Letter from the Editor
The Big Picture
The Top 100 Prospects
Reminds me of…
NFL Three Round Mock Draft
Asst. Editor: Alex Tallitsch
NFC North Needs
Packers-specific Mock Draft
3-4 Defensive Linemen
Thanks to everyone who bought the inaugural edition of the Cheesehead TV 2011 NFL Draft Guide.
3-4 Outside Linebackers
3-4 Inside Linebackers
Off the Beaten Path
What They’re Saying
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Publisher: Corey Behnke Editor: Brian Carriveau
Al Bracco Andrew Garda Max Ginsberg Paul Guillemette Aaron Nagler Holly Phelps Tony Wilson
We never would have been able to create this publication without all of the great readers and supporters of Cheesehead TV. * All stats from 2010 unless indicated * All rankings are author’s opinion
Letter from the Editor Dear Packers fan, Thank you for purchasing the inaugural edition of the Cheesehead TV 2011 Draft Guide, a digital publication designed specifically for Green Bay Packers fans. I’m confident you’re going to love our new take on what a draft preview publication should be like. As a Packers fan, your attention to the rest of the NFL is probably limited. More than likely you probably only have a passing interest in, say, what the San Diego Chargers or Jacksonville Jaguars are going to do in the draft. That’s where we come into play. We figure, why pay for the magazines on the newsstands when what you really want is coverto-cover Packers content? The bulk of any draft publication is the position-by-position previews for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, etc. But we take a different approach with certain positions. With the Packers running a 3-4 defense, we don’t just categorize players in linebackers, defensive ends and defensive tackles. We’ve broken up linebackers into outside linebackers and inside linebackers. And because players like B.J. Raji, Cullen Jenkins and Ryan Pickett have all played the 3-4 defensive end position at one time or another and then become a pass-rushing tackle on passing downs, we’ve lumped all those types of players into the category of 3-4 defensive linemen.
They have to be versatile enough to play both tackle and end in Dom Capers’ defensive system. On the offensive line, we’ve broken up players into tackles and interior offensive linemen, because you’ve seen Packers such as Jason Spitz have to be able to play both guard and center. Futhermore, I’ve asked the writers to put themselves in the shoes of general manager Ted Thompson. If we think there’s a player that doesn’t fit what the Packers do, you might see him ranked lower than usual or not ranked at all. For example, you’ll notice that players like Auburn’s Nick Fairley, Illinois’ Corey Liuget and North Carolina’s Marvin Austin don’t appear in our defensive line rankings because we don’t think they fit what the Packers do on defense. And you won’t find a 5-9 cornerback at the top of our lists either, because the Packers simply avoid those types of defensive backs. I’m personally a firm believer in what a player does on the football field. Nothing bores me more than reading about a player’s “lateral agility” or “tight hips” ad nauseam. It’s important to address an athlete’s strengths and weaknesses, but we try to focus on their performance during games more than most other publications.
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You’ll read about how players performed on a big stage, such as how they did in a bowl game or against a ranked team. Sometimes we’ll look at how they performed against a conference rival or in an all-star game such as the Senior Bowl. Those performances mean more to me than a player’s “deceptive quickness.” When looking at team needs, we dedicate the most space to analyzing the perceived needs of the Packers. We then give the nextmost space to the teams the Packers play the most, the other members of the NFC North. Accordingly, we give decreasing coverage to the rest of the NFC and the entire AFC. We also provide the obligatory mock draft, but we try to go the extra mile and provide one that’s three rounds long. Plus, we provide a Packers-specific mock draft attempting to predict whom Green Bay will choose with each of their respective picks in each round. If you know of a draft publication that gets any more Packers-centric than this, I’d like to see it. With that, enjoy and Go Pack Go! Sincerely,
Brian Carriveau - Editor
The Big Picture “Packer Way” – i.e. draft and develop their own players, something Thompson and head coach Mike McCarthy have seemingly mastered.
“Ted Thompson, despite being the toast of the NFL for bringing back the Lombardi Trophy to Green Bay after a 14 year absence, is not one to rest on his laurels.” Set to preside over his seventh draft as general manager of the Green Bay Packers, Thompson had no time for reveling in victory, or vindication for that matter, after the Super Bowl. Yes, Thompson and his staff were back at work on the Tuesday morning following Super Bowl XLV. Of course, fans should expect nothing less from Thompson, who has made it his mission to use the NFL draft as the lifeblood of his football team. With the lockout in full swing, the offseason will present a unique set of challenges for many NFL teams – challenges that will be minimized for the Packers due to the nature of the way Thompson goes about his business. Teams that traditionally try filling holes via free agency will be forced to adopt the
One thing fans can count on during the draft – they will be surprised. They can count on being surprised by someone that Thompson selects and they can count on being surprised by something that Thompson does. It used to be apt to note that Thompson “never traded up” – until he did, several times, most dramatically by leaping back into the first round two years ago to draft Clay Matthews III. Another bit of groupthink heading into the draft last April was the talk of the Packers needing to come away with a cornerback and a pass rushing outside linebacker. Thompson drafted neither.
“the Packer way” The one seemingly predictable thing fans can look to when trying to predict what Thompson might do over the course of the draft is to look at who the Packers could potentially lose to free agency down the road. The drafting of Mike Neal and C.J. Wilson last April are perfect examples of this. While no doubt partly influenced by Johnny Jolly’s legal troubles, the impending departure of Cullen Jenkins most likely played a big role in the selections.
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By: Aaron Nagler
You could see the same principal at work in the Andrew Quarless selection, which the recent release of Donald Lee only reinforces. (Not to mention the potential of losing Jermichael Finley to free agency.) Looking at the group of players slated to be free agents next year, the obvious standouts are Matt Flynn, Josh Sitton, Scott Wells and Ryan Grant. So, while many fans and pundits might be going into this draft exclaiming the dire need for a compliment to Clay Matthews (again), history tells us that unless a player falls to him that makes sense on his draft board, Thompson will have no problem taking a player who plays a position not necessarily considered a “need” right now. With that said, if someone like Brooks Reed was on the board when the Packers were on the clock, it would not be a surprise to see Thompson take the outside linebacker. The only certainty is uncertainty when it comes to Thompson’s draft methodology. The one thing Packer fans can count on is that Thompson and company will add several quality players to the ranks of the Green Bay Packers roster at the end of April.
About the Author 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.
NFL Draft 2011
By: Brian Carriveau
One trait of a successful coach in almost any team sport is the ability to be flexible enough to adjust your schemes to match the strengths of your players. It might be a simplified example, but a basketball team without much height isn’t going to run a two-post offense with no player over 6-foot. Years from now Arizona head football coach Mike Stoops might look back at his time in Tucson and wish he utilized his personnel to their maximum potential. Arizona has primarily run a 4-3 defense under Stoops despite having three defensive ends invited to the NFL Combine back in February who all appear very likely to make the transition to 3-4 outside linebacker in the pros. Brooks Reed, Ricky Elmore and D’Aundre Reed spent the majority of time with their hand in the dirt in college when it looks like they’re going to have to adapt to a twopoint stance in the NFL. Each one of them, though, is confident they can make the conversion thanks to their dedication to the game. “All three of us – me, Ricky and D’Aundre – you’re going to see a lot of hustle, big motor guys,” said Brooks Reed.
It’s difficult to blame Stoops for not adapting, however, when it’s impossible for him to look into a crystal ball knowing what his recruits would become when they first stepped on campus. For example, a young D’Aundre Reed came to Tucson checking in at all of 208 pounds. He leaves weighing over 260 pounds and on the precipice of career playing professional football. He, along with his two teammates, have been interviewed and scrutinized by the Packers as Green Bay does their research and due diligence on 3-4 outside linebacker prospects in preparation for the NFL Draft beginning Thursday Apr. 28. Brooks Reed Coincidentally, the most highly rated of the three, Brooks Reed (no relation to D’Aundre), is frequently compared to Clay Matthews. Their style of play is very similar, although the first thing everybody notices is the long mane of blond hair cascading out of the back of the helmet.
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Brooks Reed - Arizona
“Brooks Reed has an insane motor” “Brooks has an insane motor,” said Ricky Elmore of his teammate. “If you want to compare the hair, the hair flows just like Clay’s, but yeah, he’s an extremely good player, and I think he’s going to do really good at the next level. I think any team that picks him up is going to be very glad they did.” Goldilocks aside, they do have a striking resemblance, and the nonstop motor is other trait most commonly referenced. It’s the never-say-die attitude that has allowed Matthews to become a two-time Pro Bowler, an Associated Press first-team All-Pro in 2010 and the Sporting News Defensive Player of the Year.
NFL Draft 2011 Matthews’ bag of tricks is seemingly unending. He uses speed rushes, power rushes, twists, stunts and his hands to fend off defenders on the way to the passer. Even falling to the ground doesn’t stop Matthews, who pops back up and plays to the whistle. Reed says he watches film of the Packers outside linebacker and the biggest thing that sticks out to him, however, is Matthews’ ability to pass rush from the first quarter to the fourth quarter. “I just like how relentless he is,” said Reed. “He’s a dependable player to get there even at the end of the game, to get to the quarterback when he’s dead dog tired. That’s what I like about his game.” In order to become the next Clay Matthews, though, the 6-3, 263 pound Wildcat will need to go through a significant period of adjustment. Reed has played exclusively from a three-point stance with the exception of the final two games of his college career: for the Territorial Cup against in-state rival Arizona State and the Alamo Bowl against Oklahoma State, both losses. “He’s a great athlete, and he played in a system where he was a standup linebacker,” Reed said of Matthews, “whereas I’m trying to make that transition right now. “I think it’s going to take me maybe a little bit more time to understand that position, but I think I have the athletic ability to do that.”
Regardless of the learning curve he faces, interest in Reed indicates he’s likely to be drafted by a 3-4 team. Reed estimated an 80% to 20% breakdown in the number of 3-4 teams that interviewed him at the NFL Combine compared to 4-3 teams. “Athletically, moving your hips and whatnot, I think I could do that,” said Reed of the transition. “I mean, just basic things about the position, new responsibilities that I’m not used to as a defensive end, I’ll have to pick up pretty quick.” It’s been thought for some time that Reed would be a second day draft choice (rounds two or three), but after an impressive performance at the Combine, some are wondering whether he could sneak into the back end of the first round, of which the Packers own the 32nd pick.
his split was also faster than some of the more highly touted athletes of the Combine, including Nevada OLB Dontay Moch, Tennessee-Chattanooga CB Buster Skine, Kentucky WR Randall Cobb, Georgia WR AJ Green, Troy WR Jerrel Jernigan, and Texas A&M OLB Von Miller.” Ricky Elmore Ricky Elmore made the exact same 80%/20% estimation of the number of 3-4 teams that interviewed him at the NFL Combine compared to 4-3 teams. But he’s not concerned about the system he’ll be asked to play in the pros.
Reed had the third fastest 40-yard dash time among defensive linemen in Indianapolis with a time of 4.68 seconds, but even more astounding was how quickly he covered the first ten yards. “Perhaps his most impressive total came in the most important test for defensive linemen (and, some would say, linebackers) in the ten-yard split,” writes Rob Rang at NFLDraftScout.com. “Reed was timed at 1.54 seconds over the first ten yards, demonstrating a degree of explosiveness typically reserved for much smaller men. Reed’s 1.54 seconds not only was the fastest of all defensive ends (North Carolina’s Robert Quinn was second at 1.61),
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Ricky Elmore - Arizona
“Fortunately with my athletic ability and my size, I think I’m in a position to play both positions,” said the 6-5, 225 pound Elmore.
NFL Draft 2011 “I think if I have to stand up, I can do that and I will do that. It’s not going to be an issue.” Known as a pass rusher, Elmore had double-digit sacks in both 2009 (10) and 2010 (11), although he thinks he can hold up against the run too.
D’Aundre Reed D’Aundre Reed likewise interviewed with the Packers at the Combine and was very excited to be interviewed by anyone, let alone the world champs.
“I think that’s something where I’ll fit very well as a 3-4 outside linebacker, rushing off the edge and putting pressure on the quarterback,” said Elmore. “A lot of people see me as a pass rusher, but I feel my skills at stopping the run are just as well. I think you need to be a well-rounded football player to do that.”
“I compare myself to myself,” said Elmore. “I don’t want to be compared to anyone else, because I hold my own expectations.” Elmore, a projected mid-round draft choice, said he interviewed with the Packers while at the NFL Combine. Asked whether it registered that the reigning Super Bowl champions were talking to him, Elmore replied, “Yeah, it does. It would be awesome to play for an organization like that.”
Even though he loves getting after the quarterback and considers one-on-one pass rushing drills among his favorite parts of practice, D’Aundre – at 6-4 and 261 pounds – perhaps held up even better against the run than his teammates. “I love playing the run as well, because we usually play a sixtechnique where we line up on the tight end,” said D’Aundre. “So I love knocking the tight end back and getting to the ball. That opened up a lot of plays for me as well.”
Like Brooks Reed, Elmore doesn’t have a ton of experience playing in two-point stance either, doing so only on third downs and obvious passing downs. And while Reed is compared to Clay Matthews, is there any NFL player who Elmore resembles?
with a three-play and out rotation, D’Aundre said, “Not really. You get used to it. Just go in, get the job done, do your part.”
Predicted to be a late-round draft choice, if not an undrafted free agent, D’Aundre will look to join his former teammates on the roster of an NFL team … even if all of them will be switching to a new position. D’Aundre Reed - Arizona
His invitation to Indianapolis came as a surprise given he was largely a backup to his teammates Brooks Reed and Ricky Elmore and started eight games in his four-year college career, only one of them his senior year. Despite not being a starter, D’Aundre got a fair amount of playing time due to a fairly strict defensive line rotation at Arizona. Responding to whether it was difficult to get into the flow of a game
“compare myself to myself”
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About the Author Brian Carriveau is the editor of the Cheesehead TV 2011 NFL Draft Guide as well as the Maple Street Press Packers and Brewers Annuals. His daily writing on the Packers and Brewers appears at CheeseheadTV.com and PocketDoppler.com respectively. Brian attended both the NFL Combine and the University of Wisconsin pro day in preparation of this NFL Draft Guide. He played safety for the University of Technology, Sydney in Australia.
NFL Draft 2011
By: Paul Guillemette
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.
Da’Quan Bowers – DE – Clemson* Patrick Peterson – CB/RS – LSU* Nick Fairley – DT – Auburn* A.J. Green – WR – Georgia* Prince Amukamara – CB – Nebraska Cam Newton – QB – Auburn* Marcel Dareus – DE – Alabama* Von Miller – OLB – Texas A&M Robert Quinn – DE – North Carolina* Julio Jones – WR – Alabama* Adrian Clayborn – DE – Iowa Mark Ingram – RB – Alabama* Cameron Heyward – DE – Ohio State Cameron Jordan – DE – Cal J.J. Watt – DE – Wisconsin* Blaine Gabbert – QB – Missouri* Aldon Smith – DE – Missouri* Akeem Ayers – OLB – UCLA* Jimmy Smith – CB – Colorado Gabe Carimi – OT – Wisconsin Nate Solder – OT – Colorado Leonard Hankerson – WR – Miami Allen Bailey – DE – Miami Brandon Harris – CB – Miami Mikel Leshoure – RB – Illinois* Anthony Castonzo – OT – Boston College Ryan Mallett – QB – Arkansas Jonathan Baldwin – WR – Pitt* Derek Sherrod – OT- Mississippi State Aaron Williams – CB – Texas* Ryan Kerrigan – DE – Purdue Mike Pouncey – C/G – Florida Tyron Smith – OT – USC* Stephen Paea – DT – Oregon State Jake Locker – QB – Washington Corey Liuget – DT – Illinois* Jacquizz Rodgers – RB – Oregon State* Kyle Rudolph – TE – Notre Dame* Justin Houston – OLB – Georgia* Rahim Moore – S – UCLA* Danny Watkins – OG – Baylor Daniel Thomas – RB – Kansas State Martez Wilson – ILB – Illinois* Bruce Carter – LB – North Carolina Muhammad Wilkerson – DL – Temple* Marvin Austin – DT – North Carolina DeMarco Murray – RB – Oklahoma Curtis Brown – CB – Texas Titus Young – WR – Boise State Marcus Cannon – G/T – TCU
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.
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Rodney Hudson – C/G – Florida State Robert Sands – S – West Virginia* Phil Taylor – DT – Baylor Luke Stocker – TE – Tennessee Kelvin Sheppard – ILB – LSU Greg Romeus – DE – Pitt Shane Vereen – RB – Cal* Darvin Adams – WR – Auburn* Greg Jones – ILB – Michigan State Torrey Smith – WR – Maryland* Stefan Wisniewski – G/C – Penn State Drake Nevis – DT – LSU Nate Irving – ILB – N.C. State Ras-I Dowling – CB – Virginia Ryan Williams – RB – Virginia Tech* Mason Foster – LB – Washington Lance Kendricks – TE – Wisconsin Jerel Jernigan – WR/RS – Troy Quan Sturdivant – LB – North Carolina Will Rackley – G/T – Lehigh Jarvis Jenkins – DT – Clemson Greg Little – WR – North Carolina DeAndre McDaniel – S – Clemson Colin Kaepernick – QB – Nevada Christian Ballard – DL – Iowa Virgil Green – TE – Nevada Edmond Gates – WR – Abilene Christian John Moffitt – G/C – Wisconsin Jabaal Sheard – OLB – Pitt Brandon Burton – CB – Utah* Marcus Gilbert – OT – Florida Da’Rel Scott – RB – Maryland Jurrell Casey – DL – USC* Clint Boling G/T – Georgia Tandon Doss – WR – Indiana* Randall Cobb – WR/RS – Kentucky* Lee Ziemba – OT – Auburn Jalil Brown – CB – Colorado Julius Thomas – TE – Portland State Sione Fua – DT – Stanford Stephen Burton – WR – West Texas A&M Rashad Carmichael – CB – Virginia Tech Martin Parker – DT – Richmond Delone Carter – RB – Syracuse Lawrence Guy – DL – Arizona State* Ben Ijalala – OT – Villanova Cecil Shorts – WR/RS – Mount Union Deunta Williams – S – North Carolina Cedric Thornton – DL – Southern Arkansas K.J. Wright – LB – Mississippi State
NFL Draft 2011
By: Paul Guillemette
He reminds me of...
It’s always risky to compare NFL Prospects with current or former NFL players. But if you’re a big fan and watch football for hours on end it can be an inevitable exercise for the over-stimulated brain. Some comparisons seem to be dead-on, while others are a reach. Here are few conjured up in “Pigskin” Paul’s mind now that the 2011 Draft is right around the corner. Mark Ingram- RB - Alabama
Luke Stocker - TE - Tennesee
Emmit Smith - Cowboys
Jason Witten - Cowboys
This one seems almost too easy, and this probably isn’t the first time you’ve come across the comparison. It starts with their comparable size, their less than blazing 40 times and their great productivity.
It’s really playing with fire to draw close comparisons with players from the same school. But once the Vols got a quarterback on the field that could throw downfield, visions of Witten became applicable.
Balance and strength contribute greatly into their productivity. Neither one is/was a home run threat, but the stat sheets show plenty of 10- to 20-yard runs.
Remember now, that Witten was not rated as a world-beater coming out of Tennessee.
The NFL has changes and there is almost no chance that Ingram will put up the kind of career stats that Smith did, but he should be a very valuable NFL running back.
He was a third round pick (no. 69, Cowboys), who has developed and played like a first rounder. Stocker should be a third rounder and possesses the same kind of size and good hands as Witten.
Robert Quinn - DE/LB - UNC
J. Rodgers - RB - Oregon St.
Shawne Merriman - Chargers
Kevin Faulk - Patriots
Even though Quinn didn’t play last season because of an NCAA suspension, he is gaining a lot of buzz as the Draft approaches. He is being touted for his length, athleticism and pass rush ability. He’s also being projected as being able to play with his hand up or down, depending upon the favorite defensive scheme of the team drafting him. That is exactly the scouting report Merriman brought to the NFL Draft. And until injuries struck a few years ago Merriman was a premier player in the league.
It’s unlikely that Jacquizz Rodgers is headed for a feature, starring role as an NFL running back, and it’s not just his height holding him back. He is also a less than blazing, straight-line runner. But he is incredibly quick with lots of shake and bake and has a pair of exceptional hands. He’s well liked and respected in the locker room as a team player and one of the guys. And all of that sounds exactly like what has kept Faulk in the NFL for 13 years. If a size comparison is what you want then here goes: Rodgers/5-7/190, Faulk/5-8/200.
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NFL Draft 2011 R. Hudson - G/C - Florida St.
Phil Taylor - DT - Baylor
Dwight Stephenson - Dolphins
Kris Jenkins - Panthers/Jets
Those of under 40-years old are going to have to trust me on this one. Stephenson was a very athletic All-SEC performer who was declared too light in the pants to play in the NFL by many. He played from 1980–87 for the Dolphins and is currently a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He used quickness, leverage and overall football intelligence to dominate in a bigger man’s game. Look for Hudson to have a very solid chance to duplicate Stephenson’s career by using technique and IQ to overcome some perceived size deficiencies.
When healthy, Jenkins has been one of the most dominant space eaters in the NFL over the past decade. He was not a premier player coming out of Maryland, but he quickly proved to be an immovable object at the line of scrimmage in Carolina. Taylor had a very strong senior season at Baylor and has been rising up Draft boards as a potential block in the middle of someone’s DL. And as the “Big Tuna” used to say, “You can’t teach size.” Taylor looked quite intimidating the entire Senior Bowl Week in Mobile and did not disappoint with his work at the Combine.
A.J. Green - WR- Georgia
Jake Locker - QB - Washington
Larry Fitzgerald - Cardinals
Donovan McNabb - Eagles - Redskins
Not surprisingly, Green has publicly stated that he patterns much of his game on the play of Fitzgerald. Neither is a speedster, but both rely on their verticality to gather in high throws that smaller defenders just can’t get to. They both have moves-a-plenty with the ball in their hands and a little bit of field to work with. And don’t forget that both players are sure handed. Green will have to add some weight and strength to break tackles like Fitzgerald does, but chances are that will come with time in an NFL organization.
McNabb has the resume to perhaps take him to Canton at the end of his career and was a top five draft pick. Locker may be lucky to sneak into the end of round one, but their size and attributes are very similar. Coming out of Syracuse McNabb was a trimmer, slimmer version of his current self and brought agility and mobility to his movement in and around the pocket. He was a good leader of men, with a strong arm, but suffered from some accuracy issues. That description fits Locker to a ‘T’ at this stage of his career. The key for Locker is responding to pro coaching and taking his game to another level, and quickly.
Julio Jones - WR- Alabama
Patrick Peterson - CB - LSU
Andre Johnson - Texans
Nnamdi Asomugha - Free Agent
This could be a bit of a reach because Johnson is just so good, but based on size, speed and overall talent Jones has all the attributes to become an outstanding NFL wideout. Teams will be puzzling over what Jones’ productivity could be. The most troubling aspect of this comparison is that throughout his career at Alabama, Jones has been nicked up a lot. His foot problem at the Combine is the latest in a fairly long line of lost time issues. Johnson has been very durable and that is something Jones will have to demonstrate. But he is going to be a tempting, yet puzzling target on day one of the draft.
Both of these players have the prototype size and speed for playing any and all coverages in the NFL, and are willing tacklers in providing run support. There is some concern about Peterson’s coverage skills if you watch him being abused by Jeff Fuller of Texas A&M last season in LSU’s bowl game, but overall he is highly desired by every team looking for some immediate help at the corner. Asomugha was a late bloomer who Al Davis spotted and grabbed as a first rounder. If Peterson can mimic Asomugha’s pro play, it will make some NFL team very happy over the next decade.
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NFL Draft 2011
By: Andrew Garda
Mock Draft 2011
“Andrew Garda has covered many including USC, San Jose State and California-Berkley Pro Days, the Senior fully credentialed at Radio City Music Hall for
Draft events University of Bowl and is the NFL Draft.”
ROUND ONE 1. Carolina Panthers: Blaine Gabbert, QB – The Panthers could go many directions, but are in desperate need of a signal caller. While Gabbert lacks Newton’s upside, he’s better at reading defenses and a safer piece to build around. 2. Denver Broncos: Da’Quan Bowers, DE – Bowers had knee surgery but his tape is impressive. He’ll fit well in the three and four-man fronts John Fox will run and be a pass rushing force across from Elvis Dumervil. 3. Buffalo Bills: Cam Newton, QB – Character issues and struggles reading defenses will lose him the no. 1 spot, but Chan Gailey will be attracted by his huge upside and he can develop at his own pace behind Fitzpatrick. 4. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, WR – Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson will be gone and the Bengals will be lacking a big time wide receiver. While Palmer’s trade demands make QB a potential need, Green is too big a talent to pass on. 5. Arizona Cardinals: Von Miller, OLB – The Cardinals are desperate for linebacker youth and Miller is an exceptional pass rusher who will fit their scheme perfectly. 6. Cleveland Browns: Marcel Dareus, DT – Dareus could easily go first, given his versatility, so the Browns would be thrilled for him to be here to help give them a good pass rusher for their new 4-3 defense. 7. San Francisco 49rs: Patrick Peterson, CB – The secondary needs help, especially as Nate Clements is well past his prime. If arguably the best prospect in the draft is there and fills a position of need, they can’t pass. 8. Tennessee Titans: Nick Fairley, DT – Some may see this drop as impossible given Fairley’s raw talent but work ethic and focus issues give the Titans an opportunity to grab a potential game changer. 9 .Dallas Cowboys: Prince Amukamara, CB – Huge issues in the secondary last season put Dallas in need of a top defensive-back and that’s what Amukamara is. His physicality, size and speed make him a shutdown corner. 10. Washington Redskins: Julio Jones, WR – Santana Moss is a free agent, but even if he returns they’re in need of another playmaker. Jones is a tough vertical threat who fits the bill.
