Combine Preview: Wide Receivers

The Packers might not have a major need but we tell you about several receivers who would add to the group. Of the 43 receivers who will be in Indianapolis for the Combine, there are several speedsters, kick returners and unusually tall targets who would be a nice fit.

The NFL's ultimate job interview, the Scouting Combine, begins on Wednesday in Indianapolis, with the first on-the-field workouts starting on Friday.

Packer Report gets you ready for the Combine with a position-by-position look at the 329 players on the invitation list.

Wide receivers

State of the Packers

Receiver isn't exactly a need position, but it's not a position that couldn't use a fresh face, either. Donald Driver turned 35 on Feb. 2, and in his last five games (including playoffs) he had 18 catches and no touchdowns.

Greg Jennings is a top-tier receiver but are James Jones and Jordy Nelson anything more than complementary parts? And for the cumulative talent in that foursome, the Packers don't have a pure speed demon to stretch the field vertically.

Combine guest list

Seyi Ajirotutu, Fresno State

Danario Alexander, Missouri

Alric Arnett, West Virginia

Brandon Banks, Kansas State

Chris Bell, Norfolk State

Arrelious Benn, Illinois

Nyan Boateng, California

Dez Briscoe, Kansas

Antonio Brown, Central Michigan

Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State

Chris Carter, Cal-Davis

Riley Cooper, Florida

Eric Decker, Minnesota

Marcus Easley, Connecticut

Jacoby Ford, Clemson

David Gettis, Baylor 

Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati

Shay Hodge, Mississippi

Brandon James, Florida

Donald Jones, Youngstown St.

Kevin Jurovich, San Jose State

Brandon LaFell, LSU

Scott Long, Louisville

Chris McGaha, Arizona State

Kerry Meier, Kansas

Carlton Mitchell, South Florida

Preston Parker, North Alabama

Jared Perry, Missouri

Taylor Price, Ohio

David Reed, Utah

Andre Roberts, The Citadel

Emmanuel Sanders, SMU

Jordan Shipley, Texas

Golden Tate, Notre Dame 

Demaryius Thomas, Ga. Tech

Verran Tucker, California

Chastin West, Fresno State

Blair White, Michigan State

Damian Williams, USC

Jeremy Williams, Tulane

Mike Williams, Syracuse

Stephen Williams, Toledo

Ryan Wolfe, UNLV

Who to watch

Assuming the Packers aren't looking for a serious first-round upgrade with top prospects Dez Bryant, Golden Tate and Brandon LaFell, one intriguing possibility would be to add field-stretching speed. That's something the Packers don't have in backups Nelson and Jones. We list a few of those below, along with some intriguing late-round prospects.

— Brandon Banks, Kansas State: At 5-foot-7 and 150 pounds, it's not hard to figure out the big question mark concerning Banks. As a junior, he was a big-play machine with seven of his nine touchdown catches covering at least 30 yards. His production as a receiver dipped as a senior — in large part because of Josh Freeman's departure — but he averaged 28.9 yards per kickoff return with four touchdowns.

Antonio Brown
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
— Antonio Brown, Central Michigan: Talk about production. Brown (5-foot-11, 175 pounds) caught 110 passes for 1,198 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior, giving him 305 catches, 3,199 yards and 22 touchdowns over his final three seasons. He also averaged 15.5 yards on punt returns with three touchdowns and 23.1 yards on kickoff returns with two touchdowns during those seasons. In the bowl game against Troy, he had 403 all-purpose yards, including a touchdown reception and 98-yard kickoff return for a score.

— Marcus Easley, Connecticut: Easley (6-2, 216) enjoyed a breakout senior season with 48 catches and 893 yards (18.6 average). His eight touchdowns included an 88-yarder. Not bad for a guy who didn't even receive a scholarship until his senior season.

— Jacoby Ford, Clemson: Ford (5-9, 181) emerged with Dexter McCluster as the best receiver at the Senior Bowl practices. As a senior, Ford caught 56 passes for 779 yards and six touchdowns. He split time with running back C.J. Spiller as the punt returner and brought one of those back for a touchdown, plus added two rushing scores.

— Brandon James, Florida: James (5-7, 185) is another undersized speedster. Used in the same role as Percy Harvin, James averaged 5.5 yards on 20 rushes, caught 24 passes for 215 yards, averaged 7.4 yards on punt returns and 26.1 yards on kickoff returns. For his career, he returned four punts for touchdowns (11.7 average) and the one kickoff (24.3 average).

— Carlton Mitchell, South Florida: Mitchell (6-4, 212), a former track standout, entered the draft as a junior after catching 40 passes for 706 yards (17.6 average) and four touchdowns. He had five catches of 50-plus yards. With his size and speed, he's one of the most intriguing under-the-radar prospects in this draft.

— Taylor Price, Ohio: Price (6-foot, 198) caught 56 passes for 784 yards and five touchdowns as a senior. Price showed his talent at Senior Bowl practices, with a few of the corners telling Packer Report that Price was the toughest receiver to cover. He expects to run in the 4.3s at the Combine.

— Andre Roberts, The Citadel: Roberts (5-11, 192) caught 77 passes for 792 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior, plus averaged 15.5 yards as a punt returner. The small-school star ran the best routes of anyone at the Senior Bowl practices, with his head fakes continually getting the corners to lean the wrong way. He's plenty fast enough but not a burner.

— Emmanuel Sanders, SMU: Sanders (5-11, 180) capped a productive four-year career with 98 catches, 1,339 yards and seven touchdowns, plus a 13.8-yard average and a touchdown as a punt returner. He's got tremendous quickness and burst after the catch.

— Mike Williams, Syracuse: No player needs a better Combine than Williams. Williams (6-2, 210) led the Big East with 49 catches for 746 yards and three touchdown before quitting the team in November. That came on the heels of being suspended for the 2008 season for academic reasons. He's not a big-time speedster but he's gifted with size, strength, toughness, hands and initial quickness to blow past defenders at the line.

— Stephen Williams, Toledo: Williams (6-5, 199) caught 73 passes, 71 passes and 79 passes in his last three seasons with 20 touchdowns. He lit up Purdue for 15 catches, 185 yards and two touchdowns in 2009. He's raw but has soft hands to go with his size.

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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 Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at and Facebook under Bill Huber.

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