Brian Gutekunst is certainly doing his homework on local prospects in his first offseason as general manager of the Green Bay Packers. After Packers scouts were spotted at the Wisconsin Badgers’ Pro Day last month, the team has brought several players from Paul Chryst’s program in for visits in advance of the 2018 NFL Draft.
After the Packers met with fullback Austin Ramesh, linebacker Jack Cichy, and defensive back Natrell Jamerson previously, a meeting has been confirmed between the team and outside linebacker Garret Dooley. Confirmation of the meeting comes from Dooley himself on ESPN Radio in Madison.
Dooley was a key backup behind T.J. Watt and Vince Biegel as a junior in 2016, recording 3.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss while playing in every game. He then earned a starting spot as one of the Badgers’ primary edge rushers for the 2017 season, when he posted six sacks and 10.5 TFLs.
The 6-foot-2, 248-pound Dooley showed decent athleticism in Indianapolis at the 2018 NFL Combine and at Wisconsin’s Pro Day about a week later. Dooley posted a 4.80-second 40-yard dash, 21 reps on the bench press, and a 33-inch vertical in Indy; Wisconsin reported times of 4.62 seconds in the 40 and 7.00 seconds flat in the 3-cone at Pro Day. Still, Dooley is likely to be a late-round draft pick or a free agent and will likely need to earn a spot on a roster with some special teams contributions.
The three meetings that the Packers have had with defensive prospects from Wisconsin may be a reflection of the connection between the teams’ defensive coordinators. Badgers DC Jim Leonhard, a former Badger and a Wisconsin native, played for Packers’ DC Mike Pettine with the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and Cleveland Browns.