Played in every game during his collegiate career, never missing one and starting the last 28 consecutive games of his college career. . . a Concensus Honorable Mention All Big 10 in 2013. . . was not allowed to participate in the NFL Combine when he was informed that a X-ray showed a hairline fracture in his neck at the C-5 level. Curiously, who determined this is still unknown and several other doctors have cleared Southward, saying he should have been able to participate in the Combine.
What they’re saying about him:
NFL.com: Excellent size. Good straight-line speed. Bends his knees and pedals softly. Reacts well to plays in front of him. Played a hybrid safety role at UW, including defending slot receivers. Played come cornerback. Special-teams experience. Average flexibility and range. Still developing positional instincts and diagnostic skills. Man-coverage limitations — dull transitional quickness and closing burst. Ordinary production on the ball — not a playmaker. Does not punish or intimidate.
There aren’t many highlight reels on Southward out there so I put up his Pro Day workout interview
If drafted by the Packers:
I wanted to mix it up a bit so I threw Southward in there following his impressive Pro Day at Wisconsin earlier this week. CBS Sports has Southward listed as a strong safety and projects as a seventh round draft pick. It’s very likely that Southward becomes an undrafted free agent and as Packers fans, we all know that he could be someone who piques general manager Ted Thompson’s interest. I would hope that the Packers will have addressed the safety position by that time, but this could be another option to provide depth. Southward has the measurable to play safety at the NFL level. His workout results show quite a bit of athletic ability, although his strength is unknown. He would likely not come in as starting safety material and would need to be developed by the Packers. Nothing that I have seem screams “special” about him, but he does speak well and seems to be on the more intelligent side. He could contribute on special teams and if nothing else, would be a better option than M.D. Jennings (not saying much). Read more...(434 words + 3 images, estimated 1:44 mins reading time)
First team all AAC selection in 2013. . .did miss one game due to a suspension for violation of an unspecified team rule. . 75 tackles last season . . . 2012 Pryor logged over 100 tackles and forced five fumbles while starting 13 games. . .also played running back in high school.
What they’re saying about him:
CBSSports.com: Prototype body type with good anticipation and explosive closing speed. Reliable open-field tackler and intimidating presence. Lowers his shoulder on impact to create collisions in run support and when protecting the middle of the field in coverage. Good vision and spatial awareness to slip amongst the mass of humanity near the line of scrimmage to locate the ball. Shows no desire for self-preservation when taking on blockers, dropping to take them out at the knees and often is able to take out the ballcarrier. Very good ball skills. Can extend and pluck outside of his frame and shows excellent awareness to get his feet inbounds. Almost too physical in an era in which heavy hitters often draw penalty flags. Drops his shoulder into defenders but some of his hits could be interpreted as leading with the crown of his helmet. Wasn’t asked to cover slot receivers in Louisville’s scheme. A bit stiff when changing direction, allowing some separation by receivers, especially on double-moves.
NFL.com: Very good instincts. Physical, lights-out hitter. Very aggressive running the alley and seeks to make his presence felt in the run game. Sacrifices his body. Defensive tempo-setter. Good pre-snap recognition — makes adjustments. Explosive tackler. Can leverage the field off the hash and cover ground. Good zone recognition. Rangy enough to play center field. Carries a swagger and plays with confidence. Plays with too much reckless abandon and lacks discipline playing the cutback. Takes some bad angles and can be outflanked to the perimeter. Average production on the ball. Not asked to play a lot of man coverage.
Video Analysis:Read more...(730 words + 3 images, estimated 2:55 mins reading time)
This is a highlight reel so don’t forget, it doesn’t show the plays he missed
Second team All-American and first team all-SEC selection in 2013. . .had surgery for a torn meniscus this past December. . .did miss two games due to a suspension for accepting money from an assistant coach. . . 2012 Dix tied for most interceptions in SEC with five. . played in all 14 games that season.
