After bringing in several big-name players early in the pre-draft visit process, the Green Bay Packers appear to be heading back to their old traditions: hosting players who are likely to go undrafted or who are under consideration as late-round draft picks. The latest such player is a receiver who was lightly-used in college, but whose physical tools have him as a possible late pick in next week’s draft.
The player is Penn State wide receiver DeAndre Thompkins, a 5-foot-11, 192-pound player who, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, visited the Packers recently. Thompkins’ career production maxed out as a junior in 2017, when he had career highs in receptions (28), yards (443), and touchdowns (3), and for his career he had just 83 catches for 1,245 yards and six scores. However, it is likely his testing that has him squarely on the map for NFL teams.
- 40-yard dash: 4.34 seconds (with 1.53-second 10-yard split)
- 3-cone drill: 7.02 seconds
- Short shuttle: 4.26 seconds
Those numbers put him squarely in the Packers’ sights and traditional receiver thresholds. His size puts him on the smaller side, however, and general manager Brian Gutekunst showed a preference for bigger, taller receivers when he took three of them in the 2018 NFL Draft.
However, despite not having impressive offensive production in his career, Thompkins has extensive special teams experience, particularly as a return man. He was Penn State’s primary punt returner for three seasons, and he took two punts to the house in his career. He also averaged an impressive 13.3 yards per punt return as a junior in 2017.
On a personal side, Thompkins graduated early in December of 2017, and played his final season as a graduate student. He could well be a candidate for one of the Packers third-day draft picks or as a possible priority free agent signing.