Pro Day buzz: Second-round stars

The Packers attended three major pro days on Wednesday in which they looked at possible second-round picks. Topping that list is Connecticut tackle William Beatty.

While general manager Ted Thompson and scout Alonzo Highsmith were at Texas to watch Brian Orakpo and Co., there were a few other noteworthy pro days that the Packers attended on Wednesday.


The Huskies have developed into a big-time program, and three of the driving forces behind that success figure to go in the first day of the draft: offensive tackle William Beatty, running back Donald Brown and cornerback Darius Butler.

Brown and Beatty mostly rested on their Combine numbers, when Beatty posted the fourth-fastest 40-yard dash among linemen at 5.12 seconds and Brown posted the fifth-fastest 40 among running backs with a 4.51.

Beatty would be a major consideration for the Packers if he's on the board at No. 41 overall in the second round. The 6-foot-6, 307-pounder is incredibly athletic for his size and is seen as a player who could develop into an outstanding left tackle. Remember, Chad Clifton was the 44th overall selection in the 2000 draft.

"I'm just shaking hands, smiling, hoping that I excite somebody," said Beatty, who did 30 reps in the 225-pound bench press on Wednesday compared to 27 at the Scouting Combine.

Brown was named the Big East's offensive player of the year after leading the nation with 2,083 rushing yards while scoring 18 touchdowns. The 5-foot-10, 210-pounder was unable to lift during the Combine because of a shoulder injury but cranked out 17 reps in the 225-pound bench press on Wednesday.

The 5-foot-10 Butler was a four-year starter. He had 10 interceptions during his first three seasons but none last season, when he rarely was tested. He was voted first-team all-Big East, anyway. His 4.46 40 at the Combine was tops among corners but he ran on Wednesday, turning in a 4.38. He said he met with Packers cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr. at the Combine.

Cody Brown, who piled up 11 sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles last season, is's 11th-ranked outside linebacker. Brown (6-foot-2, 242 pounds) would be a third-round consideration for the Packers if they haven't addressed that position earlier.

South Carolina

Jared Cook began soaring up draft boards after one of the most incredible Combine performances ever. Among tight ends, he posted the fastest 40-yard time (4.50 seconds), best vertical jump (41 inches) and longest broad jump (10 feet, 3 inches) and finished fifth in the bench press with 23 reps.

His college coach, Steve Spurrier, has compared Cook to Lions receiver Calvin Johnson.

Cook, whose college statistics are mediocre because of poor quarterback play, might have worked his way into a first-round pick. If he's still around in the second, the Packers would be posed with a dilemma. The 6-foot-5, 242-pounder has the goods to be a star, but they drafted promising Jermichael Finley in the third round last year.

"I was just going by my draft grade (when I left school after my junior season), third round, but it's nice to hear that," Cook said. "But anything can happen on draft day. It's one of the craziest days in sports."

The Packers value versatility in their offensive linemen, which would make Jamon Meredith a target if he's around in the third round. The 6-foot-5, 304-pounder started four games at right tackle in 2005, seven games at right tackle and six at left tackle in 2006, all 12 games at left tackle in 2007 and was moved to left guard in 2008. He's's eighth-ranked tackle.

Captain Munnerlyn,'s 12th-ranked corner, was clocked between 4.34 and 4.39 seconds in his 40 on Wednesday. Munnerlyn, one of the many small corners in this draft (5-foot-9), left school early to help his mom. He had no interceptions last season.

Southern Mississippi

Like at South Carolina, the headliner at Brett Favre's alma mater was an athletic tight end.

Shawn Nelson (6-foot-5, 238) is's third-ranked tight end, one peg below Cook. Nelson, who caught 53 passes for 557 yards and three touchdowns as a senior, ran a 4.56 40 at the Combine. While he's not as athletic as Cook, scouts think he'll be a better blocker. He flattened USC star Rey Maualuga at the Senior Bowl.

"I felt like from my junior to senior year, my blocking was good," Nelson said. "There is always room for improvement and I improved over time. The Senior Bowl wasn't just something that just turned on a switch. I've been doing it all year."

Gerald McRath is's third-ranked inside linebacker. There are serious questions about his size (6-foot-2, 231) but no concerns over his productivity (386 tackles in three seasons), athleticism (4.61 40 ranked third among linebackers) and character. He met with the Packers at the Combine, and would be a consideration in the third round, especially with Nick Barnett coming off of a torn ACL.

What do you think about free agency and the draft?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum

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 Packers Pro Club forum. Bill also is giving Facebook and Twitter a try. Find him on Twitter at

Packer Report Top Stories