Packers Bring In Four Defenders

Among them was former Penn State standout Maurice Evans, an outside linebacker who had 12.5 sacks in 2007. Also brought in were three defensive linemen, including one who had a pre-draft visit with the Packers.

The Packers tried out four defensive players, according to Scout.com NFL insider Aaron Wilson: outside linebacker Maurice Evans, defensive end Jarrett Crittenton and nose tackles Lamar Divens and Anthony Gray.

Evans, 23, was supposed to be the next big thing at Penn State after recording 12.5 sacks as a sophomore in 2007 and earning preseason All-American honors heading into his junior season. Instead, he was arrested for marijuana possession in September 2008 in an apartment shared with then-teammate and current Packers tight end Andrew Quarless. Evans and another teammate (not Quarless) were suspended by then-coach Joe Paterno for three games. In Evans' absence, Aaron Maybin delivered an All-American season and became a first-round pick.

Evans (6-foot-2, 265 pounds) declared for the 2009 draft a year early, anyway. He went undrafted and failed to make the Giants' roster out of training camp. He had stints with Tampa Bay, Carolina and Tampa Bay again in 2009, then spent training camp with Chicago in 2010 but failed to make the team. He was not in a training camp in 2011 and never has played in a regular-season game.

Gray (6-0, 317) considered signing with the Packers as an undrafted free agent but chose Pittsburgh, instead, though he did not make the Steelers' roster and spent the year out of the league. Not only was he a productive defensive lineman at Southern Mississippi — he was second-team all-Conference USA as a junior and senior — but he was a champion powerlifter in high school who now boasts a bench press of 525 pounds and a squad of 800.

He did 39 reps on the 225-pound bench press at Southern Miss' pro day and had a pre-draft visit with the Packers.

The 26-year-old Divens (6-3, 340) played in five games with Baltimore in 2008 and 2010 (with a year on injured reserve after hip surgery in 2009). He entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee State in 2008 and spent training camp with Tampa Bay in 2011.

The 24-year-old Crittenton (6-6, 282) signed with Seattle as an undrafted free agent. He was waived during training camp and claimed off waivers by Pittsburgh, but was released among its final cuts. As a senior at Middle Tennessee State — the same that produced outside linebackers Erik Walden and Jamari Lattimore — Crittenton tallied four sacks and 10.5 tackles or losses.


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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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