26

January

Packers Draft Season Commences: Getting Better in the Trenches

Packers NFL DraftThe new season starts now. As Packer fans our season ended earlier then anyone wants. Now after all the Fire the coaches, maybe still going on for some, the players are not this or not that talk lets look at where the Packers are and where they might be going.

Mike McCarthy has said many times it is not as bad as some think and was not as good as some think.

For me when you look at the two teams in the Super Bowl this year you see two things, two of the better or best Defensive lines and Offensive lines in the NFL. Both Super Bowl teams have a high number of first round draft picks on both sides of the ball.

You can have all the skilled position players you want, but the games are won and lost in the trenches. San Francisco’s offense was able to keep the Packers offense off the field, in both games they played this year, the 49ers had a the ball on offense way more then the Packers. In the Playoff game the 49ers had the ball for over 38 minutes. The Packers were just beat by the more talented team. The outcome of every game at the highest levels of the NFL comes down to a hand full of plays by the best players, this is where that talent make a difference..

The talent and the types of formations the 49ers have used these last two years is really quite impressive. Since 2005 the 49ers have selected players at the #1, #6, #7, #10, #11, #17, #22, #28, #29 and #30 spot in the first round. All but one of those players are still on the team. Now that #1 player most likely will not be back this next year, but he did take them to the NFC Championship game last year at QB and had a good record this season before being injured, and the new QB was picked at the #36 spot.

In that same time frame the Packers have picked at the #24, #5, #16, #36, #9, #26, #23 , #32 and #28 on those again one player is not on the team. But for this season three of those picks were injured and did not play in the final game or much if any of the season.

For the Packers to take that next step and it is not as big a step as some think, both the lines need to be addressed.

For the offensive line, it is easier then the defensive line. Bulaga will be back, Newhouse improved through out the season so I don’t look at him as a liability and a off season for both Datko and Sherrod go a long way toward making that a much better tackle group. Lang, while better then Colledge, needs to be pushed, hard. Sitton might be the best lineman of the group, he was elevated to the ProBowl this week and he deserves that.

Center needs to be addressed either though development or the draft. I would like to see Barclay either at center or guard to push Lang. Barclay did a good job filling in, but had help on nearly every down in pass protection, I am not saying he is bad in pass protection, I think he showed decent feet, a good hand punch, and can sink his hips and play with leverage. I am saying he is not an NFL level OT and he showed good run blocking. He has the anchor needed on the inside of the offensive line and the movement skills of a OT. For me that makes a damn good C or LG. EDSmith needs to be upgraded at center. He did a good job, but that position needs to be so much better.

The #1 center in the draft is Barrett Jones from Alabama. I have watched him quite a bit and really like the way he plays. He also fits the Packers in that he has played OG, LT, and Center for the Tide and did it at a high level. He did have foot surgery after the season so you have to be real careful about making him a first round pick for a team that needs help on both sides of the ball on the lines.

For the me the #2 center is Travis Fredrick from Wisconsin. Fredrick would make a nice second round pick for the Packers. He can also play either center of guard. After that, I would rather see them develop someone like Barclay instead or if someone like Barclay could beat out Lang at LG move Lang to Center, something I talked about quite a bit earlier in his time with the Packers. Lang was a LT in college so he has the movement skills needed at Center.

Later in the draft I like some LT prospects. Xavier Nixon 6-5 311# Florida in the 5th or later, and one you might not hear much about is Manase Foketi 6-5 333# West Texas State.

The Dline is a different animal. IMO Raji and Pickett should never play DE. The best use of them is at NT and just rotate them. To do that the team needs to get much better at DE. Wilson is a decent run stopper, Neal if healthy and it looks like he might actually be able to stay that way, with some actual playing time can be a good option. Worthy will be slowed in his development with his knee surgery, Daniels is nothing more then a rotational, situational player. They need to draft multiple DE’s and more of the Prototypical type 3-4 DE’s.

