Combine Interview: Playing DL a Family Affair

The Packers met with this nose tackle candidate at the Scouting Combine. The uncle of the big run-stopper played for Dom Capers when he was an assistant with New Orleans.

When Dom Capers was coaching defensive backs in New Orleans, the Saints' strong defense was anchored up front by James "Jumpy" Geathers.

Football is in the family. James' brother, Robert Geathers, was a third-round pick by Buffalo in 1981. Robert has sent two of his sons to the NFL, with Robert Jr. just completing his ninth season as a defensive end with Cincinnati and Clifton finishing his second season as a defensive end with Indianapolis.

A third son is on his way to the NFL: massive Kwame Geathers (6-5, 342), an intriguing Day 3 prospect who played nose tackle in Georgia's 3-4 scheme.

"Football runs in our blood," said Geathers, who had a formal interview with the Green Bay Packers at the Scouting Combine, a source told Packer Report. "Every day, no matter what, we're doing we talk about football. They're both my role models. Just seeing them with everything they did and going to college gave me an advantage. I think it was a big advantage to see what I had to do to follow in their footsteps to be great."

Geathers entered the draft a year early after a relatively nondescript career at Georgia. Stuck on the depth chart behind the equally mountainous John Jenkins, Geathers started eight games in his career. He had 40 tackles in 2012, including five for losses. He tallied six stops in the SEC Championship Game against Alabama.

Geathers, who ran a 5.44 at the Scouting Combine after slimming down from his playing weight of 350, said he's the strongest member of the family with a career-best 480-pound bench press. He skipped the bench at the Combine, electing to wait for Georgia's pro day on Friday.

The Packers enter the draft without a dire need on the defensive line, though they'll eventually need to replace 33-year-old Ryan Pickett, who will be entering the final year of his contract. Geathers has the size to play the nose and the height and length (35 1/4-inch arms) to play defensive end.

Like Pickett, Geathers is a two-down player. He had just one sack in his career. For the record, "Jumpy" Geathers had 62. Surprisingly for his physical attributes, he batted down just one pass in his 34 games with the Bulldogs.

"I'm a great run stopper," Geathers said. "I take on double teams and triple teams all the time. But I know I can get on the edge and pass rush, too."

Geathers said his three years competing in the rugged SEC prepared him for the rigors of the NFL. So, too, did fighting for playing time at Georgia, with Jenkins (6-4, 346) and end Abry Jones (6-3, 313) joining Geathers at the Combine.

"You're going to get a hard-working guy that comes into work every day who is very athletic for his size," Geathers said. "He's going to give it his all every time he steps on the field."

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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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