Pro Day Tour: Quarterbacks, OLBs

We told you about Ted Thompson's appearance at Iowa earlier today. The Packers had scouts at six other pro days, and saw two outstanding quarterbacks and two outside linebackers who lined up in a 3-4 at college.

On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers officially lost backup quarterback Matt Flynn.

On Monday, the Packers had scouts watching two potential replacements.

At Arizona, it was Nick Foles. At Houston, it was record-setting Case Keenum.

Keenum threw or 19,217 yards and 155 touchdowns compared to Foles' 10,067 yards and 67 touchdowns, but it's the strong-armed Foles who is considered the superior prospect. The 6-foot-5 Foles threw it well in foul weather, and what will impress the Packers is his ability to throw it with accuracy while on the move.

Foles figures to go sometime early in Day 3. The Wildcats haven't had a quarterback play in the NFL since joining the Pac-10/Pac-12 in 1978.

Keenum took a hit for his performance at the Scouting Combine. On Monday, Keenum told the Houston Chronicle that he strained a hamstring during his second 40-yard dash, and the injury affected his performance in passing drills.

"It was very important for me to show these guys that (at the Combine), that was not me," Keenum said. "I have very high standards for myself and I believe in my abilities tremendously and I think I wasn't at my best. I wanted to go out there and compete. That's what I do. That's where you can get into the whole touchy situation of ‘Do you throw or not throw.' But my whole mind-set has been, ‘I am who I am, so let's do it, let's roll.'"

There are questions about Keenum's arm strength, but one scout told the Chronicle's reporter, Sam Khan Jr., that Keenum's arm is "above average."

More Arizona

Foles had an excellent supporting cast featuring receivers Juron Criner and David Douglas. Criner (6-foot-3), a big, powerful possession receiver, ran in the mid-4.6s, according to a source. He ranks fourth in school history in receptions (209) and yards (2,859), and his 32 career touchdowns catches are tied for second in Pac-12 history.

Douglas (6-foot-1), an intriguing slot receiver, ran 4.45. He posted career highs with 65 catches, 666 yards and four touchdowns as a senior. While Criner could go in Day 2, Douglas is hoping to sneak into the seventh round. His performance on Monday might do just that.

Cornerback Trevin Wade, a Day 3 prospect, played a lot of man, which could make him appealing for Green Bay. He picked off 12 passes in four seasons. His nickname is "Two Star" because he was merely a two-star recruit.

More Houston

Houston's other draft-worthy prospect — one who inexplicably has been ignored by media draftniks — is outside linebacker Sammy Brown (6-2, 243). Brown, who played outside linebacker in the Cougars' 3-4 schame, ran a 4.63 with a 37-inch vertical and 20 reps on the bench. Brown was dominant with 13.5 sacks and an NCAA-leading 30 tackles for losses as a senior, after 7.5 sacks and 20 tackles for losses as a junior.

Rice

Speaking of pass-rushing outside linebackers from the state of Texas, another name to recall is Rice's Scott Solomon. For his career, Solomon (6-3, 262) recorded 24 sacks and 43.5 tackles for losses, good for fourth and sixth, respectively, among active players. Packer Report could not get any results from Solomon's day. He ran a 5.0 40 with 34 reps on the bench at the Combine.

Update: Solomon stood on his Combine numbers and spent most of the workout doing linebacker drills for scouts including Green Bay's Alonzo Highsmith.

Wake Forest

Scouts coming to see Kyle Wilber got a heaping helping of Josh Bush.

Bush, a senior safety, inexplicably was not invited to the Scouting Combine despite being a third-team All-American and finishing sixth in the nation with six interceptions. As a sophomore, he intercepted North Carolina State quarterback Russell Wilson, ending Wilson's NCAA-record streak of 379 consecutive passes without an interception.

Bush (5-11, 208) ran the 40-yard dash between 4.49 and 4.52 seconds and did 16 reps on the 225-pound bench press, according to a source. Not surprisingly for someone with his ballhawking history, he looked smooth in drills. NFLDraftScout.com has Bush rated as the 592nd player in the draft (and 24th free safety). A source said there's little doubt Bush will get drafted.

Wilber (6-4, 249) has particular interest for the Packers in their search for an outside linebacker as he is one of the few players in the draft who actually played the position in college. Wilber, who ran as fast as the high 4.5s on Monday, had 13.5 sacks and 35.5 tackles for losses while starting 36 games. He looked "tremendous" in position drills, according to a source. Green Bay prefers "butt-kickers" at outside linebacker, to borrow Kevin Greene's lingo, and Wilber might not be that person.

Appalachian State

Brian Quick is one of the top receivers in the draft, an incredible mixture of size (6-foot-4) and speed (4.55 at the Combine; reportedly 4.51 on Monday). Despite not playing football until his senior year of high school, Quick is the school's career leader in receptions (202), receiving yards (3,418) and touchdowns (31). The Packers are loaded at receiver but they'd find it difficult to pass on Quick if he's available in the second round.

Florida Atlantic

At 5-foot-10 and 219 pounds, Alfred Morris has the size the Packers like. He ended his four-year career a top the FAU record book for rushing yards (3,529), rushing attempts (733), rushing touchdowns (27), rushing yards per game (75.1) and all-purpose yards (3,843). He's the only running back in Howard Schnellenberger's 27 years as a head coach to post two seasons with 1,000 yards. He capped his career with 1,186 rushing yards. He ran his 40 in 4.62.


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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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