5:05 p.m.: Mayock wraps it up
This will probably be it for the day, with NFL Network's Mike Mayock giving his observations after two days of workouts. Some highlights:
- He called Texas' Brian Orakpo, a potential No. 9 pick for the Packers, "pretty close" to Dallas' DeMarcus Ware and a better prospect than Florida State's Everette Brown.
- He said the running back class didn't run well today, but added "it's not a track meet."
- Asked about Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith, who inexplicably left the Combine without telling anyone, Mayock said the projected top-10 pick is, best-case scenario, immature, and worst-case would be teams wondering if this is the "beginning of erratic behavior and you take him off the board."
- Mayock said West Virginia's Pat White "threw the hell out of the ball." Of the late-round quarterback prospects, Texas A&M's Stephen McGee opened his eyes.
- He called the tight end class "incredible," with the caveat of so many of the top prospects are coming from spread offenses and aren't blockers.
4:54 p.m.: More OLBs
Georgia Tech's Michael Johnson and Wisconsin's Matt Shaughnessy are two more college defensive ends who have talked to the Packers about being outside linebackers.
Johnson is a towering 6-foot-7 and 266 pounds and a first-round prospect, though maybe not at No. 9. He ranked third in the ACC with 17.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks. His build is a concern against the run - he said some teams want to see him get heavier - but his length makes him troublesome for opposing quarterbacks, even if his rush is stopped.
Shaughnessy had a monster junior season with 18 tackles for loss and five sacks, but he broke a leg during spring practice and had just eight tackles and four sacks as a senior. He weighs 266, and he will do some linebacker drills here.
3:40 p.m.: Polian on the podium
Colts President Bill Polian talked to reporters for about a half-hour. Among the highlights:
- He's not in favor of changing overtime rules, even though his Colts never got the ball in their OT wild-card loss at San Diego. The overtime rules were implemented to eliminate ties (only one in the last five years), and he said players fear the rigors of potentially longer games.
- The economic downturn forced the Colts to layoff about 25 people last month. He hopes the worst is behind them, but he's not sure of potential drops in sponsorships and ticket sales. "I'm worried as an American," he said.
3 p.m.: Clearing the Ayers
Tennessee's Robert Ayers, yet another of the tweener 4-3 defensive ends, just got off the podium and told Packer Report that he had talked to the Packers about playing outside linebacker in their 3-4.
Ayers was a one-year starter for the Volunteers, racking up 15 tackles for loss and three sacks en route to being first-team all-SEC. He had a team-high four sacks as a junior. He was a mid-round prospect before a superb Senior Mobile.
"I got good vibes from talking to coaches and GMs and did a good job with my chalkboard stuff," he said.
1:58 p.m.: Gill Byrd's son
Jairus Byrd is ready to make a name for himself.
He is the son of Gill Byrd, the San Diego Chargers' career leader with 42 interceptions. The elder Byrd served as the Packers' executive director of player programs and community affairs from 1999 through 2001 and is now an assistant defensive backs coach for the Chicago Bears.
Jairus Byrd shared the Pac-10 lead with five interceptions last year (his junior season) and is tied for second in school history with 17 interceptions.
"Just production level. I thought I had maximized" what I could accomplish in Oregon, he said.
1:30: Another big-time safety
Oklahoma's Nic Harris stepped onto the podium at 6-foot-2 and 233 pounds. He says he's here to prove he can play safety, his position with the Sooners, instead of moving to linebacker.
My esteemed colleague, Bob McGinn, asked Harris if he can cover people at that size. "Yes, yes, yes," he said.
Harris hasn't been a big-time playmaker (one interception in each of the past two seasons) but he's a big-time difference maker in the community. He was president of an organization that raised money to buy Thanksgiving dinners for the needy and was active in Toys for Tots.
1:05 p.m.: No. 1 safety
Missouri's Will Moore, Scout.com's top-ranked safety, told Packer Report that he had spoken to the Packers about what he would offer to their new scheme.
Moore had a banner 2007 season with a nation-high-tying eight interceptions but his 2008 was slowed by a foot injury that limited his mobility. He had just one interception.
Moore (6 foot, 221 pounds) played both safety positions at Missouri, and he was a man-to-man slot corner when the Tigers played nickel.
He says his goal this week is to show that 2007 was "not a fluke" and that he's one of the "great safeties."
12:58 p.m.: Everette Brown
Florida State defensive end Everette Brown just finished addressing reporters.
