Scout Watch: Road to the Draft

The Green Bay Packers are scouting at least four games on Saturday ... who are the top prospects?

The Green Bay Packers are scouting at least four games on Saturday, according to Scout.com draft analyst Chris Steuber.

Wisconsin at Minnesota

The main attraction is Golden Gophers receiver Eric Decker, who entered Saturday's game on pace to catch 105 passes for about 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns. Decker entered the year as Steuber's third-ranked receiver prospect after catching 84 passes for 1,074 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior.

At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Decker has superior size and is an intelligent, dependable pass-catcher who's always in position to make a big play, according to Steuber. He's quick off the line and has a size/speed combination that makes him a difficult matchup for most defenders. He displays outstanding awareness and works well with the quarterback; offering him a big target. He can play in the slot or on the outside, has an understanding of all routes, plays with excellent body control, and extends to make the reception away from his frame. He's a threat downfield and over the middle; locates soft spots on intermediate routes and possesses enough elusiveness to make plays after the catch. He has to improve his blocking downfield and become a factor without the ball.

Other prospects for Minnesota include CB Traye Simmons, LBs Simoni Lawrence, Nate Triplett and Lee Campbell, junior QB Adam Weber and junior OG D.J. Burris.

The Badgers' top prospect is senior tight end Garrett Graham, who many scouts see as a top fullback/H-back prospect in the NFL. The 6-foot-4 senior entered the game with 16 catches for 200 yards and four touchdowns and is coming off a three-touchdown performance vs. Michigan State. Senior defensive end O'Brien Schofield, who would be an outside linebacker in the 3-4, is among the nation's leaders with 7.5 tackles for losses. Junior quarterback Scott Tolzien is an emerging prospect who had eight touchdowns against two interceptions entering Saturday.

Colorado at West Virginia

For Steuber's breakdown, click here.

Kansas State vs. Iowa State

These are a couple of the lesser teams in the Big 12. Kansas State, however, boasts Steuber's sixth-rated tight end, Jeron Mastrud. Mastrud is 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds and is one of the rare tight ends in college football who is adept at blocking and receiving. He's more of a possession receiver, however, with an 11.5-yard career average on 96 catches entering the weekend.

Missouri State vs. Youngstown State

This off-the-beaten-path game features a standout receiver in Youngstown State's Donald Jones, who entered the weekend with 19 catches for 190 yards and two touchdowns, including four catches for 34 yards against Pittsburgh in his one game against top competition.

A former junior college transfer from Lackawanna CC, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Jones has the size/speed combination that scouts require, and emerged on the scene last year for the Penguins by catching 31 passes for 510 yards and seven touchdowns. Jones is physical at the line of scrimmage and gets off a jam well. He runs adequate routes, is quick in and out of his breaks and possesses strong hands. He's raw and is developing his intermediate game, but as a vertical threat he has deceptive speed and is able to make the proper adjustments when the ball is in the air. He has to improve as a blocker and get more involved when the ball is not in his hands; he has to do the little things.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, 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 twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook.


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