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basically the only scouting thread you need

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Based on interviews with executives in personnel from several teams, it is possible to narrow down somewhat the pool of players who might be considered by the Green Bay Packers regardless of position if they exercise their current 23rd pick in the first round of the National Football League draft April 22-24.

Prospects are divided into three categories: As Good As Gone - barring negative developments, these players have no chance of lasting until the 23rd pick; Probably Gone - players who appear to have no better than a 50-50 chance of remaining on the board by the 23rd pick; and The Next Level - players who figure to fall next.

The Packers own their own selection in each round and could receive a late-round compensatory choice.

Here is an early look at the players who appear to fit into those categories. Underclassmen are denoted by an asterisk (*).


Dez Bryant*, WR, Oklahoma State: 6 feet 2 inches, 225 pounds. Comes from a troubled upbringing. "Academically didn't belong in college," the scout said. "Special classes. His background is really a concern. Actually supposed to be a nice person." Lied to NCAA investigators about his relationship with Deion Sanders and was dismissed from team three games into last season. His 28-game (19 starts) totals were 147 catches for 16.5-yard average and 20 TDs. "He'll go high unless he completely implodes during the interviews at the combine," one scout said. "He's got all the talent in the world. Not like Calvin Johnson talent. But does a lot of dumb things." Added another scout: "He will drop balls, then I've seen him make some catches that are absolutely unbelievable. He can adjust to the ball very, very well."

Russell Okung, T, Oklahoma State: 6-5, 307. Four-year starter. "He's a little bit of a mystery," one scout said. "He's not an overly powerful or athletic guy. He's good, not great." Considered by some scouts as the most prepared of the tackles. "They play in that shotgun offense so he's going to have to learn how to come off the ball," another scout said. "He can move a little bit. Just not a dominating type person. He's one of those guys who will just get the job done."

Trent Williams, T, Oklahoma: 6-4½, 315. Started at RT in 2008 when Phil Loadholt (Vikings) played the left side before switching to LT in '09. "He doesn't work like Okung and (Bryan) Bulaga but I think he's better athletically," one scout said. "He can play all five positions. He just doesn't like to practice." One scout said he wasn't as good as the three top-10 tackles from the '09 draft. "Underachiever," a third scout said. "There's games he shows up and kicks everybody's butt. But he just takes plays off."

Anthony Davis*, T, Rutgers: 6-5, 323. Enrolled at 366 pounds before slimming down. "He's Bryant McKinnie lazy," one scout said. "Bryant is a big, athletic player but he gets away with being lazy because he's so big and athletic. I like (Davis) as a talent." Started 32 of 38 games at guard, RT and LT. Has been suspended more than once. "Not as good an athlete as Williams but more powerful," another scout said. "Just doesn't crank it up all the time. He is a big mother."

Sam Bradford*, QB, Oklahoma: 6-4, 236. Started 14 games in 2007 and '08 but only three in '09 because of a right shoulder injury. "I think he's a papier-mâché doll," one scout said. "He's like Bernie Kosar or Ken Dorsey, one of those guys. He's a product of the system." Completed 67.6% of his passes with 88 TDs compared to 16 interceptions. "He's polished," one scout said. "Tall, angular guy. He's got good feet and a good arm, and he's accurate."

Gerald McCoy*, DT, Oklahoma: 6-4, 295. Started all 40 games in three-year career. "He needs to get more physical but he's got the athletic stuff," one scout said. "He's a big man but he still tries to play with more finesse." Had 14½ sacks. Has been compared to Tommie Harris and Bryant Young. "He's a three-technique," another scout said. "He can play (DE) in a 3-4. He's quick and he can run."

Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska: 6-4, 307. Spent five years at Nebraska. "People say McCoy is quicker but I don't know that," one scout said. "Suh was a two-gap guy. He holds the point. That's a different technique than Oklahoma (uses). Suh is better for the 3-4 teams." Three-year starter with 24 sacks. "He's athletic, strong, plays hard," another scout said. "He can play wherever you want."

Jean Pierre-Paul*, DE, South Florida: 6-5, 270. Played the 2007 and '08 seasons at a pair of junior colleges. Thus, played just one season of major-college football. "He's top-five talent," one scout said. "He's tall, long-armed, quick, strong. He can run. The level of comp(etition) is just as good as anybody else's. He came out of nowhere this year. I don't think there's anything bad." Didn't start until mid-2009 and finished with 6½ sacks. "He's big and physical," another scout said. "He's just raw."