One of the prospects I like in this draft is Marcus Hunt 6-8 280# SMU, Played in the 3-4 in college, and is a physical freak. He can pass rush and run stop and is a HUGE threat on special teams in blocking kicks. Hunt is the type of 3-4 DE the Packers need. He is worthy of that #26 pick and fills a need along with moving up to the level of ranking.

I will do another piece on Linebackers shortly, but just for fun here is a mock draft I did the other day taking the needs of the Lines into consideration.
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Ok lets start this with TT making moves, He trades down with the Bengals giving up his #26 pick for the Bengals # 37 and #55 picks.

With the #37 pick TT selects Marcus Hunt DE SMU 6-7 280#. The prototypical DE they do not have now. A physical freak that can pass rush, stop the run and block kicks on special teams.

#55 Travis Frederick, C Wisconsin 6-4 338#. Considered the second best Center in the draft. Can play Guard and Center. Fills a big need with a big man.

#57 Chase Thomas, OLB Sanford 6-4 245# The depth at OLB has to be improved and some one has to push Perry. All the others are not worth even mentioning on the team now.

#90 Tony Jefferson, FS Oklahoma 5-11 212# Can play either safety spot and play in the box or deep. Face it Burnett is still learning, MD is not the answer, McMillian has the tools but need to progress and off season will be big for him. This pick adds the depth and competition.

#121 Kiko Alonso ILB Oregon. 6-4 246# A very good fit the the Packers 3-4 ILB. I don’t have to say anything about needing to improve the ILB’s and Bishop and Smith are not the answer.

#154 Kwame Geathers, DT Georgia 6-5 355# Can play both 3-4 DE and NT. Someone has to spell Raji at NT and Neither Raji or Pickett should ever play DE again.

#185 Rex Burkhead, RB Nebraska 5-11 210# Just hard nosed football player.

#218 Manase Foketi, OT 6-5 330#. Well worth a higher draft pick. I doubt he will still be here, but that is where he is ranked now. A steal and great depth, I would want to see him at both OT and OG.

What do the teams in the Super Bowl have? Two of the better or best Olines and Dlines in the NFL. This draft goes a long ways towards making that so for the Packers. And improving the Linebackers.

 

Thanks for this post to draft-season contributor Don Christensen, known as “Yoop” on the TalkinPackers forum.

57 Responses to “Packers Draft Season Commences: Getting Better in the Trenches”

  1. lmills says:

    Good article. Thanks for writing, but I absolutely disagree with one thing. Bishop IS worthy of starting at ILB. Smith is wait and see right now, maybe not quite athletic enough. Bishop is the real deal.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

    • Don "Yoop" Christensen Yoop says:

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 11

      • ThomasMagnumPI ThomasMagnumPI says:

        I am very interested to see what your argument is for replacing Bishop. He was very effective in 2011, but I’m guessing the knock on him will be the lack of speed to take care of running QBs and/or poor pass coverage.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  2. NYPACKER says:

    Great read! I agree that talent has to be upgraded on both lines, but also question if our current schemes fit our current personnel? Raji, to me, seems better equipped to be a DTackle in a 4-3 scheme, where he could use his best attributes (quickness & ability to penetrate) instead of just “eating up blockers”…he & Pickett would make a formidable duo at DT’s…however I realize that other parts of the defense are built to play the 3-4 (Matthews). Perhaps “morphing the defense more to tailor it to individual strengths, kind of like what Capers has done over the years with Woodson? On offense, I’d like to see us mix in (ala SF) more traps, pulls, wham blocks, etc. instead of using the zone blocking scheme exclusively.