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NFL Draft 2011 11. Houston Texans: Robert Quinn, DE – With Wade Phillips running his 3-4 scheme, he’ll need an athletic, explosive pass rusher off the end position. Quinn will bring that to the Texans.
12. Minnesota Vikings Tyron Smith, OT While quarterback is the big need, the talent isn’t there and the offensive line needs help. Smith is a very good prospect and a quarterback can be had later on.
13. Detroit Lions Anthony Castonzo, OT The Lions offensive line wasn’t as it could have been, but gets hit too much. Castonzo that and is a great run blocker
as bad Stafford can do as well.
14. St. Louis Rams: Cameron Jordan, DE – The offense could use a wide receiver but the defense relies on pressure and needs someone to provide it. Jordan is a smart, disruptive force too good to pass up. 15. Miami Dolphins: Mark Ingram, RB – Ronnie Brown may be gone this year and Ricky Williams will be soon. Ingram is the best running back in this draft and is a good building block for a struggling offense. 16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jake Locker, QB – The Jaguars passed on some solid prospects at quarterback last year and while Locker has struggled with consistency, his upside will be attractive to a team not happy with their situation. 17. New England Patriots (from Oakland): Aldon Smith, DE – New England needs help along the defensive front seven and Smith is the type of athletic player Belichick loves and would convert to an OLB easily for the Pats. 18. San Diego Chargers: J.J. Watt, DE – The Chargers really need to re-tool their defensive line, and Watt’s versatility will allow him to fit in multiple places along the line, and his motor will help generate pass rush. 19. New York Giants: Nate Solder, OT – While offensive line isn’t the most pressing area of need, Solder is good value here. He’s a bit raw but can come along gradually and his upside is huge. 20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cameron Heyward, DE – Reports say the Bucs have focused on acquiring a good defensive end early. Heyward can defend the run and bring pressure on the quarterback from multiple spots on the line. 21. Kansas City Chiefs: Adrian Clayborn, DE – Clayborn’s stock has dropped – due more to the number of talented ends in the draft than his ability. The Chiefs need more D-line help, and Clayborn is a bargain at 21. 22. Indianapolis Colts: Derek Sherrod, OT – Indianapolis has needed offensive line help for two years, and Sherrod’s ability to recognize schemes and blitzes will allow him to step in immediately. 23. Philadelphia Eagles: Jimmy Smith, CB – Philadelphia’s secondary was shaky in 2010, even before Ellis Hobbs injury endangered his career. Smith’s size and speed will be attractive, despite a history of O-line picks by Andy Reid.
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NFL Draft 2011 24. New Orleans Saints: Ryan Kerrigan, DE – The Saints need a solid defensive end who can pressure the quarterback. Kerrigan is a smart, hard working athlete with a non-stop motor who is a great leader as well. 25. Seattle Seahawks: Corey Liuget, DT – Locker is a consistent pick here, but don’t buy it despite the Carroll and local connections. Liuget is an exceptional pass rusher as either a three or five technique. 26. Baltimore Ravens: Torrey Smith, WR - In dire need of an impact player across from Anquan Boldin, Smith’s speed outside is too good for Baltimore to pass on. His special teams play is a nice bonus. 27. Atlanta Falcons: Aaron Williams, CB – Williams is bigger, faster and stronger than most of the cornerbacks on the roster now. The secondary isn’t terrible but needs a solid second cornerback. 28. New England Patriots: Justin Houston OLB – You have to get to the quarterback and Houston is an explosive pass rusher who can come off the edge and will help the front seven get younger and better.
29. Chicago Bears Gabe Carimi - Wisconsin, OT Did the offensive line play better at the end of 2010? Sure, but better than bad isn’t much improvement and tackle remains a big need.
Did You Know?
The first player drafted by the Packers through a trade involving a draft choice was tackle Don Richards of Arkansas, drafted in the fifth round in 1948.
30. New York Jets: Christian Ballard DE – Shaun Ellis isn’t getting younger and Trevor Pryce isn’t a long term answer. Ballard can cause havoc in the backfield and is versatile enough to fit their unique schemes. 31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Pouncey OG/C - Offensive line has been an issue for Pittsburgh, something injuries brought into focus again in 2010. Pouncey is a dual threat who can fill several spots.
32. Green Bay Packers Danny Watkins - Baylor, G What do you get for the team who has everything? Offensive line help. Watkins can play tackle but will fit better as a guard.
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NFL Draft 2011 ROUND TWO 1. Patriots (from Carolina) - Mikel LeShoure, RB
12. Detroit Lions – Akeem Ayers, OLB
2. Buffalo Bills – Phil Taylor, DT
13. San Francisco 49ers – Pierre Allen, DE
3. Cincinnati Bengals – Ryan Mallett, QB
14. Denver Broncos (from Miami) – Curtis Brown, CB
4. Denver Broncos – Ryan Williams, RB
15. St. Louis Rams - Leonard Hankerson, WR
5. Cleveland Browns – Brooks Reed, OLB
16. Oakland Raiders – Allen Bailey, DE
6. Arizona Cardinals – Colin Kaepernick, QB
17. Jacksonville Jaguars – Brandon Burton, CB
7. Tennessee Titans – Christian Ponder, QB
18. San Diego Chargers – Benjamin Ijalana, G
8. Dallas Cowboys – Jabaal Sheard, DE
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Dontay Moch, OLB
9. Washington Redskins – Brandon Harris, CB
20. New York Giants – Kyle Rudolph, TE
10. Houston Texans - Rahim Moore, FS
21. Indianapolis Colts – Stephen Paea, DT
11. Minnesota Vikings – Bruce Carter, OLB
22. Philadelphia Eagles – Marcus Cannon, OT
23. Kansas City Chiefs – Martez Wilson, ILB 24. New Orleans Saints – Muhammad Wilkerson, DT 25. Seattle Seahwawks – Kendall Hunter, RB 26. Baltimore Ravens – Davon House, CB 27. Atlanta Falcons – Titus Young, WR 28. New England Patriots – Jon Baldwin, WR 29. San Diego Chargers (from Jets) – Marvin Austin, DT
30. Chicago Bears – Tandon Doss, WR 31. Pittsburgh Steelers – Quan Sturdivant, ILB
32. Green Bay Packers – Jerrel Jernigan - Troy, WR
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NFL Draft 2011 ROUND THREE 1. Carolina Panthers – Drake Nevis, DT
12. San Francisco 49ers – Randall Cobb, WR
2. Cincinnati Bengals – DeMarco Murray, RB
13. Tennessee Titans – Colin McCarthy, ILB
3. Denver Broncos – Rodney Hudson, G
14. St. Louis Rams – Shane Vereen, RB
4. Buffalo Bills – Orlando Franklin, OT
15. Miami Dolphins – Stefen Wisniewski, C
5. Arizona Cardinals – Ras-I Dowling, CB
16. Jacksonville Jaguars – Pernell McPhee, DE
6. Cleveland Browns – Greg Jones, ILB
17. Oakland Raiders – Curtis Carter, OLB
7. Dallas Cowboys – Quinton Carter, FS
18. San Diego Chargers – Vincent Brown, WR
8. Saints (from Washington) – Jordan Todman, RB
19. New York Giants – Sam Acho, OLB
9. Houston Texans – Kenrick Ellis, DT
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Will Rackley, OG
10. Patriots (from Minnesota) – James Carpenter, OT
21. Philadelphia Eagles – Tyler Sash, SS
11. Detroit Lions - Johnny Patrick, CB
22. Kansas City Chiefs – Kristofer O’Dowd, C
23. Indianapolis Colts – DeAndre McDaniel, SS 24. New Orleans Saints – Mason Foster, OLB 25. San Diego Chargers (from Seattle) – Jason Pinkston, OT 26. Baltimore Ravens – Robert Sands, FS 27. Atlanta Falcons – Luke Stocker, TE 28. New England Patriots – Shareece Wright, CB 29. Chicago Bears – Jarvis Jenkins, DT 30. New York Jets – KJ Wright, OLB 31. Pittsburgh Steelers – Chimdi Chekwa, CB
32. Green Bay Packers – Stephen Schilling - Michigan, OG
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NFL Draft 2011
By: Holly Phelps
Packers Team Needs
Green Bay Packers 2010 record 10-6 On the surface, the 2010 Packers season was a tale of resolve in the face of adversity, of teamwork and shared purpose amidst overwhelming odds. Yet, beneath the post-Super Bowl glow lurks the reality that, for much of the season, the Packers were frustratingly underwhelming. That Green Bay never trailed by more than a touchdown and lost six games by 20 points altogether means the Packers could have won them all. Uneven offensive performances against the Jets, Bears, and Eagles might have been overlooked, had Rodgers & Co. not also sputtered against the far less vaunted Lions, Redskins, and Dolphins. An unreliable running game didn’t help, but the offense often jockeyed between full-speed and full-stop. Dom Capers’ defense kept the Packers in many games, but inconsistency and ill-timed drops in the wildcard and NFC championship games nearly derailed the Packers’ championship run. The Packers won it all in 2010, but there is definite room for improvement; good news for fans bent on defending the title in 2011. Key Players: Tramon Williams’ interceptions against the Vikings, Eagles, and Falcons were game-
changers. By season’s end, quarterbacks were forced to throw toward Charles Woodson; that’s saying something. No play embodied Clay Matthews’ ceaseless effort like the week 16 fumble against Brandon Jacobs. Matthews simply wanted it more. Aaron Rodgers’ decision-making has developed to where, even when teams knew what he was planning, they couldn’t stop him. All year, unheralded players exemplified the theme of “next man up.” The Packers would not have beaten the Jets without Charlie Peprah’s bone-crunching hits. Desmond Bishop’s pick-six paved the way to finally beating Brett Favre. Help Wanted: The masses are calling anew for a dynamic outside linebacker opposite Clay Matthews. After the Matthews-less pass rush dried up against Miami, the calls seem justified. It’s also time to focus on the left side of the offensive line. Bryan Bulaga’s success at RT means that Chad Clifton is still heirless. TJ Lang is an all-purpose backup, but he’s not the clear favorite if LG Daryn Colledge leaves in free agency. Unless Johnny Jolly’s latest arrest inspires Thompson to offer Cullen Jenkins a fat contract, the depth at defensive end looks shallow. Second-year pros Mike Neal and C.J. Wilson will improve, but the team
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can’t be satisfied with the current roster. It may also be worthwhile to add to the secondary while Charles Woodson is around to serve as mentor and role model. Meanwhile, Tramon Williams is too valuable to be fielding punts; a true returner is needed. Naturally, with Thompson at GM, “needs” will take a backseat to “best player available” when the Packers are on the clock. Mike McCarthy has long believed the biggest challenge is handling success. This is a no-brainer for 2011, where McCarthy must find ways to spark a renewed hunger in players who’ve tasted victory at the highest level. A positive side effect of having 15 players returning from injured reserve is that they’ve watched the team win without them. Expect players like Ryan Grant to set the bar high for their teammates. Green Bay is battletested and will return nearly all of its playmakers. Whenever football finally begins, the Packers should pick up where they left off in 2010. With Jermichael Finley back in the fold, they may be even better.
About the Author Holly Phelps began writing opposition posts for CHTV’s The Other 31 in 2009.
NFL Draft 2011
By: Holly Phelps
NFC North Needs Chicago Bears 2010 record 11-5
Detroit Lions 2010 record 6-10
Minnesota Vikings 2010 record 6-10
Put simply, the Bears were the league’s luckiest team in 2010. They faced the easiest schedule among playoff teams and lost only one player to a season-ending injury. The Urlacher- and Peppers-led defense did not disappoint. The offense yo-yoed all the way to the NFC title game, but no further.
While it started at a familiar 0-4, Detroit closed the season with four wins to climb out of the NFL basement. Despite rotten luck and self-inflicted wounds, the Lions beat the Packers and snapped their 26-game road losing streak. Nowhere but Detroit could a 6-10 record be reason to celebrate.
Help Wanted: Chicago can’t afford another patchwork offensive line in 2011. While the Bears often upgrade through free agency, it may not be an option now. C Olin Kreutz and RG Roberto Garza are aging, and LT Frank Omiyale’s overall performance was subpar. Chicago would also like to add physical players at WR and CB with an eye toward maximizing Cutler’s potential.
Help Wanted: If a top-tier tackle is available at #13, Detroit may draft LT Jeff Backus’ replacement, but it’s likely the Lions to focus on the defensive back seven. After a season where anyone who got past Detroit’s solid front four was off to the races, the Lions cleaned out the linebacking corps. Unfortunately, both outside spots now need replacing. In the secondary, CB Chris Houston wants out, making cornerback a critical need.
After a charmed 2009 season, the Vikings fell down to earth, hard. While Brett Favre took a beating on and off the field, Minnesota’s lackluster pass rush exposed a wildly deficient secondary. Over the season, the Vikings lost their coach, their quarterback, their stadium roof, and their window of opportunity.
2011 Outlook:They’ll have the division title to defend, but one wonders how the Bears will follow a season where they came so close to the championship, only to fall short against a rival. If Cutler continues to outgrow “Bad Jay,” and Lady Luck sticks around, Chicago will be in good shape. Key Players: QB Jay Cutler RB Matt Forte LB Brian Urlacher
2011 Outlook: Detroit is trending upwards. Matthew Stafford has yet to complete a season, but if a capable LT can give him time to throw, the Lions offense may finally reach its potential. Meanwhile, it will likely be harder to throw against Detroit. That doesn’t mean the Packers won’t try. Key Players QB Matthew Stafford DE Ndamukong Suh S Louis Delmas
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Help Wanted: In the pursuit of Brett Favre and Randy Moss, the Vikings mortgaged their future. The future’s arrived, and Minnesota must pay the piper. Favre is gone, and without more production out of tackles Bryant McKinnie and Phil Loadholt, a new quarterback won’t last long. Subpar play at CB might’ve come from inexperience, but S Madieu Williams has no such excuse. If Sidney Rice leaves in free agency, receiver becomes a priority. 2011 Outlook: It’s unlikely Minnesota will be able to staunch the bleeding in a single (truncated) offseason. But, with a quarterback to complement an Adrian Petersonheavy offense and a decent cover safety, the Vikings might resemble their 2008 selves. Key Players WR Sidney Rice LB Chad Greenway RB Adrian Peterson
NFL Draft 2011
By: Holly Phelps
NFC Team Needs Philadelphia Eagles 2010 Record 10-6 Help Wanted: CB Dimitri Patterson gave up huge plays, and the rest of Philly’s secondary couldn’t fill the gaps. New blood at CB (and SS, if Quintin Mikell walks) is crucial. Another weakness is the right side of the offensive line – Michael Vick should be running for touchdowns, not his life.
New York Giants 2010 record 10-6 Help Wanted: The Giants’ defensive front four is set, but it’s time for the Giants to reload at linebacker. Across the board, the play has been “decent,” which isn’t good enough. New York is still searching for an ILB with Antonio Pierce’s leadership and an OLB athletic enough to play every down.
Dallas Cowboys 2010 record 6-10 Help Wanted: Green Bay wasn’t alone in torching this secondary last year. After giving up the secondmost points, Dallas needs talent at CB and S, even if coordinator Rob Ryan somehow gets production from lazy CB Mike Jenkins.
Offensively, RT Marc Colombo was so disappointing, the Cowboys pine for Flozell Adams. Ouch.
Washington Redskins 2010 record 6-10 Help Wanted: It’s fitting that, a year after the blockbuster trade for Donovan McNabb, Washington’s biggest need is quarterback. They’ll also need perimeter receivers to catch the ball and a tailback to succeed Clinton Portis for good. On defense, OLB Brian Orakpo will get double-teamed until someone else can rush the passer.
Atlanta Falcons 2010 record 13-3 Help Wanted: Atlanta’s better than the sum of its parts, but some parts need sprucing up. Add a DE across from John Abraham, and the pass rush will blossom. Give Matt Ryan a quality no. 2 WR – or shiny new TE – and Atlanta will have a more explosive and multifaceted offense.
“Green Bay wasn’t alone in torching this secondary last year”
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New Orleans Saints 2010 record 11-5 Help Wanted: The 2010 Saints defense wasn’t as opportunistic as 2009’s championship-winning version. The lack of pass rush played a key role – look for New Orleans to add dynamic players at DE and OLB. In addition, against aerial attacks, SS Roman Harper becomes a liability. That won’t fly in today’s NFL.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2010 record 10-6 Help Wanted: The Bucs are on the rise, but they must continue to focus on rebuilding their defensive front. Drafting DT Gerald McCoy in 2010 was a good start, but now the DEs need replacing. With LB Barrett Ruud a free agent, the Bucs also have an opening for a run-stuffing LB.
Carolina Panthers 2010 record 2-14 Help Wanted: Unless something changes, the Jimmy Clausen Experiment (10 starts, 1-9, 3TDs in those
NFL Draft 2011
NFC Team Needs games) is over. Carolina’s in the market for a quarterback, but also needs to fill the Julius Pepperssized hole in the pass rush. With the top pick, they’re sure to fill at least one of these needs.
Seattle Seahawks 2010 record 7-9 Help Wanted: 35-year-old QB Matt Hasselbeck doesn’t really fit the youth movement going on in Pete Carroll’s Seattle and may be replaced. Same goes for 15-year vet SS Lawyer Milloy. Meanwhile, now that Russell Okung’s settled at LT, it’s time to find the rest of the offensive line – starting with RT.
St. Louis Rams 2010 record 7-9 Help Wanted: What Sam Bradford wouldn’t give for a big-play receiver. If St. Louis drafts or signs a marquee target – and beefs up the interior offensive line so plays can develop – the Rams offense will be in good shape. On defense, the Rams need hardhitting OLBs with coverage skills.
San Francisco 49ers 2010 record 6-10
About the Author
Help Wanted: The 49ers can’t afford another season spent jockeying between two QBs named Smith. Will rookie coach Jim Harbaugh have time to prepare a rookie QB?
Holly Phelps revels in taking potshots at the teams not named the Green Bay Packers.
The 49ers must also address a secondary that was outrun by receivers all year. It might be wise to find veteran NT Aubrayo Franklin’s successor, too.
She began writing opposition posts for CHTV’s The Other 31 in 2009. Since that time, she has expanded her portfolio to include weekly commentary on BrentFavre.com and CheeseheadRadio.
Arizona Cardinals 2010 record 5-11 Help Wanted: The Cardinals are Exhibit A for why you need a franchise QB. After Warner retired, the offense collapsed (and may not recover under John Skelton). They’ll also want a left tackle to keep whoever-it-is upright. And, like most teams installing a 3-4 defense, Arizona will need a pair of OLBs.
“35-year-old Matt Hasselbeck doesn’t really fit the youth movement”
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She lives and works in Washington, D.C.
NFL Draft 2011
By: Holly Phelps
AFC Team Needs New England Patriots 2010 record 14-2 Help Wanted: With more picks of anyone else, the Pats can spend freely. They may draft a playmaking OLB and a ten-season LT before round two. They’ll shore up depth at DE and OG along the way.
Buffalo Bills 2010 record 4-12 Help Wanted: It’s not hard to address critical needs in a draft overflowing with defensive talent. After allowing 170 rushing ypg, Buffalo needs size and strength along the defensive line. A playmaker at OLB wouldn’t hurt.
New York Jets 2010 record 11-5
Pittsburgh Steelers 2010 record 12-4
Help Wanted: If Shaun Ellis is gone, Rex Ryan will look for an edge-rushing DE.
Help Wanted: S Troy Polamalu’s stellar play masked a patchwork secondary, but no longer; a solid CB is needed moving forward.
Plus, while Ryan out-schemes just about everyone, he’s still missing an OLB who can hunt a QB solo (i.e., not Vernon Gholston).
For another year, Big Ben is praying for offensive tackles who can hold up down the stretch.
Miami Dolphins 2010 record 7-9
Baltimore Ravens 2010 record 12-4
Help Wanted: Look for an offenseheavy draft. RBs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are free agents, and the line needs a center. Still, quarterback may be biggest concern.
Help Wanted: Without a speedy receiver to stretch the defense, the Ravens aren’t an explosive offense.
Team still hasn’t replaced Marino – Henne ain’t it.
Of course, without a solid tackle opposite Michael Oher, Joe Flacco may not have time to throw down the field anyway.
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Cleveland Browns 2010 record 5-11 Help Wanted: Greg Jennings had 12 TDs in 2010. Cleveland had 13, total. Not good. If the Browns don’t take a flashy receiver at no. 6, they may join the defensive feeding frenzy (unless Holmgren nabs a QB).
Cincinnati Bengals 2010 record 4-12 Help Wanted: The post-T.Ocho Bengals need fresh blood at receiver and – if Carson Palmer gets his ticket out of town – a quarterback to run the offense. At no. 4, they’ll have the pick of the litter.
Indianapolis Colts 2010 record 10-6 Help Wanted: Peyton Manning got hit too often in 2010, and the Colts offense suffered. Indy must protect its MVP with a big contract and bigger bodyguards at OT. Healthy WRs and DBs are also in demand.
NFL Draft 2011
AFC Team Needs Jacksonville Jaguars 2010 record 8-8
Kansas City Chiefs 2010 record 10-6
Help Wanted: DE Aaron Kampman may dream of having another rusher off the opposite edge, but one DE won’t get Jacksonville to the playoffs.
Help Wanted: If the Chiefs can get a boost at RT and give Matt Cassell a target besides WR Dwayne Bowe, they will have a chance to prove that last year’s division title wasn’t a fluke.
The Jaguars won’t beat Peyton Manning until they have safeties that can cover.
Houston Texans 2010 record 6-10 Help Wanted: After allowing 33 passing touchdowns, the Texans must draft a corner (or two). Switching to a 3-4 scheme also requires a NT to eat blocks and open rush lanes for Mario Williams and Brian Cushing.
Tennessee Titans 2010 record 6-10 Help Wanted: The offense has weapons in Chris Johnson and Kenny Britt, but Tennessee needs a quarterback to run the show. The Titans are also searching for the next Vanden Bosch and Haynesworth on the defensive line.
San Diego Chargers 2010 record 9-7 Help Wanted: Absent the possibility of drafting “special teams” as a unit, San Diego looks to upgrade its pass rush. Look for the Chargers to focus on OLBs and DEs who can explode off the edge.
Oakland Raiders 2010 record 8-8 Help Wanted: It’s a toss-up what Oakland needs more: a CB in a Nnamdi-less secondary, or the bulk of an offensive line. Realistically, Oakland may target their first QB since JaMarcus Russell. Let that sink in.
“a healthy Elvis Dumervil can maul quarterbacks”
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Denver Broncos 2010 record 4-12 Help Wanted: Any defensive help will be welcome in Denver. Neither CB Champ Bailey nor S Brian Dawkins are getting younger. A healthy DE Elvis Dumervil can maul quarterbacks, but a run-stuffing DT is a must-have.
About the Author Holly Phelps revels in taking potshots at the teams not named the Green Bay Packers. She began writing opposition posts for CHTV’s The Other 31 in 2009, and has expanded her portfolio to include weekly commentary on BrentFavre.com and CheeseheadRadio. She lives and works in Washington, D.C.
NFL Draft 2011
By: Jersey “Al” Bracco
Packers Mock Draft 2011
Akeem Ayers LB, UCLA, 6-3, 254 lbs
James Carpenter OT, Alabama, 6-4, 321 lbs
The Packers love versatility and Ayers epitomizes the word. He can rush the passer, stop the run, drop back in coverage and do all of them well. He can play outside or inside, adding insurance at that spot if Nick Barnett is not back. Some poor combine results cause Ayers to drop to bottom of the first round and the Packers pounce. His desire has been questioned, so he may need a fire lit under his backside. Sounds like a job for Kevin Greene.
Fourth Round Lawrence Guy DE, Arizona State, 6-4, 305 Guy could be this year’s Mike Neal – an under-the-radar player with below average stats but a ton of potential. Where Neal’s best asset was his strength, Guy’s is the athleticism he displays for a man his size. He shows an explosive first step and never stops coming. Perfect body type for a five-technique end but needs to hit the weight room. The Packers make him Neal’s workout buddy – that should do it.
