Tennessee Martin Skyhawks wide receiver Jeremy Butler was one of 20 players brought in by the Packers for visits prior to the NFL Draft. Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Green Bay Packers: Will player visits translate into an edge in Draft?

Tennessee Martin Skyhawks wide receiver Jeremy Butler was one of 20 players brought in for visits by the Green Bay Packers. Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Brian Carriveau over at cheeseheadtv.com, one of my favorite Green Bay Packers media moguls, did us all a service yesterday by posting a complete list of all the players the Packers brought in for visits. He gives credit to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for the list he posted yesterday on his site.

And while you probably haven’t heard of the half of the guys on the list, one has to be amazed at the amount of research that went into these guys and whether they will actually turn into draft picks or undrafted free agent signings when it’s all said and done.

Among the 20 players who visited, four of them were quarterbacks. That only illustrates the Packers interest in bringing in a fourth quarterback, as head coach Mike McCarthy said was a goal.

Here’s the list of quarterbacks who have visited:

  • Quarterback Tom Savage, Pittsburgh
  • Quarterback David Fales, San Jose State
  • Quarterback Keith Wenning, Ball State
  • Quarterback Brock Jensen, North Dakota State

It’s an interesting bunch. With Savage as the player who has raised the most banter among draft gurus, one can’t blame the Packers for checking out the other guys, too. Among the more interesting, at least for Wisconsin sports fans, is the visit from Brock Jensen. He grew up in Waupaca and had a highly successful college career at North Dakota State.

But the Packers have other needs, of course. Here is the complete list of other players brought in for visits:

  • Wide receiver Jeremy Butler, Tennessee-Martin
  • Center Luke Bowanko, Virginia
  • Offensive lineman John Fullington, Washington State
  • Offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, McGill
  • Cornerback Brandon Dixon, Northwest Missouri State
  • Cornerback Walt Aikens, Liberty
  • Linebacker Prince Shembo, Notre Dame
  • Wide receiver Torrence Allen, West Texas A&M
  • Inside linebacker Joe Thomas, South Carolina State
  • Defensive lineman Beau Allen, Wisconsin
  • Defensive lineman Andru Pulu, Eastern Washington
  • Running back Darrin Reeves, Alabama-Birmingham
  • Running back James Baker, Idaho
  • Offensive lineman Curtis Feight, West Virginia
  • Offensive lineman Justin McCray, Central Florida
  • Offensive lineman Josh Andrews, Oregon State

It’s not surprising the Packers brought in six offensive linemen and six defensive players. Over the course of his career in Green Bay, Thompson has drafted 17 offensive linemen, 14 defensive linemen and 13 linebackers. That’s a lot of beef.

And if Thompson maintains his history, he will no doubt target both offensive and defensive linemen somewhere along the draft journey. He will most likely also take close looks at linebackers, cornerbacks and safeties along the way.

So, will any of the guys above make the draft cut? Will some of them be targeted as possible undrafted free agent signings?

As always, the draft is a crapshoot and where these guys land is anyone’s guess. Some may be wearing Green and Gold, while most of them will not.

In this offseason of speculation, we will know for sure come this weekend.

Until then, stay tuned …

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