Rolando McClain*, ILB, Alabama: 6-3, 254. Three-year starter played all three downs for the national champions. "I know (Nick) Saban loves him," one scout said. "He's got great range. I think this kid is pretty smart. He makes all the adjustments and calls." Regarded as a complete player. "He's a giant," another scout said. "Long arms. He's a big guy that always tries to play with finesse."

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Eric Berry*, S, Tennessee: 5-10½, 205. Has a chance to be a top-five selection. "He's a special little talent," one scout said. "Could play corner in the NFL. Playmaker-wise, he is like LeRoy (Butler). He's just one of those kids who makes plays. He will pop your butt." Often shifted down to cover wide receivers from the slot. "Ed Reed's small, too," another scout said. "Center-field type. Really good instincts. Best safety in the draft. Slam dunk." Finished with 14 interceptions as a three-year starter.

Joe Haden*, CB, Florida: 5-10, 190. Three-year starter with 8 interceptions. "He's just one of those guys you pencil in and he'll be your starting corner for eight years," one scout said. "He's just very smart and instinctive. Makes a ton of plays." Played well against Alabama WR Julio James. "He's a guesser," another scout said. "He will take chances and recover and make a play."


Bryan Bulaga*, T, Iowa: 6-5½, 314. Started at LG early in his career and at LT last two seasons. "I'd start him out at left tackle but I think he'd be a right tackle," one scout said. "Only thing I worry about is his quickness (at LT)." Missed three games early in '09 with a thyroid condition. "Most of those Iowa kids, they don't look tough but they are," another scout said. "He might be the most polished and most consistent of the tackles. He's top 10 or 12 for those teams that need a left tackle."

C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson: 5-10½, 196. "He's the best player in the country," one scout said. "He's this year's Percy Harvin. But with Percy, you were projecting the return stuff. This guy has been a phenomenal returner since he's been there. He has that same kind of explosiveness, the 'I'm faster and better than everybody else on the field so I can just do whatever I want to do.' Muscled-up little guy." Has an NCAA-record seven kickoff returns for TDs. Averaged 5.9 in 606 rushes. "He's like Reggie Bush," another scout said. "Probably a better receiver and returner than he is a true running back. He is not Chris Johnson. This guy is good at everything else and then a runner." Still bothered by a turf toe injury that continues to scare some teams. "That can be a career killer for a running back," a third scout said.

Derrick Morgan*, DE, Georgia Tech: 6-3½, 266. Two-year starter with 19½ sacks. "He's 100 miles per hour," one scout said. "Productive. Great feel. Pass rusher." Some 3-4 teams say he's athletic enough to play outside linebacker. "Love him," another scout said.

Brandon Graham, DE-OLB, Michigan: 6-1, 268. Two-year starter at DE with 29½ sacks. "Just a productive, hard-charging football player," one scout said. "He could play in a 3-4 or a 4-3. He's short and not everything you want." Often compared to Steelers LOLB LaMarr Woodley, who also played DE for Wolverines. "If he can get it mentally he can be a stud," another scout said. "Graham is a better athlete than Woodley ever will be. Now he's not the power guy, not the football smart guy as Woodley. But all the change of direction, speed, agility, pass rush, hand use, he's ahead of the game there."

Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas: 6-3, 250. Played mostly with his hand down until '09, when he stood up some of the time. "Kind of a pass-rushing player for Texas," one scout said. "Typical (University of) Texas kid. Plays soft. He's got physical tools. He will blow it out at the combine." Started last two seasons, finishing with 16 sacks. "He's an outside linebacker for 3-4 teams," another scout said. "I think he played a little bit better last year than this year. He's got talent." Has had major off-field problems.

Navorro Bowman*, OLB, Penn State: 6-0, 242. Surprised scouts by declaring a year early. "Hell of a player," one scout said. "He's a 'will' (weak-side LB). Fast, athletic, smart, tough. He's under the radar for some reason." Two-year starter with 8 sacks. "He can play any of the positions," another scout said. "Lot of talent. Not real tall but can run."