Fourth Round (compensatory) Cliff Matthews OLB, South Carolina, 6-4, 257 Matthews really stands out on tape. Great in pursuit, has a bit of nasty, loves to make the big hit. Has taken some criticism for not having great production stats, so he drops into the fourth round, but the athletic ability is there. Would be a demon on special teams. A Ted Thompson value special.
Carpenter is a solid all-around offensive lineman that can be a very good starter at right tackle or guard. Although he shows good lateral movement, whether he could handle left tackle in the NFL is a question mark. Carpenter is solid choice and has received some excellent coaching at Alabama. He provides instant depth for the Packers and should eventually start somewhere.
Fifth Round Da’ Rel Scott RB, Maryland, 5-11, 205 In Scott, the Packers finally get themselves a running back with the ability to break off a long one. Scott didn’t have great numbers as part of a three-back rotation his senior year but showed his ability in his final game, breaking off TD runs of 61 yards and 91 yards to earn Military Bowl MVP honors. Has 4.4 speed but is a poor blocker and has been injury prone. Strictly a part-time change-ofpace player.
Sixth round Zach Hurd OG, UConn, 6-7, 316 Possessing excellent size and above average athleticism, Hurd is an interesting prospect. However, he drops this low because he has to overcome one big problem: pad level – Mike McCarthy’s favorite term. Plays upright way too much but is a strong run blocker and moves well for his size. The Packers take a chance on Hurd.
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Round Three Jerrel Jernigan WR, Troy, 5-9, 185 lbs It’s high time for the Packers to add a different dimension to their receiving corps. Think Percy Harvin without the migraines. Only 5’ 8”, Jernigan caught 84 passes, ran the ball 45 times out of the wildcat and returned both a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns. Mike McCarthy recently admitted he has held a bias against small WR/RB/returners but indicated that may be changing. The Packers brought Jernigan in for an interview back in February.
Seventh Round (from Carolina) Justin Rogers CB, Richmond, 5-11, 182 More of an athlete right now than a football player, Rogers will need some time to bulk up and learn proper footwork techniques. But if Joe Whitt can turn Sam Shields into an NFL cornerback in one year, why not take on another such project? The added kicker is that Rogers returns kickoffs and punts – and does it very well. Worth a shot here.
Seventh Round DeAndre Brown WR, So. Miss., 6-6, 233 The Packers set up their own version of the movie Twins by taking a chance on the injury-prone, possibly troubled, physical specimen, Brown. Was considered the next coming of Randy Ross after a superb freshman season, but injuries and attitude issues derailed his ascent. The underachieving Brown will either last two weeks with Edgar Bennett, or will get his butt in gear and play to his potential.
Quarterbacks #1: Blaine Gabbert School: Missouri, Jr. Height: 6-4 Weight: 234 lbs. 40-yard dash: 4.62 In a nutshell: An accurate passer whose strong arm can find the seam between defenders and deliver a sharp ball to his receivers, Gabbert can also maneuver well out of the pocket, either to buy time for a play to develop or to gain yards with his legs, though also has the tendency to pull the ball down and run instead of searching out secondary targets. Lacks experience under center and reading the types of complex defenses he will see in the NFL. Gabbert also has issues sensing pressure and when under a lot of it, doesn’t set his feet. Postseason game: At the end of the 2010 season, Gabbert’s Missouri Tigers met the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Insight Bowl. For the most part, Gabbert had an outstanding day, setting several school records, including one for his 434 passing yards. However he made two huge mistakes resulting in a pair of interceptions, one of which was run back for the second-longest interception return in Insight Bowl history. The other interception was a drive killer in the end zone off a deflected pass. Despite those two INTs, Gabbert was able to move the ball efficiently and led a drive at the end of the game which fell just short.
“poise in the pocket”
By: Andrew Garda
Honors: Honorable Mention for the 2010 All-Big 12 Football squad. Top opponent: On October 23rd, Mizzou welcomed then top-ranked Oklahoma to Faurot Field. The Tigers had not beaten the Sooners since 1998 and trailed by one point going into the final quarter. Gabbert led his team on three separate scoring drives, throwing eight completions on nine attempts for 89 yards and a touchdown. Gabbert showed poise in the pocket and patience, waiting for his receivers to get open and delivering the ball crisply to them. He also made several plays with his feet, sometimes gaining yards and sometimes buying time for a play to develop. Stats: 301 of 475, 3186 yds, 63.4%, 16 TDs, 9 INTs
#2: Cam Newton School: Auburn, Jr. Height: 6-5 Weight: 248 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.59 In a nutshell: Newton is a tough, strong quarterback who can keep plays alive with his feet and make all the throws an NFL starter should be able to. Has a long wind-up, rarely had to make more than a pair of reads at Auburn and has very little experience playing under center, having run the spread exclusively in college. Learning to read the defense while dropping back is a worry, as are his arrest for possession of a stolen laptop and academic issues while at Florida. Subsequent statements made in
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Blaine Gabbert - Missouri
public will make teams worry more about maturity. Postseason game: In the BCS National Championship game against no. 2 ranked Oregon, Newton started off slow but recovered to post a more than respectable line of 20 completions for 265 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Ducks pressured Newton early and often, forcing him to make some bad throws, including an interception late in the first quarter. The pressure caused another fumble late which led to a game-tying Oregon touchdown. Despite the two mistakes, he played well, picking up yards in chunks with intermediate passes and some hard running. Newton showed leadership and poise, responding to Oregon’s scores and his own turnovers positively and effectively.
QB Honors: Heisman Trophy, the Davey O’Brien Award (National Quarterback Award) and the Maxwell Award (Outstanding Player). 2010 AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team as well as named a First Team All-American for the 2010 Walter Camp Football Foundation, which also named him Player of the Year. Offensive Player of the Year from the SEC Coaches and the Associated Press.
reading defenses and has plenty of experience in a pro-style offense. Ponder has had some issues with staring down his primary target and occasionally doesn’t feel pressure when he should. His mobility can help him recover when he does, but he has a tendency to take big hits he could avoid while running. Injuries plagued his college career and are a concern, though he did look healthy at the Senior Bowl.
Best game: In the SEC Title game against South Carolina, Newton was dominating, totaling 335 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. He was also deadly with his feet, adding another 73 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 14 carries. He showed tremendous strength on his second touchdown run, running right over linebacker Antonio Allen for a one yard score. The only scuff on Newton’s otherwise flawless day was a fumble in the second quarter when he was stripped on a four yard run. However, all in all, Newton played very well and solidified his Heisman Trophy with this performance.
Rivalry: Florida State has been locking horns with rival Florida in the Sunshine Showdown since 1958 but hadn’t won in six years. Determined to end that streak and with a berth in the ACC Championship game on the line, Ponder played his best game of the year throwing for 221 yards and three touchdowns. While the Gators had a hard time getting pressure on Ponder due to very good play from his offensive line, Ponder also showed great patience waiting for plays to develop, saw the field clearly and did a very good job reading the defense.
Stats: 185 of 280, 2854 yds, 66.1%, 30 TDs, 7 INTs
#3: Christian Ponder School: Florida State, Sr. Height: 6-2 Weight: 229 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.65 In a nutshell: Has the arm to make all the throws you could want a quarterback to make, though his passes sometimes lack the zip you’d like to see on them. Good at
Honors: Earned a MBA before beginning the 2010 season, was a NFF Scholar-Athlete, Tatum Award Winner (ACC’s Tope football studentathlete). All-Star game: Ponder had as good a week as a player can ask for in Mobile at the Senior Bowl. First, he checked out medically (as he did again at the Combine), a big deal given his multiple past surgeries. Then he was one of the most consistent quarterbacks in practice, finding his targets and delivering the ball to them cleanly. To top off an excellent week, Ponder was
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named starting quarterback for the South squad and then had an outstanding game, culminating in being named Game MVP. The Florida State quarterback showed an ability to read the defenses correctly and with good accuracy. Stats: 184 of 299, 2044 yds, 61.5%, 20 TDs, 8 INTs
#4: Jake Locker School: Washington, Sr. Height: 6-3 Weight: 231 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.59 In a nutshell: Has a quick release, can put heat on a throw and thread it between defenders. Locker throws well on the run and has played big when it counted. However, he seemed to regress reading defenses in 2010 and will sometimes try to fit a throw where it shouldn’t be, generating turnovers. Is very inconsistent. Best game: Locker (24/40, 310 yards, 1 TD) had a very solid outing against the USC Trojans, showing good accuracy and patience in the victory and leading the game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. He also showed of the mobility which has been a signature of his game by gaining 110 yards on the ground. Honors: Earned honorable mention All Pac-10, won the team’s Guy Flaherty Most Inspirational Awardfor the second year. Stats: 184 of 332, 2265 yds, 55.4%, 17 TDs, 9 INTs
QB #5: Ryan Mallett School: Arkansas, Jr. Height: 6-7 Weight: 253 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.24 In a nutshell: Mallett has tremendous arm strength and can put plenty of zip on a throw, but the longer the throw, the shakier the accuracy. Has excellent accuracy on his short and intermediate throws. Will hang in the pocket under pressure to deliver the ball. Has some maturity and off-field concerns. Top opponent: For three quarters against then no. 1 Alabama, Mallett was sharp, only to fall apart with two critical interceptions in the fourth. One was a badly overthrown ball, well off the mark which set up a score. The second was ball Mallett was trying to throw away but didn’t put enough on it.
#6: Colin Kaepernick School: Nevada, Sr. Height: 6-5 Weight: 233 40-Yard Dash: 4.53 In a nutshell: Mostly known for his outstanding ability to make plays with his legs, Kaepernick also possesses a strong arm, which he can use to make throws both on the run and in the pocket. His biggest problems are his inconsistent accuracy and limited pro-style snaps. His strong work ethic may help him overcome both.
“plenty of zip” Honors: Was a finalist for the Manning Award and a semifinalist for both the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and the Maxwell Award and was a Walter Camp Player to Watch. Was named to the 2010 second-team All-SEC. Stats: 266 of 411, 3869 yds, 64.7%, 32 TDs, 12 INTs
Did You Know?
Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr was a 17th-round draft choice in 1956.
John Byrne Colin Kaepernick - Nevada
Top opponent: Down 17 points against no.4 Boise State at the half, Kaepernick helped lead his team to an upset victory with efficient passing and some good runs, including an 18-yard touchdown to end the third quarter. While Kaepernick was a part of the comeback, much of the work was done by the team’s running backs.
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Honors: Earned his second WAC Offensive Player of the Year award and is the only player in NCAA history with 4,000-plus rushing yards and 10,000-plus passing yards. Stats: 233 of 359, 3022 yds, 64.9%, 21 TDs, 8 INTs
#7: Andy Dalton School: TCU, Sr. Height: 6-2 Weight: 218 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.87 In a nutshell: Dalton is a very smart quarterback who makes solid adjustments at the line based on what he sees the defense doing which will help his transition from the spread offense. He shows nice touch and can put the ball where only his receivers can catch it, but has very average arm. Projects as a likely NFL backup. All-Star game: Dalton didn’t get much to do in the actual Senior Bowl game but stood out with his overall play during practices. Unfortunately, his lack of arm strength did as well. Dalton looked like he was putting immense effort into every pass, yet it resulted in surprisingly little zip on the ball. Honors: Has won MVP awards in three out of four Bowl appearances; in the 2007 Texas Bowl, the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl and the 2010 Rose Bowl. Stats: 209 of 316, 2857 yds, 66.1%, 27 TDs, 6 INTs
QB #8: Pat Devlin School: Delaware, Sr. Height: 6-3 Weight: 225 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.86 In a nutshell: Coming off a great Senior season at Delaware, Devlin gets most often compared to another former Blue Hen quarterback, Joe Flacco. While both players showed athleticism and accuracy, Devlin lacks in terms of size and arm strength. His ball sometimes wobbles and he has a tendency to lock onto his primary receiver and might have issues adjusting to NFL speed defenses. Postseason game: During the FCS Championship game against Eastern Washington, Devlin did an efficient job leading scoring drives in the first half but struggled in the second. Devlin made some poor reads, including an interception on the Hens’ first drive of the second half. The pick was just his third all season. Honors: Earned third-team Associated Press All-American honors, CAA Offensive Player of the Year. Stats: 261 of 384, 3032 yds, 68%, 22 TDs, 3 INTs
#9: Ricky Stanzi School: Iowa, Sr. Height: 6-4 Weight: 223 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.93 In a nutshell: A product of Iowa’s
pro-style offense, Stanzi is good under center and patient in the pocket even under pressure. Was a three-year starter and captain for the Hawkeyes. Has a very strong arm, but accuracy and touch are inconsistent. Sometimes tries to rely on arm too much to force the ball when he should throw it away or hold it. Top opponent: Against no. 9 Ohio State (and its fifth ranked defense), Stanzi played well even though he and his team ultimately came up short. While he only compiled 195 yards and a touchdown, he played controlled and smart football, moving the chains with controlled passes that were well placed. Honors: Finalist for the 2010 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Premier Player of the Year Award and semifinalist for the 2010 Davey O’Brien Quarterback Award and the 2010 Maxwell Award (Player of the Year). Stats: 221 of 345, 3004 yds, 64.1%, 25 TDs, 6 INTs
#10: Greg McElroy School: Alabama, Sr. Height: 6-2 Weight: 220 lbs 40-Yard Dash: 4.91 In a nutshell: A highly productive quarterback in the SEC, but McElroy lacks prototypical arm strength and has an odd glitch in his mechanics. Very smart with a high football IQ and can read defenses well which bodes well for his adjustment to the pro level. Suffered a hand injury at
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the Senior Bowl this season. Top opponent: Alabama lost a 24-point lead against no. 2 Auburn, but McElroy had an outstanding day (27-of-37 passing for 377 yards, 2 TDs) before leaving the game with a concussion in the closing minutes. McElroy was under constant pressure and was sacked five times but remained calm in the pocket delivering the ball accurately while taking numerous hits. Honors: Won a National Championship in 2009 and was named the MVP of the 2009 SEC Championship Game. As a Senior, was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship and was named both the ESPN Academic All-American of the Year and a firstteam Academic All-American. Stats: 222 of 313, 2987 yds, 70.9%, 20 TDs, 5 INTs
#11: Tyrod Taylor School: Vignina Tech, Sr. Height: 6-1 Weight: 217 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.51 In a nutshell: Taylor has improved with each season under center, gradually improving his pass skills. However he remains very raw and while Taylor has shown he can pass as well as run, he still tends to tuck and run when under pressure. A very hard worker, but ceiling appears to be low. Top opponent: Taylor was contained by a tough Stanford defense in the Orange Bowl. While he was able to compile 222 yards and a
QB touchdown, he was unable to make many plays with his feet, save for his second quarter touchdown where he rolled right, spun by the Stanford sideline and threw for a touchdown. Honors: Was named the 2010 ACC Player of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and won the Dudley Award, given to Virginia’s top Division I football player. Stats: 188 of 315, 2743 yds, 59.7%, 24 TDs, 5 INTs
#12: Taylor Potts School: Texas Tech Height: 6-4 Weight: 220 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.94 In a nutshell: Was very prolific at Texas Tech and fits the size requirements of a prototypical NFL signal caller. Is solid with fakes and can look defenders off. Has only worked out of the shotgun, throws off his back foot too much and can be wild even on shorter throws.
“looks defenders off” Rivalry: Potts struggled against Texas as the Longhorns were able to get pressure on him early and often. This resulted in a pair of interceptions, one of which was nearly returned for a touchdown. Potts was never able to get a rhythm and was only able to pass for 158 yards and one touchdown.
Honors: MVP of the TicketCity Bowl going 43-for-56, 369-yard and fourtouchdowns. Stats: 369 of 551, 3726 yds, 67%, 22 TDs, 13 INTs
The Field 13. Adam Weber, Minnesota 14. Jerrod Johnson Texas A&M 15. Nathan Enderle, Idaho 16. TJ Yates, North Carolina 17. Ben Chappell, Indiana 18. Mike Hartline, Kentucky 19. Jeff Van Camp, Florida Atl. 20. Ryan Colburn, Fresno State 21. Blake Bolles, NW Missouri St. 22. Josh Portis, California (PA) 23. Adam Froman, Louisville 24. Zack Estridge, Midwestern St. 25. Trevor Vittatoe, Texas-El Paso
Packers head coach Mike McCarthy had a brief oneon-one meeting with quarterback Scott Tolzien following the University of Wisconsin’s pro day workout in early March. “I think he’s had an incredible college career,” McCarthy told Cheeshead TV, “and you always you’re always hopeful to work with these Wisconsin guys. And it would no different if I had the opportunity to work with Scott.”
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About the Author Andrew Garda has been covering the NFL Draft for five years for sites like DraftGuys and NFLDraftBible, also contributing work to team specific websites like The Jets Blog. He has covered many Draft events including USC, San Jose State and University of California-Berkley Pro Days, the Senior Bowl and for the second straight year will be fully credentialed at Radio City Music Hall for the Draft itself. He’s had the pleasure of interviewing many NFL players and rookies, including Green Bay Packer Clay Matthews. He currently covers fantasy football at FootballGuys, the general NFL at The Thundering Blurb blog and college football at Big East Gridiron. In March 2011, Andrew Garda officially joined Cheesehead TV as a draft and NFL analyst.
Running Backs #1: Mark Ingram School: Alabama, Jr. Height: 5’ 9” Weight: 215 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.52 In a nutshell: One of the country’s best running backs, Ingram rushed for 13 touchdowns despite missing the first two games of the 2010 season. Key player in leading Alabama to the 2009 National Championship as well as the Heisman Trophy. Rushed for 42 touchdowns in his career, the most in Alabama history. Disappointed some with his 40time at the Combine but has shown in game situations he has adequate speed. He’s a back that is built for the NFL and has the intangibles necessary to be a quality, everydown back in the league. Likely to be the first back selected. Rivalry game: Ingram managed only 36 yards on 10 carries in the Tide’s loss to eventual National Champion Auburn, though he did haul in four passes for 91 yards. Ingram split a lot of his carries with Trent Richardson but showed that he was the receiving back of the two. It was Ingram’s second-lowest carry total of the year, as Alabama lost the lead and threw more the second half of the game. Honors: 2009: First-team All-America (AFCA, FWAA, AP, Sporting News and Walter Camp), Sporting News National Player of the Year, and SEC Offensive Player of the Year. Heisman Trophy Winner, Maxwell Award and Doak Walker Award finalist.
By: Tony Wilson
Best game: In a 2009 20-6 victory over South Carolina, Ingram rushed for 246 yards on 24 carries – with a long of 54 yards – scoring one touchdown. He also tacked on 23 receiving yards. It was the best game of a tremendous career for Ingram. It was a highlight-reel performance in the midst of a National Championship season for Alabama. The performance was the third during a seven-of-nine 100-plus rushing yard string of games Ingram held during the 2009 season. While he only found the end zone once in the game, he didn’t have any trouble the rest of the year, scoring 20 touchdowns. Stats: 158 rushes, 875 yards, 13 TDs, 21 receptions, 282 yards, 1 TD
#2: Mikel Leshoure School: Illinois, Jr. Height: 6’ 0” Weight: 227 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.47 In a nutshell: Showed every-down ability during his junior season at Illinois, rushing for 1,697 yards on 281 attempts, breaking the school rushing record. Was a workhorse back for a run-first Fighting Illini offense, and stayed healthy throughout the entire season despite getting so many carries. Finished the season with four straight 100-yard games, including a ridiculous 330yard game against rival Northwestern, in which he saw 33 carries. He will likely be a first-round pick, and will greatly help any team that takes him. He has the size and speed to become an elite running back at the NFL level.
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Illinois Sports Information Mikel Leshoure - Illinois
Best game: Leshoure rushed for 330 yards on 33 carries in the Fighting Illini’s 48-27 dismantling of the rival Northwestern Wildcats at Wrigley Field. He also notched up two touchdowns. It was the best game of Leshoure’s career, and one that will make him a legend in Champaign. The game came not only on a field with all of Chicago watching, but it clinched a bowl game for Illinois. It also showed the NFL that Leshoure was capable of big games on big stages. Honors: Second-team All-American, first-team All-Big Ten, Texas Bowl MVP Postseason game: In the 2010 Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium in Houston against favored Baylor, Leshoure tore up the Bears defense for 184 yards on 29 carries and
RB three touchdowns. He also added two catches for 21 yards. The win came in impressive fashion against a quality Big 12 opponent that many thought would walk over the Illini. But the offensive leader Leshoure showed up, and led his team to a bowl game victory – one that possibly saved his coach, Ron Zook, his job. Stats: 281 rushes, 1,697 yards, 17 TDs, 17 receptions, 196 yards, 3 TDs
#3: Ryan Williams School: Virginia Tech, So. Height: 5’ 9” Weight: 212 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.49 In a nutshell: Williams missed four games during the 2010 season due to a leg injury. He failed to put up impressive numbers in the remaining six games, rushing for 100 yards only once. Williams was a big name heading into the 2010 season, but an 0-2 Hokie start combined with his injury hindered his ability to showcase his talents. The injury may worry some teams, but the talent and speed is good enough for him to succeed. Once he returned after his injury, he wasn’t seeing feature back-carries, only rushing 10-or-more times in three games. Rivalry game: Williams had his best game of 2010 when he rushed for 142 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns against the ACC rival Miami Hurricanes. It was a welcome “return” for Williams, who was in his fourth game back after injury and hadn’t made much of an impact. He
showed the ability to be an impactful back, and really showed it in the win over the Canes. Unfortunately for Williams, it would be his lone “big” game of 2010. In his final three games, including the Orange Bowl loss to Stanford, he rushed for only 73 yards total. Honors: 2009 third-team All America by Sporting News. Best game: In the final game of his freshman season, Williams had arguably the best game of his career against the Virginia Cavaliers. On 24 carries, he rushed for 183 yards and four touchdowns. It was a performance that would help give him the ACC Freshman of the Year honors at the end of the season. In 2009, Williams rushed for 1,655 yards and 22 touchdowns – a big season for a young back. It was a tremendous game during a tremendous season for the freshman running back. Stats: 110 rushes, 477 yards, 9 TD, 10 receptions, 109 yards, 1 TD
#4: DeMarco Murray School: Oklahoma, Sr. Height: 6’ 0” Weight: 213 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.34 In a nutshell: Unfortunately for Murray, he had to go to school with Sam Bradford for two of his seasons, who stole some of his thunder. He has the speed, versatility, and catching ability that can work in the NFL, but his lighter weight could be an issue. He can return kicks, which
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teams will make note of. Rivalry game: Murray had a huge game in the 2010 Red River Rivalry, rushing for 115 yards on 25 carries, scoring twice on the ground. He also added four catches for 31 yards. It was a big win at the time, even though Texas proved to be a group of underachievers. Honors: First-team All-Big 12. Stats: 282 rushes, 1,214 yards, 15 TDs, 71 receptions, 594 yards, 5 TD
#5: Daniel Thomas School: Kansas State, Sr. Height: 6’ 0” Weight: 230 lbs. 40-yard dash: 4.52 In a nutshell: Thomas played only two seasons at Kansas State, but made the most of them. He compiled 2,850 rushing yards in his career to go with 30 touchdowns. Big, fast running back can handle a feature-back load, rushing the ball 545 times in two seasons. Could improve pass-catching ability. Best game: In the final game of the 2010 season, Thomas exploded for 269 yards on 36 carries against North Texas, the third best output in Kansas State history. He also scored twice. It was the best performance of an incredible career for Thomas, who emphatically made his mark on KSU football. Honors: 2009 Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year, 2010 Second-team All-Big 12. Stats: 298 rushes, 1,585 yards, 19 TD 27 receptions, 171 yards
RB #6: Kendall Hunter School: Oklahoma St., Sr. Height: 5’ 7” Weight: 199 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.40 In a nutshell: Hunter was the rushing leader for the offensive-juggernaut Cowboys in 2010. Rushed for over 1,500 yards twice (sophomore and senior seasons), scoring 16 rushing TDs in each. Rushed for 100 yards in every game but three in his senior year. Lacks ideal weight, but his speed and agility makes up for it. Rivalry game: Hunter disappointed in Okie State’s biggest game of the year – Bedlam, against Oklahoma. He had only 13 carries for 55 yards in the Cowboys’ loss to the Sooners. It was only one of three sub-100yard games for Hunter in 2010. Honors: Doak Walker finalist, twotime consensus All-American Stats: 271 rushes, 1,548 yards, 16 TDs, 20 receptions, 101 yards
#7: Jordan Todman School: Connecticut, Jr. Height: 5’ 9” Weight: 203 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.34 In a nutshell: Played in 11 games for the Huskies, rushing for 100 yards in all but two. Helped lead Connecticut to the Big East championship in 2010. Todman’s a smaller back, but has tremendous speed and agility. Height and weight
could be an issue for some teams. Needs to improve pass-catching ability. Best game: In Todman’s best game, he saw 37 carries for 222 yards against Pittsburgh in a crucial lateseason Big East matchup. While he didn’t manage to find the end zone, his effort helped propel the Huskies to a Fiesta Bowl date with Oklahoma. It was just another high-carry, high-yardage game for Todman. Honors: 2010 Big East Conference Offensive Player of the Year. Stats: 334 carries, 1,695 yards, 14 TDs, 19 recceptions, 94 yards
#8: Derrick Locke School: Kentucky, Sr. Height: 5’ 8” Weight: 188 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.29
Chet White, UK Athletics Derrick Locke - Kentucky
Honors: 2009 second-team All-SEC.
