The Green Bay Packers enter this draft needing to, at the very least, add depth and competition at linebacker. South Florida had several prospects capable of making the transition from collegiate defensive ends to NFL linebackers.
Heading that list is Aaron Lynch, the Notre Dame transfer and junior entry into the draft who is considered a mid- to late-round prospect. In his only season at USF, Lynch led the team with six sacks and 12.5 tackles for losses. According to the Tampa Tribune, Lynch ran in 4.64 seconds after sitting out the Scouting Combine testing due to a sore hamstring.
"A lot of teams want me to play outside linebacker and I think (that's where) I'll be playing in the league,'' Lynch said. "I could go up to 270 like it's nothing or I could lose it in the next few days and be 250. It all depends on how my weight stays.''
Possible free-agent pick-ups at outside linebacker include Tevin Mims (6-4, 265), Ryne Giddins (6-3, 253) and Julius Forte (6-2, 252). Mims, who had 1.5 sacks and six tackles for losses among his 40 tackles, ran in 4.95 at the Combine and put up 27 reps on the bench on Monday, according to Tony Pauline. Giddins, who had five sacks and 10 tackles for losses, is similar athletically to Mims. He ran in 4.88 with 25 reps on the bench, a source said. Forte, a role player with three sacks and four tackles for losses, had a strong day with a 4.66 in the 40 and a 33-inch vertical. "He had a great workout and really helped himself," a source said.
Inside linebacker Devekeyan Lattimore (6-0, 237), who had team highs of 98 tackles and four forced fumbles, ran in 4.63 with 21 reps on the bench, according to a source.
Fullback Ryan Eppes, who caught eight passes for 76 yards as a senior, opened eyes with a 4.56 in the 40 and 26 reps on the bench, according to the Tampa Tribune.
With a Packers scout in attendance, record-setting quarterback Corey Robinson tried to prove that his prolific college production could translate to the NFL.
The under-the-radar Robinson (6-1) is one of four quarterbacks in FBS history to throw for 3,000 yards in four seasons. He is the school and Sun Belt Conference career leader in completions, attempts, passing yards, total yards and passing touchdowns. He ranks ninth all-time with 13,477 passing yards. His accuracy is a strength, as he completed 66.1 percent of his passes as a junior and 67.7 percent in 2013. During his senior season, he set an NCAA record by completing 93.8 percent of his passes (30-of-32) against UAB.
"He really drove the sideline deep ball," a source said.
Robinson's top receiver was Eric Thomas. Running on grass, Thomas (6-0, 216) impressed scouts with a 4.53 and a 37-inch vertical. He caught 66 passes for 993 yards (15.0 average) and 12 touchdowns as a senior. Wilson Van Hooser, who graduated in May and was allowed to transfer from Tulane without sitting out a season, ran in 4.40 with a 39-inch vertical. He caught only 13 passes for 188 yards and two scores, but his athleticism will get him a look.
Running back John Spooney was a champion sprinter and productive runner as the Ivy League rushing champion. As a senior, he played in nine of the team's 10 games and rushed for 1,170 yards and 10 touchdowns. He averaged a gaudy 7.8 yards per carry and had touchdown runs of 93 and 94 yards against Penn. He ran in the low 4.4s with 23 reps on the bench, according to a source.
Grand Valley State
With Matt Armstrong, a late-round center prospect, nursing a quad injury sustained at the Scouting Combine, the school rescheduled to April 11. The Packers didn't attend Northern Colorado's pro day, though most of those athletes will work out at Colorado State on Wednesday.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.