Pro Day season has officially begun, both for college football programs and for the NFL scouts and general managers who must analyze them. The Green Bay Packers, in particular, are notable on this Tuesday morning because of the presence of general manager Brian Gutekunst at a nearby Pro Day.
According to Stacey Dales of NFL Network, Gutekunst is in attendance for Northwestern University’s Pro Day today. The Wildcats feature two potential first-round draft picks in offensive tackle Rashawn Slater and cornerback Greg Newsome II, both of whom play positions that may be on the Packers’ radar for an early draft pick. Northwestern also had two other players invited to this year’s “Virtual NFL Combine,” as linebacker Paddy Fisher and defensive end Earnest Brown IV made the cut.
It is also notable that Northwestern’s campus in Evanston, Illinois is easily drivable from Green Bay, a short three-hour jaunt down Interstates 43 and 94, making for a quick trip for Gutekunst.
Of the two more prominent prospects, Newsome has been drawing significant projections to Green Bay in recent mock drafts. The Packers reportedly held a virtual meeting with him recently, and they have now met with at least four cornerbacks, all of whom could go in the top 100 picks. Slater, meanwhile, seems more likely to go in the top half of the first round and could be the first offensive tackle off the board.
At about six feet tall and around 190 pounds, Newsome has decent size and length to play boundary corner, a spot where the Packers are likely looking to add in the draft due to Kevin King’s expected departure in free agency. According to NFL’s Lance Zierlein, Newsome would fit in a wide variety of coverage schemes: “Newsome is well-versed in Cover 3, quarters coverage and press man. He’s equally adept at each.” He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in the shortened 2020 season, racking up nine pass deflections and one interception, the only one of his college career.
UPDATE: Newsome ran an unofficial 4.31-second 40-yard dash in his first attempt on Tuesday.