Draft prospect: Eric Green

Count on Green Bay to select a cornerback in the April 23-24 NFL draft. The Packers parted ways with veteran Michael Hawthorne this off-season and lack adequate depth at the position.<p>

Reserve Chris Johnson is coming off a knee injury that limited him last season, and Joey Thomas struggled as a rookie. They are the only two reserves who were on the roster at the end of last year. The Packers have not signed any big-name free agent cornerbacks during free agency, so it looks like they will pursue a cornerback on the first day of the draft. One strong possibility for Green Bay is Virginia Tech's Eric Green, rated as the sixth best cornerback in the draft by Scout.com. Here is more on Green:

Ht: 5-11.5

Wt: 198

40 time: 4.63

Year: 5Sr

High school: Clewiston (Fla.) High School

Bio: In 47 games with the Hokies, Green registered 143 tackles (91 solos) with 51/2 stops for losses of 39 yards, three forced fumbles, four blocked kicks and 25 pass deflections. He also had eight interceptions for 264 yards in returns and two touchdowns. Only Willie Pile (270, 1999-2002) and Ashley Lee (351, 1980-84) gained more yards on interception returns in school history.

Green started every game as a senior, making 36 tackles (20 solos) with an interception and five pass breakups.

Positives: Well-built cornerback with top size/speed numbers and playing skills. Jams opponents at the line slowing their release, displays good footwork in reverse and quickly flips his hips in transition. Explodes to the pass, has a burst of closing speed, and gets vertical to make the acrobatic pass defenses or one-handed interception. Very sudden and flashes on the scene. Alert and immediately locates the pass in the air. Displays both timing and anticipation of pass defenses. Improved his skill in zone and stays with assignments.

Negatives: Must improve his tackling technique and playing strength. Very soft backed off the line of scrimmage and gives up a lot of receptions in the underneath coverage. Likes trash talking. Lacks ideal size. Will get turned around some in man coverage when he peeks into the backfield too long. Quick out of his backpedal, but could be even faster if he would not get so high in his stance.

Injury report: Missed the 2001 Pittsburgh game due to tonsillitis.

In 2002, Green missed the entire season after he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while working out in July. Underwent reconstructive surgery.

Analysis: A physically gifted prospect, Green improved his play in almost every aspect last season. Progression on the field, coupled with his measurables, could help Green move into the top 40 selections.


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