Despite not being highly rated by many NFL Draft pundits, Bill Huber of Packer Report interviewed several NFL scouts who give glowing reviews to Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell and name him as the Packers' potential first-round draft choice. “He’s the most logical pick that they could make,” a scout is quoted as saying. “He’s better by leaps and bounds than any back in the draft. I don’t think there’s a more complete running back in the draft. Don’t look at the stats: This kid can catch with the best of them.” Admittedly, it's out-of-the-box thinking, but I could see this happening. I've always been impressed with Bell's ability to gain yards after contact, and he would be a terrific complement to DuJuan Harris.
Newly signed Packers kicker Giorgio Tavecchio had an interview with Fox Sports Wisconsin in which he talked about about the process of being signed as a free agent since being released from the San Francisco 49ers last year. "I was trying to keep in touch with teams and stay on the radar," Tavecchio is quoted as saying by Paul Imig. "Unfortunately, there were no bites and no interest at the time. But I kept in shape and feel like I've improved a lot since leaving the 49ers. I've fine-tuned the things that I was working on." Tavecchio would appear to be a long shot to unseat Mason Crosby from his job as kicker, although not entirely out of the realm of possibility. A better option might be to find one of this year's top kickers coming out of college.
In a blog post over at JSOnline, Tom Silverstein speculates how a new contract signed by quarterback Aaron Rodgers and linebacker Clay Matthews could affect the Packers' salary cap. "If the Packers eat up $18 million of cap with Rodgers' new deal and $8 million with Matthews', they still have $6.66 million of cap room to do other business," writes Silverstein. "Applying that much cap charge to 2013 will help the Packers stay under the cap in future years." The Packers will no doubt try to front-load the contracts of Rodgers and Matthews as much as possible, but they're still going to have large salary-cap figures in future years regardless. The Packers may also try to structure their contracts in such a way that their salary-cap figures are big in 2015 when the cap is expected to expand.
After days of speculation, former Packers quarterback Matt Flynn has officially been traded from the Seattle Seahawks to the Oakland Raiders. "The Raiders are led by general manager Reggie McKenzie, who was a director of personnel for the Packers when Flynn had a productive game in a near-upset at New England in 2010 and a record-setting game in the 2011 finale against Detroit," writes the Associated Press. I have no reason to think any less of Flynn now than when he left Green Bay a year ago. He simply lost out on the starting job to a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback in Russell Wilson. Flynn can still be a very capable quarterback for Oakland, especially at the price of a couple of mid-round draft picks.
More on Matt Flynn comes from Fox Sports Wisconsin.
West Virginia offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson is interviewed by Tyler Dunne at JSOnline about wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.
Defensive line prospects in the NFL Draft get some attention over at the Packers official website.
Former Packers running back Travis Jervey has been named to the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.
Video: Cheesehead TV's own Aaron Nagler talks to Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb...
Brian Carriveau is the author of "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email [email protected].
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