Arrelious Benn*, WR, Illinois: 6-1, 219. Three-year starter. "He kind of fell off the face of the earth," one scout said. "When he was young he kind of flashed at you. I really don't know what happened to him." Offensive coordinator Mike Locksley departed after '08 season and quarterbacking play got even worse. "The quarterback at Illinois couldn't throw the ball at all," one scout said. "He's a big guy and he can catch. I just don't think he runs real fast."

Golden Tate*, WR, Notre Dame: 5-10, 199. Patterns his game after Carolina's Steve Smith but doesn't have Smith's speed. "Built like a running back and runs like a running back," one scout said. "But he doesn't even look fast when he plays. Good receiver, but he's just not instant." Caught 157 passes for 17.2 and 26 TDs. "I'm a smaller guy with a big heart," he said.

Demaryius Thomas*, WR, Georgia Tech: 6-3, 224. Suffered a broken foot in a recent workout and will miss about a month. "Big, physical guy," one scout said. "Played in a running-type system. It was a credit to his talent that they got the ball to him." Three-year starter with 120 catches for 19.5 and 15 TDs. "Strong hands," another scout said. "He'll ****** a ball."

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma: 6-5, 261. Blew out his knee and sat out entire senior season. "He's better than (Brandon) Pettigrew from last year," one scout said. "More of an athlete. Better in the pass game. Pettigrew may have been a little better blocker. He's more of a receiver but he can block." Caught 66 passes in '08, 111 total.

Rob Gronkowski*, TE, Arizona: 6-6, 264. Sat out all '09 after undergoing surgery to repair a lumbar disc. "No pain," he said Thursday. "My back is 100%." Three-year starter with 75 catches for 16.0 and 16 TDs. "You never like those back injuries on a 6-5 guy," one scout said. "For a big guy he can run Todd Heap kind of like. 4.7."

Mike Iupati, G, Idaho: 6-5, 331. Moved from American Samoa to the U.S. when he was 14. Was headed for a junior college when discovered by a former Idaho assistant at a summer barbeque party. "I'm very aggressive off the ball. . . and I like to destroy a lot of people," he said Thursday. "I move very well at 331." Might be the most physical run blocker in the draft. Three-year starter at LG with the talent to play LT in time. "He's a big, strong guard who can pull," one scout said. "He can get out on linebackers, which makes him very intriguing. You like the toughness, the aggressiveness, the strength. But he has to learn to be more patient in his (pass) sets."

Maurkice Pouncey*, C, Florida: 6-4½, 304. Declared a year early so Mike, his identical twin brother, could move from guard to center for Gators. Three-year starter who also has played RG. "He can step in and play center from Day One," one scout said. "Play 12 years and go to a couple Pro Bowls. He's a safe pick. It's just the value of where you take a center. He's good. I wouldn't have any second thoughts about him."

Bruce Campbell*, T, Maryland: 6-6½, 314. Longest arms (36 1/4 inches) of any OL in the draft. "He's a great-looking dude," one scout said. "Athlete. He's raw. He would have benefited from another year. He's like a basketball player playing football really." Two-year starter. "Big, stiff guy," another scout said. "I'm not crazy about him. He's big and he can pass block. People are comparing him to (Ryan) Clady. No way. I wouldn't take him in the second round."

Charles Brown, T, Southern California: 6-5½, 303. "The team that takes me will get a good pass blocker," he said Thursday. Two-year starter at LT. "I dislike him but he's just so athletic," one scout said. "Athletically, he's a first-round pick. He's so soft." Has long arms. Probably better in a zone scheme. "He'd have a hard time in our offense because he's not a power blocker," one scout said. "He's a pass blocker. Athletically, he's as good as the top three (tackles)."

Jimmy Clausen*, QB, Notre Dame: 6-2½, 222. Started 34 games for coach Charlie Weis, who has had nothing but good things to tell scouts about him. "As a person he's a jerk," one scout said. "He just thinks he's ready to go. People are going to start comparing him to Drew Brees. He's not Drew Brees." Several other scouts also said they were turned off by his personality. "But as much as I don't like the kid, the way he carries himself and all that, he's probably the best of all of them," another scout said. "He plays in a pro-style offense. He can throw it good enough. He's really got good vision. He can make plays."