In a nutshell: Locke jumped up draft charts after a blazing 40-time at the Combine. Very undersized back but will likely be the fastest running back selected. Lacks size and strength, but speed makes up for it. Missed four games due to shoulder stingers, which can be recurring. Has kick return ability.
Stats: 166 rushes, 887 yards, 10 TDs, 34 receptions, 318 yards
Best game: Locke’s best game came in a 38-20 Wildcat victory over Vanderbilt. He rushed for 145 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries. The effort helped give Kentucky back-to-back wins for only the second time during the season. It was also his last 100-yard day of the season.
In a nutshell: Lewis helped his cause at the Combine by performing better than expected in the drills. Left after sophomore season like former Panther LeSean McCoy. Undersized, but showed he can handle a full workload. Rushed for over 1,000 yards both seasons with Pitt.
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#9: Dion Lewis School: Pittsburgh, RS So. Height: 5’ 7” Weight: 193 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.45
RB Best game: In the final game of the season, Lewis rushed 42 times for 261 yards with four touchdowns against defending Big East champion Cincinnati. It was the best game of his young career, and maybe the game that pushed Lewis to pursue the NFL earlier than normal. Honors: 2009 Big East Offensive Player of the Year, Big East Rookie of the Year, National Freshman of the Year Stats: 219 carries, 1,061 yards, 13 TDs, 27 receptions, 216 yards
#10: Jacquizz Rodgers School: Oregon State, Jr. Height: 5’ 6” Weight: 196 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.52 In a nutshell: One of the shortest backs entering the draft. Disappointed some at the Combine with his 4.52 40-time. Lacks size and speed, but has shown to be an electrifying kick returner with his time at Oregon State. Has great catching ability. Rivalry game: Rodgers played well in the “Civil War” against Oregon, but his 22-carry, 87-yard day wouldn’t be enough to take down the Ducks. For being a small back, he handled a decent-sized workload very well, playing in every game for the Beavers in 2010. Honors: First-team All-Pac 10 (three times) Stats: 256 carries, 1,184 yards, 14 TDs, 44 receptions, 287 yards, 3 TDs
#11: Shane Vereen School: Cal, Jr. Height: 5’ 10” Weight: 210 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.40 In a nutshell: Vereen, a slightly undersized back, had a standout year for the Golden Bears. Rushed for 1,167 yards on 231 carries. Has pass-catching ability. 40-time at the Combine wasn’t what he would have liked, but he fared better than others. Rushed for 100 yards in six games in 2010. Best game: In a 35-7 win over UCLA, Vereen rushed for a seasonhigh 151 yards on 25 carries. He also tacked on two touchdowns. It was his best game of the year, and one the Bears needed. They had been coming off two-straight losses, and the season was reeling. He also added three catches for 51 yards in the win.
Running Back 12. Delone Carter, Syracuse 13. Da’Rel Scott, Maryland 14. Bilal Powell, Louisville 15. Jamie Harper, Clemson 16. Noel Devine, West Virginia 17. Roy Helu, Nebraska 18. Alex Green, Hawaii 19. Taiwan Jones, E. Washington 20. Stevan Ridley, LSU 21. Evan Royster, Penn State 22. John Clay, Wisconsin 23. Anthony Allen, Georgia Tech 24. Allen Bradford, USC 25. Darren Evans, Virginia Tech
About the Author Tony Wilson has been covering the Packers since 2009. He has had work featured in Maple Street Press, SportingNews.com, and RailbirdCentral.com. He resides in the suburbs of Detroit.
Honors: Second-team All-Pac 10. Stats: 231 carries, 1,167 yards, 13 TD, 22 receptions, 209 yards, 3 TD
The Field Fullbacks 1. Stanley Havili, USC 2. Anthony Sherman, UConn 3. Owen Marecic, Stanford 4. Charles Clay, Tulsa 5. Shaun Chapas, Georgia
Did You Know?
RB Tony Canadeo was the first Packers draft choice (9th round, 1941) to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“one of the shortest backs entering the draft”
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#2: Julio Jones School: Alabama, Jr. Height: 6-3 Weight: 220 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.39
#1: A.J. Green School: Georgia, Jr. Height: 6-4 Weight: 211 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.50 In a nutshell: With his great hands, focus and route running, Green puts himself in a position to make catches and once he gets the ball in his hands, his run after the catch ability is deadly. Is able to beat cornerbacks off the line with his explosiveness to get great separation and can use his hands to help beat press coverage. Is also a willing blocker, a critical trait for many teams. Was suspended for the first four games of the Bulldogs’ season in 2010 for selling his jersey to an agent. Rivalry game: Against Georgia Tech for the Governor’s Cup, Green caught eight balls for 97 yards. While he did not find the end zone, many of Green’s receptions made first downs for his offense. At one point in the third quarter, he caught three straight catches (17 yards twice and the third for 14) each one a first down. The Yellowjacket secondary had no answer for Green as he was able to juke, cut and just plain overpower them as he ran his routes. Green would have broken 100 yards easily had the Bulldogs not decided to burn time off the clock with runs. Honors: Voted team MVP for the 2010 season. Named to the Walter Camp All-America second team and to the Pro Football Weekly All-
By: Andrew Garda
A.J. Green - Georgia
America Team. Was a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award. Top opponent: Green had a tremendous game against long-time rival and then no. 2 ranked Auburn with 164 yards and two touchdowns on nine catches. This was his second straight two-touchdown game. On both plays, Green showed off his ability to beat a defender off the line and go vertical, as well as his run after the catch ability. Late in the game, though, quarterback Aaron Murray had a hard time finding Green open, as he attracted more defensive attention. He was only targeted twice in the final quarter, catching just one of the passes thrown his way. Stats: 57 receptions, 848 yards, 9 TDs
In a nutshell: Jones is a fast player who improved his route running in his Junior year. Shows great burst off the line and can pass corners quickly but is physical enough to beat a defender playing press. His physicality translates to effective blocking, and he instinctively moves to where his teammates need him to be. Is fearless across the middle and will take a big hit to get a catch. Does not have the best hands and catches the ball with his body too often. Occasionally drops passes because he’s trying to dodge tackles before he has the ball. Very tough player who will play through pain. Rivalry game: In the 2010 Iron Bowl, Jones had an outstanding day against a tough no. 2 ranked Auburn defense. His ten catches for 199 yards and a touchdown were not enough to hold off the Tigers. Early on, Jones was able to use his burst to beat and get behind coverage for big gains. He was also effective on shorter routes and added a 12-yard rush during Alabama’s first drive. As the game wore on, Jones had more trouble with the coverage and had two receptions knocked away by Auburn cornerback Neiko Thorpe who had a good half against him. Jones also contributed on kick returns.
“once he gets the ball, his run after the catch ability is deadly” 33 | Cheesehead TV 2011 Draft Preview | www.CheeseheadTV.com
WR Honors: Set Alabama single-season record for yards (1,133) and receptions (78). Was a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s top receiver. Best game: Jones not only had a career best catch total (12) and yardage total, but his 221 yards against Tennessee was an Alabama school record for a single game as well. The Volunteers were unable to stop Jones, even though he was quarterback Greg McElroy’s most frequent target. Whether it was muscling his way on a shorter route or leaving corners in the dust on his 42-yard catch in the second quarter, Jones’ size and speed were on full display. The Vols were completely over-matched by Jones who looked every part the elite wide receiver. Stats: 78 receptions, 1133 yards, 7 TDs
#3: Torrey Smith School: Maryland, Jr. Height: 6-1 Weight: 204 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.43 In a nutshell: A big-play receiver, Smith’s vision and speed make him dangerous once he makes the catch. Can use his long arms to extend and pluck the ball out of the air, though sometimes will be inconsistent catching with his hands. Speed can burn defenders who try to press too close to the line. Has improved his route running but still a work in progress in that
area. Can change direction without loss of speed and has the strength to break tackles and absorb hits. A dedicated worker and good teammate. Has special teams ability and set an ACC record for kick return yards with 2,983. Rivalry game: Smith didn’t have a lot of catches in the matchup with West Virginia, but he made up for a lack of quantity with quality. His three catches totaled 149 yards, and two of them were for touchdowns and huge ones at that. Smith was able to burn the secondary for touchdowns of 60 and 80 yards and showed some good moves along with his speed. That speed and athleticism were also very effective on kick returns, gaining 93 yards on four attempts. Honors: Has already earned a degree in criminology and criminal justice. Holds Maryland’s career allpurpose yards mark with 5,183. Best game: Smith’s performance in the season finale against NC State was an insane display of consistency, athleticism and speed. His 14 catches for 224 yards and four touchdowns were far and away his best ever, setting a school record for receiving touchdowns. All this was accomplished despite an ankle which had been bothering him since September. The Wolfpack chose to play Smith in one-on-one coverage but were overmatched for much of the game by his ability to cut quickly and reach over them for the ball even when he was well covered.
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Stats: 67 receptions, 1055 yards, 12 TDs
#4: Leonard Hankerson School: Miami, Sr. Height: 6-2 Weight: 209 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.43 In a nutshell: Had issues with drops early in his collegiate career, but improved the last two years, developing soft hands. Can use his size to block out a defender to make a catch. Runs good routes but can be sloppy as his concentration lapses. Doesn’t have much burst and may struggle to gain separation at the pro level. All-Star game: At Senior Bowl practices, Hankerson had too many drops and ran some sloppy routes, though he also made spectacular catches. His game performance was more the latter than the former and his five catches for 100 yards and a touchdown was highlighted by a 49 yard catch he made after adjusting beautifully for an under-thrown ball. Honors: Earned first-team All-ACC honors in 2010. Named team most valuable player his Senior year. Stats: 72 receptions, 1156 yards, 13 TDs
Did You Know?
WR Donald Driver, the oldest player currently on the Packers, was drafted in the seventh round in 1999 out of Alcorn St.
WR #5: Titus Young School: Boise State, Sr. Height: 5-11 Weight: 174 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.43 In a nutshell: Has speed and athleticism which allows him to get separation and be a deep threat. Sees the field very well and has fantastic instincts with the ball in his hands. Occasionally has lapses in concentration. Very undersized, which is a concern. Might be too slight and struggle against bigger players in the NFL. Best game: Very little the Fresno State Bulldogs did slowed Young down as he lit up the secondary for 164 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Young was able to get separation on the coverage all night, catching the ball in stride, and gaining a lot of yards after the catch. Honors: Young was named a firstteam All-WAC member (his third time so honored). Set a record for most receiving yards in a season (1,215) and had the most career receiving yards in school history (3,063). Stats: 71 receptions, 1215 yards, 9 TDs
#6: Jerrel Jernigan School: Troy, Sr. Height: 5-9 Weight: 185 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.46
In a nutshell: A bit undersized, but plays tough and added strength to combat the press. Great hands and game-breaking ability after the catch, which allows him to contribute in special teams. Great lateral movement and agility, able to juke defenders in the open field. Rounds out routes too much and will need to improve in that area. Top opponent: South Carolina was far and away the toughest foe Troy and Jernigan faced and the entire offense struggled. Jernigan did lead all Troy receivers on the day with six catches but only totaled 30 yards. The Gamecocks were all over him he never got clear enough to be truly effective. Honors: Named first-team All-Sun Belt Conference as a receiver and all-purpose player and second team as a return specialist Stats: 84 receptions, 822 yards, 6 TDs
#7: Jon Baldwin School: Pittsburgh, Jr. Height: 6-4 Weight: 228 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.50 In a nutshell: Seemed to regress slightly in his junior year after becoming the first 1,000 receiver at Pitt since 2004. While never a burner, seemed a step slower. Runs decent routes, can use his body to muscle defenders off the ball. Not afraid to be hit. Likely a possession receiver at the next level.
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Best game: Baldwin’s play against Rutgers had an impact beyond his impressive stats (5-139-1). Not only did Baldwin score himself, but he set up two other scores with tough catches. On one 46-yard grab he outjumped two defenders to get the ball, coming down on the 13. Pitt scored on the next play. Honors: Named a first-team All-Big East member (his second time in a row). Stats: 53 receptions, 822 yards, 5 TDs
#8: Tandon Doss School: Indiana, Jr. Height: 6-2 Weight: 201 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.56 In a nutshell: A tall, receiver who can extend his arms for off target throws. Makes all variety of catches. Didn’t play against the press in college, may have some issues against corners pressing at the pro level. Plays tough, will absorb hits across the middle and fight for yards after the catch. Routes need improvement. Best game: Doss’s height and ability to extend his body helped him to a 15 catch, 221 yard day against Michigan. He had success on both shorter plays and a few longer passes as well and was able to move the chains for the offense consistently. He also contributed as a kick returner for 111 yards.
WR Honors: Doss led the Big Ten and finished fourth nationally with 175.8 all-purpose yards per game. Stats: 63 receptions, 706 yards, 7 TDs
#9: Randall Cobb School: Kentucky, Jr. Height: 5-10 Weight: 191 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.46 In a nutshell: Good burst off the snap – overall is quicker than he is fast. Very sharp route runner, is able to shake defenders with a crisp cuts. Has great hands and can adjust well to the ball. High football IQ. Former quarterback which helps his game. Good punt/kick returner.
Top opponent: Cobb showed tremendous versatility against Auburn, scoring four times from three different positions. He caught two balls for touchdowns, ran another one in and threw one as well. Along with his 68 yards receiving, he ran the ball for 47 yards too. Honors: Set the SEC single-season record for all-purpose yardage with 2,396 yards. He led the SEC in receptions while catching 84 passes total. Stats: 84 receptions, 1017 yards, 7 TDs
#10: Vincent Brown School: San Diego St., Sr. Height: 5-11 Weight: 187 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.68 In a nutshell: Runs great routes showing an explosiveness in his cuts which can leave defensive backs in his dust. Plays faster than he runs, in part because of his ability to sell a fake. Great focus when catching the ball. Very fluid athlete. Needs to work on beating the press. Slower than expected 40.
Chet White, UK Athletics Randall Cobb - Kentucky
All-Star game: Brown had a good game in Mobile at the Senior Bowl (4-43) but really shone in practice. Throughout the week, he constantly left defensive backs in the dust, several times making them fall as they tried to keep up with his cuts. Stood toe to toe with more heralded prospects like Titus Young.
“runs great routes”
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Honors: Selected to first-team AllMountain West Conference. Stats: 69 receptions, 1352 yards, 10 TDs
The Field 11 - Niles Paul, Nebraska 12 - Terrance Tolliver, LSU 13 - Austin Pettis, Boise State 14 - Greg Little, North Carolina 15 - Edmond Gates, Abilene Chr. 16 - Jeremy Kerley, TCU 17 - Dwayne Harris, East Carolina 18 - Dane Sanzenbacher, Ohio St. 19 - Ronald Johnson, USC 20 - Cecil Shorts, Mount Union 21 - Greg Salas, Hawaii 22 - Darvin Adams, Auburn 23 - Ryan Whalen, Stanford 24 - Denarius Moore, Tennessee 25 - Tori Gurley, South Carolina
About the Author Andrew Garda has been covering the NFL Draft for five years for sites like DraftGuys and NFLDraftBible, also contributing work to team specific websites like The Jets Blog. He has covered many Draft events including USC, San Jose State and University of California-Berkley Pro Days, the Senior Bowl and for the second straight year will be fully credentialed at Radio City Music Hall for the Draft itself. He’s had the pleasure of interviewing many NFL players and rookies, including Green Bay Packer Clay Matthews. He currently covers fantasy football at FootballGuys, the general NFL at The Thundering Blurb blog and college football at Big East Gridiron.
Tight Ends #1: Kyle Rudolph School: Notre Dame, Jr. Height: 6’ 6” Weight: 265 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.64 In a nutshell: Rudolph has a big body and good awareness on the field. Easily slips past defenders to find holes in zone coverage and seems to always know how far he needs to go to get a first down. Possesses the versatility required in today’s NFL. Can line up in the slot and stretch the field on deep seam routes or contribute to the running game with his solid blocking skills. Has good hands when a throw hits him between the numbers but struggles with throws that are slightly off the mark. Injuries have cost him nine games in the past two seasons including the final seven of 2010, where he tore a hamstring muscle off of the bone. Injury concerns aside, Rudolph sits atop a pedestrian class of tight ends as the best prospect in this year’s draft. Rivalry game: Against Michigan, Rudolph had one the best games of his short collegiate career. He hauled in eight receptions for 164 yards including a dramatic 95-yard catch-and-run for the go-ahead touchdown with just under four minutes to play in the game. The performance earned him the John Mackey Tight End of the Week Award and set a single-game school record for receiving yards by a tight end.
“can go deep”
Honors: 2010 a consensus preseason All-American, John Mackey Award semifinalist, 2009 John Mackey Award semifinalist. Top opponent: Versus an up-andcoming 2010 Michigan State team, Rudolph punished defensive ends with his blocks and defensive backs with his catches. Finishing the day with eight receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown, Rudolph matched a career-high in receptions he set the previous week at Michigan. Between the back-toback contests in the Motor State, Kyle Rudolph disappointed a lot of fans rooting for either Big Ten school in the state of Michigan.
By: Max Ginsberg
the point of attack. He doesn’t fit the new mold of hybrid tight ends, but he has the necessary tools to be a solid fixture on an NFL roster for years to come.
Stats: 28 receptions, 328 yards, 3 TDs
#2: Luke Stocker School: Tennessee, Sr. Height: 6’ 5” Weight: 258 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.79 In a nutshell: More of a traditional tight end who does everything very well but is not spectacular in any specific area. He is a big target who catches whatever you throw at him, a good route runner who is tough to bring down after the catch, and his size allows him to easily shed arm-tacklers. Contrary to his 6’ 5” frame, he is able to find holes in zone defenses, making him especially potent in the red zone. He is a physical blocker who gets to the second level in the running game but has a tendency to get overpowered by bigger defensive ends at
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Luke Stocker - Tennessee
Postseason game: The only Volunteer receiver to catch a pass in every game this season, Stocker saved one of his best performances for the postseason. In the 2010 Music City Bowl he hauled in a careerhigh five catches for 58 yards and a touchdown. Honors: 2010 John Mackey Award Semi-Finalist, John Mackey Tight End of the Week. All-Star game: Stocker failed to haul in the only pass thrown in his direction at the Senior Bowl, but the 22-year-old turned a few heads
TE in the week of practice leading up to the game. According to NFLDraftScout.com, Stocker did not drop a pass all week long “despite absorbing some hellacious hits.” Continually compared to former Volunteer Jason Witten, Stocker stood out with his blocking and pass-catching abilities. In particular, many scouts noted his impressive one-handed grab while withstanding a big hit in the process. Stats: 39 receptions, 417 yards, 2 TDs
#3: Lance Kendricks School: Wisconsin, Sr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 243 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.75 In a nutshell: Kendricks is a perfect example of the new, hybrid tight end that the spread offense is geared towards. He’s more receiver than blocker but uses pre-snap motion well enough to seal the edge against cornerbacks and linebackers. Excels in the traditional seam and slant routes run by tight ends and uses his big frame to shield defenders from the ball. He has a good burst of speed off the line and a knack for finding holes in zone coverage. Lacks the size and bulk to sustain blocks in the running game, but he will not be drafted for his contribution to the ground game. Postseason game: In his first year as a regular starter, Lance Kendricks capped his junior season with an
impressive performance in the 2009 Champs Sports Bowl. Leading all Badgers receivers, Kendricks hauled in 7 receptions for 128 yards. According to the Badgers’ official website, Kendricks’ performance was “the second-highest reception total and third-highest receiving yardage total in UW bowl history.” He did not register a score in the contest, but twice sealed the edge with key blocks on John Clay touchdown runs. Honors: 2010 All-American by the AFCA, first-team All-American by SI and The Sporting News, secondteam All-American by the AP, firstteam All-Big Ten, and John Mackey Award Finalist.
is most often compared to current Packers’ tight end Jermichael Finley. His combination of size and speed creates mismatches on the field and he catches almost everything thrown in his direction. Given the right coaching and situation to develop, the sky is the limit. Should the Packers draft a tight end in the draft, this would be the guy to keep your eye on. All-Star game: Thomas’ pass-catching potential created quite the buzz in the week of practice leading up to the East-West Shrine game. Accounting for the West’s only points, Thomas hauled in a 5-yard touchdown pass as well as the ensuing 2-point conversion.
Best game: Following his breakout season in 2009, Kendricks continued to shine in 2010. In his team’s 20-19 victory over Arizona State, Kendricks pulled down seven receptions for 131 yards and a score. The stellar performance earned him John Mackey Tight End of the Week honors as well as UW's Offensive Player of the Week.
Honors: All-Big Sky Conference Team.
Stats: 43 receptions, 663 yards, 5 TDs
Stats: 32 receptions, 474 yards, 2 TDs
#4: Julius Thomas School: Portland St., Sr. Height: 6’ 5” Weight: 240 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.68 In a nutshell: The latest basketball player-turned-football player to catch the eye of NFL scouts, Thomas
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Did You Know?
The Packers have drafted more players from the University of Minnesota (41) than any other school.
#5: D.J. Williams School: Arkansas, Sr. Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 245 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.67 In a nutshell: Williams is a smaller tight end who excels in the passing game. Will find his niche in the spread offense or as an H-back.
TE Not an every-down tight end, but a smart route runner who finds a way to get open. A playmaker who should find success at the next level, but he does not fit the physical mold the Packers look for in a tight end. Best game: As a sophomore, Williams finished the year as the team leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. His biggest day came against Ole Miss when he posted a 10-catch, 129yard performance. Honors: 2010 John Mackey Award Winner, first-team All-SEC by the AP and coaches, Disney Spirit Award, 2009 second-team All-SEC by the coaches. Stats: 54 receptions, 627 yards, 4 TDs
#6: Charlie Gantt School: Michigan St., Sr. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 252 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.93 In a nutshell: Not a phenomenal athlete but excels as a blocker both in the running and passing game. Good in pass protection and blitz pickup but also possesses decent straight-line speed with good hands. His consistency will earn him a roster spot as a solid backup tight end. Rivalry game: With the Land Grant Trophy on the line, Gantt helped lead the Spartans over the Penn State Nittany Lions to clinch a share
of the 2010 Big Ten Title. He was named the John Mackey National Tight End of the Week after recording four receptions for 38 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter. Honors: 2010 All-Big Ten SecondTeam by the media, Honorable Mention by the coaches, Honorable Mention All-America by SI.com, Phil Steele's All-Big Ten Second-Team, 2009 Honorable Mention All-Big Ten selection by the media, 2008 Honorable Mention All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and media. Stats: 24 receptions, 301 yards, 3 TDs
#7: Stephen Skelton School: Fordham, Sr. Height: 6’ 5” Weight: 250 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.68 In a nutshell: A small school prospect who emerged as a passcatching tight end in 2009 while catching passes from his brother, current Arizona Cardinals quarterback, John Skelton. He is quick for his size and has good hands, but lacks the power and technique to be an effective blocker in the running game. However, his potential should earn him a spot on an NFL roster. Best game: Facing Old Dominion in 2009 the Skelton brothers were unstoppable. The siblings connected 10 times for 138 receiving yards on their way to a 34-29 victory.
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Honors: 2010 Elite Tight End Award by the CFPA. Stats: 42 receptions, 443 yards, 3 TDs
#8: Jordan Cameron School: USC, Sr. Height: 6’ 5” Weight: 254 40-Yard Dash: 4.59 In a nutshell: Another former basketball player trying to make the transition to football. A very raw talent with the height, speed, and hands the Packers look for in a tight end, but he needs to refine his route running and pass protection. Lacks the bulk to be an in-line blocker but will succeed if his surehandedness and leaping ability are utilized in the passing game. Rivalry game: Helped the Trojans take down their cross-town rival Bruins in the final regular season game of the 2010 season. Cameron logged three catches for 29 yards in the contest. Honors: None. Stats: 16 receptions, 126 yards, 1 TD
#9: Will Yeatman School: Maryland, Sr. Height: 6’ 6” Weight: 250 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.89 In a nutshell: A two-sport standout – football and lacrosse – who transferred from Notre Dame after
TE two alcohol-related arrests, he played one season for the Terrapins and showed flashes of his natural athleticism. In 2010, Yeatman frustrated his coaches with a number of dropped passes but made up for them with some spectacular one-handed grabs. Still a work in progress, he may pay off for a team willing to take a gamble. Best game: In his senior season at Maryland, he only managed to catch 13 balls, but things really started to click in his penultimate game as a college athlete. In a 3016 loss to Florida State, Yeatman tallied five catches for 47 yards and a touchdown. Honors: None Stats: 13 receptions, 134 yards, 1 TD
#10: Weslye Saunders School: South Car., Sr. Height: 6’ 5” Weight: 270 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.82 In a nutshell: A gifted athlete with unlimited potential but will undoubtedly slip on draft day due to missing the entire 2010 season after the NCAA determined that Saunders had “accepted improper benefits from an agent.” Saunders hoped to boost his stock at the combine, but a broken bone in his foot kept him from showcasing his physical abilities. A high-risk/highreward type player that may or may not hear his name called on day three of the draft.
