta Bowl. He basically neutralized any interior defensive lineman that he came up against. He was also effective pulling and trapping in the dominant Stanford running game. The Cowboys literally did not have a player strong enough or athletic enough in their defensive front to neutralize DeCastro. Accordingly, he was able to block several defenders on almost every play. NFL Combine: As anticipated, DeCastro did not blow up the Combine. No one in the scouting world expected him to. He posted average numbers overall and that’s about
right. What seperates him from the pack is his intensity, smarts and effort. He is a football player … period. The Packers won’t get a sniff of him picking at 28, but he certainly would provide an instant starting option for Green Bay perhaps even at tackle.
2 Peter Konz School Wisconsin, Jr Height 6' 4" Weight 315 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA Bench Press 18 David Stluka – Wisconsin Athletic Communications
1 David DeCastro School Stanford, Jr Height 6' 5" Weight 316 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.43 Bench Press 34
“Pigskin” Paul Guillemette
NFL Combine: The biggest negatives on the résumé of Konz are the constantly recurring foot and ankle injuries that have cost him playing time all three years at Madison. Unless something leaks out from the Combine, no one will be privy to his medical results, but it should be safe to say his feet and ankles may have glowed in the dark for a few days after all the X-rays they took when he arrived for the medical component of the proceedings. It’s not the end of the world for his pro potential, but it seems a little disconcerting that he was only able to post 18 reps in the bench press. Packers potential: If there are concerns at all about his previous injuries, it is not inconceivable that Konz could slip to the Packers. If so, he would provide them with a potential, instant replacement for Scott Wells who may be too expensive in the Thompson scheme of things. But would they take a chance on his health?
In a nutshell: This should mark the third straight Draft in which a center gets drafted in the top 25. Konz looks to be a tad better than Mike Pouncey but not as athletic as Maurkice. Like the Pouncey twins. he has more athleticism than you typically see from a center. Either way, that would peg Konz as an
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instant starter if selected by a team needing a center replacement on their roster.
IL “a truly special athlete” CheeseheadTV.com
Interior Linemen 3 Keleche Osemele School Iowa State, Sr Height 6' 6" Weight 333 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.36 Bench Press 32 In a nutshell: There are times when Osemele plays that you become intrigued by his potential at tackle. But if you watch long enough, it is clear he does not have quick enough foot speed to slide and keep up with good edge speed rushers. Then he starts to reach and grab with those long arms. It’s not hard to imagine that he could easily become a holding call penalty magnet for NFL refs. All-Star game: Osemele had a solid week in Mobile working for the North offensive line. He held his own going against some elite end prospects like Quinton Coples, Melvin Ingram and Courtney Upshaw in the actual game. But it was clear that he was relying on his long arms (35 7/8”) to reach out and make up for his lack of superior foot speed. It’s certainly a projection, but if he moves inside to guard, it’s hard to visualize many opponents getting through him. He is so long and strong he should be able to just engulf almost any defender trying to collapse the pocket. NFL Combine: It was not a coincidence that he was officially listed with the guards at the Combine.
His 40 time of 5.36 was right in the middle of the pack for the big guys. What impressed the most was his natural strength, which is unusual for his length. Quite frankly not very many people expected 32 bench press reps out of a guy with 35 7/8” long arms. 4 Kevin Zeitler School Wisconsin, Sr Height 6' 4" Weight 315 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.39 Bench Press 32 In a nutshell: The comparison is almost too easy to make and is far from perfect, but the team that selects Zeitler will be getting a player very similar to John Moffitt who went to the Seahawks last year and earned a starting job until injuries took him down. With his combination of athleticism and size, it would seem unlikely that Zeitler isn’t taken by the mid-second round come April. In fact, Zeitler is a better athlete than Moffitt overall. It’s important to note that Zeitler was required to help right tackle Josh Oglesby with the inside pass rush at times last season, because Oglesby had lost some mobility because of his leg injury history. He’s not as athletic as David DeCastro, but he makes blocks at, or beyond, the line of scrimmage and appears to be assignment sure. All-Star game: It was impressive to see Zeitler step forward in Mo-
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bile and volunteer to try his hand at center when the coaching staff was looking for help on the second string. He struggled with the long snaps but gave it the old college try. The word on the street in Mobile was that Zeitler was impressive in his personal interviews with teams during the off hours. Green Bay might be tempted to take him if he was somehow still around when they pick at 60. 5 Brandon Washington School Miami, Jr Height 6' 3" Weight 320 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.25 Bench Press 28 In a nutshell: The success of former teammate Orlando Franklin as a rookie in Denver last season will work to Washington’s advantage. He’s been a more consistent performer over his career than Franklin but judging by his foot speed, or lack thereof, Washington may be kept inside at guard. His strength is getting downfield in the running game, but his footwork is questionable at times in his pass protection. In essence, he’s a player who is better going forward than dropping back. He needs to work on his hand punch from a quickness and strength perspective. NFL Combine: Washington didn’t exactly blow it up in Indy at the Combine. He ran pretty well for a large interior lineman, but any
Interior Linemen thoughts that he was the athlete Orlando Franklin proved to be last season pretty much disappeared when teams got a good look at his spare tire and somewhat sloppy physical appearance in Indy. His numbers were still respectable in most drills. He wobbled through his first 40 run and yet still posted an official 5.25, which was better than all but six of the tackle group. The ability of an NFL team to get him to ramp up his work ethic may be the biggest challenge in working with Washington. 6 Jeff Allen School Illinois, Sr Height 6' 4" Weight 307 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.28 Bench Press 26 In a nutshell: Allen’s college career was spent playing tackle for the Illini, but he may project better inside at guard for the pro game. He does a solid job out at tackle but gets run around by true speed rushers. Allen moves his feet but doesn’t seem to cover a lot of ground going sideways or backwards. He will also need to spend a bit more time in an NFL weight room developing his functional upper body strength. All of this may sound like a lot of criticism, but his game does project to the next level if he works hard enough at his craft. He should fit well to NFL zone-blocking schemes where his technique can overcome some physical limitations.
All-Star game: Allen looked like he belonged all week long in Mobile, although he was confused to find himself playing for the South squad. Do not be deceived that because he begins to get projected to guard that he cannot get the job done outside in space. He held his own very well during practices against Quinton Coples, which is to say he only looked bad every other play. He needs to gain another 10 lbs. and work on his strength a bit. He does not have a wide base and will rely on his quickness more than his strength. If he should last into the late third round, the Packers could have some interest in a versatile, reasonably athletic player like Allen. Their scheme and coaching staff could help to maximize his productivity. At worst, he could become a back up at three to four offensive line slots. 7 Phillip Blake School Baylor, Sr Height 6' 2" Weight 312 lbs. 40-Yard DasH 5.25 Bench Press 22 In a nutshell: Blake is an overaged, Canadian player who is strong and mature. He played in passing offense at Baylor but can be a mauler. He certainly has the fallback option of playing as a national north of the border, but he’s going to surprise some people
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and make a strong run at an NFL roster spot. Blake has been moving up the charts since mid-season. His large body and better than average athleticism for his size have some in the scouting community seeing him as an eventual NFL starter. All-Star game: Blake was athletic enough to move from center to guard at the Senior Bowl and more than hold his own. He surprisingly stoned some better known defensive line prospects all week in practice in Mobile. He did not look as talented as Danny Watkins did last year, but he looks just as feisty and determined. And he, like Watkins, played tackle (on the right side) for one year in the Bears lineup. Those qualities usually score points with veteran offensive line coaches around the NFL. 8 James Brown School Troy, Sr Height 6' 3" Weight 307 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.30 Bench Press 24
In a nutshell: Brown did a nice job anchoring the Troy offensive line from their left tackle slot, but he does not look that special to inspire most NFL personnel people to see him playing outside. He’ll still be listed by some as a tackle—and he has some potential there—but he’s also a player who didn’t slide his feet quickly enough to cover maximum ground in pass protection.
Interior Linemen Brown isnâ€™t as long as most personnel people would like on the edge. But if you talk to some personnel folks about his potential inside, there is an air of excitement. In general, he is still a fairly raw player, but one who may have significant upside with a couple years of solid pro coaching under his belt. All-Star game: Brown played guard almost exclusively in Mobile for Senior Bowl week and was more than adequate. With a good teaching offensive line coach, he might not be far from earning a starting guard spot. He has good hand punch in a short area and can stone a defender for an instant. In fact, because of his measurables and his apparent position versatility, it would not seem like a stretch of the imagination to think the Packers might have interest in him if he lasts until their slot at 92.
aspect of his game is his ability to move up field to the second level at his bulk. He literally engulfs people with his mass and strength. All-Star game: Brooks was solid from day one in St. Petersburg during Shrine week. Mark Mangino drove his offensive line unit hard and was not hesitant to instruct and then re-do drills as he felt necessary. Brooks did not require much extra attention from Mangino. He also did a nice job all week in staying on his feet and off the ground. 10 Ben Jones School Georgia, Sr Height 6' 3" Weight 304 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.44 Bench Press 29
9 Brandon Brooks School Miami, Ohio, Sr Height 6' 5" Weight 353 lbs. 40-Yard Dash na Bench Press na In a nutshell: This behemoth truly blossomed as a player when he was moved from tackle inside to his current guard position while at Miami. He is even bigger looking in person than his listed weight. In fact, it seems like a 10-plus pound weight loss could be the first order of business for the pro team that drafts Brooks. The truly surprising
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In a nutshell: Jones is an experienced, tough kid who plays with a lot of desire. Even though he lacks the athleticism of a Konz, his tenacity more than makes up for some of his physical shortcomings. He called line signals for a constantly shuffling group of line mates because of injuries over the course of his college career, holding things together intellectually and physically. More than a few draft analysts have mentioned he has similarities to Scott Wells. But remember that Wells was not a Thompson draftee and has defied the odds and several attempts to move him out of the starting lineup in Green Bay. All-Star game: Jones had a good, not great week at the Senior Bowl. He turned some heads during one scrimmage play when he was stoned straight upright by a defensive tackle at the snap of the ball. He looked off balance and about to fall over backwards. Instead he held his feet and pancaked a linebacker five yards downfield. That kind of effort and recovery is essential for an interior offensive lineman in a successful running game. He also looked adequate sliding over to take some snaps at guard.
Interior Linemen 11. Amini Silatolu, Midwestern State, Sr.
14. Michael Brewster, Ohio State
Not being able to play in the Senior Bowl because of a training injury was a major blow to Silatolu’s immediate pro prospects because of his being a small school star. When you come from a school as small as his, there are major questions about the level of competition and athleticism.
Brewster is a steady player who started 49 games in his college career. He’s a better athlete than most centers and should have a chance to become an NFL starter. He was clearly the leader of the offensive line the past few years in Columbus and dealt with a great deal of uncertainty around him with player suspensions and coaching changes.
12. Senio Kelemete, Washington, Sr.
15. Kelvin Beachum, SMU
Beachum is undersized for tackle, Kelemete looks like player whose but way more athletic than most game will translate better to the pro guards. The transition may take game if he slides inside. His feet are a while, but in a zone scheme he just a tad slow to catch the outside could be special and versatile. Don’t speed rushers, and he does not have be surprised in a team that runs the bulk to plow ahead in the runa West Coast based scheme takes ning game. In the phone booth his some interest in him late in the proshortcomings are disguised somecess. what and his combative nature is put to better use. Adding to his 16. Johnnie Troutman, Penn value is the likelihood that he can State play any offensive line position in a pinch. Troutman is the latest example of the Joe Pa tradition of patience 13. Rishaw Johnson, California, with a late blooming player at Penn Pennsylvania State. He saved his best for last and went from being a plug-in senior Johnson probably has as almost starter to a Senior Bowl invitee. as much raw talent as any interior offensive lineman on this list but is, 17. Desmond Wynn, Rutgers at the very least, a knucklehead off the field. Word has it that he failed Looks the part but Wynn has not more drug tests at Ole Miss than been as good of a player as his talany player in school history. His ent and size would indicate. He’s combination of size and athleticism a high upside, high-risk potential is special enough to earn him an pro, so a team better wait until NFL career, however. rounds six or seven to take him.
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18. Adam Gettis, Iowa Gettis is a slightly undersized but very athletic player who came on late in his career for the Hawkeyes. So now the question becomes, is he a late bloomer who caught on slowly and has great upside for an NFL career? Or is he a guy who got coached up by the Kirk Ferentz system and is as good as he is ever going to be with very little upside? 19. Quentin Saulsberry, Mississippi State Saulsberry is a very dependable, solid blue-collar player. He played wherever needed by the coaching staff and fights to the whistle on every play. He’s a limited athlete, but also a try-hard guy with great leadership qualities. His size and attitude are reminiscent of Scott Wells. 20. David Snow, Texas 21. David Molk, Michigan 22. Antoine McClain, Clemson 23. Lucas Nix, Pitt 24. Derek Dennis, Temple 25. Andrew Tiller, Syracuse 26. Rokevious Watkins, South Carolina 27. Garth Gerhart, Arizona State 28. Jaymes Brooks, Virginia Tech 29.Joel Foreman, Michigan State 30.Scott Wedige, Northern Illinois
“much raw talent”
3-4 Defensive Line 1 Michael Brockers School Louisiana St, So Height 6' 5" Weight 322 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.36 Bench Press na In a nutshell: Brockers arrived at LSU as a thick linebacker recruit and left as an imposing defensive lineman with top-10 draft potential. At 6-5, Brockers is on the taller side of five-techniques, but his frame has filled out considerably. While he can fit into both the 4-3 and 3-4 defenses, many think he’ll be the most dynamic as a defensive end in the 3-4. During his two years at LSU, Brockers proved to be a disruptive run stuffer that showed some penetrating ability in the passing game. Most predict he’ll battle Quinton Coples to be the first down lineman off the board.
legiate career came in the 2011 SEC Championship Game. Facing Georgia with a trip to the BCS Championship on the line, Brockers finished with six solo tackles, two tackles for losses, one forced fumble and one pass break up. His contributions helped keep Georgia’s offense under 300 total yards, including just 78 yards rushing on 34 attempts. After a first quarter touchdown, Georgia didn’t sniff the end zone again. 2011 stats: 54 tackles, 10 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF 2 Quinton Coples School North Carolina, Sr Height 6' 6" Weight 284 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.78 Bench Press 25
College experience: Brockers redshirted his first year in Baton Rouge, got one start his redshirt freshman season and then blew up during his sophomore campaign. That kind of rapid ascension certainly leaves Brockers raw in terms of experience entering the NFL Draft. However, the vast improvement and upside are what scouts gush over. Brockers might not be dominant in his rookie season in the NFL, but his career path thus far says he’ll continue to improve. The sky is the limit for Brockers. Bowl game: Arguably the best game of Brockers’ short col-
Zach Kruse In a nutshell: After emerging from the shadow of Robert Quinn and Marvin Austin—both top-60 picks in the 2011 NFL draft—during a breakout junior season, Coples was granted the opportunity to cement his status as a top-10 pick in the 2012 NFL draft with a dominant senior year. The results failed to surface. A questionable motor throughout his final year appeared to be a result of Coples playing not to get hurt. Simply put, Coples looked like a top-10 talent that didn’t always give top-10 effort. He can be a dominant player at the next level if he wants to be, and there should be a handful of teams in the top-15 selections that will want to make sure he realizes that potential on their 53-man roster. All-Star game: The worries about Coples’ motor were mostly put to rest with an impressive performance at the Senior Bowl in Mobile. During practices, he overpowered offensive linemen both on the edge and inside. His length and lateral quickness made him equally disruptive against the pass and run. He weighed in at just 284 pounds— on the lighter side for 3-4 defensive
DL 55 tackles, 15 TFL, 7.5 sacks, 3 FF
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“thick linebacker recruit” CheeseheadTV.com
3-4 Defensive Line ends—but some opined that Coples was unquestionably the best player at the Senior Bowl. After a year of putting mostly poor efforts on film for NFL scouts, Coples needed a performance like the one he put together in Mobile to reaffirm his place as a top prospect. Best game: Once just a rotational end on the Tar Heels’ talented defensive line, Coples was forced into a featured role during his junior year when Quinn and Austin were suspended for the season. Just three games into 2010, Coples had jumpstarted his path to superstardom. In a 17-13 win at Rutgers, Coples registered three sacks, four tackles for losses and a pass defended. That performance sparked a breakout, 10-sack season for Coples during his junior campaign. 3 Devon Still School Penn State, Sr Height 6' 5" Weight 303 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.08 Bench Press 26 In a nut shell: As the cousin of former NFL standouts Art Still and Levon Kirkland, Still arrived in Happy Valley as a highly-touted recruit. The start of his collegiate career at Penn State was marred by injury as torn knee ligaments cost him his freshman season and a broken ankle just months later stole the majority of his sophomore snaps. After overcoming those injuries,
Still finally became a major force for the Nittany Lions during his junior and senior years. Over those two seasons, Still had 27 tackles for a loss and 8.5 sacks. His massive frame and quick first step should allow him to make an impact early on in either a 4-3 or 3-4 front. That kind of scheme versatility, matched with his impressive athleticism, should make Still a top-30 pick in April. Bowl game: Still missed Penn State’s 2011 bowl game against Houston, but it was the final game of the 2010 season that served as a springboard to his rise up draft boards. Facing Florida in the Outback Bowl, Still made himself a common visitor to the Gators’ backfield. After racking up 3.5 tackles for a loss, NFL scouts had Still on their radar as another Penn State defensive lineman that could find a spot in the first round. The momentum from that performance carried into Still’s senior season. NFL Combine: Few players exuded as much confidence in Indianapolis as Still who proudly proclaimed himself as the Draft’s top defensive tackle. “I think hands-down I’m the top defensive tackle in this draft,” Still said. “I was able to take over a lot of games this season. Just the production that I had, I was able to disrupt plays even if I wasn’t making tackles or sacks.”