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    • Don "Yoop" Christensen Yoop says:

      It is hard to find NT’s that fit the 3-4. Raji and Pickett both can handle it. Would Raji be a better three technique then a NT, I think he can play both well. Same with Pickett.
      My biggest thing is that neither play DE in the 3-4.
      As for the Zone blocking scheme on offense the Packers do not use it exclusively. But like you I would like to see more pulling/trapping.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

      • Stroh says:

        Agree that Raji and Pickett are both NT. Raji can play 3 tech DT due to his athletic ability and pass rush. Pickett is not a good 3 tech DT. He is purely a run stopper and basically a NT only. He can play a little 5 tech as a 34 DE, but he struggles w/ that due to his limited mobility. That lack of mobility means he isn’t a good 3 tech DT. At this stage in his career Pickett is a NT only, he no longer has the mobility to play 34 DE, much less 3 tech DT. In another 3 or 4 years Raji will be like Pickett and no longer have the mobility to make plays on the move.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  3. holmer says:

    I love your posts Al. I was thinking about the 4-3 myself-especilly when there was outside pressure on the passer and there would be two running lanes for the QB. How many times did even average running QB’s pick up 10-12 yards and a first down? The 4-3 would close some of that down. The only personnel problem is with Matthews as he is made for a 3-4 OLB and might not be as effective as a 4-3 OLB. I’d like to see Capers get more creative with his fronts/personnel.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

    • Dobber says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t CMIII play with his hand down in college (i.e. a rush end)?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      • Yoop says:

        No he was a OLB. Perry was a hand on the ground DE.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

      • Stroh says:

        Clay played a hybrid role at USC. Part DE and part OLB, I think USC called it an Elephant position. When Perry took over after CLay left, it went to a true 43 D and Perry was a DE. Clay had played safety early in his USC career before putting on alot of weight (late bloomer). Mostly he played from a standing position, but he did have his hand on the ground at times too.

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  4. James david Marsh says:

    It is way too early to project anything passed the second round in the draft. First one has to deside which players GB would like to draft and then slot them in a draft order and see how the top of the draft develops and then make “moves” based on what you see happening. I want the best players available at any of these positions: DE, OLB, ILB, OL, and RB. GB will not move to a 4-3 deffense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  5. Klausen says:

    I don’t quite understand why you think Raji shouldn’t play DE.. He has graded out much better once moved to DE later in the season than he did at NT earlier. As for Pickett, I agree, but as somebody else described, Raji’s strength is his combination of quickness and power/size.. I think if he’d slim down a bit and get leaner, while hopefully keeping his power, he could make a damn good DE.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    • ThomasMagnumPI ThomasMagnumPI says:

      I was just going to say the same thing about Raji grading out much better at DE than NT. Of course, that may be because of the different responsibilities of the DE position vs NT, but does it matter?

      Why not improve the DL across the board by getting the 3 best guys out there for the situation? That could mean a line of Raji and Pick at DE with a to-be-named monster NT. Just a thought . . .

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    • Don "Yoop" Christensen Yoop says:

      Raji does not have the length to play 3-4 DE effectively or the agility. He has good short area quickness, but he is slow to move laterally. If Raji and Pickett did nothing but rotate at NT both would be better. Now short yardage sure get them both on the field as a NT and DT.
      But in the base 3-4 neither have the agility to play the DE position as it should be.
      And the taller DE’s also add the threat of batting down passes that Raji and Pickett are not going to bring to the table.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

      • ThomasMagnumPI ThomasMagnumPI says:

        I don’t know what the Pro Football Focus ratings take into account, but it seems that their scoring system disagrees with your assessment. I really can’t say with which one I agree, but it seems that Raji has lost some effectiveness as a NT. That being said, I have to admit that I really don’t know what the assignments are in every given situation, so it is difficult for me to tell whether the big nasties up front are “getting it done” or not.

        What I can tell, though, is that GB needs to get tougher up front on both sides of the ball, and that obviously all starts on defense with the “Big 3.” I just wonder if the best technique at “fixing” the front 3 isn’t so much with inserting an effective 5 technique as it is getting another effective NT in there, and shifting the best personnel to their most effective positions. Maybe that ends up being Raji and Pick at DE and a high draft pick at NT.

