Packers Interview Strong Receiver

Regardless of Randall Cobb's future, could the Packers be looking to upgrade their passing game? Perhaps, after meeting this potential first-round pick at the Scouting Combine.

Maybe the Green Bay Packers are trying to cover themselves should they lose Randall Cobb in free agency.

Or maybe they think the passing game needs another weapon to get over the hump called the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC. NFL Combine Coverage
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Either way, they have taken an interest in this year’s top receivers, a list that includes Arizona State’s Jaelen Strong. The Packers had a formal interview at the Scouting Combine with the powerful receiver.

Strong entered the Combine as the No. 27 overall prospect and No. 5 receiver, according to Dave-Te’ Thomas, the longtime head of the NFL’s scouting department. That puts him in range for the Packers, who own the No. 30 pick of the first round.

At 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds, he is an imposing matchup. As a redshirt junior in 2014, he caught 82 passes for 1,165 yards (14.2 average). Strong was one of 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award, which goes to the nation’s top receiver, and a second-team All-American. Strong spent just two years at ASU, with 75 catches for 1,122 yards (15.0) and seven touchdowns.

“Just my drive. Also my IQ for the game,” Strong said when asked what separates himself in another stacked group of wide receivers. “I’m very, very smart when it comes to getting up on the board and recognizing coverages, recognizing hot reads and things like that. That’s something the media doesn’t know about me. You guys see what I put on film. You don’t really get the chance to talk to me about the game of football and how much I do know about football. That’s one thing I definitely will stress upon the GMs and coaches when I get a chance to meet with them.”

At his size, Strong acknowledged that he needs to work on getting in and out of his breaks. To that end, he’s been working out at EXOS, a training facility in Phoenix. Among the coaches there are Roy Green, a former star receiver with the Cardinals. He hopes to put that on display during individual drills on Saturday here at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“That’s something I definitely need to work on,” he said. “I can’t stress that enough, didn’t do a great job of that on the collegiate level and I look forward to turning it on at the pro level.”

What’s not a concern is his ability to get the ball. He’s big. He’s strong. And he’s long, with 32.5-inch arms that some offensive linemen would love to possess. That’s garnered comparisons to the Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald.

“Physical, dominant, huge catch radius. Anything you throw in my vicinity, I’ll try to go get it,” Strong said.

With imposing physical tools, Strong is confident in his ability. And hungry to get even better.

“I always had it. Even at West Catholic (High School in Philadelphia), I knew I had the chance to play at this level if I just put my mind to it and work hard enough,” he said. “I’m going to work hard every day. The thing about me is I haven’t reached my peak yet. I know I have a lot of coaching left in me. I’m going to bring it every day. I’m a quick learner, eager to get out there and compete.”


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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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