Category Archives: 2012 NFL Combine

8

April

Surviving Sunday: Packers News, Notes and Links for the Football Deprived

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

Surviving Sundays With No Packers Football

This news about Aaron Rodgers being in the final eight to make the cover of the new Madden video game upset me. No, it didn’t make me angry because I believe in some silly Madden curse and worry about Rodgers breaking his leg or turning into Mark Sanchez, it angered me because Madden isn’t as fun for me as it used to be. I don’t want the QB for my favorite NFL team as the poster boy for a video game that never really does anything to improve year in and year out besides make roster updates.

Before I get to Packers news and links, allow me to pontificate a bit on this topic:

Maybe it’s because I’m 30 years old and growing out of mashing buttons on a controller, but I need more depth in my video games than what Madden offers. Yes, the bells and whistles of Madden are nice and I still buy it every year, but I always feel empty after playing it. The game looks like football. It sounds like football. It’s supposed to be football. But it doesn’t feel like football.

I want to do more in a football video game than just find a few plays that typically work and try to exploit the game’s artificial intelligence. I need player ratings to actually matter, even ratings for interior offensive linemen and backup linebackers. I need an opponent that realistically reacts to my playcalling, allowing me to set up future play calls or adjust on the fly to my opponent’s new strategy. I need realistic statistics and results, not every game ending 45-41 and defensive ends totaling 30 sacks per season.

To be fair, Madden has gotten better in these areas over the last five years. But it’s nowhere near perfect. Perfection may never be achieved, at least in my jaded eyes, but there are football games that come close, much closer than Madden, anyway.

The top two for my money are Front Office Football and Action PC Football. Before explaining why, I need to warn you that both are text-based simulations. This means there are no fancy HD graphics and theater-quality sound effects that make you feel like you’re in an NFL stadium. No button-mashing is required to complete passes or recover a fumble, either. Yet both games feel much more like football than any version of Madden I’ve played.

6

April

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: QB Austin Davis, Southern Mississippi

Southern Mississippi QB Austin Davis

Southern Mississippi QB Austin Davis

Green Bay Packers draft prospect profile: QB Austin Davis

Player Information:

Austin Davis, QB Southern Mississippi
6’2”, 221 lbs
Hometown:  Meridian, MS

NFL Combine:

Vertical Jump: 31
Broad Jump: 9’1”
20-yard shuttle:  4.11
3-cone drill:  6.73

News and Notes:

Owns school record for most career touchdown passes, surpassing Brett Favre. Broke Favre’s single season touchdown pass record for a freshman with 23 in 2008. Named All Conference USA freshman.  Led Southern Miss to a 12-2 record and a win over the Nevada Wolfpack in the 2011 Hawaii Bowl.

What they’re saying about him:

Dane Brugler (CBSSports.com): “A dual threat quarterback with athletic footwork and mobility. An instinctive runner with very good toughness  uses stiff arms and runs with good body strength. Has quick, smooth delivery with very good touch and anticipation as a passer. Has natural leadership traits and plays with his heart, willing his team to victory. A smart and confident individual on and off the field. Plays like a veteran and executes and sells fakes well, doesn’t force a lot and isn’t afraid to throw it away.

Shorter than ideal and isn’t physically imposing in any way. Limited arm strength with an unorthodox throwing motion; doesn’t effectively use his body or footwork (almost like he’s throwing darts). Inconsistent downfield passer and puts too much air under his throws too many underthrows and streaky ball placement”

ProFootballWeekly.com: “A savvy, poised, quick-triggered, short-to-intermediate rhythm passer who maximized his talent in four years as a starter.”

National Football Post:  “Exhibits some savvy to his game; he sells the play fake hard and can create with his legs when plays breakdown. He displays nice touch between the numbers, exhibits good timing in the pass game and will throw receivers open allowing them to run after the catch. Between the numbers he’s very effective and has “plus” accuracy and ball placement.

However, his arm is limited, he gets lost once the pocket starts to close in on him and isn’t real impressive spinning the football down the field. He gets upright in the pocket in order to see over the line of scrimmage, doesn’t generate much torque from his lower half and has a tough time making throws outside the numbers on a line and/or down the field. He’s not real impressive generating torque on the move as well and balls too often tail on him when trying to create outside the pocket.”

2

April

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Kendall Reyes, Connecticut – UCONN

NFL Draft Prospect Profile - Kendall Reyes, DL, Connecticut - UCONN

Kendall Reyes, DL, Connecticut

Green Bay Packers draft prospect profile: Kendall Reyes

Player information:

Kendall Reyes, Connecticut – UCONN
6’4″, 299 lbs
3-sport Captain in H.S. (football, basketball, track)

 

NFL Combine:

4.95 40-yard dash
4.53 20-yard shuttle
7.43 3-cone drill
9.42′ long jump
34.5″ vertical jump
36 bench press reps
33.25″ arms
9.5″ hands

News & Notes:

Reyes played in every game and started 42 over four years at UCONN, earning a starting job towards the end of his freshman season. A two-time All-Big East selection, Reyes played mostly DT for the Huskies. Did not accumulate a lot of sacks (11.5) playing inside, but was stout against the run and did consistantly provide inside pressure on the QB. As one would expect, with his height, long arms and vertical jump, he knocked down 10 passes for the Huskies.

