Pro Day Tour: UConn's Backfield

We continue our daily pursuit of the Packers' scouts at four pro days on Wednesday. Leading off: director of college scouting John Dorsey was at his alma mater for Connecticut's pro day.

Green Bay Packers director of college scouting John Dorsey returned to his alma mater, but it wasn't just a courtesy trip to visit Wednesday's Connecticut pro day.

UConn's top prospect is running back Jordan Todman (5-9, 203). He's not the biggest guy but he was a workhorse, with a whopping 334 carries in 2010 and 3,179 rushing yards in his three seasons. He was a demon at the Combine with a 4.40 in the 40, 25 reps on the bench press and 38-inch vertical leap, potentially making him a second-round pick. The Packers, however, have shied away from short running backs, dating to when Ron Wolf became general manager.

Todman's lead blocker was Anthony Sherman (5-10, 242), who could be an option in the fifth or sixth round if the Packers want to upgrade from versatile but oft-injured Korey Hall. He does everything well, including 26 receptions as a sophomore, plus 24 tackles on special teams in 2009 and 14 in 2010. At the Combine, he had the fastest 40 time (4.75) and most bench press reps (32) among the five fullbacks.

As we've written several times, the Packers don't figure to go into training camp with all four of their high-priced inside linebackers. One of them will have to be traded or released and replaced by either a draft pick or undrafted rookie.

The Huskies have two players of interest in the sixth or seventh rounds, Scott Lutrus and Greg Lloyd, the son of the outside linebacker by the name who starred in Pittsburgh with Packers outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene.

Lloyd (6-1, 246) tore two knee ligaments late during his junior season. Rather than take a medical redshirt, Lloyd opened his senior season as the starting middle linebacker, only to be benched after four games. Lloyd, a full-time starter in 2008 and 2009, is a fierce run-stopper but only a two-down player even when healthy. He ran a 4.88 40 at the Combine.

Lutrus (6-2, 241) has an injury history, too, missing eight games with stingers and recovering from a broken hand that required surgery. A four-year starter, he's got a great feel for the game, which helps him overcome a lack of sheer physical ability and strength.

Boston College

Offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo is the Eagles' top prospect but almost certainly won't be on the board at No. 32 overall. Castonzo (6-7, 311) has it all: four-year starter, Rhodes Scholar, long arms, good feet and worker and leader. His performance during positional drills might make him the first offensive lineman off the board, a source said.

Linebacker Mark Herzlich's story has been told countless times. Herzlich, the 2008 ACC defensive player of the year, entered 2009 as arguably the top prospect for the 2010 draft. Instead, Herzlich (6-4, 244) was diagnosed with bone cancer. He beat the cancer and, after a medical redshirt, was back in the starting lineup this past season. He wasn't overly productive but did post four interceptions to run his career total to an impressive 10. A fourth-round possibility, he'd play inside linebacker in a 3-4.

North Carolina State

Packers director of pro personnel Reggie McKenzie made the trek. Inside linebacker Nate Irving was the top prospect, but at 6-foot-1 and 235 pounds, he might be too small for a 3-4 scheme.

Receivers Owen Spencer (6-foot-2) and Jarvis Williams (6-foot-4) have great size but are late-round prospects, at best. Spencer, who caught 60 passes for 912 yards and four touchdowns as a senior, ran 4.54 at the Combine and improved slightly on Wednesday. Williams, with 52 catches for 713 yards and five touchdowns as a senior, struggled to a 4.8 on Wednesday.

Central Florida

The feeling is the Packers will spend a prime draft pick on an outside linebacker, but other than Clay Matthews, Green Bay has been content with late-round draft picks (Brad Jones) and undrafted rookies (Frank Zombo among four last year).

UCF's Bruce Miller (6-1, 254) was Conference USA's defensive player of the year with a stat sheet-stuffing 8.5 sacks, 13.5 tackles for losses, 18 quarterback hurries and two interceptions returned for touchdowns. He won the award as a junior, too, with 13 sacks and 18 TFLs.

At a position in which most observers are obsessed with speed, speed, speed, Miller has what the Packers like. Miller isn't the most explosive athlete, which is why he's considered a late-round prospect or potentially won't get drafted at all. But he's physical, intense and is a power-first rusher. After a 4.85 40 at the Combine, a source said Miller was in the 4.6s on Wednesday.


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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.


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