4 Dontari Poe School Memphis, Sr Height 6' 4" Weight 330 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.98 Bench Press 44 In a nutshell: One of the rarest positions in football to find impact players is at nose tackle, and Poe fits the zero-technique mold as well as any player in the 2012 class. His build reminds some of Haloti Ngata, who quickly became one of the game’s elite 3-4 defensive lineman. After impressively showing off his rare skill set at the NFL Combine, Poe should expect to get a number of first-round looks. College experience: Poe earned three letters in three seasons at Memphis, having played in 35 career games and starting in 30. He finished his college career with 101 tackles, 21.5 tackles for losses, five sacks, four pass-breakups and four forced fumbles. He also was a two-time All-Conference USA selection, including a second-team pick in 2011. 2011 stats: 33 tackles, 8 TFL, 1 sack, 1 FF
2011 stats: 55, 17 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 1 FF
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3-4 Defensive Line 5 Fletcher Cox School Mississippi St, Jr Height 6' 4" Weight 298 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.79 Bench Press 30
Bowl, Cox registered five unassisted tackles and one sack. His seven total tackles tied a career high. He also lined up at all three positions on the defensive line of Mississippi State’s 3-4 front. 6 Jared Crick School Nebraska, Sr Height 6' 4" Weight: 279 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.99 Bench Press NA
56 tackles, 14.5 TFL, 5 sacks, 1 FF, 1 FR
In a nutshell: Few defensive linemen in the 2012 class rival Cox’s combination of experience and potential. Cox played in 36 games (27 starts) over three seasons in the nation’s best conference, tallying 23.5 tackles for losses, 7.5 sacks and four blocked kicks. He’s an ideal candidate to be a starting 3-4 defensive end early on in his NFL career and should be a top-40 pick. Bowl game: Cox finished his collegiate career with a bang. Against Wake Forest in the 2011 Music City
In a nut shell: Crick entered his senior season at Nebraska with hopes of solidifying the first-round grade many had on him after backto-back 9.5-sack seasons in 2009 and 2010. A torn pectoral muscle just five games into 2011 ended his season and raised some red flags about his draft status this April. If healthy, Crick compares favorably to Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith. College experience: Crick was a sought-after high school recruit but never considered any school besides Nebraska. He played in just eight games during his redshirt freshman season but then blew up playing alongside All-American Ndamukong Suh in 2009. His 20 career sacks rank him No. 8 on Nebraska’s all-time list. 2011 stats: 22 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack
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7 Brandon Thompson School Clemson, Sr Height 6' 2" Weight 314 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA Bench Press 35 In a nutshell: After fellow Clemson defensive linemen Da’Quan Bowers and Jarvis Jenkins were picked in the 2011 Draft, the spotlight turned to Thompson to continue his progression as a draft prospect. Mission accomplished. Thompson looks like a prospect that could play a significant role in a 4-3 defense right away. His fit in a 3-4 is iffy. College experience: Thompson notched 21 tackles for losses, 45 quarterback pressures and five sacks as a 38-game starter over four years at Clemson. During his senior season, in which he was named second-team All-ACC, Thompson had 77 total tackles. He was the strongest player on Clemson’s roster (450-pound bench) and also received Academic Honor Roll recognition. 2011 stats: 47 tackles, 8 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 FF
“he’s and ideal candidate”
3-4 Defensive Line In a nutshell: Looking for 3-4 defensive end in the mold of Cullen Jenkins? Winn might be your guy. He’s very close in size and possesses the kind of pass rushing ability that’s rare for players of his stature. In his four years at Boise State, Winn compiled 16 sacks and 36.5 tackles for losses.
NFL Combine: Not only does Reyes have the big frame you’re looking for in a five-technique, but he also possesses the elite athleticism you want in a pass-rusher from that position. In Indianapolis, Reyes ran the 40-yard dash in under five seconds and jumped 34” in the vertical leap.
Vs. ranked team: Winn played a big part of Boise State’s seasonopening win over No. 19 Georgia in the heart of SEC country. Playing as both a tackle and five-technique, Winn registered six tackles, including one for a loss and another for a sack. On one tackle, Winn shed the block of likely first-round guard Cordy Glenn to make the stop.
2011 stats: 46 tackles, 13.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 1 FR
College experience: Worthy stuffed the stat sheet in his three years in East Lansing. Over 39 career games, Worthy registered 25.5 tackles for losses and 12 sacks. Both numbers rank in the top-20 of school history. He also had five pass break-ups and three blocked kicks. The Associated Press named him a first-team All-American his senior season.
2011 stats: 33 tackles, 8 TFL, 3 sacks
In a nutshell: Ta’amu has the power and mass to anchor the middle of both a 4-3 and 3-4 defense at the next level. He’s your classic blockeater that stuffs the run well but provides very little in terms of pass rush. Most have a second-to-third round grade on the 348-pound nose tackle.
2011 stats: 31 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 2 blocked kicks
In a nutshell: Once a 240-pound high school recruit who looked destined to play linebacker, Reyes worked his way into the 300-pound range at UConn without losing much of his athleticism. The Huskies used him as both a defensive end and tackle, so 3-4 teams like the Packers have plenty reason to think he can transition well into that defense at the next level.
8 Jerel Worthy School Michigan State, Jr Height 6' 2" Weight 308 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.08 Bench Press NA In a nutshell: After showing a dominant side during his freshman and sophomore seasons, scouts expected Worthy to become a top-15 prospect in 2011. Most will tell you that never happened. The talent is there, but the motor doesn’t always show up on film. There are concerns about whether Worthy fits as a five-technique in the 3-4 defense too.
9 Billy Winn School Boise State, Sr Height 6' 4" Weight 294 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.00 Bench Press 24
10 Kendall Reyes School Connecticut, Sr Height 6' 4" Weight 299 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.95 Bench Press 36
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11 Alameda Tauamu School Washington, Sr Height 6' 3" Weight 348 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.37 Bench Press 35
All-Star game: Some saw Ta’amu as a disappointment at the Senior Bowl. Ta’amu will use a bull-rush to create penetration but rarely flushes the quarterback out of the pocket. Some in Mobile saw that as a red flag, but his job is to eat blockers and keep linebackers clean, not chase after players in the backfield. 2011 stats: 30 tackles, 7 TFL, 3.5 sacks
3-4 Defensive Line 14. DaJohn Harris, USC 12 Mike Martin School Michigan, Sr Height 6' 1" Weight 306 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.88 Bench Press 36
In a nutshell: Martin is one of those hard-working, high-motor kind of player that every NFL roster wants more of, especially on the defensive line. His never-quit attitude helps him overcome some technique problems. Most scouts think his best fit is in a 4-3, but strong, high-motor guys can contribute in any front.
Harris improved his pass rushing skills every season, eventually becoming a guy that USC could count on to anchor the line and slide into playmaking areas. Needs more work but could definitely contribute rotationally in year one. 15. Marcus Forston, Miami Forston has top-100 talent but struggled to overcome technique problems and lingering injuries throughout his career in Miami. There could very well be a starting five-technique in Forston that a team just needs to coerce out.
NFL Combine: Any worries about Martin’s athleticism were quieted in Indianapolis. He ran the 40-yard dash in a respectable time and was a top performer on the bench. His vertical jump (33.5”) and broad jump (113”) showed how much power he has in his lower half.
16. Dominique Hamilton, Missouri
13. Josh Chapman, Alabama
17. Jaye Howard, Florida
Chapman is a prototypical zerotechnique prospect. He can also collapse the pocket on occasion, but conditioning and injury problems (ACL surgery after senior season) could push his value down.
Howard is an impressive athlete for his size. There are some concerns about where he would fit into the 3-4, but it’s difficult to find players his size that can move as well as Howard can.
Hamilton has a body that is similar to Packers’ seventh-round pick Lawrence Guy from a year ago. There might be some potential here as a disruptive five-technique.
never amount to anything more than a rotational player. 19. Akiem Hicks, Regina A former LSU recruit, Hicks left the school amidst an NCAA investigation and returned to Canada. Looks the part of a starting defensive lineman in the NFL, but off-the-field concerns cloud his future. 20. Travian Robertson, South Carolina Robertson impressed at the EastWest Shrine Game, but there are big worries about his ability to shed blocks once engaged. As a potential five-technique, not being able to disengage is a clear red flag. 21. Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati 22. Tyrone Crawford, Boise State 23. Tydreke Powell, North Carolina 24. Nick Jean-Baptiste, Baylor 25. Mike Daniels, Iowa 26. Brett Roy, Nevada 27. Tony Jerod-Eddie, Texas A&M 28. Trevor Guyton, Cal 29. J.R. Sweezy, N. Carolina State 30. Logan Harrell, Fresno State
18. Kheeston Randall, Texas
Randall is another rangy five-technique who needs to get stronger in the upper body to be a pass rushing threat at the next level. He may
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Outside Linebackers OLB 1 Courtney Upshaw School: Alabama, Sr Height 6' 1" Weight 273 lbs. 40-Yard dash N/A
2011 Stats: 52 tackles, 9..5 sacks, 18 TFL, 1 INT
In a nutshell: Upshaw’s primary role in Alabama’s defense was that of a pass-rushing linebacker. He did that very well, showing great ability to shed blocks and quickly close on quarterbacks. Plays best in “attack mode.” Was Upshaw so successful because he was surrounded by so much other talent on the Alabama defense or is he just that good? It’s probably the latter, but there are some concerns about his lack of height and inexperience in pass coverage. He’s still a high first-round selection, however, and the Packers would certainly not sneeze at the chance to slot him in at ROLB for the next 10 years.
“Courtney Upshaw was named defensive player of the game”
“Jersey” Al Bracco
2 Vinny Curry School Marshall, Sr Height 6' 3" Weight 265 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.98
In a nutshell: Curry is rated higher here than perhaps anywhere else, and he’s no sure thing, but assuming Curry can make the transition to 3-4 outside linebacker, he’s a great fit Bowl game: In this year’s BCS for the Packers. Curry, a three-year Championship game, Alabama’s destarter at defensive end for Marshall, fense turned in a dominating perfor- has been a very consistent performer mance, shutting out the LSU Tigers over his career. He’s an active player, in the biggest game of the year. covers a lot of ground and is eager in Courtney Upshaw was named Defen- pursuit. sive Player of the Game. Upshaw was a disruptive force and his final stats While not a pure edge speed rusher (seven tackles, one tackle for loss and with a dynamite first step, he shows one sack) don’t begin to tell the story. very good closing speed and provides Everywhere LSU turned, Upshaw consistent pressure on opposing was there—forcing them out of their quarterbacks using his long arms game and never allowing them to and more of a power rush approach. get into any kind of rhythm. Upshaw Regardless of his methods, you can’t showed he was a big-time player with argue with his production. Over his a big-time performance on the big45 game college career, Curry was gest of stages. in on 239 tackles, 49 tackles for loss, 26.5 sacks, 32 QB hurries and nine forced fumbles. He also blocked Rivalry game: Known as the Iron three kicks as a senior. Bowl, the Alabama-Auburn rivalry is one of the most heated in sports. Best game: Earlier this season, Curry Alabama fans had to live an entire lost his mother to cancer at the tooyear with the memory of Cam Newyoung age of 50. Curry left the team ton bringing the Tigers back from a 24-point deficit to win the 2010 Iron to mourn and returned just before their next game against Rice. Curry Bowl. The Alabama players finally got their opportunity for revenge and didn’t know if he could play. Not until an hour before the game did he got the job done. The Crimson Tide decide to give it as go and he turned rolled to a 42-14 win as Upshaw led the Alabama defense with six tackles, in a performance he’ll remember for the rest of his life. three tackles for loss and two sacks.
"plays best in attack mode”
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2011 stats: 77 tackles, 22 TFL, 11 sacks, 7 FF, 3 blocked kicks
Outside Linebackers starter. His senior season stats as a starter, (see below) show his versatility and big-play ability.
South Carolina Athletics
3 Melvin Ingram School South Carolina, Sr Height 6' 2" Weight 275 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.79
2011 Stats: 77 tackles, 22 TFL, 11 sacks, 7 FF
In a nutshell: Melvin Ingram is like few 275-pound men you’ve seen. He ran a fake punt for a touchdown, faking out and outrunning defensive backs along the way. He plays on the onside kick hands team (think about that for a second). His 40-time is in the 4.8 zone, but on the football field, he looks faster and more athletic than players 30-40 pounds lighter. As a one-year starter, he’s still raw, but his potential upside is huge. He can play all three phases of the game at outside linebacker: pass rush, run defense and coverage. Ingram is a very intriguing player and someone the Packers should be very interested in. As a junior, he recorded nine sacks and wasn’t even a
Best game: Ingram won several Defensive Player of the Week awards for his performance in the Gamecocks’ 45-42 early-season win over Georgia. Ironically, while he scored two touchdowns on a fake punt and fumble recovery, he didn’t record a tackle in that game. His best performance this year was actually a dominating performance in a 16-13 loss to Auburn, when Ingram recorded 11 tackles, 4.5 for a loss and 3.5 sacks. Rivalry game: South CarolinaClemson is the second longest continuous rivalry series in the nation (Lehigh-Lafayette is the longest). Historically, Clemson had a 6539-4 edge coming into this year’s game, but Ingram and the rest of the Gamecocks defense gave South Carolina their third win in a row. The Gamecocks held the Tigers to their lowest offensive production of the season as Ingram contributed five tackles, two for a loss and two sacks.
4 Nick Perry School USC, Sr Height 6' 3" Weight 250 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.64 In a nutshell: After a somewhat disappointing 2010 season, Perry rebounded in 2011, improving as the season progressed. A defensive end for the Trojans, Perry’s lack of bulk certainly projects him as a
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3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. Perry is fluid in space, sees the ball well and should be able to make the transition despite lack of experience at that spot. At this point in time, his pass rush skills are effective, but limited—he’s a pure outside speed rusher. In 37 games for the Trojans, Perry was in on 104 tackles, 30.5 for a loss and 21.5 sacks. College experience: After a redshirt freshman season where Perry recorded nine sacks as a backup defensive end, many were predicting really big things for Perry. Inexplicably, he dropped to four sacks in 2010 as a starter. He bounced back in 2011, with 8.5 sacks, but did not really reach the heights expected of someone with all the physical tools to be a dominant player. Something is not right here, so he drops a bit in the rankings. 2011 stats: 54 tackles, 13 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 3 FF
5 Bruce Irvin SChool W. Virginia Sr Height 6' 2" Weight 245 lbs. 40-yard dash 4.50 In a nutshell: While Irvin is easily the most natural speed rusher in this draft, there are serious doubts if he can be a three-down player in the NFL. He’s also a bit undersized, but that didn’t hurt Von Miller too much. Irvin has little experience in coverage and can get overpowered in the run game, but oh, is he fun to watch rushing the passer. Irvin was CheeseheadTV.com
Outside Linebackers a junior college transfer, so he only has two years playing in a top program. He has massive potential for improvement, and could turn out to be a major steal in a few years. In 26 games, Irvin was in on 61 tackles, 28.5 for a loss and 22 sacks. Best game: Irvin was a big factor in this past season’s rivalry game against Pittsburg known as “the Backyard Brawl.” In what was a thrilling 21-20 comeback win for the Mountaineers, Irvin contributed 7 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and 1 forced fumble. 2011 stats: 40 tackles, 14.5 TFL, 8 sacks, 3 FF
6. Whitney Mercilus School Illinois, Jr Height 6' 4" Weight 265 lbs. 40-yard dash 4.68 In a nutshell: A one-year starter coming out early, Mercilus has excellent size and length. He has the gaudy stats, good straight-line speed and edge-rush ability. Watching him on tape, however, his pad level is mostly high, he has real trouble locating the ball, and to me, even looks a little uncoordinated at times, especially in pursuit. College experience: A nonentity until this year, Mercilius came out of nowhere to lead the nation with 16 sacks. While he had a respectable 57 tackles, just more than half were assists, so he’s more of a “jump on the pile” guy.