What they’re saying about him:

Wes Bunting (National Football Post): Needs to win with his first step as a pass rusher at this stage. Exhibits the burst to threaten gaps and/or cross the face of a blocker and make his way into the backfield. Is a gifted athlete who can stunt inside and exhibits good closing range in space. Gets upright into contact off the ball at times. However, he has the skill set, to rush the passer… Displays some natural talent and did a better job at Senior Bowl playing with a lower pad level. If he can continue to play lower should be able to fight for a starting role in both a 34 or 43 scheme as a three or five technique.

Frank Cooney (CBS Sports): Reyes played both end and tackle in college and didn’t impress scouts as a pass-rush threat until he outplayed some of the best offensive linemen in the country at the Senior Bowl. He has good short-area quickness and will win most fights in a phone booth.

NFL Combine: Reyes has a motor inside and relies more on his feet and technique to beat guys. He is a good player to insert in different slants and stunts inside based on schemes that commonly use these tactics. Reyes will be a reliable and strong player at the next level who consistently displays high effort and rarely gets completely blocked inside; he is always able to make just enough of a play to make a difference.
Video:

26

March

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Jonathan Massaquoi, OLB, Troy

Troy OLB Jonathan Massaquoi

Green Bay Packers draft prospect profile: Jonathan Massaquoi, Troy

Player information:

  • Jonathan Massaquoi, OLB, Troy
  • 6-foot-2, 262 lbs.
  • Majored in social sciences at Troy and is the cousin of both Visanthe Shiancoe and Mohammed Massaquoi.

NFL Combine:

  • 4.89 40-yard dash
  • 4.53 20-yard shuttle
  • 7.38 3-cone drill
  • 120″ broad jump
  • 33.5″ vertical jump
  • 20 bench press reps

News & Notes:

A top prep prospect in the state of Georgia, Massaquoi committed to Troy early but failed to qualify his freshman year…Spent one year at Butler Country Community College, racking up 20 sacks, before transferring back to Troy in 2008…Redshirted in 2009…Was a first-team All-Sun Belt conference selection after posting 13.5 sacks in 2010…Had five games with more than one sack…2.5 sacks against Ohio in Troy’s bowl game…Posted just 5.5 sacks his junior year after being named preseason defensive player of the year in the Sun Belt…Finished his two-year career at Troy with 31 tackles for losses…Has long arms at over 34 inches…Looks more like a developmental prospect at outside linebacker rather than an immediate upgrade/fix.

What they’re saying about him:

Frank Cooney (CBS Sports): “Some NFL teams think Massaquoi is an untapped talent who might have benefitted more if he played college at a higher level with more expectations and better competition. He has an interesting combination of strength and agility that served him well at that level without showing much technique.”

National Football Post (Wes Bunting): “An effective small-school pass rusher because of his length. However, isn’t a real flexible kid, lacks a sudden/explosive element to his game and looks more like a reserve only to me.”

NFL Combine: “He put an “above average” season on film and is a middle- or late-round prospect. He is hurt by the fact that he is such a tweener, playing defensive end in college at 250 pounds without showing the type of athletic ability that would intrigue a 3-4 team to move him to outside linebacker. Massaquoi’s stock will depend on his pre-draft workout numbers — he could be selected nearly anywhere.”

Video:

Video Analysis:

  • Not much explosion to his game
  • Looked lost in run support
  • Motor always appears to be running
  • Shows some bend/ability to get skinny
  • Very quick off the edge on sacks vs. Ohio
25

March

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Chris Rainey, RB/WR, Florida

NFL Draft Profile: Florida RB/WR Chris Rainey

Florida RB/WR Chris Rainey

Green Bay Packers draft prospect profile: Florida RB/WR Chris Rainey

Player information:

  • Chris Rainey, RB/WR, Florida
  • 5-foot-8, 180 lbs.
  • A world-class track athlete who can do far more on a football field than just run.

NFL Combine:

  • 4.45 40-yard dash*
  • 3.93 20-yard shuttle*
  • 11.06 60-yard shuttle*
  • 6.50 3-cone drill*
  • 120″ broad jump
  • 36.5″ vertical jump
  • 16 bench press reps

* =Top performer

News & Notes:

Won two straight USA Today high school National Championships while at Lakeland (Fl.) High School…Played in four games his freshman season but received a medical hardship waiver after hurting his shoulder…Ran for 682 yards and four scores during his redshirt-freshman year, earning SEC All-Freshman honors…Finished his college career with 2,393 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, plus 66 catches for 764 yards and six more scores…Returned 25 punts and 18 kickoffs…Lost seven fumbles during his four years…Was charged with aggravated stalking in 2010 after sending his ex-girlfriend a threatening text message, later suspended by the school…Those charges were dropped when he completed a program of community service and anger management…Has experience playing running back, receiver and special teams…He’s been one of the nation’s most productive punt blockers over the last four years, as his six blocked punts set a SEC record…Struggles blocking out of the backfield but has a solid, compact frame…Most compare him to Percy Harvin, his former teammate at Florida and current Minnesota Viking…If used right at the next level, could have Darren Sproles like impact…Given his versatility and rare athleticism, the Packers could realistically afford to use a roster spot on him as another Swiss Army knife type player.

