Pro Day Tour '14: Sleeper's Nightmare

A center who appears to be a good fit for the Packers endures another setback; plus, the return of Ryan Grant? We break down the four pro days in which a Packers scout was in attendance on Thursday and Friday.

Matt Armstrong won the Division II Rimington Award as the top center at that level following his senior season

It's all been downhill for a player who a scout called the "sleeper" at the position back in January.

After offseason shoulder surgery, his Scouting Combine started and ended with a strained quad while running the 40-yard dash. Grand Valley rescheduled its pro day to accommodate Armstrong, but he strained his hamstring running the 40 on Friday.

"Very, very disappointed," Armstrong told MLive after pro day. "Everything was going well up to that point. (The injury) was out of nowhere."

Armstrong is an intriguing prospect, nonetheless, either late in the draft or as a priority free agent. At 6-foot-2 and 302 pounds, he matches the height of recent Green Bay Packers centers Evan Dietrich-Smith, Jeff Saturday and Scott Wells. He started 26 games at center, 10 games at right guard, seven games at right tackle and one game apiece at left tackle and left guard.

Injuries, however, are a major issue. He sat out 2011 after bone graft surgery on his right knee. And along with the shoulder surgery following the 2013 season, he also had minor ankle surgery.

"At this point, we'll just have to leave it to fate and hope for the best," Armstrong said. "I just have to get healthy. I felt great coming in. I don't know. Maybe God has a different plan for me."


In a deep receiver class, Ryan Grant is flying under the radar. At 6-foot 3/8, he doesn't wow anyone with his size. With a 4.64 in the 40 at the Scouting Combine — a number he improved to 4.50 on Friday — he doesn't wow anyone with his speed.

All Grant did was produce, which is why he won't last long when the third day of the draft commences. As a senior, Grant caught 77 passes for 1,039 yards and nine touchdowns. Those numbers are impressive on their own, but more so when you consider the Green Wave ranked 101st in passing. Grant accounted for 35.2 percent of their receptions, 43.3 percent of the yardage and 56.3 percent of the touchdowns.

"After running that time at the Combine, it was hard on me, but I never put my head down," Grant said. "I just kept my chin high. I knew I could run a faster time. I've worked hard at it, and it paid off today. Going into it, I was a little stressed out, but once I got there, I felt really relaxed. I was just focused out there. It was like another game day."

Three pro days of note from Thursday:


Germard Reed won't be drafted but should have a number of suitors after the draft. Injuries limited him to eight games during a quiet senior season. However, he had two sacks and seven tackles for losses as a junior and four sacks and 7.5 tackles for losses as a sophomore.

Reed comes from a long history of NFL players in his family, including Dante Hall, Hardy Nickerson, Ben Kelly, Ed Reed, Marcus Colston, Javorski Lane and Dez Bryant.

Tight end Craig Wenrick (6-4, 257) ran in 4.69 with 20 reps on the bench and a 32-inch vertical. He caught 10 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns as a senior.

Nicholls State

Offensive tackle Abasi Salimu (6-5, 292), a transfer from San Jose State, was second-team all-Southland Conference as a senior. He started at left tackle in both seasons for the Colonels.

Linebacker Chris Bermond (5-11, 235) led the team with 85 tackles, including nine for losses and forced an FCS-leading five fumbles as a senior. While his results weren't available, he ran in about 4.70 at a regional combine in Indianapolis.


The Packers were not at Bloomsburg, which featured Larry Webster. Webster, the son of former NFL player Larry Webster, played basketball for Bloomsburg before playing football for his final two seasons. He was a natural, piling up 26 sacks to be a two-time Division II All-American. The 6-foot-6, 252-pounder projects to an outside linebacker but some teams view him a tight end.

Westminster tight end David Wright, however, stole the show. Wright (6-4, 252) ran in 4.50 seconds with a 36-inch vertical and 27 reps on the bench press. Wright is the definition of late bloomer: When he graduated from high school, he was 6-foot-4 and 165 pounds. As a senior, he caught 20 passes for 289 yards (14.4 average) and two touchdowns and is a strong blocker. He's a hot commodity for teams who are intrigued by his size and speed.

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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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