The Packers watched two top-notch tight ends at Pittsburgh's pro day on Tuesday. The 6-foot-1 Dorin Dickerson outperformed most of the wide receivers — let alone the tight ends — at the Scouting Combine by running a 4.4 40-yard dash and posting a vertical jump of 43.5 inches with 24 reps on the 225-pound bench press. At 222 pounds, though, he probably won't ever offer the point-of-attack blocking skills the Packers would want as a complement to Finley.
Pitt's other tight end prospect is Nate Byham, who caught only 10 passes as a senior and 45 as a three-year starter but was a driving force behind the Panthers' juggernaut running attack. At 6-foot-4 and 268 pounds, he's got the strength to overpower linebackers and to battle with bigger defensive linemen. He's never going to be a big-play threat as a receiver — which is why he's a late-round prospect — but he does have good hands.
"They'll both be playing on Sunday," coach Dave Wannstedt told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "How high and what teams, I don't know. We've gotten very good feedback from both guys on how they performed and interacted with the coaches and general managers."
The Panthers have one other prospect of interest, quarterback Bill Stull, who makes sense as a developmental prospect with a late-round pick. Stull (6-2, 213) completed 65.1 percent of his passes with 21 touchdowns against eight interceptions as a senior. The Packers seemed impressed with his workout, a source told us.
"Today was great for me," he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I really threw the ball well and it was great to be able to make every single throw they were asking me to make. It just felt natural, like another day of throwing."
After tying the Combine record with 45 reps on the bench press, Arkansas guard Mitch Petrus focused on running and positional drills. Petrus, who suffered a leg injury while running his 40 at the Combine, was timed at 5.2 seconds on Tuesday.
The 6-foot-3, 310-pounder walked onto Arkansas as a tight end, moved to guard, was switched to fullback and then back to guard. He sat out 2008 for academic reasons but was a first-team all-SEC choice as a senior.
Nonetheless, Scout.com draft analyst Chris Steuber doesn't think Petrus has the lateral quickness to fit in a zone scheme.
The Rockets' top prospect comes at a position the Packers would like to upgrade. Safety Barry Church — a four-time first-team all-MAC selection — improved his 40 time from 4.71 at the Combine to 4.62 on Tuesday.
"I think everything went real well today," Church told the Toledo Blade. "I think I did real well in the defensive back drills. I was catching the ball good and all my breaks were on point, so I definitely I think I did really good today."
Church (6-2, 222) has no issues as a player in run support and as a blitzer. He posted 98 tackles, 8.5 tackles for losses and six quarterback hurries as a senior. The question will be whether he's athletic enough to play coverage, and that makes him a late-round possibility. He had one interception as a senior and six for his career.
And watch out for receiver Stephen Williams, who has great size at 6-foot-4 and ran a decent 4.53 40 with a second-ranked 10-foot, 5-inch broad jump at the Combine. He caught a whopping 221 passes with 20 touchdowns as a three-year starter and is seen as a late-round or undrafted prospect. He did position drills on Tuesday.
"It went real good," he said. "I got to showcase my skills, especially my route running and coming in and out of my breaks and running full spread through them. (The scouts) said they were very impressed with my improvement."
Other pro days
Along with those three, sources confirmed the Packers were at Delaware and Bowling Green — but not Georgia, interestingly.
— Want a productive receiver? Look no further than Bowling Green's Freddie Barnes, who set an NCAA record with 155 receptions as a senior with 19 touchdowns. Yes, 155. Yet, that wasn't good enough to get an invite to the Combine. He's not big (6 foot) or fast (reported 4.65 on Tuesday) but he has a knack for getting open, is smart (he was recruited as a quarterback) and has fabulous hands. He'll definitely be drafted, perhaps in the fifth round. His quarterback, Tyler Sheehan (6-3, 222), threw for 4,051 yards with 27 touchdowns as a senior. He's a late-round or undrafted prospect. The Lions were impressed with his workout, according to the Toledo Blade.
— Delaware's top prospect is quarterback Pat Devlin, though he's only a junior and is staying in school. He was a finalist for the Walter Payton Award as the best player in FCS. He completed 64.0 percent of his passes with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Jerry Butler, a backup running back who transferred from Wisconsin, returned three kickoffs for touchdowns in his two seasons. Brandon Gilbeaux (6-3, 265), a candidate to go to outside linebacker, had 5.5 sacks a senior, and safety Charles Graves (6-0, 195) picked off four passes with a team-high 69 tackles.
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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.