He gives full effort in the pass rush, but seems disinterested against the run (turns his back a lot) and will struggle in coverage. Looks like a 4-3 defensive end all the way. 2011 stats: 57 tackles, 22.5 TFL, 16 sacks, 9 FF 7. Sammy Brown School Houston, Sr Height 6' 2" Weight 240 lbs. 40-yard dash NA In a nutshell: A junior college transfer, Brown had a fantastic 2011, leading the nation with 26 solo tackles for a loss and second in the nation with 13.5 sacks. He has also been credited with 17 QB hurries, so it’s no coincidence Brown’s favorite neighborhood is the opponent’s offensive backfield. Previously flying way under the radar, Brown is certainly now showing up on the draft boards of every NFL team with a 3-4 defense. In 26 games for the Cougars, Brown was in on 169 tackles, 45 tackles for loss and 20 sacks. Best game: Brown was named Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week for his performance this season in the Cougars’ 37-7 romp over SMU. Brown put up some impressive numbers that game: 10 tackles, 4.5 for a loss and three sacks. 2011 stats: 93 tackles, 30 TFL, 13.5 sacks
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8 Ronnell Lewis School Oklahoma JR Height 6' 2" Weight 244 lbs. 40-yard dash 4.68 In a nutshell: Lewis is a big-time hitter—he puts his stamp on every game. A defensive end in college, he has the versatility to play at any linebacker spot, inside or outside. As a 3-4 OLB though, Lewis will be limited by his lack of a dynamic pass rush game. A late bloomer, Lewis shot up the draft boards with a very good 2011, where he averaged 6 tackles per game. However, he was declared academically ineligible for Oklahoma’s bowl game, so there are some character concerns. In 35 games, Lewis was in on 118 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. Best games: Lewis did not shy away from the big time spotlight this season, instead showing he was a big-time player by excelling against Oklahoma’s long-time rivals in the Lone Star State. Against Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech, Lewis helped his team win two of those games with 22 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks and 1 forced fumble. 2011 stats: 60 tackles, 13 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 1 FF, 1 INT
Outside Linebackers 9 Cam Johnson School Virginia, Sr Height 6' 4" Weight 267 lbs. 40-yard dash NA In a nutshell: Initially thought of as only a 4-3 defensive end prospect, Johnson has garnered support among scouts as a potential 3-4 outside linebacker. He’s impressive on tape, shows a good first step, very good power, a non-stop motor and a real passion for chasing and pursuing. Inconsistency is one reason his numbers don’t seem to live up to his potential, but he has also had to battle through some injuries and health issues. In 42 games, Johnson was in on 130 tackles, 33 for a loss, 12 sacks and three forced fumbles. College experience: Johnson played 3-4 outside linebacker his first two seasons in Virginia. When Al Groh was replaced as coach, Johnson moved to 4-3 defensive end under new coach Mike London’s system. Johnson has been diagnosed as having the sickle cell trait, which was cited by London as a possible reason for his getting tired and resultant inconsistent play. Johnson was invited to the Senior Bowl and had a very good week, moving him up the board in the eyes of many scouts. 2011 stats: 30 tackles, 11 TFL, 4 sacks, 2 FF
10 Shea McClellin School Boise St., Sr Height 6' 3" Weight 248 lbs. 40-yard dash 4.63 In a nutshell: McClellin is not going to impress you with pure athletic ability, but he’s the type of guy that always finds a way to make plays. He plays hard and to the whistle on every play. McClellin uses effort and good technique to overcome any physical shortcomings. He won’t be a sack leader, but he’ll get his share while being reliable in all phases of the game. In 49 games, McClellin was in on 129 tackles, 32 for a loss and 19.5 sacks.
In a nutshell: A smart and ballaware player, Wilbur maneuvers well in space and shows good lateral movement. Whether he can be an effective edge pass rusher in the NFL is the real question. Has shown some recent flashes, including a good performance in the East-West Shrine Game, but the career sack numbers just aren’t there. In 43 games, Wilber was in on 194 tackles, 34.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks. College experience: Wilbur came to Wake Forest as a defensive end out of high school. He was redshirted as a freshman and got to learn under the wing of Aaron Curry. He came back the next year and started at defensive end for two years before moving to outside linebacker as a junior when the Demon Deacons switched to a 3-4 defense.
College experience: McClellin was more of a basketball player in high school, but he correctly decided a 250-pound point guard wasn’t going to have a long career. McClel- 2011 stats: 69 tackles, 10.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 2 FF, 1 blocked kick lin switched to football full-time as a freshman in college where he learned to play defensive end on the 12 Chandler Jones fly. He has been a tireless worker School Syracuse, Sr and student of the game, showing Height 6' 5" improvement every year. Weight 265 lbs. 40-yard dash NA 2011 stats: 50 tackles, 12.5 TFL, 7 sacks, 1 FF, 1 blocked kick
11 Kyle Wilbur School Wake Forest, Sr Height 6' 4" Weight 240 lbs. 40-yard dash 4.86
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In a nutshell: Jones is a long and lean defensive end who will try to convince scouts he can play outside linebacker. He has a tiny bit of experience there in a few schemes at Syracuse. He’s a tough, physical player, who is dependable against
Outside Linebackers the run but does not show great pass-rush ability. He claims he has fluid enough hips to play 3-4 outside linebacker, but he’s more of a guy who has the right frame to put on more weight to play at 4-3defensive end. In 32 games, Jones was in on 147 tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. Best game: After injuring his knee in the 2011 season opener and missing five games after that, Jones returned to the field with a vengeance. Against eventual Big East Champion West Virginia, Chandler racked up six solo tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss and a pass deflection 2011 stats: 38 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 2 FF 13 Andre Branch School Clemson, Sr Height 6' 4" Weight 258 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.70 In a nutshell: A tall, long-armed defensive end, Branch led the Tigers with 10 sacks this season. Has an explosive burst and uses those long arms well. Has seen some snaps at outside linebacker, but it’s questionable if that would be his best position. As a defensive end, he could be the fourth or fifth player taken at that position taken in the draft. Branch should add weight, and he would make a very useful 4-3 defensive end down the road. In 48 games, Branch was in
on 178 tackles, 31 tackles for loss and 19 sacks. Best game: Branch had an outstanding performance this season in the Tigers’ 23-3 win over Virginia Tech. Playing back in his home state, Branch put on a show for family and friends, registering 11 tackles, three sacks, five tackles for loss and a forced fumble. 2011 stats: 77 tackles, 16 TFL, 9.5 sacks, 1 FF 14. Jake Bequette, Arkansas Bequette wasn’t even on the 3-4 OLB radar until he was surprisingly put in that spot in the Senior Bowl. Unfortunately, he spent most of his time back in zone coverage, so he didn’t get the opportunity to show if his pass rush skills from the three-point stance would translate standing up. He’s more of a sleeper 4-3 defensive end prospect and probably isn’t quick enough to play outside in the Packers’ scheme. 15. Brandon Lindsey, Pittsburgh Lindsey was moved from linebacker to defensive end after his redshirt freshman season. He has done fairly well as a pass rusher but can be overpowered in the run game. Not overly physical and not adept at setting the edge. Shows an inconsistent motor. Struggled early on against some better offensive linemen, but did improve as the season progressed.
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16. Adrian Robinson, Temple An undersized, hard-working kid that doesn’t have one special skill to overcome his limitations. Robinson had 12 sacks as a sophomore, but never came close to that again. He did block three kicks in college. Special teams will be his ticket. 17. Olivier Vernon, Miami (Fla) Missed the first six games due to NCAA suspension and had limited impact in the remaining games. Has some physical ability, but his choice to come out early was questionable—could really use another year. 18.Darius Fleming. Notre Dame Not the most dynamic player on the field, but he’s one of the few college OLBs that will come out having played in a 3-4 defense. A strong character guy, he’ll need to master special teams to stay in the NFL. 19. Malik Jackson, Tennessee Jackson is intriguing, but not so much as a 3-4 OLB prospect. He has some explosion to his game, but seems more comfortable playing inside. He’ll be better off as a DE in a 4-3. 20. Donte Paige-Moss, N. Carolina 21. Julian Miller, West Virginia, Sr. 22. Jacquies Smith, Missouri 23. Frank Alexander, Oklahoma 24. Jack Crawford, Penn State 25. Jerrell Harris, Alabama CheeseheadTV.com
Boston College Athletics
1 Luke Kuelchy School Boston Coll, Jr Height 6' 3" Weight 237 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.58
2011 stats: 191 tackles, 12 TFL, 3 INT
In a nutshell: Kuechly’s impressive 40-yard dash time at the Combine probably kept him at the top of most draft boards for inside linebackers. He has the height, weight, athleticism, and intelligence to become an elite linebacker at the NFL level. He’s a tackling machine that had double-digit tackles in every game but one for the Eagles in 2011, as well as picking off three passes. While inside linebackers typically don’t get drafted that high (unless his name is A.J. Hawk), it wouldn’t be surprising if someone with a need in the middle nabbed him up.
Vs. ranked opponent: In a 38-7 shellacking at the hands of the Florida State Seminoles, Kuechly was an absolute standout bringing in 20 tackles, 12 of which were solo. It wasn’t a game many people saw and even few remember, but for those scouting for the NFL took note of Kuechly’s dominance on the defensive side of the ball. He showed elite ball-finding skills as well as the speed and hip fluidity to cover. While Boston College underachieved in 2011, games like Kuechly’s against Florida State is what will get his name called on Draft day. Best game: In the season opener for 2011, the Eagles played host to the Northwestern Wildcats. The ‘Cats ended up taking the win 2417, but Kuechly tallied one of his better games of the year with 18 tackles, half of which were solo, and an interception he returned for 23 yards. It was a play that kept B.C. in the game, though it didn’t get them the victory. But Kuechly’s play on the field displayed why he’s the best inside linebacker available in the 2012 NFL Draft. 2 Dont'a Hightower School Boston Coll, Jr Height 6' 3" Weight 237 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.58 In a nutshell: Hightower is a big, big man that many people would pin for a blocking tight end. He’s not, but his 40 time at the 2012
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NFL Combine might make some teams wish he was. Hightower didn’t put up the amazing stats that Kuechly did last season, but he has the physical build, intelligence, and insane athleticism that makes him the second-best inside linebacker in this year’s Draft. He never had more than 11 tackles in a game, but on film, he flies all over the field and can be an elite run-stuffing linebacker, maybe even a 3-4 outside linebacker, at the next level. Vs. ranked team: Hightower notched seven tackles in the “Game of the Century” against LSU a season ago. Whopping numbers? Certainly not. But keep in mind how many plays were run by each team, and the final score was 9-6 in overtime. It’s not Hightower’s fault that Alabama had so many fast, elite defensive players. And those scouting him certainly will take note how he looked on the field, not the stat book. This game featured some of the fastest, hardest-hitting college football has seen in recent years, and Hightower found himself at the front of the pack.
ILB “can be an elite NFL linebacker” CheeseheadTV.com
Inside Linebackers Bowl game: In the BCS National Championship game against LSU, Hightower and the Tide dominated the Tigers defensively. Only this time, it was for zero points and ‘Bama secured the title. Hightower, himself, only brought in four tackles (three solo), but Alabama forced LSU to throw the ball much more than they’re comfortable with, so Hightower’s services weren’t rendered as much as normal. His speed and hitting ability was still evident, however, despite not a lot of action in the stats department. 2011 stats: 85 tackles, 11 TFL, 4 sacks, 1 FF, 1 INT 3 Zach Brown School N. Carolina, Sr Height 6' 2" Weight 230 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.50
105 tackles, 13.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 3 FF, 3 INT
In a nutshell: Brown was a consistent tackler for the Tar Heels, coming on strongly in his last three games, where he made 34 tackles. He made a solid name for himself at the Combine, where he ran for a mind-boggling 4.5 second 40yard dash and a broad jump of 116 inches. While he didn’t perform the bench press in Indianapolis, it’s likely scouts will see him lift before the Draft. Brown has exceptional speed, and while the strength remains a question mark, his size and athleticism will have him picked before many pundits could have predicted. Best game: In the 2011 Independence Bowl against the Missouri Tigers, Brown was one of the lone standouts for a defense that would allow 41 points in a 14-point loss. Brown made 14 tackles, nine of which were solo, and also tacked on an interception. The Heels’ defense was sieve-like most of the game, but Brown made the plays when they were available. He displayed a solid nose for the football and showed that he can wrap up a ball carrier by himself. While five of his tackles were assists, Brown also proved that he will go to the whistle. Vs. ranked opponent: On the road at one of the most difficult places to play in the country, Death Valley, South Carolina, Brown made seven tackles. The stats alone may not seem that impressive, but he also notched up two sacks on Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, one of the quickest and most
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elusive quarterbacks in the ACC. Brown would finish with 5.5 sacks on the season, proving he can get to any quarterback—even those as fast as Boyd. While the Tar Heels lost the game 59-38, Brown once again showed scouts why he’s worthy of getting drafted in the first few rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft. 4 LaVonte David School Nebraska, Sr Height 6' 1" Weight 233 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.65 In a nutshell: David is undersized compared to other linebackers, but he fits the category of playmaker. A junior college transfer, David played only two seasons at Nebraska, but he made the most of them. He collected over 250 tackles and exactly 24.5 tackles for a loss in his two seasons in Lincoln. Needs to add weight and strength. Some have speculated he could move to safety. Bowl game: Nebraska lost to South Carolina 30-13 in the 2012 Outback Bowl, but it wasn’t due to the effort of David who had 11 tackles and two sacks. On display, in particular, was his ability to blitz. He showed why his nose for the football was among the best in college football in 2011. 2011 stats: 133 tackles, 12 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 3 FF, 1 INT
Inside Linebackers 5 Audie Cole School N. Car. St., Sr Height 6' 5" Weight 239 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.81 In a nutshell: Cole might be a little undersized in terms of weight, so he is actually being discussed as a potential 3-4 outside linebacker, which would improve his draft stock should a team find him suitable. His 40 time at the Combine might shy some teams away from that idea, but it’s fairly good speed for an inside backer. Best game: On the road at the Cincinnati Bearcats, Cole racked up a season-high 15 tackles in a 4414 loss. 15 tackles in a loss like that is pretty good—he kept his motor going and played until the final whistle. It was Cole’s fist doubledigit tackle game of the season. 2011 stats: 108 tackles, 13.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 4 FF, 1 FR 6 Mychal Kendricks School California, Sr Height 6' 1" Weight 240 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.47 In a nutshell: Kendricks helped out his draft stock immensely at the Combine, with his impressive 40 yard dash time and explosive bench press. He outshined Vontaze Burfict, and might find himself being picked in the middle rounds.
Has the speed and strength to be a successful linebacker.
was in the right spot at the right time.
Best game: On the road in Seattle to take on the Huskies, Kendricks made 15 tackles and tacked on a half sack. It was a 31-23 loss to Washington, but Kendricks showed the conference he’s a fast, punishing linebacker. It was his best game of the year from a statistical standpoint.
2011 stats: 86 tackles, 9.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 2 INT, 1 FF, 1 FR
2011 stats: 106 tackles, 14.5 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 FR, 2 INT
In a nutshell: Burfict became the almost-unanimous “Heir to Ray Lewis” in Baltimore—that was before the Combine. Since then, character issues are causing a lot of concern among scouts and Burfict ran one of the lowest 40 yard dash times of any linebacker in the Draft. It’s becoming more and more unlikely Burfict will be drafted where most pundits thought he would—in the first round.
7 Nigel Bradham School Florida St, Sr Height 6' 2" Weight 241 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.64 In a nutshell: Bradham’s strength is his athleticism. As his 40 time showed, he has the speed to make plays from sideline to sideline and does a good job tracking down ball carriers. His speed alone could make him a special teams contributor from day one, even if it takes him some time to learn to adjust to playing defense at the professional level. Bowl game: Count Bradham as one of the reasons Florida State was able to beat Notre Dame 18-14 in the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl. He led the Seminoles with nine tackles, but it was his interception of Irish quarterback Tommy Rees in the endzone that could have been the difference between winning and losing. The ball was tipped, but he
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8 Vontaze Burfict School Arizona St., Jr Height 6' 3" Weight 250 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 5.09
Vs. ranked opponent: Against the high-flying Oregon Ducks, Burfict showed the speed and strength that had him listed by many as a first-round pick. He only brought in seven tackles against the Ducks, but Oregon is more of an outside running team than upthe-gut. Against teams with a more conventional running and passing game—which is not Chip Kelly’s spread offense—Burfict will feel much more at home. 2011 stats: 69 tackles, 7 TFL, 5 sacks, 1 INT
Inside Linebackers 9 Kevin Reddick School North Carolina, Jr Height 6' 3" Weight 240 lbs. 40-Yard Dash:NA In a nutshell: Reddick, one of the many underclassmen inside linebackers entering the Draft, is more of a raw prospect. He has the size teams look for in an inside linebacker, but lacks in the experience department. Great value if a team has the patience. Rivalry game: Against fellow inside linebacker Audie Cole and the Wolfpack, Reddick notched a season-high 12 tackles, six of which were solo. It was the first of backto-back losses late in the season for the Heels, who underachieved in a very winnable ACC. 2011 stats: 71 tackles, 6 TFL, 1 sack 10 Emmanuel Acho School Texas, Sr Height 6' 2" Weight 240 lbs. 40-Yard Dash:4.73 In a nutshell: Acho would probably be a bigger name had Texas been a little better the last two years. He still racked up doubledigit tackles in six games, and proved to be a fast, hard-hitting inside linebacker with a lot of upside. Â He only broke up five passes, so he could work on ball skills.
