Every day until the start of camp on July 26, we'll be giving you one juicy nugget to whet your appetite for the return of football. We'd give you more but the CBA forbids two-a-days. Sorry.
Edgar Bennett, the Packers' receivers coach, was asked about promising young prospects Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel when he provided his unsolicited thoughts about his three undrafted rookies: Jarrett Boykin, Dale Moss and Curenski Gilleylen.
"(Boykin is a) savvy as a route-runner, shows pretty good quickness, change of direction, good hands," Bennett said. "Curenski as well, moving from the running back position (at Nebraska and) in rookie camp (to) receiver. Very bright kid, he's coming along real well. And then you have Dale Moss, great athlete, former basketball player, has length, shows some good quickness, he made some plays for us as well. It's going to be interesting with those guys."
Boykin (6-2, 217) set Virginia Tech records with 184 receptions for 2,884 yards for his career and is second in receiving touchdowns with 18 (Antonio Freeman had 22). He had the second-largest set of hands of any receiver at the Combine, but his 4.72 clocking in the 40-yard dash sent his draft stock tumbling.
Moss (6-3, 213) played football for South Dakota State in 2011 after a productive four-year career on the basketball team. At his pro day, Moss ran a 4.39 in the 40 with a 41 1/2-inch vertical jump, and his three-cone clocking of 6.32 seconds was faster than anyone has ever run at the Scouting Combine. That's a tempting combination of size and athleticism.
Gilleylen (5-11, 213) is a major long shot. After putting up modest numbers at receiver for his first three years at Nebraska, he was moved to running back and never got the ball. We told you his story during our 90-to-1 roster countdown.
The Packers have stunning depth. Last year's top five receivers are back and Gurley or Borel probably will force the Packers to keep at least six receivers. A wild card is Shaky Smithson, who spent his rookie season on injured reserve (shoulder). Smithson was brought in as an undrafted free agent last year after leading the nation with a 19.1-yard average and three touchdowns on punt returns as a senior at Utah, plus 24.1 yards per kickoff return and 25 receptions.
"He's got a knack running the ball," special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum said.
Smithson could force his way onto the roster if he slows that return ability, even though Randall Cobb seized control of those roles during a tremendous rookie season.
"Shaky had tremendous growth in the classroom environment," Bennett said. "You talk about his overall commitment, a guy that came back and reported back for the offseason program in tremendous shape, lost a lot of weight, did a phenomenal job. He's just trying to come in and make the most of his opportunities. He made some plays for us during the OTAs. He just needs to continue to develop, continue to grow."
Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum.
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.