11

May

My Newest Favorite Packers Draft Pick – Alex Green

Um, who is Alex Green? I have to admit, that was my first reaction to the announcement of the Packers’ third round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. I hadn’t really paid much attention to running backs in my pre-draft research. I can blame that on the CheeseheadTV Draft guide, which had me spending all of my free time studying offensive tackles and outside linebackers.

I did expect the Packers to take a running back, but not until day three of the draft. So when the Packers selected Green, I raised my eyebrows a bit, read a few scouting reports and was satisfied that it seemed like a decent pick. When the draft concluded, I have to say that there was a lot that I liked about how it had all worked out for the Green Bay Packers. The Packers took three players I was really hoping for (Sherrod, Cobb and Guy), and a few I consider very pleasant surprises (House, Williams, & Elmore).

But what about this Alex Green? Well, since the draft ended, I’ve been quietly compiling information and watching tape. I can now truly say – I like this pick as much as I do those of Sherrod and Cobb.

First, a little background. I’ve been watching football for over 40 years and I’ve always been a bruising running game kind of guy. I’ve always been drawn to teams that could run it down your throat and there was nothing you could do about it. The Packers with Taylor and Hornung. The Dolphins with Csonka, Kiick and Morris. The Steelers with Harris and Bleier. Of course, those were all a long time ago and it’s a different NFL now.

As recently as during the 2010 season, I was still steadfastedly holding to my belief that a championship caliber team needs at least a “consistent” running game.  Of course, the Packers went out and proved that to be just a bunch of hooey, and finally broke though that wall of denial I had built around myself. Yes, I am now a believer. Running game, schmunning game – who needs it?

But while the Packers proved to me you don’t “need” it, I don’t think anyone would argue it would be a hell of an additional weapon to have. Well Good Golly Miss Molly, I believe the Packers agree. With their selection of Alex Green, adding to the Ryan Grant – James Starks mix, the Packers are saying to opposing defensive coordinators – good luck game planning us.

But getting back to Alex Green, here are some tidbits from the official NFL scouting report that you may like:

Green is an excellent downhill runner, a pounder who runs with a low pad level and shows good leg drive and short area burst past the line of scrimmage.

There is a lot of Michael Turner in him, as his stamina, thanks to his conditioning, seems to allow him to look stronger deep in games.

The thing that you notice on film is his ability to generate in-stride quickness when adjusting and changing direction. He has that short area burst, along with the ability to take a side to avoid low blocks.

He is a pure power runner with above average downhill ability. He does a good job of lowering his shoulder and driving through initial tackles.

He does a good job of looking the ball in with his hands and can gain yardage after the catch.

As a third down back, he is capable of getting to the flares, arrows and comebacks, as his route regimen is not limited like most college backs.

Green is a good cut blocker and is alert to blitzes and stunts, showing the ability to face up, but he needs to sustain his blocks longer.

Compares to:   MICHAEL TURNER-Atlanta…Turner is a few pounds bigger, but both get most of their success pounding the inside rush lanes. Green is an excellent downhill runner with good power and vision. He has become a valuable route runner and has solid ball security skills. Near the goal line, he’s almost a certain six points, scoring 9 –of-18 touchdowns last year near the end zone.

I especially love that last part – Michael Turner? Yeah, we’ll take that.

Based on what I first read of Alex Green (strong runner, good pass catcher, can block…) my initial impression was that this guy is simply Brandon Jackson’s replacement. But then there’s the film. The more you watch, the more you like. On tape, you can’t help but notice his quickness and burst when he has some running room. He’s not going to wow you with fancy moves, but he can make defensive backs miss and does not go down easily. He doesn’t hesitate behind the line of scrimmage and makes good lane decisions (can he spell ZBS?). And as advertised, he can push the pile when he needs to.

Certainly, the level of competition will be just a little bit tougher in the NFL. But based on everything I’ve seen, I believe Green can be a feature back in this league, not just a part-time player. Maybe ten years from now, we’ll be looking back at these Packers teams with the same kind running game admiration mentioned previously.  Nah, that’s never going to happen as long as Air McCarthy is still in town.  We’ll just have to settle for better results when they do decide to run the ball.

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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44 Responses to “My Newest Favorite Packers Draft Pick – Alex Green”

  1. Lucas says:

    Another Packer A. Green seemed to enjoy contact, catch well, and was excellent in short yardage.
    He seems to have this ‘Mike Neal’ feeling to him. At first people questioned the pick, but eventually saw the TT (read expert) of the idea.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      That’s a VERY interesting analogy, Lucas. I had the exact same initial reaction last year to the Neal pick. Although with Neal, there was very little game tape on him, so it was difficult to be confident in the pick until we got to see him play.

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    • Well, it is decent, however how about additional choices we have here? Would you mind making one more post regarding them too? Thanks!