Rivalry game: In the final meeting between the Longhorns and Aggies of Texas A&M, Acho pitched his best game of the season, racking up 14 tackles. It was a fantastic game the Horns eked out, and one that will be remembered in a fantastic rivalry.
12. James Johnson, Nevada
2011 stats: 110 tackles, 14.5 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 FF
Carder was the defensive leader for the 2010 Rose Bowl champions, and a consistent tackler through 2011 with the Horned Frogs.
11 Bobby Wagner School Utah State, Sr Height 6' 1" Weight 232 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA In a nutshell: A small-school prospect, Wagner shined for the Utah State Aggies in 2011. He recorded double-digit tackles in nine games as well as two interceptions. He might be undersized, but has the speed and athleticism to possibly play outside. Very versatile player and presents some good value. He missed the NFL Combine due to pneumonia. Tough opponent: In the 2011 season opener at defending national champion Auburn, Wagner recorded 10 tackles, eight of which were solo. It was a game that Utah State dominated, but two late Auburn touchdowns ultimately stole the game from Utah State by a 4238 final score. 2011 stats: 147 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 4 sacks, 2 INT
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Johnson was a consistent tackler for Nevada, averaging just shy of eight tackles per game in 2011. He has the ideal size to be an effective linebacker. .13. Tank Carder, TCU
14. Max Gruder, PItt Gruder was a swarming tackler in 2011 for the underachieving Panthers. He lacks the ideal speed and athleticism, but could definitely be a value pick later in the draft. 15. Chris Marve, Vanderbilt One of the best tacklers on the Commodores, Marve was overshadowed by other elite defensive players that call the SEC home. He still averaged over seven tackles per game. 16. DeMario Davis, Arkansas State 17. Travis Lewis, Oklahoma 18. Sean Spence 19. Garrick Williams, Texas A&M 20. Chris Galippo, USC 21. J.K. Schaffer, Cincinnati 22. Carmen Messina, New Mexico 23. Adrien Cole, Louisiana Tech 24. D.J. Holt, California 25. Ronnie Thornton, S. Miss 26. Najee Goode, West Virginia 27. Shawn Loiseau, Merrimack 28. Jerry Franklin, Arkansas CheeseheadTV.com
Cornerbacks 1 Morris Claiborne School Louisiana St, Jr Height 6' 0" Weight 185 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.50 In a nutshell: Claiborne is an exceptional athlete. He has elite speed—he was a high school state champion in the 100-meter dash—and mimics opposing wide receivers like a mirror. As a freshman at LSU, he began as a receiver, but a week into fall camp moved to cornerback and began the year as Patrick Peterson’s backup. Fittingly, Claiborne followed in Peterson’s footsteps and became the second straight LSU cornerback to win the Jim Thorpe Award for the top defensive back in college football. The All-American has fluid hips, adjusts well to the ball in the air, and adeptly balances reading the quarterback and the receiver in pass coverage. One of LSU’s team captains this year, Claiborne is a leader on and off the field. Bowl game: In the SEC Championship game versus the 14th ranked Georgia Bulldogs, the Tigers prevailed the old fashioned way—with a solid running game and a dominant defense. Led by Louisiana State’s dynamic cornerback duo, the Tigers foiled the Bulldogs’ offense. Claiborne led the way with his blanket coverage and sealed the game with a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. The All-American stepped in front of an Aaron Murray pass attempt
CB “tall, aggressive playmaker”
2 Dre Kirkpatrick School Alabama, Jr Height 6' 3" Weight 192 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.51
and came away with the pick. On the run back, Murray had a shot to make a play on the streaking Claiborne, but the cornerback made one move to his left and sidestepped the Georgia quarterback on his way to the end zone. The score was the final nail in the coffin that sealed the SEC championship game victory. Best game: In the third game of the 2011 season, Claiborne was named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the then 25th ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs. Early in the third quarter of a close game, Claiborne showed his athleticism on his first of two interceptions when he out leapt the Mississippi State receiver to make a spectacular interception. His second pick came late in the fourth quarter and guaranteed LSU its third straight victory. Add in his pass breakup on a critical third down earlier in the fourth quarter, and it was clear that Claiborne’s performance was the impetus for his team’s success. 2011 stats: 51 tackles, 1 TFL, 6 PD, 6 INT
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26 tackles, 4 TFL, 2 FF, 9 PD
In a nutshell: A tall, aggressive playmaker who can deliver a hit, Dre Kirkpatrick is easily the best tackling cornerback in the draft. He has a strong work ethic, plays with intensity and has remarkable instincts. While opposing teams quickly learned to throw away from Kirkpatrick this season, he led an Alabama defense that ranked No. 1 in pass defense as well as total defense. He is well liked in the locker room and a vocal leader on the field. He possesses prototypical size for man coverage in the NFL and has fluid hips for a player his size. At times, his aggressiveness can work against him as he goes for the interception rather than wrapping up his receiver and making the CheeseheadTV.com
Cornerbacks tackle. Kirkpatrick had a marijuana possession charge dropped earlier this year, which shouldn’t affect his draft stock, but if for some reason it did, Ted Thompson and the Packers would jump at the opportunity to draft him late in the first round. Vs. ranked team: Against the then 23rd ranked Penn State Nittany Lions, Kirkpatrick earned the Defensive Player of the Week Award from his coaching staff. On their way to a 27-11 road win over Penn State, the Alabama defense held the Nittany Lions to just 251 total yards. Led by Kirkpatrick’s two forced fumbles, the Tide defense put on a dominant display of power. He wasn’t tested often in the contest but still managed to chip in two solo tackles and break up one of the few passes thrown in his direction to secure the victory. Best game: Sometimes a cornerback’s best game comes when the opposing team attempts to avoid him. In the Southeastern Conference opener, Arkansas tried this approach but was thwarted by Kirkpatrick’s speed and knack for locating the ball carrier. In a 38-14 victory over the Razorbacks, the junior corner matched his career best with three pass breakups and added a season-high six solo tackles. The Arkansas offense schemed away from Kirkpatrick all day, but he still made his presence known. On two separate occasions, Kirkpatrick delivered punishing hits on Arkansas receivers, and his effort helped limit the No. 14 ranked Razorbacks to just 226 total yards.
3 Chase Minnifield School Virginia, Sr Height 6' 0" Weight 185 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA In a nutshell: A vocal leader on the field, Minnifield blossomed into a lockdown corner during his junior year. In his final season, he gave up a few big passes, but made his fair share of big plays as well. The senior defensive back is a ballhawk with a nose for the ball and possesses fluid cover skills. In coverage, he mirrors the receiver well and often jumps routes to come away with the interception. An athletic, tall corner, Minnifield is also a willing tackler in the run game. He uses his size to shed blocks and finishes the play by using his arms to wrap up the ball carrier and make form tackles. He is also a part of a good bloodline. His father, Frank, was a Pro Bowler for the Browns in the 80s and 90s. Add in his ability to contribute on special teams, his excellent academic record, and his volunteer involvement in the community, and Minnifield is a player who would be a good fit in the Packers locker room. Best game: Against the Duke Blue Devils Minnifield helped end the Cavaliers’ three-game losing streak. Minnifield’s final collegiate interception—No. 13—came in the opening series of the third quarter. Taking advantage of a Duke receiver slipping on the turf, Minnifield found himself in position for the easy pick. After grabbing the ball,
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the senior ran 54 yards untouched for the score. He added five tackles and two passes defended to the final box score as well. The individual performance was the type of feat that catches the eye of NFL scouts. Vs. ranked team: Minnifield and the Virginia defense used a bye week to put in extra film study leading up to the showdown with the then No. 12 ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The extra work paid off with a 24-21 upset. Minnifield did his part, recording five tackles and an interception that led to the Cavaliers’ decisive field goal on the ensuing drive. On the day, Minnifield and his defensive teammates held the Georgia Tech offense to a mere 24 passing yards. For his effort, Chase Minnifield was named the Thorpe Award Defensive Back of the Week. 2011 stats: 50 tackles, 7 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 8 PD, 3 INT 4 Stephon Gilmore School S Carolina, Jr Height 6' 1" Weight 193 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.40 In a nutshell: A tall prospect with decent speed, Gilmore has a strong work ethic and an aggressive nature on the field. In college, he showed his versatility by lining up at safety or playing near the line of scrimmage. He excels in press coverage and blankets receivers throughout their routes. He has room to imCheeseheadTV.com
Cornerbacks prove playing off the ball and in zone coverage. Off the field, he consistently receives praise from coaches and teammates. He logs time in the film room and knows his opponents well. Frequently compared to Charles Woodson. Bowl game: In the Capital One Bowl game against Nebraska, Gilmore racked up five tackles (four solo), one interception and turned a blocked extra point into a two-point conversion for his team. After Nebraska drove down for the game’s initial score, the Gamecocks defensive line blocked the extra point attempt. The ball took a fortuitous bounce, and Gilmore found himself with the ball in his hands. He ran to his end zone untouched to shift the momentum back to his team. 2011 stats: 46 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack, 6 PD, 4 INT 5 Josh Normane School Coastal Car., Sr Height 6' 0" Weight 203 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.66 In a nutshell: Norman is an intriguing small-school prospect who is a confident, tall, and athletic corner. He is a cornerback with safety size and used his long frame to set a record at Coastal Carolina by blocking four kicks on special teams. His talent is undeniable, and he has the size and ball skills to be a great player at the next level. Many draftniks reference his “character
concerns” that appear to stem from traffic citations as a sophomore. All-Star game: Cited by many as the most impressive player during practices of the East-West Shrine Game, Norman drove his draft stock up considerably. He drew the attention of multiple observers with his interceptions during practice and his ability to standout against his peers. Despite coming from a small school, Norman’s performance headlined the week of practices. 2011 stats: 62 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 FF, 12 PD, 2 INT 6 Trumaine Johnson School Montana, Sr Height 6' 2" Weight 204 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.61 In a nutshell: Recruited by California-Berkeley and Arizona State, Trumaine “Tru” Johnson chose Montana and the Football Championship Subdivision. After his sophomore year, he stayed in Missoula year round and committed himself to football. He has the size, length and footwork that scouts drool over but is still raw and untested. Played through a broken bone in his forearm during the 2009 season but missed multiple games in college due to injury. Also involved in an alleged fight on campus and was suspended one game. Postseason game: Johnson picked an opportune time to reg-
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ister his first interception of the 2011 season. Leading his team into the NCAA FCS playoffs, Johnson hauled in his first of two postseason interceptions against Central Arkansas. It was his 14th career interception and propelled his team into the next round of the playoffs. 2011 stats: 44 tackles, 1 FF, 1 sack, 11 PD, 2 INT 7 Jamell Fleming School Oklahoma, Sr Height: 5' 11" Weight 191 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.53 In a nutshell: Fleming doesn’t possess elite speed or size, but makes the most of his skill set by reacting to the ball quickly in the passing game and not shying away from contact in run support. He missed spring practices in 2009 and 2011 due to “academic misconduct.” Was a standout on a talented North squad at the Senior Bowl. Bowl game: In the Insight Bowl against Iowa, Fleming set the tone early. He picked off a pass early in the first quarter that led to an Oklahoma score two plays later. His seven tackles and three passes broken up in the game led the way in the rout against the Hawkeyes. 2011 stats: 60 tackles, 4 TFL, 2 FF, 10 PD, 2 INT
“confident, tall, and atheltic” CheeseheadTV.com
Cornerbacks 8 Donnie Fletcher School Boston Coll, Sr Height 6' 1" Weight 195 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA In a nutshell: On the football field Fletcher is a leader with good ball skills and an ideal frame for an NFL cornerback. His size dictates his mobility, and he can be slow to react to double moves, but he uses his large frame to be an effective force in the run game. Fletcher is a team captain that has dealt with a tremendous amount of adversity in his life. He lived in foster care from ages one through eight, and after his mother passed away at age 13, he was homeless for a year until an uncle took him in. Given his accomplishments on and off the field, Fletcher has the feel of a Ted Thompson pick. Bowl game: Boston College failed to make a bowl following the 2011 season, but Fletcher’s best career game came in the last bowl game the Eagles played. In the 2010 Fight Hunger Bowl, Fletcher registered seven tackles, a fumble recovery, and a pass breakup, but ultimately his performance wasn’t enough as his squad fell to Colin Kaepernick and the Nevada Wolf Pack. 2011 stats: 35 tackles, 7 PD, 2 INT
9 Casey Hayward School: Vanderbilt, Sr Height 5' 11" Weight 188 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.57 In a nutshell: Hayward looks natural in a zone scheme and reacts well when reading the quarterback. He’s smart, productive and a playmaker. A bit undersized, he will need to add bulk in an NFL weight room before he is able to match up in man coverage. A versatile athlete who even saw action on offense for the Commodores, Hayward looks like a solid prospect that should perform well at the next level. Bowl game: One of Hayward’s best collegiate games came in the Commodores bowl game against Cincinnati. Vanderbilt eventually fell to the Bearcats in the Liberty Bowl, but Hayward did all he could to keep his team in contention. He recorded eight tackles, two passes broken up, and he accounted for all of his team’s turnovers with two interceptions. 2011 stats: 62 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 10 PD, 7 INT 10 Janoris Jenkins School N Alabama, Sr Height 5' 10" Weight 191 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.46 In a nutshell: Jenkins will be off the board by the time the Packers would even consider drafting him,
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but he’s simply too talented to completely overlook. With two marijuana-related arrests in three months following his junior season, Jenkins was dismissed from the Florida Gators and chose to take his talents to North Alabama. A natural cover corner with elite skills, the only thing holding him back is concerns over his character and attitude. Best game: In addition to his strong cover skills, Jenkins stood out on special teams as well. In his team’s 42-14 road win over Southern Arkansas, Jenkins’ third quarter punt return for a touchdown broke a 14-14 tie and sent the North Alabama Lions on to victory. Jenkins also blocked an SAU field goal in the fourth quarter. For his efforts, he was named the Gulf South Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time in 2011. 2011 stats: 53 tackles, 4 TFL, 4 PD, 2 INT 11 Micah Pellerin School Hampton, Sr Height 6' 0" Weight 195 lbs. 40-Yard Dash4.61 In a nutshell: Pellerin has good size and is a smart, instinctive player. He can play special teams and is a leader. However, he didn’t stand out against the small-school competition. Overall, he will need the proper coaching to reach his potential and appears to be a project-type player with a lot of potential. CheeseheadTV.com
Cornerbacks All-Star game: Pellerin is a small school prospect that was little known outside of his conference until he stood out in the week of practices leading up to the EastWest Shrine Game. He lined up and played with swagger and confidence against his peers and caught the eye of many in attendance. The senior catapulted his draft stock with his strong performance. 2011 stats: 51 tackles, 1 FF, 15 PD, 4 INT 12. Coryell Judie, Texas A&M, Sr. In a nutshell: Judie is only 5’ 11” but his leaping ability and athletic interceptions make him appear taller. He’s a solid tackler and has a good awareness on the field. 13. Robert Blanton, Notre Dame Blanton is the type of tall, speedy cornerback that Ted Thompson and the Packers scouting department look for in the late rounds. 14. D’Anton Lynn, Penn State Lynn struggled a bit at Senior Bowl practices, but he is considered a solid cornerback who is best suited for a zone coverage scheme. 15. Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska Dennard is a talented corner who will likely be drafted much higher than the Packers would consider
him worthy. Standing a mere 5-foot-10, he doesn’t fit the mold Ted Thompson looks for in a defensive back. 16. Brandon Boykin, Georgia Boykin is an explosive, athletic playmaker who can out leap just about anyone. However, his height (5’ 9”) and history of concussions makes him virtually undraftable as a cornerback for the Packers. 17. Desmond Marrow, Toledo Standing 6’ 2”, Marrow’s combination of size and speed is intriguing. While he remains a raw prospect, he deserves a late-round pick based on his potential. 18. Justin Bethel, Presbyterian With his size and quickness, Bethel blocked nine punts and kicks in his collegiate career. He’s a versatile playmaker whose skills should transfer to the next level.
