GREEN BAY, Wisconsin. – The Green Bay Packers enter the draft looking for help at the corner. Potentially, their preference would be a larger wedge to provide a stylistic counterpoint to Pro Bowler Jaire Alexander.
The first-round wildcard in this week’s draft is Caleb Farley of Virginia Tech.
A high school quarterback who started his college career as a receiver, Farley is a phenomenal talent. He is almost six feet tall and has long enough arms to play an offensive tackle. In 2019, he authorized a 25% capture rate, according to Sports Info Solutions. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed just five assists on 27 passing targets thrown more than 10 yards into the field.
RELATED: JIM MORA JR. ON SCOUTING OF INJURED PLAYERS
However, he missed the last two games of the 2019 season with a back injury that required surgery. Then he chose not to participate in the 2020 season. Finally, he underwent a second unrelated back surgery that forced him to miss the professional day at Virginia Tech. Farley said he would be ready for training camp but, really, who knows?
The teams have different opinions that go beyond Farley’s availability for August.
“We heard several things,” said a team’s personnel manager. “Some people didn’t take it off the board, but they docked it where they didn’t take it until the second. Some people have it right where they would have it if they were healthy. There are a few teams that took him off the board. We are in this first group. We did not remove it, but we definitively docked it. His injury is quite significant. He will play. We never know. You roll the dice. You are betting on the odds. He’s less likely to be fully healthy and still playing well thanks to a second contract, so he’s a bit tied up for that.
However, some teams don’t mind a second contract. The only thing that matters is whether he can pull off the four-year rookie deal. A scout from another team said Farley’s place on the board had not been affected by the surgeries. A third-team scout said that “there was no way” Farley would last until Pick 20, let alone No 29, where the Packers reside.
The back can be fickle, as anyone with back problems can attest. But a back injury is not a death knell either. Rob Gronkowski had back surgery and could have cashed out a $ 4 million insurance policy. Instead, he was drafted in the second round and has a legendary career.
“Hers is different,” the personnel manager said. “Gronk had surgery before he came out and Farley had two. He has injuries on several levels. When you have multi-level back surgeries, these are two different places where the pressure is redistributed. This is what makes it a little riskier. First, it’s on many levels and, two, it’s two before he played an NFL game and one is recent. He should be fine but you never know. He’s just rehabilitating right now.
2021 NFL Draft Class Stories, Stats & Scout Reports
History guides watch linebackers
Parsons, Owusu-Koramoah and Collins lead superb linebacker class
History guides take a look at defensive tackles
Bartender at the top of the weak defensive linemen class
History Guides Watch Receivers
Toney, Bateman is part of the group available to packers
History guides examine offensive tackles
Loaded class awaits needy packers
History guides examine the inner offensive line
Vera-Tucker, Humphrey and the rest of the O-Linemen from within
History guides watch tight ends
Pitts lead tight ends weak group
History and better perspectives at Running Back
History and better insights at Quarterback