About a month after returning from watching 329 players at the Scouting Combine that starts this week, they will host a workout for wide receiver Andy Tanner on April 6, Scout.com draft insider Chris Steuber told Packer Report.
Tanner caught 75 passes for 1,186 yards — a 15.8-yard average — and 12 touchdowns during his senior season at Midwestern State, a Division II program located in Wichita Falls, Texas. Tanner was an honorable mention on the all-American team, was named the Lone Star Conference's receiver of the year and helped the school land its second postseason appearance.
Tanner (5-foot-11, 185 pounds) caught one pass for 5 yards in the Cactus Bowl, which is the Division II all-star game. He also played in the East Coast Bowl, an all-star game including Football Championship Subdivision, Division II and Division III schools. Tanner said he was timed at 4.51 seconds in the 40 at practices for the game, then caught three passes for 63 yards.
Tanner talked to Packer Report on Tuesday and said those games were important in showing the scouts what he can do and just getting his name out. He said he talked to scouts from about 10 or 12 teams, and they came away impressed with his route-running ability and natural catching skills.
To improve his speed and agility, Tanner is working with a trainer in Dallas and says his initial quickness is improving. That will lead to a faster 40 time.
Any late-round or undrafted rookie will face an uphill battle breaking into the Packers' receiving corps. The Big Four of Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones and Jordy Nelson are entrenched. Patrick Williams was one of the four undrafted rookies brought in after the draft last year, giving the team 11 receivers at one point. None of the four made the final roster or even the practice squad, though Williams was added to the practice squad on Oct. 27. Williams (6-foot-1, 204) was promoted to the 53-man roster on Dec. 15, at which time offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said he liked his potential and ability to burst out of his routes.
He's not expected to be drafted but likely will compete in a team's training camp, Steuber said. All he wants is a chance.
"Johnny Knox (Bears), Bernard Scott (Bengals), Harvey Martin (Cowboys legend), we're all from the same conference," Tanner said. "If they can make it, I think I've got a shot too. I've just got to go out and do what I can do. I feel I have enough talent to compete and make a team and see where it goes."
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