21. Dwight Bentley Louisiana-Lafayette 23. Omar Bolden, Arizona State 24. Robert Golden, Arizona 25. Mike Harris, Florida State 26. Josh Robinson, UCF 27. Shaun Prater, Iowa 28. DaQuan Menzie, Alabama 29. Trevin Wade, Arizona 30. Ron Brooks, LSU
19. Leonard Johnson, Iowa State Johnson is a confident, competitive four-year starter who lacks ideal height and weight but could be a solid nickel cornerback. 20. Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech Hosley led the nation in interceptions in 2010 but was hampered by injuries in 2011. 22. Ryan Steed, Furman
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Safeties 1 Mark Barron School Alabama, Sr.. Height 6' 2" Weight 218 lbs. 40-Yard Dash:NA
26 tackles, 4 TFL, 2 FF, 9 PD
In a nutshell: Barron is a fearless safety who’s rarely out of position. He’s great at diagnosing whether a play is a run or pass, and when it’s a run, he takes off with abandon like he can make the tackle no matter how far away from the action he is. His speed isn’t elite, but because he’s always in position to make a play, he can close in on receivers and has displayed enough speed to reach the quarterback on the blitz. Barron is better playing in space and wasn’t asked to lock up on receivers in man coverage a ton in college. In February it was learned he underwent hernia surgery, the recovery from which is typically not long.
SAFETY “the definition of strong” Bowl game: It was an entire defensive effort from a very talented defense that allowed Alabama to shutout LSU in the BCS National Championship game, but Barron was part of why Alabama’s D was so good. He set the tone on the first play from scrimmage when he ran up all the way from his deep drop in the secondary to smack Tigers running back Michael Ford after only a two-yard gain. Barron fooled television announcer Brent Musberger who said the tackle was made by a Tide linebacker, and it’s hard to blame the broadcaster. Barron hits like a linebacker. Vs. ranked opponent: Despite a loss in the regular season to LSU, the Alabama defense was still dominant, holding the Tigers to only nine points, six of them in regulation. His play of the night was a third-quarter interception of Jarrett Lee that he took inside LSU’s five-yard line. Unfortunately the Alabama offense could only turn it into three point instead of seven. Barron also racked up six tackles and broke up a pass. 2011 stats: 68 tackles, 5.0 TFL, 1 sack, 7 PD, 2 INT
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2 Antonio Allen School S Carolina, Sr Height 6' 1" Weight 202 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.67 In a nutshell: The definition of “strong” safety, Allen is a big body that plays with toughness. Has really learned to use his hands to take on blockers, shed and make tackles. Spent a lot of time playing around the line of scrimmage at South Carolina. By the same token, Allen wasn’t asked to play deep very often, which raises questions about his ability to cover downfield. He does show good range, however, and the ability to get from the hashes to the sideline. All-Star game: As an in-the-box safety at South Carolina, the Senior Bowl provided the opportunity for Allen to show he can play in space and defend the deep middle area of the field. He passed the test. Allen led the South in tackles with seven and did well considering he was basically undergoing a change of position. He still needs to understand angles when coming up to tackle from the middle of the field, but that will come with more experience and coaching. Bowl game: South Carolina doesn’t see a lot of option football in the SEC, so when they met Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl, Allen’s responsibilities were a little different. However, it probably helped that he saw Navy in non-conference action—another game Allen played CheeseheadTV.com
Safeties well. He and the rest of the Gamecocks defense held the Cornhuskers in check on New Year’s Day. Allen accounted for seven tackles, most of them around the line of scrimmage. He also had a sack on Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez coming on a blitz. 2011 stats: 88 tackles, 9.5 TFL, 1 sack, 4 FF, 2 FR, 5 PD, 3 INT 3 Brandon Taylor School LSU, Sr Height 5' 11" Weight 202 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.58 In a nutshell: In a secondary at LSU that featured Morris Claiborne (a likely first-round draft pick), Tyrann Mathieu (a Heisman Trophy finalist) and Eric Reid (an elite safety that’s only a sophomore), Taylor was overlooked. But in reality, he’s part of the reason the Tigers defense was so good. Taylor can play either safety spot, and he’s reliable, rarely out of position. He’s best when he’s moving forward, whether coming up to make a tackle or breaking on a pass. Well regarded as a leader. Suffered a lisfranc foot injury as a junior. He recovered in time to play his entire senior season and played well, but still a concern. Older brother, Curtis, plays safety for the Oakland Raiders. Vs. ranked opponent: Had an up-and-down game in the regular season meeting at Alabama in 2011. Taylor twice missed open
field tackles on Bama running back Trent Richardson and one on Eddie Lacy, though it wouldn’t be the first time Richardson has made a defender look foolish. He helped make up for it by making a six-yard tackle for a loss on Richardson on a fourth-quarter run blitz and also made an open field tackle of Richardson in the flat for a gain of only two. All-Star game: Taylor made a nice interception in center field coverage of Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson by perfectly reading the post route of the slot receiver. On the negative side, he was twice looked off by Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore making Taylor a step slow on passes coming into his zone in the deep middle of the field. 2011 stats: 71 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 1 sack, 7 PD, 2 INT 4 Sean Richardson School Vanderbilt Height 6' 2" Weight 220 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.52 In a nutshell: Has the size and speed to be effective in the NFL. Richardson is constantly around the action, has a nose for the football, especially in the ground game, but not particularly for picking if off. In four years he only had one interception despite seeing plenty of playing time. Teammate to Jordan Rodgers, Aaron’s brother.
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Bowl game: Former Packers wide receivers coach James Franklin impressed in his first season at Vanderbilt in 2011. They qualified for only their second bowl game since 1982, and Richardson was part of the reason why. Though Vanderbilt lost to Cincinnati in the Liberty Bowl, Richardson had five tackles, including one for a loss, and showed a knack to be around the action, closing fast on the football. 2011 stats: 63 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 4 PD, 1 INT 5 Matt Daniels School Duke, Sr Height 6' 0" Weight 215 lbs. 40-Yard Dash na In a nutshell: Much better in the box than in space. Very thickly built, Daniels can hit ball carriers hard and with good technique when in close quarters. Has a tendency to whiff if the carrier puts a juke or move on him, however, which is disappointing for a player with his speed. Had more than 80 tackles in both his sophomore and junior season and more than 120 his senior year. Daniels was the heart and soul of the Duke defense, if not the entire team. Vs. ranked opponent: Behind the strength of two red-zone interceptions by Daniels, Duke held No. 15 ranked Virginia Tech to 14 points. Even though the Blue Devils lost 14-10, it was the first CheeseheadTV.com
Safeties time Duke held a ranked opponent to less than 20 points since 1989 and the last time the held a ranked opponent to 14 points or less since 1972. Daniels also had a team-leading 13 tackles and another interception overturned by replay when it showed he was out of bounds. 2011 stats: 126 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 FF, 16 PD, 2 INT
David Stluka – Wisconsin Athletic Communications
6 Aaron Henry School Wisconsin sr Height 6' 0" Weight 208 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA
26 tackles, 4 TFL, 2 FF, 9 PD 4 INT
In a nutshell: The biggest thing working in Henry’s favor is his leadership. He was a captain on Wisconsin’s Rose Bowl team in 2011 and again at the East-West Shrine Game. He has the respect of his teammates, is smart and has the ability to soak up coaching at
the next level. He’s “Packer People.” It helps that Henry started off his college career as a cornerback. However, he was disappointingly absent on two big pass plays against Wisconsin this past season: the Hail Mary against Michigan State and the fourth-quarter, play-action deep pass versus Ohio State. Vs. ranked opponent: It was a battle of unbeatens as Nebraska came to Wisconsin ranked No. 8 in the nation for their first conference game as a member of the Big Ten. Just as he’d done several times in his career, Henry read Huskers quarterback Taylor Martinez perfectly as he picked off a second quarter pass just as Nebraska drove into Wisconsin territory. The Badgers pulled away for a convincing 48-17 win. 2011 stats: 67 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack, 8 PD, 4 INT 7 Markelle Martin School Oklahoma St, Sr Height 6' 1" Weight 203 lbs. 40-Yard Dash:NA In a nutshell: The potential is there with among the best sizespeed combination of any safety in this year’s draft class. But Martin just doesn’t have the big-play ability of his peers. He’s consistent and doesn’t get beat very often. Some team will fall in love with his athleticism and hope he clicks in the pros with extra attention, coaching and commitment.
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Bowl game: Martin picked of Arizona’s Nick Foles for a 62-yard interception return for a touchdown in the Cowboys’ 36-10 win in the 2010 Alamo Bowl and also broke up two passes and had four tackles. But he also had a personal foul penalty with a hit to head of a defenseless receiver. Martin can be a big hitter, but has to play under control or he’ll hurt his team with penalty yardage. 2011 stats: 74 tackles, 5 TFL, 2 FF, 11 PD 8 Harrison Smith School Notre Dame, Sr Height 6' 2" Weight 212 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.57 In a nutshell: Smith’s stock ran high after a junior campaign that saw him rack up 91 tackles and seven interceptions. The interceptions dried up in 2011, however, when he couldn’t grab a single one. He just didn’t stand out in 2011 and seemed to make a lot of his tackles downfield. Working in his favor is that he’s smart and doesn’t make mistakes. Reportedly ran a 4.38 40yard dash in high school. Rivalry game: Smith went from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs in the Irish’s 2010 win over USC. Smith was duped by wide receiver Ronald Johnson’s double move and fell to the ground with just over one minute remaining. Luckily, Johnson dropped the ball or Trojans possibly would have CheeseheadTV.com
Safeties scored the go-ahead touchdown. Three plays later Smith intercepted Mitch Mustain to ice the victory and stopped USC’s eight-game win streak over Notre Dame. 2011 stats: 90 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 FF, 10 PD 9 George Iloka School Boise State, Sr Height 6' 4" Weight 222 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.66
that with zero, three and one his senior year. Bowl game: Helped get the Broncos through a rough patch when the cornerback position was hampered by injury. Iloka stepped in at cornerback for the last three games of the season, including the Las Vegas Bowl win over Arizona State his senior year. He’ll be a safety in the NFL, but the experience at corner only helps him. Broke up a pass in the endzone intended for Sun Devils wide receiver Gerrell Robinson with good inside positioning. 10 Trenton Robinson School Michigan St Sr Height 5' 10" Weight 193 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.52
58 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 FF, 1 PD
In a nutshell: Looks the part of what you want in an NFL safety. Reportedly looked chiseled at the Senior Bowl weigh-in. Iloka has that height needed to match up with today’s big NFL tight ends. Somewhat alarming that, statistically, his best season in college was his freshman season when he had four interceptions, five tackles for a loss and 10 passes broken up. Compare
In a nutshell: Robinson would probably be rated higher if he wasn’t so short, because he really is a talented safety. Even though the Packers like their defensive backs a little taller, they’ll consider him. But there’s a good chance another team will have Robinson ranked higher and select him before Green Bay would. Best game: Robinson came up with two interceptions against Minnesota in 2011. His first was a thirdquarter pick that set up a gametying score, and then another with just ten seconds left in a one-score game to preserve Michigan State’s 31-24 victory over the Gophers.
11 Tramain Thomas School Arkansas, Sr Height 6' 0" Weight 204 lbs. 40-Yard Dash NA In a nutshell: Makes up for average athleticism with instincts, good timing and the ability to make the big play. Thomas had 12 interceptions and six forced fumbles in his college career. His 40 time will turn teams off and force them not to make much of an investment in him. But he may be able to make a team in the NFL if his instincts can compensate for the relative lack of foot speed. Rivalry game: Arkansas may have lost the Battle for the Golden Boot to No. 1 ranked LSU, but it wasn’t due to the effort of Thomas. He made a perfect low tackle of Tigers running back Michael Ford on the perimeter, which forced a fumble that bounced right into the arms of a teammate and returned for a touchdown. He also made a third quarter interception of Tigers quarterback Jordan Jefferson and had team-leading 14 tackles. 2011 stats: 91 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 FF, 11 PD, 5 INT
2011 stats: 80 tackles, 2 TFL, 6 PD, 2 INT
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Safeties 12 Neiko Thorpe School Auburn, Sr Height 6' 3" Weight 188 lbs. 40-Yard Dash na In a nutshell: Thorpe played cornerback his first three years at Auburn, including 2010’s national championship season, but moved to safety his senior year, where he is better suited. Occasionally drove Auburn fans nuts with lapses in coverage, but also has big-play ability. He’s a rangy athlete but needs to add some pounds to be durable in the NFL. Bowl game: Thorpe’s most memorable game came in the 2010 Outback Bowl where his team-leading 14 tackles were only the tip of the iceberg. He also had a third-quarter interception of Northwestern quarterback Mike Kafka. But Thorpe helped preserve the crazy 38-35 victory when he made a fourth-down tackle at the two-yard line after a “Fumblerooski” handoff to Zeke Markshausen to end the game. 2011 stats: 102 tackles, .5 TFL, 9 passes defended, 3 INT 13. Kelcie McCray, Arkansas State Good size and speed. Must overcome the perception that his level of competition wasn’t as good as other safeties. Formed the starting safety tandem with the Packers’ M.D. Jennings in 2010.
14. Delano Howell, Stanford
20. Sean Cattouse, Cal
Compact, hard-hitting type that had a much better season as a junior than a senior.
Tall safety that does a good job breaking down and getting low on players shorter than him.
15. Christian Thompson, South Carolina State
21. Cyhl Quarles, Wake Forest 22. Johnny Thomas, Okl.State 23. Jeron McMillan, Maine 24. Eddie Pleasant, Oregon 25. Eddie Whitley, Virginia Tech 26. Phillip Thomas, Syracuse 27. Damien Jackson, Mississippi 28. Corey Mosely, Virginia 29. Tysyn Hartman, Kansas State 30. Trulon Henry, Illinois
Dismissed from Auburn after his freshman season. Didn’t make much of an impact in the East-West Shrine Game. 16. Duke Ihenacho, San Jose State Missed most of the 2010 season with a broken foot. When healthy, he makes plays, but is he 100% recovered? 17. Charles Mitchell, Mississippi State Instinctive safety that’s made more than 90 tackles each of the past two seasons. 18. Omar Brown, Marshall Really came on as a senior with 113 tackles, 4.5 for a loss, four forced fumbles and four interceptions. 19. Winston Guy, Kentucky
Played a hybrid safety-linebacker position for Kentucky. Accumulated 120 tackles in his senior season, but he has to show he can play with speed in space.
“played hybrid safety-linebacker”
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Special Teams 1 Greg Zuerlein School Missouri West Sr Height: 6' 0" Weight: 189 lbs. 40-Yard Dash na In a nutshell: Kicker is one of the few positions where level of competition means very little. Zuerlein’s statistics speak for themselves. In 2011, he broke the NCAA record with 21 consecutive field goals and twice led the nation in touchbacks, according to the Lincoln Journal Star. Nine of his 23 field goals in 2011 came from 50 or more yards. Invited to the East-West Shrine Game. Redshirted the 2010 season as he recovered from hip surgery. Best game: Zuerlein was named the MIAA Conference Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against on November 5 against Northwest Missouri, a 3128 victory. He went three-for-three on field goals, the last of which was a game-winning 58-yarder in the third quarter that set a school record and a career long. He also kicked a 53-yard field goal in addition to having touchbacks on five of his seven kickoffs and went twofor-two on extra points. 2011 stats: 23-24 FGs, Long of 58, 38-40 PATs, 107 points, 30 touchbacks on 75 kickoffs 4. Carson Wiggs, Purdue 5. Blair Walsh, Georgia 6. Danny Hrapmann, Southern Mississippi
KICKER “statistics speak for themselves”
3 Randy Bullock School Texas A&M, Sr Height 5' 9" Weight 212 lbs. 40-Yard Dash na
2 Dave Teggart School Connecticut, Sr Height 6' 1" Weight 203 lbs. 40-Yard Dash na In a nutshell: Teggart was a consistently good kicker at Connecticut who did his best when the game was on the line. A two-time firstteam All-Big East selection in 2010 in 2011, Teggart connected on four of four field goals from 50 yards or more his senior season.
23-33 FGs, Long of 52, 55 of 57 PATs, 142 points
In a nutshell: Bullock was the Lou Groza Award winner for the best kicker in college football his senior Best game: Teggart connected season. He hit on 76.2% of his field on a 52-yard field goal in the final goals his junior season and bettered seconds of a Dec. 3, 2010 16-13 that by hitting on 87.9% his senior win over South Florida that qualified UConn for their first BCS bowl year. In four years, he’s only been appearance in school history. He hit given three attempts at 50 yards four-of-four field goals that day, in- or longer. Was coached by former cluding another one from 50 yards. Packers coach Mike Sherman. 2011 stats: 22-28 FGs, Long of 53, 29-30 PATs, 95 points
7. Giorgio Tavecchio, California 8. Derek Dimke, Illinois 9. Philip Welch, Wisconsin 10. Brody McKnight, Montana
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Rivalry game: In what was the last game between Texas and Texas A&M for the foreseeable future, Bullock hit on four-of-four field goals, including a career-best 52-yarder, in a 27-25 loss to the Longhorns.