Jahvid Best*, RB, California: 5-10, 199. Third-year junior with a 7.3 rushing average and 62 receptions. "He's Spiller like," one scout said. "Sort of a mix between a real nifty shoulder shaker and a downhill runner. If he gets in the open he's gone. Only thing I don't like is he hops a lot over people." Suffered a concussion and had to sit out the final month of '09 season. "If he can get past the concussions and pass all that stuff, he's over Spiller," another scout said. "He is dynamic."

Ryan Mathews*, RB, Fresno State: 5-11½, 218. Didn't start until last season, then led the nation in rushing with 1,808 yards (6.6) and 19 TDs. "Could he beat out Ryan Grant? Yes," one scout said. Some scouts question his speed. "Powerful and strong," another scout said. "I'm not sure yet about his total game but he can get downhill. He can break tackles. He can break big runs."

Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee: 6-2, 327. Three-year starter who really came on as a senior. "He stepped up his game this year and played harder," one scout said. "Last year he was a little bit of an underachiever. He's really talented." Finished with 7 sacks. Can play any line position in a 3-4.

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Cam Thomas, DT, North Carolina: 6-4, 330. Moved up after solid showing in the Senior Bowl. "He has to learn how to use his hands a little better," one scout said. "He doesn't have much range." Bull rusher with 3½ sacks in 44 games (28 starts).

Carlos Dunlap*, DE, Florida: 6-6, 277. Didn't start until '09 but finished with 19½ sacks in three seasons. Declared a year early. Was arrested for drunken driving four days before the SEC championship game. "You talk about digging your own grave," one scout said. "But he's a physical freak. Giant of a man." Said another scout: "He's a big bow-legged guy. Got a lot of talent. He can run for a big guy. But there's a mistrust there with the DUI. He's not a consistent player."

Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State: 6-5, 304. Started for most of his three seasons. "Hard-nosed kid," one scout said. "Overachiever. More of a gap penetrator than a two-gap guy." Had 14½ sacks. "He showed a lot of big effort in the Senior Bowl but didn't make a lot of plays," another scout said. "He could be a (DE) in a 3-4 or a 3-technique (in a 4-3). I think he could play nose tackle, too."

Jerry Hughes, DE-OLB, Texas Christian: 6-1½, 255. Started at DE in two of his four seasons, finishing with 28½ sacks. "Very much like (Brandon) Graham," one scout said. "Has the production, the whole ball of wax." Also compared to LaMarr Woodley. "Guys have to double-team him," another scout said. "He's a 3-4 outside backer."

Brian Price*, DT, UCLA: 6-1, 303. Started 30 of 35 games, finishing with 12½ sacks. "He's kind of like (B.J.) Raji a little bit," one scout said. "Maybe not as thick but as a player." Lack of height limits him to DT. "Not as good or as stout as Raji," another scout said. "But this guy has strength and he's probably quicker than Raji. They moved him a lot at UCLA. He has some pass-rush ability."

Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri: 6-1, 239. One of the most loquacious players in college football throughout his four-year career (three as starter). "He didn't play as well this year as in the past," one scout said. "Same thing as (safety) William Moore the year before at Missouri. He didn't play with the same attitude. I'm not saying he tanked it because I don't think he did." Finished with 406 tackles (43½ for loss) and 12½ sacks. "He's an outside guy who switched inside this year," another scout said. "He's not explosive. He's heavy-legged. That's what kills him."

Daryl Washington, OLB, Texas Christian: 6-1½, 230. Didn't become a starter until '09. "People are ranting and raving about him," one scout said. "Last year he probably played at 215. When he meets people he doesn't go forward, he goes backwards. I like him but I think he's a situation player. He looks like a big safety but he can't play safety. If you protect him he'll be viable in your defense."

Koa Misi, OLB, Utah: 6-3, 251. Three-year starter as a DE with 10½ sacks. "He's really good," one scout said. "He'll be an outside linebacker for 3-4 teams. He's explosive. Plays hard." Improved stock at Senior Bowl.

Sean Lee, ILB, Penn State: 6-2, 236. Three-year starter with 324 tackles and 11 sacks. "Smart kid," one scout said. "Kind of an in-the-right-position type guy." Missed '08 after reconstructive knee surgery. "He's better than (Dan) Connor and might have been better than (Paul) Posluszny," another scout said. "He's good, but he keeps getting hurt."