Brown, who stands an eyelash short of 6-foot-2 and weighs 256 pounds, would be an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. He said he's spoken to "all of the teams," and the Packers no doubt were one of them. He had 13 sacks in 2008.
Brown flashed a sense of humor when asked about the whirlwind meetings with teams.
"It was like speed dating," he said. "If it were with women, I'd be all right."
Brown downplayed comparisons to the cadre of Florida State defensive linemen who bombed in the NFL, including former Packers first-rounder Jamal Reynolds.
"One thing about Everette Brown is what you see is what you get," he said. "The money isn't going to change me."
12:21 p.m.: Another corner prospect?
If the Packers want a top cornerback but can't land Ohio State's Malcolm Jenkins, how about Utah's Sean Smith?
Smith measured in at 6-foot-3, 214 pounds. He says he's run a 4.3-seconds 40-yard dash, and if he can get close to duplicating that, he might rise out of the second round and into the first.
Smith seems ideal for the Packers: He played mostly press man at Utah with some zone when the Utes ran a zone blitz. Sounds a lot like the Packers' new scheme.
"That's what we talked about," Smith said.
Noon: Ohio State's Malcolm Jenkins
Ohio State cornerback Malcolm Jenkins just got off the podium, and a hot topic was a possible move to safety.
Jenkins, who had three interceptions last season, said he has talked to the Packers on an informal basis.
Some teams think Jenkins will have to move to safety if he doesn't run a fast time on Tuesday. Jenkins measured 6 foot instead of the 6-foot-1 he was listed at by Ohio State.
Jenkins, a two-time All-American and three-time first-team Big Ten choice, says he needs to run 4.5 in the 40 to satisfy teams.
"I'm confident I can run faster than that," he said.
11:19 a.m.: Corners meet with Packers
San Jose State cornerback Coye Francies, a former teammate of Packers receiver James Jones, and Darius Butler, a cornerback from Connecticut, are late-round prospects who met with the Packers.
Francies says he excels at press coverage. Butler says he can play zone and man, and said cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr. said the Packers are looking for "well-rounded cornerbacks" for their new scheme.
Butler says he wants to show "freakish athletic ability" at the Combine.
11:15 a.m.: Speaking English
It's been busier than usual here for this time of the day, so my apologies ...
Northern Illinois' Larry English, yet another one of the 4-3 defensive ends who would play outside linebacker in a 3-4, is a big-time pass rusher. He had 12 sacks as a sophomore, 10.5 as a junior and eight as a senior despite being the focal point of Mid-American Conference defenses.
He told Packer Report he met with the Packers. He could be a late first-round draft pick, though, so it's a long shot he'd be there at No. 41 overall.
Of playing in a 3-4, he said, "I think I would fit good in that scheme."
10:39 a.m.: Possible nose tackle
Clemson's Dorrel Scott, a 6-foot-3, 312-pounder, just got off the podium. When he was done, he told Packer Report that he talked to the Packers about playing nose tackle.
Scott, who started 38 consecutive games, had 7.5 tackles for loss and one sack during his senior season.
He elected to stay in school and finish his work toward a sociology degree rather than quit school to prep for the Combine.
"I didn't want to leave the job undone," he said.
9:51 a.m.: Block party
Leading off the podium parade today was LSU defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois.
Francois entered the draft after his junior season, and he played just 25 games with eight starts in his career. At 6-foot-2 and 295 pounds, he would be a 3-4 defensive end, a role he has some experience playing with the Tigers.
He started just six games in 2008, a season highlighted by his game-turning blocked field goal against Alabama that sent the game into overtime. He had two sacks on the year.
Francois served a 12-month academic suspension, which cost him the SEC championship game following the 2006 season plus most of the 2007 season. He came back for the national title game though and was moved defensive MVP with six tackles, 1.5 sacks and a blocked field goal.
Despite his inexperience, he says, "I don't feel like a younger guy. I'm ahead of the game.
Francois has not met with the Packers, but he has 10 interviews with team today. Our Chris Steuber says he's a third-round prospect.
9:20 a.m.: Good morning from Indy
Welcome to Day 4 of our coverage of the NFL Scouting Combine from Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis, just a stone's throw from the rubble that was the RCA Dome.
On tap today are interviews with the defensive backs, and hopefully some of the other top defensive players (like linebacker Clint Sintim and defensive end Everette Brown) will address reporters, too.
Working out today will be the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers.
Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com.