Combine Interview: Talented OLB Could Fall

One of the nation's top pass rushers, whose season ended with a torn ACL, met with the Packers at the Scouting Combine. He was clearly a first-rounder before the injury and probably still is, but would the Packers draft an outside linebacker No. 1 again?

The Green Bay Packers made a big investment at outside linebacker last year with first-round pick Nick Perry.

Perry was so-so, though he did record two sacks in his six games. He sustained a wrist injury in Week 1 and was knocked out of the Week 6 game on Oct. 14 with a knee injury. He was put on injured reserve about three weeks later because of the wrist.

Would the Packers consider using another prime draft pick at that position?

Perhaps. They had a formal interview at the Scouting Combine with Florida State's Cornellius Carradine — better known as Tank Carradine — a source told Packer Report.

Carradine (6-4, 276) was practically a one-year wonder, and even that might not have happened if not for All-American starter Brandon Jenkins sustaining a season-ending Lisfranc foot injury in the opening game of the 2012 season. Carradine was the No. 1 junior college prospect after piling up 26 sacks at Butler (Kan.) Community College in 2009 and 2010. Landing at Florida State in 2011, he bagged 5.5 sacks in a reserve role. Thanks to Jenkins' injury, Carradine finished second in the ACC with 11 sacks to earn first-team all-ACC honors. However, his season ended with a torn ACL in the second-to-last game of the regular season.

"I was very excited because I'd seen myself progressing, I'd seen myself getting better every day in practice and I'd see myself coming into games more comfortable, and as the season went on I just seen myself getting better and better," Carradine said at the Scouting Combine.

The timing of the injury couldn't have been much worse for a player who certainly would have been a first-round draft pick — and probably in the top half of the round — had he been healthy. He said he's been working out twice a day, five days a week with Russ Payne, the Houston-based trainer who worked with Adrian Peterson, and is a month ahead of schedule. He started running on Feb. 25 — the Monday after the starting Combine — and will lift and do some light running at FSU's pro day on March 19. He'll hopefully be full-go for a yet-to-be-scheduled private workout in April, according to agent Brian Hamilton.

Carradine would fit as an end in a 4-3 scheme and, according to a scout who has studied him extensively, has the athletic ability to play outside linebacker in a 3-4.

"I can move all over the field," Carradine said. "I think I can drop into coverage in a zone defense and I can come off the edge and blitz and just be disruptive all over the field. I can run around and make plays because I have a motor on me. I don't think linebacker would be an issue for me."

Just how far he'll fall — or if he'll fall, at all — is the many-millions-of-dollars question. One scout said the Packers would be lucky to have him in play at No. 26. Another said he could see him available when Green Bay selects again at No. 55.

"They're going to get a great person, a guy that's passionate about the game of football, a guy that's a team player, cares about his team, loves to win, just a great guy overall," Carradine said. "A guy that's got a motor, a guy that is physical against the run, disruptive against the pass, and a guy that can shoot through gaps, and a guy that's just all over the field, and a guy that you'll want on your team that will come in and make impact plays on your defense."

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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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