The Mountain Hawks don't have a single player in the NFL today and have had just three since the turn of the millennium. They've had just seven players drafted in school history — none since Rich Owens by Washington in 1995.
The Packers have drafted players from 262 schools but none from Lehigh — a fact that potentially could change next month. Will Rackley was a two-time FCS All-American at left tackle, finishing his career with 40 consecutive starts. The 6-foot-3, 309-pounder projects to a guard in the NFL, where he stood out at the East-West all-star game, and he'd be a definite option if still available in the third round to compete with Daryn Colledge — or replace him if Colledge departs in free agency.
Rackley is plenty strong, with 29 reps in the bench press at the Combine, and good on his feet. He told Packer Report at the Scouting Combine that Lehigh was "a big zone-blocking" offense, so he'd fit right in.
Slippery Rock's touted center prospect, Brandon Fusco, also worked out at Lehigh's pro day, according to a source. He was a four-year starter for the Division II school, winning the Gene Upshaw Award as that level's top offensive lineman. Fusco (6-4, 306), like Rackley, seems to be an ideal fit for the Packers' zone scheme. Center isn't a need but if he somehow slips to the end of the fifth round, he'd be hard to pass up as the successor to Scott Wells.
Lee Gissendaner was dispatched to Morgantown. The Mountaineers' top prospects are cornerback Brandon Hogan and safety Robert Sands, though it's unlikely either are too high on the Packers' radar. Hogan is 5-foot-10 — too short by the Packers' traditional way of looking at cornerbacks — and coming off a torn ACL, though he's had some success as a punt returner. Sands is a big man at 6-foot-4 but the Packers are set at safety and value athletic ability more than physicality at the position.
The big name is running back Noel Devine, who at 5-foot-7 1/2 is far too short for the Packers' tastes. But it's hard to ignore his 4,317 career rushing yards, a figure that ranks fourth in Big East history. He reportedly ran a 4.43 on Thursday.
Sam Seale was in town, and the top prospect is fullback/linebacker Owen Marecic, who won the inaugural Paul Hornung Award as the nation's most versatile player. Fullback will be his position in the NFL, according to scouts, and he was superb in Jim Harbaugh's pro-style offense. The 6-foot, 248-pounder started at linebacker, too, finishing with 58 tackles while averaging about 110 snaps per game. Obviously, the Packers would love his versatility and he'd immediately be a core player on special teams.
The most intriguing prospect is offensive tackle Derek Hall. Hall played defensive line until his senior season, when he was moved to offense and started 13 games at right tackle. He's tremendously athletic for his size (6-5, 303) and would be an interesting developmental choice if around in the fifth round.
Outside linebacker Thomas Keiser (6-3, 261), who had a solid season playing outside linebacker in Stanford's 3-4 scheme, joined Hall as a Combine snub. He finished with 19.5 sacks in his three seasons, including 4.5 in 2010 as a junior. He'd be a late-round possibility.
Richard Sherman, a 6-foot-3 cornerback with questionable feet, was worked out at receiver, a source said.
The Tigers have two blue-chip prospects. The Packers, with Jon-Eric Sullivan in attendance, obviously have no interest in quarterback Blaine Gabbert and the only way they'd have a shot at outside linebacker Aldon Smith would be to trade way up in the first round.
For Green Bay's purposes, cornerback Kevin Rutland would be the man of interest. He's got the size (6-foot) the Packers like at the position. He picked off three passes as a senior, despite being slowed during the second half of the season with a sore back. He bounced back from a subpar workout at the Combine by turning in a 40 time of 4.44, according to a source.
Center Tim Barnes (6-3, 300) started his final 40 collegiate games. He was snubbed from the Combine and the Senior Bowl, and Missouri's recent first-team all-conference centers (Rob Riti, A.J. Rucker, Adam Spieker) haven't fared well in the NFL. He has the athletic ability to be a quality blocker in a zone scheme.
Cornerback Rashad Carmichael (5-foot-11) was the fastest corner at the Combine with a 40 time of 4.39 seconds, and he duplicated that time on Thursday. He's a big-time playmaker — and a bit of a gambler — with 10 interceptions over his final two seasons. He's not the most physical guy and not much of a press corner, but that's OK in Green Bay's scheme. What would trouble the Packers is he's a poor tackler. If you can't tackle, you can't play in Green Bay's defense, but his athletic ability would put him in play at the end of the third round.
As a midround outside linebacker prospect, Steven Friday tallied 8.5 sacks and 15 tackles for losses as a senior. He'd have to make the transition from defensive end and needs to show he can be a power-first pass rusher, which is what the Packers prefer, because he's got a big bag of tricks to get after the quarterback.
The Hokies have two draft-worthy running backs. The real gem is Ryan Williams (5-10, 202), but running back isn't that pressing of a need to fill in the first round and he won't be around in the second. A junior entry, Williams' 2010 was ruined by hamstring issues but he ran wild for 1,655 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2009. With Williams slowed for much of the season, Darren Evans started nine games, finishing with 854 yards and 11 touchdowns. Evans (6-0, 220) has the size the Packers like but hasn't been much of a receiver.
This is the one pro day in this report in which we did not receive confirmation that the Packers attended, but as the only major pro day in the Upper Midwest, odds are a Green Bay scout was on hand.
The Wolverines don't have any first-round prospects but Stephen Schilling is one of the better guards. Schilling (6-4, 308) started 49 games during his career, with his first two seasons at tackle and his last two seasons at guard. Michigan's running game is zone-oriented so he'd be a good fit with a midround pick.
Jonas Mouton (6-1, 239) is listed as an outside linebacker by most online outlets but he told Packer Report that he'd be an inside guy in a 3-4. The three-year starter led the Big Ten with 117 tackles, including 8.5 for losses, two sacks and two interceptions. He's got good range and a good feel in coverage. One of the smoothest linebackers in the draft, he is a potential target at the end of the fifth round.
Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum.
Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.