        I think this demonstrates, to some extent, how flexible TT can be with this year’s draft since he doesn’t have to focus on finding “a pass-rusher opposite Mathews” or “an OT” this year, as in years’ past.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

        • Yoop says:

          Just because he graded out better at DE does not make it that he should be a DE.
          If all you did is rotate Pickett and Raji at NT both would be better. Raji’s best year as a Packer was 2010, where he played NT, more tackles, more sacks.
          2010 he was also healthy all year and at that position that make a huge difference, 2009 ankle injury, 2012 ankle injury.
          2011 WAY to many snaps.

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          • Klausen says:

            Yeah, sure, but this year his production in the beginning of the season was bad.. Seriously, he hardly made any tackles at all.. Once they’ve moved him to DE, his stats jumped up quite a bit, and I believe that Pickett still had pretty nice stats at NT, so that at least tells me that Pickett is a much better NT than Raji. I’d really like to see how Raji does as a full time DE.. Once working out as one, that should really improve his ability at that spot, and I think because of his quickness, he might make a bigger impact at DE than NT..

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            • Stroh says:

              NT are supposed to take on at least 2 blockers. Judging a NT by tackles make no sense at all. Of course his tackles are gonna jump at DE, he’s in better position to be able to make tackles.

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      • Dobber says:

        Playable depth on the DL goes a long way toward improving the performance of the defense. If you can rotate–without major dropoff–two men on the nose, and 3-4 at end, you’re always fresh.

        Even if your offense is having a bad day, it’s much harder to wear down 6 guys than 3 or 4.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

      • Klausen says:

        Sure, with a taller DE, there’s the tread of batting down passes and I would really like to see that in a DE for GB, but I still think Raji has great athletic ability for a guy his size.. He dropped into coverage and intercepted a pass, for gods sake..
        I personally think if he lost about 20lbs of belly fat, and really worked on explosion and power, he’d be a monster at 3-4 DE, cause of his experience and ability to handle double teams and two gap responsibility, but also his power and quickness..

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. JT Grady says:

    Overall I like ur post. Disagree w/ u about Bishop. Bishop if healthy will make a big difference. He is one of the best ILB in NFL.
    Love ur mock, especially first two guys.
    Not sure if Barclay or Lang oould b Centers, would b interested to find out. If Pack drafts a Cooper or Frederick then no need to find out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  7. Ron LC says:

    Yoop, this is the first post of yours I’ve read and I can honetly say I’m in total agreement with your direction for the draft. Good Job!

    I particularly like the Travis Fredrick selection, if he’s there. EDS is nothing more than a replacement player. He can’t handle a tackle on his nose, he’s just too small and not strong enough. Travis is a beast.

    Don’t know much about Hunt but, he sounds like a JJ Watt wanna be. At half the level of performance of JJ and the Dline has made a huge step forward. I can’t wait to see what the draft brings. It needs to be a good one.

    By the way, Yoop is reference to the U.P.? Many relatives in Menominee!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

    • Stroh says:

      Everyone thought Wells was nothing more than a player waiting to be replaced till he became a starter. THen a couple years later he became a Pro Bowl Center. EDS is along the same path as Wells was. Got released, rededicated himself and now has earned a starting job. If we can get a clear upgrade I don’t have a problem w/ drafting a Center, but I’m not soo sure a drafted player would automatically be an upgrade. I have a feeling EDS is along the same path as Wells was about 6 or 7 years ago.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

    • Don "Yoop" Christensen Yoop says:

      Yes it is a U.P. reference, I live across the border just a stones throw from the U.P. from Kingsford, grew up in Kingsford.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  8. James says:

    I like this article post. I don’t agree with Raji only being a Nose Tackle. I think he collapsed the pocket a lot at the 3 or 5 position. The problem Raji had was wrapping up on tackles.
    How bout both Raji and Picket playing the D-Line in the down position, Matthews and Perry off ends, and One extra Strong Safety or Quick on there feet, Inside Linebacker draft …Like you said Kiko Alonso. That would be a 2-5 defense. Better to cope with running backs like Adrian Peterson and contain QB’s like Kaepernick.
    How bout drafting a beast like Kawaan Short to replace CJ Wilson ad D-End…I am sure he would be better at that position from the get go.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  9. Lucas says:

