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Alabama’s Williams perfect prospect for 3-4 teams

Posted by Vic Ketchman, packers.com editor on February 23, 2013 – 3:08 pm


INDIANAPOLIS–Defensive lineman Jesse Williams is a perfect candidate for a team in need of a defensive lineman in a 3-4 scheme.

“I like stopping the run, being physical. The 3-4 is suited for me,” Williams said at the scouting combine.

A native of Australia who used junior college football as a stepping stone to Alabama and two national championships, measured out at 6-3, 323, and figures to impress scouts with his dominant strength.

“I just want to get through the medical stuff and then show them how I move,” he said.

Williams’ body is covered by tattoos that “are little reminders of things I’ve had to get through,” and he spoke with a thick Australian accent. He’s a prospect to be drafted late in the first round, but he could move his stock upward with an athletic workout on Monday that would also project him as a defensive end in a 3-4.

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Hankins says he can play any position in 3-4 defense

Posted by Vic Ketchman, packers.com editor on February 23, 2013 – 12:45 pm


INDIANAPOLIS–Ohio State’s Johnathan “Big Hank” Hankins is one of the top prospects in a deep crop of defensive linemen in this draft. Hankins might be especially tempting to the Packers because it’s believed his talents lend themselves to a 3-4 defense.

“In a 3-4, I can play end or the nose,” Hankins said.

Hankins measured in at 6-2, 320, and will workout at the scouting combine on Monday. He will  not participate in the bench press drill, as he will leave that for his pro day.

“I’m going to show my motor, let my efforts speak for themselves,” he said.

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Ansah poised for lights-out workout on Monday

Posted by Vic Ketchman, packers.com editor on February 23, 2013 – 12:10 pm


INDIANAPOLIS–Brigham Young’s Ziggy Ansah is arguably the fastest-rising player in this draft class, and he’s poised to crack the top 10 picks should he turn in a lights-out workout on Monday.

“I have a lot to do to catch up with everybody,” Ansah told reporters at the scouting combine on Saturday.

Ansah left Africa to play basketball at BYU. He had never watched an American football game until he arrived at BYU.

“Since basketball didn’t work out, I said go do football,” he said.

Now he’s coming off an MVP performance in the Senior Bowl and he’s being compared to Jason Pierre-Paul. Is Ansah a defensive end or an outside linebacker? That’s the big question that has to be answered.

There’s no question that he’s a rare talent who should excel in the gym-class type workouts that define the combine. Ansah is also an engaging personality who entertained reporters.

When asked who was the best lineman he faced at the Senior Bowl, Ansah said it was the tackle from Oregon State. “I got held a lot in that game and it was never called, so I guess it was him,” he said, drawing a big laugh.

Ansah knows next to nothing about the history of professional football and its legendary names.

“I have no idea who they are, but this is going to be my lilfe so I try to soak it all in,” he said.

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NFL considering moving schedule back in 2014

Posted by Vic Ketchman, packers.com editor on February 23, 2013 – 10:03 am


INDIANAPOLIS–The NFL is considering a plan to move offseason events back in the calendar next year. For example, the scouting combine would be moved to March, the start of free agency to April and the draft to May.

“Whatever the league thinks is best, count me in,” New York Giants GM Jerry Reese told reporters at the scouting combine on Saturday.

Reese heads the personnel department of a team facing salary cap problems similar to those confronting a lot of teams with star-quality players: A flat cap is forcing tough decisions.

“The cap stays flat and the dollars don’t make sense. You have to make tough decisions. When your cap is flat for 3-4 years, it’s tough to keep a lot of high salaries,” Reese said.

The Packers faced that situation recently when they released Charles Woodson; Greg Jennings continues to head toward free agency. The Giants released Ahmad Bradshaw. All of that puts an increased burden on teams to replace those types of esteemed veterans with young, affordable talent, but drafting near the bottom of the order increases the degree of difficulty, as the league’s system for parity prevails.

“When you’re picking 32nd in the draft, a lot of the players you’re picking are developmental,” Reese said. “Old-fashioned scouting is what we hang out hat on. We depend on our scouts. They see them practice. They see them play. They talk to the coaches.

“There are always good players in the draft. You have to see who fits your system.”

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