Pro Day Tour: Replacing Jennings

The Packers sent scouts to at least five pro days, including to Tennessee and Baylor to see elite wide receivers who should be on the board at No. 26. We have the scoop that Packers fans won't find anywhere else.

The Green Bay Packers lost receiver Greg Jennings in free agency last week.

On Wednesday, they saw two of the top receivers in the draft.

While Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson is the consensus top receiver in the draft, his sidekick, Justin Hunter, should fell right into the Packers' range at No. 26 of the first round.

After catching 33 passes and scoring nine touchdowns in his first two seasons — he tore his ACL three games into the 2011 season — Hunter (6-4, 196) piled up 73 catches for 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns in 2012.

At Ocean Lakes High in Virginia Beach, Hunter won the triple jump and long jump, and he won the long jump at the USA Track and Field junior championships. That athleticism was on display at the Scouting Combine, where he ran a 4.44, and on Wednesday, when he improved his vertical jump to 40.5 inches.

Da'Rick Rogers (6-3, 217) was first-team all-conference in 2011, when he posted 67 catches, 1,040 yards and a conference-leading nine touchdowns. He was suspended indefinitely for failing drug tests and transferred to Tennessee Tech. During his one and only season at Tech, he caught 61 passes for 893 yards (14.6 average) and 10 scores. He stuck with his Combine time of 4.52 seconds and posted a 38-inch vertical. If he's convinced teams that he's changed his ways, he'll go in Day 2.

Dallas Thomas (6-5, 306), a two-year starter at left tackle before excelling at guard as a senior, is out after tearing his labrum during a Senior Bowl practice. He figures to go in the second or third round, even though he might not be ready for the start of camp. Late-round tight end Mychal Rivera (6-3, 242), who had 36 catches, 562 yards and five touchdowns as a senior, stuck with his 4.81 and failed to improve on his 31-inch vertical.

Baylor

The other top receiver on display on Wednesday was Terrance Williams (6-2, 208), who was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award and the sixth unanimous All-American in school history. He led the nation with 1,832 receiving yards, averaging 18.9 yards on his 97 receptions. Williams owns eight school records, including his 4,693 all-purpose yards and his 17-catch, 314-yard day against West Virginia.

The Packers had two scouts at the workout, according to a source at the school. Williams stuck with his 4.52 and 32.5-inch vertical, and caught every pass thrown his way. He's not a burner, like Hunter and Rogers, but he's strong and knows how to get open.

North Carolina State

Cornerback David Amerson (6-1, 205) has the skill-set the Packers covet. He picked off a stunning 13 passes as a junior. He's also tall and athletic, as evidenced by his 38.5-inch vertical on Wednesday and 4.44 at the Combine. His senior year started horribly, as he admittedly gambled too often, but he bounced back to intercept five passes.

According to a source at the event, Amerson did "extremely well" during position drills. He could sneak into the first round.

Safety Earl Wolff (6-1, 209) stuck with his outstanding Combine numbers (4.44, 39 inches). He was first-team all-ACC with 139 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble. He finished his career with 400 tackles and eight forced fumbles

Central Florida

One look at the depth chart shows the Packers' fondness for big running backs. So remember Latavius Murray (6-3, 223), who ran in 4.45 and did 22 reps on the bench, a scout told the Orlando Sentinel. He led Conference USA with 1,106 rushing yards and scored 15 touchdowns. Murray is a Packers kind of back in another regard: He went 407 carries without losing a fumble, dating to 2008.

Utah

All eyes were on stud defensive lineman Star Lotulelei, a potential No. 1 overall pick who was not allowed to work out at the Combine due to health concerns.

The Packers won't get a sniff of Lotulelei, however. Their players of interest were brothers Joe and Dave Kruger — they're the brother of Super Bowl champion Paul Kruger — and offensive lineman Sam Brenner.

Joe Kruger, an early entrant and perhaps a Day 2 prospect, is 6-foot-6 and 269 pounds. He stuck with his Combine numbers (4.83, 24 reps, 34-inch vertical) after posting six sacks and eight tackles for losses this season. He had a strong position workout and has the frame and athletic ability to be an outstanding 3-4 end.

Dave Kruger is 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds. That's prototype size to play 3-4 end. He's a three-and-a-half-year starter. Six of his 10 career tackles for losses came as a freshman. He's considered an undrafted prospect, though his genes could push him into the final rounds.

Brenner (6-3, 3071) started mostly at right guard in 2011 and mostly at left tackle in 2012. He was second-team all-conference as senior. Versatility and athleticism are assets. He put up 29 reps, had a 30-inch vertical and ran in 5.00, according to a source.


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 packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


Packer Report Top Stories