18

April

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Barrett Jones, OL Alabama

Alabama OL Barrett Jones

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: OL Barrett Jones

Player Info:

Barrett Jones

6’4”

306 lbs.

Hometown: Germantown, TN

STATS

NFL Combine:

Missed due to lisfranc injury

News and Notes:

Missed NFL Combine due to foot injury, and his draft stock has been impacted.  Won the Rimington Award last season as the nation’s top center. Played all over the offensive line at Alabama under Nick Saban. Won All-SEC Honors at right guard in 2010, and in 2011 moved to blind-side tackle position and was named the SEC’s top offensive lineman and was a consensus All-American.

First Crimson Tide member to win the William V. Campbell Trophy as the nation’s best “scholar-athlete.”

What they’re saying about him:

NFL.com: “Possesses NFL size for an interior player. Solid pass protector whether playing inside or outside, plays with a wide base, mirrors and anchors effectively by keeping his feet moving and extends his arms to stay engaged. Good hip extension in the run game. Very good football and general intelligence. Great awareness of late blitzers and twist stunts, and he gives excellent effort to reach free rushers so his quarterback stays upright.

“Tends to stop his feet and lunge at pass rushers on the edge. Top-heavy, upright runner on pulls without great foot speed. Gets to the second level well, but can struggle tracking and adjusting to moving targets.  Has a lengthy injury history (but shows the toughness to play through them) and will need to check out medically.”

CBSSports.com: “Jones is typically characterized as a try-hard player who gets by with excellent fundamentals, and it is true that he uses his hands and feet very well to consistently defeat his opponent. Jones is smooth and efficient when easing back at the snap in pass protection or getting to the second level. He latches on and keeps his feet moving on contact, rarely allowing his opponent to make the play even if he’s relatively close to the ballcarrier.  Doesn’t blow defenders off the ball with pure strength. Not a flashy athlete and may struggle to excel at the NFL level.”

5

April

Names to Remember When the Packers are Drafting

2013 NFL Draft

2013 NFL Draft

Every draft season, I put together a last minute pre-draft post with some predictions and things I’ve heard. In both 2011 and 2012, there were a few gold nuggets in there that came to be;  Derrick Sherrod, Randall Cobb, Casey Hayward, BJ Coleman, trade predictions, etc.

Rather than make you wait until just before the draft, this year I’m going to whet your appetite with some early scuttlebutt.  I’m not going to give you any details at this moment, that will be forthcoming closer to the draft.

Here are some names you should keep in mind:

Eddie Lacy
Le’Veon Bell
Stedman Bailey
Arthur Brown
John Simon
AJ Klein
JJ Wilcox

There are still three weeks to go before the draft. Much can and will change between now and then as teams like the Packers do their final homework on guys they’ve identified as “players of interest.”  But for now, study up on the players above…

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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5

April

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: OLB Sammy Brown, Houston

NFL Draft Profile, Sammy Brown OLB Houston

Sammy Brown OLB Houston

Green Bay Packers draft prospect profile: Sammy Brown

Player information:

Sammy Brown, Houston
6’2″, 243 lbs
2011: 93 tackles, 30 TFL, 13.5 sacks
2010: 76 tackles, 19.5 TFL, 7.5 sacks, 2 FF

NFL Combine: (not invited)

Houston Pro Day:

4.64 40-yard dash
7.13 3-cone drill
4.47 20yd shuttle
10’3″ long jump
33 7/8″ arms
9.5″ hands
37″ vertical jump
20 bench press reps

News & Notes:

A JUCO transfer, Brown  led the nation in Tackles for Loss in 2011. He was named 3rd team AP All-American and 1st team All C-USA. One of the few pure 3-4 OLB’s in the draft.

What they’re saying about him:

Wes Bunting (National Football Post): Might be a little on the short side, but looks bigger because of his longer set of arms. Possesses solid girth through his frame and carries his weight well. Plays As an outside backer in Houston’s 34 front and does a nice job as a pass rusher. … A highly productive pass rusher who has come a long way since being a JUCO transfer. Has a feel for getting after the passer, exhibits a good burst and closing speed around the edge and is an intriguing 34-type prospect.

Pro Football Weekly: Fluid-moving, agile athlete capable of bending the edge. Lack of instincts and passive playing temperament could limit chances.
Video:

Video Analysis:

  • Has a lot to learn, but flashes top-level athleticism.
  • Not as active in pursuit as I’d like to see. Gives up too soon.
  • Needs to learn to use those long arms to shed blocks.
  • Shows burst to consistently get into the backfield, but doesn’t sustain his effort to the whistle.
  • A special teamer and situational pass rusher with potential for much more if he can learn to play with max effort all the time.
  • A good UDFA to bring in and see if Kevin Greene can light a fire under him.
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Follow Jersey Al:


                    Add to Circleson Google+

Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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4

April

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: DE/OLB Andre Branch, Clemson

NFL Draft Prospect Profile Andre Branch, DE/OLB Clemson

Andre Branch, DE/OLB Clemson

Green Bay Packers draft prospect profile: Andre Branch

Player information:

Andre Branch, Clemson
6’4″, 259 lbs
2-sport star in HS as a football tight end/outside linebacker and a basketball power forward.

NFL Combine:

4.70 40-yard dash
4.25 20-yard shuttle
7.19 3-cone drill
10.0′ long jump
32.5″ vertical jump
19 bench press reps
34″ arms
9″ hands

News & Notes:

Branch led the Tigers in sacks (10.5) and tackles for loss (17) in 2011. Played primarily right DE at Clemson, but has the athleticism and measurables to handle the conversion to 3-4OLB.