Rivalry game: In 2009, against in-state rival Clemson, Saunders led a comeback effort that ultimately came up short with his four receptions for 58 yards and a score. His performance led all Gamecocks in receiving yards on the afternoon.
Honors: 2010 All-Big East first team by the coaches.
Honors: 2009 John Mackey Preseason Watch List, Phil Steele’s Fourth-Team All-SEC Stats: 32 receptions, 353 yards, 3 TDs
#11: Cameron Graham School: Louisville, Sr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 244 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.11 Cameron Graham - Louisville
In a nutshell: At his best when lined up as a slot receiver, Graham does most of his damage in the passing game. Showing a natural ability to extend his hands and catch the football, he has decent speed for his size. Loses some explosiveness when lined up with a hand on the ground, which limits his skills as a blocker in the running game. Postseason game: Leading the comeback to erase an early 14-point deficit, Graham caught an 11-yard touchdown pass in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl in St. Petersburg, Florida. He finished the day with 3 catches for 31 yards and a touchdown, helping Louisville defeat Southern Mississippi by a final score of 31-28.
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Stats: 40 receptions, 470 yards, 5 TDs
The Field 12: Lee Smith - Marshall 13. Zach Pianalto – N. Carolina 14. Virgil Green – Nevada 15. Kyle Adams – Purdue 16. Andre Smith – Virginia Tech 17. Rob Housler – Florida Atlantic 18. Schuylar Oordt – Nthrn. Iowa 19. Mike McNeill – Nebraska 20. Allen Reisner – Iowa
About the Author Max Ginsberg writes for, “Purple Pants, Green Jersey,” specifically covering anything and everything related to the Packers and (gasp!) the Vikings. You can follow him on Twitter at @MaxGinsberg.
Offensive Tackle #1: Tyron Smith School: USC, Jr. Height: 6’ 5” Weight: 307 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.08 In a nutshell: Easily the most athletic and mobile top offensive tackle prospect in the draft, Smith would be a perfect fit for the Packers’ zone blocking system (ZBS). At only 20 years old and just two years’ experience as a starter, he’ll need a year in the weight room and time to work on technique, especially with his hands. Has long arms and has shown the quick feet needed to play left tackle in the NFL and quickly gets to the second level in the run game. Looks great in the screen game. Arguably has the most upside of any OT prospect this year. College experience: Coming out of high school, Smith was the owner of almost every honor possible; Parade All-American, Super Prep AllAmerican, Super Prep Elite 50, Prep Star Dream Team, etc. Smith could have played anywhere, but chose to stay in California and play for USC. Smith was the backup left tackle as a true freshman and then took over at right tackle as a sophomore. Smith would start every game for the Trojans over the next two years, except for the 2010 Notre Dame game, which he missed due to injury (26 starts in all). Big game: After a 53-32 loss to Oregon, USC coach Lane Kiffin blasted his offensive line, saying the Trojans “played as bad up front as I’ve seen in my seven years of being
here.” He went on to say that Smith was the best offensive lineman that game, despite limited practice time because of a sprained ankle and “really the only one who played functional.” The week after that game, Smith took a vocal role in getting the USC offensive line to re-commit to excellence. Smith led the way in the next game as well, paving the way for the USC running attack and then blocking an extra point in the 4th quarter against Arizona State that resulted in a defensive runback for two points. They were critical points, as USC would win the game by a single point.
By: Jersey “Al” Bracco
All-Star game: Sherrod opened a lot of eyes during Senior Bowl week. Scouting reports from various sources all describe him as the most polished and consistent of all the offensive tackles there, a group which included Costanzo, Solder and Carimi. He was asked to move between right and left tackle during the week of practice and had no problems with either position. He also didn’t show any obvious faults that would be a big concern to NFL teams. Sherrod earned even more praise during the game, which was described as a “dominant” performance by several scouts.
Honors: Earned first-team All-Pac 10 honors and was awarded the Pac-10 Morris Trophy, given to the best offensive lineman in the conference as voted upon by defensive linemen.
#2: Derek Sherrod School: Miss. State., Sr. Height: 6’ 6” Weight: 321 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.28 In a nutshell: Very quick and agile, Sherrod is one of the more athletic offensive tackle prospects in this draft. Moves well in any direction and mirrors the pass rusher very well. He also has long arms and strong hands, making him a very effective pass blocker. Has shown good blitz recognition skills and is rarely fooled by stunts. In the run game, is better at turning and sealing than power blocking, which will make him a better prospect for a ZBS team. Should be a starter in year two at the latest.
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Derek Sherrod - Mississippi State
College experience: A highly recruited 4-star recruit out of Caledonia High School in Mississippi, Sherrod chose Mississippi State over big-time football schools Florida, Miami, Notre Dame, Michigan, Louisville and Ole Miss. Sherrod
OT earned instant playing time, seeing action in 11 of 13 games as a true freshman in 2007. He won the starting left tackle spot the following year and started 10 games. His final two seasons, Sherrod started every game at left tackle for the Bulldogs (34 starts in all). Honors: First team All-SEC and second team AP & Walter Camp AllAmerican. A finalist for the Campbell Trophy award.
#3: Anthony Castonzo School: Boston Collg., Sr. Height: 6’ 7” Weight: 311 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.21 In a nutshell: Castonzo started every game during his four years at Boston College, the last three years at left tackle. Excellent athlete for a man his size, Costanzo lacks some of the power you might expect, especially in his lower half. He is most comfortable out of a three-point stance, where he shows a good initial push, but accomplishes more with positioning and technique than with power, good for a ZBS system. In pass protection, he plays with good balance and an efficient kick-slide. Mirrors very well, but can be bull rushed and is susceptible to players who can get their arms into his chest. College experience: In high school, Castonzo was a 6’ 7” 220 lb. “tall drink of water,” as he called himself. Not one college showed any scholarship interest, so he went to Fork
Union Military Academy “to get big.” A year later, he stepped onto the field at Boston College and won the starting right tackle job as a true freshman. He moved over to the left side as a sophomore and started every game for the next three years at that spot for the Eagles (54 starts in all - a Boston College record). All-Star game: Castonzo’s performance in the Senior Bowl dropped him a notch. Understandably, he struggled when asked to move inside to left guard, regularly getting pushed backwards (he just doesn’t have the power to play that spot). But even when back at his normal left tackle spot, Castonzo had an up and down day, which included getting easily beat for a sack on an outside rush by Brooks Reed. On the plus side, he showed a nice ability to execute seal blocks in the run game and appears to fit nicely in a ZBS system. Would benefit from a full year in the weight room as Chad Clifton’s backup. Honors: Associated Press thirdteam All-American, All-ACC first team honoree. National Football Foundation National ScholarAthlete. Finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy and the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.
#4: Gabe Carimi School: Wisconsin, Sr. Height: 6” 7” Weight: 314 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.27 In a nutshell: Carimi’s best asset is
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his strength and toughness in both the running and passing game. May not have the quick feet to play left tackle in the NFL, is probably more suited to right tackle or potentially could be moved to guard, where his grittiness would be a big asset. Pass protection skills are average as he gets knocked off balance too often.
David Stluka - Wi Athletic Comm. Gabe Carimi - Wisconsin
College experience: Carimi was red-shirted in 2006 as a freshman. The following season, he took over for the departed Joe Thomas at left tackle and started every game. His second year he missed three games due to injury but started the other ten. Started every game his final two years for a total of 49 starts, all at left tackle. Honors: Consensus first-team AllAmerican and Outland Trophy winner. First-team All-Big Ten selection and Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year. All-Big 10 Academic team.
OT #5: Nate Solder School: Colorado, Sr. Height: 6” 9” Weight: 319 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.05 In a nutshell: Exhibits athleticism you would expect from a former tight end. Can drive defenders and easily moves downfield to the second level. Sometimes has issues with his kick-slide but is usually able to compensate. Can struggle with speed rushers and is susceptible to inside moves. Has a great work ethic. Guaranteed to achieve his max talent level, whatever that may be. College experience: Solder was redshirted in 2006 as a freshman. In 2007 he saw some action on special teams and started four games at tight end. In 2008, Solder was moved to offensive tackle and after putting on 30 pounds, was named the starter and played almost every snap. He started every game his final two years at left tackle as well (40 career starts total). Honors: Consensus first-team All-America honors, recipient of the Zack Jordan Award as the team’s most valuable player. AllBig 12 Conference performer, the league coaches selected him as the league’s Offensive Lineman of the Year
“guaranteed to achieve his max talent”
#6: James Carpenter School: Alabama, Sr. Height: 6” 4” Weight: 321 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.28 In a nutshell: Carpenter is one of those “steady but not exciting” players that could be a starting right tackle or guard in the NFL. Good lateral agility, but may not have the foot quickness for left tackle and doesn’t finish blocks in the run game. Tough to move when he establishes a strong base but needs to work on foot technique in pass protection.
scouts he belongs at this level. Needs work on his kick-slide technique and his footwork, in general. Some scouts are giving him strong consideration as a guard prospect. College experience: From nearby Burlington County in New Jersey, Ijalana stepped on the Villanova football field and was a starter at the left tackle spot from day one. Ijalana held that role for four years, never missing a start at left tackle for the Wildcats (52 career starts in all). Honors: A three-time first-team AllCAA football honoree. Named to Outland Trophy watch list.
College experience: Carpenter #8: Marcus Gilbert started his college career by playing two seasons at Coffeyeville [Kan.] School: Florida, Sr. Community College, where he was Height: 6” 6” named first-team All-League. After Weight: 330 lbs. transferring to Alabama, Carpenter 40-Yard Dash: 5.46 immediately stepped in and started every game at left tackle in his two In a nutshell: A very well-rounded years for the powerhouse Crimson prospect who may not excel in any Tide (27 career starts in all). one area, but also has no major weaknesses. Has a good initial Honors: First-team All-SEC selecburst and is not easily shed in pass tion by the league coaches and protection. May not have the lateral second-team All-SEC by the AP. range to play left tackle, but Gilbert is a solid right tackle prospect and #7: Benjamin Ijalana future starter.
School: Villanova, Sr. Height: 6” 4” Weight: 317 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.34
In a nutshell: Athletic and agile, Ijalana has the physical tools, but hasn’t been tested by top competition. Missing the Senior Bowl due to injury blew his chance to show
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College experience: Gilbert was red-shirted in 2006, and spent the next two seasons as a backup tackle, seeing some special teams action and two starts at guard. Claimed the starting right tackle spot in 2009 and started 27 straight games over his final two seasons, with some action at both tackle spots (30 career starts in all).
OT Honors: SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week vs. Kentucky in 2009.
#9: Jason Pinkston School: Pittsburgh, Sr. Height: 6” 3” Weight: 317 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.47 In a nutshell: Has more of a guard’s body, so there’s a good chance he gets moved but has shown good enough footwork to continue as a tackle in the pros. Has a non-stop motor, good quickness and plays with good knee bend and pad level. Uses his strength to maximum advantage. College experience: Moved from defensive tackle to offensive tackle as a freshman in 2006 and served as the backup left tackle. Started 3 games at right tackle in 2007 before getting injured and earning a medical redshirt. Started 38 games at left tackle for the next three seasons (41 career starts in all). Honors: Selected All-Big East first team.
#10: Orlando Franklin School: Miami, Sr Height: 6” 6” Weight: 316 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.20 In a nutshell: Overall, has been a disappointment since signing with Miami as a top offensive tackle recruit. Moved from guard back to left tackle 2010 and displayed above-average ability overall, but struggles when out on an island.
With a little more nasty, could be a decent right tackle prospect in the NFL. College experience: Due to academic ineligibility, did not play football in 2006. As a freshman in 2007, started three games at guard. Sophomore season he started 11 games at left guard, then 11 more as a junior. Moved to tackle as a senior, where he started every game (39 career starts in all). Honors: Second-team All-ACC selection.
#11: Chris Hairston School: Clemson, Sr. Height: 6” 6” Weight: 326 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.43 In a nutshell: A three-year starter at left tackle for Clemson, Hairston is not a natural athlete. He does not bend well or play with good pad level. While he has NFL-type size, it’s not the ideal body type – thin legs, too much weight around the waist and top-heavy, in general. Smart player, quick off the snap, has succeeded with intangibles. College experience: Hairston was red-shirted as a freshman in 2006. As a sophomore, he was a backup left tackle but gained some valuable experience as a starter in a bowl game for Clemson. From there, he went on to start almost every game at left tackle over the next three years for the Tigers (35 career starts in all). Honors: Selected to All-ACC First Team.
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The Field 12) D.J. Young, Michigan State 13) Derek Hall, Stanford 14) David Mims, Virginia Union 15) Joseph Barksdale, LSU 16) James Brewer, Indiana 17) Curt Porter, Jacksonville St 18) Rob McGill, Louisiana State 19) DeMarcus Love, Arkansas 20) Carl Johnson, Florida 21) Willie Smith, East Carolina 22) Adam Grant, Arizona 23) Cory Brandon, Oklahoma 24) Butch Lewis, USC 25) Derek Newton, Arkansas St.
About the Author Al Bracco owns and operates AllGreenBayPackers.com. In addition to managing his own site, “Jersey” Al also serves as the Packers Analyst for a premier NFL Draft site, Drafttek.com.
Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi thinks he’s the best offensive tackle in this year’s draft class and he has the track record to prove it. “Because of the players I’ve gone against,” said Carimi, “four potential first-round players I’ve gone against this year. I have a better resume of going against better talent than anyone else, so that makes me more (pro) ready.”
Interior Linemen #1: Mike Pouncey School: Florida, Sr. Height: 6' 4" Weight: 305 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 5.28 In a nutshell: Not quite the football player that his twin-brother Maurkice is, but close enough to get a sniff of the late first round. Struggled a bit in 2010 moving into the OC position, particularly with shotgun snaps. In the long run he should be able to play all three interior OL slots, but for he may fit best at OG. He is a tough, hard working player with good functional strength. He also seems to have a good football IQ like his brother. He should be the beneficiary of the positive vibes generated by his brother who was outstanding as an NFL rookie. He should be able to step up and challenge for a starting job as a rookie. Postseason and Combine: Pouncey missed the Senior Bowl Week with some relatively minor clean-up surgery. He showed no ill effects from the surgery at the Combine, where more personnel people than ever were willing to declare him to be very close to his brother Maurkice in overall pro potential. Honors: He served as a team Captain for the Gators, which is something most NFL coaches give bonus points for when rating a prospect. He was also second-team All-SEC his senior year. Value: He might just be available when the Packers pick at 32. He
would be a nice fit for their blocking scheme and his versatility could add to the appeal. Keep an eye on who else falls to the Packers' slot, but don’t dismiss this guy. Remember Ted Thompson sticks to his Best Available Athlete approach pretty tightly.
#2: Rodney Hudson School: Florida State, Sr. Height: 6' 2" Weight: 299 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 5.31 In a nutshell: If he was one inch taller, and 10 lbs. heavier, we’d be talking about this guy in the middle of the first round, which tells me he’ll be a great bargain for someone in round two… most likely well before the Pack picks at No. 63. He’s a smart, dedicated player who combines athleticism and intelligence to produce beyond his physical limitations. He’s ideally suited for a zone-blocking scheme where he can use his quickness and leverage to cut his defender rather than dance with him. He might be best suited for the OC slot, but he will likely have major problems lining up directly across from massive NT types. All-Star game: He was the model of consistency with his practice and play in Mobile during Senior Bowl Week. He did a nice job, for his size, holding up in one-on-one drills, but really shined in scrimmages where he could use his feet and athleticism to out-quick most defenders at the line of scrimmage. He showed outstanding pulling ability and gets
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By: Paul Guillemette
to the second level very quickly. Also hearing that he scored big points with most personnel people with his interviews. Honors: He was first-team All-ACC in 2008, 2009 and 2010. And to no one’s surprise he was a team captain for the Seminoles. He was also a consensus All-American in 2010.
Rodney Hudson - Florida State
Combine: Hudson barely topped 291 lbs. in Mobile, but showed up at the Combine weighing just under 300 lbs. Realistically, he seemed to have lost some of his quickness with the extra weight he carried in Indy. But the message should be clear that he is a zone blocking scheme prospect at the pro level and teams need to work with that reality in evaluating him.
IL #3: Danny Watkins School: Baylor, Sr. Height: 6' 4" Weight: 310 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 5.40 In a nutshell: The elder statesman of the interior OL group started at LT for Baylor. So far in the postseason it has been a slam-dunk for him in his conversion to the inside. He looks quick in a small area and is strong enough to push people around at the line of scrimmage. Still not convinced that he’s worthy of a first-round pick, but if somebody really needs an OG late on Thursday night, he may sneak into the mix. What may finally tip the scales in his favor is the fact that he is as nasty as any player in this draft. Some of that must be coming from his hockey background. He’s running in pretty rarified air after only four years of competitive football under his belt. All-Star game: He had a very solid body of work in Mobile during Senior Bowl Week from start to finish. He battled the South defensive line all week and won the vast majority of his match-ups. He drove defenders crazy with his whistle-to-whistle hustle, much to the delight of the Bills coaching staff. He continued his excellent work by handling multiple North DL opponents all game long. On Sunday morning after the game some folks were already wondering out loud if he had a chance to be taken in round one come April.
“post-season slam dunk”
Honors: First-team All-Big XII in 2010, fourth overall pick in the CFL Draft in 2010.
would appear to be a lot of upside for Rackley and a starting career in the NFL. It is presumed that he can get bigger and stronger with an NFL strength and conditioning staff working with him. Upside is a key word to use in describing Rackley as a prospect. All-Star game: The small school standout made a very quick impression during Shrine Week in Orlando. By Tuesday’s morning practice he was running number one at RT, a position he held onto right into the actual game on Saturday. Rackley may not be a top tier OT prospect, but he certainly made a strong case with his overall athleticism and versatility.
Danny Watkins - Baylor
Combine: His long arms are well suited for OT, but don’t seem to be hindering him on the inside. He is strong both functionally and in the weight room. He put up 29 reps at the Combine and that’s with arm length of over 34 inches.
#4: Will Rackley School: Lehigh, Sr. Height: 6' 3" Weight: 307 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 5.14 In a nutshell: Rackley possesses a nice combination of strength, mobility and quick feet. Even though he needs some coaching on proper technique, he is very light on his feet with good balance. It may take a bit of coaching, but there
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Honors: Was selected first-team All-Patriot League for three straight seasons, AP first-team All-American for 2010 season; Sporting News Sweet 63, 2010 All-American.
#5: Marcus Cannon School: TCU, Sr. Height: 6' 5" Weight: 358 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 5.26 In a nutshell: The Packers selected his teammate Marshall Newhouse last year, and Cannon comes in much more highly rated this year. It is possible that his combination of size and athleticism could get him into round two of this draft, but he may not be of much interest to Green Bay. He played OT for the Horned Frogs and it is not inconceivable that some NFL teams will consider him as an OT when all is said and done. He is one of the
IL most intriguing prospects in the 2011 draft. Combine: NFL Personnel people are going to be pouring over game tapes watching this guy right up until the end of April. Think about his Combine numbers. He comes in carrying 358 lbs. on his frame, and that is considered a bit lighter than most expected. Then the guy goes out and runs a 5.20 40-yard dash, which makes him faster than all but a few of the elite, "athletic" OT prospects. Honors: Three-time All-Mountain West selection and third-team AllAmerican in 2010.
#6: Stefan Wisnewski School: Penn State, Sr. Height: 6' 3" Weight: 313 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 5.35 In a nutshell: There’s nothing fancy about this guy, and he’s probably limited to play at the OC position only. But in the words of Mike McCarthy, this guy is accountable and available. He’s especially valuable in today’s pass-oriented NFL because of his sound technique and good limited area athleticism in the middle of the line. He’ll have problems handling most of the pro 3-4 nose tackles, but then again most NFL centers require OG help with that assignment. Another factor that should come into play for Stefan’s pro career is that he certainly should have the brainpower to make his teams OL calls, after three straight years as an Academic All-American. He could be around
when the Pack picks in round three. Ted Thompson prefers his linemen to be versatile, but then again Scott Wells has forged a very nice career playing only the center slot in Green Bay. Bloodlines: If you're a huge believer in the gene pool when it comes to athletes, this guy scores sky high in that area. His dad, Leo, was second-round pick of Colts in 1982, and his uncle Steve was an eighttime Pro Bowler with the Raiders. Honors: Three-time Academic AllAmerican.
#7: John Moffitt School: Wisconsin, Sr. Height: 6' 4" Weight: 319 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 5.51 In a nutshell: It may come as a disappointment to Badgers fans, but the Packers may not have much interest in Moffitt. He’s not the athlete they normally look for, and is not really suited to a zone-blocking scheme. Moffitt should make a very nice starting interior OL for some team that still uses a primarily power oriented offense, like the Ravens. He should bring great value to that style of team and could eventually start at either OG or OC, where he began his career in Madison. He’s not quite as nasty as Watkins, but he will mix it up and play through the whistle. Moffitt is destined to have a solid 10-year career in the NFL starting most of that time.
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All-Star game: Moffitt really got the attention of personnel people representing “power offenses” with his work at the Senior Bowl in January. He rotated between all three inside OL positions during the week and was impressive on all counts. He is strong and can really lock onto his opponents. In a limited area he is a powerful man who displays good knowledge of OL calls. The Ravens scouts and members of the coaching staff spent considerable time talking with him after practices. Honors: Consensus first-team AllBig Ten and Associated Press firstteam All-American in 2010.
#8: Clint Boling School: Georgia Height: 6' 5" Weight: 310 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 5.30 In a nutshell: Boling displays mobile feet and maintains his balance well in a small area. His arms, at slightly over 33”, are certainly long enough to allow him to play the hand game with DL opponents. He played almost every line position at UGA during his career, as many of his teammates were felled by multiple injuries. That versatility and durability will not be lost on NFL personnel people. All-Star game: Boling left a defining impression with his work in Mobile. He looked incredibly overmatched and awkward on the outside, and very athletic and smooth in the smaller area inside. He was
IL more than satisfactory as an OT in college, but his pro future looks to clearly be at OG. Once inside, he looked very solid in his work during Senior Bowl week in Mobile. Honors: First-team All-SEC by coaches, second team by AP, offensive captain at Georgia.
#9: Brandon Fusco School: Slippery Rock, Sr. Height: 6' 4" Weight: 315 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 5.21
Honors: Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year Award winner, three time first-team All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference -Western Division selection, team captain.
#10: Stephen Schilling School: Michigan, Sr. Height: 6' 4" Weight: 302 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 5.29
The Field 11. Kris O’Dowd, USC 12. Zane Taylor, Utah 13. Andrew Jackson, Fresno State 14. Bryant Browning, Ohio State 15. David Arkin, Missouri State 16. Chris Stewart, Notre Dame 17. Kevin Highes, SE Louisiana 18. Dan Kilgore, Appalachian St. 19. Zach Hurd, Connecticut 20. Justin Boren, Ohio State 21. Julian Vandervelde, Iowa 22. Caleb Schlauderaff, Utah 23. Ryan Bartholomew, Syracuse 24. Lee Ziemba, Auburn 25. Tim Barnes, Missouri
In a nutshell: Even though the Rodriguez experiment is over in Ann Arbor, Schilling is one guy who can In a nutshell: Fusco is tough as feel good about how that coaching nails and willing to carry out any staff helped him develop. Instead About the Author assignment.He may back up four of bulking him up, they utilized and OL positions for a year or two for refined his decent athleticism, and “Pigskin” Paul Guillemette is a some NFL team, and then work his now he heads into the Draft as a way into a starting position. After well regarded, potential mid-round lifelong football fan, who developed a fascination with the NFL watching him for an entire week in pick, especially for today’s pass Draft in his teens. Mobile I could see how he would happy NFL. Arms that are just over be of interest to the Pack. He’s gritty 32” long will also become a non-facPaul was buying Mel Kiper’s annuals enough to battle it out on a frozen tor on the inside. He's a nice, expefield in December, and athletic rienced blocker who should appeal before there was a “Blue Book.” enough compete against the best in to a team like Packers and their His free football website is www. the playoffs. zone-blocking scheme. This guy pigskinpaul.com. He also does radio has been slowly climbing up draft All-star game and Combine: Fusco boards for the past four months. His work with four Wisconsin-based sports talk stations in Appleton, is another “small school” prospect athleticism and size would seem Fond du Lac, Sheboygan and who has been making big noise like a nice fit for the Packers if he Wausau. in the postseason. He was a solid should last past the third round, performer in Mobile showing both and the team doesn’t take a lineYou can also follow him on Twitter athleticism and versatility for the man before then. @PigskinPaul. North OL. He continued to impress Honors: All-Big Ten honorable at the Combine with some very solid numbers. He ran a 5.21 40-yard mention, Outland Trophy watch list “experienced blocker dash, which bested most of the in 2010. higher regarded big name stars like who should appeal to a team like Packers Solder and Carimi.
and their zone-blocking scheme”
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3-4 Defensive Line
area and penetrates into the backfield on a regular basis. He managed to record 11 TFL and 4.5 Sacks despite his ankle problems. Given his overall tools, and style of play, watch for Dareus to be taken in the top dozen slots of the Draft.
