29

April

Packers GM Ted Thompson Pulls Another Fast One In Picking Derek Sherrod

Packers GM Ted Thompson has a long list of successful draft picks during his seven-year run as Green Bay’s draftmaster.

Some of those selections, like Jordy Nelson or A.J. Hawk, have become solid players for the Packers. Others have gone on to be Super Bowl MVP’s or Pro Bowlers.

But where will Thompson’s most recent pick, offensive tackle Derek Sherrod, fit in with his other successes?

You’d have to think somewhere closer to the latter group. Maybe not a Super Bowl MVP, but Sherrod looks like he might have Pro Bowls in his future.

Why? Sherrod simply has all the tools you’d covet in an offensive tackle.

To start, he undoubtedly looks the part. Sherrod is 6-5, 320 pounds with an 83 7/8″ wing span. For most NFL teams, that’s exactly the body you’re looking for in an offensive tackle.

But Sherrod does more than just look the part—the production matches the frame. Playing in SEC at Mississippi State, Sherrod didn’t allow a sack his final two seasons, and this is a conference that has featured several elite pass rushers over the years.

What really jumps out at you, however, is the cerebral capacity.  Sherrod graduated in just three years with a degree in business, and he started working on his Masters in 2010. Scouts note that he’s been a quick learner on the football field as well.

He’s going to be able to pick up an NFL offense in a hurry, and I have no worries about him being able to move around on the offensive line. He’s best suited to play tackle, but there’s no doubt in my mind that he could slide inside to guard and still be effective.

That should give the Packers plenty of flexibility on the offensive line. It’s still early, but if I had to make a prediction, I’d say Bryan Bulaga moves inside to left guard and Sherrod plays right tackle to open the 2011 season. Chad Clifton can stay at left tackle, and the Packers still have a plan B if his knees start barking at him.

Further down the road, Sherrod can then move to left tackle—he’s the more athletic player of the two—and Bulaga can move back to right tackle. Either way, the Packers have their bookend tackles.

Once Sherrod gets a hold of a tackle position, however, I’d say that spot is his for the foreseeable future. He’s good enough to start early, and he’s only going to get better.

And you have to give Thompson credit. He patiently waited at pick 32, resisting any temptation to move up, and still got a player that makes sense both short and long term.

The Packers didn’t get Mark Ingram, but they got a prospect who has all the tools to become a very good offensive tackle. In the end, that’s all that matters. They’ve given their No. 1 asset— quarterback Aaron Rodgers—some added protection and given their offensive line help for right now and down the road.

It’s not the sexiest pick in the world, but I have a feeling we’ll be looking back on this selection as one of Thompson’s best.

Call me a homer, but Sherrod should be racking up some frequent flier miles to and from Hawaii over the course of his career in Green Bay.

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Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.

You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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3 Responses to “Packers GM Ted Thompson Pulls Another Fast One In Picking Derek Sherrod”

  1. Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

    I disagree – I think it’s a VERY sexy pick. Love the big uglies…

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  2. Yoop says:

    I agree, you get the big uglies doing there job, EVERYONE else has it easy.

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  3. Tlvince says:

    Big Sexy, its going to be interesting to follow the career of Gabe Carimi who went 29th to Chicago and Derek Sherrod who went 32nd to GB, I wonder if Ted would have taken Sherrod over Carimi even if he was still on the board.

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