Pro Day Tour '14: Mr. Versatility

At Miami on Thursday, top Packers scout Alonzo Highsmith watched versatile lineman Brandon Linder and his son, safety A.J. Highsmith.

While offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson made headlines for dropping out of Miami's pro day workout on Thursday, the player of interest for the Green Bay Packers might have been guard Brandon Linder.

Linder (6-6, 311) is one of the top guard prospects and expected to be selected sometime early in Day 3 of next month's draft. At prep powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla, Linder was considered one of the top centers in the country.

It's center where the Packers have a need to, at the very least, obtain some depth.

With the Hurricanes, the versatile blocker started 42 games. As a senior, he started 10 games at right guard and three games at right tackle. He tallied 84 knockdown blocks and 11 touchdown-producing blocks while not yielding a sack, according to longtime NFL scout Dave-Te' Thomas, en route to being named second-team all-ACC and the team's Offensive MVP. Talk about versatile: Against Georgia Tech as a freshman, he played center, guard, tackle and tight end.

Linder stuck with his Scouting Combine workout of 5.35 in the 40 and 30 reps on the 225-pound bench press. He had a strong positional workout, including some work at center.

Three potential free-agent targets:

— Receiver Allen Hurns (6-1, 198) matched his 4.55 40-yard time from the Scouting Combine and had a 31-inch vertical. Hurns had a monster senior season with 62 receptions for a school-record 1,162 yards while adding six touchdowns. He's been working out with Colin Kaepernick and Browns receivers Greg Little and Josh Gordon, he told the Miami Herald.

— Quarterback Stephen Morris (6-2, 213) had a strong workout. According to the Herald, the only incomplete passes of his 67-throw workout were drops. He's been working on his mechanics with Tom House, a former Major League Baseball pitching coach who has worked with Andy Dalton and Matt Barkley. Morris ran in 4.63 at the Combine.

— Of special interest is safety A.J. Highsmith (5-11, 204), who is the son of top Packers scout Alonzo Highsmith. Highsmith played quarterback in 2009 and 2010 and redshirted in 2011 as he made the move to defense. During his final two seasons, he started 11 games and recorded two interceptions. With his father representing the Packers, Highsmith ran in 4.79 with a 31.5-inch vertical and 21 reps on the bench.

Florida International

Highsmith also was down the road at Florida International. It's top prospects are defenders Greg Hickman and Isame Faclane. Hickman (6-0, 278), who had four sacks, 9.5 tackles for losses and three forced fumbles, ran in 5.01 and put up 21 reps on the bench. Faclane (6-3, 300), who had 2.5 sacks and team-leading figures of 11.5 tackles for losses and two blocked kicks, ran in 5.31 and put 19 reps on the bench.


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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 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.


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