#1: Da’Quan Bowers School: Clemson, Sr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 280 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.64 In a nutshell: Bowers was absolutely dominant for much of the 2010 college football season. He lived in opponents’ backfield recording 25 TFL and 15.5 Sacks. He tailed off late in the season probably in no small part due to the fact that he suffered a partially torn ACL early in the year. He had surgery just after the Tigers’ bowl loss, but should be healthy by draft time. His best position fit may indeed be in a 4-3 scheme, where he can maximize his pass rush potential, but he is strong enough to play in a 3-4 scheme and make an impact on Sundays. His combination of size, strength and athleticism is indeed elite. Unless something goes awry medically in his knee rehab, Bowers should be a slam-dunk to go in the top five of the draft. Rivalry game: In great part due to his knee injury, Bowers was less than his usual impactful self in the Tigers’ showdown with in-state archrival South Carolina and had little influence in the Meineke Bowl loss to South Florida. His sack pressure was greatly missed in those two losses. Honors: ACC Defensive Player of the Year, first-team All-American, Ted Hendricks Award as the country’s top DE, Bronco Nagurski Award as the top Defensive Player of the year.
Rivalry game: ‘Bama came up short in this season’s Iron Bowl, as Auburn marched on to an undefeated season and a National Championship. Typical of a DE in a 3-4 scheme Dareus didn’t have huge stats in that game, but as part of his three total tackles he recorded one TFL and one sack. He was also credited with 2 QB hurries, as the Tide came within two points of pulling off the big upset. Da’Quan Bowers - Clemson
Stats: 67 tackles, 25 TFL, 15.5 sacks
#2: Marcell Dareus School: Alabama, Jr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 319 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.93 In a nutshell: Getting a true gauge on this man’s talent is a function of understanding that he toiled primarily in a 3-4 scheme at ‘Bama and was hampered well into October by a bad ankle sprain in 2010. To his credit he refused to let his ankle heal on the bench for very long, but had it taped up and hobbled around the field making whatever plays he could. He is the best fit for a 3-4 scheme of any of the top DE prospects. He is stout and shows very good pursuit off the ball. He is also quick in a short
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Honors: First-team All-SEC in 2010, Defensive MVP in 2010 BCS Championship game. Top opponent: Dareus was a pleasant surprise at the Combine where he reclaimed some of his Top 10 prospect luster. The first big surprise was him coming in at 319 lbs. but still being able to run a sub-5 second 40. That higher weight makes him more attractive to some 4-3 scheme teams looking for big bodies inside. In fact, many people are now putting him into their Top Five lists. Stats: 34 tackles, 11 TFL, 4.5 sacks
Did You Know?
The lowest draft choice to play for the Packers in his first season was Ralph Olsen, an end from Utah, selected in the 32nd round in 1947.
DL #3: J. J. Watt School: Wisconsin, Jr. Height: 6’ 5” Weight: 290 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.84 In a nutshell: Watt is being placed ahead of a couple of guys who may have more overall talent at this position because of his potential to make a mark in the NFL in a 3-4 scheme. The transfer from Central Michigan came up huge the past two seasons for his home state Badgers. He compiled 21 TFL and 7 sacks in the Badgers 13 games last season. As an added bonus that NFL teams will love, he used his height, length and penetration skills to block kicks. He blocked two kick attempts in each of the past two seasons. His two biggest attributes on the field that most scouts talk about are his non-stop motor and his ability to come up with “big plays, at big moments” for his team. He should also be able to succeed in the pros as a 4-3 DE, but he does not possess overwhelming passrush tools, at least as they project to the pro game. He’ll never see the end of round one, but this guy would be a great fit in Green Bay to replace a Jenkins/Pickett departure. Rivalry game: It may be debatable as to which Big Ten opponent represents the Badgers’ biggest rivalry, but we pick the annual border war with Iowa. And you couldn’t ask Watt to come up with a bigger effort than the one he had in Iowa City to help preserve Wisconsin’s 31-30 win over the then 13th ranked Iowa team. Watt recorded 5 tackles with 2 TFL and a sack. He
also blocked the Hawkeye’s extra point attempt to tie the game late in the fourth quarter.
David Stluka - Wi Athletic Comm. J.J. Watt - Wisconsin
Honors: Academic All-Big Ten selection last season, first-team AllBig Ten selection as well as being voted the Badgers’ Team MVP. He captured the Lott Impact Player award, which is named for NFL legend Ronnie Lott. Second-team All-American by both AP & SI. Stats: 62 tackles, 21 TFL, 7 sacks
#4: Cameron Jordan School: California, Sr. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 287 40-Yard dash: 4.78 In a nutshell: The son of long time NFL tight end Steve Jordan has lots of talent and has been a very productive college player. Having played in a college 3-4 scheme works to his advantage while at
Cal. It allows almost half the teams in the NFL to clearly see what he can potentially do for them. At first blush his sack numbers would indicate limitations in that area, but by playing in the 3-4 it most assuredly cut into his sack totals. General thinking is that he could be more than adequate in a 4-3 scheme, but we are not talking about a doubledigit sack artist here. He’ll score points with teams who value intelligence in their players, which could include the Pack. All-Star game: Jordan had an impressive week in Mobile in January. He may have been the most impressive physical specimen on the field during practices. He also displayed an engaging, open personality. He continued to impress with his game day performance. But he did not show the ability to turn all that talent into a player who can generate a consistent pass rush. He shows the potential to be a solid 3-4 DE for some NFL team. Greatness will only come when he goes full tilt on every down. Honors: First-team All-Pac 10 in 2010. Stats: 62 tackles, 12.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks
#5: Adrian Clayborn School: Iowa, Sr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 281 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.83 In a nutshell: Clayborn suffered from a bad case of inflated expectations going into the 2010 season.
“non stop motor and big play ability”
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DL He was coming off a dominant junior year and a spectacular bowl game performance vs. Georgia Tech. His numbers fell off, as did the Hawkeyes, and he ended the year as another good, but not elite prospect. But don’t sleep on Clayborn… he has good athleticism, decent size and a high-rev motor. He can play in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme and will be very productive, though not a sack artist. For those wondering about his stamina, he played most downs not in a strict rotation like some other prospects. He took himself out of games when he needed a blow from all-out pursuit and effort. He should make a solid NFL player, but not the dominant one he might have looked like at the end of the 2009 season. Combine: Clayborn had a lot of work to do at the Combine, and he really did perform quite well. His 40-time has him in some pretty elite territory given his solid 280 lb. frame. It sure would be interesting to know what the Indy medical reports had to say about the Erb’s Palsy condition in his right shoulder. There are still a lot of folks who have concerns about a player with a decided weakness on one side of his upper body. If he starts to fall in round one you can almost assume the palsy has something to do with it. Honors: First-team All-Big Ten in 2009 and 2010, team captain at Iowa. Stats: 52 tackles, 7 TFL, 3.5 sacks
#6: Cameron Heyward School: Ohio State, Sr. Height: 6’ 5” Weight: 295 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.92 In a nutshell: The son of Craig “Ironhead” Heyward is a better player than his stats might indicate. It has to be remembered that the DL in Columbus is always a rotation situation. Given the overall talent base Jim Tressell wants lots of players to see the field so he has experienced depth, no matter how good a player like Cam is. But if you watch a healthy Heyward in action, you see a big framed, strong young man who can dominate play. He is somewhat limited right now after elbow surgery, but a full recovery is expected. And you gotta love the genes on this player. He could be a more productive pro than college player. Postseason game: It has long been a contention of personnel people that you can tell a lot about a player based on his ability to perform on the biggest of stages. Heyward certainly rose to the occasion as Ohio State prevailed over Arkansas in this year’s Sugar Bowl, saving some measure of respect for the Big Ten after a winless New Year’s Day for the Conference. Heyward recorded 6 tackles, highlighted by 3.5 TFL, 1 Sack and 2 QB hurries. All of this in between times when he was being tended to on the bench for an elbow injury, which later required surgery.
Honors: First-team All-Big Ten in 2010, Buckeyes team captain. Stats: 48 tackles, 13 TFL, 3.5 sacks
#7: M. Wilkerson School: Temple, Jr. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 315 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.96 In a nutshell: A lot of folks where shaking their heads when Muhammad Wilkerson threw his helmet into the ring for early entry into the 2011 Draft. Now scouts are scrambling for more video and any notes they can find on the physically impressive young man. Wilkerson could be a solid fit for a 4-3 scheme, ala Albert Haynesworth, but should be able to play DE in a 3-4 scheme as well. He’s certainly a top 100 prospect and has a chance to get into round two. He has the strength to go with his size and can move around pretty well for his size. He appears to be the kind of overall athlete that would interest the Pack because of his flexibility to move around in multiple defensive sets and his ability to bring pressure in the pocket. Combine: Wilkerson was indeed one of the hits of the Combine. Being an underclassman, personnel people did not get a chance to see him up close and personal at an All-star game. Given his size and the nice numbers he posted in Indy it’s safe to say that there should be an awful lot of interest in the Temple product.
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DL Honors: First-team All-MAC, Temple Defensive MVP in 2010. Stats: 70 tackles, 13 TFL, 9.5 sacks
#8: Sione Fua School: Stanford, Sr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 307 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 5.28 In a nutshell: It’s not a great year for the nose position. Some of the big heavies that you might normally look for to plug the spot are probably too tall to play the 3-4 at max efficiency. The best overall package at the position may well be Fua. He has a wide frame and a big base to work with. He is also functionally strong to say the least. It also plays in his favor that he was in an NFL style power defense under Jim Harbaugh. He is probably a bit more athletic than most NT candidates, which will appeal to teams like the Packers. He might look pretty good to Ted Thompson at the end of the third round given the age of guys currently on the roster like Pickett and Green who are both on the wrong side of 30. All-Star game: Fua scored some points in Mobile during Senior Bowl Week. He did not blow anyone away with his work, but he reaffirmed the wide base, anchor that scouts are always looking for with interior linemen. He is fairly athletic for his body, but his heavy legs didn’t allow him to change direction smoothly or quickly. He’s not a world beater, but he might
be able to move around a bit in a three-man front if needed, ala Ryan Pickett.
loves small school projects once he gets past round three.
Honors: Second-team All-Pac 10 in 2010, honorable mention in 2009.
Honors: First-team All-Gulf South Conference, Division II All-American.
Stats: 23 tackles, 6 TFL, 4.5 sacks
Stats: 52 tackles, 13.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks
#9: Cedric Thornton School: S. Arkansas, Sr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 309 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 5.26 In a nutshell: This guy has come out of nowhere to challenge for a slot in the first three rounds of the draft. He is a high rev motor guy who loves contact and finds the ball very well. He has a knack for penetrating into the backfield primarily because of good hand use and quickness. But he doesn’t appear to have any special pass-rush technique, thus the thought process that a five technique in a 3-4 is his best option. He is one player that many folks wish they could see more game tape of. All-Star game: Many thought he looked absolutely dynamic in Mobile. He more than held his own with the big school guys… he stood out in drills and scrimmages. His senior season was somewhat derailed by injuries so his stint in Mobile could not have come at a better time. If he is the player that showed flashes all week in Mobile there should be definite interest in him up in Green Bay in April in the middle rounds. Mr. Thompson just
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The Field 10. Pernell McPhee - Miss. State 11. Jerrell Powe - Ole Miss 12. Lawrence Guy, Arizona State 13. Brandon Bair, Oregon 14. Kenrick Ellis, Hampton 15. Ian Williams, Notre Dame Players that don’t fit the Packers’ 3-4 defensive scheme. 1. Nick Fairley, Auburn 2. Allen Bailey, Miami 3. Stephen Paea, Oregon State 4. Corey Liuget, Illinois 5. Marvin Austin, North Carolina 6. Phil Taylor, Baylor 7. Greg Romeus, Pitt 8. Drake Nevis, LSU 9. Jarvis Jenkins, Clemson 10. Christian Ballard, Iowa 11. Jurrell Casey, Southern Cal 12. Martin Parker, Richmond 13. Terrell McClain, South Florida
About the Author “Pigskin” Paul Guillemette is a lifelong football fan, who developed a fascination with the NFL Draft in his teens. He was buying Mel Kiper’s annuals before there was a “Blue Book.”
Outside Linebackers #1: Akeem Ayers School: UCLA, Jr. Height: 6” 3” Weight: 254 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.80 In a nutshell: Named a team captain as a senior, Ayers is arguably the most well-rounded OLB prospect in this draft and a good fit for the Packers. He has the benefit of direct experience at linebacker, rather than being a DE convert. He can rush the passer, defend the run, drop in coverage, hit hard and make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Has not impressed as naturally instinctive and can be fooled with misdirection or play action. Some question his commitment. The talent is there, however, and with the proper coaching/motivation (Capers/Greene), Ayers can step in as a starter and learn as he goes along. Big games: Ayers has come up with a few highlight reel interceptions for touchdowns. In 2009, with eventual Pac-10 champ Oregon throwing out of their own end zone, Ayers jumps to block the pass, which hits him square in the chest. He manages to reel it in and come down with his feet in bounds for a zero yard pick-six. Ayers again shows great concentration on the ball against Temple in the 2009 EagleBank Bowl. With Temple throwing from their own goal line, Ayers falls to the ground, gets up, moves into the passing lane and plucks the ball out of the air while only 10 feet from the QB. Another pick six. That interception against Temple
was the game-winning score of the game and helped earn Ayers game MVP honors. Honors: First-team All-Pac-10, second team Walter Camp All-American, third team AP All-American. Finished third in the Butkus Award Voting. Best game: Having suffered an embarrassing 35-0 early season loss to Stanford, the UCLA Bruins were determined to turn things around. A 31-13 win against Houston was a good start, but the real test would be the next-up 7th ranked Texas Longhorns. The Bruins passed the test. In front of a Texas home crowd of over 101,000 fans, the UCLA defense, led by Akeem Ayers, forced five Texas turnovers on their way to an easy 34-12 victory. Ayers had a key interception, seven tackles, a forced fumble and a sack. Ayers was name the Lott National Impact Player of the Week for his outstanding performance Stats: 68 tackles, 10 TFL, 4 sacks, 2 FF, 2 INT
#2: Robert Quinn School: N. Carolina, Jr. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 265 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.70 In a nutshell: Initially viewed as primarily a defensive end prospect, Quinn’s athleticism and fluidity has put in him in the category of potential conversion to 3-4 OLB. Did not play in 2010 after being suspended in the UNC agent scan-
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dal, so his combine results will hold more weight than most. An explosive player with a non-stop motor, Quinn could easily be the best pure pass rusher in this draft. Needs work against the run and is probably not a great fit for the Packer’s scheme, but with this kind of talent, Dom Capers would find a way to adjust the scheme. Postseason game: In Quinn started as a true freshman in North Carolina’s 31-30 loss to West Virginia in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. This was the final college game for West Virginia’s Pat White, the NCAA’s all time leading rushing quarterback. North Carolina routinely played with eight men on the line of scrimmage. Quinn and his UNC teammates held White to 55 yards in 21 carries, but he burned them for 3 TD passes to win the game. Quinn didn’t get much of a chance to use his strength in this game, rushing off the edge. Top opponent: In 2009, Quinn squared off the entire day against Boston College’s top OT, Anthony Castonzo. Watching tape of the game, it would seem that Quinn won the battle. Quinn beat Castonzo for a sack off the edge by getting underneath the lanky Castonzo and keeping great balance as he drove to the QB. Quinn would continue to give Castonzo fits off the edge all game, causing a few hurried passes, one of which resulted in a poor throw and an INT. Quinn also showed great discipline and awareness, blocking a pass (and almost catching it for a pick six) as BC tried to suck him in by leaving him
OLB unblocked. Quinn recognized the trap, stayed at home and broke up the pass. Honors: 2009: First-team All-ACC. Finished second in the ACC Defensive Player of the Year vote Best game: Quinn was named the ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week in North Carolina’s November 2009 19-6 win over the visiting Duke Blue Devils. Quinn racked up seven tackles on the day, including 4.5 for a loss, as the UNC Tar Heels held Duke to only 12 yards rushing. Even the potent Duke passing game was stymied as Quinn terrorized the Duke quarterback all game, recording three sacks, six quarterback pressures and one forced fumble. The Blue Devils were held to only 112 yards passing, way below their 277 passing YPG average.
angry passion. Hard to believe, but he has only four years of organized football experience under his belt. While he has OLB potential, it might be better for him put on weight and stay at DE. He could have a Pro Bowl future there. Smith is behind Quinn only because Quinn is a better candidate for conversion to LB.
Stats: 2009: 52 tackles, 19 TFL, 11 sacks, 6 FF Aldon Smith - Missouri
#3: Aldon Smith School: Missouri, So. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 263 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.78 In a nutshell: Watching tape on Smith, what impresses the most is his awareness and nose for the ball. Whether it’s going after the quarterback, blocking passes or pursuing the ball carrier, Smith always found his way to the ball. While his frame can be described as “lanky,” he played as a down lineman and was an absolute bear for even the largest offensive tackles to block. Has long arms and sheds blocks with an
Big game: Nobody can ever say Aldon Smith is not tough. Smith fractured his fibula against San Diego State in a September game and returned to the football field only four weeks later to help his team in its match-up with then no. 1 ranked Oklahoma. While he wasn’t his normal self in this game, just his presence was a “huge” confidence boost for the team, to paraphrase Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert. No less huge was Smith’s key interception, which he returned 58 yards before being caught from behind. Smith helped lead his team to a stunning 36-27 upset of the Sooners.
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Honors: Named first-team All Big-12 despite playing only nine games because of a broken fibula. A consensus freshman All-American and was voted the Big-12 Defensive Newcomer and Freshman of the Year in ‘09. Best game: The Missouri Tigers had big expectations for the 2010 season. But things weren’t going as planned. With Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase hurting the Tigers mostly on the ground, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel made a tactical decision in the second half to have Smith spy Scheelhaase. It worked perfectly, as the red-shirt sophomore defensive end recorded a team-high 10 tackles, including three for losses. The end result was a come-from-behind opening week 23-13 victory over Illinois. Smith also had two sacks and one quarterback hurry as the Missouri defense held Illinois scoreless in the second half. His performance earned him recognition as the defensive player of the week by The Walter Camp Football Foundation. Stats: 48tackles, 10 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF
#4: Von Miller School: Texas A&M, Sr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 246 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.53 In a nutshell: There is no doubt what Von Miller does better than any other OLB prospect – speed rush to the quarterback. Watching some highlight videos, some clips seemed like they were purposely
OLB sped up, but only for Miller. The issue with Miller is his size, strength and stoutness against the run. Basically, there isn’t enough of them. He may prove wrong, but I don’t see him as a three down player, so he drops to no. 4. Best game: In the Aggies’ big win over Texas, Von Miller was absolutely at his best. He recorded a huge interception to seal the win, racked up seven tackles, two sacks, three QB pressures, a forced fumble and a recovered fumble. Not a bad day at all.
Best game: In the Bulldogs’ first real test of the season against #24 South Carolina, Houston more than did his part, albeit in a losing cause. Houston registered a game-high and career-high 10 tackles, including two tackles for a loss, a careerbest three sacks and a forced a fumble.
Honors: Named the 2010 Butkus Award Winner and a consensus AllAmerican. Stats: 68 tackles, 17 TFL, 10.5 sacks, 1 INT, 3 FF
#5: Justin Houston School: Georgia, Jr. Height: 6” 3” Weight: 270 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.68 In a nutshell: Moved to OLB this season, Houston showed an explosive initial burst, was a pass-rushing terror and lived in the offensive backfield. Has work do do in pass coverage, where he has very limited experience. This showed in the combine “drop back” drills where he fell several times when changing directions. Slightly above average against the run, he hasn’t shown the strength to be a “force” player. Shows excellent pursuit skills. Would be a nice pass-rush upgrade to the Packers’ ROLB group.
Justin Houston - Georgia
Honors: Named All-SEC first team, FWAA All-America selection, a Walter Camp All-America Second Team selection and a Pro Football Weekly All-America selection. Named a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Butkus Award and a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award. Stats: 67 tackles, 18.5 TFL, 10 sacks, 1 INT, 2 FF
#6: Cliff Matthews South Carolina, Sr. Height: 6” 4” Weight: 257 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.82 In a nutshell: This is an intriguing DE to OLB convert. A natural athlete, Matthews has a solid frame and shows the fluidity to play linebacker. He’s a hard hitter, has great range and is excellent in pursuit. I really like what I’ve seen of him on tape. Has taken some criticism for not meeting production expectations. I’m convinced that with the right coaching/motivation (Capers/Greene), he could be a very good value pick in this draft. A Ted Thompson sleeper pick if he drops. Best game: With the Volunteers at 5-2 and the tough part of their schedule still to come, a win against Tennessee would go a long way for the Gamecocks. Having been playing with a restrictive shoulder harness, Matthews went without it in the Tennessee game and had his best game of the season. In their big home win, Matthews recorded five tackles, two tackles for loss, two sacks and one forced fumble. Honors: Named second-team AllSEC by the league’s coaches. Stats: 38 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 4 FF
“showed an explosive initial burst and was a pash-rushing terror”
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OLB #7: Jabaal Sheard School: Pittsburgh, Sr. Height: 6” 3” Weight: 264 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.69 In a nutshell: Three words describe Jabaal Sheard: Tough to block. A powerful pass rusher, he can come off the edge or spin inside while maintaining his balance. He plays with his eyes on the backfield, runs well and reacts well to the ball. Solid against the run and likes the big hit. The big question is, can he drop in coverage? I like his tenacity and think he’s worth taking a chance on. Best game: Playing a big game against the Golden Domers in Notre Dame, Sheard was his usual forceful self. Sheard contributed in a big way, recording two quarterback sacks, four quarterback hurries, five tackles, including two for loss and a forced fumble. For that outstanding day, Sheard was named the Coaching Staff Defensive Player of the Game. Honors: AFCA All American, first team All-Big East and Big East Defensive Player of the Year. Stats: 52 tackles, 14.5 TFL ,9 sacks, 4 FF, 1 FR
#8: Brooks Reed School: Arizona, Sr. Height: 6” 3” Weight: 263 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.68
In a nutshell: Reed has drawn some comparisons to Clay Matthews, with his long flowing hair and non-stop work rate, but he’s not nearly the athlete Matthews is. Reed plays with a stiffness in the hips that causes him real problems when it comes to quickly changing directions. A liability in coverage. Will give you all he has, and he’ll be good in the pros, but he may not be great.
Best game: With a 9-2 record and coming into a home game against 2-8 New Mexico State, it would be easy to expect some top players to coast through the game but not Moch. Instead, team leader Moch went on a tear, recording eight tackles, four tackles for a loss and three sacks.
Best game: Traveling to UCLA with a 6-1 record and high hopes for a conference championship, Reed led the Wildcats that day to an impressive 29-21 win. Reed excelled, recording six tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack and one forced fumble. Unfortunately, it would be the last game Arizona would win that season.
Stats: 64 tackles, 22 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 2 FF
Honors: Selected first-team AllPac-10 Stats: 47 tackles, 10 TFL, 6.5 sacks, 1 FF
#9: Dontay Moch School: Nevada, Sr. Height: 6” 1” Weight: 248 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.44 In a nutshell: Undersized, for sure, perhaps a bit stiff in the hips, but oh that speed. Moch was used in multiple ways, playing DE, OLB and even dropping in coverage from the DE spot. Would be perfect for the Packers “Big Okie,” and probably a special teams star, but can he overcome his size deficiency as a LB?
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Honors: All-WAC first team, 2009 WAC Defensive Player of the Year
#10: Sam Acho School: Texas, Sr. Height: 6” 2” Weight: 262 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.63 In a nutshell: Not a dynamic pass rusher on the edge, Acho has a decent first step, but lacks the strength and technique to be a major pass rush threat. Can be taken out in the run game, but pursues very well. Assignment sure, intelligent player, but not a star. Best game: With Texas reeling (for them) with a 4-3 record, it was up to someone to try to turn things around against Baylor. Acho more than did his part with ten tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, two QB hurries and two forced fumbles. Unfortunately, even that effort wasn’t enough to help Texas earn a win. Honors: 2010 William V. Campbell trophy Award Winner (the “Academic Heisman”). Won the Wuerffel Trophy (all-around excellence in
OLB athletic, academic and community achievement) and the ARA Sportsmanship Award Stats: 59 tackles, 17 TFL, 9 sacks, 5 FF, 5 FR
#11: Jeremy Beal School: Oklahoma, Sr. Height: 6” 3” Weight: 260 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 5.16 In a nutshell: Beal is truly an “intangibles” guy. Will not win any athletic competitions on or off the football field, but is a coach’s dream on it. This film room junkie is assignment sure, a decent rusher, a good tackler and always around the ball. Just may not have enough the speed and athleticism to be successful in the NFL. Best game: The Sooners sat at 4-0 and had their long-time rivals Texas coming in for the 105th installment of the Red River Rivalry. As he is want to do, Jeremy Beal came up big in the Sooners win, recording five tackles, two tackles for loss, two sacks and one forced fumble. Honors: Named All-Big 12 first team, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, second team All-American. Stats: 71 tackles, 18 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 3 FF
Did You Know?
