Combine Prospects Who Might Look Good In Green Bay
By Ryan Minnigh
The NFL Combine always draws a lot of attention from fans and scouts.
It can be the difference between a boom or bust pick and can propel your team into the future.
Any offseason is important to rebuild and restructure for any team, but Green Bay is looking to do that in a big way this year.
After winning the Super Bowl in 2011, the Packers have only managed one playoff win and they are hoping to finish their puzzle and get themselves back to the big game in the upcoming season.
Some of their offseason concerns will be settled via free agency but who can we expect the Packers to be watching closely during the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine?
The Pack will try to asses all of their needs in the draft but three of the positions that stick out the most are safety, defensive tackle and possibly tight end.
Tight end could be a wild card position regarding whether or not Jermichael Finely and Green Bay can reach a contract.
For the sake of the analysis, let's say the Packers do not rule out taking a tight end in the first round.
Here are six players to lookout for:
Safety: Calvin Pryor, Louisville & Hasean Clinton-Dix, Alabama
Safety looks to be the top priority for the Packers in the 2014 draft and Calvin Pryor is a name that has been floating around in the recent days. Pryor is a physical presence and could provide an immediate boost to the Packers physical game. Despite his big hit ability, Pryor is also a sure-tackler. However, his physical presence could be frowned upon because of the NFL's crackdown on the bone-jarring hits. Overall, Pryor could be an upgrade to the Packers defense and would very well be worth the team's first pick.
Clinton-Dix is generally noted as the better safety and could unfortunately come off the board before the Packers select. However, if the Packers are willing to move up, or Clinton-Dix does not show as well at the combine, he could very easily fall to the Packers. Clinton-Dix has good ball skills, and has excelled covering passes in his time at Alabama. Despite, his ball skills, Clinton-Dix is not the most sure of tacklers and often relies on his physical ability over the fundamentals. Clinton-Dix would also be an instant upgrade and would be welcomed with open arms.
Defensive Tackle: Ra'Shede Hageman, Minnesota & Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
Defensive tackle is another area of need for the Packers heading into the draft and this could potentially be the first round selection as well. Hageman has been climbing up draft boards recently due to a good Senior Bowl week and his very unique build (6'6 318 lbs). Hageman posseses dominant brute strength and this should be on display during his workouts. Being he has lined as the nose for Minnesota, Hageman would not have ot adjust to Dom Campers 3-4 defense. However, just as much as his size works to his advantage, it can work against him as well. Hageman will be watched heavily by the Packers this weekend and is a candidate to be the team's first selection also.
Aaron Donald would be another fine selection for the Packers at #21. Donald does not have the freakish size that Hageman has, but he is a great talent at the defensive tackle position. Donald has a quick burst and great leverage when penetrating the backfield. One of his weaknesses though, is his size in the fact that he can be contained due to his short arm length. Donald would bring good presence to the defensive line in Green Bay and would be considered if he is still on the board.
Tight End: Jace Amaro, Texas Tech & Troy Niklas, Notre Dame
First, let's take a quick look at Amaro. Amaro would likely be available when the Packers pick at #21 and this could be a big a loss for the first 21 teams. Amaro has good size at 6'5, 260 lbs. and he truly fits the part of the new age of receiving tight end in the NFL. However, Amaro could still be perceived as a little immature and his blocking may not be up to par with the top NFL blocking tight ends. Overall, if the Packers are looking to find another big receiving talent, Amaro could be the guy the Packers are looking for.
Troy Niklas is another massive tight end who the Packers could pick up in the later rounds if they choose to address other needs in the first round or two. Niklas is even bigger than Amaro, 6'6 270 lbs. and he could be a physical nightmare in both the receiving and blocking aspects. Niklas does however struggle to run crisp routes and does not posseses elite top level speed and these could be considered negatives. Niklas could be a great work in progress and he could be worth the middle round pick if you want to put some time into his development.
The Packers will look to asses all their needs in the draft and these will certainly not be the only players considered for selection. The Packers have routinely been successful in finding good talent in the draft, and this year could be another good year if the picks are right.