Through early Monday afternoon, the Green Bay Packers had been connected to just four NFL Draft prospects who had reportedly scheduled pre-draft visits with the team. All four of those players are seen as day-one or day-two prospects, continuing general manager Brian Gutekunst’s trend of inviting several potential early-round picks to the team facilities.
However, Monday afternoon also brought news of the first late-round or potentially-undrafted player who will be in Green Bay for a visit. That player is Boston College wide receiver Jeff Smith, who likely showed up on the Packers’ radar thanks to an impressive Pro Day performance a few weeks ago. Greg Auman of The Athletic first reported the news.
Smith, a former quarterback recruit from California, switched to receiver after his freshman year. He played a multifacted role in the Eagles’ offense over the next three years, picking up at least 296 receiving yards and more than 100 rushing yards in each of his final three seasons. However, he never exceeded 30 receptions or 400 yards through the air in any one campaign.
As a result, Smith’s projection to the NFL is largely due to his skill set and athleticism rather than his college production. On that note, however, Smith’s Pro Day opened some eyes, as the 6-foot, 191-pound receiver was timed around 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash with a 6.87-second time in the 3-cone drill and a 4.06-second time in the short shuttle (h/t to Gil Brandt for the numbers). Those results put him well inside the typical numbers for a Packers receiver draft pick.
Smith’s work at BC makes him appear to be an intriguing option as a slot receiver in particular. Many of Smith’s carries came on jet sweeps, a play that the Packers seem likely to implement more under head coach Matt LaFleur. Take a look at this brief highlight package of the dynamic receiver:
BC WR Jeff Smith (#6) is a former QB who has developed into a dynamic offensive weapon— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) September 14, 2018
Play 1: Stutter + go for TD
Play 2: Ball carrier in space
Play 3/replay: Body control along sideline
Play 4: Plucks ball out of the air
Play 5: Acceleration RAC
He’s also the team’s holder. pic.twitter.com/RZpzj69IZS
If the Packers end up eschewing the receiver position on the first two days of the 2019 NFL Draft for other positions, don’t be surprised if Smith ends up hearing his name called to come to Green Bay late on April 27th.