Pro Day buzz: Interest in CBs

The Packers watched a diminutive cornerback with big-time playmaking skills during a Monday workout. Who is he? We have the answers to that question and what other prospects drew the Packers' attention.

With Charles Woodson and Al Harris entering their 12th NFL seasons, the Green Bay Packers almost certainly will add a cornerback during next month's draft.

They scouted one of the best ones on Monday at Wake Forest's pro day.

But while Ohio State's Malcolm Jenkins, who is considered the best corner in this draft, has questionable speed, Wake Forest's Alphonso Smith has questions about whether he can be effective at just 5-foot-9.

Smith is likely to be selected late in the first round or early in the second, making him a candidate for the Packers' selection at No. 41 overall.

Smith's production leaves no questions. He set the Atlantic Coast Conference record with 21 career interceptions. He had seven last season and eight in 2007, three of which he returned for touchdowns. But how will he match up against, say, Detroit's 6-foot-4 Calvin Johnson or will he be picked on in the red zone?

"Teams always ask you, ‘You're 5-9, can you match up against Larry Fitzgerald? What about Randy Moss? What about Braylon Edwards, Andre Johnson, Anquan (Boldin)?'" Smith told reporters. "I tell the guys that if you want eye candy, than I'm not your guy. If you want a guy who's probably the most productive player in the entire draft, you're looking at him."

Smith, like possible No. 1 overall pick Aaron Curry and standout safety Chip Vaughn, rested on his Combine numbers but participated in position drills. Smith and Vaughn ran 4.51 40s in Indianapolis.


Running back Shonn Green, who rushed for 100 yards in every game last season — his only one as a starter — improved his Combine numbers with a 4.59 40 and 23 reps on the 225-pound bench press on Monday.

The 5-foot-11, 227-pound Green, the Doak Walker Award winner as the nation's top running back, could be tempting for the Packers if he's available in the third round.

"If you look at the stats and all that, it will tell you that I'm the top back," Green said. "You look at some of those guys that I went head-to-head with and some of them I faced the same defense, and I did much better. I'm not worried about that. Whoever takes me is going to get a good running back. That's how it goes."

Another target for the Packers could be Bradley Fletcher, an all-Big Ten honorable mention at cornerback who some NFL insiders project as a safety. Fletcher was clearly the top cornerback in the East-West all-star game. The Packers met with him at the Combine, where he ran a 4.50 40. He figures to be a late-round selection after starting just one season for the Hawkeyes.


While highly touted Kenny Britt,'s sixth-ranked receiver, was the headliner, the Packers watched a few lower-level prospects with great speed.

Courtney Greene,'s 14th-ranked safety, rested on his 4.52 40 from the Combine. He had two interceptions and ranked third on the team in tackles last season.

Jason McCourty, Scout's 25th-ranked cornerback, turned in a blistering 4.32 40 on Monday. At 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, the three-year starter doesn't have bad size, either. He had two interceptions as a senior and averaged 25.8 yards on kickoff returns.

Tiquan Underwood,'s 28th-ranked receiver, ran a 4.34 40 on Monday. The 6-foot-2 target caught 40 passes for 494 yards and five touchdowns.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Lambeau Level forum. Bill also is giving Facebook and Twitter a try. Find him on Twitter at

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