Three things for Green Bay Packers fans to watch at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.
The 2019 NFL Scouting Combine kicks off on Tuesday, with the on-field workouts occurring from Friday, March 1 to Monday, March 4.
Brian Gutekunst’s team has no shortage of needs, and the combine is a beehive of activity and information.
So what should Green Bay fans focus on? Here are three tests worth watching at priority positions for the Packers.
20-Yard Shuttle, Slot Receiver
In addition to superstar wideout Davante Adams, the Packers have some young promise at wide receiver. Geronimo Allison, Equanimeous St. Brown, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Jake Kumerow have all displayed varying talents.
But the team is likely to let longtime receiver Randall Cobb walk in free agency. The Packers don’t have any receivers on the roster with a similar skill-set and body type to Cobb on the roster. Their current stable of wideouts tend to be tall, smooth route-runners that most typically profile as perimeter receivers, while Cobb is a shorter player who’s most natural using his quickness in the slot.
If Matt LaFleur wants someone to take Cobb’s role in the offense, Gutekunst will need to turn to free agency or the draft.
The 20-yard shuttle is designed to measure how quickly players can move from a stop to a full sprint, and then stop in their tracks again. That’s obviously a valuable skill-set for slot receivers.
One of the most prolific slot receivers of all time, Wes Welker, measured and tested below average across the board at his pro day save for a 4.01-second 20-yard shuttle (92nd percentile). Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman recorded a 3.92-second short shuttle at his pro day, good for the 97th percentile. (All combine and pro day results from MockDraftable.com.)
Route-running is an art, and it’s certainly possible to be a good slot receiver with a poor 20-yard shuttle time. Cobb himself had a time of 4.34 seconds at the combine, good for just the 21st percentile.
But any glaring results of this test can still be helpful for comparing top prospects and unearthing unexamined late-round prospects. Hollywood Brown from Oklahoma, Deebo Samuel from South Carolina, and Andy Isabella from Massachusetts are some of the top slot options that could shine here.