Pro Day Tour: One Linebacker But Not Another

Wednesday was one of the biggest pro days of the season, and the Packers watched one elite outside linebacker prospect but not another. As usual, we tell you where the Packers sent their scouts and who they were watching.

The Green Bay Packers need a dramatic upgrade to their pass rush, and Oklahoma had two promising candidates on display for veteran scout Alonzo Highsmith and representatives of 28 other teams.

Ronnell Lewis is the more highly touted of the two. A college defensive end, he said he sees himself as an NFL outside linebacker.

"I tell them I can go either way, but I like standing up," Lewis told NewsOK.com on Wednesday. "I like seeing offenses, seeing into the backfield and stuff like that. But if I played with my hand on the ground, it really wouldn't matter."

Lewis (6-3, 255), who trimmed his 40-yard time from 4.68 at the Scouting Combine to 4.65 at pro day, is a clear Day 2 prospect. He could be a possibility for Green Bay in Round 2 after looking smooth during linebacker drills, according to a source in attendance.

The more interesting story was another defensive end/outside linebacker, Frank Alexander, who had 8.5 sacks and 19 tackles for losses as a senior. He couldn't work out at the Combine because doctors detected a hole in his heart. As it turns out, there was no hole, and the Big 12's defensive player of the year finally got to show his skills. Alexander (6-4, 271) ran the 40 in 4.76. He's not a great athlete but he's strong (24 reps on the 225-pound bench press) and blessed with incredibly long arms (35 1/4 inches) to keep blockers at bay.

Like Lewis, Alexander worked out at defensive end and outside linebacker.

At inside linebacker, Travis Lewis, who piled up 445 tackles and nine interceptions during his career, strained a hamstring at the Combine and ran 4.88. Healthy again, he cut that to 4.75.

Receiver Ryan Broyles, the FCS career leader with 349 receptions, is coming back from a season-ending knee injury and will test for scouts at a later date.

Marshall

Publisher's note: We were told the Packers had a scout at Marshall, so we put together this recap. As it turns out, the Packers were not in attendance, according to a member of Marshall's football program. Since we wrote it, we might as well share it because it's about a top prospect.

Defensive end/outside linebacker Vinny Curry put on a show.

"If you remove the ‘M' from the helmet comparing him to all other defensive end prospects, he's the best pure pass rusher in the draft," a source told Packer Report.

Curry (6-3, 266) had a spectacular day. He ran a 4.64 in the 40 with a 35.5-inch vertical jump and 28 reps on the 225-pound bench press. He showed endurance by going through position drills for 45 minutes, including outside linebacker drills that were run by an Arizona Cardinals assistant.

Curry entered the "shorts and sneakers" season as a solid second-round pick but might wind up going late in the first round. He made practically every All-American team as a senior with 11 sacks, 21.5 tackles for losses and six forced fumbles, ranking second and third, respectively, in the latter two categories. He finished his career tied for second in the nation among active players with 26.5 sacks and 48 tackles for losses. Scouts like that he plays the run as well as the pass.

Penn State

Defensive lineman Devon Still, a potential first-round draft pick, impressed scouts with his impressive 40 time and lateral ability at the Scouting Combine, but didn't believe it was his best performance because of a nagging toe injury.

He gave pro scouts more to think about with a 4.95-second 40-yard dash.

Still, who at 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds would be a fit at defensive end and a potential first-round pick by the Packers, battled injuries throughout his Penn State career. He had suffered from a back injury and turf toe late in his senior year but looked healthy at the combine and again at his pro day.

Wide receiver Derek Moye (6-4, 209) ran his 40 in 4.41, nearly a tenth of a second faster than his Combine time, and looked good in a workout with former Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark. He solidified his ranking as a solid midround prospect. His numbers weren't great — teams highs of 40 catches, 654 yards and three touchdowns — but Penn State's quarterbacks combined to complete a woeful 48.1 percent.

Cornerback Chaz Powell (6-1, 207) ran his 40 in the 4.4 range, perhaps lifting him into the late rounds. He picked off two passes as a senior and averaged 27.1 yards on kickoff returns with one touchdown.

The Sports Xchange contributed to this review

Michigan State

The Packers need a quarterback but it's almost certainly not going to be Kirk Cousins, who capped a strong offseason with an outstanding workout. Don't be shocked, a source told Packer Report, if Cousins goes in the first round.

The Packers also took interest in defensive lineman Jerel Worthy and safety Trent Robinson.

Worthy, as we reported at the Scouting Combine, had a formal interview with the Packers there and would be a major consideration if on the board when Green Bay is on the clock in the first round. Worthy (6-2, 303) ran as fast as 5.03 with 28 reps on the bench.

Robinson (5-10, 193), who ran as fast as 4.42, has size limitations but is good in coverage and fearless in the run game. The Packers obviously need safety help, especially if Nick Collins retires, and Robinson would be a midround candidate.

Kansas

The Jayhawks probably won't have anyone get drafted, but linebacker Steven Johnson, center Jeremiah Hatch and tight end Tim Biere will wind up in training camp.

The top prospect is Hatch, who started at center the final three seasons after opening 13 games at the tackle spots as a redshirt freshman. Johnson, who would move to the inside in a 3-4 scheme, had 124 tackles and six tackles for losses. Biere caught 27 passes for 322 yards (11.9 average) and two touchdowns.

Portland State

Dustin Waldron (6-5, 305) is an intriguing late-round tackle prospect. Waldron started 31 games at left tackle at the FCS-level school. With Waldron's versatility, the Vikings led the nation in passing in 2008 and the Big Sky in rushing in 2010 and 2011.

Old Dominion

Defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron had a monster senior season, earning first-team All-American accolades and winning the FCS division's Elite Defensive Tackle Award from the College Football Performance Awards. Among his 73 tackles were a team-leading totals of 6.5 sacks and 17 tackles for losses. Cameron (6-2, 299) looks like a late-round possibility.

Eastern Michigan

Bridger Buche played tight end as a freshman, started at right tackle as a sophomore, missed all of 2009 with a hip injury, then started at left tackle as a junior and senior. He'd be worth a look as an undrafted free agent.

Of note

The Packers were not represented at Florida State or California.


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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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