Brandon Spikes, ILB, Florida: 6-3, 249. Old-fashioned run thumper. "True leader," one scout said. "He's a big, physical middle linebacker, which there's not a lot of anymore. He's a physical presence. Plays with an attitude. Fun player to watch." Three-year starter. "Doesn't have a lot of range. . . not very fast," another scout said. "Intense, between-the-tackle, two-down middle backer."

Thaddeus Gibson*, OLB, Ohio State: 6-2, 243. Two-year starter at DE with 10 sacks. "I think he's a linebacker," one scout said. "He moves around good. If I had my choice I'd rather have (Brandon) Graham or (Jerry) Hughes."

Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State: 5-11, 191. Started 25 of 44 games in four seasons, intercepting 7 passes. "His speed is good," one scout said. "Very quick. Good cover skills." Mentored by Terrell Buckley, Green Bay's first-round draft choice in '92 and now a member of the Seminoles' staff. "He's 5-11 but he plays like he's 5-8 sometimes," another scout said. "That's what bothers me about him. He plays small. I know he can run like hell. Plus, he's not a good tackler. But we've got guys on the corner who will tackle but can't make any plays on the ball."

Perrish Cox, CB, Oklahoma State: 5-11, 189. Started 25 of 49 games and had 10 interceptions. "He's probably the best (cornerback)," one scout said. "Talented guy. Big corner. Can run. Strong." Adequate in run support. "He has very good ball skills," another scout said. "He also is a pretty good returner. All these corners could sneak into the bottom of the first."

Earl Thomas*, S, Texas: 5-10, 185. Third-year sophomore, redshirting in '07 and starting 27 games in 2008-'09. "A lot like Berry," one scout said. "I don't know if he covers as well as Berry. He's a really a great zone player. He's just short. He can run and he's tough enough." Picked off 10 passes. "He's a cover safety," another scout said. "He's good if used to what his strengths are. It will be tough for him to bulk up."

Taylor Mays, S, Southern California: 6-3, 231. Started 50 of 51 games for Trojans and intercepted five passes. "Big, physical guy," one scout said. "He won't fit every system. If you ask him to play two-deep coverage all the time you're making a mistake." Better at the line of scrimmage, but appears to lack flexibility and misses too many tackles. "Thing I didn't like were his ball skills," another scout said. "For a centerfielder that's not real good. He's not stiff but he just doesn't bend his knees. Straight line." His father, Stafford, was an NFL DL from 1980-'88.

Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State: 5-10, 190. Three-year starter with 11 interceptions. "His ball skills are excellent," one scout said. "I don't think he's afraid to tackle. He just wasn't a good tackler. Then in the Senior Bowl he came up and ripped some guy." Has returned three punts for TDs. "Tiny little kid," another scout said. "Great anticipation. Doesn't have great speed and can get outmuscled. He's a really good punt returner."

Jerome Murphy, CB, South Florida: 6-0½, 191. Two-year starter with 8 interceptions. "He's very fast, quick, athletic," one scout said. "Gets his hands on a lot of balls. He's late first, early second." Added another scout: "He's a guesser sometimes. Usually guys that run fast guess. He's got some size. But I wouldn't take him in the first."

Amari Spievey*, CB, Iowa: 5-11½, 190. Redshirted in 2006, played '07 at a junior college and then started two seasons. "He's all right," one scout said. "I don't think he's as good as (Bradley) Fletcher or (Charles) Godfrey who came out of there. He might be a safety. The problem I have with him is you don't see him making a ton of tackles. I don't think he's a great tackler but he's not shy, though."

Chad Jones*, S, Louisiana State: 6-3, 220. Started 18 of 39 games in three seasons, intercepting five passes. "Great athlete," one scout said. "Just coming into his own. His only problem is he's a baseball pitcher and he's pretty good. Left-hander. Could be a first-round pick in baseball. He's a reliever for LSU." Intimidating-style hitter.

Nate Allen, S, South Florida: 6-0½, 205. Started three of four seasons. "Steady, not spectacular," one scout said. "Does everything good." Intercepted 9 passes. Smart, athletic, balance, space player," another scout said. "Makes plays run and pass. Aggressive. Physical."

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