NOTE: In the days leading up to the draft, Dairyland Express will profile the players who could potentially be coming to the Green Bay Packers with the 21st overall pick in the first round. Today, Louisville safety Calvin Pryor.
Calvin Pryor is rated as the second-best safety prospect in the draft by Scouts Inc. He left the University of Louisville after his junior season after being named to the All-American Athletic Conference first team.
Scouts Inc. rates Pryor as above average for his build—at a shade taller than 5-foot-11 and 207 pounds, he’s got the size to play the safety position, but there are concerns that an all-out playing style leaves him vulnerable to big plays and to injuries. However, he didn’t miss a start in three seasons at Louisville due to injury.
He diagnoses running plays quickly, but can be too aggressive in his angles of pursuit, which can make the defense vulnerable. As a pass defender, he is good at reading a quarterback’s eyes and has the ability to bait quarterbacks into making throws because he gets early jumps on the ball.
He is rated as exceptional in run support, with good strength for his size—his 18 reps in the bench press at the NFL Combine were the most of anyone at his position.
As far as off the field goes, he was suspended for one game last season for violation of a team rule, but coaches speak highly of his character and intelligence; the transgression that drew the suspension was considered to be way out of the norm for Pryor.
NFL.com draft tracker has Pryor as a top-15 prospect and the Packers would be fortunate if he were to fall to them at No. 21. He might be the most explosive hitter of this year’s class at his position and is a player who would immediately shore up the Packers’ sometimes leaky run defense while also being rangy enough to play center field in deep coverage schemes.
Last year at Louisville, he had 75 tackles, seven passes defensed, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and 5.5 tackles for loss.