Packers Daily Links: Ted Thompson Visits UCLA Pro Day

Akeem Ayers and Rahim Moore were among the players on display at UCLA pro day. That and more in today's Daily Links...

General manager Ted Thompson visited the UCLA pro day on Tuesday where outside linebacker prospect Akeem Ayers and safety Rahim Moore were the main attractions. "Ayers, in particular, had a strong showing in front of a large contingent of representatives from 27 NFL teams," writes Bucky Brooks of NFL.com. "He posted times in the 4.68 to 4.74-second range in the 40-yard dash while weighing in at 259 pounds." With the Packers seemingly having a need at outside linebacker opposite Clay Matthews, this should create a buzz that Ayers will be a first-round consideration of the Packers. Check out the link at NFL.com for video from UCLA's pro day and analysis of Ayers from the NFL Network staff.

While he was there, Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times caught up with Thompson to interview him about the NFL lockout that generally prevents him from talking to player agents. Nick Barnett's agent, Chuck Price, was also at UCLA's pro day, and obviously would have liked to talk to Thompson about his client's future with the franchise.  "I've got a player there under contract whose future is uncertain, and nobody would have more information in an open dialogue about it than Ted, and I've got a few guys in this year's draft that I would love to have a dialogue about," Price told Farmer. "But he wasn't going to have any of it." Price, interestingly enough, also represents Akeem Ayers.

The Packers were also in attendance at Texas' pro day, and the news from a Green Bay standpoint centered around cornerback Curtis Brown, a prospective second-day NFL draft choice. "In addition to his ball skills, Brown showed off his hip fluidity, explosiveness and movement on the field," writes Laken Litman for the Dallas Morning News. "He mentioned that many of the teams he's talked to are interested in moving him to nickel, which he doesn't mind at all. Brown also said he's had meetings with the Ravens and Patriots and has ones coming up with the Jets, Steelers, Browns, Texans and Packers." With Charles Woodson getting older, the Packers are likely on the lookout for another tough corner that's capable of playing the slot.

Head coach Mike McCarthy's views on the possibility of a reduced offseason practice program as part of a new collective bargaining agreement are shared by Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “I don’t know what goes on at the other 31 teams; all I know is those practices are important,” said McCarthy. “That time in the classroom is very important because when you have the opportunity to have everything in when you leave at the end of June, when those players go to that rookie symposium (before training camp), those rookies, that football team has seen everything. This is it guys, we’re not adding anything. They’ve had everything.” McCarthy also indicated that he thinks injuries occur to inexperienced players due to a lack of preparation, which adds to his aversion of a reduction in offseason practice time that will likely be a part of the new CBA.

In a column at the Press-Gazette, Mike Vandermause laments Johnny Jolly's latest legal troubles. "It wasn’t enough that Jolly forfeited $2.5 million in 2010 salary due to his NFL suspension," writes Vandermause. "It wasn’t enough that he blew a chance to be part of a Super Bowl championship team. It wasn’t enough that when he absolutely needed to be on his best behavior in order to receive a second chance, he couldn’t hold up his end of the bargain." It's definitely, and it's next to impossible to see Jolly ever suiting up for the Packers again.

Commenting on the lack of depth along the defensive line that Johnny Jolly has, in part, created, Colleen Brenton of PocketDoppler plays the part of Ted Thompson asking Cullen Jenkins to stay in Green Bay. "I can’t believe I ever thought that idiot Jolly would straighten himself up, and instead threw you an opportunity to move on and get paid tons of money when in fact all you really wanted was to stay in Green Bay," writes Brenton. "I pride myself on my ability to pick quality players, but everyone makes a mistake now and then, even yours truly." The Packers would probably be happy to have Jenkins back, but the obstacle will be the money he can receive on the open market.

Piggybacking on the defensive line situation, John Rehor of Packers Lounge brings up the possibility that Justin Harrell could play a part of the rotation next season. "When you add everything up, it kind of falls into place, doesn’t it?" asks Rehor. "Neither Jolly or Jenkins are expected to be in Green Bay next year. Defensive ends don’t just grow on trees, and currently Harrell joins Mike Neal, Ryan Pickett, and C.J. Wilson as the only defensive ends on the Packers roster. With a small salary for next season, he could be a nice addition to the defensive line rotation for a bargain." It's difficult to envision Harrell being given another chance, but nothing is out of the realm of possibility.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has advanced to the second round of voting to be on the cover of the next Madden video game, notes Acme Packing Company.

Adam Czech of AllGreenBayPackers.com questions how much the Packers can improve from within next season.

The top 10 players on the Packers roster are ranked by Zach Kruse of AllGreenBayPackers.com.

The Packers are said to be "interested" in Baylor's Danny Watkins by Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. As always, what constitutes interest is up for debate.

Interesting information on a little known Packers logo from the 1950s is brought to you by Chance Michaels of The Wearing of the Green (and Gold).

The Packers official website features this year's draft class of quarterbacks.

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Comments (4)

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jeremy's picture

March 30, 2011 at 09:37 am

I'm pretty sure Ted can't talk to Agents about any current players right now. But, this quote by Price makes it sounds like he just doesn't want to.

"I would love to have a dialogue about," Price told Farmer. "But he wasn't going to have any of it."

Maybe this one more clearly shows what happened.

"I saw Ted and said, 'We're not supposed to talk, are we?' " Price said. "He said, 'Well, you can talk, but I have to turn around and walk away.'

I think there is an illustration here about how good player representatives are at hyperbole.

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foundinidaho's picture

March 30, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Thanks for the shout out Brian! I hope they do talk to Jenkins, but I agree money will be a huge issue.

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SOCALPACK's picture

March 31, 2011 at 02:36 am

It would be great to have Rodgers on the Madden cover but I'm also a little scared of the madden curse. Harrell is a lost cause should have been cut last year already.

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David Johnson's picture

March 31, 2011 at 10:44 am

My hopes for the up coming season counting on a new CBA being signed before the draft. We trade Matt Flynn for a third round pick and Nick Barnett for a sixth. Resign Mason Crosby, John Kuhn, and Howard Green. Nnamdi Asomuga would be a greet addition to our corner backs but just dont see Ted doing that. So with that here is my draft.
1st: Akeem Ayers OLB UCLA
2nd: Jurell Casey DE USC
3rd: Clint Boling OT Georga
3rd: Austin Pettis WR Boise St.
4th: John Moffit OG Wis.
4th: Noel Devine RB WVU
5th: Chimdi Checkwa CB Ohio St.
6th: Scott Tolzien QB Wis.
6th: Jeremy Beal ILB Oklahoma
7th: Eugene Clifford SS Tennessee St.
7th: Schuylar Oordt TE N. Iowa

I think Ayers gives us a solid option along with Mathews to form a duel threat pass rush. Casey gives us depth on the d-line and eventual replacement for Ryan Picket. Boling could learn for a year and take over RT as Bulaga takes the leftside. Petis replaces James Jones and could be the 3rd reciever when Driver is done. Moffit could compeat right away for the LG spot and back up center. Devine gives us a speedy option at RB well we learn if James Starks is real or not, plus Ryan Grant is a free agent in 2012. Checkwa gives us extra depth at corner, Woodson is old and Pat Lee, Brandon Underwood and Jarett Bush havent done much. Scott Tolzien gives us a very accurate QB to back up Aaron Rodgers. Beal provides depth behind Bishop, Hawk and Chiller. Bigby is gone and Clifford gives us depth at SS. Oordt is a project at TE but could be better then Tom Crabtree besides Finley is a free agent in 2012 and if he stays healthy this year he will get paid big, hopefully by us.

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