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  2. Tarynfor12 Taryn says:

    Last year I was a strong supporter of Starks and many said he was a fumbler,injury prone,small school and hadn’t played in two years and he wouldn’t be a factor for the Packers.
    As much as I was dismayed by those labels put on him and then watching his interviews only gave me more assurance of his desire and eventual ability that came to shine.
    Alex Green appears to have talent and for me the best part is what the Packers need in a RB whether as an every down or just a 3rd down guy,the push,move and fall forward constant effort.
    Now for the gasp,I don’t want a MIchael Turner on the Packers.We don’t need a Turner on the Packers.Like you said AL,it’s a style that is gone and will be a while longer.
    The Turner game is viable to a point and then becomes a hindrance and considering what Atlanta did in the draft,they have reached that acceptance.Some will disagree.
    IMO,if he is a Turner type I would rally strongly for his trade to a team who still lives by that code of offense,as it not only kills the clock(at times)but it kills your season more often.
    Green looks like he can be a huge benefit if used for the Packers offense and not to re-direct it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      I like the Turner comparison as far as body type and durability. Green has more “shake” than Turner. And don’t worry, MM is never going to use any running back like Atlanta used Turner. (i.e. over relying on him).

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  3. FireMMNow says:

    i like alex green as a player, i just think there were other directions to go in the third round. your reply to taryn is the main reason i did not love the pick. MM prefers to have one main guy and a third down back. grant and starks are on the roster. Now we have 3 guys to split about 18 meaningful carries a game. MM might run the ball 30 times in some games but usually that is when the packers are up big and are just chewing clock. when the game is on the line he will throw it every time. i would have preferred a DE, CB or OLB, but alex green does look like a player. he reminds me of steven jackson from st. louis a little bit.

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      You know TT is always looking 2 years ahead – Grant could very well be gone after this season.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

      • FireMMNow says:

        any chance he will be gone before this season? if his injury is not healing well he could be a cap casualty couldn’t he? i am wondering if TT and the training staff are not liking what they are seeing in grant’s recovery.

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        • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

          Not very likely. Grant has said he was fully healed before the regular season ended. Thompson recently said in a press conference that “Grant isn’t going anywhere.”

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    • Lucas says:

      MM seems to be a master at utilizing a full 53 man roster. If a player has a strength, he finds his way onto the field. MM is very flexible with his roster use. Grant was simply better than other backs and therefore saw the most field time. B-Jack was a better receiver/blitz pick-up guy (3rd down) and therefore saw those situations. MM won’t change his M.O. of using his roster and the talent that is on it.

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      • Lucas says:

        Are there any statistics out there on how many non-starters are chosen to be on the field as part of sub-packages? Does MM use most of his roster?

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  4. FireMMNow says:

    one of the guys i watch the draft with was really high on alex green and was pumped when the packers picked him. it is always a good feeling when the packers pick “your guy”.

    this year it was dj williams for me. love that pick.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  5. StCroixCheese says:

    Does he look like Ahman Green to anyone? Strong down hill, fumble concern, can break 3rd and 1 for a big gain.

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      A little. I like FireMM’s Stephen Jackson comparison better, though.

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    • PackersRS says:

      I don’t think so, but with his name, A. Green, I just know I’m gonna be calling him Ahman Green at some point.

      Maybe we should attribute some nickname to him. Robin, anyone? No? Well, screw you guys, I’m calling him Robin.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. JeffN says:

    You can always pick up starting running backs in rounds 2, 3, or 4. Plus it’s TT picking this guy. Probably will be a stud.

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  7. jOe says:

    I’m kind of new here and I have a question for FireMMNow. What is your beef with MM? Thought he has done a great job?

    And since this is a thread about Green, I think Green is a good pick. I hope he transitions well, making college defenders look bad is a lot different then making pro defenders look bad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Last year, when the Packers were struggling, he wanted everyone fired. Now that everything turned out pretty well, he’s kept the name as sort of running self-deprecating joke.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. STERLING84 says:

    Alex Green is a solid RB. My hope is that TT saw something in him that made him “special.” This was a very DEEP class in terms of RB talent, and I thought the best value at RB was going to be in the 5th round. I do agree with Jersey Al that the Alex Green selection probably means that Ryan Grant is gone after this year. Having 3 good RB’s on the roster is nice to have. In the words of Lindy Infante after he drafted Darrel Thompson when he had Keith Woodside and Brent Fullowood already on the roster: “YOU CAN’T HAVE TOO MANY CADILLACS IN THE GARAGE.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. STERLING84 says:

    jOe….please don’t say anything to FireMMNow. He’s kind of the bully of this chat room. If you cross him he will break you down and make you feel stupid. Just agree with what he says so he leaves you alone….so he leaves us ALL alone. He can be hurtful, I know from experience. Just don’t call him out like that ever again….if he hates MM, let him hate MM….it’s better than him hating on us!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Oh come on now Sterling. I don’t ever recall any issues with FireMMNow. And you shouldn’t ever be afraid to express your opinion, even if everyone is going to mock you. Look at Rashard Mendenhall – ok, bad example. :)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  10. Oppy says:

    HAd no idea who this cat was when the Packers took him, but immediately found this same highlight reel within minutes of the pick.