What they’re saying about him:
CBSSports.com: “Possesses a lanky, athletic build with light feet, excellent fluidity and straight-line speed to handle deep and nickel coverage responsibilities. Good awareness. Tracks the action well, showing impressive key and diagnosis skills to get a jump on the ball or when attacking the line of scrimmage in run support. Decisive. When he sees the play developing, doesn’t waste time debating, instead exploding towards the ball, showing explosive closing ability. Very good ball-skills. Can climb the ladder and extend outside of his frame to pluck the ball. Physical defender, who looks to deliver the intimidating shot. Highly aggressive and therefore will occasionally be fooled by misdirection and play-action. Barrels towards the line of scrimmage and leaving cut-back lanes for nifty athletes to exploit. Lowers his shoulder to lay the intimidating hit on ball-carriers and fails to wrap up, at times, relying the collision to knock the opponent to the ground.
NFL.com: Quick to read and react. Has speed and flexibility to match up with slot receivers or tight ends. Ranges off the hash. Good hands to intercept. Effective run supporter — drops downhill with conviction and does not shy from contact. Takes direct angles to the ball. Secure tackler. Has special-teams experience. Well-coached in a pro-style defense. Has a narrow build and lacks ideal bulk. Could stand to get stronger. Occasionally gets stuck on blocks. Could stand to iron out his pedal. Does not always play with abandon — plays conservatively at times and can be late fitting in the run game or getting off the hash. Average ball production and playmaking ability. Not as natural in the box.
Video Analysis:Read more...(760 words + 3 images, estimated 3:02 mins reading time)
Ended career as the SEC’s all-time leader with 262 career receptions and 3,759 receiving yards … As a senior, the Biletnikoff Award semifinalist established a new SEC record with 112 catches … His receiving yardage total of 1,477 yards in 2013 is the third highest total ever by an SEC receiver … Matthews has had a record-setting junior season for the Commodores in 2012, arguably the greatest season ever by a Vanderbilt wide receiver, until his senior year … Unanimous First Team All-SEC WR by sportswriters and coaches in 2012 and 2013 … As a sophomore in 2011, Matthews emerged to lead the team in catches and receiving yards … After posting just five catches for 63 yards and no TDs through first five games in 2011, Matthews caught fire down the stretch, reeling in 36 passes for 715 yards and five TDs … Cousin of Jerry Rice. (vucommodores.com)
What they’re saying about him:
CBSSports.com: “Chiseled frame that was more impressive than higher-profile names also at the Senior Bowl. Size/speed combination along with his hand/eye coordination and body control makes him an attractive prospect, showing the ability to make plays at all levels of the field and do damage after the catch. Balanced route-runner with a sizeable catching radius. Size allowed him to be moved inside and out in Vandy’s offense, allowing the team to find him favorable matchups. Detailed and reliable route-runner. Very good hand-eye coordination to haul in tough passes, including one-handed catches.”
NFL.com: Good length. Big zone target. Good form as a route runner. Sinks his hips and pops out of breaks. Concentrates, tracks and adjusts. Soft hands and sticky fingers. Has leaping ability to compete in the air. Opens up his stride in the clear and shows nice long speed. Good field awareness. Gives effort as a blocker. Competes and plays with intensity. Tough and intelligent. Lined up outside and inside and has punt-return experience. Team captain and four-year starter with record-setting production.
Video Analysis:Read more...(692 words + 1 image, estimated 2:46 mins reading time)
Cut-ups like this are far more telling than highlight reels. But hey, his highlights are really easy to watch. They look cool.
Cal tight end Richard Rodgers could be a good fit to replace Jermichael Finley in the upcoming NFL draft.
The NFL Scouting Combine starts on Saturday and Packers general manager Ted Thompson will be there to observe all of the young NFL hopefuls who could potentially fill holes on the Packers roster.
Yes, it’s that time of year where words like “athletic” and “upside” become part of our everyday vocabulary and we pay extra close attention to how long a player’s arms are and what kind of motor he has. Keeping track of everything going on at the NFL Combine and the buzz about various prospects can be overwhelming. That’s why ALLGBP.com is here to help.
I picked out 10 players to watch at the NFL Combine if you’re a Packers fan. I have no idea if Thompson himself will be closely watching these players over others, but these 10 players are a mix of possible first-round targets for the Packers, or mid-round picks that appear to have the tools to help the Packers in one way or another down the road.
Of course, after the NFL Combine wraps up, ALLGBP.com will have more NFL draft profiles on possible future Packers than you will be able to handle. For now, keep an eye on these 10 players and we’ll see if any of them wind up in Green Bay come April.
