A handful of players in this year's Senior Bowl were said to share similarities to current and former members of the Green Bay Packers by a couple members of the media covering the event in Mobile, Ala. recently.
The most notable might be Louisiana Tech wide receiver Quinton Patton who interestingly elicited comparisons to both Greg Jennings and James Jones. Patton is the 59th overall player and ninth-ranked wide receiver in this year's Draft class by NFLDraftScout.com.
In his observations of the South team's practice session on Tuesday, "Pigskin" Paul Guillemette shared his thoughts on Patton at GBNReport.com saying:
As I watched him work today I had visions of a young Greg Jennings dancing in my head. I wonder if Ted Thompson saw the same thing? Seeing as the Packers may need to replace Jennings on their roster for the 2013 season and beyond, the question now becomes how early will Patton go in April. I’ve seen nothing the last two days to change my mind that Patton is a solid 2nd Rounder. He could be gone unless a team like the Packers, in need of a new potential No. 1 receiver, is willing to take him late in Round 1.
Those comments can be contrasted to those of Louisiana's HoumaToday.com sports correspondent Mike Detillier who wrote in a Senior Bowl preview:
In many ways he reminds me a lot of Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones due to his size and his ability to get separation from defenders.
Simply from a size standpoint, Patton is almost exactly a mix of Jennings and Jones, perhaps making both comparisons valid.
Patton measured in at exactly 6-0 and 202 lbs. at the Senior Bowl weigh-in, nearly midway between Jennings' listed measurements of 5-11, 198 lbs. and Jones' 6-1, 208 lbs.
As Packers fans have come to know over the years, Jennings is the more precise route-runner and deep threat, while Jones is the stronger, possession-type receiver.
Where Patton lies on that spectrum is a work-in-progress, though reports out of Mobile have remarked upon his ability to get behind defensive backs and stretch the field.
In 2012, Patton had 104 receptions for 1,392 yards and 13 touchdowns, individual statistics that ranked third, fourth, and fifth in the nation respectively among all FBS receivers. Louisiana Tech had the third-ranked passing game in the country.
Over at Yahoo's Shutdown Corner blog, meanwhile, Doug Farrar mentions USC safety T.J. McDonald (the son of former NFL safety Tim McDonald) in reference to a couple other Packers:
He's a bigger kid -- listed at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, but he plays bigger than that -- and I wouldn't be surprised to see a creative man coverage team like the Green Bay Packers or Seattle Seahawks take a flyer on him early in the draft, plug him in different spots, and see what he can do. Not a Charles Woodson, but maybe an Atari Bigby.
McDonald has a reputation as a big hitter, but the general feeling is that he had a somewhat disappointing senior season, not unlike the entire USC team (perhaps minus wide receiver Marqise Lee).
In 2012, McDonald made 110 tackles, 6.5 for a loss, one sack, two interceptions and three passes broken up.
The Packers could have an opening at safety depending upon what the team decides to do with Charles Woodson and his roughly $10 million contract for 2013. M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian are also in the mix, but neither proved during the most-recent season that they're the surefire replacement for Woodson in the secondary.