    I found three things that Alex Green displays on almost every run on that tape:

    1) Decisive, one cut runner. Yes, his holes are huge in that spread offense, but all we can do is watch the RB- and he immediately plants his foot, decisively picks his direction, and gets north and south IMMEDIATELY.

    2) He has just enough wiggle to make the first defender he encounters in open space miss. One thing I saw is that great high-knee stutter step before juking a defender out of his jock strap. Haven’t seen a GB back do that since.. Uh, forever.

    3) He finds a way / fights his way to get an extra yard or two after defenders make contact or wrap him up, and often slips the initial tackle attempt. He is not a bowling ball as some scouting reports have advertised, but he does know how to use angles and leverage to get a few more steps forward.

    Again, all three of these attributes are to be found on almost every run in that highlight clip. Looks like a great match for the ZBS, but the obvious question is can he do all these things when the hole or crease is 2′ wide as opposed to the 8′-12′ wide lanes he’s accustomed to in that spread. I think he will transition just fine.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Oppy,

      Your #1 is what makes him better than Brandon Jackson RIGHT NOW. #2 was what surprised me most when watching his film. #3 McCarthy will love…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Lucas says:

        Did you know B-Jack approached Dancing With the Stars? They had to turn him down because it was so clear he had enough dancing talent to win.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      • Oppy says:

        I think B-Jax has so much potential, but unfortunately, his inability to be decisive in the back field is a deal breaker for him, I agree completely.

        Strange thing about Brandon is, watch him when he receives a pass. Completely different- he tucks it away and immediately looks up field, making an instantaneous decision on where he’s going, and he hits the gas.. When he’s behind the O-line, it’s like he’s trying to do Chinese arithmetic.

        I think if things work out, the Packers may end up having the deepest RB corps in the NFL. Maybe not the most dynamic, but the deepest. Grant, Starks, Green, Jackson, Nance is a pretty good pool to chose from..

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. john says:

    when i watched the draft this was the pick that i was the most excited about, i couldnt figure out why everyone was so down on him. im glad someone is starting to think the same way i do. running back is one of the easiest positions to play in the NFL as a rookie, i wouldnt be surprised if he makes a big impact this year.
    does anyone know where to find video of him running not in the spread. in short yardage or 8 men in the box situations?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      I don’t remember anyone being “down” on him, but I do think he was mis-characterized. From the original descriptions I heard, I was expecting a fullback-type. Green has a lot more “shake” than he was being given credit for.

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      • john says:

        i read and heard from several people online and tv that it was a huge reach, his skills wont translate, not enough experience, etc. i looked at his highlights and saw a back who exploded through the hole and on contact, he made defenders miss and was quick with reads. i do think in his highlights he left some yards on the field for a few but still think he will be an above average back. i actually like him more than starks for the future

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  12. [...] Jersey Al on his Newest Favorite Packers Draft Pick – Alex Green. [...]

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  13. STERLING84 says:

    FireMMNow is a scary man…..scary. I’ll express my opinion, but I will continue to tip my hat and greet FireMMNow with a kind smile and quick bow in the internet world. I want no trouble from him….no trouble. If we were in the old west, I would be the nerdy school teacher, and FireMMNow would be the gun slinger with a quick temper that would just as soon shoot me as look at me.
    Great points on Alex Green FireMMNow….great points…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • FireMMNow says:

      Do not forget that your wife would give me yearning glances while she made us biscuits. I would sit at your table and clean my gun while your son looked at me in admiration. You would see his face and try to engage me in a battle of wits to prove yourself to your family, then I would pistol whip you, kiss your wife and let your son shoot an apple off your head with my gun.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      • Oppy says:

        +1

        ….And if I could make that +1 flash like a strobelight and do a little jig, I would

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      • ZeroTolerance says:

        Wow. I have a completely different picture. I’ll keep it to myself.

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  14. jOe says:

    Thanks for the history. I sympathize with FireMMNow as I have wanted at different times to have Billy Schreoder fired, Bubba Franks fired, and now Jared Bush fired. I also wanted TT fired when we passed on taking Favre back.

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Never McCarthy? Not even after the Detroit game?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • FireMMNow says:

        freeman at the end of his career and billy schroeder as the packers top two WRs were dark days. i have lost pretty much all the respect i ever had for #4, but those two were awful. impossible to cheer for. i love WRs more than any other position. those guys sucked. ugh…it pains me to think about them.

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  15. ZeroTolerance says:

    Has speed in addition to quickness. DBs and LBs don’t seem to want to hit him straight up one on one.

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Good to see you again, Zero. Don’t be a stranger!

      Did you see the play where he stiff-armed a DB to the ground like he was a folding chair? It’s on youtube.

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  16. TC says:

    Wow Chris Bermen is going to have a field day with this guy, lots of wows, woops , bang bang, and the Green machine I can see and here it already great pick

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