The last Temple product the Green Bay Packers selected in the NFL Draft was Willie Marshall, picked in round six of the 1987 draft. Ted Thompson hasn’t selected players from the Philadelphia scene, and he might not during his tenure as Packers GM, but there’s talent nestled in the area.
At Temple’s Pro Day on Wednesday, personnel from every NFL team, including the Packers’, flocked to the area for a second helping of the school’s Combine talents. The main draw was rising LB/DE prospect Haason Reddick, who aced Sunday’s Combine trials and rocketed up draft boards.
A former cornerback for the Owls, his unique career arc added another wrinkle to Temple’s major spectacle. Reddick competed in coverage drills, managed by Bengals assistant Jim Haslett, and power edge drills for scouts.
Close-up footage of Haason Reddick dominating drills at his Pro Day. #Temple pic.twitter.com/eR0aD5xzEm— Jake Hyman (@RealJakeHyman) March 8, 2017
Reddick opted to forego the 40-yard dash and shuttle drills Wednesday, letting his 4.52-second mark in the 40 on Sunday carry weight heading into April. With top-end speed, he hopes to emulate his game off of Denver’s Von Miller and said he can see himself playing in a 3-4 system. Temple runs a 4-3 defense, but Reddick believes he could thrive as an outside linebacker.
Getting to the quarterback consistently as a senior in the 2016-17 season with 10.5 sacks, Reddick’s potential stands out both on film and in his measurables. The 6-foot-1, 237-pound edge rusher’s winter has catapulted his stock. Mocked all over the board in the first round, the Packers might not have to trade an additional high draft pick to get the high-upside talent.
While Reddick garnered the attention of those in attendance when in drills, offensive lineman Dion Dawkins drew eyes with his power and mobility.
Dion Dawkins in strength drills. #Temple pic.twitter.com/Bzp5gRC8gR— Jake Hyman (@RealJakeHyman) March 8, 2017
Like Reddick, Dawkins performed admirably at Motor Field over the past weekend. An offensive tackle at Temple over his career, the 6-foot-5, 320-pound offensive lineman can scoot inside if needed and made it clear he can play any position. His versatility and agility could have teams intrigued.
Dawkins also mentioned that it’d be incredible to get drafted. He gave a perspective if Green Bay called his name.
“I will be extremely excited to be drafted by a team,” Dawkins said. “The Packers have a legendary history. To be a part of any team, I’d be extremely thankful for. I’d love to protect your guys’ quarterback [Rodgers]. I’d be truly blessed to play for the Packers. That’s a cool area and it’s a cool team. If they want me, I’m here. I’m a free ticket. Just come and get me.”
Dawkins is widely projected to go anywhere from the second to fourth round, and has played in both the pro and spread formations at Temple. Another benefactor of Temple’s versatile scheme, running back Jahad Thomas attempted to display his burst in the 40-yard dash (which was later confirmed to be 4.62 officially).
Former #Temple running back Jahad Thomas runs a 4.66 40-yard dash at Temple's Pro Day. pic.twitter.com/mN55euQtUf— Jake Hyman (@RealJakeHyman) March 8, 2017
Thomas’ wiggle and elusiveness were two of his most promising traits at TU, as agility and speed were supplementary. With former Temple quarterback and draft prospect Phillip Walker leading the passing drills, Thomas mishandled a couple of balls. Temple featured Thomas as a dynamic back who could be a weapon in the passing game throughout his career. An inconsistent performance Wednesday in that regard was surprising.
Thomas is being billed as a fringe draft selection on day 3, and needed a flawless Pro Day in front of the multiple scouts present. Possible 3-4, 5-tech guys in Praise Martin-Oguike (4.86 40, 28.0 vertical jump, 9’4” long jump) and Avery Ellis (4.78 40, 32.0 vertical jump, 9’3” long jump) posted respectable marks. Ellis had the highest vertical jump while Martin-Oguike led all players with 30 reps of 225 pounds.
Reddick and Dawkins went light Wednesday, with Temple’s and 19 other schools’ draft hopefuls seeking to entice scouts. However, their poise in interviews superseded their relative inactivity. Pro Day was a monumental draw. With a Packers representative in attendance, they just might take a look at what Philadelphia’s crop of prospects has to offer them.