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Pro Day Round-Up: Kyle Van Noy Training with Clay Matthews

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Pro Day Round-Up: Kyle Van Noy Training with Clay Matthews

Like the other pro day round-ups we've done here at Cheesehead TV (Mar. 30, Mar. 10), we take a look at what others have reported from around the nation, making connections between the Green Bay Packers and some of the prospects coming out for this year's NFL Draft.

Brigham Young

The Packers were reportedly in attendance at BYU's pro day in mid-March, but perhaps more interesting was news that linebacker Kyle Van Noy has been working out with Clay Matthews among other players for the agency that represents them, according to Jay Drew of the Salt Lake Tribune:

Van Noy said he chose the agency Athletes First and Justin Schulman to represent him and has been training in San Diego with NFL players such as Von Miller of the Broncos, Clay Mathews of the Packers and Kyle Rudolph of the Minnesota Vikings.

Van Noy fits the mold of 3-4 outside linebacker, much like Matthews. He has been projected as high as late in the first round by NFL Draft analysts but few have him being selected as high as No. 21 where the Packers pick.

At his pro day workout, Van Noy chose not to participate in measured drills, instead choosing to stand on his numbers from the NFL Combine. But he did participate in on-field linebacker drills.

Wake Forest

The Packers may have been at the Wake Forest pro day, but one player they showed particular interest in was from nearby Winston-Salem State, a Division II school in North Carolina.

According to the Winston-Salem Journal, the Packers spoke to linebacker Carlos Fields Jr., the CIAA co-Defensive Player of the Year.

“There’s been a few scouts that have talked with me,” Fields is quoted as saying. “The Green Bay Packers, the Chiefs, and the Panthers seem like they are interested, so that’s been good. I’m just trying to keep a good attitude and keep smiling, and hopefully I’ll get a shot.”

Although he played outside linebacker in college, Fields' size suggests he would be an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. He checked in at just less than 6' 1" and weighed 238 lbs. Fields himself said he thought he ran 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash but did not receive an official time.

Fields made 93 tackles, 8.5 for a loss and two interceptions in 2013.

San Diego State

The Packers were reportedly in attendance at San Diego State's pro day in March and had the opportunity to see players at a variety of positions, but perhaps none deeper than safety.

Unusually, the Aztecs had four senior safeties working out, including Nat Berhe, Eric Pinkins, Gabe Lemon and Marcus Andrews. Given the lack of depth at the position in Green Bay, they probably took note.

Berhe was invited to the NFL Combine, but it was Pinkins who put up some of the best numbers. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Pinkins had 25 reps on the 225-pound bench press, ran the 40 in 4.46 seconds, had a vertical jump of 39.5 inches and a vertical jump of 10' 6".

Texas Tech

According to GMB Management Group, the Packers are one of seven NFL teams to show interest in linebacker Terrance Bullitt, who will also take part in the NFL's Super Regional Combine Apr. 12 in Detroit.

Per EverythingLubbock.com, Bullitt had a 40-inch vertical and ran the 40 in 4.68 seconds at his pro day.

Bullitt would appear to be a good athlete, but may be a player without a true position. He played outside linebacker his senior season at Texas Tech at 6' 3" and 226 lbs., but played safety earlier in his career.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (15) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

ballark's picture

The last college guy who trained with Clay became our starting left tackle.

ben's picture

VanNoy has some of the best tape, production, & defensive big play ability in the draft. Great game speed. I'm a sucker for measurables but VanNoy is one player I didn't need to see any times on. I think he projects as well at 3-4 ILB as he does at 3-4OLB. He definitely can rush the passer and I like the way he beats blocks in run support & is great in coverage. For me, VanNoy is the 2nd best 3-4 ILB prospect, better than Mosely with or without his injury history, 2nd only to Khalil Mack.

I'd be fine with taking him at 21. I think he's TT's kind of guy and can see TT moving up in the 2nd to get him. I can also see VanNoy dropping to the Pack at Round2pick21.

