The Green Bay Packers did extensive research on a specific pair of skill position players ahead of the 2022 NFL draft.
According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the Packers "have done a lot of work" on both Virginia tight end Jelani Woods and Georgia receiver George Pickens during the pre-draft process.
Both could be potential Day 2 targets for the Packers on Friday.
Woods is intriguing based on his "physical traits and upside," per Fowler. A three-time All-Big 12 pick at Oklahoma State, Woods transferred to Virginia in 2021 and blossomed into a pass-catching threat. He hauled in 44 passes for 598 yards and eight touchdowns over 11 games.
Woods really elevated his draft stock by acing the pre-draft process, at least athletically. At 6-7 and 253 pounds, Woods ran the 40-yard dash in 4.61 seconds (1.57-second 10-yard split) and did 24 reps on the bench press at the combine. At his pro day, he hit 37.5″ in the vertical leap, covered 10-9 in the broad jump, and finished the short shuttle in 4.33 seconds and the three-cone drill in 6.95 seconds. He's one of the most athletic tight end prospects ever.
The Packers could see Woods as an ideal long-term replacement for Marcedes Lewis, who turns 38 years old next month and is entering the final year of his deal. Woods has the size, blocking potential and threatening athleticism to give the Packers a future starter at inline tight end.
Pickens looks like a first-round talent that could fall into Day 2, a sweet spot for the Packers at receiver. Per Fowler, some teams "have concerns" about off-the-field stuff. Without it, Pickens could be a prime target for the Packers at the end of the first round. Along with the Packers, the Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals have done work on Pickens during the pre-draft process. The Packers brought him to Green Bay for a Top 30 visit.
A prototypical "X" receiver with 4.4 speed, toughness and ball skills, Pickens would check a lot of boxes for the Packers. If he's not the pick in the first round, the Packers could move up from No. 53 overall in the second round to snag him on Friday.
It's not out of the realm of possibility for the Packers to get Pickens and Woods on Friday.
Unpacking Future Packers: No. 4 George Pickens
Unpacking Future Packers: No. 25 Jelani Woods