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First Week Pro Day Wrap-Up: Packers Check Out WR Austin Franklin, Others

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First Week Pro Day Wrap-Up: Packers Check Out WR Austin Franklin, Others

Now that that the first week of on-campus pro day workouts is in the books, here's three players the Green Bay Packers checked out that may have flown under your radar.

New Mexico State WR Austin Franklin

The Packers were one of 14 NFL teams to check out Franklin, a player that came from the same low-level FBS program as current Packers cornerback Davon House.

According to Rob Rang of CBSSports.com:

The 5-foot-11 (7/8), 189 pound Franklin attempted to improve upon his 40-yard time at the Combine (4.56) but slipped due on the sandy grass field at Aggie Memorial Stadium, according to a source on the scene. Franklin improved upon his numbers in the vertical jump (39"), broad jump (10'4") and bench press (nine) and performed very well during the positional drills, catching the ball cleanly and running crisp routes, under the close scrutiny of scouts and at least one receivers coach (Indianapolis Colts).

Like House, Franklin is also a player that isn't projected to be selected until the third day of the NFL Draft, but he's also a player that possesses considerable upside as someone who has good acceleration and provides extra value with experience as a return specialist as well.

An junior entry for the NFL Draft, Franklin had 52 receptions for 670 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, but his best season came as a sophomore when he had 74 catches for 1,245 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Northern Arizona RB Zach Bauman

Also this past Wednesday, the Packers were one of at least 10 teams at Northern Arizona's pro day to check out the star running back at the FCS level of college football.

Per Cody Bashore of the Arizona Daily Sun:

Bauman, who did not earn an invite the to the NFL Combine last month, lifted and ran in front of scouts for the first time since playing in January’s East-West Shrine Game. With some scouts clocking him in the mid 4.4s for his 40-yard dash time, Bauman would have ranked among the top 10 of the combine’s running backs.

Bauman led all players in rushing at the Shrine Game, carrying the ball eight times for 47 yards, good for 5.9 yards per carry.

His senior season, Bauman had 270 carries for 1,456 yards (5.4 ypc) and nine touchdowns, but also showed he can be a threat catching the football out of the backfield, hauling in 44 passes for 305 yards and one more score. Over the course of his college career, Bauman caught 135 passes.

The Packers may not be looking for much help at the running back position with Eddie Lacy entrenched as the starter, but Bauman could make an ideal late-round pickup with upside that can provide depth.

Auburn Linebacker Jake Holland

A member of Auburn's 2010 national championship team and this past season's SEC champions, Holland worked out in front of scouts last Tuesday at the Tigers' pro day.

Holland reportedly spoke to the Packers at the site of last month's College All-Star Bowl. According to Joel Erickson of Al.com:

Holland, a Pelham native, measured in at a shade over 6 feet and 237 pounds, turned in a 4.70-second  40-yard dash, a time that would have tied him for third at the NFL Combine among inside linebackers with California's Khairi Fortt.

On the bench press, Holland did 20 repetitions, and along with his vertical jump and broad jump, the other two numbers released by Auburn -- the school didn't release shuttle times -- that figure placed him somewhere in the middle of the pack.

Inferring from his interview, Holland has no delusions of being drafted but hopes to sign as an undrafted free agent. He only made 46 tackles and one for a loss as a senior but made 73 tackles and three for a loss as a junior.

 

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