Packers Stay on Lookout for Corner Prospects

We have the exclusive story of where the Packers sent some of their scouts on Wednesday, when several top cornerback prospects were scheduled to work out at their schools.

The Packers sent scouts to four pro days on Wednesday that featured top cornerbacks.

Actually, only three of them featured top cornerbacks.

At Oklahoma State, coach Mike Gundy barred cornerback Perrish Cox from working out in front of scouts. It was Gundy's last dose of punishment after suspending Cox from the Cowboys' Cotton Bowl game because he missed curfew twice.

Cox is one of the most gifted and productive cornerbacks in this draft. He intercepted 10 passes in his career, including four as a senior. At a shade over 5-foot-11, he's got the size the Packers demand at the position. And his kick return skills have no parallel in this draft class. As a senior, he averaged 29.8 yards per kickoff return with two touchdowns, giving him six career kickoff returns for touchdowns in addition to a touchdown on a punt return as a sophomore.

The Packers held a formal interview with Cox at the Scouting Combine, according to a league source. No doubt, they grilled him about the suspension.

"That's one of the main things they harass with me," Cox said at the Combine when asked about his team interviews. "It's kind of tough. I'm used to it. It was a mistake, something I did wrong. I shouldn't have left in the first place. I've gotten used to it. I kind of knew that was going to happen."

Cox said his first curfew violation came when he and some teammates went out the night before a day with no practice. The next time, he left to meet his girlfriend and got stuck in traffic and didn't make it back to the team hotel in time.

"I tell them straight up, it was my fault. I shouldn't have left," he said. "I take all the blame for it. Coach did what he had to do. He wanted to suspend me for the game. I had to accept it. If I wouldn't have left, it wouldn't have happened. I take all the blame for it."

The violations are a giant red flag, considering Cox has second-round talent and would be in line for a signing bonus approaching $1 million. On a team like the Packers, with veteran leaders in the secondary with Charles Woodson and Al Harris, the team might figure they have the structure in place to keep Cox in line.

"Perrish is a great kid," agent Jordan Woy told Packer Report. "He is working out in Waco, Texas, on March 30 and there are a lot of teams really excited about seeing him. He will be in top shape then and he will have a great workout."

At Rutgers, ace cornerback Devin McCourty stuck with his Combine numbers (among best 40-yard and three-cone times) and only went through position drills. Like Cox, McCourty has the size (5-foot-11) and skill to play corner at a high level and is a proven special teams ace. Unlike Cox, there are no red flags with McCourty, who was a semifinalist for the Draddy Award, aka the Academic Heisman.

McCourty was voted Rutgers' MVP on defense (one interception, 10 pass breakups and 80 tackles were one off team lead) and special teams (kickoff return for touchdown, three blocked kicks). He's a major possibility for the Packers at No. 23.

"I did some DB drills and I think I did pretty good as far as my backpedaling and turning my hips go," McCourty told reporters on Wednesday. "At the Combine, I didn't sleep the night before, but today I had a little less anxiety."

All 32 teams were at Alabama to watch the national champions. The Tide feature standout corners Kareem Jackson and Javier Arenas, though neither worked out, with Jackson resting on his Combine numbers and Arenas ill.

Arenas was a big-play machine in the secondary as a senior (five interceptions) and blitzer (five sacks), and his one touchdown on a punt return gave him a ridiculous seven for his career. But at 5-foot-9, the Packers might deem him too short — they have drafted only two corners even 5-foot-10 since 1992 (Ahmad Carroll and Terrell Buckley).

Jackson (5-11) departed after his junior season. He started 40 of a possible 41 games in his career, with five interceptions. His physical style will be an attraction for the Packers.

At Kentucky, the Packers got another look at Trevard Lindley. The 5-foot-11 Lindley holds the SEC record for career pass breakups with 43. He considered entering the draft after a junior season in which he had four interceptions and 11 breakups. An ankle injury torpedoed his senior season. He played in only nine games, with one interception and nine breakups, but still was voted first-team all-conference by the coaches.

Lindley's stock is sinking due to the injury, his unproductive senior season, a so-so Senior Bowl and an uninspiring workout at the Combine. His 40-yard time of about 4.50 seconds on Wednesday probably won't raise his stock and he probably won't go in the first two days of the draft (three rounds).

"Trevard's never going to be a 4.4 guy but he plays fast enough to play in any league," coach Joker Phillips told reporters.

The Packers also had scouts at Cincinnati, where receiver Mardy Gilyard and quarterback Tony Pike are the clear-cut top prospects, and Wisconsin.

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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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