Stroh's picture

No way is he worth #21 overall. Good player, but he's too soft. His pass rush isn't very good and he is better suited at ILB than OLB in a 34 D, so I agree on that. But he's not a 1st rd pick not even close. If we don't get Mosley or Shazier in the 1st I'm not opposed to taking him at #53, but certainly not at #21. He's good solid in coverage, so he would help in that regard, but he doesn't bring enough pass rush to play 34 OLB.

Kalil Mack isn't an ILB either. He could be a good one if he played that position, but a team in the top5 likely will draft him to play 34 OLB or 43 DE to take advantage of his pass rush.

After Mosley and Shazier go, VanNoy and Christian Jones are the best ILB. Personally I like Jones more than VanNoy, but wouldn't really care either way.

8BitEra's picture

I'll be honest. I don't get it. I don't get all the support for Shazier. Yeah, I know he's an explosive athlete and has that team-first "Packers guy" attitude. I don't discount any of that and even root for the guy given that team-first attitude. My problem comes from the biggest supposed knock on this guy. That he gets swallowed up by big blockers (read: O-Linemen).

From the his highlights that I've seen, the man gets to the QB if and only if he has a clear lane. There's not a lot of film of him that I've seen of him in straight coverage situations. That's a question mark to me. I've seen him show some anticipation in a few opportunities, which is great, but I'm not sure it's enough.

I guess my question is - to Stroh specifically - you kind of bagged on Cooks for having trouble with press coverage, but you're willing to take a *projected* 34 ILB in the 1st that allegedly can't shed blockers?

To make an argument in Cooks' favor: the guy improved each of the last 3 years and had 120 receptions despite his "problems" with press coverage. Shazier, on the other hand, has also improved with each year, but bears the weight of the LB equivalent of what you dislike about Cooks.

I feel like you're more forgiving of one player than the other, though they have similar issues on their respective sides of the ball. What gives?

Stroh's picture

Everybody likes certain players more than others. I don't care for Cooks and the lack of size and ability to beat press coverage are big knocks in my opinion for a WR. I see Cooks as being strictly a slot receiver in the NFL and the Packers already have one of the best slot receivers in the NFL in Cobb. WR is a position I see the Packers drafting fairly early. However, Nelson is closing in on 30 while Cobb isn't even 25 yet. So I see the need to add a potential #1 WR to be Nelson's successor far more than the need for another slot receiver.

I've seen enough of Shazier beating blocks in pass rush to think he can do it. But as an ILB he is more than likely going to be schemed to get a free run at the QB, much like Bishop was. How many times did you see a cross blitz where Hawk came first and took the blockers to him, and a split second later see Bishop come in free? At ILB pass rush isn't even a major responsibility. Watching Shazier I saw him line up all over as a LB. The weak ILB in the 34 is very similar to the 43 Will LB. They are run and chase players who are schemed to stay clean so they can make plays. The Strong ILB (Hawk) is the one who needs to take on blockers, not the weak ILB so much. Put Shazier in that role and allow him to use his speed, instincts and playmaking ability and he'll be outstanding.

Its about the roles they project to in the Packers schemes and then my personal feel for their abilities. I'm no expert and neither is anyone else here. So take my opinion w/ a grain of salt, just like every other commenter here.

ben's picture

2014 53 Man Depth Chart (+1 practice squader)

TRADE1: Scott Tolzien(QB, 25pts), Round3Pick21(165), Brad Jones(ILB, 17) = 207pts } for { Cleveland's: Round4pick6(92), Round4pick27(49), Round5pick5(40), Round6pick4(26)= 207pts

TRADE2: Jon Franklin(RB), Round4pick27(49pts) } for { 49er's: LaMicheal James(KR, RB)