What they’re saying about him:

Wes Bunting (National Football Post): At 6-4, 259, Branch has the athleticism to stand up. He can bend, turn and burst to get to the passer. He is similar to Whitney Mercilus, except not quite as dynamic. However, instincts could hold him back at OLB, according to one front office man.

Frank Cooney (CBS Sports): Branch is a raw, flashy, long-armed player with great closing speed but still has a long ways to go if he wants to excel in the NFL… Possesses a legitimate blend of explosive speed and power which could result in much improved play with greater technique. Can beat lethargic offensive tackles off the snap with his burst. Good upper body power to stack and shed, as well. Some untapped potential in this area.

NFL Combine: Branch is a tall, physical and athletic end who could move to outside linebacker for a team that runs the 3-4 defense. He should be able to regularly beat NFL linemen on the rush and disrupt the passer, whether he’s standing up or has his hand on the ground. Because of his versatility and pass-rushing ability, he should come off the board late in the second round.
Video:

Watch Andre Branch’s NFL Combine Workout

Video Analysis:

  • Ideal size/speed combination.
  • Active in pursuit, can chase ball carriers down.
  • Will have to get stronger and play with better pad level, especially against the run.
  • Needs to use hands better to keep blockers from getting into his body.
  • Could develop into an explosive edge rusher as a pro.
  • Should have the ability to drop into coverage with good success.
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:

23

March

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Antonio Allen, S South Carolina

Antonio Allen, SS, South Carolina

Green Bay Packers draft prospect profile: Antonio Allen

Player information:

Antonio Allen, S South Carolina
6’1″, 210 lbs
Played the “spur” position for the Gamecocks, a hybrid SS/LB role. Can you say “Return of Big Oakie?”

NFL Combine:

4.67 40-yard dash
4.25 20-yard shuttle
7.02 3-cone drill
9.83′ long jump
34″ vertical jump
17 bench press reps

News & Notes:

Allen started of 2011 with a bang, recording 16 tackles in South Carolina’s opening game. Allen was named second team ALL-SEC for the 2011 season, finishing with 88 tackles , 3 interceptions, 4 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, 9.5 tackles for loss and one sack. Played on every special teams unit except field goals.

What they’re saying about him:

Wes Bunting (National Football Post): A tall, top heavy safety prospect… Plays a lot inside the box and when he sees the football showcases an average initial burst, drops his pad level, wraps and creates an explosive pop into contact…   Doesn’t consistently take proper angles toward the ball carrier and lacks the initial closing gear to make up for it. Plays like a 4.6 guy and doesn’t routinely make a ton of plays in pursuit. Struggles to breakdown as well into contact and has a tendency to outrun the football.

Dane Brugler (CBS Sports): Doesn’t shy from contact and exhibits a nasty attitude with a competitive attitude and motor. Versatile with experience as an in-the-box safety and in man coverage, lining up over inside receivers. Also played on special teams coverage…   Has suspect instincts in coverage and needs to show better pre-snap recognition. Will slip off tackles and needs to finish more consistently. Has durability concerns after various injuries forced him out of action in college, including a hamstring injury in 2010 and a neck issue last season. Lacks a natural position and might be viewed as a linebacker/safety tweener by several teams.

NFL Combine: Allen is an experienced SEC defensive back who has played the rover position for South Carolina and is a versatile defender. He is very active and plays the run extremely well. Some will question his value as a safety because he didn’t play the true safety position in college…
Video:

Video Analysis:

  •  Definitely does his best work in straight-ahead “attack” mode
  • Delivers a good hit in those instances
22

March

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Dwight Bentley, CB, Louisiana-Lafayette

NFL Draft Profile: Louisiana-Layfayette CB Dwight Bentley

Louisiana-Layfayette CB Dwight Bentley

Green Bay Packers draft prospect profile: Dwight Bentley

Player information:

  • Dwight Bentley, CB, Louisiana-Layfayette
  • 5-foot-10, 182 lbs
  • Four-year starter that competes despite being undersized. Looked good in Senior Bowl at at the combine.

NFL Combine:

  • 4.43 40-yard dash
  • 4.50 20-yard shuttle
  • 6.99 3-cone drill
  • 9.05′ long jump
  • 31.5″ vertical jump
  • 13 bench press reps

News & Notes:

Struggles in man coverage. … Lack of size hurts him in run support. … Picked off three passes and returned two for touchdowns his senior year. … Good at making plays on the ball. … lack of size raises questions about durability. … Some project him as a third-rounder, others say he’s a late-round pick for teams looking to stockpile CBs. … Had a chance to guard Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon in 2010, but rarely lined up against him even though Blackmon torched a teammate for over 200 yards.

What they’re saying about him:

  • Matt Bowen (National Football Post): ”An active player that is around the football — and he wants to challenge receivers. Quick with his hands on the initial punch in a press-position and will drive on inside breaking routes with clean cuts from his backpedal. Might not have ideal size outside the numbers.”
  • ProFootballWeekly.com: ”Undersized, confident, fluid, finesse corner who consistently held receivers in check and showed well at the Senior Bowl, solidifying his standing. Most comfortable angled to the QB and seeking to pounce, and can play zone or off-man.”
  • Jesse Bartolis (NFLMocks.com): ”Bentley is not a huge name, but is a really nice mid round prospect.”

Video:


Video Analysis:

  • I would shudder if he lined up across Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall or Percy Harvin
  • Tiny. Seems like he could easily be picked on with a bigger WR, even if that WR isn’t on the same level as Johnson, Marshall or Harvin
  • Quick and shifty. I wonder if returning punts could be in his future?
  • I like his reaction skills. Might fit better into a zone scheme.
  • I’m seeing Bentley as more of a fourth- or fifth-rounder instead of a third.
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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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