20

April

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Josh Evans, FS Florida

Florida safety Josh Evans

Florida safety Josh Evans

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: FS Josh Evans

Player Information:

Josh Evans, FS Florida
6-1, 207 pounds
Hometown: Irvington, N.J.

STATS

NFL Combine:

40 time: 4.54
20-yard shuttle: 4.10
Broad jump: 10′ 3″
Vertical jump: 34.5″

News and Notes:

Two-year starter alongside first-round hopeful Matt Elam … Started 24 games and appeared in a total of 47 during his time at Florida … Competed with Florida’s track team during the spring indoor season in 2010 … As a senior, Evans led the team with 79 tackles, including 2.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss … Built like a free safety, has the mentality of a strong safety … Recorded four tackles and an interception in his last college game in the Sugar Bowl against Louisville … Chose Florida over Oklahoma, Pittsburgh and Purdue … Was a high school quarterback

 What they’re saying about him: 

  • CBSSports.com: “Has a lean, athletic build with very long arms. Attacking mentality stands out on film. He isn’t afraid to get physical and competes when the ball is in the air and after the catch, always attempting to rip it out of the ballcarrier’s grasp. Attacks the line of scrimmage when he reads run or when allowed to blitz, which he did effectively in 2012, recording 2.5 sacks.”

Video:

Video Analysis:

  • Quick to the ball against the run and the pass.
  • He wraps up when he tackles and isn’t afraid of oncoming blockers.
  • His length is a huge asset for him. Rangy.
  • He’s built like a free safety but has the mentality of a strong safety. Very aggressive player.
  • Sometimes his aggressiveness gets the best of him, as he’ll over-pursue in the run game.
  • He always seems to be near the football.
  • Evans’ presence in the secondary allowed Matt Elam to roam and become the first-round hopeful that he is.

If drafted by the Packers:

In my opinion, Evans is one of the most underrated safeties in the draft. He’s been entirely overshadowed by teammate Matt Elam, but Evans has a real chance to be a Day 2 pick in his own right. Without Evans in the secondary, Elam likely wouldn’t have developed into the player he became. His presence on the back end allowed Elam to roam free and rely on his instincts to make plays.

15

April

NFL Draft Prospect: Matt Elam, Safety, Florida

 

Matt Elam

Florida Safety Matt Elam

Player Information:

Matt Elam, Safety, University of Florida

5’10″, 202 pounds

Palm Beach Gardens, FL

STATS

NFL Combine:

40 time: 4.54

225-pound bench: 17 reps

Vertical: 35 1/2″

Broad:  118″

News and Notes:

Elam began his Gator career as a starter on special teams.  Once given the chance to play at safety, he quickly showcased his talents and was a full-time starter in 2012. . . led the team in tackles for a loss (11) and had four interceptions along with two sacks and a forced fumble. . .Elam has been known to be a “big personality” off the field and was hot on many schools’ radar coming out of high school in 2010.  He elected to attend Florida and play for Urban Meyer. . .was voted first-team All American in 2012. . .ran just .01 second behind the fastest 40 time among safeties at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine. . .older brother Abe Elam is currently an NFL free agent safety who has spent his first eight seasons with several teams

What they’re saying about him:

  • CBSSports.com: “Athletic, instinctive and quite physical, Elam demonstrated the ability to walk up into the box and be a force near the line of scrimmage while also dropping back into coverage as a single-high safety when coaches called for it — showing off the type of versatility NFL teams are demanding from today’s hybrid safeties.”
  • NFL.com: “Plays close to the line of scrimmage or in the box very often. At his best when asked to make a play, either blitzing or one on one on the edge. Frequently assigned to cover the slot receiver. There are times when he flashes tremendous disruption when the play is developing in front of him. Has catch up speed to chase down when he wants to. Gets hand up to disrupt at the catch point even if head is not turned to locate the football. Gets downfield very quickly as a gunner in punt coverage.”

 

Video Analysis:

  • Physical and plays well in the box, near the line of scrimmage
  • Blitzes well and is disruptive
  • Closes well on the play in front of him
  • Quick to the backfield in run support
  • Height is a concern against taller receivers
13

March

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Jordan Reed, TE Florida

TE Jordan Reed

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: TE Jordan Reed

Player Information:

Jordan Reed, RB North Carolina
6-2, 236 pounds
Hometown: New London, CT

STATS

NFL Combine:

40 yard: 4.72

Bench: 16

News and Notes:

Jordan Reed is one of the more interesting prospects when he joined the Florida Gators as a man with no position.  A high school quarterback that lead his team to an undefeated season, the Gators first tried him out at running back where he gained 335 rushing yards on 44 carries (4.4 ypc) in his freshmen year.  He then made the transition to tight end where he lined up everywhere including inline, in the slot and bunch formations.  While Reed offers up an intriguing skill set he also carries much personal baggage that may ultimately cause his draft stock to fall.

 What they’re saying about him: 

  • CBSSports.com: “Reed is a fluid and flexible athlete with smooth body control and controlled balance. He flashes WR moves after the catch with quick, elusive feet and deceiving speed to run away from defenders.  Reed shows smooth athleticism in his routes, creating separation with sharp footwork and quick body movements. He has reliable hands and does a nice job holding onto the ball after a big hit, proving his ability and toughness over the middle of the field.”
  • NFL.com: “Used from a variety of spot along the formation: inline tight end, detached tight end, receiver, H-back, and even some running back. Adequate blocker when able to ride the shoulder and drive. Resets and gets after his assignment in the running game if missed the first time. Very smooth in breaks on outside breaking routes. Shines with the ball in hand, makes moves in space like a big running back with agility. Consistently makes oncoming defenders miss with hops, cuts, or speed. Flashes getting physical to earn the first down or extra yard at the end of runs. Good mix of hands catching and letting it into his body against tight coverage.”

 

Video:

 

Video Analysis:

26

April

Green Bay Packers Draft Matchup: CB Janoris Jenkins vs. S Harrison Smith

Janoris Jenkins

North Alabama CB Janoris Jenkins

I highly doubt CB Janoris Jenkins will still be avaliable when the Packers pick late in the first round of the NFL draft, but if he is, Ted Thompson has an interesting decision to make.

On paper, Jenkins vs. Harrison Smith is a complete mismatch. Jenkins is by far the more talented and superior player. But when you factor in concerns about Jenkins off the field and the Packers need for a safety after releasing Nick Collins, the matchup becomes closer.

Jenkins is a cocky, in-your-face, man-to-man, physical cover corner. You can put him on an island against any WR and he’s not going to back down. He’ll take on whomever he’s asked to cover, not ask for any help, and have a good chance of winning the battle.

Smith is one of the better safeties in a weak safety class and almost plays like an extra linebacker. I don’t see him as a guy who can cover the field against deep passing attacks, but I do think he’ll be good in the box against the run and as a blitzer. Think of him sort of as a lite version of Charles Woodson.

If Jenkins and Smith are still out there when the Packers pick (I’m 99 percent sure Smith will be), I think the Packers should take Jenkins. I know Jenkins’ off-field issues don’t make him “Packer People,” but he’s too talented to pass up, especially as QBs, WRs and TEs continue to get better in the NFC North. Yes, Jenkins has character issues, but Mike McCarthy, Charles Woodson and others in the Packers organization should be able to help Jenkins in that area as long as he shows a willingness to work hard on the field and make a few changes off of it.

(Side note: People who know a lot more about this sort of stuff than I do seem to think that Jenkins will be around late in the first, maybe even into the second round.)

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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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 …”