Pro Day Tour: OL at Wisconsin, SMU

Peter Konz was the major headliner but he wasn't the only player of interest for Packers scouts. In fact, he might not have been the player of interest at Wisconsin.

Peter Konz's ankle and bench press were the red-letter items coming from Wisconsin's second pro day on Wednesday.

Konz, the draft's consensus best center, missed three late-season games with a dislocated left ankle. He returned to play in the Rose Bowl, then did only the bench press at the Scouting Combine and sat out Wisconsin's first pro day on March 7.

Konz (6-5, 314) did only the bench press and offensive line drills, preferring to skip the 40-yard dash and other running and jumping drills so he wouldn't put any unnecessary stress on the ankle with his first NFL minicamp just a month away. The bench press was a big deal. After putting up just 18 reps on the 225-pound bar at the Combine, he completed 23 repetitions on Wednesday.

"There are tight ends and probably a running back or two that beat me," Konz told reporters. "It just burns through your pride."

With Green Bay's signing of free-agent center Jeff Saturday, the Packers presumably would not use their first-round pick on Konz — Green Bay probably would have to trade up to get him. That makes guard Kevin Zeitler a more likely option if the Packers were to add a Badger to their offensive line.

Zeitler (6-4, 314) is considered the No. 2 guard in the draft behind Stanford's David DeCastro. With Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang, the Packers don't need a guard, but he could provide depth as a rookie while learning the ropes at center to eventually replace Saturday. Zeitler went through position drills on Wednesday even after wowing scouts in those drills last month. That workout moved him into first-round consideration.

"He's as close to a sure thing as there is in the draft," a source said.


More offensive linemen were on display at SMU, where offensive linemen Josh LeRibeus is rated a midround possibility and Kelvin Beachum is worth of late-round consideration.

LeRibeus (6-3, 312) started every game at left guard as a senior after missing the 2010 season for academic reasons. He stuck with his Scouting Combine numbers (5.32 in the 40 and 29 reps on the bench) and was solid in position drills.

Beachum (6-3, 303) was first-team all-Conference USA for the second consecutive year and a four-year starter at left tackle. Most of the Packers' offensive linemen were collegiate left tackles, and he projects to guard by most insiders.

LeRibeus and Beachum were mentored at SMU by former Packers guard Adrian Klemm, who since has moved onto UCLA.

An interesting player is Taylor Thompson (6-6, 259). According to a source, Thompson ran his 40 as fast as 4.54 seconds with a 37-inch vertical leap and 22 reps on the bench. Thompson was first-team all-conference after recording team-high totals of seven sacks and six forced fumbles. He's a name to remember for Green Bay with a late-round selection.

One other name to remember is Eastern Washington quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, who returned to the school at which he spent his first two seasons — including starting as a true freshman. As a senior, Mitchell won the Walter Payton Award as the best player in FCS by leading the nation with 4,002 passing yards and 33 touchdowns. He has marginal height (6-0) and arm but has tremendous accuracy and pocket presence.

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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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