Packers trade down, take Purdue WR Yancey

Scott Venci
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GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers don’t have many openings at wide receiver, but it didn’t stop them from giving quarterback Aaron Rodgers another potential weapon Saturday.

DeAngelo Yancey with a touchdown reception with 5:36 remaining against Iowa Saturday, October 15, 2016, at Ross-Ade Stadium. Purdue lost to Iowa 49-35.

The Packers selected Purdue wide receiver DeAngelo Yancey in the fifth round after first making a trade with the Denver Broncos. The Packers traded their fifth-round pick (No. 172) to the Broncos for their fifth (No. 175) and a seventh-round selection (No. 238).

The 6-foot-1½, 205-pound Yancey was not invited to attend the NFL scouting combine in February, but he did make a pre-draft visit to Green Bay. He didn’t have a sense after leaving if the Packers would draft him and made several other visits leading up to the draft. They included the Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers, Houston Texans, Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans.

“I know I had a great time on my visit,” Yancey said. “I got a chance to do the Lambeau Leap.”

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While the team made an impression on him, he also made one on them.

“Really confident kid, thought he was a player from Day 1,” Packers director of football operations Eliot Wolf said. “Sometimes with the guys that don’t get invited to the combine, you don’t always see that. But that was really the thing that stood out, and obviously the video was good.”

Yancey had career-highs in receptions (49), yards (951) and touchdowns (10) as a senior last season and was named second-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and third team by the media. His yards and touchdown totals ranked second among all Big Ten receivers during the regular season.

His best game came against Wisconsin in November, when he had 155 yards and two TDs. He said there was a lot of emotion that night with it being Senior Day and his family in attendance.

Yancey also averaged an impressive 19.4 yards per catch, showing the ability to make big plays. He was clocked at 4.53 seconds in the 40 at Purdue’s pro day.

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“He’s all the above,” Wolf said when asked to describe Yancey’s strengths. “Big, strong guy. He’s closer to probably 220, 225. Excellent hands. Had good speed. Got behind defenders. I think he ran about a 4.5, but he plays much faster than that. Really his size and strength is something that stood out to us.”

The Atlanta native started all 24 games during his final two seasons with the Boilermakers after being a part-time starter his first two years. He had 48 receptions for 700 yards and five TDs as a junior in what was his breakout campaign.

The Packers have selected at least one wide receiver in each draft since 2013. It’s also the second straight season the team has added a top wide receiver from the Big Ten.

Green Bay signed Geronimo Allison as an undrafted free agent in 2016. He made his debut in Week 8 and finished the season with 12 receptions for 202 yards and two touchdowns. He also had an impact in a divisional round playoff win over the Dallas Cowboys with three receptions for 46 yards.

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Allison said before last season that one of the reasons he signed with the Packers was the thought of playing with Rodgers. After being drafted, Yancey was asked about catching passes from one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

“That is a great idea,” Yancey said, laughing.

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