HaHa Clinton-Dix, Safety, Alabama The Packers need a safety and Clinton-Dix might be the best one in this draft class. Scouts rave about Clinton-Dix’s instincts when the ball is in the air and his ability to shift directions and accelerate. His tackling could use some work, but the Packers desperately need a safety who can close on the ball and help eliminate big plays in the opponent’s passing game. Based on what I’ve seen, it’s really hard to get over the top on Clinton-Dix. Teams have had no problems getting over the top on the Packers safeties ever since Nick Collins was injured. If you’re a Packers fan, you might actually hope Clinton-Dix has a poor showing at the combine to increase the chances that he’ll fall to the Packer at pick No. 21.
Read more...(1347 words + 1 image, estimated 5:23 mins reading time)
First off, as with every year that I do this, I would like to say upfront I have no idea what I’m doing. I don’t pretend to able to prognosticate 53-man rosters any more than I can delve in the mind of Ted Thompson. That being said, this is still a fun yearly exercise and I’m sure we’ll all have a good laugh at my expense about this next week. Anyways, I wrote an article last year about the 10 points of making a 53 man roster and I’ve tried to follow my own advice.
Quarterback (2): Aaron Rodgers, Vince Young
The Packers typically keep 2 quarterbacks on the roster with a 3rd on the practice squad, and with Graham Harrell cut and no longer practice squad eligible, Vince Young becomes the de facto backup. I’d say it’s a 50-50 split as to whether they keep Coleman on the practice squad; my take is his quick demotion after Family Night signified that he didn’t show enough to warrant further development, and if the Packers were truly trying to “hide away” Coleman’s talent’s they would have kept Harrell for the last preseason game to bury Coleman’s playing time. But barring any other surprise options they might have to wait for the draft to find their next developmental quarterback.
Running Back (4): Eddie Lacy, Alex Green, John Kuhn, Johnathan Franklin
Lacy is obviously now the starting running back with DuJuan Harris on IR, and the rest of the stable is rather murky. Green probably gets the first chance to be Lacy’s backup even though he’s probably more of a 3rd down back as the Packers aren’t going to drop a high draft pick that quickly and he has the alibi that knee apparently never healed enough to make him a viable runner last year. Kuhn stays due to his acumen in special teams, pass protection and security blanket for Rodgers. Franklin rounds out the group mostly because of his draft status at this point, he hasn’t adjusted to the NFL as quickly as the other rookies, but he might be a decent option later in the season as he gains more experience. Starks in my opinion has been the odd man out this whole offseason, after Franklin was drafted Starks was the runner placed on the trading block over Green and Starks was the last running back in during the “dress rehearsal” 3rd preseason game and didn’t log a rushing attempt. Read more...(1845 words + 1 image, estimated 7:23 mins reading time)
Introduction: Ryan McMahon is a pretty interesting story. Initially enrolled at USC, McMahon played three years with the Trojans mostly featured on special teams. After which the story becomes a little vague (if anyone knows, please comment), but McMahon transfers to Sacramento State University, where he starts his last two years of eligibility at safety. Presumably since his name isn’t associated with any legal issues, his transfer was most likely due to lack of playing time behind a loaded USC secondary. While McMahon wasn’t drafted, he was invited to a tryout with the Packers but unfortunately wasn’t offered a contract. However as several defensive backs were held out for the start of training camp (Sean Richardson, Chaz Powell, Casey Hayward and Davon House), the Packers made the call at the beginning the week to bring back one of their own tryout players. Is McMahon the diamond in the rough that got a second chance or just another warm camp body?
None. Talk about under the radar
#6, playing safety, seems to rotate at free and strong
Run defense is not his forte, often gets pushed out of the play or stonewalled, doesn’t show much ability to disengage from blockers
You can watch fellow Packer David Bakhtiari (Colorado LT #59) block him out of a couple plays
If he can get to the play, he is a consistent tackler
Doesn’t look to be the most fluid in coverage, but good enough to get the job done
Good speed; may not be able to go sideline to sideline but pretty close to it.
Shows good ability to flip hips and change direction
Backpedal seems a little awkward
Didn’t see any playing time on special teams at Sacramento State, but led the team in special teams tackles at USC
For a guy who transferred from USC, he doesn’t dominate lower competition like he should.
Read more...(518 words + 1 image, estimated 2:04 mins reading time)