    Anybody else read that Frederick may make a better guard than center?
    I would like to know more about Brandon Williams…possible later rounds?
    Take the best DE or DT available…either way, Picket and Raji benefit.
    A starter at DE would give us Rookie, Picket, Raji against the run and some sophomore development and Wilson for depth. The nickel and against the pass, we could feature Raji and Worthy (hopefully).
    A starting caliber at DT would allow Raji and Picket to play ends against the run.
    I really prefer Raji on the end being allowed to be more aggressive with CMIII able to run twist and stunts with him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  10. Stroh says:

    First of all it Margus Hunt not Marcus Hunt. Next just cuz he’s tall and a really good athlete doesn’t make him a good football player. He makes some splashy plays like blocking some kicks, but as a 34 DE he would be a poor fit. First job for a 34 DE is to play the run well. To do that you have to play w/ good leverage and maintain control of 2 gaps. Hunt is much too thin and light right now to hold up against the run. Besides being too light, he also doesn’t play w/ good leverage (pad level) to hold up in the run game. As w/ alot of really tall DE he plays way to high and gets push around against the run. That does not make a good 34 DE! He’s supposed to be a great athlete, but it takes alot more than being a great athlete to be a good Football player. Right now he is far more an athlete than he is a Football player. And for as tall as he is he doesn’t do a good job of getting his hands up and into passing lanes.

    Calais Campbell is the only 34 DE that is really tall, but is becuz he plays w/ tremendous leverage and keeps his pads low that he is such a great 34 DE, not becuz he is tall. I would pass on Hunt. Sounds like he is too tall and just an athlete. Being a great athlete didn’t work very well for Mamula and Gholston. He also sounds like he has poor instincts for the game.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    • Don "Yoop" Christensen Yoop says:

      Well watch him play and give me your opinion. I’ll give you a different one to read.

      http://www.nfl.com/draft/2013/profiles/margus-hunt?id=2539310

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

      • Stroh says:

        It talks alot about his athletic ability and the splash plays he makes, and his potential. Doesn’t say anything about what a 34 DE must be able to do.

        I don’t draft guys unless they’ve shown the skills to perform what they need at their position. Hunt hasn’t shown he can play w/ leverage, hasn’t shown he can control 2 gaps. Just cuz he has size (height) doesn’t mean he has the bulk to stand up to 2 300+ OL. At 280 and 25 yrs old he is probably at his max weight. So its unlikely he is gonna get up to 310 or more.

        This talks more about what his play was like… http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1724952/margus-hunt
        And I don’t see a good 34 DE skill set. Getting blown off the LOS doesn’t make a good 34 DE. Has he actually shown he can hold the Point vs a double team like a 34 DE must do? Sounds like he is poor ability to do anything but move in a straight line.

        We already have used 3 high draft picks on DT that can rush the passer, 4 if you count Daniels. Raji, Neal, Worthy. Neal and Worthy haven’t played enough, but have potential to be good interior pass rushers. We need a 34 DE that is great against the run. Doesn’t sound like Hunt is that.

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        • Dobber says:

          “I don’t draft guys unless they’ve shown the skills to perform…”

          Are we talking FFL here?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    • Lucas says:

      Completely disagree about Campbell being the only “really tall” DE. Check out some 34 teams. 6’4″-6’5″ is pretty normal for the successful 34 teams.
      I agree Margus is light. If he can put on weight and not lose his athleticism, he may be worth a 2nd pick. He seems to play too upright according to some reports from the senior bowl. This is what you were saying about leverage and low pads… MM, is that you?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

      • Stroh says:

        By Really tall, I mean over 6’6. The prototype is 6’4 or 6’5. We don’t know how much weight he can put on. For all we know he is a natural 220 lb guy that is bulked up as much as he possibly can. Every person has a genetic limit to his max weight and most athletes by age 25 (which Hunt is) are at the max weight already. I doubt he has much growth potential anymore. Playing upright, leverage, pad level are pretty much the same thing. There’s a reason they are used so much… It very important in football.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

