Breaking Down the Most Important Pro Days for the Green Bay Packers
With only a few more weeks of pro days left and less than two months until the 2014 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers still have plenty of players to see. They'll travel across the country in the next weeks to decide whether they want to target certain players once the draft rolls around.
While pro days aren't the only thing that NFL teams care about, they are good at cementing the status of a prospect or bringing up potential concerns. For example, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville had some people questioning his status as an elite prospect after some struggles during his pro day.
Let's break down the remaining pro days that the Packers will be interested in and the key players that the team will be evaluating.
Stanford on March 20
Key Player to Watch: ILB Shayne Skov
While inside linebacker isn't a huge need for the Green Bay Packers heading into the draft, getting an upgrade at the position wouldn't be a bad idea. Both A.J. Hawk and Brad Jones are decent starters, but their ceilings are limited.
Skov is the type of physical and athletic linebacker that the Packers are missing between Hawk and Jones. His best trait for Green Bay would be his ability to be a run-stopper from the moment he steps onto the field.
The other nice quality about him is that he isn't going to cost the Packers a first-round pick. In fact, he might be available as late as the third round.
Don't be surprised if Skov puts together a solid pro day and becomes even more enticing to the Packers.
Notre Dame on March 20
Key Player to Watch: DT Louis Nix III
With the re-signing of defensive tackle B.J. Raji, the Green Bay Packers have less of a need at this position as they had a few weeks ago. However, if Nix falls to them in this year's draft, he may be too good to pass on.
At 6'2" and 331 pounds, he is absolutely huge. Despite his size, he's still quick on his feet. He also has great instincts in both the running and passing games.
The biggest question mark surrounding Nix is whether he's motivated enough to consistently make a positive impact. There are times when he can completely take himself out of plays simply because he doesn't have the desire to play at 100 percent.
With that said, there is still a ton of upside to his game, and he'd be a great addition to the roster in Green Bay.
Vanderbilt on March 21
Key Player to Watch: S Kenny Ladler
Green Bay's silence in free agency at the safety position makes the biggest need by far heading into the NFL draft. In fact, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Packers draft multiple safeties.
If they decide to wait until the middle rounds to draft a safety, then Ladler could be the ideal pick. He has great instincts and is confident as a tackler, which the Packers lacked at the position last year.
While Ladler isn't great in coverage, he does have a knack for making big plays when they're needed most. He'd also allow Morgan Burnett to go back to his more natural position at strong safety.
The Packers should still try to target one of the top safeties in this year's class early in the draft. However, selecting Ladler in the third or fourth round would add depth to the weakest position on the roster.
North Carolina on March 25
Key Player to Watch: TE Eric Ebron
Of all the pro days that the Green Bay Packers should be interested in, the one for the North Carolina Tar Heels has the best prospect.
Ebron is a legitimate, game-changing talent at the tight end position. He's the most complete tight end to come out of college in years.
Not only is he going to make a huge impact on the offensive side of the field by catching passes for huge gains, but he's also not afraid to get physical as a blocker. He's a complete, all-around tight end who is going to be a fantastic NFL player.
If the Packers want to draft a prospect him, they'll likely have to move up in the draft. However, if Ebron blows them away at his pro day, the Packers might do whatever it takes to get him on the roster.
Tennessee on April 2
Key Player to Watch: OT Antonio Richardson
The last pro day that the Green Bay Packers should be interested in is for the University of Tennessee. And the player for them to watch is Richardson, an offensive tackle who was once a near lock to be drafted in the first round.
However, he has fallen down draft boards the past few months. The biggest issue with Richardson is medically related, specifically involving his knees. In fact, he might be best suited to sit a year and get fully healthy before being thrown into a starting lineup.
That type of move would be ideal for the Packers because they don't have a huge need at offensive tackle. They'll get Bryan Bulaga back this season, and David Bakhtiari should improve heading into his second season.
However, if Richardson can get fully healthy, he has the ability to be a complete left tackle in the NFL. The Packers should have no concern spending a mid-round pick on him if he competes well at his pro day.