The Green Bay Packers brought in Purdue receiver DeAngelo Yancey for a predraft visit.
It must have went well, because the Packers selected Yancey with the first of their fifth-round selections on Saturday. Seven picks later, with a free-agent compensatory pick, they added a second running back, UTEP’s Aaron Jones.
Yancey (6-1 5/8, 220) provided the big plays for the Boilermakers, with senior-year totals of 49 catches, 951 yards (19.4 average) and 10 touchdowns. According to Pro Football Focus, he caught only 10-of-29 deep passes but turned those catches into 449 yards and six touchdowns. Yancey ranked second in the Big Ten in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. Of those 10 scores, seven covered more than 30 yards. Yancey’s four-year total was 141 receptions, 2,344 yards (16.6) and 20 scores.
Against Wisconsin in November, Yancey had a monster day with six catches for 155 yards and two touchdowns.
Yancey was not invited to the Scouting Combine; at Purdue’s pro day, he ran his 40 in 4.53 seconds with a 35.5-inch vertical. His 21 reps on the bench press would have topped the fleet of receivers at the Combine.
“Big, strong guy. Excellent hands. Really, his size and strength is something that stood out to us,” said director of football operations Eliot Wolf, noting Yancey plays faster than his stopwatch time.
At 5-foot-9 1/2, Jones is the shortest running back drafted by general manager Ted Thompson. At the Combine, he ran his 40 in 4.56 seconds with a shuttle time of 4.20 seconds that ranked third among running backs.
“He doesn’t run small,” Wolf said.
Jones, who played his high school ball in El Paso, stayed home and set UTEP’s career rushing leader with 4,114 yards in three seasons. He posted 17 100-yard games, five 200-yard games, six 100-yard halves and 4,760 all-purpose yards. In 2016, he set single-season school records with 1,773 yards and 17 touchdowns, including 301 yards against North Texas — a Conference USA record. He averaged a sizzling 7.7 yards per carry and added 28 receptions. Jones rushed for 1,321 yards and added a career-high 30 receptions in 2014 but missed most of the 2015 season with an ankle.
Jones spent time on the UTEP basketball team.
Green Bay took both players ahead of a guard; Miami's Danny Isidora, a projected mid-round pick, was still on the board. That's a testament to veteran acquisition Jahri Evans, who had a good season in the Saints' pass-happy attack, Wolf said.
Before taking Yancey, the Packers moved out of pick No. 172, sliding back three spots in a deal with Denver that gave them an extra seventh-round round pick at No. 238. Green Bay also has No. 212 of the sixth round and No. 247 in the seventh round.
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.