QB: Rodgers, Flynn, Connor Shaw(Round5pick21)
RB: Lacey, DuJuan, Starks, LaMichael James(KR)
FB: Kuhn, (Practice Squad: FB: Karl Williams(Round7pick21))
WR: Cobb, Jordy, Boykin, Harper, [Abbrederis/Dri Archer/Jeff Janis/Cody Latimer](Round4pick21)
TE: Quarless, Stoneburner, Bostick, [Colt Lyerla/Blake Annen/AC Leonard](Round6pick21)
OL: Bakhtiari, Sitton, Tretter, Lang, Bulaga, Barclay, Sharrod, [Laurent Duvernay-Tardif/Russell Bodine](Round4pick6)
DL: Daniels, Peppers, Raji, Datone, Boyd, Jolly, Zak Kerr(Round5Pick5), Beau Allen(Round6pick4)
LB: Neal, Hawk, Matthews, Perry, Ryan Shazier(Okie Safety, Round1pick21), Lattimore, Mulumba
CB: Shields, Davon, Heyward, Phillip Gaines(Compensatory3rd), Nixon
S: Burnett, Hyde, Richardson, Dezmen Southward(compensatory5th)
ST: Goode, Crosby, Masthay

Round2pick21 - [LB:Kyle VanNoy/CB:Jason Verrett/S:Deone Bucannon/S:Jimmy Ward]

ben's picture

wait just a minute! you just sold me on CARLOS FIELDS JR.

I haven't seen many LBs make those kind of plays in coverage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAHhW2PjvNo

I'm going to have to work him in on my 53
(it will be a 53 man active roster this year right?)

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I want fast ILB's too. I'm tired of seeing these big slow guys getting burned up the seam and around the edge. I'm sure Chris Borland is an OK player but he can't run. Seattle and San Fran have guys who can run in the middle and make plays in coverage and it makes a huge difference for their defenses.

Stroh's picture

Just got the chance to watch Fields. Have to say that is very good tape. He looks like an excellent prospect at ILB. If they don't take an ILB in the top 2 rounds I can easily see Thompson take Fields sooner than he is projected, much like a speedy safety from Bethune-Cookman a few years ago. Doesn't have quite the speed of Shazier, but looks a little more compact and just as physical. He seems to have terrific ability to play in all directions... Going forward into the backfield, laterally sideline to sideline and dropping backwards in coverage. You don't see that in a lot of college players anymore.

Fields would be a nice pick anywhere after the 3rd round and I wouldn't be upset if they used a 3rd on him either. I can honetly say I would much rather have Fields over Van Noy (who is similar in the ability to play in all directions) right now!

RC Packer Fan's picture

I got to the trade of Franklin and a 4th round pick for James and stopped reading... no offense...

I see 0.0001% chance of the Packer trading Franklin and a 4th round pick for James. Thompson doesn't like to trade draft picks for players. I can't even think of a time when he traded a draft pick for a player.
I would honestly rather see them draft Dri Archer or De'Anthony Thomas in the 4th rather then to trade Franklin and a 4th round pick for James.

Just for a comparison Franklin has rushed 19 times for 107 yards (5.6 average) in his career. James has rushed 39 times for 184 yards. (4.7 average)

ben's picture

James is a very good kick returner and the Packers don't have a single player on the roster that can return kicks.(that's not a starter)

Franklin is vastly overrated here because of the uniform he wears. He is pedestrian. LaMichael James is special, explosive, & vastly underrated as a running back. He is also a proven weapon in the return game. (This may be my opinion now, but will be accepted as fact within 18 months.)

Stroh's picture

Yeah, James is soo good he's only got 44 touches in 2 years in the NFL. Oh and along w/ those 44 touches, he has 3 fumbles, one every 15 touches. Probably why he never touches the ball don't you think. James is only slightly faster and slightly quicker, Definitely not dramatically so. Maybe you should include all the facts if your going to pump him up so much. For those SLIGHT differences SF used the 61st pick and the Packers got Franklin at 125, 2 FULL rounds later.

Also, with the new KO rules, its very likely that James' value in that regard is irrelevant!

I'm far from Franklins biggest fan, but seems to me they are almost Identical to me! Well except for the VAST difference in draft position...

JimTaylor31's picture

No offense but........4 draft picks for Tolzien and Jones?? L. James? I think you have too much time on your hands.

ben's picture

none taken......No, Yes, & Yes

JimTaylor31's picture

Hahaha!! Good one.

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