Special Teams 1 Bryan Anger School California, Sr Height 6' 4" Weight 208 lbs. 40-Yard Dash na In a nutshell: With a strong postseason, Anger is rising up draft boards. He was a first-team all-conference selection for three consecutive years. As a junior he set the single-season school record with a 43.5-yard gross average. Over the course of his four-year college career, he placed 90 punts inside the 20 and forced 75 fair catches. All-Star game: Anger may have ensured he gets drafted after a strong week at East-West Shrine Game where he displayed a booming leg with impressive hang time during the week of practice. He followed that up with an equally impressive game by punting three times for a 60.0-yard gross average and pinned two inside the 20. 2011 stats: 53 punts, 44.2-yard average, Long of 64, 19 inside the 20 2 Shawn Powell School Florida St, Sr Height 6' 4" Weight 235 lbs. 40-Yard Dash na In a nutshell: Led the nation in gross punting average in 2011. Powell is also the school record holder in career gross punting average with a mark of 44.2. Before the bowl game in 2011, he placed 43%
PUNTER “son of former Bears kicker Kevin Butler” of his punts inside the 20, according to The SportsXchange. Was the team’s place-kick holder for all four college seasons. Rivalry game: In the regular season finale against in-state rival Florida, Powell punted nine times for a 44.4-yard average but most impressive was his five punts placed inside the 20. The Gators were constantly in poor field position and could only manage to score once all game in a 21-7 loss to Florida State. 2011 stats: 57 punts, 47.0-yard average, Long of 69, 23 inside the 20 3 Drew Butler School Georgia, Sr Height 6' 2" Weight 214 lbs. 40-Yard Dash na In a nutshell: The son of former Bears kicker Kevin Butler. The junior Butler won the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s best punter in 2009 when he punted 56 times for an average of 48.1 yards and 24 inside the 20. Slightly concerning that he averaged over 48 yards per kick that sophomore but only 44 as a junior and senior.
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Postseason game: In the 2011 SEC Championship game loss to LSU, Butler punted a career-high eight time for a 51.6-yard average with five over 50 yards and three placed inside the 20. 2011 stats: 58 punts, 44.2-yard average, Long of 62, 21 inside the 20. 4. Brad Nortman, Wisconsin 5. Kyle Martens, Rice 6. Anson Kelton, TCU 7. Brian Stahovich, San Diego State 8. Ryan Tydlacka, Kentucky 9. Kiel Rasp, Washington 10. Johnny Hekker, Oregon State
LS 1 Josh Harris School Auburn, Sr Height 6' 1" Weight 252 lbs. 40-Yard Dash 4.93 In a nutshell: Harris was the only long snapper invited to the NFL Combine and was one of two invited to the Senior Bowl, along with Wisconsin’s Kyle Wojta. Reportedly has good accuracy and velocity. Had six career special teams tackles at Auburn. Was part of the 2010 national championship team. 2. Kyle Wojta, Wisconsin 3. Nick Guess, Tennessee 4. Matt Camilli, UTEP 5. John Rohrbaugh, Penn State 6. James Winchester, Oklahoma 7. Charles Hughlett, CF 8. Chris Ivory, Miami 9. Kastl Cameron, Arizona State CheeseheadTV.com
KR â€œtied the NCAA record for touchdownsâ€? 1 Tyron Carrier School Houston, Sr Height 5' 8" Weight 170 lbs. 40-Yard Dash na In a nutshell: Carrier tied the NCAA record with seven career kickoff returns for a touchdown. His sophomore year was particularly impressive with 34 returns for a 29.0yard average and four touchdowns. He had at least one kickoff return for a touchdown in each of his four college seasons. In four years, he also hauled in 320 receptions, most of them from Case Keenum, but his short stature makes return specialist his primary position in the NFL. Best game: In a 2011 73-24 win over Rice, Carrier returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, which tied the NCAA mark for career kickoff returns for a touchdowns. Also caught seven passes for 85 yards and a touchdown as Houston improved to 8-0 on the season.
3. Tony Logan, Maryland 2. Laron Scott, Georgia Southern 4. Jeremy Caldwell, E. Kentucky 5. Tavoy Moore, Idaho State
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Packers Mock Draft 2012
“Jersey” Al Bracco
Packers MOCK DRAFT Round 1
Nick Perry OLB, USC
Kendall Reyes DL, Connecticut
Trumaine Johnson CB, Montana
After Michael Brockers, Reyes could be the most intriguing 3-4 defensive end choice. While Reyes needs to bulk up a bit to take on double teams, what is most impressive about him is his natural athletic ability.
Cornerback depth is a must in today’s pass-first NFL. Add in the fact that Charles Woodson’s best days as a corner are behind him, and the Packers’ need at this position only intensifies.
While hoping for Melvin Ingram, Courtney Upshaw or Vinny Curry to fall to this spot, the Packers gladly take the consolation prize. Perry might actually be the most suited to 3-4 outside linebacker out of the four but has not lived up to his potential in college. A pure speed rusher, Kevin Greene would love to get his hands on him, light a fire and bring out the crazy in Perry as he’s done with fellow USC Trojan Clay Matthews. Alternate choice: Whitney Mercilus, Illinois.
A three-sport star in high school, Reyes could be that rare 3-4 defensive end athletic enough to be a factor in the pass rush (like Cullen Jenkins). With his height and long arms, he should be able to knock down some passes as well. Alternate choice: Jared Crick, DL, Nebraska.
Johnson has excellent size for a corner, which is a known priority for Ted Thompson. Even better, it doesn’t come at the expense of speed or fluidity. Johnson impresses in those areas for a man his size and is also a willing and effective tackler, something else lacking in the Packers’ secondary. Alternate choice: Josh Norman, CB, Coastal Carolina.
Round 4 David Molk C, Michigan Molk is your quintessential intangibles guy. Undersized and not the most athletic center on the board, Molk nevertheless is reminiscent of a young Scott Wells who was a seventh-round pick for the Packers. Molk has a high football IQ and is a hard worker as his 41 bench press reps at the NFL Combine show. The negatives are his height (measured 6’ 1” at the Combine), and he has been a bit injury-prone in college. Alternate choice: Philip Blake, C, Baylor.
Round 4 (Compensatory) Jerry Franklin ILB, Arkansas With A.J. Hawk continuing to play like nothing more than an average linebacker, the Packers continue to look for depth and possible down-the road replacements. They swoop in here to grab Franklin whose stock has been dropping a bit due to questions about his ability to shed blocks. Franklin was nothing but productive in college, however, starting all four years and tallying 374 tackles. Alternate choice: Tank Carder, ILB, TC
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Packers Mock Draft 2012 Round 4 (Compensatory) Kheeston Randall DL, Texas Despite having already added Kendall Reyes in the second round, Thompson cannot pass up the value presented here. Randall fits the model of what defensive line coach Mike Trgovac wants from his defensive ends: ability to hold your ground against double teams. While Randall could still add a few pounds, he has shown impressive lower body strength, allowing him to hold his ground against any and all blockers. Not much of a pass rusher, but that’s hopefully something Reyes can provide. Alternate choice: Travian Robertson, DL, South Carolina.
Round 5 Winston Guy Jr. S, Kentucky The big question for the Packers at safety is Nick Collins’ health. All signs are positive, but if not, they have Morgan Burnett to take over at free safety. The Packers need an upgrade over Charlie Peprah at strong safety, and thus they tab Guy. Guy is not outstanding at any one thing, but he’s solid at everything. Tackling, coverage, angles, range, speed— he’s the complete package. He had eight games of double-digit tackles in 2011. Alternate choice: Tony Dye, SS, UCLA.
Round 6 Kirk Cousins QB, Michigan State Matt Flynn will be leaving the Packers this offseason. While Graham Harrell has made some strides, the Packers always want to have three young QBs in the hopper, so they tab Cousins with this pick. Coincidently, Cousins reminds one of Matt Flynn. He doesn’t have a rifle arm but delivers an accurate and catchable ball, can extend the play when needed and has big-time college experience. Alternate choice: B.J. Coleman, QB, Tennessee-Chattanooga.
Round 6 (Compensatory) Lance Lewis WR, East Carolina What? The Packers are loaded at receiver, you say? So what!? Every Packers draft needs a head-scratcher. Lewis is a small-school guy who has the ability to develop into an NFL receiver. He’s not a speed burner, but he shows good quickness and acceleration out of his breaks. He runs good routes and shows very good balance and coordination. Has good size at 6’ 2”, 210 lbs. and uses it well. The more the merrier. Alternate choice: Danny Coale, WR, Virginia Tech.
Round 6 (Compensatory) Michael Smith RB, Utah State Smith was second on the depth cart for the Aggies, but when called upon, he produced. He gained 870 yards on 114 attempts as a senior, a 7.6 yard per carry average. At 5’ 9”, 207 lbs, Smith has a similar body type to Brandon Jackson but is a much more explosive runner than the former Packer. He was named offensive MVP in the inaugural Players AllStar Classic this February. Alternate choice: Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor.
Round 7 (C. Schlauderaff trade)
Bradley Sowell T, Mississippi
Damon Harrison DL, William Penn
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Packers Position Profiles
packers Running backs and Quarterbacks Coming into 2011, it was debated whether Aaron Rodgers was
among the top echelon of NFL quarterbacks including Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. Following his MVP campaign, Rodgers’ placement is guaranteed, perhaps at the very top of the list. Not only the Packers offense, but also the entire organization, revolves around him. Everything about him is top notch from arm strength to accuracy to athletcism and leadership. He had average to below average games in the losses to the Chiefs and Giants this past season, but it perhaps wouldn’t have been so bad without several dropped passes. With Matt Flynn all but guaranteed to depart in the offseason, the Packers must find a new backup to Rodgers. After being the No. 3 quarterback for the past two seasons, Graham Harrell will get first crack at it, but the Packers may choose to draft another QB to compete with him. Harrell’s knowledge of the offseason will give him the inside track, but is he reliable enough to depend upon if—God forbid—Rodgers gets injured? Former Arena League quarterback Nick Hill will compete for the 2012 No. 3 QB gig. Whether that’s on the 53-man roster or the practice squad remains to be seen.
The Packers enter a season that could signal a change of direc-
tion in the running game. Head coach Mike McCarthy said at the NFL Combine in February that the way the Packers run the ball will change, indicating the Packers could get away from their zone-blocking schemes to more of a power-oriented ground attack. James Starks will likely get the first crack at becoming the primary ball carrier. He was a hero in the 2010 Super Bowl run but has yet to show he can be a healthy and consistent performer for the Packers. Whether Ryan Grant returns to the Packers remains to be seen. He’s scheduled to be a free agent, and while he was still effective at times last season, running backs tend to wear down quickly when they’re as old as Grant. Alex Green, a rookie in 2011, tore an ACL and has a long road to recovery in front of him. Brandon Saine showed he can be a threat with his speed and receiving skills out of the backfield. The future of the fullback position in Green Bay could be in danger depending on if John Kuhn can fully recover from the knee injury he suffered in the playoffs. Jon Hoese is the only other fullback on the roster. 80 | Cheesehead TV 2012 Draft Preview
Packers Position Profiles packers Receivers and Tightends With perhaps the best set of wide receivers in the league, the
Packers should be more than satisfied at this position. Two-time Pro Bowler Greg Jennings is at the peak of his career and should be able to maintain a high level of play for at least a few more seasons. His route running is exceptional, among the best in the NFL. Jordy Nelson has complemented him very nicely over the past couple of years, a starting tandem that stacks up with any other currently in the league. Nelson has literally improved every year as a professional and may not have reached his ceiling yet. The future of Donald Driver is in limbo, but he’s an experienced, proven veteran with something left in the tank. After re-signing with the Packers as a free agent last season, James Jones showed he was worth the money by putting together a solid and dependable campaign. And the future of Randall Cobb is very bright, not only in the return game but as a slot receiver as well. A decision on Driver could impact the futures of Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel, two practice squad receivers in 2011 that received overtures from other NFL teams.
With Jermichael Finley signing a new two-year contract exten-
sion, the tight end position is one of strength on the Packers roster. Finley has been criticized for dropping passes late in the 2011 season, but that was never a problem his first three and a half years in the league. He’s a matchup problem for NFL defenses and helps open things up for other receivers around him.
The big question mark is how Andrew Quarless recovers from a gruesome knee injury suffered late last season. There’s a possibility he opens 2012 on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Tom Crabtree is what he is, a good blocker, special teams player and fantastic locker room presence that is used little in the receiving game. He’ll have to earn his spot on the team once again, something he’s grown accustomed to. It will be interesting to watch how much last year’s rookies, D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor, develop. Both have loads of potential and their presence in an offseason program should do them wonders. The Packers are young and talented at tight end. Adding new talent would be a luxury and not a necessity.
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Packers Position Profiles
packers Offensive Line The Packers have plenty of options at tackle. A far as settling on a pair of starters and designating them on the left and right sides, that’s the dilemma. Without a doubt, Bryan Bulaga will be one of them. Entering his third year in the NFL, Bulaga is hitting his prime and is on the verge of becoming an All-Pro type performer. Will he be moved over to the left side of the line? That could depend upon whether Chad Clifton comes back for another season. He has time left on his contract, but he may either retire or the Packers may cut him to clear salary cap space. If Clifton departs, Marshall Newhouse could be an option to replace him for a second consecutive season. Newhouse had both ups and downs in 2011, but he played well enough to suggest that there are better times ahead of him. Derek Sherrod’s rookie season started rough and ended in disappointment due to a broken leg. The Packers certainly aren’t ready to give up on him already, however. Chris Campbell and Herb Taylor are coming to back to seek a spot on the 53-man roster.
The guard position is under control for the Packers. Even though right guard Josh Sitton did not have as good a season in 2011 as he did in 2010, he’s still better than most NFL guards. After getting a long-term contract extension, the Packers must hope the money has not gone to his head. Over at left guard, the Packers have found a keeper in T.J. Lang. He had some issues with penalties early in 2011 but got better as the season went along. And he proved to be more physical than his predecessor, Daryn Colledge. The issue the Packers are dealing with is at center. With veteran center Wells now gone, the Packers will look for his replacement with either a free agent signing or the draft. Whoever they bring in, that person will compete with Evan Dietrich-Smith, the top remaining holdover at center. Sampson Genus, who was on the practice squad last season, is a darkhorse candidate at center, but asking him to become a starter may be too much. Ray Dominguez might be the top backup at guard next year.
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Packers Position Profiles
packers Defensive Line and Special Teams The Packers couldn’t adequately replace Cullen Jenkins after he left in free agency to join the Philadelphia Eagles. They lost a starter and their best pass-rushing defensive lineman, production they couldn’t get from the rest of the players at the position. It was hoped Mike Neal would help fill the void, but after suffering a knee injury during training camp and missing more than half the season, he was never an effective contributor upon his return. He’ll get another chance to prove his worth in 2012, but patience will run thin if Neal can’t stay healthy and take a big step forward. It’s a good bet the Packers will look to add a defensive lineman in the first two days of the draft that they hope will be able to be a factor immediately. With as many as 12 draft choices, they might very well add more than one. Whoever they draft, they’ll join stalwarts B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett, two dependable players that weren’t elite in 2011. Maybe they’d play better with someone that can help take pressure off of them. Jarius Wynn and C.J. Wilson return, but they’ll have to fight for a roster spot in training camp if they’re going to continue their job as role players. Howard Green is a free agent and may or may not be back. The wild card is Lawrence Guy, a rookie that spent the season on injured reserve last year. He could surprise.
The Packers might have their best set of specialists in franchise
history. In a move that was criticized by some observers before the season began, kicker Mason Crosby earned his new five-year, $14.75 million contract. The highlight of his season was setting the franchise record for consecutive field goals with 23 dating back to a streak that began in 2010. Crosby hit more than 80% of his field goals for the first time in franchise history by hitting on 85.7%. He missed a few field goals down the stretch, but nothing that took away from what was the best season of his career. Punter Tim Masthay was almost as good. All he did was set the single-season franchise records for both gross (45.6 yards) and net (38.6 yards) punting average. He’s started off each of the past two seasons a little bit slow, but he really came on down the stretch. Long snapper Brett Goode hasn’t had an errant snap in four seasons. He’s not the greatest in coverage, but as long as his snaps are dead, solid, perfect, the Packers shouldn’t replace him.
