NFL Scouting's Michael DiJulio provides the bulk of this list of names to consider for when Green Bay is on the clock in the second round.
Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona
The skinny: Reed, who was a popular choice among the pundits for the Packers to take in the first round, could be off the board quickly today. But with UCLA's Akeem Ayers, Georgia's Justin Houston and Pittsburgh's Jabaal Sheard still on the board, not to mention a few more quarterbacks who had first-round grades from some teams, Reed remains in play.
One of the most underrated pass rushers in the Pacific 10 Conference, Reed brings a spark of energy to the Wildcats' defensive front. The senior defensive end plays with his motor on high gear and brings speed off the edge. His nonstop effort and relentless pursuit is reminiscent of a "poor man's version" of Green Bay outside linebacker Clay Matthews, and he could see a similar switch to that position at the next level for teams employing a 3-4 defense.
Career notes: Reed started 34-of-45 games at right defensive end for Arizona, recording 114 tackles (75 solos) with 17.0 sacks for minus 134 yards and 25.0 stops for losses totaling 151 yards…Forced five fumbles...Also deflected five pass attempts and tallied one quarterback pressure.
Sam Acho, OLB, Texas
The skinny: Acho not only excelled at defensive end, but also helped fill the void at defensive tackle for several games in 2010, when injuries depleted that unit. In addition to his dominance on the gridiron, he also had considerable success in the classroom. He became Texas' second William V. Campbell Trophy winner (nation's top football student-athlete) and captured the Wuerffel Trophy (all-around excellence in athletic, academic and community achievement) and ARA Sportsmanship Award in 2010.
As a senior, he tallied eight sacks, 12.5 tackles for losses and forced and recovered five fumbles. He'd immediately join Erik Walden, Frank Zombo and Brad Jones in the battle to start opposite Clay Matthews.
Career notes: Acho started the last 26 games of the 49 contests he appeared in – 24 at weak-side defensive end and two at weak-side tackle…Recorded 137 tackles (93 solos) with 21.0 sacks for minus 184 yards, 32.5 stops for losses totaling 257 yards and 20 quarterback pressures…Caused eight fumbles and recovered nine others…Also deflected eight passes…Ranks tenth on the school career-record list for quarterback sacks…His five forced fumbles in 2010 ranked tied for second in the nation. Among active NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision performers, Acho ranks tied for tenth in forced fumbles, tied for 11th in sacks, ranks seventh in yardage lost via sacks and also placed seventh in yardage lost on tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Jerrel Jernigan, WR, Troy
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Many talent evaluators feel that Jernigan will be the next Trojan to join that prestigious group of professionals. Regarded as one of the elite pass catchers eligible for the draft, Jernigan brings much more to the table than just his pass catching ability. He has proven to be quite an effective ball-carrier, whether on the reverse or from the wildcat, in addition to possessing a powerful arm as an option passer. He also has outstanding return skills, making him a jack-of-all-trades that make him an option for a team that has steered clear of players at his height.
Even at his diminutive height, sources say the Packers are intrigued by Jernigan. He'd be an interesting fallback plan should the player they really covet, Kentucky's Randall Cobb, be off the board. Cobb and Jernigan are similar players as slot receivers and returners.
Career notes: In 50 games at Troy, Jernigan started 37 contests…Caught 262 passes for 3,128 yards (11.94 ypc) and 18 touchdowns…Carried the ball 132 times for 892 yards (6.76 ypc) and five scores…Completed 7-of-10 passes for 43 yards and two touchdowns… Returned 67 kickoffs for 1,580 yards (23.58 avg) and one score, adding 372 yards on 29 punt returns (12.83 avg) that included another touchdown…Amassed 5,972 all-purpose yards and totaled 25 touchdowns.
Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami
The skinny: When Hankerson (6-2) signed with Miami, the Hurricanes' staff realized that they had a talent that could one day rival other UM greats like Lamar Thomas, Michael Irvin and Andre Johnson. But, in his first three years with the program, the only thing the receiver showed was inconsistency and lots of dropped passes, two traits that kept the youngster from reaching the lofty expectations of his coaches.
Flash forward to the 2010 season – which would turn out to be arguably the best statistical season by a wide receiver in Miami history. Hankerson became just the third player in program history to record a 1,000-yard receiving season and the first to have 2,000 yards for a career and 1,000 in a season. His 22 receiving touchdowns rank third all-time at Miami behind Michael Irvin (26) and Lamar Thomas (23). That sudden turnaround in his career came thanks to Hankerson spending his last two offseasons working under the guidance of former Miami Dolphins Pro Bowler Mark Duper. With the teacher imparting his wisdom and expertise, the student has now developed into a more reliable receiver and route-runner.