        • Yoop says:

          He is 6-8 he can add weight. Unless you are picking in the top 10 or maybe 15 in the draft, you are drafting players to develop.
          He has rare athletic ability for a big man. It is reported he ran a 4.7 40 at SMU. That type of quickness and speed at the DE position is more OLB then DE. The other REALLY big thing is his dedication and work ethic.
          Hunt did not become a double gold medalist because he will not do the work needed to be excel or not be coachable.
          Since you are so agaisnt that pick, who would you pick as a 3-4 DE in this draft and why?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

          • Stroh says:

            I doubt he can gain much weight. First of all he is a fully mature grown man (25yrs old), not a 22 yr old who still might be filling out. Second if he was a decathlete, he has been training his entire life, since teenage, so his muscle growth is likely very near his max. Trird, being a decathlete means having an athletic built (Mesomorph), w/ a thin waist and long torso. Thats great for being an athlete/decathlete but means he doesn’t have the big legs/hips (endomorph?) to anchor vs the run.

            I don’t necessarily agree we should draft a DL high. But if we do…
            1st Jesse Williams, played 5 tech, before moving to NT.
            2nd Kawann Short or Sylvester Williams (Al’s pick at #26) should make good 5 techs.

            My preference would be to wait to mid to late rounds and get a traditional 5 tech to help w/ the run game. 4th round or later look at.
            Bennie Logan sounds like a great 5 tech prospect.

            We’ve used high draft picks on DL pass rush types in Raji, Neal, Worthy, Daniels we need to let them develop. Now we need a run stopper extrodinare who can help Pickett and Raji against the physical run based teams (Minn, SF) that we have to beat to get to the SB. We need better run based 34 DE, not more pass rushers. The OLB (Matthews and Perry) in the 34 are primary pass rushers and we’ve used high picks on Neal, Worthy, Daniels more for pass rush. Last year we finished top 5? in sacks, and that could get better w/ improvement from Perry, Neal, Worthy, Daniels development.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    • ThomasMagnumPI ThomasMagnumPI says:

      Being a great athlete has worked out pretty well for T. Gonzalez, J. Graham and Jason Pierre-Paul. I think that if he really has the upside that Yoop and NFL.com thinks that he has then he is well worth a late 1st-round pick.

      Even though they play totally different positions, maybe he compares to Bruce Irvin with his raw ability (without the penchant for smashing signs at sandwich shops). At least the pick would make a splash, and if the GBP could get him by trading down into the 2nd round, I think that they would be very happy indeed.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

      • Stroh says:

        Graham and Gonzalez are TE. Pierre Paul is the only one you mentioned thats a DE and he plays 43 DE, not 34. Irvin whom I liked last year alot is a smallish 43 DE that is probably better as a 34 OLB and he showed he could rush the passer. We’ve used 4 draft picks on DL that can rush the QB Raji, Neal, Worthy and Daniels how many more are we supposed to have? Gotta have some guys that can play 34 DE and stop the run and play physically! I don’t see Hunt as that guy. We can only keep 6 DL. Pickett, Raji, Neal, Worthy, Daniels are locks and all but Picket are pass rushers. We need better 34 DE that can play the run and take on double teams. Not another pass rusher. Thats how you get to be more physical as a football team. If we replace Wilson w/ Hunt, we loose more ability to stop the run and don’t gain anything in pass rush.

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      • Stroh says:

        Find me a Johnny Jolly in the mid rounds! Thats what we need more than anything. That guy was gonna be a damn good 34 DE.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  11. Lars1 says:

    Yes, games re won and lost in the trenches, but there has to come a point when you stop throwing good picks after bad w/r to these linemen: Harrell, Sherrod, Worthy, Neal.

    The Niners in particular have drafted all over the field to build that peerless roster—A. Smith, Willis, Davis, Crabtree, Jenkins all first rounders in addition to Iupati, Davis, Staley. Justin Smith—FA.