What they’re saying about him:

CBS Sports: ”Perhaps the most explosive cutting ability and straight-line speed of any athlete in the 2012 draft. Can make defenders look silly due to his lateral agility and sudden acceleration. Versatile. Saw time as a running back, receiver, punt returner and kick returner for the Gators … Looks natural catching the ball out of the backfield and has shown the ability to track the ball over his shoulder and snatch passes outside of his frame …”

24

March

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia

Georgia CB Brandon Boykin

Green Bay Packers draft prospect profile: Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia

Player information:

  • Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia
  • 5-foot-9, 182 lbs.
  • Broke his leg during the Senior Bowl, which robbed him of the opportunity to compete at the combine and Georgia Pro Day.

NFL Combine (DNP, leg):

  • N/A 40-yard dash
  • N/A 20-yard shuttle
  • N/A 3-cone drill
  • N/A broad jump
  • N/A vertical jump
  • N/A bench press reps

News & Notes:

A prep star in Georgia, Boykin stayed home and went to school in Athens. He appeared in 13 games his freshman season before going on to start 38 of the next 40 games for the Bulldogs. A jack-of-all-trades, Boykin registered nine interceptions, 19 tackles for losses and 18 passes broken up on defense, plus five return scores and three offensive touchdowns. He became the first player in SEC history to score three or more touchdowns of 100 yards. While Boykin is definitely on the short side (5-9) for cornerbacks, players his array of skills are hard to find. Boykin represents good value in the second round or later at a position that has three good players but struggled in 2011.

What they’re saying about him:

Frank Cooney (CBS Sports):  “Boykin may have a small frame, but he came up big to win the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most versatile player in 2011. He is a formidable athlete as both a cornerback and a kick returner. Boykin, who may run 40 yards under 4.4 seconds, had three touchdowns on kickoff returns as a sophomore, two for 100 yards each and then added another in 2010 to become the only player in SEC history with three plays of at least 100 yards. He is hardly bashful as a corner, where he surprises bigger opponents by getting right in their face as much as he can rather than playing off and using his speed to catch up.”

National Football Post (Wes Bunting): ”Plays much bigger/strong than his frame would indicate. Has the ability to press on the edge, but might be better suited to play as a slot guy in the NFL. Either way can play a role on a defense in either a man or zone scheme.”

19

March

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Janzen Jackson, S/CB, McNeese State

S Janzen Jackson, McNeese State

Green Bay Packers 2012 NFL draft prospect profile: Janzen Jackson, McNeese State

Player information:

  • Janzen Jackson, S/CB, McNeese State
  • 5-foot-11, 188 lbs.
  • Impressive athlete who transferred out of Tennessee after run-ins with the law and a clash with new coaching staff.

NFL Combine:

  • 4.64 40-yard dash
  • 4.15 20-yard shuttle
  • 6.90 3-cone drill
  • 125″ broad jump
  • 36.5″ vertical jump
  • 9 bench press reps

News & Notes:

A five-star recruit and one of the more heavily recruited players coming out of high school…Started in the second game of his freshman year at Tennessee and went on to start nine more in 2009…As a sophomore, led Tennessee with five interceptions…Was only Volunteer to earn All-SEC honors in 2010 as a second-teamer…Numerous character concerns, including an arrest for armed robbery and charges of substance abuse…Left UT in the spring of 2011, was welcomed back by coach Derek Dooley in July and then dismissed at the end of August…Transferred to McNeese State, in his hometown, where he started at both cornerback and safety. Intercepted three passes…Might be in the hybrid cornerback/safety mold at the next level…Red flags will knock Jackson down many boards…Far from “Packers People”—would be interesting to see if GM Ted Thompson even has him on his board—but talent and ability to play a hybrid role (i.e. Charles Woodson) makes him an intriguing prospect for Green Bay.

What they’re saying about him:

Rob Rang (CBS Sports): “Lean, athletic build with plenty of room for additional muscle mass. Legitimate NFL-caliber athlete. Possesses good straight-line speed, fluid hips to turn and run and explosiveness out of his breaks. Good vision and anticipation as a free safety. Reads the quarterback’s eyes and gets an excellent break on the ball. Is a considerably bigger hitter than his slight frame would lead you to believe. Closes quickly and generates an explosive collision on impact that can separate the football.”

National Football Post (Wes Bunting): “A talented kid who can run, track the football and can be a violent striker on contact. However, isn’t the most sound of wrap-up guys, is raw with his footwork and has character concerns. Nevertheless, has the talent to play in the NFL and should get a shot because of his ability to run and strike.”