Career notes: Hankerson started 27-of-41 games at flanker for Miami…His 134 catches rank fifth in school history behind Reggie Wayne (173; 1997-2000), Lamar Thomas (144; 1989-92), Michael Irvin (143; 1985-87) and Santana Moss (143; 1997-2000)…His 2,160 yards receiving is also fifth in Miami annals, surpassed by Santana Moss (2,546), Reggie Wayne (2,510), Michael Irvin (2,423) and Lamar Thomas (2,271)…One of five Hurricanes to catch at least 20 touchdown passes in a career (22), joining Michael Irvin (26), Lamar Thomas (23), Reggie Wayne (20) and Andre Johnson (20; 2000-02)…Set the school season-record with 72 receptions in 2010, topping the previous mark of 66 catches by Willie Smith in 1984…His 1,156 yards receiving as a senior surpassed the old school season-record of 1,114 yards by Eddie Brown in 1984 and also rank ninth on the Atlantic Coast Conference's annual record list…The only other Miami player with 1,000 yards receiving in a season is Andre Johnson (1,092 in 2002).
Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
The skinny: Dowling (6-1), like Reed, potentially could fall to 64 just because of the talent on the board — first-round prospects Aaron Williams and Brandon Harris are available, among others, at cornerback.
Dowling had a few nicks and bruises during his first three years in the program, but those injuries only cost him one game. As a senior, he was limited to five appearances and two starts due to a rash of injuries (hamstring, knee sprain, broken ankle). When healthy, he's a physical performer. Dowling was named All-ACC second team as a sophomore and junior. He had his finest season at Virginia in 2009, recording a career-high 58 tackles (40 solos). He caused two fumbles, recovered another and broke up eight pass attempts. He also collected three interceptions, including a career-long 49-yard return vs. Miami.
Career notes: Dowling started 25-of-40 games at right cornerback for Virginia, recording 160 tackles (115 solos) with a 6-yard sack and 7.5 stops for losses of 24 yards…Recovered one fumble and caused four others…Also deflected 29 passes…Became the 11th player in school history to lead the team in interceptions in consecutive seasons (2007-08)…In 2007, he became the first true freshman since Jerton Evans in 1999 to lead the Cavaliers in interceptions.
Davon House, CB, New Mexico State
The skinny: For an athlete that never stepped on to the gridiron until his high school junior season, House has made excellent progress in establishing himself as one of college football's elite press coverage cornerbacks. Prior to putting on the football helmet for the first time, the youngster concentrated on his baseball career. Major League Baseball's loss might soon become the National Football League's gain.
House has been the lone bright spot on an otherwise terrible Aggies defense, as New Mexico State struggled through a 2-10 record in 2010. He stepped into the starting lineup midway through his true freshman season, and has since started every game in which he's played. Like Kyle Wilson, the Boise State star who went in the first round to the Jets last year, the standout cornerback earned first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors during his final two campaigns.
Career notes: House started 43-of-49 games at left cornerback for New Mexico State, including the last 31 contests…Recorded 202 tackles (122 solos) with 4.0 stops for losses totaling five yards…Caused one fumble and recovered three others, gaining 38 yards with one touchdown on returns…Deflected 37 pass attempts…Registered 11 interceptions, gaining 319 yards (29.0 avg) with three scores on returns…Also returned four kickoffs for 94 yards (23.50 avg) and carried once for 18 yards…As a senior, he picked off two passes with 10 deflections, and opponents completed 31-of-67 passes (46.27%) targeted into his area.
Christian Ballard, DE, Iowa
The skinny: Ballard's versatility makes him one of the more intriguing defenders available in the 2011 draft. He spent the first two years of his career at left defensive end before moving inside and starting all 13 games of his junior season at defensive tackle. In his final season, Ballard rotated often at both spots, starting eight contests on the outside and five more inside. While he lacks great pass rushing skills, he is stout at the point and has proven himself a force against the run.
Even with Cullen Jenkins expected to depart as a free agent, defensive end isn't a position of immediate need but Ryan Pickett is 31 and has missed six games over his last two seasons. Ballard reportedly tested positive for marijuana at the Scouting Combine.
Career notes: Ballard started 39-of-49 games for Iowa (21 at left defensive end, 18 at defensive tackle)…Recorded 153 tackles (60 solos) with 12.0 sacks for minus-78 yards and 21.5 stops for losses totaling 99 yards…Forced two fumbles and blocked one field goal attempt…Also deflected three passes and tallied 10 quarterback pressures…Added two kickoff returns for 32 yards.
