Mixon, WRs highlight Packers' pre-draft visits
GREEN BAY - As usual, the Green Bay Packers went heavy on wide receivers with their pre-draft visits, choosing to meet with at least nine free-agent types at that position in advance of the draft this weekend.
General manager Ted Thompson loves wide receivers and hasn’t been shy in drafting them or signing them after the draft.
Almost all of the 30 players the Packers were allowed to bring in for visits are low-round or free-agent types. The Packers bring that kind of player in as a recruiting mechanism for the hectic free-agency period that follows the final pick in the draft, hoping familiarity will draw the highest-rated undrafted players to sign with them.
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This year, the Packers brought in Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, who could be selected as high as the second round. They, like plenty of other teams, wanted to meet Mixon face-to-face after he was barred from attending the combine because of his arrest for punching a woman in the face in 2014.
Here, according to NFL sources and one media report, are some of the players the Packers hosted on visits (test results consist of 40-yard dash, 225-pound bench press, vertical jump and broad jump):
QB Taysom Hill, BYU, 6-1½, 230. 40-time: 4.46; bench: DNP; vertical: 38½; broad: 10-foot-2. Served a two-year mission in Australia. As a result, he turns 27 on Aug. 23. Initially committed to Stanford. Three of his five seasons were ended by injury (knee in ’12, leg fracture and torn ligament in ’14 and Lisfranc injury in ’15). Started all 13 games as a sophomore and passed for 2,938 yards and 19 touchdowns and ran for 1,344 yards and 10 touchdowns. The 4,282 total yards ranks fifth all-time for a single season at BYU. Gained 2,926 total yards with 20 touchdowns as a senior. Ranks No. 1 among BYU quarterbacks in rushing yards with 2,815.
QB Phillip Walker, Temple, 5-11, 214. 40-time: 4.74; bench: DNP; vertical: 29½; broad: 9-foot-3. Three-year starter (49 games total) who set Owls records in pass attempts, completions, passing yards, TD passes and total offense. First Temple QB to lead team to multiple bowl games. Cut down on his running as a senior and took 28 sacks. Size is a big negative and probably will result in him being a free agent.
RB Joel Bouagnon, Northern Illinois, 6-1, 230. 40 time: 4.66; bench: 20; vertical: 34; broad: 10-foot-2. Big, physical back with fullback-like speed. Was a first-team all-MAC pick in ’15, carrying 283 times for 1,285 yards (4.54 average) and 18 touchdowns. Shared the running back job with Jordan Huff as a senior and carried 185 times for 885 yards (4.78) and eight touchdowns. Also caught 17 passes for 157 yards. Scored five touchdowns against Bowling Green.
RB Devante Mays, Utah State, 5-10½, 230. 40-time: 4.52; bench 22; vertical 40½; broad: 10-foot-9. Junior-college transfer was off to a big start with 208 yards and three touchdowns in the opener and then hurt his right knee in Week 2 against USC and was never the same, playing in only six games. The year before he gained 966 yards and averaged 5.9 per carry.
RB Joe Mixon, Oklahoma, 6-1, 228. 40-time: 4.45; bench: 21; vertical: 35; broad: 9-foot-10. Taken off some draft boards because of a 2014 incident in which he punched a female student in the face. Is still facing a civil suit after avoiding jail time in criminal case. Also reportedly had a confrontation with a female parking attendant. Clearly a first-round talent. Took numerous visits to try to show his bad behavior was behind him.
WR Austin Carr, Northwestern, 6-0, 202. 40-time: 4.62; bench: 16; vertical: 33½; broad: 9-foot-8. Started as a walk-on and had 23 catches his first three seasons. Then broke out as a senior and caught 90 passes for 1,247 yards and 12 touchdowns, including eight for 132 and a touchdown against Wisconsin. Named top receiver in Big Ten and was a Biletnikoff Award finalist. Wasn’t invited to combine. Lacks NFL speed.
