Pro Day Tour: Combine Interview Shows Speed

Among nine stops on the pro day circuit, the Packers got another look at a receiver they talked to at last month's Scouting Combine. Plus, several under-the-radar prospects and an impressive performance from a kicker.

The Green Bay Packers' scouting department was busy on Thursday, with attendance at at least nine pro days.

Green Bay's Jon-Eric Sullivan was at Clemson, where the Tigers had one first-round prospect of interest and a few late-round possibilities at positions of need.

Receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who had a formal interview with the Packers at the Scouting Combine, according to a source, had a big day and is in the first-round conversation. After running a 4.57 at the Combine, Hopkins ran 4.41 and 4.46, according to a source in attendance. Hopkins isn't a burner and he likens his game to that of Hall of Famer Cris Carter.

Hopkins (6-1, 214) set school records with 82 receptions, 1,405 yards and 18 touchdowns this season. He was a second-team All-American and a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award. He set ACC records in touchdown catches and consecutive games with a touchdown catch (10). In just three seasons, he set Clemson records with 27 touchdowns and 3,020 receiving yards. He spent one season on the Clemson basketball team.

Center Dalton Freeman started 49 consecutive games, was a finalist for the Rimington Award as the nation's top center and earned All-American and Academic All-American consideration. He's not big (6-4, 291) but ran an outstanding 4.91 and put up 34 reps on the bench.

Malliciah Goodman (6-4, 276) ran just 4.87 at the Combine but ran 4.62 on Thursday. A possibility to transition to outside linebacker in a 3-4, he tallied seven sacks, 9.5 tackles for losses and a team-leading four forced fumbles as a senior.

Finally, the Tigers have two late-round safeties, Rashard Hall and Jonathan Meeks. Meeks (6-0, 209) is the more lightly regarded but is gaining some traction. He ran 4.47, posted a 33.5-inch vertical and put up an eye-opening 25 reps on the bench.


The Hurricanes might have only one player drafted: cornerback Brandon McGee (5-11, 193), who had a formal interview with the Packers at the Combine. McGee, who picked off three passes as a senior, stood on most of his Combine numbers, including his 4.4 in the 40. Running back Mike James (5-11, 217) also stuck with most of his Combine work, including his 4.53 in the 40. He rushed for 621 yards while playing running back and fullback as a senior.

Safety Ray-Ray Armstrong, once a four-star recruit, was kicked off the team in July and didn't play this season, though he stayed in school and earned his degree. He ran a 4.65, according to the school.


Brett Maher is considered one of the top two or three kickers in the draft, and he did nothing to change that thinking. According to a source, he made all 10 field-goal attempts, including from 60 yards, and all five kickoffs went deep in the end zone. Maher was an all-Big Ten kicker and punter. He made 20-of-27 field goals as a senior with 57 of his 96 kickoffs resulting in touchbacks.

Running back Rex Burkhead lopped about two-tenths of a second off his 4.73 clocking at the Combine. Burkhead (5-10, 214) was limited to eight games as a senior because of a sprained knee but rushed for 675 yards and five touchdowns. With 3,329 rushing yards, he ranks fifth in school history. He's got off-the-charts intangibles as a two-time, first-team Academic All-American, the captain of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team and one of 15 National Football Foundation scholar-athletes.

Both players are late-round prospects.


The featured attraction was quarterback Ryan Nassib but the Packers' eyes likely were on offensive tackle Justin Pugh. Pugh (6-4, 304), a Day 2 prospect, put up 22 reps on the bench after skipping that test at the Combine. He was a two-time first-team all-Big East tackle but his 32.5-inch arms have scouts wondering if he can play on the outside in the NFL. He said he'd be fine with playing guard or even center.

"The more positions you can play, the more value you have," Pugh told "And I think I can play all five. I think with my football IQ I will be able to handle center. I just have to learn how to snap, which is something you can do in an offseason."


Cornerback Terry Hawthorne (6-0), guard Hugh Thornton (6-3, 320) and defensive end-outside linebacker hybrid Michael Buchanan (6-5, 255) are Day 3 prospects of interest.

Hawthorne stuck with his 4.44 in the 40 and 35.5-inch vertical from the Combine. He picked off six passes in 26 career starts. stuck with his 4.78 from the Combine. He's got the height the Packers covet.

Thornton (6-5, 310) started at right tackle as a true freshman and at guard as a sophomore and junior before making 10 starts at left tackle as a senior. He was second-team all-Big Ten this season. "His arrow is pointing up," according to a source, after a strong position workout. He stuck with his 5.11 in the 40 and 27 reps on the bench.

Buchanan, a late-round possibility, finished his career with 14 sacks and 26 tackles for losses, including 4.5 sacks, seven tackles for losses and a forced fumble as a senior. He stuck with his 4.78 in the 40 and 22 reps on the bench.


The Packers had two scouts at Missouri, where the featured attraction was defensive end Sheldon Richardson, a probably top-20 draft pick.

That means he'll be out of reach for the Packers. That might not be the case for linebacker Zaviar Gooden (6-2, 234), who arrived at Missouri as a safety and became a three-year starting linebacker. He ran a blistering 4.47 at the Combine. He's a third- or fourth-round possibility as an inside linebacker.

New Mexico

Tight end Lucas Reed (6-6, 247) — the brother of Texans linebacker Brooks Reed — ran as fast as 4.65 seconds with a 37-inch vertical and 25 reps on the bench. Those numbers would have tied for third, been second and second, respectively, among tight ends at the Combine. He caught 17, 33 and 22 passes during his first three seasons. Asked to be a blocker as a senior, he had just five catches for 37 yards.


The Packers saw another under-the-radar tight end. Furman's only rated player on's rankings is tight end Colin Anderson (6-4, 231). A former walk-on at quarterback, he caught 30 passes for 498 yards (16.6 average) as a senior. His results were not available.


Gilbert Pena is a late-round prospect at nose tackle. Pena (6-2, 330) ran 5.51 and put up 23 reps on the bench, according to's Gil Brandt. He had 6.5 tackles for losses as a senior and was selected for the Raycom all-star game.

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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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