Pro Day Tour: First-Round CB

We continue our daily pursuit of Packers' scouts as they attended at least six Pro Days on Wednesday. The big one was at Colorado, where cornerback Jimmy Smith could be a target in the first round.

The Green Bay Packers dispatched Jon-Eric Sullivan to Boulder, where they took a long look at Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith, who would be a prime target at No. 32 if he's still on the board.

Smith was so good during his senior season that he didn't have more than a few passes thrown his way during the second half of the season. He said it got "boring" at times. In fact, over his last two seasons, he allowed a grand total of 11 completions. He has everything the Packers love in a cornerback — especially the size, at 6-foot-2, and physicality — but there are some catch-all "character issues" with Smith and the Packers tend to shy away from anyone who won't be a good teammate. Smith skipped the Senior Bowl and already has changed agents.

"I'm a big, athletic, physical corner," he said at the Scouting Combine. "I love to press, I have great speed, great size, great ball skills. I'm a shutdown corner."

Smith stuck to most of his numbers from the Combine but repeated the vertical jump, which he improved to 37 inches. He looked sharp in position drills.

If Smith is gone, the Packers could get another Colorado corner, 6-foot-1 Jalil Brown, who could be a target in the third round. He picked off three passes as a senior. He's considered a solid zone defender and good in run support.

Wisconsin

Coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson made the three-hour trek southwest to Madison for the Badgers' pro day.

The Big Ten champs have two first-rounders, offensive tackle Gabe Carimi and defensive end J.J. Watt. A source said the Packers love Watt but both he and Carimi figure to be long gone by the time they're on the clock at No. 32 overall. Another top Badger, guard John Moffitt, probably lacks the sheer athletic ability to fit the Packers' scheme.

Thompson and McCarthy likely kept tabs on tight end Lance Kendricks. The offense struggled at times without Jermichael Finley's playmaking ability and the athletic Kendricks would be a great fallback plan should Finley's career be derailed by chronic knee problems. If he's still around in the fourth round, the Packers would find it difficult to pass him by.

Quarterback Scott Tolzien is a potential late-round/undrafted developmental prospect. McCarthy, who talked to Tolzien afterward, no doubt likes Tolzien's efficiency after he completed 73 percent of his passes with six interceptions as a senior.

Alabama

None of the big guns will be in play for the Packers: defensive end Marcel Dareus, receiver Julio Jones and running back Mark Ingram. The quarterback the Packers like, Greg McElroy, remains out with a broken hand, though he'll give it a go on April 5. Also out was tight end William Dial (sports hernia).

In fact, the one player who might be of most interest to Green Bay is a player who didn't even go to Alabama. South Alabama receiver Courtney Smith is a towering 6-foot-4. He's not blessed with great speed — a reported 4.65 in the 40 — but he had big-time production against lesser competition. As a junior, he caught 20 passes for 473 yards, with all five of his touchdowns covering at least 60 yards. He wasn't quite the playmaker as a senior, finishing with 38 catches, 592 yards and five touchdowns. He's incredibly raw but would be an interesting guy to stash on the practice squad for a year.

Texas A&M

Von Miller is the top outside linebacker prospect in the draft and will be long gone by the time the Packers are on the clock.

We've written a lot about quarterback Jerrod Johnson, who looked much better during his scripted workout than he did at the Combine. Here's one under-the-radar guy to remember with a late-round pick: Lucas Patterson, a 6-foot-4, 293-pound defensive end who ran his 40 in 5.10 seconds and cranked out 32 reps on the bench. The two-year starter had three sacks as a senior.

California

The star attraction, Cameron Jordan — the son of former Pro Bowl Vikings tight end Steve Jordan — will be long gone by the time the Packers are on the clock, but the Golden Bears have a couple interesting prospects.

Running back Shane Vereen (5-foot-10, 199 pounds) might be too good to pass up at the end of the third round. Vereen left after his junior season but earned his degree, rushing for 1,167 yards (5.1 average) and 13 touchdowns while catching 22 passes. He averaged 23.0 yards per kickoff return as a sophomore.

Chris Conte was a backup cornerback for three seasons who blossomed into an all-conference safety as a senior. The 6-foot-2 Conte has a great feel for the passing game, as you'd expect, and was better than even the Bears' coaches could have expected against the run. He'd fortify the safety position and special teams in the fourth or fifth round.

Georgia Tech

Big running back Anthony Allen (6-foot, 222 pounds) is Tech's top prospect, though he's probably a late-round selection after seeing Jonathan Dwyer plunge into the seventh round last year. Running wild in the Yellow Jackets' triple-option attack, Allen rushed for 1,225 yards and six touchdowns. He's a big, downhill runner but isn't a breakaway threat and is raw in the passing game.

A day before the pro day, Packers safety Morgan Burnett was honored by the Georgia Senate for his accomplishments on the football field. He said rehab from a torn ACL is on schedule.

Oklahoma State

This is the one big-school pro day the Packers did not attend.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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