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Packers Position Profiles
packers Outside and inside linebackers Without a doubt, the Packers need to find an outside linebacker to start opposite Clay Matthews. Even though Matthews’ sacks were down in 2011, he’s one of the best defenders on the team and should be a cornerstone of the team for years to come.
But the revolving door of players the Packers experimented with at the other end of the line scrimmage was nothing more than average to below average. Brad Jones got the start in the final game of the regular season, again in the playoffs and got a sack in each game. He’s worthy of a spot on the roster, but he has to do more if he deserves to be a starter. Erik Walden is a free agent and may not be back. Frank Zombo was a hero during the Packers’ Super Bowl season but a litany of injuries dogged him in 2011. Vic So’oto and Jamari Lattimore were undrafted rookies kept by the Packers last season. They have a lot of potential but have a long way to go to prove they’re worthy of a larger role.
Inside linebacker might be the most stable position on the Pack-
ers entering the 2012 season. All the players are currently under contract and the key figures for next season are pretty much already etched in stone. They are led by Desmond Bishop who was named a Pro Bowl alternate in 2011 and may have made the All-Star team had a mid-season injury not limited his opportunity. He has the best nose for the football on the team and has become an effective pass rusher on the blitz. A.J. Hawk had a down season in 2011 compared to the year of the Super Bowl the season before. His contract may make him expendable in the future, but the Packers need him in 2012, if only for depth, and they can afford him. D.J. Smith is the future at the position and had a promising rookie season. He may be able to take some snaps away from Hawk if he continues to develop. Robert Francois returns for his third season after taking a step forward in last year. With only four inside linebackers, there is room for the Packers to add some rookie at this position.
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Packers Position Profiles
packers Cornerbacks and Safeties Following the victory in Super Bowl XLV, cornerback looked to
be a position of strength. But after a regression by nearly every cornerback on the roster in 2011, the position isn’t above an upgrade. By 2012 Charles Woodson will be three years removed from his NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2009. He still has a nose for the football as evidenced by his league-leading seven interceptions last season, but many other facets of his game have deteriorated. It’s been debated whether he will make a move to safety. Tramon Williams had arguably the best season by any Packers corner in 2010, but took a major step back one year later. A shoulder injury was an issue, and he’ll have to prove he can bounce back. Sam Shields has good coverage skills but is not very physical. He, too, needs to perform better. Davon House was a fourth round draft choice last season, but his impact his rookie year was nil. Jarrett Bush and Pat Lee are free agents. Brandian Ross hopes to make the jump from practice squad to 53-man roster.
With Nick Collins, the safety position is in good hands in Green
Bay. Without him, it is dangerously thin. Collins suffered a serious neck injury in Week 2 of 2011, which forced him to miss the rest of the season. His absence was sorely missed, as the Packers gave up the most passing yards in NFL history. As a three-time Pro Bowler, his presence in the Green Bay secondary is invaluable.
After missing most of his first year in the NFL with a knee injury, Morgan Burnett’s 2011 season was basically his rookie year. He showed plenty of potential, but he has to be more reliable to those among him and make more plays on the football. Charlie Peprah stepped into the starting lineup for a second consecutive season due to injury, but he just doesn’t have the athleticism of other starting NFL safeties. He’s a great locker room guy, can provide depth and be a stopgap replacement, but the Packers could be in trouble if they have to rely upon him for a long time. M.D. Jennings made the 53-man roster as an undrafted rookie last year, but was nothing more than a special teams performer. At the very least, the Packers need to add depth at safety with the possibility they may need much more from a newcomer in the future. 85 | Cheesehead TV 2012 Draft Preview
From The Blue Turf to the Big Stage It’s hard not to be impressed by Boise State getting three defensive linemen invited to the NFL Combine. It proves just how talented that unit was and makes you realize that they were very likely a big reason the Broncos compiled a dominating 50-3 record over the past four seasons.
The Green Bay Packers could use some help both on the defensive line and at outside linebacker, and it’s not out of the question that they could be looking to Boise State for help. All three players are on the cusp of being drafted into the NFL. The only uncertainty for them is who is going to select them.
Billy Winn For weighing 294 pounds, Billy Winn is quite an athlete. He’s so athletic, he thinks he can play linebacker and was disappointed he didn’t get that opportunity at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Just because Winn thinks he can play linebacker, doesn’t mean he’s going to get that opportunity, however. His future employer is going to take advantage of his size and utilize him on the front line of defense.
Kellen Moore got a lot attention and a lot of credit for being the first NCAA quarterback to win 50 games in his tenure. But then you look at his supporting cast and see it was far more than just Moore. Billy Winn, Shea McClellin and Tyrone Crawford were a part of a defensive line that anchored a suffocating Boise State defense. “It shows that we've got a great defensive line coach and a great head coach to get guys to Boise State and get them to this level,” said Winn at the NFL Combine. All three Combine invitees were defensive linemen at some point in the college careers but not all of them may play there at the professional level. Winn and Crawford tended to stay in trenches. McClellin, meanwhile, began his college career as a defensive end but ended up playing more and more linebacker as time went on. He was invited to the Combine as a defensive end but will likely be a 3-4 outside linebacker in the professional ranks. 86 | Cheesehead TV 2012 Draft Preview
Whoever selects Winn, though, is going to get reap the benefits of a player that can move better than most players in the trenches, and that could be good news for a team like the Packers and how they like to use the zone blitz.
Think how B.J. Raji dropped into coverage in the 2011 NFC Championship game against the Bears and returned an interception for a touchdown.
But can Winn post sack numbers like Jenkins at the NFL level? He had only 3.0 sacks as a senior, but had 5.5 and 6.0 as a junior and a sophomore respectively.
“Billy is real explosive and has good athletic ability for a bigger guy,” said Boise State defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski who used to coach the defensive line before being promoted. “He's got a great personality. He has a good time during practice, brings a little bit of energy that you like those guys to have. His biggest attribute is being 290 or whatever he his, and his ability to run and change direction.”
If the Packers don’t happen to go after a defensive lineman early in the Draft, maybe they’ll look to get their pass rush from an outside linebacker instead.
Winn prefers being a stand-up defensive end, rushing from a two-point stance off the edge but has plenty of experience with his hand in the dirt. At the Senior Bowl, he got experience playing both right and left end and as a three-technique defensive tackle lined up over the offensive guard. As Winn prepared for the NFL Combine, a former member of the Packers actually gave him some advice along the way.
Shea McClellin The Packers could use a running mate to Clay Matthews, their three-time Pro Bowler and the only player on the team that can generate a consistent pass rush. They need someone to take pressure off of him, a bookend at the other end of the line of scrimmage. When asked at the NFL Combine about players in the NFL he looks up to and tries to emulate, McClellin replied, “Mike Vrabel, I think I'd compare myself to him, just because of his versatility. But there's so many good players: Clay Matthews, Brooks Reed, players like that.” Another Clay Matthews is just what the Packers could use. “Clay and Shea” has a nice ring to it.
“I talked to Daryn Colledge a little bit, I talked to Kyle Wilson a little bit,” said Winn. “All of them just said to enjoy it. It goes by quick. Things will be thrown at you. You just have to accept them and make the best of it. And just have fun with it during the process.” Colledge was the starting left guard on the Packers’ Super Bowl winning team in 2011 but left after that season in free agency to sign with the Arizona Cardinals. He’s a Boise State alum and frequently travels back to his alma mater to work with the college players. Winn has size and penetrating ability comparable to the departed Cullen Jenkins, whose production the Packers are still seeking to replace after he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency. Without Jenkins’ pass rush ability, the Packers gave up the most passing yards in NFL history in 2011 and the second-most total yards ever.
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Before the Packers go after a player like McClellin, however, they need to make sure he can play outside linebacker in their 3-4 defensive scheme.
“I have to deal with that a little bit,” said McClellin. “I do play hard on film, and I don't test as great as maybe I should, but maybe I can change that.”
McClellin played defensive end exclusively his first two years in college, but ended up splitting time between defensive line and linebacker his junior and senior seasons.
“This last year, it was 50/50, depending on what we were running,” said McClellin.
As someone who measured in at 6-4 and 275 pounds, Tyrone Crawford is seen as somewhat as a “tweener.” Perhaps too small for the defensive line, maybe too big for outside linebacker. It’s not as if Crawford doesn’t have ability, though. He’s just raw.
Boise State ran a multiple-look defense in 2011, depending on the opponent they were facing. They’d run a 3-4, 4-3, and plenty of 4-2-5 and dime packages as many teams were trying to play catch up to Boise State. It gave McClellin a lot of experience filling different roles. At the Senior Bowl all-star game, he even played weak-side linebacker in a 4-3 defense, a new experience for him. But it’s looking like McClellin might be best suited to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, according to Pete Kwiatkowski. “I think that's where he would be the best fit, totally,” said Kwiatkowski. “He's athletic, he can run, he's smart, he can drop into coverage, he can rush the passer. He's really stout on the tight ends and open-side tackles. I think that's where he'll end up is in a system like that.” There’s no doubt McClellin is a good, smart fundamental football player. But one thing he has to prove is that he possesses the elite athleticism necessary to avoid being just a role player. At the NFL Combine, McClellin worked out with the defensive linemen, guys who outweigh him by as much as 30, 40, even 50 or more pounds. In that regard, it was perhaps disappointing that the only drill in which he cracked the top 15 among players at his position was the 40-yard dash.
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Crawford grew up in Ontario, Canada and had to go the junior college route before playing out his last two years of remaining eligibility at Boise State. It’s possible that no one has figured out his best position yet. If he happens to be drafted by the Packers, Crawford could be next Jarius Wynn, a more lithe version of a defensive end. Or maybe the next Vic So’oto, an end turned into an outside linebacker. Either way, he looks to have the frame to either add or drop weight. However Crawford is utilized, the skill is there.
Featured Article “I think he's got huge upside because of his physical tools,” said Pete Kwiatkowski. “I think he's an extremely powerful, extremely explosive guy who's still learning how to play football.” For a guy that lacks the bulk of other defensive linemen, Crawford’s strength is impressive. It’s the primary reason he was able to post 6.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for a loss as a senior.
Billy Winn Q: How did the Senior Bowl go? A: I thought it was fun. The level of competition out there was really high, and I feel like I got some good work in against those guys. I played all over the place there too. I played left end, right end and three technique.
“Setting the edge and collapsing the pocket—giving the quarterback no room to breathe is where I like to be,” said Crawford at the Combine. After an impressive senior campaign, Crawford was invited to the East-West Shrine game. The only thing left to be determined is where he fits in the professional ranks. “I think he can play 4-3 end or 3-4, strong-side defensive end,” said Kwiatkowski. The talent in the front seven at Boise State doesn’t end with Crawford, Winn and McClellin either. A fourth player, Chase Baker, also has a chance to join the NFL ranks as an undrafted free agent. Wherever they land, their legacy at Boise State is undeniable, their string of success nearly unparalleled. The journey and their impact in the NFL, however, are just beginning.
Q&A with Boise State Prospects
Shea McClellin Q: What pass rushers in the NFL do you like to watch? A: Brooks Reed types. I like watching Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Jason Pierre-Paul, those kind of guys. Q: You grew up on a farm. How did that help you in football? A: I learned so much on the farm, disciplined, getting up early and working hard. I think a lot of that goes into football, working out in the weight room and on the field. Tyrone Crawford Q: Have you been told to brush up on your linebacker skills? A: I’ve been asked about it, and I’ve been told to practice some linebacker drills and drops and stuff, because teams may have me do that kind of stuff. So I’ve been working on it, working on my drops and my hips and just trying to be the best player I can.
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Cornering the Market
The SEC is known for its NFL-caliber defensive players that for some insane reason are playing at the college level. You know, those guys from Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Florida … but what about Vanderbilt? Enter the Commodores’ Casey Hayward, a 5-11, 188-pound cornerback who has his sights set on the big stage of professional football. Hayward, a senior for Vanderbilt, hauled in seven interceptions for the Commodores, two of which came in a 31-24 Liberty Bowl loss to Cincinnati. It was the motivation of Hayward hearing that he didn’t have the elite speed necessary to be successful in the NFL that fueled the fire to perform well at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. Some had criticized him saying he wasn’t fast enough to keep up with NFL receivers down the field.
“Everyone looks up to Charles Woodson,” said Hayward. “Great guy, great player, been in the league for a long time. It’d be a great opportunity, you know, getting to learn from a veteran guy, someone that can play. It’s a great coaching staff—the Packers have a great organization as a whole.” As far as being selected, Hayward sees himself as a first- or second-round cornerback, which is possible given his Combine measurables. But given the impressive depth at the position this year, coupled with the elite speed shown by some, perhaps Hayward won’t hear his name selected in primetime. But that shouldn’t diminish a player whose production speaks for itself.
“I have been hearing a lot of: I don’t have enough straight-line speed,” said Hayward. “I want to show everybody I can run with everybody, faster than what they expect.” Hayward turned some heads during his workouts at the Combine and showed he has some solid speed. His 4.57 40-yard dash time, coupled with his 19 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press bumped him up some Draft charts. But according to Hayward, his impressive stats aren’t his best quality. “I’d probably say my instincts,” Hayward said. “They’re a lot similar to Asante Samuel’s. I think I’ve got some of the best instincts in this Draft, and watching film, you can see that I’m always around the ball, somehow, some way.” While Hayward compares himself to Philadelphia’s Samuel, he also admires another NFL cornerback, this one a little closer to Lambeau.
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CB Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt
“It was kind of interesting,” said Hayward. “(Aaron’s) brother is a good player as well. They got some of the same styles. But Aaron just throws the ball a little better right now. “
“I definitely think I am one of the top corners in the draft,” explained Hayward. “My production has shown it. I don’t know how else you can rank it if you are not going to go by production. My production is just as good or better than anybody in this draft.” While playing at Vanderbilt, Hayward had the luck to work with former Packers assistant coach James Franklin. Franklin, the current head coach at Vandy, served as Green Bay’s wide receivers coach under Mike Sherman in 2005. The 2005 season saw the Packers go 4-12, but the receivers finished with the sixth-most receiving yards in the league.
Hayward played alongside another NFL Draft hopeful in safety Sean Richardson. Early in the 2011 season, the two teamed up to help Vandy become one of the nation’s early leaders in interceptions. That is, until opposing quarterbacks stopped throwing in their direction. The Commodore cornerback is also very high on his teammate, Richardson, becoming a quality NFL player. Hayward went on to say that the Vanderbilt secondary as a whole was a solid group but flew under the radar. “I think we were overlooked, but we were pretty good as well. At one time we led the nation in interceptions, and they just stopped throwing the ball to us,” said Hayward. “[Richardson] is definitely an underrated guy. He is going to turn some heads out here with his numbers. I have been playing with this guy for four years and I definitely know what he can do. He is going to surprise some people.” Away from football, Hayward is only a few courses away from completing a sociology degree from one of the better academic institutions in the country. He took the previous semester off to focus on the Draft, but plans to return to school to complete his degree. Once he steps away from football on Sundays, Hayward has a keen interest in owning a chain of restaurants that aren’t even open Sundays. “I want to own my own business. I took a lot of business classes at Vanderbilt,” said Hayward. “I want to own a couple of Chick-fil-A restaurants. I eat there a lot. I go there about three times a week.”
