8

April

Packers Prospect Profile — DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State University

1) Profile:

Cameron Heyward

College: Ohio State

Position: DE (3-4), DE (4-3), DT (4-3)

Height: 6′5″   Weight: 295 lbs.

Born: May 6, 1989 From: Suwanee, GA

2) High School / College Highlights: In Heyward’s senior year of high school, he totaled over 100 tackles and 16 sacks. For his efforts, he was voted Georgia Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year.

Scout.com rated Heyward as their No. 20 defensive end and 15th best prospect in Georgia, and he was ranked No. 13 and 7th in those same categories on Rivals.com. Heyward was also a good high school basketball player and graduated with a 3.25 GPA.

Once at Ohio State, Heyward got right to work. He started eight games his freshman season and had 2.5 sacks, earning him freshman All-American and freshman All-Big Ten honors. He continued to start his sophomore year, but Heyward’s production leveled out. In 13 starts, he accumulated just 36 tackles and 3 sacks.

However, Heyward put his name on the draft map with a solid 2009 season. In 13 starts for the Rose Bowl Champions, Heyward had 6.5 sacks and 10 tackles for losses. He was a Lombardi Award nominee—given to the nation’s best defensive lineman or linebacker—and was voted Second Team All-Big Ten.

Heyward had the option to put his name in the 2010 NFL draft, but he came back to Ohio State for his much-anticipated senior season. Many pegged Heyward as a top-10 pick before the season, but his production in 2010 didn’t match the hype. Heyward tallied just four sacks and 13 tackles for losses, but he did look like a dominant player in the Sugar Bowl against Ryan Mallett and Arkansas. He was voted First Team All-Big Ten.

3) College Stats: 51 games/46 starts, 162 tackles, 15 sacks, 37.5 tackles for losses, 4 forced fumbles, 1 interception

4) NFL Combine Results: 30-inch vertical jump (did not partake in any other workout at Combine). Pro Day: 4.95 40-yard dash, 35-inch vertical.

5) Strengths/Weaknesses: While not your classic speed rusher at defensive end, Heyward is an agile and explosive player for a man his size (6’5″, 295 pounds). His main strength, however, is rushing the passer with power. He’s strong in the upper body, and uses his hands well to disengaged blockers. This kind of power also makes Heyward a disruptive force against the run.

22

March

Who the Packers Will Pick: NFL Draft Experts Have Their Say

It’s a phenomenon that happens every year.

If you’re a fan of the NFL, you immediately turn into a draft expert for your team once the season comes to an end. The Green Bay Packers and their fanbase are no different.

It’s a part of what makes the draft process great—everyone has their own opinion on who to pick and why. And surely, a few mock drafts you’ll read from fans will get a number of picks right.

Yet contrary to popular belief, actual “experts” on the draft are typically more informed and in-tune with who each team might pick than the common fan.

They’re paid to know (or sound like they know) and their connections to the football world give them an obvious step up.

Here are the most recent mock picks to the Green Bay Packers from several of the most well-known experts and draft websites.

ESPN (Todd McShay, Mel Kiper, Jr.), CBS Sports (Chad Reuter): Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona

With nearly constant comparisons to Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, Reed has shot up many draft boards.

Both ESPN whiz-kids (or whatever other adjective you use for them) have the Packers taking Reed to be the playmaker opposite Matthews for the Packers defense.

If his story continues to follow in the footsteps of Matthews, it’d be hard to argue with the pick.

Reed is one of the more explosive short-area players in the draft (1.59 10-yard split), and he’s going to give you the non-stop motor that has endeared Matthews to so many of the Packers fans.

National Football Post (Wes Bunting): Ben Ijalana, G, Villanova

With the likely departure of starting left guard Daryn Colledge whenever free agency starts, Ijalana could immediately fill the hole.

He’s super-athletic for his big frame (6’4″, 320 lbs), and there’s also a chance Ijalana could play tackle once he adjusts and gets comfortable with the NFL game.

The Packers like T.J. Lang as the replacement at either guard or tackle long-term, but there’s never anything wrong with adding talent and versatility to an offensive line, and Ijalana does that.

Sporting News (Russ Lande): Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple

Cullen Jenkins is more than likely on his way out of Green Bay, and the Packers could potentially add more depth to the defensive end position.