That's what makes Virginia's Cam Johnson so intriguing, and why the Green Bay Packers were in attendance at Thursday's pro day after holding a formal interview with Johnson at the Scouting Combine last month.
Johnson played outside linebacker in former coach Al Groh's 3-4 scheme as a freshman and sophomore before moving to defensive end in new coach Mike London's 4-3 scheme. With 12.5 sacks in 40 career starts, he's never been a dominant player but scouts see him as an ascending talent who's just starting to put things together.
"I believe I have versatility and I think teams are looking for," Johnson said afterward. "I can play in space or with my hand in the dirt, as well."
Johnson stood on most of his numbers from the Combine, doing only the vertical jump (34.5 inches) and broad jump (10 feet). At the Combine, Johnson (6-3, 268) ran a so-so 4.81 in the 40, but he blew through the first 10 yards in 1.58 seconds, tied for the sixth-fastest among defensive linemen.
Johnson and cornerback Chase Minnifield figure to be taken in Day 2 of the draft. Minnifield ran his 40 in 4.50 and has seen his stock fall, though his pedigree (the son of former NFL star Frank Minnifield) and ability to play press coverage would make him a good value pick.
With or without Nick Collins, the Packers need to add their corps of safeties. A name to remember is Eddie Whitley, who showed the speed gained from training with former Olympic sprinter Maurice Greene. Whitley wasn't invited to the Scouting Combine but, despite saying he ws "about to throw up" because he was so nervous, turned heads by running as fast as 4.38.
"Coach Bud (Foster, the longtime defensive coordinator), he makes us NFL ready," Whitley told HamptonRoads.com. "The schemes that we do, we have so many different schemes. Coaches ask us, ‘Have you done this? Have you done this?' We've done practically almost everything. And for me to have played four positions here at Virginia Tech helps me out a lot. Just let them know that I'm versatile and can do pretty much a lot of things that they need me to."
In two years as a starter, Whitley tallied 163 tackles, four interceptions, three forced fumbles and got his hands on 28 passes.
While Whitley has moved himself near the top of the Day 3 possibilities, the Hokies' top prospects are running back David Wilson (5-10, 206), cornerback Jayron Hosley (5-10, 178) and receiver Danny Coale (6-0, 201). Wilson and Hosley are smaller than the Packers like at their positions, and the Packers are loaded at receiver.
The main draw for the Packers would have been center David Molk, the powerhouse who beat out Wisconsin's touted Peter Konz for the Rimington Award as the nation's best center. But Molk (6-1, 298), who did 41 reps on the bench at the Scouting Combine, remains laid up from surgery on his right foot. Molk tore a tendon during pregame for the Sugar Bowl and was held out of the starting lineup, but entered the game on the second series and played the rest of the game. At this point, he has not scheduled a personal pro day, agent Rick Smith said.
Ryan Van Bergen also played through pain at the Sugar Bowl, dealing with a sprained ligament in his foot. Van Bergen (6-6, 291) ran in 4.90 — he's been allowed to run full speed for only two weeks — and did 31 reps on the bench. He's probably worked himself into the sixth or seventh round.
Creer (5-11, 219), who was MVP of the East-West all-star game after rushing for 80 yards and the winning touchdown, is the type of big runner the Packers prefer. As a senior, he rushed for 838 yards and nine touchdowns, and he rushed for 1,181 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior. He played for Tennessee in 2007 and 2008. He ran a 4.66 on Thursday.
Cole (5-11, 250) led the team with 128 tackles, 13 tackles for losses and three blocked kicks to be named WAC Defensive Player of the Year.
(Update: Cole ran in 4.6. Packers scout Alonzo Highsmith even ran him through some fullback drills, according to a source at the workout.)
One prospect to keep in mind as an undrafted free agent is Matt Broha. The 6-foot-4, 256-pounder was first-team all-WAC with 7.5 sacks. On Thursday, he went through pro day drills at defensive end, outside linebacker and even tight end. A source said he made two spectacular one-handed grabs.
Packer Report did not receive confirmation that a Packers scout was in Eugene. (Update: Packer Report has received that confirmation.) Either way, it wasn't a big pro day from a Packers perspective. Electric running back LaMichael James, who could go in the second round, ran 4.41, according to reports. But at 5-foot-8 and 194 pounds, he's far outside the size parameters the Packers have used.
Two names of note: Josh Kaddu, a late-round possibility as an outside linebacker, re-injured the hamstring that took him out of the Combine; and safety Eddie Pleasant did only position drills. Pleasant (5-10, 211) is more of an in-the-box safety and probably isn't what the Packers are looking for.
William & Mary
The Packers had a scout in attendance at Wednesday's event, which included Jonathan Grimes, the school's career leader in rushing yards (4,541), all-purpose yards (7,955) and kickoff return yards (2,289). He ranks third in Colonial Athletic Association history in all-purpose yards and sixth in rushing yards.
A first-team All-American as a senior, he set single-season school records with 1,431 rushing yards and 2,510 all-purpose yards.
Grimes (5-10, 201) ran the 40 in 4.47 seconds and did 24 reps on the bench. He'd be an undrafted free agent.
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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 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.