Draft season is upon us and Green Bay has a few groups of positions that could be left bare by the end of free agency. The reception hall can lose both Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Additionally, the Packers will also need a 3rd edge rusher if Preston or Za’Darius Smith don’t return. The tight group could also lose retired Marcedes Lewis and Robert Tonyan to free agency.
Here are some of the players who helped their stock in the Senior Bowl and could become future Packers.
Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
South Alabama isn’t the pinnacle of college football, but that didn’t stop Jalen Tolbert from performing well against top competition in the Senior Bowl. At 6’3” and 195 pounds, Tolbert fits the Packers front office’s general height preferences. He has good top-end speed and sticky hands that helped him amass 82 receptions, 1,474 yards and 8 touchdowns last year. He was a first-team All-Sun Belt player and was the conference player of the year. He only had a few catches for 24 yards in the Senior Bowl itself, but both went for first downs. Although he has some acceleration and quickness issues in short areas, he gives the Packers deep speed and a reliable target.
Calvin Austin, WR, Memphis
Calvin Austin is not Green Bay prototype receiver. However, he’s the juicy, quick, gimmicky guy missing from Matt LaFleur’s offense. He should be one of the fastest players in the draft, if not the fastest. However, he comes in at 5’7″ and 173 pounds. He has good hands, incredible quickness and elite vertical speed. He could be the guy the Packers were hoping for in receiver Amari Rodgers. Green Bay is no may not be willing to leave Rodgers so soon, but Austin has experience returning kicks to special teams, which could tip the scales in his favor as Packers put new emphasis on 3rd stage of the game.
Jake Ferguson, TE, Wisconsin
As mentioned about Jelani Woods, one of our Shrine Bowl stars, the Packers are in an interesting position with their tight room. Tight end Josiah Deguara appears to be the only one locked on Green Bay’s roster next year. Enter hometown favorite Jake Ferguson.
Ferguson was widely used as a tight end online with the occasional Moonlight as a passer at Wisconsin. He’s never had any monster games, but he’s produced 30 or more receptions over the past four seasons. He has good hands and was the Senior Bowl’s leading receiver with three catches, 62 yards and a touchdown. He’s not a match problem when he’s separated, though. He’s a true substitute for Marcedes Lewis who can pass and block while consistently winning 50/50 balls in the red zone and taking advantage of Matt LaFleur’s scheme underneath.
Kingsley Enagbare, EDGE, South Carolina
It seems unlikely that the two Smith brothers will return to Green Bay next season. You can never have enough edge rushers, and Enagbare could be in the Packers lineup. He’s a first-round borderline pick at the moment, but he’s had a great week of practice in the Senior Bowl.
He’s 6-foot-4 and weighs 265 pounds, giving him some versatility to work as a standing winger or put his hand in the dirt. He also fell into cover in South Carolina. It’s a role similar to what defensive coordinator Joe Barry has sometimes asked Preston Smith to do. He has a great engine but needs work to get the edge and help with the run defense.