The Packers used their third-round draft choice in 2009, acquired from the New York Jets for Brett Favre, to trade up and select All-Pro linebacker Clay Matthews.
#12: Steven Friday School: Virginia Tech, Sr. Height: 6” 4” Weight: 250 40-Yard Dash: 4.66 In a nutshell: My longshot special. A first-year starter, Friday is raw but showed some explosive pass rush ability off the edge. Can be overpowered in the run game, but is a sure tackler when he meets the ball carrier. A good prospect for conversion to 3-4 OLB. Could surprise. Best game: Riding a seven game win streak and playing their 4th straight home game, the Hokies were wary of not suffering a letdown against incoming Georgia Tech. Steven Friday helped insure that wasn’t going to happen with his best game of the season in a 28-21 win. Honors: selected All-ACC Second Team (media) Stats: 66 tackles, 14 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 3 FF
The Field 13. Ryan Kerrigan - Purdue 14. Thomas Keiser - Stanford 15. Ricky Elmore - Arizona 16. Wayne Daniels - TCU 17. Ugo Chinasa - Oklahoma St. 18. Eddie Jones - Texas 19. Brian Duncan - Texas tech 20. Cheta Ozougwu - Rice 21. Craig Marshall - South Florida 22. Markus White - Florida State 23. Roberto Davis- NW Miss. St. 24. Jonathan Freeny - Rutgers
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About the Author Somewhere in the swamps of Jersey, Al Bracco found a passion for the Green Bay Packers. Living in the shadow of what is now known as the Meadowlands, home to the Giants and Jets, Al remembers being mesmerized watching Super Bowl I as a child. Bart Starr, Ray Nitschke and Vince Lombardi turned the Jersey boy into a lifelong fan of the Green and Gold. Despite some lean years, Al’s fandom never wavered. In the preinternet days, the week-late Packer Report that arrived in the mail was often the only Packers news available. Always an NFL draftnik, Al would clip newspaper articles about draft prospects in the weeks before the draft. Once the draft was complete, he would run out to buy the New York Times, specifically because it was the only paper that would list every selection by every team. More than 40 years after Super Bowl I, Al took his fandom to a new level, launching Jersey Al’s Packers Blog (www.jerseyal.com). Al has built a successful fan site that has recently expanded and morphed into AllGreenBayPackers.com. The timing couldn’t have been better as Al and his writers had the fortuitous opportunity to chronicle the Packers championship season. In addition to managing his own site, “Jersey” Al also serves as the Packers Analyst for a premiere NFL Draft site, Drafttek.com.
Inside Linebackers #1: Martez Wilson School: Illinois, Jr. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 250 lbs. 40-yard dash: 4.49 In a nutshell: Wilson was a standout on a stout and much-improved Illini defense from 2009. He was an unknown coming into the 2010 season – in an injury-shortened 2009, he only played in two games and recorded only nine tackles. 2010 was different, however, when he recorded 112 tackles, including 11.5 for loss. He’s known for being a fast, hard-hitting inside linebacker but will need to improve hip motion and fluidity to be able to cover in a 3-4 defense. Has a nose for the football and can hit as hard as anyone. Has great speed for a player his size. His 40-time at the combine was the fastest among all linebackers, OLBs included.
Rivalry game: Wilson recorded only six total tackles in the Fighting Illini’s 48-27 destruction of the Northwestern Wildcats at the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field. It was a game largely dominated by the two potent offenses. With Northwestern starting quarterback Dan Persa missing the game and the Wildcats not presenting much of a passing threat, it’s tough to figure out where Wilson was. But with a defensive line including players like Corey Liuget, a possible first-round pick, it would be tough for players to make it to Ilinois’ second level.
anyone, especially if it’s a nagging hamstring like the one he suffered in 2010. After he returned from his injury, he accumulated only 22 tackles in his final four regularseason games.
Honors: First-team All Big Ten Best game: Wilson accumulated a team-high 15 tackles in the Fighting Illini’s 38-34 loss to the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Wilson registered double-digit tackles in six of the team’s 13 games (including the Texas Bowl). Stats: 112 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 4 sacks, 3 FF, 1 INT, 1 blocked kick
#2: Quan Sturdivant School: N. Carolina, Sr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 241 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.52
Martez Wilson - Illinois
In a nutshell: Sturdivant missed five games during the first half of the season due to a hamstring injury. In eight games with North Carolina, he recorded 61 tackles, good for third on the team. He is a hard hitter and has the hips to be an adequate cover linebacker. Injuries that keep a player out for an extended period of time will worry
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Quan Sturdivant - North Carolina
Postseason game: Sturdivant finished his collegiate career with a bang in the Tar Heels’ 20-27 doubleovertime win over the Tennessee Volunteers. He racked up 12 tackles, a sack, and the game-winning interception in the second overtime of the Heels’ big bowl victory. Honors: 2009 First-team All ACC Best game: In 2008, when the Tar Heels hosted the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Sturdivant recorded 10 tackles and had a key 32-yard interception return for a touchdown. It was a game in which the Heels were trying to gain national recognition, and Sturdivant’s touchdown aided the team in a 29-24 victory over the national power Irish.
ILB Stats: 61 tackles, 8.5 TFL
#3: Greg Jones School: Michigan S., Sr. Height: 6’ 0” Weight: 242 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.68 In a nutshell: Jones was the leader of a solid Michigan State defense in 2010. His stellar sophomore and junior seasons overshadowed his decent senior season, but Jones finally had some help at the linebacker position. He was exposed for his mediocre cover skills in 2010, which is a concern for him fitting into a 3-4 defense. But his nose to the football, leadership ability, and aggressiveness are not intangibles to be overlooked. In his four years starting for the Spartans, Jones racked up a school-record 464 tackles. He has the tools and coachability to be a successful 3-4 ILB. Rivalry game: Don’t blame Greg Jones for having a subpar five-tack le game in the Spartans 34-17 handling of the Michigan Wolverines in 2010. The Spartans had the ball for most of the game, controlling the clock. With Michigan down for most of the game, they were forced to throw more than they would have liked. Jones was a part of a Michigan State team that defeated their archrivals three straight years, the first occurrence in over 40 seasons. Honors: Unanimous first-team All-America, AP All-American, FirstTeam All Big Ten (three straight), semifinalist for Bednarik Award, finalist for Butkus Award.
Best game: In the final game of the 2008 season, the Spartans were annihilated by the Penn State Nittany Lions, 49-18. The lone bright spot in that game was Greg Jones, who racked up 15 total tackles – 12 solo – and a sack. It was the end of a tremendous season for Jones, in which he made 153 total tackles. He finished the season with six straight games of double-digit tackles. The strong finish to that season would propel him into the upperechelon of college football middle linebackers. Stats: 105 tackles, 10 TFL, 1 sack, 3 FF, 2 INT
#4: Nate Irving School: N. Carolina St., Sr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 240 lbs. 40-yard dash: 4.58 In a nutshell: Things were looking great for Irving at the end of his 80-tackle sophomore season. But a June 2008 car accident sidelined him for the entire 2009 season. He came back in 2010 and racked up 89 total tackles in a bowl-winning season for the NC State Wolfpack.
Best game: Irving racked up 16 tackles and two sacks in the Wolfpack’s 45-28 beat down of the defending ACC Champion Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. It was his first big game of the year, and set the tone for both himself and the team for the rest of 2010. Stats: 89 tackles, 7 sacks, 3 FF
#5: Colin McCarthy School: Miami (FL), Sr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 238 lbs. 40-yard dash: 4.59 In a nutshell: McCarthy led the Hurricanes in tackles with 119. Has the size, speed, and strength to be a very good 3-4 ILB. Registered double-digit tackles in six games, including the Hyundai Sun Bowl. Has shown adequate cover skills. Comes from a university that produces star NFL linebackers. Best game: In a 24-19 loss to the Virginia Cavaliers, McCarthy notched 18 tackles and an interception. It was an unbelievable performance that was all-for-naught in a disappointing loss. McCarthy’s performance in the loss was his most well-rounded of the year, and showed some definitive NFL skills.
Rivalry game: Irving played well in the Wolfpack’s 29-24 victory over the rival UNC Tar Heels. He made seven tackles and registered a sack in the win. He also had a pass defended. It was a redeeming performance for a player who missed the entire previous season.
Stats: 119 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 FF, 1 INT
Honors: First-team All-ACC, secondteam Walter Camp All-American.
“adequate cover skills”
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Honors: All-ACC Honorable Mention.
ILB #6: Kelvin Sheppard School: LSU, Sr. Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 250 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.56 In a nutshell: Sheppard built off his strong junior campaign with an even better senior season. Racked up 118 tackles in a two-loss season for the Tigers. Has terrific speed for someone his size. More of a runstopper than a cover 3-4 ILB, but has speed and agility to do so. Rivalry game: Recorded eight tackles and a sack against conference rival Florida. Not his best performance of the year, but one in which he showed a nose for the football and the ability to get to the quarterback. Also recorded seven tackles and a sack in a win over Alabama. Honors: First-team All SEC. Best game: Not his best game as much as it is his best three-game span. In 2009, he recorded 13 tackles in each game against Florida, Auburn and Tulane, and added one sack. It was an epic run of tackling ability for the ILB, and one that made him a force to come in the SEC. Stats: 118 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 FF, 1 INT
#7: Casey Matthews School: Oregon, Sr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 231 lbs. 40-yard dash: 4.68
In a nutshell: Hurt himself more than helped at the 2011 Combine with a shoulder injured during the bench press that prevented him from participating further. Undersized for an inside linebacker, but has great bloodlines (brother, Clay III; Father, Clay). Led Oregon team that lost BCS Championship in tackles. Has speed, but needs to bulk up. Rivalry game: Recorded five tackles and registered a sack in the Ducks’ 37-20 win over rival Oregon State. Game was never really in question. Win led Oregon to BCS National Championship game to face eventual champion Auburn. Honors: First-team All-Pac 10, AllAmerica honorable mention. Stats: 73 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 FF, 3 INT
#8: Mike Mohamed School: Cal, Sr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 239 lbs. 40-yard dash: 4.65 In a nutshell: One of the tallest linebackers, but undersized. Height can be useful in coverage, but seems to be more of a 4-3 than a 3-4 fit. Stats dipped from 2009 but still had an effective season, nearly reaching 100 tackles. Probably a second- or third-day pick. Best game: Mohamed’s best game came in the second week to Colorado. He registered 14 tackles and also ran back an interception 41 yards for a touchdown in Cal’s 52-7 win over the Buffs. It was a great
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start to the season for Mohamed. Honors: Second-team All-Pac 10, first-team Pac-10 All-Academic. Stats: 91 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 FF, 1 INT, 1 TD
#9: Josh Bynes School: Auburn, Sr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 239 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.65 In a nutshell: Bynes wasn’t able to keep up with his great 2009 season in which he recorded 104 tackles. Would likely have been ranked higher had he come out after his junior year. Had only three games in which he recorded double-digit tackles. Lacks elite speed and size, but has intangibles. Rivalry game: Bynes had one of his best games of 2010 in Auburn’s win over rival Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He recorded 10 tackles and defended two passes. It was a well-played game on a tremendous stage as Bynes and the rest of the Tigers overcame a large first-half deficit to take down the Tide. Honors: SEC Defensive Player of the Week (Week 3). Stats: 71 tackles, 1 sack, 3 INT
#10: Chris White School: Mississippi State Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 240 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.59
ILB In a nutshell: Has size and speed to be quality 3-4 inside linebacker, but lacks ideal strength. Finished fourth in the SEC with 105 tackles. Played only two seasons with Mississippi State after transferring from a JUCO after the 2008 season. Finished with 180 tackles in his two seasons. Rivalry game: White notched nine tackles in the Bulldogs’ 31-23 win over rival Ole Miss. It was his fourthhighest tackle total of the season. The win gave the Bulldogs a birth in the Gator Bowl against Michigan. Honors: Second team All-SEC, Cellular South Conerly Trophy (best collegiate player in Mississippi). Stats: 105 tackles, 6 sacks, 2 INT
#11: Nick Bellore School: Central Michigan Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 245 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.72 In a nutshell: One of the best linebackers in the Mid-American Conference, Bellore started all four years at Central Michigan, amassing 471 tackles in his career. Big runstopping linebacker, but lacks elite speed and coverage skills – more of an A.J. Hawk-type. Best seasons were sophomore and junior – made 147 and 132 tackles, respectively. Rivalry game: Bellore recorded 11 tackles in a 26-22 Chippewa victory over the rival Western Michigan Broncos. His performance helped snap a 6-game losing streak. It was also one of his five double digittackle games.
Honors: First team All-MAC. Stats: 90 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT
#12: Mario Harvey School: Marshall, Sr. Height: 5’ 11” Weight: 250 lbs. 40-Yard dash: 4.59 In a nutshell: In Harvey’s final three seasons, he notched over 100 tackles in each. Lacks ideal height, but makes up for it with speed. Had a stellar senior season, racking up 144 tackles and nine sacks. Speed and strength can make him a great late-round steal.
The Field 13. Scott Lutrus, Connecticut 14. Elijah Joseph, Temple 15. Derrell Smith, Syracuse 16. Orie Lemon, Oklahoma State 17. Greg Lloyd, Connecticut 18. Brian Duncan, Texas Tech 19. Derrell Smith, Syracuse 20. Akeem Dent, Georgia 21. Alex Wujciak, Maryland 22. Mark Herzlich, Boston College 23. Brad Jefferson, Georgia Tech 24. Jonathan Cornell, Mississippi 25. Culmer St. Jean, Wisconsin Scott Lutris - Connecticut
Rivalry game: Harvey exploded in the Herd’s 24-21 loss to West Virginia. He finished the game with 18 tackles and two sacks. It was one of his eight double-digit tackle games. While the Herd failed to make a bowl game, his performances like those against West Virginia that will get Harvey selected. Honors: First-team All-Conference USA (2009 and 2010). Stats: 144 tackles, 9 sacks, 1 forced fumble
Did You Know?
Five players on the Packers’Super Bowl winning team went undrafted as rookies in 2010 – Sam Shields, Frank Zombo, Dimitri Nance, Nick McDonald and Josh Gordy.
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About the Author Tony Wilson has been covering the Packers since 2009. He has had work featured in Maple Street Press, SportingNews.com, and RailbirdCentral.com. He resides in the suburbs of Detroit.
Cornerbacks #1: Patrick Peterson School: LSU, Jr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 222 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.34 In a nutshell: Possessing the rare combination of size and speed, Peterson may not only be the best cornerback on the board, but he may be the best overall player in the draft. Ready to step in and play immediately as a cover corner and a returner, Peterson displays tremendous athleticism. Adept at reading the quarterback, he shadows short routes with ease and blankets opposing receivers when asked to trail in man coverage. He rarely steps out of position and moves with ease as he makes plays from anywhere on the field. In only three collegiate seasons, opposing quarterbacks learned quickly to avoid him. It is only a matter of time before NFL quarterbacks come to the same realization. Rivalry game: Peterson quietly went about his business throughout 2010, but assembled nice performances against rival Arkansas each time he faced the Razorbacks. As a freshman and sophomore he totaled 13 tackles, three pass breakups, and a quarterback hurry. As a junior, his presence was felt on special teams where he returned four kickoffs for 163 total yards. Honors: 2010 Bednarik Award Winner, Thorpe Award Winner, firstteam All-American by the AP, SEC Defensive Player of the Year by the coaches, SEC Special Teams Player of the Year by the coaches, first-
By: Max Ginsberg
team All-SEC Defense by the AP and coaches, first-team All-SEC Special Teams by the coaches, fecond-team All-SEC All-Purpose by the AP.
round, but as a team captain and a leader on and off the field, he is almost certainly near the top of Ted Thompson’s draft board.
Best game: Peterson’s first game as a returner opened the 2010 season with a bang. On his way to becoming the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week, he totaled 257 total punt and kickoff return yards against the North Carolina Tarheels including an 87-yard touchdown return on a punt. On the defensive side of the ball, he finished with five solo tackles.
Top opponent: Against Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert, Amukamara helped the Huskers knock off No. 7 Missouri. He registered two tackles and broke up three passes. Overall, Amukamara and company held Gabbert to 18-of-42 passing for 199 yards.
Stats: 42 tackles, 6 passes defended, 4 INT, 2 punt return TDs
#2: Prince Amukamara School: Nebraska, Sr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 205 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.43 In a nutshell: Amukamara may not warrant a top-10 pick, but he should be a great NFL cornerback. Good footwork and fluid body movements allow him to mirror routes and stay close to defenders. His size and closing speed allow him to stop short passes near the line of scrimmage as well as step up against the run. He is a versatile defender who can line up in any coverage scheme, but taller, faster NFL receivers may be able to maintain separation on deeper routes. Many teams have opined that Amukamara is more suited for the safety position in the NFL, but his straightline speed should quickly temper the chatter. He’ll be long gone by the time the Packers pick in the first
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Honors: 2010 team captain, firstteam All-American by the AP, Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year by the coaches, Jim Thorpe Award Finalist, Chuck Bednarik Award Semifinalist, Lott Trophy Quarterfinalist, firstteam All-Big 12. Best game: In the 2009 Big 12 Championship loss, Amukamara’s play was a shining spot for the Huskers’ defense. He recorded seven tackles, one pass defended and grabbed an interception. Ultimately, the Colt McCoy-led Longhorns slipped past the Cornhuskers, but Amakumara’s performance led a stellar defensive display. Stats: 59 tackles, 12 passes defended, 1 sack, 0 INT
CB #3: Jimmy Smith School: Colorado, Sr. Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 205 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.46 In a nutshell: Smith’s size, speed, and intelligence are exactly what scouts look for in a late first-round or early second-round pick. His attitude, however, may turn a few teams away from the talented cornerback. Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel cited a scout saying, “He’s a pretty good player, but he’s a jerk.” A potentially risky pick due to his character, his play on the field is solid. He reacts quickly in coverage but can be overaggressive at times and fall prey to quarterback play-fakes. With his large frame, he can be stiff, but his keen awareness in press or zone coverage easily makes up for his rigidity. His stout tackling ability can be neutralized by his tendency to get out-leveraged by blockers, but solid coaching at the NFL level should help groom his talents. Given the right situation, Smith has the potential to be a spectacular shutdown corner. Rivalry game: In 2009, Jimmy Smith registered five tackles, three passes defended, and an interception against the rival Missouri Tigers. Despite Smith’s defense holding Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert to 17-of-29 passing for 192 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, Colorado came up short in the contest.
Honors: First-team All-Big 12 by the coaches, Dave Jones Award as Colorado’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player by teammates. Best game: Playing on a poor Buffalo squad did not stop Smith from having a spectacular season. In a lopsided loss to the Oklahoma Sooners, Smith totaled 13 tackles and one pass defended. Sooners’ quarterback Landry Jones threw for four touchdowns on the day, but none came against Smith’s man coverage. Stats: 68 tackles, 4 passes defended, 0 INT
#4: Aaron Williams School: Texas, Jr. Height: 6’ 0” Weight: 204 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.52 In a nutshell: A tall, raw cornerback with a lot of potential. Needs time to develop. His large frame allows him to be effective in press coverage but needs more film study to work on route recognition and learn the intricacies of zone coverage. His size and leaping ability are his greatest assets. His talent and special teams ability as a punt returner make him a possibility for the Packers. Best game: In 2009, Williams logged three tackles, a sack, a pressure and an interception against the no. 20 ranked Oklahoma Sooners. Williams’ play was a boon in a defensive struggle where the Longhorns triumphed by a threepoint margin.
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Honors: 2010 Nagurski Trophy and Thorpe Award watch lists, secondteam All-Big 12, University of Texas’ Athletics Director’s Honor Roll (Spring 2010). Stats: 45 tackles, 8 passes defended, 1 sack, 2 FF, 0 INT
#5: Curtis Marsh School: Utah State, Sr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 197 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.46 In a nutshell: A former running back, Marsh switched sides of the ball after his sophomore season. He has good instincts on defense and possesses the speed to run with any wide receiver. His rawness shows in his lack of technique in zone coverage. In 2010, he was among the NCAA leaders in passes defended and has enormous potential at the NFL level. He was invited to the Senior Bowl, but a pulled hamstring kept him from playing. Top opponent: Against the No. 11 ranked Boise State Broncos, Marsh recorded three tackles and three passes defended in the loss, but Wes Bunting of the National Football Post noted that Marsh made matters difficult for talented wideouts Austin Pettis and Titus Young all day long. Honors: 2010 All-WAC second team. Stats: 45 tackles, 13 passes defended, 2 INT
CB #6: Brandon Harris School: Miami, Jr. Height: 5’ 10” Weight: 195 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.45 In a nutshell: A highly touted, extremely athletic player who possesses smooth hips and good instincts. At 5’ 10”, taller receivers can out leap him, but he makes up for it with well-timed jumps and a knack for locating the ball in coverage. He is reliable in run support but is not a big hitter. His size will likely prevent the Packers from seriously considering him, but he is too good of a player to discount completely. Rivalry game: To open the 2009 season, Harris led the underdog Hurricanes into Tallahassee and came away with a victory against the Seminoles. The game marked his first full year as a starter, and Harris began his sophomore campaign by tallying nine tackles and two passes defended, including one in the end zone with nine seconds remaining in the game. Honors: 2010 Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist, All-ACC second team, Nagurski Watch List, 2009 Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalist, All-ACC first team, second-team All-America by SI.com, 2009 third-team All-America by AP. Stats: 44 tackles, 10 passes defended, 1 FF, 1 INT
#7: Brandon Burton School: Utah, Jr. Height: 6’ 0” Weight: 190 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.50 In a nutshell: Burton has the size, speed, and quickness to be a cornerback in the NFL, but needs time to develop his skills. Can extend his 6-foot frame with his stellar leaping ability and looks comfortable while playing man coverage. He can be a bit slow in reacting to routes, but his closing speed will entice a team to select him early in the draft. Best game: In a high-scoring matchup at San Diego State, Burton tallied a career-high seven tackles and added an interception, which he returned for 12 yards. His overall performance helped lead the Utes to a 38-34 victory.
incident that was eventually ruled an accident as well as a charge for “operating a vehicle with a suspended license” may cause him to fall on draft day. Best game: When the Cardinals needed a win to become bowl-eligible, Patrick answered the call. His play against Rutgers paved the way to victory and a postseason birth with two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, two tackles, one sack and two passes defended. Honors: 2010 Big East first-team Defense. Stats: 49 tackles, 12 passes defended, 1 sack, 1 FF, 5 INT, 1 INT return for TD
Honors: 2010 second-team AllMWC. Stats: 51 tackles, 7 passes defended, 1 FF, 2 INT
#8: Johnny Patrick School: Louisville, Sr. Height: 5’ 11” Weight: 191 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.55 In a nutshell: Reacts well to routes in front of him, but his stiffness can be problematic when asked to turn and run with a receiver on deeper routs. A good tackler, and overall, a solid prospect with the cover skills to be an NFL corner, but a domestic
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Johnny Patrick - Louisville
CB #9: Curtis Brown School: Texas, Sr. Height: 6’ 0” Weight: 184 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.54 In a nutshell: A tall cornerback with good man-coverage skills and excellent straight-line speed. Aggressive against the run but lacks the fundamentals and upper body strength to shed blocks when attempting to tackle. Needs to work on run support, but his speed and cover skills will earn him a starting job sooner rather than later. Rivalry game: Against in-state rival Texas Tech, Brown returned an interception 74 yards to set up a goahead field goal. He also finished the day with two tackles and two passes defended. His performance earned him Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors. Honors: 2010 Nagurski Trophy and Thorpe Award preseason watch lists, second-team All-Big 12, 2009 Honorable Mention All-American by Pro Football Weekly, Honorable Mention All-Big 12. Stats: 23 tackles, 3 passes defended, 1 FF, 1 INT
#10: Ras-I Dowling School: Virginia, Sr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 198 lbs. 40-Yard Dash: 4.40 In a nutshell: Injuries derailed his senior year, but there’s enough film on Dowling to showcase his abil-
ity. A tall frame with good speed, he reads the quarterback well and thrives in zone coverage. He does not appear to be overly fluid in his movements and could use some solid coaching to help with his footwork. Best game: On their way to trouncing Indiana in 2009, Dowling led the Virginia defense with an interception, nine tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Not bad for a day’s work; his coaches agreed and declared him Defensive Player of the Game.
