Packers to check out hoopster

UConn's Ed Nelson hopes to become next Antonio Gates

The Green Bay Packers plan to attend former University of Connecticut basketball player Ed Nelson's workout on Friday, according to his agent. Many NFL experts feel that Nelson might have the tools to become the next Antonio Gates.

In just his second season, Gates had a breakout year for the San Diego Chargers. The former undrafted free agent from Kent State is now recognized as one of the top two tight ends in the NFL.

Besides Green Bay, the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Nelson will be under the eyes of scouts from a number of NFL teams, including the Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, and New England Patriots. The Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs have shown interest in Nelson and may show up in New Haven, CT, as well.

The Packers are seeking to build depth at the tight end position. Bubba Franks is coming off of neck and back injuries that caused him to miss six games last year. He finished with career lows of 25 catches for 207 yards and one touchdown. Donald Lee, signed off the street early in the season, has promise, but injury-prone David Martin continues to let the Packers down.

While he hasn't played football since his sophomore year in high school, Nelson is set to show NFL teams his talent at his pro day. He will be catching passes from Yale University QB Jeff Mroz.

Nelson transferred to UCONN in 2003 from Georgia Tech, where he was the 2002 ACC Rookie of the Year.

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