NFL Draft Report: Backfield Rankings

Prosch (Derick Derick E. Hingle - USA TODAY)

The Packers don't have a need at either position, though they could be in the market for a fullback.

With John Kuhn having re-signed with the Green Packers, there is not an immediate need at fullback. However, with Kuhn on just a one-year deal, it wouldn't be a huge shock to see the Packers draft his successor.

Auburn's Jay Prosch is the top-rated fullback in this year's draft, according to longtime NFL scout Dave-Te' Thomas.

"He generates excellent power on initial contact and creates a tremendous push off the snap when operating as a lead blocker. He has the strength to gain leverage at the point of attack and does a great job of using his hands to shock and jolt defenders with his punch," Thomas writes in his scouting report, which he provides to teams as part of his work with the league.

The second-rated fullback on Thomas' board is Wake Forest's Nikita Whitlock. Whitlock was a star defensive lineman for the Demon Deacons, but at 5-foot-10 and 252 pounds, he's destined to move to fullback or, perhaps, inside linebacker. Whitlock, who had 49 tackles for losses during his career, had a whopping 43 reps on the bench press at his pro day.

Thomas compared Whitlock to a Packers Hall of Fame fullback.

"He has all the making for becoming a punishing lead blocker with the size and strength to widen the rush lanes and keep his feet when working through trash," Thomas wrote in providing his scouting report.

At running back, top billing goes to Washington's Bishop Sankey, who Thomas compares to Hall of Fame Emmitt Smith.

With the Packers' backfield depth, they almost certainly won't draft a running back in the first four or five rounds.

For a sleeper, remember Georgia Southern quarterback Jerick McKinnon. He rushed for 3,889 yards and 42 touchdowns in his career and dominated the Scouting Combine with an almost unprecedented combination of strength and speed.

"Few runners have the quickness and burst to reach top speed like McKinnon can," Thomas wrote in his scouting report. "He can fluidly accelerate coming out of his cut and gain separation (see 2013 Chattanooga, The Citadel and Florida games). With his incredible combination of speed and strength, you can see he not only has that explosive second gear, but can also beat angles with his vision and feel for coverage."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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