About the Author Max Ginsberg has been writing about the NFL for the last two years on his blog, “Purple Pants, Green Jersey,” specifically covering anything and everything related to the Packers and (gasp!) the Vikings. He lives in the land of 10,000 lakes where he patiently awaits his official invite to the NFL Scouting Combine. You can follow him on Twitter at @MaxGinsberg.
Honors: 2010 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List, Thorpe Award Watch List, Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List, Voted team captain. 2009 All-ACC second team, 2008 second-team All-ACC, 2007 ACC All-Freshman team by The Sporting News. Stats: 15 tackles, 1 pass defended
The Field 11. Davon House - NM State 12. Chimdi Chekwa - Ohio State 13. Ryan Jones – NW Missouri St. 14. Josh Thomas – Buffalo 15. Shareece Wright – USC 16. Korey Lindsey-Woods – S. Il. 17. Ryan Hill – Miami (FL) 18. Cortez Allen – The Citadel 19. Rashad Carmichael –VT 20. Jalil Brown – Colorado 21. Josh Gatlin – N. Dakota State 22. Chykie Brown – Texas 23. Brandon Hogan – W. Virginia 24. Buster Skrine – Chattanooga 25. Kendric Burney - N. Carolina
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Kendric Burney - North Carolina
Did You Know?
Ahmad Carroll was drafted #25 overall by the Green Bay Packers in the 2004 NFL Draft.
Safeties #1: Rahim Moore School: UCLA, Jr. Height: 6” 0” Weight: 202 40-Yard dash: 4.62 In a nutshell: Best known for being a ballhawk that led the nation with 10 interceptions in 2009. His interception numbers dropped off precipitously his junior season, however, when he grabbed only one. Healthy and reliable player that started all 37 games from 2008-2010. Very good at reading the quarterback and attacking the ball in the air. Uses his height and leverage to his advantage when going after the ball in the air as if he's the intended receiver. Not a knockout tackler, but he's good in space, wraps up well and takes good angles. Could add a few pounds. Rivalry game: Moore was credited with eight tackles against rival USC in UCLA's final game of the 2010 season, although the safety was largely a non-factor. With USC running back Allen Bradford running to the tune of 212 yards on the ground, the Trojans didn't have the need to go to the air all that much, which is where Moore makes his biggest impact. It turned out to be the first time since 1999 neither UCLA nor USC would be going to a bowl game. The Bruins ended the season with six losses in their final seven games. Honors: First-team All-American by The Sporting News, Thorpe Award semifinalist, first-team All-Pac 10 in 2009 and 2010.
By: Brian Carriveau
Best game: Moore tallied three interceptions in a season-opening victory over San Diego State as a sophomore in 2009. That mark tied the school record for the most interceptions in a single game. For his efforts, Moore was named the Walter Camp Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week. Also had one tackle and a pass breakup. He followed that up with a twointerception game the following week at Tennessee and had a third interception wiped out by penalty. Stats: 71 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 INT
#2: DeAndre McDaniel School: Clemson, Sr. Height: 6’ 0” Weight: 217 40-Yard dash: 4.65 In a nutshell: Equally aggressive both against the run and the pass, McDaniel can play in the box, defend the slot and excel in deep coverage as well. Plays like a linebacker in a safety’s body, but seems to have the necessary fluidity to be effective in pass coverage at the next level. Was originally recruited to play safety at Clemson. Was the only college football player in 2009 to record at least eight interceptions and 100 tackles. There’s some characters concerns stemming from a 2008 arrest for “assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.” Postseason game: Recorded a team-high and a career-high 15 tackles in a 21-13 victory over Kentucky in the 2009 Music City Bowl. For Clemson, the victory put a posi-
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DeAndre McDaniel - Clemson
tive spin on the season for a team that was looking to qualify for a BCS bowl game but lost to Georgia Tech in the ACC Title game. According to Travis Sawchik of the Post and Courier of South Carolina, “Kentucky offensive coordinator Joker Phillips told [Clemson head coach Dabo] Swinney it looked like there were two No. 2s on the field.” Honors: First-team All-ACC 2009 and 2010, first-team All-American by the Football Writer’s Association as a junior. All-Star game: There were mixed reports on McDaniel coming out of the Senior Bowl practices. On the positive side, several accounts said he looked very fluid in coverage and that he looked good matching up with tight ends. One of the more biting criticisms came from Tony Pauline of Sports Illustrated and DraftInsider.net who wrote,
FS/SS “We were a bit surprised by McDaniel. Much of the ability to make plays outside the numbers we saw on film was missing as McDaniel looked like a limited, straight line safety.” Stats: 75 tackles, 4 INT
#3: Quinton Carter School: Oklahoma, Sr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 208 pounds 40-Yard Dash: 4.62 In a nutshell: A big hitter that can time his knockout blows just when the ball is arriving to its intended target. He’s had a few helmet-to-helmet hits, which he must be aware of at the next level. Being able to play both free and strong safety should increase his value. Carter is better at playing in the box, but he’s a capable center fielder as well. Has experience defending the slot and jumping out on receivers. He’s grabbed four interceptions each of the past two seasons. Rivalry game: Carter grabbed two interceptions and had four tackles in Oklahoma’s 47-41 win over in-state rival Oklahoma State in the game known as “Bedlam.” The victory allowed Oklahoma to capture the Big XII South title and eventually defeat Nebraska in the conference championship game while qualifying for the Fiesta Bowl. Oklahoma did a lot of man-blitz schemes for the first time in Carter’s career this particular game.
Postseason game: Carter and the Sooners had a hard time stopping Stanford running back Toby Gerhart in the 2009 Sun Bowl, but they managed to come up with the win. Gerhart ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns, but Carter helped shut down the passing game of the Cardinal. Stanford quarterback Tavita Pritchard completed only 8 of 19 passes for 118 yards and had two interceptions, one of them by Carter. Oklahoma entered the game unranked but was able to pull of the 31-27 upset. Honors: First-team All-American by AFCA, AP and Sports Illustrated. First-team All-Big XII by the coaches in 2010 and second-team in 2009. Stats: 96 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 4 INT
#4: Robert Sands School: West Virginia, Jr. Height: 6-4 Weight: 217 pounds 40-Yard Dash: 4.57 In a nutshell: Tall safey with long limbs. Uses his body size to his advantage, both in putting big hits on opponents and going up high for balls in the air. Plays with a passion for the game. From a Packersstandpoint, reminds of Aaron Rouse as a tall safety that failed, but Rouse did not play with the aggression of a Sands. Rivalry game: Named the Big East’s Defensive Player of the Week in West Virginia’s 2009 19-16 upset over ninth-ranked Pittsburgh in the Backyard Brawl. Had seven tackles, three passes defensed and an
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interception in the fourth quarter on a pass intended for probable first-round draft choice Jonathan Baldwin. Honors: First-team All-American by the Sporting News in 2010, firstteam All-Big East in both 2009 and 2010. Stats: 46 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT
#5: Jaiquawn Jarrett School: Temple Height: 6-0 Weight: 198 pounds 40-Yard Dash: 4.57 In a nutshell: His technique is as good as any safety in the draft. Temple head coach Al Golden called him the best tackler he’s ever been around. Shows good straightline speed, but struggles a little bit horizontally chasing guys down. Used occasionally on blitzes from the safety position. Smart player. Nine interceptions while playing in every game of his college career. All-Star game: Showed good aggressiveness during the Senior Bowl, but few playmaking skills. Gave up a touchdown to Jeremy Kerley in the fourth quarter when he gave too big a cushion and took a poor angle trying make the tackle. Tony Pauline wrote, “He did not show the quickness or explosion he displayed during the season.” Honors: First-team All-MAC in both 2009 and 2010 Stats: 72 tackles, 2 INT
FS/SS because he broke his right fibula in the first quarter of the Music City Bowl against Tennessee and won’t be able to perform workouts for teams during the offseason. Williams had two tackles on the evening before exiting. Honors: First-team All-ACC as a junior. Nagurski and Thorpe Award candidate in 2010. Best game: Williams was one of four candidates for the AT&T National Player of the Week when North Carolina beat Boston College 31-13 during his junior year. He recorded three interceptions and returned them for 103 yards with a long of 48. Also recorded two tackles on the afternoon. Deunta Williams - North Carolina
#6: Deunta Williams School: N. Carolina, Sr. Height: 6-2 Weight: 205 40-Yard dash: 4.53 In a nutshell: At 6-2, Williams has the ideal size you look for in a safety. Appears to have good instincts. He’s not afraid to go after the ball and challenge receivers with his height, but he’ll also make interceptions just by being in the right place at the right time. Some may consider that luck, but being the right place is half the battle. Didn’t record a single interception his senior season after having six as a junior. Postseason game: Williams will probably fall down draft boards
Stats: 50 tackles, 0 INT
#7: Will Hill School: Florida, Jr. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 202 pounds 40-Yard Dash: 4.65 In a nutshell: Hill is a good athlete, but never had it all click for him while at Florida. Just a part-time starter prior to 2010, he was suspended for the first two games of his junior season for “disciplinary reasons.” Had a good but far from great season, which makes it somewhat of a surprise he’d leave school early. Good special teams player. Rivalry game: Had arguably his best game ever in in the World’s Largest Cocktail Party against Georgia in 2010. He had six tackles and two interceptions, including one
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returned for 89 yards in overtime that prevented the Bulldogs from winning. His other interception prevented a two-point conversion. Honors: 2008 SEC All-freshman team, CollegeFootballNews.com second-team freshman All-American Stats: 54 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 INT
#8: Tyler Sash School: Iowa, Jr. Height: 6’ 0” Weight: 211 pounds 40-Yard Dash: 4.62 In a nutshell: Limited athletically, but more than makes up for it with instincts and big-play ability. Has 13 career interceptions in only three years of play. Shows good lateral agility by stringing out plays to the sideline. Not the best form tackler, but manages to get guys down. Postseason game: Recorded four solo tackles in Iowa’s 31-10 victory over South Carolina in the 2009 Outback Bowl. Also had two interceptions returned for a total of 74 yards. His first interception led to an Iowa touchdown that allowed them to build a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Honors: Third-team All-American by Phil Steele, First-team All-Big Ten by both coaches and media, semifinalist for Jim Thorpe Award in 2010. Stats: 79 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2 INT
FS/SS #9: Shiloh Keo School: Idaho Height: 5’ 11” Weight: 219 pounds 40-Yard Dash: 4.62 In a nutshell: In-the-box type of safety that’s better as a thumper than he is in pass coverage. Seems tight in the hips when he has to turn and cover. But he’s quick in his run-pass recognition and gets downhill in a hurry. Very thickly built. Registered 109 tackles as a junior. All-Star game: Impressed scouts at the East-West Shrine game. Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com wrote, “The strong safety filled the hole aggressively against the run, showed better than expected agility in coverage, covered punts and kicks on special teams and returned both. That type of versatility will make him tough to cut.” Blocked an extra point in the game. Honors: Second-team All-WAC in 2010, first-team All-WAC in 2009 Stats: 61 tackles, 1 sack, 3 INT
#10: Tejay Johnson School: TCU Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 212 pounds 40-Yard Dash: 4.56 In a nutshell: Well regarded as a leader. Started his sophomore through senior seasons at TCU, and for those three consecutive years, TCU led the nation in total defense. Isn’t a ballhawk like Rahim Moore
or a thumper like Robert Sands, but is almost equally adept at playing both the run and the pass. Postseason game: Johnson helped cap off an undefeated TCU season by defeating third-ranked Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Had a gamehigh 10 tackles and a pass breakup. Held a Wisconsin team that entered the game averaging over 40 points per game to only 19. Honors: First-team All-American by the Associated Press and Walter Camp Foundation, First-team AllMountain West, Jim Thorpe Award finalist in 2010 Stats: 63 tackles, 3 INT
#11: Ahmad Black School: Florida Height: 5’ 10” Weight: 184 pounds 40-Yard Dash: 4.51 In a nutshell: Downgraded because of his size. The Packers simply pass on defensive backs who aren’t at least 5-11. Despite his lack of size, everything else about him screams, “ballplayer.” Does an excellent job reading the quarterback. Not afraid to mix it up despite his stature. Postseason game: Was named MVP of the 2011 Outback Bowl in Florida’s 37-24 win over Penn State. Registered six tackles, two passes defensed and one interception. His second of two interceptions, which he returned for a touchdown, came in the fourth quarter with Florida nursing a six-point lead. It would end up being the final play of his
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collegiate career. Honors: First-team All-American by Rivals.com, consensus first-team All-SEC by both the coaches and the AP in 2010. Stats: 108 tackles, 11 TFL, 5 INT
The Field 12. Jeron Johnson, Boise St. 13. Joe Lefeged, Rutgers 14. Chris Conte, Cal 15. Jerrad Tarrant, Georgia Tech 16. Da’Norris Searcy, N. Carolina 17. Eric Hagg, Nebraska 18. Jermale Hines, Ohio State 19. Nate Williams, Washington 20. Chris Culliver, South Carolina 21. DeJon Gomes, Nebraska 22. Brian Lainhart, Kent State 23. Dom DeCicco, Pittsburgh 24. Mark LeGree, App. State 25. Davonte Shannon, Buffalo
About the Author Brian Carriveau is the editor of the Cheesehead TV 2011 NFL Draft Guide as well as the Maple Street Press Packers and Brewers Annuals. His daily writing on the Packers and Brewers appears at CheeseheadTV. com and PocketDoppler.com respectively. Brian attended both the NFL Combine and the University of Wisconsin pro day in preparation of this NFL Draft Guide. He played safety for the University of Technology, Sydney in Australia.
Special Teams Kickers #1: Kai Forbath School: UCLA, Sr. Height: 5’ 11” Weight: 197 lbs. In a nutshell: Had a slightly down year in 2010 compared to 2009 when he was the Lou Groza Award winner and a consensus All-American, but not enough of a dip to cause much concern. At one point in his college career Forbath made 40 consecutive field goals under 50 yards. He leaves UCLA tied for the most field goals (85) in school history and is no. 2 in career scoring. Honors: Lou Groza Award semifinalist, second-team All-Pac 10 in 2010. Best game: In the season opener against Kansas State, he made three field goals of 44, 35 and 42 yards. In the process, he tied two NCAA records: most career games with at least two field goals (27) and most career games with at least three field goals (13). Stats: 13-18 FGs, Long of 54, 27-27 PAT, 66 points
#2: Alex Henery School: Nebraska, Sr. Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 177 lbs. In a nutshell: Missed only a single kick his senior season when he went 18-19 on field goals and 54-54 on extra points. He leaves Nebraska as their all-time leading scorer with 297 points. His career accuracy
in college was just under 90% at 89.5%. Henery is primarily a kicker but doubles a pretty decent punter. Honors: Consensus All-American, first-team All-Big XII kicker in 2010. Second-team All-Big XII punter in 2010. 3. Josh Jasper, LSU 4. Thomas Weber, Arizona State 5. Dan Bailey, Oklahoma State 6. Jake Rogers, Cincinnati 7. Wes Byrum, Auburn 8. Kyle Brotzman, Boise State 9. Stefan Demos, Northwestern 10. Alex Tejada, Arkansas
Punters #1: Chas Henry School: Florida, Sr. Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 215 lbs. In a nutshell: His awards speak for themselves. He was the Ray Guy Award winner and a consensus firstteam All-American in 2010. He also led the nation in the regular season with a gross punt average of 46.4. His college career gross average was 43.0. Honors: First-team All-SEC in 2010, Ray Guy Award finalist in 2009. Postseason game: Capped off his college career with a win in the Outback Bowl against Penn State by hitting six punts for a 35.2 yard average with a long of 58, but he also filled in a kicker and hit a career-long 47-yard attempt. Stats: 50 punts, 45.1-yard average, long of 75
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By: Brian Carriveau
#2: Ryan Donahue, Iowa School: Iowa, Sr. Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 193 lbs. In a nutshell: Had a career-best 44.6-yard gross punting average his senior year. Was named the national Punter of the Week against Wisconsin in 2010 by College Football Performance Awards. Played in the East-West Shrine Game. Honors: Ray Guy Award finalist, honorable mention All-Big Ten in 2010. Stats: 54 punts, 44.6-yard average, long of 73 3. Matt Bosher, Miami 4. Reid Forrest, Washington State 5. Derek Epperson, Baylor 6. Anthony Santella, Illinois 7. Trevor Hankins, Arizona State 8. Rob Long, Syracuse 9. Dan Hutchins, Pittsburgh 10. Aaron Bates, Michigan State
Long snappers #1: Danny Aiken School: Virginia, Sr. Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 244 lbs. In a nutshell: The only long snapper invited to the Senior Bowl. Played in the Senior Bowl. Made four tackles in 2010. 2. Christian Yount, UCLA 3. Corey Adams, Kansas State 4. Harry Flaherty, Princeton 5. Jake McQuaide, Ohio State
ST Returners Only #1: Shaky Smithson School: Utah, Sr. Height: 5’ 11” Weight: 202 lbs.
“never heard of him”
In a nutshell: Dangerous player. Led the nation with a 19.1-yard punt return average to go along with two touchdowns. Set the Mountain West conference record for punt return yards in a season. Also had a 24.1-yard kick return average. Honors: First-team All-American kick returner by Walter Camp Foundation, second-team All-Mountain West at KR/PR in 2010. Best game: Against UNLV in the second game of the season, Smithson had five punt returns for 128 yards and a touchdown to go along with a 55-yard touchdown reception as well. Stats: 30 punt returns, 19.1-yard average, 2 TDs, 21 kick returns, 24.1yard average, 25 catches, 383 yards, 3 TDs 2. Philip Livas, Lousiana Tech 3. Leon Berry, Mississippi State 4. Jeremy Ross, Cal 5. D. Johnson-Koulianos, Iowa
“dangerous player” Author Brian Carriveau is the editor of the Cheesehead TV 2011 NFL Draft Guide as well as the Maple Street Press Packers and Brewers Annuals. His daily writing on the Packers and Brewers appears at CheeseheadTV.com and PocketDoppler.com respectively. Brian attended both the NFL Combine and the University of Wisconsin pro day in preparation of this NFL Draft Guide. He played safety for the University of Technology, Sydney in Australia.
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NFL Draft 2011
Off the Beaten Path Former South Florida running back and CFL player looks to break into the NFL this year.
University of Alabama, University of South Florida, and the Toronto Argonauts. These have been the last three stops along a tumultuous trail for NFL Draft hopeful Mike Ford.
Not only is Ford focused, but he’s also in the best shape of his
It’s been a rocky path for the running back, who was the 2007 Big East Freshman of the Year after rushing for 645 yards and 12 TDs with the Bulls. But he was dismissed from the team in 2009 after violating team rules. His comment after his dismissal ended with “This will not be the last of Mike Ford.” And, indeed, it’s not.
“I picked up weight after my freshman year. I ended up being, in my sophomore and junior year, 250 pounds running the football,” he said. “Right now I’m weighing about 232, I’m in shape; I’m in the best shape of my life.”
football life since his freshman year at USF.
“been a rocky path” “As long as I can get my foot in the door, I’m not worried about nobody else except that first string running back, and I’m comin’ to get them.”
not only helped him physically as a player, but mentally as well.
“That actually helped me out a lot because of the rule structure I didn’t know about. I had to get in even better shape because of the size of the field and a lot of running.” “It helped me out a whole lot – it also got my mind right.” Ford was able to attend South Florida’s pro day, but since he played professionally in Canada, he wasn’t able to perform. He has a personal pro day in the works, but no date is solidified. “I was still eligible for the Draft, which I still am now, but due to the lockout, I’m almost considered a free agent for a pro day, so we’re doing our best to set up a personal pro day,” Ford said.
“I’ve never been so focused in my life,” said Ford, who is training to get ready for the upcoming 2011 NFL season. While he doesn’t expect to be drafted, all he’s looking for is an opportunity.
“Honestly, I’ve been humble all my life growin’ up. In my heart, I’m expecting not to get drafted. But I know I’m better than a lot of those other running backs coming off the top this year.”
By: Tony Wilscon
And for the scouts that are looking to record his 40-yard-dash time – expect to see some wheels on Ford’s pro day. “When I ran it [in college], I was weighing 250 pounds, and it was like a 4.56,” Ford said. “Weighing 232 now, I should be able to run a 4.4.” After Ford was dismissed from USF, he took to the professional ranks by joining the Toronto Argonauts. It
Ford, through all that he has endured, still feels like he is in a position to be successful, and feels blessed to have the opportunity to play professional football. “I don’t believe in second chances,” Ford explained. “I believe in the chances the man upstairs gives you.”
About the Author Tony Wilson has been covering the Packers since 2009. He resides in Detroit.
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NFL Draft 2011
By: Brian Carriveau
What they’re saying...
The 2011 Draft class talks about their teammates Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick on TE Virgil Green: “I think everyone in the nation is getting a chance to see what he was capable of at Nevada and how much he really meant to us.” TCU WR Jeremy Kerley on QB Andy Dalton:
“Andy is a great quarterback. I’ve seen him grow over the four years I’ve been with him. He’s able to adapt to any situation. A lot of people they knock him for the Fiesta Bowl that we played in in 2010, but I think he played great. He’s a great quarterback. He has a good head on his shoulders and he’s a leader.”
Colorado CB Jimmy Smith on CB Jalil Brown: “Jalil is going to shock a lot of people. He’s strong, he’s fast, he’s big, he can press coverage, a very good press coverage corner. I think he’s going to shock a lot of people.”
Indiana WR Tandon Doss on QB Ben Chappel: “That’s one of my boys. He took care of me when I was (at IU). He’s a great leader. He’s a great role model. I’m surprised he didn’t get invited to the Combine. He’s a great player and very underrated.”
“one of my boys”
Pitt OL Jason Pinkston on WR Jonathan Baldwin: “He’s definitely a team guy. One thing you can say about J.B., if you go out to practice you will see him work.
LSU running back Stevan Ridley on cornerback Patrick Peterson: “They’re getting a special player. They’re getting a player that’s going to lock down his side of the field. And not only that, they’re getting a special teams player that is phenomenal. He brings so much to the game. The corner that’s 6-foot, 220 pounds and that’s if he’s trying to lose weight. Pat’s a very physical player, he’s a very smart player, he’s been playing that position since he was young. He’s one of the best football players I’ve ever seen and he’s got a motor that’s like no other. Whoever gets Pat is making a great pick and I think they’ll be very happy with him.”
Auburn WR Darvin Adams on QB Cam Newton: “Great player. Great leader. You’d be getting a heck of a player if you draft him.”
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Arkansas TE D.J. Williams on QB Ryan Mallett: “Ryan is a great player. I feel real bad because of what some people have to say about Ryan with his attitude off the field. A lot of people when they see people succeed at things, they try to find the faults in them. Ryan had his public intox when he was a freshman or a sophomore, but he’s grown up so much during the time he’s been at Arkansas.”
NFL Draft 2011
What they’re saying...
The 2011 Draft class talks about their opponents Georgia OL Clint Boling on Auburn DL Nick Fairley: “He was just a really good player, he played hard, he did a good job of getting after the quarterback.” Colorado’s Nate Solder on facing Cal’s Cameron Jordan: “That was a breakdown in technique from me. You learn not to take anyone for granted, and that guy played a heck of a game. And you’ve got to give it to him and no matter who you go against, you can’t break down in your technique. That was just a fundamental error on my part.”
Wisconsin running back John Clay on tough opponents: “I’d have to say the defensive end from Ohio State, Hayward, and the defensive end from I owa , C l a y b o r n . They just have motors non-stop, and you have to hold them down for the entire game.”
Auburn offensive lineman Lee Ziemba on facing Auburn defensive lineman Nick Fairley:
“He’s quick off the ball. He’s very explosive. He’s a powerful football player and he gets off blocks.”
Florida Safety Ahmad Black on facing Georgia’s wideouts A.J. Green and Julio Jones: “They’re two different types of receivers. Julio is more of a physical type. A.J. is more of a jump-ball, go get it kind of guy. I think A.J. is more of a great catcher, Julio more of a blocker, a guy that will put his body on you and get open.”
“they’re two different types of receivers”
Ohio State defensive lineman Cameron Heyward on Wisconsin offensive lineman Gabe Carimi: “I think he does a good job of having good initial punch. Over my years here, we’ve constantly battled.”
Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan on Colorado OL Nate Solder: Wisconsin’s OL Gabe Carimi on what makes Iowa DL Adran Clayborn so good: “His initial burst. He just has uncanny initial burst that no one else really has.”
“At the Senior Bowl, I only went against him a couple of times, but Nate Solder from Colorado, he’s a heck of a player. From his athletic standpoint and his power standpoint, it doesn’t get that much better at offensive tackle.”
Clemson DL Jarvis Jenkins on Baylor OL Danny Watkins: Danny Watkins was the best guy I went against. 74 | Cheesehead TV 2011 Draft Preview | www.CheeseheadTV.com