Packers Scout Two of Draft's Top Cornerbacks

Sources say the Packers sent scouts to these four pro days, with two top cornerbacks and a quality left tackle on the agenda. Who did they watch? We have the details in our latest Packer Report draft exclusive.

After a couple of slow days in terms of elite talent, Packers scouts watched two of the draft's elite cornerbacks at pro days on Friday.

Boise State

Florida's Joe Haden remains the consensus top cornerback, but the Broncos' Kyle Wilson is the clear No. 2 after a brilliant career and Senior Bowl week. If he's available at No. 23 — a big "if" at this point — the Packers probably would be thrilled, assuming his 5-foot-10 frame isn't too short for a team that covets height at that position.

Wilson probably cemented his first-round status on Friday by running his 40-yard dash as fast as 4.39 seconds, according to the Idaho Statesman's Chadd Cripe. His 20-yard shuttle time of 4.02 seconds would have ranked second at the Combine.

"I was happy how everything went," Wilson told Cripe. "I know I'm as fast as they come, so hey, I'll trust my speed vs. anybody."

Wilson didn't run or jump at the Scouting Combine because of a hamstring injury but led all corners in Indianapolis with 25 reps on the 225-pound bench press.

Wilson is one of the most dynamic players in this draft, with 11 career interceptions and three touchdowns on punt returns. He posted three interceptions as a senior, taking two of those back for scores. From the Packers' perspective, Wilson isn't their ideal 6-feet tall and he's not great in run defense. But his ability in coverage and punt returns would fill two of the Packers' biggest needs.

Wake Forest

If size and athletic ability ever turn into production, Brandon Ghee is a potential star.

In a draft full of 5-foot-10 and 5-foot-11 cornerbacks, Ghee has the size the Packers desire in their cornerbacks. The 6-footer topped all cornerbacks at the Scouting Combine with a 40-yard time of 4.45 seconds and finished among the top five performers in the 20-yard shuttle, broad jump and 60-yard shuttle.

With that combination of athleticism, size and long arms to play press coverage — not to mention his willingness to be a factor in the run game — Ghee is a strong possibility to go to the Packers with their second-round pick.

On the other hand, despite his physical tools, Ghee never made an all-conference team. He intercepted just one pass as a three-year starter after redshirting in 2005 and having to sit out for academic reasons in 2006.

Ghee looked fluid in position drills on Friday and stuck with most of his Combine numbers, according to a source. Ghee, who had a big week at the Senior Bowl, is at his best against big receivers, which all of the elite NFC teams feature. But short-range quickness and fundamentals are issues that lead some scouts to believe his best spot might ultimately be safety. He'll get a long look at corner because it's such a premium position.

Miami

The Packers no doubt wanted to see four-year starting offensive tackle Jason Fox. Fox, who missed the Hurricanes' bowl game because of a knee injury that required minor surgery, didn't work out at the Scouting Combine. Instead of raising his stock on Friday, he injured his left hamstring while running his 40.

Fox (6-7, 303) started 47 games, including his final three seasons at left tackle. He allowed one sack as a senior and graded out at 96 percent, according to school statistics. He entered the offseason as a possible second-round prospect — a great candidate for the Packers — but his sudden rash of injuries could send him into Day 3 of the draft because teams just don't know if he's athletic enough to protect the quarterback's blind side.

Still, his production and intelligence while playing for an elite school shouldn't be overlooked.

"When (scouts) ask you to draw plays, they could tell that I understood the game of football," Fox told the Sun-Sentinel on Thursday. "At UM, the coaches just don't tell you to block the linebacker. They explain the play and that's exactly what (NFL teams) are looking for."

Cornerback Sam Shields (6 foot) ran his 40 in 4.28 seconds. That would have sent the former receiver's stock soaring had he not been busted for marijuana last week.

Arizona State

The Sun Devils feature a pair of late-round prospects to consider.

Dexter Davis (6-2, 244) would be moving from end to outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. The four-year starter piled up a whopping 31 sacks, including 21.5 during his sophomore and junior seasons. He had just 3.5 as a senior but was a a first-team all-conference selection anyway. His 4.64 40 at the Combine led the defensive linemen. He'd be a project at linebacker, as evidenced by his reported struggles in coverage at the East-West all-star game. A source told Packer Report that Davis has an inconsistent motor.

Guard Shawn Lauvao (6-3, 313) played left guard, left tackle and right tackle as a three-year starter. Guard is probably his destination in the NFL. He pumped out 33 reps on the bench press at the Combine.

Running back Dmitri Nance (5-10, 224) rushed for 1,934 yards and 19 touchdowns in his career. Of interest to the Packers as an undrafted free agent, Nance caught 48 passes over his final two seasons.


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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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