Allen Bailey, Miami
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Bailey's work in the weight room shows up on the field. His strength at the point of attack allows Miami to use him in a variety of different spots along the defensive front. A starter at left defensive end, the coaching staff will often move Bailey inside to defensive tackle to give their interior pass rush a boost. With his size and skill set, Bailey projects best as a "five technique" defensive end in a 3-4 alignment. He is a powerful player who can stack and shed blockers, but lacks great edge rushing ability. While Bailey is relatively new to the defensive line having switched from linebacker as a sophomore, he relies primarily on his bull-rush to drive through blockers and apply pressure.
Career notes: Bailey started 27-of-50 games for Miami (19 at left defensive end, five at left defensive tackle, three at right defensive end)…Recorded 107 tackles (58 solos) with 19.0 sacks for minus-146 yards and 31.0 stops for losses totaling 183 yards…Forced two fumbles…Also deflected three passes and tallied six quarterback pressures.
Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State
The skinny: Much like former Oklahoma State great and NFL Hall of Famer, Barry Sanders, Hunter (5-foot-7) might lack the ideal size teams look for in a tailback. The Packers, who generally steer clear of short players at the skill positions, think highly of Hunter, according to a source.
Hunter has the same cat-like, slippery moves, great open field acceleration and strong leg drive to break tackles that made Sanders one of the elite ball carriers during his playing days. He also has the same unusual habit, which we told you about a couple weeks ago. After pregame warmups, Hunter likes to take a short nap.
Career notes: Hunter started 27-of-46 games at Oklahoma State, carrying the ball 708 times for 4,181 yards (5.91 ypc) and 37 touchdowns…Caught 63 passes for 519 yards (8.24 ypc) and two scores…Gained 140 yards on eight kickoff returns (17.5 ypc) and scored 234 points…Rushed for 1,555 yards and 16 touchdowns as a sophomore and 1,548 yards and 16 scores as a senior. In between, he missed five games as a junior with an ankle injury.
Shane Vereen, RB, California
The skinny: The Golden Bears are quickly becoming a running back football factory, with the latest being Vereen, who could be had here or potentially at the end of the third round. While he isn't as fast as Jahvid Best, Detroit's second-round pick in 2010, the junior has plenty of burst to rip off big gains, evident by his 61 carries for at least ten yards over the past two seasons, including eleven attempts for gains of 20 yards or longer.
He fits the Packers' potential need for a third-down back, should Brandon Jackson sign elsewhere. The tailback ranks seventh on the school's career-record list with 2,834 rushing yards and recorded a reception in 33 consecutive games, ranking as the ninth-longest streak by an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision player. The tailback collected 674 yards and six touchdowns on 74 receptions.
Career notes: Vereen started 19-of-38 games at California, carrying 556 times for 2,834 yards (5.10 ypc) and 29 touchdowns…Added 674 yards and six scores on 74 receptions (9.11 ypc) and totaled 210 points…Returned 24 kickoffs for 551 yards (22.96 avg) and two punts for 10 yards (5.0 avg)…Collected 4,069 all-purpose yards on 656 plays, averaging 107.08 yards per game…Fumbled eight times, losing four of them to the opposition.
Rodney Hudson, C, Florida State
The skinny: Even though he excelled at left guard during his final three seasons, most talent evaluators feel Hudson might have better success calling blocking assignments from the demanding center slot at the professional level. It will not be unfamiliar territory for this versatile performer, as he has experience lining up in the pivot and at left tackle since moving into the starting lineup as a freshman.
Hudson closed out his career as the most decorated offensive lineman in the history of Atlantic Coast Conference football. In 2010, he became the Seminoles' first unanimous All-American first-team offensive lineman since Alex Barron in 2004. He was one of just four down lineman to receive All-ACC honors four times in a career and the 11th player in league annals to earn the coveted Jacobs Blocking Trophy twice.
Career notes: Hudson started 48 games at Florida State…Had a string of 28 consecutive starts snapped when he missed the final two contests of the 2009 schedule due to a knee injury…The four-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference choice appeared in 51 games, grading 86.65% for blocking consistency, as he delivered 164 knockdowns…Holds the conference career-record by being named Player of the Week nine times during his four seasons at FSU, breaking the previous mark of eight weekly honors by former conference standouts E.J. Henderson of Maryland, Philip Rivers of North Carolina State and Clarkston Hines of Duke.
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