Coach James Franklin, Vanderbilt Franklin isn’t the only Packers tie to Hayward and the Commodores. MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ brother, Jordan, was the quarterback for Vandy a season ago. And the two share some similarities other than last name and position. 91 | Cheesehead TV 2012 Draft Preview
“Hayward compares himself to Philadelphia’s Samuel”
“Pigskin” Paul Guillemette
Senior Bowl, Mobile, AL The Senior Bowl is the premiere
all-star venue primarily because of its partnership with the NFL. The biggest advantage for players and personnel people is that they get to see the prospects working all week under active NFL coaching staffs. The significance of that angle to the game cannot be overemphasized. It seems like many Packers fans feel that a priority for their team is upgrading a disappointing defense, especially with some sack help for Clay Matthews, and there were two players of interest in this game if Ted Thompson agrees with much of his team’s fan base. Cam Johnson/DE/LB/Virginia played primarily with his hand down at Virginia, but he was listed with the linebacker group in Mobile. If he can make the transition to standing up, he looks to fit the part really well at 6’4”/267. He played most of the time as a defensive end both in practice and the game, so it’s hard to make a judgment on his transition ability. His injury issues in college are also concerning. But the point is he fits the description of a clear need in Green Bay, and the Packers coaching staff is known for its teaching ability. He was very active on the field all week and really flashed at times. Another linebacker who looked the part in more ways than one was Audie Cole of N.C. State. He played on he inside for State as a senior, but had previously been on the outside. Cole said his position
coach at State told him this year was the last he would ever see of an inside linebacker slot. He’s started the Matthews long-haired look and has a very solid, muscular physique. He stated that the look was somewhat with Matthews in mind and that he thought that he was a great player example to follow heading into the NFL. He looked to have a nice combination of skills to play both the pass and the run. Cole might be around for the Pack’s first pick, but perhaps not in round No. 2. Thompson is always looking to fortify his offensive line. That should be true this year with the horrific injury to Sherrod any other potential subtractions this upcoming season. The Senior Bowl was chock full of good OL prospects, but one that looks the part for their system is Ben Jones/C/G/Georgia. Jones is not pretty or fancy, but he is tenacious and tough as nails. He battles to the whistle and has a bigger frame than Wells. He took the bulk of the snaps during the game for the South squad and more than held his own against some bigger, more athletic players. He also played some guard in practice and had also done so for Georgia. Another position the Packers usually likes to solidify with a draft pick every year is the wide receiver corps for Aaron Rodgers. Roll in Donald Driver’s age and it ups the ante on the position this April. Wide receiver was one of the more
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talented position groups this year, and the Packers could be looking for someone for the middle rounds. Marvin Jones of Cal had a quietly impressive week and combines the size (6’2”/198 lbs.) and skill set that mimics a guy like James Jones. Coming from the Cal offensive system puts him on some common ground with Rodgers. He caught only one ball during the game, for a touchdown, but he works hard, gets open and doesn’t drop much. He is also a willing blocker downfield and may have some kickoff return potential. There seems to be a solid fan base group in Wisconsin that also thinks the running back position could use some help. With that in mind, consider Isaiah Pead/Cincinnati. Pead really rang the bell during the game with two excellent punt returns, which may be neither here nor there with Randall Cobb in Green Bay. But he possesses the explosion, acceleration and one-cut ability through the hole that the Packers’ running game requires. That’s the short list of players who impressed all week long in Mobile and might be fits for a combination of Packers’ needs and attributes. Thompson always drafts some players from the Senior Bowl rosters. He must have liked something he saw because he stayed in Mobile the whole week and even watched the entire game from the front row of the press box. Most scouts don’t stay past Thursday, never mind general managers. CheeseheadTV.com
“Pigskin” Paul Guillemette
East-West Shrine Game, St. Petersburg, FL The oldest continuous all-star
game moved to Tropicana Field for their game this year. The rosters were the strongest in years and happily featured a large number of smaller-school prospects. By Tuesday Ted Thompson and a contingent of Packers personnel people were on the prowl for Shrine week action. Without a doubt, the defensive backs were the most talented and deepest position down here. Small school guys like Micah Pellerin/ Hampton, Justin Bethel/Presbyterian and Christian Thompson/ South Carolina State all showed well in practice as well as holding their own against some solid receivers in the game. They’re just the kind of guys Thompson seems to like. But the scene-stealer all week long from the DB corps was Josh Norman/CB/Coastal Carolina. Norman showed exceptional fundamentals for a small-school player and held his own in the NFL Combine tests. His talent may only be matched by his self-confidence. He is special and he knows it. He was invited to the Senior Bowl the following week and again held up well. Norman, however, may be a bit too undisciplined for the Packers. An unknown who got everyone’s attention right away at the Monday morning weigh-in was Akiem Hicks/DT/Regina. He presented a ripped physique and proceeded to use his physical tools to great
advantage during the remainder of the week. He’s a former LSU commit who had to go the J.C. route and ended up in Canada. He certainly has the size, athleticism and versatility that might interest defensive coordinatorDom Capers. There has never been much doubt about the talent of Micaner Regis/ DT/Miami, but his career at “The U” was less than steady or stellar. During Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s practices Regis was unblockable and showed a high-rev motor. He also had a significant impact during the game itself. His body of work in St. Pete set him up for a top 100 slot in the draft if he can impress again at the Combine. He too might possess the versatility that a Capers scheme seems to put such a high emphasis on. Packers fans are still clamoring for more pass rush from the outside linebacker slot opposite of Clay Matthews. If they have some patience, Julian Miller—who played defensive end at West Virginia—is a demon at penetrating into the backfield and might make a solid mid-round pick. He recorded 42 ½ tackles for a loss and 27 ½ sacks in his four-year career and showed that corner-rush quickness all week. He was especially effective collapsing the pocket during game action on Saturday.
“defensive backs were the most talented”
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The biggest surprise of the week might have been Chase Ford/TE/ Miami (Fla) who had a way of getting open down the seam of the field and catching everything that came within range of his vine-like arms. He also showed solid runafter-the-catch ability. At 6’6”/260 lbs. he has the size to play at the next level, and his coaches did indicate that he gave a solid effort and did improve as a blocker as the week went on. He may have gone from underneath the radar to draftable with his overall work. Little-school standout Thomas Mayo of California (PA) had the most impressive week overall of the East receivers. He is not a speed burner but has nice size and soft but strong hands. He started the week in a blaze of catches and then seemed to lose a little focus later. But he redeemed himself with some nice work during the game. He seems to have nice footwork along the sidelines where Aaron Rodgers likes to throw. His size and skill set could well fit for the Pack.
2011-2012 All-Bowl Team Seniors QB Case Keenum, Houston Completed 45 of 69 passes 532 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions against a Penn State defense that came into the TicketCity Bowl ranked 10th in the nation in total defense, fifth in scoring defense, fourth in pass defense and fifth in pass efficiency defense. RB Terrance Ganaway, Baylor Ran for 200 yards on 21 carries and scored five touchdowns as Baylor put up 67 points on Washington in the Alamo Bowl. RB Vick Ballard, Mississippi State Rushed for 183 yards on only 14 carries (12.9 ypc), scored two touchdowns and had two receptions for nine yards in Mississippi State’s 27-17 win over Wake Forest in the Music City Bowl. FB Cody Johnson, Texas Played halfback at Texas but may need to move to fullback in the pros. Showed good ball skills in short-yardage situations with five carries for 21 yards and a touchdown in Texas’ 21-10 victory over Cal in the Holiday Bowl. LT Levy Adcock, Oklahoma State Helped the Cowboys roll up 494 total yards on a Stanford team that came into the Fiesta Bowl ranked fourth in the nation. The entire offensive line only gave up one sack on quarterback Brandon Weeden as Oklahoma State won 41-38 in overtime. LG Derek Dennis, Temple Paved the way for Temple to average 6.7 yards per carry and gave up zero sacks as the Owls beat Wyoming 37-15 in the New Mexico Bowl C Scott Wedige, Northern Illinois Allowed the Huskies to rack up 401 total yards in a 38-20 GoDaddy.com Bowl win over Sun Belt champion Arkansas State.
RB Terrance Ganaway, Baylor WR Jordan White, Western Michigan—Set Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (formerly Motor City Bowl) record for receptions with 13. White took those 13 catches for 265 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort as Western Michigan came up short in a 37-32 loss to Purdue. WR Gerell Robinson, Arizona State—Caught 13 passes for 241 yards and a touchdown as Arizona State was in catch-up mode against Boise State in a 56-24 loss in the Las Vegas Bowl. TE Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette—Turned five catches into 121 yards and a touchdown as the Ragin’ Cajuns beat San Diego State 32-30 in the New Orleans Bowl. 94 | Cheesehead TV 2012 Draft Preview
RG Robert T. Griffin, Baylor The guy with the same name as his more heralded teammate may have actually had a better game than the Heisman Trophy winner. Griffin led the way for 777 total yards and gave up zero sacks in the second half as Baylor overcame an 18-point deficit as Baylor beat Washington 67-56 in the Alamao Bowl. RT Brandon Moseley, Auburn Assisted the Auburn offense in putting up 454 yards, 273 of them on the ground (6.2 ypc) against Virginia, a 43-24 win, in Chickfil-A Bowl.
All-Bowl Team Kick returner, Doug Martin Had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown on the opening kickoff of the game, and Boise State never looked back. Also rushed for 151 yards on 31 carries and a touchdown. DE Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati Had six tackles, two for a loss as Cincinnati held Vanderbilt to only 295 total yards and 3.5 yards per carry in a 31-24 Liberty Bowl win. DT Mike Martin, Michigan Might be undersized for a nose tackle in the pros, but his 10 tackles from a defensive tackle were impressive in Michigan’s 23-20 Sugar Bowl win over ACC champion Virginia Tech. Also had half a sack.
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K Randy Bullock, Texas A&M Went four for four in field goals, including a 31-yarder with 30 seconds to go that made it a two-score game. Converted all three extra points.
OLB C. Law, Southern Miss. Racked up seven tackles, 4.5 for a loss and two sacks in a 24-17 win over Nevada in the Hawaii Bowl. ILB Audie Cole, N. Carolina St Totaled 10 tackles, four for a loss and two sacks as N.C. State got by Louisville 31-24 in the Belk Bowl. ILB LaVonte David, Nevada Was one of the few bright spots for Nebraska in a 30-13 loss to South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl by making 11 tackles, two sacks for 14 yards and forcing a fumble. CB Jamell Fleming, OklahomaTied for the team-lead with seven tackles, broke up three passes and had an interception in Oklahoma’s 31-14 win over Iowa in the Insight Bowl. Even more impressive was how he limited All-Big Ten receiver Marvin McNutt to 46 yards on four receptions.
DE Jaye Howard, Florida Accounted for five tackles and one and a half sacks for a loss of 14 yards as Florida got by Ohio State in the Gator Bowl, 24-17.
CB Casey Heyward, Vanderbilt Even though the Commodores lost to Cincinnati in the Liberty Bowl, it wasn’t Heyward’s fault. He had eight tackles, one for a loss and two interceptions in the losing effort.
OLB C. Upshaw, Alabama Was named Defensive MVP of the BCS National Championship as he led Alabama with seven tackles and a sack and contributed to the dominating defensive effort in which they held LSU to only 97 total yards.
Safety A. Allen, S. Carolina Had seven tackles and one sack for a loss of five yards and help hold Nebraska to 253 yards vs. an option offense not seen in the SEC.
“defensive MVP of BCS National Championship” 95 | Cheesehead TV 2012 Draft Preview
DE Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati Safety Omar Brown, Marshall Made seven tackles and one pass break up, but of utmost importance was his forced fumble of NFLcaliber receiver T.Y. Hilton with five minutes remaining in the game as Marshall beat Florida International 20-10 in the St. Petersburg Bowl. Punter Paul Hershey, Ohio Averaged 50.0 gross yards on six punts and put three inside the 20 as Ohio won the field-position battle and the game against Utah State, 24-23, in the Potato Bowl. PR, Brandon Boykin, Georgia The jack-of-all trades performer took a punt 92 yards for a touchdown in addition to four kickoffs for 70 yards. On defense, he had seven tackles, two for a loss, one going for a safety. And on offense Boykin had one reception go for a 13-yard touchdown on offense and two rushes for eight yards even though Georgia lost 33-30 to Michigan State in the Outback Bowl.
NFL Draft 2012
What they’re saying... The 2012 Draft class talks about their teammates Baylor running back Terrance Ganaway on WR Kendall Wright: “He’s a great receiver. The guy is a phenomenal athlete, a burst off the line, I mean he’s 0 to 60 off the line in about three steps. And he’s going to snag everything out there. He’s a ballplayer, he definitely deserves to be one of the top receivers on the board.”
Iowa tackle Riley Reiff on WR Marvin McNutt: “Great guy, great player. Just watching on film just lets him speak for himself. He’s an even better guy off the field.”
“I think he’s the best center in the draft. I don’t think there’s anyone who can really compete with him.”
Mississippi State center Quentin Saulsberry on RB Vick Ballard: “Vick Ballard, he brought a good work ethic. He let people feed off of him, not just being a guy to himself. He’s probably the most unselfish player that I ever played with. He’s always giving his body away just to get that extra yard. I admire that. You wouldn’t mind blocking for a guy like Vick Ballard.”
Penn State guard Johnnie Troutman on DL Devon Still: “Pretty much we lined up and went against each other every play. It definitely helped me over the past three years playing against a guy like him. For his size he’s a real quick guy so you’ve got to move your feet and don’t blink because if you blink and punch and miss he’s going to be by you.”
LSU CB Morris Claiborne on WR Reuben Randle: “I think he’s going to be a great receiver. He’s big. He’s got the size. He’s got the speed, and his hands are unbelievable.”
Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler on C Peter Konz:
Boise State DL Billy Winn on OLB Shea McClellin: “I think Shea’s going to be great. He learns really fast, and he’s a really hard worker. He busts his tail every down.”
Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden on WR Justin Blackmon: “Just turn on the film. The guy pulls away from everybody. I don’t know what he’s going to run. He’s fast, but you turn on the film and no one can catch up to him. He’ll be fine. I’m not worried about him, he’s not worried about it. He’s going to be a player in this league for a long time.”
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NFL Draft 2012
What they’re saying... The 2012 Draft class talks about their opponents Notre Dame S Harrison Smith on Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck: “He’s got it all, you know. He can obviously throw, and make all the throws. He makes all the checks at the line. But then on top of that, he got outside of the pocket a few times and he can run. So he’s got it all. He’s a big, athletic guy.”
Stanford QB Andrew Luck on Baylor QB Robert Griffin III: “He’s athletic. He’s explosive. Can make a lot of throws. He’s very fun to watch.”
Boise State DL Billy Winn on Wisconsin G Kevin Zeitler: “I though he was just a phenomenal guy. I thought he was really awesome.”
California tackle Mitchell Schwartz on USC DE Nick Perry: “I’ve known that from the year before, playing against him, so I kind of had a good game plan against him, going into it. But he’s the speed guy up the field, and he’s pretty strong on the bull rush coming in, you’ve got to play with some anchor.”
USC OT Matt Kalil on Stanford OT Jonathan Martin: “He’s a great tackle. He’s really athletic, really big. One of the best tackles I’ve seen when I’ve gotten to watch him. I respect the kind of player he is and think he’ll do a great job wherever he goes.”
Oklahoma CB Jamell Fleming on Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill: “Getting away from defenders, that’s a big plus for him. He can throw, too. “
Iowa DL Mike Daniels on Michigan C David Molk:
Furman cornerback Ryan Steed on Appalachian State WR Brian Quick:
“Excellent football player and strong as heck—as you could see he pumped out 41 reps on the bench. “
“He’s got pro size, got great speed. Pretty physical. Plays hard. He didn’t necessarily do anything to me, but he made me work for everything I had. Our league, there’s not too many great receivers, so I kind of got away with a lot. But when I played him, I made sure I brought it. He made me earn it.”
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NFL Draft 2012 The Pro Football Draft Preview Writers Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist who covers the Packers for Jersey Al's AllGreenBayPackers.com, CheeseheadTV and prep sports for the Dunn Co. News in Menomonie, WI. You can follow him on Twitter @zachkruse2. Paul J. Guillemette, know in football circles as Pigskin Paul, is a lifelong follower of football from high school through the pro level. Writing and talking about football is his labor of love, which he has immersed himself in for the past 10 years. His favorite time of the year is the months leading up to the NFL Draft. His web site is PigskinPaul.com and he tweets as @pigskinpaul. Max Ginsberg has been writing about the NFL for the past three years on his blog, "Purple Pants, Green Jersey" and is also a contributor at Cheesehead TV. He was raised in Wisconsin but currently resides in Minnesota with his family. You can follow him on Twitter at: @MaxGinsberg. "Jersey" Al Bracco is a lifelong Packers fan, living in the land of the Giants (and Jets). Al is the founder and lead writer of AllGreenBayPackers.com, co-host of CheeseheadRadio and the Packers Draft Analyst for Draftek.com. You can follow Packers-obsessed Jersey Al on twitter at: @JerseyAlGBP. Andrew Garda covers all things NFL for CheeseheadTV, as well as BleacherReport.com. He is also a staff writer for FootballGuys.com, covering fantasy football and writing regular features like Fantasy Triage and Thursday Night Lights. You can follow him on Twitter at: @ThunderingBlurb. Tony Wilson has been covering the Green Bay Packers since 2009, and the NFL Draft since 2011. His writing has been featured in Sporting News and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He resides in Detroit. You can follow him on Twitter @Tony_Wilson_26. Brian Carriveau is the editor of Pro Football Draft Preview. He’s a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and writes for CheeseheadTV.com. His book, It’s Just a Game, will be released on May 1, 2012. More information can be found at BrianCarriveau.com. In 2002 he was a safety for the University of Technology, Sydney in Australia. Follow him on Twitter at: @BrianCarriveau. Alex Tallitsch is the designer of the Pro Football Draft Preview. He currently owns First String Public Relations serving as a publicist for professional athletes and other social professionals. You can follow him on Twitter at: @AlexTallitsch. Aaron Nagler is a Co-Founder and lead NFL analyst for Cheesehead TV. Aaron currently resides in New York City with his lovely wife and three beautiful daughters. Aaron is also the lead NFL writer for the Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter at: @Aaron_Nagler. 98 | Cheesehead TV 2012 Draft Preview