With the pro-day circuit winding down, Miami’s Denzel Perryman was the last of the draft-worthy inside linebackers. And he made one heck of a closing statement.
Was it enough to convince the Green Bay Packers, who are in desperate need of a cornerstone to their unit?
According to a source, Perryman ran his 40-yard dash in 4.61 seconds and “lifted the weight room” with 33 reps on the 225-pound bench press. The official number went in the books as 30, as three of the reps weren’t up to standards. That’s better than his workout from the Scouting Combine, when Perryman ran in 4.78 with 27 reps.
According to the source, the Packers met with Perryman after his workout.
Perryman started 37 games in four seasons at Miami. He recorded 351 tackles — 240 solos, 27 for losses and 4.5 sacks — plus caused seven fumbles. As a senior, he was a finalist for the Butkus Award, which goes to the nation’s top linebacker, with his 110 tackles including 9.5 for losses.
The Packers’ interest is, well, interesting. With one exception, Thompson hasn’t drafted a linebacker shorter than 6-foot-1. In the sixth round of the 2011 draft, he grabbed Appalachian State’s D.J. Smith. Smith measured 5-foot-10 5/8 at the 2011 Combine. Perryman measured 5-foot-10 3/4 at this year’s Combine.
Perryman injured a hamstring on his second 40, which ended his day.
The Hurricanes fielded a bunch of talent, including offensive tackle Ereck Flowers, tight end Clive Walford, receiver Phillip Dorsett and running back Duke Johnson as potential second-rounders. Defensive end/outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo and cornerback Ladarius Gunter could be possibilities in the fourth or fifth round.
Of those who could be of interest to Green Bay:
Walford (6-4, 251) stuck with his 4.79 in the 40 from the Combine due to a sore hamstring. Walford, considered the No. 2 tight end, was one of three finalists for the Mackey Award, which goes to the nation’s top tight end. As a senior, he caught 44 passes for 676 yards and seven touchdowns, his average an impressive 15.4 yards per reception. He, too, had a meeting set with the Packers, a source said.
Dorsett (5-10, 185) ran as fast as 4.21, according to a source. That was an improvement after running “only” 4.33 at the Combine and would have tied Sam Shields’ school record. He showed that speed for the Hurricanes. As a senior, he turned his 36 receptions into 871 yards — a whopping 24.2-yard average — and 10 touchdowns.
Johnson (5-9, 207) is a terrific all-around player. As a true junior, he rushed for 1,652 yards (6.8 average) and 10 touchdowns and showed his tremendous versatility by catching 38 passes for 421 yards (11.1 average) and three more scores. He went from 4.54 at the Combine to 4.47.
Chickillo (6-3, 267) was a four-year starter with career totals of 15.5 sacks and 25 tackles for losses. He stuck with his 4.79 from the Combine. Gunter (6-2, 202) has great size but ran just 4.69 at the Combine, and his 4.56 on Wednesday might necessitate a move to safety.
An intriguing prospect is quarterback Ryan Williams, who tore his ACL almost exactly one year ago. He might have been the Canes’ starting quarterback in 2014. Instead, his senior season ended with him barely getting on the field. He started 10 games for Memphis as a true freshman in 2010. He sat out 2011 due to NCAA transfer rules, then threw a grand total of 37 passes the next three years. At a scripted workout that included a variety of NFL-type throws, he completed 49-of-51 passes. He’s got a nice blend of arm strength, intelligence and athleticism.
Halliday was leading the nation in passing yards and touchdowns before sustaining a broken right ankle in the ninth game. That prevented him from playing in any all-star games or testing at the Scouting Combine. In 35 career games (28 starts) operating Mike Leach’s spread offense he set school career records with 11,304 passing yards and 90 touchdown passes. Halliday (6-3, 196) had a “great workout” with “great velocity and accuracy,” a source said. He completed 64-of-70 passes with at least three or four of those being drops.
“Coach Zorn has been huge for me footwork wise, film wise, on the board wise, so I owe a lot of (thanks) to him and I think I showed that I’ll make the transition (from running a spread offense),” Halliday said.
Mayle, a former junior-college basketball player, was second-team all-conference and one of 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award as a senior. He tied for Pac-12 lead with a WSU-record 106 receptions, led the Pac-12 with a WSU-record 1,583 yards and hauled in nine touchdowns. He broke his right thumb at the Senior Bowl, which limited him at the Combine. On Wednesday, Mayle (6-2, 224) ran in 4.56 and had a good pass-catching workout. Mayle said the injury remains painful, which perhaps played a role in two drops.
Jahwan Edwards is the Cardinals’ only draftable prospect. Edwards rewrote the school record book. He set Ball State records with 4,558 rushing yards, 51 rushing and total touchdowns, 306 points, 884 rushing attempts and 18 100-yard games. He broke the touchdown record as a junior. As a senior, he rushed for 1,252 yards to become only the second player in Ball State history to rush for 1,000 or more yards three times in a career. His 29 receptions for 236 yards eclipsed his total from his first three seasons.
Edwards (5-10, 220) ran a 4.80 at the Combine — making him long for a second chance. He took advantage with a 4.62 in the 40. His three-cone clocking of 7.10 was more than a half-second faster than in Indy.
FIU’s top prospect is safety Justin Halley (6-2, 190), a likely free agent. He had 45 tackles and three pass breakups as a senior. He picked off three passes in 2013, his first season as a full-time starter. No results were 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.