Trojans left tackle Charles Brown is Scout.com draft analyst Chris Steuber's fifth-ranked senior tackle and was his choice for the Packers in his recent mock draft.
"If he's there in the middle of the first round, like the Packers have right now as a draft pick, he'd be a guy to really take a look at," Steuber said for an upcoming magazine feature on the Packers' dire situation on the offensive line.
The 6-foot-6, 295-pound Brown is capable of playing left tackle or right tackle, Steuber said. He's strong in pass protection and athletic enough to be a presence as a second-level run blocker.
"He's very athletic. That's his biggest strength," Steuber said. "He has to develop more in his upper body. He's a little slender. But he's still developing. He's really come on strong this year. Last year, he was probably a mid-round kind of prospect. This year, he really developed this summer and it's really translated this season. He's kind of a work-in-progress type."
Brown is a redshirt senior who spent part of his first year on campus playing tight end. Last year, he was an honorable mention on the all-Pac 10 team. His position coach, Pat Ruel, was the Packers' assistant offensive line coach under Larry Beightol in 2001 and 2002.
The Trojans also boast the nation's top-ranked safety, Taylor Mays, who is USC's leading tackler and a consensus first-team All-American last season. Safety could be a position of need, depending on what the Packers do with free-agents-to-be Nick Collins and Atari Bigby.
"Taylor Mays is a tenacious, game-changing defender who can be used in multiple ways," Steuber said. "He's a hard-hitting presence in the secondary and immediately recognizes the action. He takes good angles in coverage and works well with his teammates. He moves well laterally and positions himself to deliver a knockout punch. He plays aggressively against the run, sheds blocks nicely and wraps up at the point of attack bringing the ball carrier down on initial contact. He plays sideline-to-sideline and is able to cover a large area with his outstanding agility and quickness."
Anthony McCoy, Steuber's fourth-ranked tight end, is averaging 23.4 yards on 16 catches.
Stanford's top senior prospect is running back Toby Gerhart. He ranks second nationally with 1,217 rushing yards and has scored 16 touchdowns. Last season, he rushed for 1,136 yards and 15 touchdowns.
"At 6-foot-1, 235 pounds, Gerhart is a physical runner who excels between the tackles," Steuber said. "He has great vision, shows patience and is a strong runner in the open field. He has good, but not elite speed and fights hard for extra yards. He doesn't go down on initial contact, and when he's eventually brought down, he always falls forward. He's a willing blocker and has the strength to be successful in that area."
Northern Colorado at Montana
The Packers will have a scout at this Big Sky game. Montana has won 12 straight Big Sky championships and is undefeated and is ranked No. 1 in the Football Championship Subdivision. The Griz have three senior starters on their offensive line, led by 6-foot-7, 315-pound left tackle Levi Horn, who will be making his 32nd start this week and was a tight end in high school.
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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 email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.