WR Kenny Golladay, Northern Illinois, 6-4, 218. 40 time: 4.5; bench: 18; vertical: 35½; broad: 10-foot. Started out at North Dakota where he played in 21 games and caught 99 passes for 1,313 yards and nine touchdowns. Transferred to Northern Illinois to be closer to home and led the team in receiving during both of his seasons there. Was first-team all-MAC after catching 87 passes for 1,156 yards and eight touchdowns last year. Slightly taller than Geronimo Allison but 22 pounds heavier. Similar test numbers.
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WR David Moore, East Central (Okla.), 6-0½, 219. 40-time: 4.43; bench: 26; vertical: 36½; broad: 10-foot-4. Division 2 prospect with size, strength and great speed. Caught 57 passes for 878 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior. Had 1,079 receiving yards as a junior and set a school record with 13 touchdown catches. Has to prove he can play against top-notch competition.
WR Aaron Peck, Fresno State, 6-2½, 239. 40 time: 4.68; bench: 22; vertical: 36½; broad 9-foot-7. Missed 2015 season with a left foot injury that required surgery. Caught 46 passes for 630 yards and three touchdowns as a senior. Because of his size, he’s being considered for an H-back role in the NFL. Probably not fast enough to play receiver in the pros and will have to learn to block.
WR Brandon Reilly, Nebraska, 6-2, 202. 40 time: 4.47; bench: 18; Vertical: 32; 3-cone: 6.77. Pleaded guilty to a DUI last summer and was put on house arrest for seven days. Was one of two seniors to be suspended for the opener for violating team rules. Senior season (21 catches for 412 yards, two touchdowns) was a disappointment due to hamstring injury and weak passing offense. Averaged 18.9 yards per catch on 40 receptions as a junior
WR Noel Thomas, Connecticut, 6-foot, 205. 40-time: 4.63; bench: 9; vertical: 33. Broad: 9-foot-10. Ran a horrible 40-yard dash at the combine, but came back and ran a 4.5 at his pro day. Had a modest junior year with 54 receptions, then broke out as a senior and compiled 100 catches for 1,179 yards and three touchdowns. Played both the slot and outside. Made some highlight-reel catches but was far from a touchdown machine.
WR Rob Wheelwright, Wisconsin, 6-2, 205. 40-time: 4.6; bench: 15; vertical: 38; broad: 10-foot-8. Several publications reported Wheelwright visited in mid-April. Played in 47 games with 18 starts. Caught 34 passes for 448 yards and a touchdown as a senior. His junior year he caught 32 passes for 416 yards and four touchdowns.
WR Chad Williams, Grambling State, 6-foot, 207. 40 time: 4.43; bench: 21; vertical: 35½; broad: 10-foot-3. Had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, including 90 catches for 1,337 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior. Was suspended for opener last season after being arrested on LSU campus along with two other men for simple possession of marijuana and possession of a firearm, one of which was an unloaded AK-47. Was a late addition to the Senior Bowl and performed well, but traded punches with defensive back Rayshawn Jenkins during practice.
WR DeAngelo Yancey, Purdue, 6-1½, 220. 40-time: 4.53; bench: 21; vertical: 35½; broad: 10-foot-1. Had a solid week at East-West Shrine game after catching 49 passes for 951 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior. Earned second-team all-Big Ten. Had been more of a possession receiver until senior year when he averaged 19.4 yards per catch, tops among conference qualifiers. Had four TD catches of 60 or more yards.
OT/G Kofi Amichia, South Florida, 6-3½, 302. 40 time: 4.99; bench: 32; broad: 9-foot-6. Started his final 26 games at left tackle and was a first-team AAC selection in ’16. School broke rushing record in back-to-back seasons in which Amichia was a starter. May have to move inside to play guard in the NFL. Tested well at his pro day and also visited Indianapolis Colts.
