Pro Day Tour '14: Inside Linebackers

Not only was it the first day of free agency, but Tuesday was one of the busiest days of the pro day circuit. We have confirmation of Packers scouts attending eight pro days, and they saw UCLA's Jordan Zumwalt, Connecticut's Yawin Smallwood and Michigan State's Max Bullough.

If the Green Bay Packers want to upgrade their inside linebackers through the draft, Tuesday was the most important day of the scouting season.

UCLA's Jordan Zumwalt, Connecticut's Yawin Smallwood and Michigan State's Max Bullough worked out for scouts on their former college campuses.


Zumwalt (6-4, 235) ran his 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine in 4.76 seconds. On Tuesday, he ran it in 4.61 seconds, according to a source.

Zumwalt, who has a third-round projection, would bring a much-needed physical presence to the defense. He knocked out Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas in the Sun Bowl, then packed a punch throughout Senior Bowl week. As a senior, he posted 93 tackles, including 5.5 for losses, forced three fumbles and intercepted two passes.

The times were blazing, according to the Orange County Register.

Cassius Marsh (6-4, 252), a late-round prospect, ran in 4.89 at the Combine but had a blazing 4.68. He had 60 tackles, including six sacks and 10.5 for losses, as a senior. He was a defensive end for the Bruins; he worked out at linebacker and tight end at the Combine.

Another late-round prospect is receiver Shaquelle Evans (6-1, 213). After 4.53 at the Combine, he turned heads with a 4.32. He caught 47 passes for 709 yards (15.1 average) and nine touchdowns.

Michigan State

Good wasn't good enough for Bullough. After a strong Scouting Combine with a 4.78 in the 40, he ran in 4.67 on Tuesday, according to a source.

Bullough (6-3, 249) was named first-team all-conference, first-team Academic All-American and third-team All-American as a senior. During his final season, he had 76 tackles, including 9.5 for losses and 1.5 sacks, but was suspended for the Rose Bowl. He also was a first-team all-Big Ten as a junior and second-team as a sophomore. His four-year total was 299 tackles, eight sacks and 30.5 TFLs.

"I wish I knew more about it (my projection) but it's so all over the place, and it's like that for every player that I don't even worry about it," Bullough told reporters. "I just worry about getting better, working hard. Where I go, I go."

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock called Bullough a fourth- or fifth-round prospect.

"He's going to struggle in space a little bit in the NFL, but I think what he is is a two-down thumper," Mayock told reporters there. "He's a strong, tough kid with a ton of production."

The story of the day was receiver Bennie Fowler (6-1, 217), who ran in 4.38, according to the school.

"This is what I was planning to run at the (Scouting) Combine,'' said Fowler, who settled for a 4.52 in Indy after a senior season of 36 catches for 622 yards and six touchdowns.

The Spartans' other top prospects are cornerback Marqueze Dennard, who is a top-10 or top-15 pick, and safety Isaiah Lewis, who is probably too short for the Packers at 5-foot-9 7/8.


Smallwood (6-0, 246), who is in the mix to be the second inside linebacker off the board behind Alabama's C.J. Mosley, was the main attraction. Smallwood injured his hamstring on his only 40-yard dash at the Combine and did only position drills for the scouts on Tuesday. He hopes to be 100 percent healthy in the next three or four weeks.

"I have to show that I'm tough," he he told the Connecticut Post. "I'm banged up, I hurt my hamstring two weeks ago and a lot of guys would have sat out today, but I'm not that kind of guy. I came out to compete and prove that I'm the best linebacker. I'm just trying to get into the best shape that I can be and be the best player than I can be. I have to show that I'm a physical guy for a linebacker, that I'm a leader."

Green Bay likely has a strong interest in defensive lineman Shamar Stephen (6-5, 309), who stuck with his Combine numbers of 5.25 in the 40, 25 reps on the bench and a 30.5-inch vertical. He's got ideal size to play end in the Packers' scheme. He showed playmaking ability with three sacks and 10 tackles for losses as a senior.

Jesse Joseph (6-3, 254) had one sacksand six tackles for losses in 2013, after missing most of 2012 with a torn Achilles. He had a strong day doing linebacker drills, and some teams are interested in him as a fullback.

