Pro Day Tour: Vandenberg Shines

Iowa's quarterback has an eye-opening day to highlight a quiet Monday on the pro day circuit. Plus, the Packers saw two under-the-radar receivers.

It was a light day on the pro day circuit, with this week's main event coming on Wednesday with LSU, Connecticut, South Carolina, SMU and USC on the docket. Each of those teams have a prospect worthy of the Green Bay Packers' consideration in the first or second round.

Here is where there was confirmed attendance by a Packers scout.


Do the Packers need a quarterback?

That's a tough question. They invested a seventh-round pick last year in strong-armed B.J. Coleman. At season's end, the coaching staff liked Coleman's progress. But did they see enough to simply leave the status quo at quarterback? Did they see so much that Coleman could get a shot at No. 2, and would the Packers bring in another rookie to push Graham Harrell?

Perhaps only coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson know the answers to those questions. What is known is the Packers sent two scouts to Iowa, where quarterback James Vandenberg had a fantastic day by completing 51-of-52 passes, according to a source. Vandenberg (6-3, 225) improved his vertical jump by 2 inches to 34.

"He's one of the hot guys" at the position, the source said of the Hawkeyes' two-year captain.

Center James Ferentz (6-2, 292), the son of Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, started the final 38 consecutive games of his career and was second-team all-Big Ten as a senior. He put up 25 reps on the bench, looked "powerful" in drills and put himself in the mix at center.

Cornerback Micah Hyde (6-0, 197) is the only Iowa player certain to be drafted. As senior, he won the Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year Award after recording one interception, 14 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, three recoveries and four tackles for losses. He ran a 4.56 at the Combine.


Getting back to the quarterbacks, Sean Renfree did not work out on Monday and might not be ready before the draft due to a torn pectoral muscle sustained on the final pass of his college career.

Renfree (6-3, 219), who needed surgery and hopefully will be cleared to begin throwing this week, led Duke to its first bowl game since 1994 by completing 67.3 percent of his passes for 3,113 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His single-season and career (64.8) completion rates set school records, and in ACC history he ranks third in completions, fourth in 300-yard passing games, sixth in completion percentage and seventh in passing yardage (9,465). He was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, with his 3.81 GPA as he pursues a graduate degree in humanities, and was one of 15 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes.

His favorite target was Conner Vernon (6-1, 200), who is the ACC's career leader in receptions (283) and receiving yards (3,749) and set league marks with 48 consecutive games with a catch, four straight seasons of 50-plus catches and three seasons of 70-plus grabs. Vernon has the best hands in the draft and he showed those during his workout. He ran 4.68 at the Combine.

Stephen F. Austin

Big receiver Cordell Roberson (6-3, 205) ran as fast as 4.54 with a 33.5-inch vertical jump, according to's Gil Brandt. Roberson, a two-time All-American, produced one of the best seasons in school history, hauling in 77 passes for 1,006 yards and 10 touchdowns despite missing two games due to injuries. In his one game against top competition, he hauled in 11 balls for 86 yards against SMU. He is the school's career leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches, with his 39 scoring grabs ranking No. 1 in conference history.

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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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