OT/G Levon Myers, Northern Illinois, 6-5, 309. 40 time: 5.41; bench: 24; vertical: 26½; broad: 8-foot-6. Attended Franklin High School. Started his last two seasons (26 games) at left tackle. Second-team all-MAC each season. Spent a lot of time run blocking for the Huskies’ offense, which ranked 16th in the country in rushing.
OT Jonah Pirsig, 6-8, 314. 40-time: 5.38; bench: 20; vertical: 27; broad: 8-foot-6. Third-team all-Big 10. Giant tackle who started on the right side for three seasons, missing only three games because of an ankle injury suffered as a senior.
OG Geoff Gray, Manitoba, 6-5, 315. 40-time: 5.34; bench: 25; vertical: 31; broad: 9-foot-6. Named first-team All-Canadian and was ranked sixth overall in CFL Scouting Bureau rankings in December, according to Canada’s Global News. Was one of two Canadians invited to play in the East-West Shrine game. Rode a unicycle at his pro day workout to show scouts his agility. If NFL doesn’t draft him, CFL will, probably in the first round.
DE/OLB Keion Adams, Western Michigan, 6-2, 247. 40-time: 4.7; bench: 27; vertical: 36; broad: 10-foot-4. Played DE for the upstart Broncos but lined up both with his hand down and standing up. Second-team all-MAC as senior. Totaled 18 tackles for loss and 7½ sacks. Size and athletic ability give him a chance to be an NFL edge rusher. Likely a priority free agent.
DE/OLB Johnathan Calvin, Mississippi State, 6-3, 266, 40 time: 4.89; Bench: 19; Vertical: 34; broad: 9-foot-7. Junior-college transfer who settled into a hybrid linebacker/end position as senior. Led the team in tackles for loss with 11½ and sacks with seven in his final season. Also blocked two kicks on special teams. Will need to get stronger if he’s going to play the edge in the pros.
DT Eli Ankou, UCLA, 6-3, 331. 40-time: 5.21; bench: 31; vertical: 30; broad: 9-foot-7. Native Canadian who played alongside Packers No. 1 pick Kenny Clark. Not hugely productive, ranking eighth on the team in tackles as a senior with 38. Had only 1½ sacks in 38 games. Tremendously strong and will be one of the top picks in the CFL.
OLB Samson Ebukam, Eastern Washington, 6-1½, 248. 40-time: 4.45; bench: 24; vertical: 39; broad: 10-foot-10. Born in Nigeria and moved to the U.S. when he was 9. Started three seasons and totaled 40 tackles for loss and 21 sacks during that time. High-energy player with eye-popping test numbers who can rush from either side. Will have to learn how to win with more than just athletic ability to make it in the NFL.
OLB Eric Wilson, Cincinnati, 6-1, 230. 40 time: 4.53; bench: 25; vertical: 39½; broad: 10-foot-1. Michigan native redshirted at Northwestern and then transferred to Cincinnati and sat out his first season. Started out as a safety. Played three seasons for Bearcats. Had more than 100 tackles in both ’15 and ’16 and was first-team all-conference as a senior. Lacks size and probably will be a free agent.
ILB Jordan Evans, Oklahoma, 6-3, 232. 40 time: 4.51; bench: 19; Vertical: 38½; 3-cone: 7.01. Three-year starter who was most productive as a senior, totaling 98 tackles, including 10 for loss, 2½ sacks, a forced fumble, four interceptions and 12 pass breakups. Big frame and good straight-line speed. Wing span of 77⅞ inches ranks in top 10 of top- to middle-round inside linebacker draft prospects.
ILB Jermaine Grace, Miami, 6-0, 223. 40 time: 4.57; bench: 21; vertical: 33; broad: 10-foot. Dismissed from the Hurricanes a week before the season opener for violating NCAA rules. Grace allegedly was part of a scheme in which some Hurricanes players were given luxury rental cars to use. Miami honored his scholarship and he finished out the semester. In ’15, he had 79 tackles, including six for loss, and two sacks.