Finally, New Haven tight end Mike Flacco — the brother of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco — ran in 4.69 and caught the ball well. Mike Flacco earned some Division II All-American honors in 2013 with 30 catches for 591 yards and nine touchdowns. He played four seasons of minor-league baseball for the Orioles and Red Sox organizations.

Kansas State

In a down year for the Wildcats, Ty Zimmerman (6-1, 204) would have been the main attraction had he not been recovering from a torn labrum. Zimmerman, who missed two games with the injury, finished second on the team with three interceptions and fourth with 74 tackles. A four-year starter, Zimmerman was third-team All-American as a junior, when he picked off five passes — including one in four consecutive games. His four-year total was 13 interceptions. Offensive tackle Cornelius Lucas (6-8, 316) also didn't test because of a broken foot. They'll go through a workout for scouts on April 28.

On the heels of back-to-back 900-yard seasons, pint-sized running back John Hubert (5-7, 191) rushed for 1,048 yards (5.3 average) and 10 touchdowns as a senior. He ran in 4.43.


The Owls had several players who could be of interest in undrafted free agency. No player helped himself more than fullback Chris Coyer, who played H-back in 2013 after starting 13 games at quarterback in 2011 and 2012. Coyer (6-2, 245) ran his 40 in 4.66 seconds, put up 24 reps on the bench and had a 30-inch vertical jump, a source said. Among fullbacks at the Combine, his 40 and bench would have ranked No. 1, and he would have been second in the shuttle and three-cone drills. Coyer, an adept receiver who caught 20 balls for 277 yards and two scores as a senior, caught it well during drills.

Another player who had a good day was receiver Deon Miller. The 6-foot-5, 216-pounder looked good in drills and caught every pass while running 4.71 in the 40. At that height, he should get a look, even though he caught only 31 passes during his career.

Safety Abdul Smith (6-0, 206), in his first season in the lineup, had 81 tackles, two forced fumbles and one interception. He's incredibly strong, with 27 reps on the bench, but ran in the high 4.7s. Kamal Johnson (6-4, 305), who has ideal size for a five-technique end, put up 29 reps on the bench. He had 34 tackles, though none were for losses. Cody Booth (6-4, 295) started at tight end in 2012 and at left tackle in 2013. He gained 30 pounds during the offseason in making the transition. According to Tony Pauline, he ran in 5.17 with 21 reps on the bench.


The Packers had a scout at Toledo, where running back David Fluellen and outside linebacker prospect Jayrone Elliott were the top attractions. Fluellen ran in 4.73 at the Combine with a 36.5-inch vertical. He rushed for 1,498 yards as a junior and 1,121 yards as a senior, despite missing all or most of four games with a broken ankle. Elliott had nine sacks, 14 tackles for losses and five forced fumbles as a senior. No workouts details were available.

Bowling Green

Here's a name to remember: tight end Alex Bayer. Bayer (6-4, 257) had a great day. He ran in 4.77 and caught all 20 passes thrown his way during drills, including two sensational catches, according to a source. He was a three-year starter and two-time all-MAC third-team selection. He caught 37 passes for 593 yards and four touchdown passes as a senior.


Neither of the main attractions performed well. Running back Trey Watts (5-10, 208) — the son of iconic Oklahoma quarterback J.C. Watts — rushed for 1,329 yards and 11 touchdowns and paced the team with 46 receptions for 395 yards as a senior. But he had a disappointing day, turning in a 4.76 in the 40. Quarterback Cody Green (6-3, 247), a transfer from Nebraska, "couldn't hit the broad side of a barn" at times, said a source at the workout, noting Green would throw two perfect balls and then misfire badly on the next.

Versatile offensive lineman Stetson Burnett (6-4, 337) ran in 5.25 and put up 31 reps on the bench. He was first team all-conference while starting games at guard and tackle. He went through drills at tackle, guard and even center. Inside linebacker Shawn Jackson (5-10, 255), the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year after tallying 124 tackles, including 5.5 sacks and 18.5 for losses, ran in 4.84.

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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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