Pro Day Tour: Inside Linebackers

With Hawk, Bishop and Smith, the Packers appear set but two workouts were of keen interest, anyway. The Packers attended just one but have seen both linebackers up close this month.

Arguably the draft's top inside linebackers held pro-day workouts on Friday, though the Green Bay Packers had a scout at just one of them.

Packers scout Sam Seale was Utah State, where Bobby Wagner showed incredible athleticism in blazing through the tests and position workout. Wagner, who missed Utah State's regular pro day because of a bout of pneumonia, ran as fast as 4.45 seconds with a 39.5-inch vertical leap and 24 reps on the bench, according to a source in attendance.

If not for his stature – he's 6-foot and 235 pounds – Wagner probably would be a first-round consideration. Still, his athleticism and production should get him into Round 2 as the second-best inside linebacker behind Boston College's record-setting Luke Kuechly.

"He has rare explosion," our source said of Wagner. "His ability to coil and strike separates him from the pack. One scout said it was the best workout he had seen this spring. Another guy said he has better hands then most receivers."

Wagner appears to be anything but a workout warrior. With 446 career tackles, Wagner tied Oklahoma's Travis Lewis for the fourth-most tackles among active players. Wagner tallied three seasons of 100-plus tackles – leading the Western Athletic Conference each season -- including a career-high 147 as a senior. He finished seventh in the nation in tackles as a junior and eight as a senior.

For his career, the former high school tight end had four interceptions. He showed those hands during his workout, as well as the ability to quickly gain depth in coverage.

Meanwhile, a separate source said the Packers were not at Arizona State, where Vontaze Burfict and quarterback Brock Osweiler had their personal pro days.

Arizona State held its pro day on March 16, and while Burfict (6-1, 245) had told scouts beforehand that he intended to work out for them on Friday, he went through most of his workout at their urging, anyway. So, the lack of a Green Bay scout might not mean they're not interested in the hard-hitting but sometimes-over-the-edge linebacker.

On Friday, Burfict ran only the 40-yard dash, being clocked as fast as 4.79 seconds – an improvement over his 5.00 at the Scouting Combine (when he weighed 248). Burfict told scouts he was available to go through position drills on Friday but they seemed content with what they saw two weeks ago.

Burfict as a consensus All-American as a sophomore but wasn't even a member of the all-Pac-12 team as a junior this past season.

"I just want to let the press know that I'm not the guy that everybody assumes that I am," Burfict said at the Combine. "I'm a soft-spoken guy, shy. But when I'm on the field, I just hate to lose and I have aggression to win.

"I heard that I'm not coachable at times. I think that's probably my pride and joy. I love being coached. I want to be better. Hopefully, I'll be in the Hall of Fame one day."

Burfict's draft prospects are all over the map, with some teams liking him much better than some media accounts indicate.

The Packers apparently are satisfied with starters A.J. Hawk and Desmond Bishop, as well as last year's sixth-round pick, D.J. Smith. Still, given Hawk's lack of production and high salary, it wouldn't be a shock if the Packers used some resources to fortify the position in the draft.


The only team pro day on Friday was at Bethune-Cookman, where outside linebacker/defensive end Ryan Davis has emerged as a third- or fourth-round prospect. The Packers were not there, according to a source, though we were told they were interested observers when Davis worked out at Miami's pro day on March 8. On Friday, the 6-foot-3, 261-pounder ran the 40-yard dash in 4.71 seconds, registering a 33 ½-inch vertical leap and a 9-9 broad jump.

Davis ranked 10th in FCS with 12 sacks, seventh with 21.5 tackles for losses and first with eight forced fumbles.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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