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  12. Lars1 says:

    Like the trade-down but not the player selected with it. Get a RB like Lacy or one of those TE’s! Frederick—great pick, young, can play all three interior positions, big need area, smart, big.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  13. Lars1 says:

    Sorry for the multiple posts. Should have read your entire draft, first! “Bishop isn’t the answer, but AJ Hawk is? Nothing will change until AJ’s gone player is gone, no matter who you stick in there. Kevin Minter would be a start.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  14. Dan "FireMMNow" Blakley FireMMNow says:

    just to clarify the DE that you like is Margus Hunt. He was an Estonian decathlete. Reports form the Senior Bowl are that he was extremely raw and did not stand out at all. He may go in the first round due to his physical tools, but he will not make much of an impact in his first year.

    The other guys that provide the length that you want out of a 3-4 DE are Ezekial Ansah (a little light in the shorts though, he may be looked at as an OLB in a Wade Phillips type scheme)

    William Gholston is the other one. A little scary that his brother was one of the biggest busts in NFL history and William has not produced at the level his athleticism should allow.

    I agree 100% that the Packers need more prototypical 3-4 DEs, but the ones in this draft all have major question marks.

    Good article.

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    • Stroh says:

      I agree in this. We need a prototype 34 DE. A big physical run defender type to put on the field w/ Pickett and Raji on run downs. I’m looking at only DE that are 6’3 to 6’6 and in the 300+ range. Guys that play w/ leverage to stop the run and if they can give a little in pass rush great, but not necessary. We already have used high draft picks on guys that can rush the passer as a DT in Neal, Worthy and Daniels. Now we need a big rugged 34 DE to stop the run. Those guys don’t need to be drafted in the 1st or 2nd, thats where you find the pass rushers. You can find them in the mid rounds. But they better play physical, have a motor and can play the run. Only a few that fit that criteria in the draft imo. What I wouldn’t give to have Johnny Jolly back right now!

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    • James says:

      Every draft has question marks. This draft has more choices for “prototypical 3-4 Linemen”. Last year there seem to be more 4-3 DE’s.

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  15. frozentundra91 says:

    First it was the 3-4 that was the problem, now it’s the Packers’ lack of physicality. You become a physical team by drafting run-blocking 330 lb. lineman and running the ball 40 times a game. It’s not gonna happen people so get over it. TT and MM built this team around Aaron Rodgers. The Packers lost to the 49ers so now they have to change how the team is built lol. The expectations by a lot of the fans of this team are ridiculous. They lost to the better team in the playoffs and that’s that. The Packers are not gonna win the Super Bowl every year and it might be ten or twenty years before they win another one. It’s the nfl, not Alabama football in the SEC. You can disagree with me all you want but TT and MM believe in building a team a certain way and they’re probably gonna stick to it.

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  16. Scott 1956 says:

    Raji isn’t a very good nose tackle. Good ones plug up the middle. Raji gets moved most of the time. We all know that Hawk has to go. This defense needs a couple of things, first they need SPEED! Everywhere. Second, they need D-Line players that can rush the passer. We have CMIII and maybe Perry can be the second guy outside. But to be a great Defense, we need more guys that can rush the passer. We couldn’t stop the 49ers because of lack of speed!
    The offensive line needs a complete left side. Find a Left Tackle! Not a develope type, one you can plug in from day one! If this club wants to get the best out of the best QB in the league, you HAVE to protect his blindside. We cannot have a guy there who gives up 11 sacks a year! And get rid of the ZBS, It’s only good if you run the ball, and seeing that McCarthy is allergic to running, get the big uglies you need to at least get a first on 3rd and 1. That way McCarthy can stop throwing 30 yard passes on 3rd and short!

