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Thursday Cheese Curds: Packers will be born during the NFL Scouting Combine

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Prospects’ draft stock can swing either direction next week and that will have some kind of impact on the Packer’ draft board

NFL: FEB 27 Scouting Combine Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

College football players chasing their dream get one more opportunity to boost their chances next week.

With the NFL Scouting Combine scheduled to get underway in Indianapolis on Sunday, teams’ opinions on prospects can either be confirmed or altered (for better or for worse) by what is put on tape next week. Sprints, bench presses and all sorts of measurements will be performed over the span of a few days and could ultimately determine where a player is taken in April’s draft.

On the positive side of things, Jaire Alexander’s performance at the combine solidified his first round label and resulted in the Green Bay Packers drafted him in that very round in 2018.

On the flip side, Jachai Polite, who was solidly placed in the first round leading up to the combine last year, fell all the way to the third round after poor performances both athletic and in interviews in Indianapolis.

Back to the Packers, general manager Brian Gutekunst will use what he learns next week to finalize his draft board. Combine tape will never and should never fully replace game film but what he learns next week will be used to enhance what he already believes about a prospect or perhaps push him one way or another on a player he was previously skeptical about.

The future of the NFL begins next week and the Packers will be looking to be a big part of that future after their evaluations next week.

Now for today’s curds.

Future Packers have made their mark at the NFL Scouting Combine—Packers.com

Don’t let the “underwear olympics” jokes about the combine fool you. Next week is very important to both prospects and teams alike.

New Packers assistant Jerry Gray can improve technique, ‘add impact’ to secondary—PackersNews.com

The Green Bay secondary wasn’t necessarily a liability last year and has a lot of young potential. New position coach Jerry Gray will look to maximize that while not changing what they already do well.

PFF: Za’Darius Smith was Packers’ most improved player in 2019–Packers Wire

Gutekunst said he signed his big three free agents last year because he felt they all were entering their physical prime and that prediction hit paydirt especially when it came to Za’Darius Smith.

More playoff teams expected under new NFL CBA, sources say—ESPN

Had this format been used this season, Green Bay would not have earned a bye and instead would have hosted the Los Angeles Rams in a wild card game.

Centuries-Old Law Against Cursing In Public Repealed By Virginia Legislators—NPR

No word if the state will change its motto to “Virginia is for f***ers.”