NFL Combine 2012: Players the Green Bay Packers Are Watching Closely

JD KrugerCorrespondent IIFebruary 26, 2012

MADISON, WI - OCTOBER 16: Peter Konz #66 of the Wisconsin Badgers prepares to snap the ball to Scott Tolzien #16 against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Camp Randall Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Wisconsin defeated Ohio State 31-18.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers will be looking at dozens of players over the course of the weekend, trying to profile each and see who will best fit on their roster in 2012 and beyond.

Let's take a look at a handful of players at the 2012 NFL Combine who may grab the eye of the Packers staff.


Peter Konz | C | Wisconsin

With the departure of Scott Wells, the Packers will be looking for a replacement at center. Evan Dietrich-Smith doesn't exactly represent what the Packers will be looking for in a long-term solution at the position.

Konz is a tough player, widely regarded as the best prospect at the center position in this year's draft. He has the ability to read defenses, identify pressure, get off the line quickly and stay on his man until the play is over.


Fletcher Cox | DT | Mississippi St.

The Packers defense reeled last year after they allowed Cullen Jenkins to test free agency. There was little to no pass-rush at all, and the result was the Packers giving up more yards than any other team in the NFL.

Cox is a prototypical 3-4 DE with the ability to get off the ball quickly. He has underrated strength and unlike the other DE on the Packers' roster, Cox has the ability to rush the passer. He is very explosive and has a good set of moves to get around blockers. 


Dontari Poe | DT | Memphis 

Unlike Cox, Poe is a lot heavier and a more prototypical NT in the 3-4 defense that the Packers run. Poe is close to being the heaviest player in the draft—tipping the scales at 350 pounds.

Poe is an immovable object with amazing strength and power. He will constantly draw two blockers and swallow them up on a consistent basis.

The Packers have a franchise NT in BJ Raji, but he has played far too many snaps since joining the Packers out of Boston College. At numerous times through out 2011 he looked flat-out exhausted.

His primary backup, Howard Green, is an underrated player, but continues to get older and is a pending free agent that the Packers aren't expected to bring back.


Nick Perry | OLB | Southern California

One of the Packers' biggest needs in this year's draft is an outside linebacker who can complement Clay Matthews on the other side. 

Perry is one of the higher rated OLBs in this years draft, and for good reason.

He gets a great jump off the snap, and is on top of the offensive lineman just as fast. He plays with good leverage and has a wide array of moves from his dominating edge rush to his above-average bull rush.  


Bruce Irvin | OLB | West Virginia

Irvin—unlike Perry—is not nearly as highly touted amongst scouts. Irvin is a converted wideout from high school, and possesses amazing speed at he position.

He has a great pass-rush move and has the ability to get to the quarterback from anywhere on the field. He is one dimensional at this point in his career and is still raw.

It also must be noted that Irvin has overcome numerous obstacles in his personal life to get where he is now. Because of that, he is constantly playing with a chip on his shoulder, always trying to prove the doubters wrong.

He has something the Packers are always looking for in potential draft prospects—motivation.

There ya have it, just a few players you—and the Packers—should be sure to check out during the combine. 

I will bring you more news from the combine after it concludes and see if these guys, amongst others, lived up to their potential.