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    • Stroh says:

      Maybe when we suck and draft in the top 10 every year we can find a LT to start from day 1. Thats the only place you find those guys! The OT that drop into the 20′s and 30s are guys that either are better RT or need developing. Look at SF, they used 3 1st on OL and they were all in the top 15 picks or so. OG maybe you can find in the 20s that could be dominant. In fact OG drafted in the 1st round better be dominant! Staley the LT for SF wasn’t very good for a few years and just grew into one, but it helps that his LG is All Pro too!

      On D move Bishop to Hawks spot and start Manning or if we can draft Ogletree. Either way works for me, I really think Manning is gonna be a very good player. Get a Safety there a few in this draft I like. Vaccarro, Reid, Phillip Thomas all would be great next to Burnett. On DL just find a big stout 34 DE in the mold of Jolly and that D will take off. We’ve used 4 draft picks on DL for mostly pass rush. Raji, Worthy, Neal and Daniels. They need to develop. But find a big tough run stopper at 34 DE and the D will be top shelf, assuming Perry is nearly as good as we hope.

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      • Scott 1956 says:

        Why can’t TT find a Left Tackle? We keep hearing what a great GM he is, and how the Packers are so deep. You know the last great Left Tackle we had was Clifton, and he was a second round pick! If great players are only the first 10 of the whole draft, then why draft afterwards? The GM’s job is to find talent for the WHOLE team. Not just WR’s and DB’s. And lets not forget the 10 LB’s he keeps every year, and only 1 is great and Bishop is very good. The rest are just guys!

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        • Stroh says:

          Well he’s spent 2 1st on OT, what more else should he do? We needed to replace Clifton and Tauscher, and he drafted Bulaga and Sherrod. Is it Thompsons fault that the best LT go in the top 10? Or were you expecting us to use our entire draft to move up that far? Since Clifton was drafted the guidelines for LT have changed. When Cliffy was drafted he fell to the 2nd cuz he was a soft run blocker. Now any OT that is a good pass blocker goes in the 1st. Sherrod is very much like Clifton… both good pass blockers that are soft in run blocking, not unlike Newhouse for that matter. I really don’t see what more he should do. He’s used 3 draft picks on OT since Clifton and Tauscher. How is it his fault that Sherrod got both his bones in his lower leg fractured? Next I guess your gonna blame him for not knowing that Collins was gonna have a neck injury too?

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    • James says:

      I don’t know what games you were watching Scott, But Raji get’s excellent push at the snap. The problem is when his quickness gets him through the line of scrimmage, the runner runs right past him.

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  17. FITZCORE1252 says:

    Bishop is ‘one’ of the answers, Smith is a good football player, great backup. What do you gave against Bishop?

    GBP 4 LIFE

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  18. FITZCORE1252 says:

    Even if Margus is a second round talent. Some G.M. is gonna fall in love with his size, and reach in the first. No way he’s there in the 30′s.

    GBP 4 LIFE

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  19. bobalou13 says:

    Like most of the post but I’ve been turning something over in my head for a while. I don’t think Perry has the quickness to play on the outside, especially in coverage, but he is pretty athletic. Why not move him inside to replace Hawk alongside Bishop and look for a pure speed guy for the outside? Imagine Perry with a 3 yard run up on a blitz against some of the lightweight centers in the league. Somebody tell me why this makes no sense.

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  20. Since'61 says:

    Nice job on the article. A lot of good comments from the fans. I agree with most points, except that Bishop does not need to be replaced at ILB. If he is healthy he is effective. The other point is that in addition to improving both the OL and the DL we need to either an effective RB in either the 2nd, 3rd or 4th round, or sign one or trade for one. Someone like Dorsey Levens would be perfect on this team. Not the best in the league but good enough to sustain drives, eat up the clock and catch a few passes our if the backfield. Enough for the opposing defenses to know they need to pay attention to him or he will beat them.
    Thanks, Since ’61

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  21. [...] Packers Draft Season Commences: Getting Better in the Trenches | Jersey Al’s [...]

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    • Martha Hess says:

      Hello Boys: You are on the right track with your thinking and selections: One Problem: Hunt will not be there at 37

      Fix the defense! Draft Defense!

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