Senior Bowl Is Prime Time For Packers' Scouts

And Packer Report will be in Mobile, Ala., on Monday when practice gets under way for the marquee all-star game. Last year, the Packers liked what they saw from B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews III and drafted them in the first round.

Before there were B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews III, there were Jim Taylor, Ray Nitschke and Jerry Kramer.

The Packers' scouts got an up-close look at Raji and Matthews during last year's Senior Bowl. Liking what he saw during his week in Mobile, Ala., general manager Ted Thompson used the ninth overall selection of the 2009 draft on Raji, then moved back into the first round to select Matthews. After recording 10 sacks, Matthews earned a trip to the Pro Bowl, and both players were named to the NFL's all-rookie team.

In their legendary 1958 draft, the Packers used their second-round pick on Taylor, third-round selection on Nitschke and fourth-round choice on Kramer. All three played in the Senior Bowl that year, with Nitschke and Kramer on the all-time Senior Bowl team.


Clay Matthews
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
This week, Thompson and his ilk will reconvene in Mobile for the 2010 Senior Bowl. Packer Report publisher Bill Huber and the team at Scout.com will join them and bring you all of the news, notes and observations from the practice field.

How important is this week?

— Last year, 11 Senior Bowl players were drafted in the first round — the first off the board was Raji — and 20 went in the second round. For five consecutive years, at least 10 Senior Bowl players went in the first round.

"It was a great experience to come down there and meet some of the guys I watched on TV," Raji said last year. "I wanted to come to compete and showcase my talents in front of the scouts. I think it did help me because it showed people how dominant I can be."

— Last year's game produced the first senior player drafted at nine positions.

— Including 12 players selected in the third round, 43 of the top 100 players competed in the Senior Bowl.

The Packers own the 23rd pick of the first round, and judging by how the season unfolded, offensive tackle and cornerback will be at the top of their draft list. The following is a list of the tackle and cornerback prospects listed at SeniorBowl.com. Note: The list was last updated on Jan. 21 with the total roster at 67 players. That's about 25 players short.

Offensive tackles

Ciron Black, LSU; Charles Brown, USC; Selvish Capers, West Virginia; Kyle Calloway, Iowa; Ed Wang, Virginia Tech; Trent Williams, Oklahoma; Sam Young, Notre Dame. Williams is No. 12 on Scout.com draft insider Chris Steuber's Big Board, followed by Brown (34), Capers (77); Calloway (95). (Note: Capers, Calloway and Lang are not on the "official" list but reportedly will play.)

Cornerbacks

Javier Arenas, Alabama; Chris Cook, Virginia; Brandon Ghee, Wake Forest; Trevard Lindley, Kentucky; Devin McCourty, Rutgers; Jerome Murphy, South Florida; Patrick Robinson, Florida State; SydQuan Thompson, California; Kyle Wilson, Boise State. Robinson ranks No. 31 on Steuber's Big Board, followed by Thompson (38), McCourty (47); Ghee (62); Lindley (76), Wilson (84) and Arenas (92). (Note: McCourty and Ghee are not on the "official" list but reportedly will play.)

Practice begins on Monday, and we'll have blowout coverage all week.


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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. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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