William Campbell is your quintessential late round/priority rookie free agent. Coming into Michigan, Williams was a 5 star recruit who never lived up to expectations; typically overweight and unrefined, Williams bottomed out when he was asked to switch to offensive line during his sophomore season. That didn’t work out either and by his junior year he was back to defense. Things took a turn for the better when Williams reported to camp in his senior year after dropping 46 pounds, which translated to on the field production. However, just as things were improving, Williams was charged with felony malicious-destruction-of-property when he attempted to slide across a car hood ala Starsky and Hutch. In the end Campbell presents an enticing mix of size and athleticism muddled with immaturity and inexperienced.
What they’re saying about him:Read more...(847 words + 1 image, estimated 3:23 mins reading time)
CBSSports.com: “Looks the part with a tall, well-built frame, broad shoulders and a large wingspan (80 inches). Can carry a lot of weight on his frame without losing his athleticism. Quick feet for his size with the agility to collapse inside and disrupt the pocket. Natural power to bully blockers at the point of attack, reset and redirect. Takes up room and has the size/strength combination to command double-teams.”
When it comes to drafting wide receivers, the Packers don’t follow the mold. Going back a couple years, in 2008 the Packers pretty much could have picked any wide receiver they had wanted in the 2nd round (the first wide receiver was Donnie Avery with the 2nd pick of the 2nd round for reference). There was the star (Mario Manningham), the speedster (DeSean Jackson) and the physical specimen (Limas Sweed). The Packers however decided to select Jordy Nelson, who up to that point no one had every heard of. Now 5 years later, Jordy Nelson is probably considered the best wide receiver in the 2008 draft (I could see people arguing for Jackson, but inconsistency and a big mouth put Nelson higher up in my book). The point is, the Packers don’t emphasize measurables as much as they do emphasize route running, versatility and football acumen; so while fans and the media will hype players like Tavon Austin and Cordarrelle Patterson, past history would dictate that the Packers probably aren’t so interested. However, a wide receiver that the Packers might be interested in would be Robert Woods.
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Overview: To kick off the next series of evaluations on AllGreenBayPackers.com, the ALLGBP staff are going to be analyzing each position group starting off with the specialists. Overall, the specialists did a pretty good job keeping their names off the papers and blogs, outside of about 6 weeks of utter CROSBPOCALYPSE.
Where We Are Now
Here are the current suspects;
LS Brett Goode (Undrafted, 2008)
P Tim Masthay aka Ginger Wolverine (Undrafted, 2010)
So that’s where we are. Not much to report here; specialists are often drafted in the later rounds or not at all, and the Packers are no different, only using a 6th round pick on Crosby and picking up both Goode and Masthay off the free agent street.
Goode: Goode again finished the season without a bad snap and even recorded a tackle in week 9 against the Cardinals, a pretty hard feat considering Goode has the least idea of what’s going on on the field since his head is between his legs at the beginning of the play. Goode was also not responsible for any blocked or batted kicks which overall for a long snapper basically is a job well done
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Sean Porter’s story is much like another less known linebacker coming out of a big college program that Packers fans have gotten to know over the last couple years. Like Clay Matthews III, Sean Porter was overshadowed by his peers in college; instead of Brian Cushing and Rey Maualuga it was Von Miller and current prospect Damontre Moore. With so much talent on the field at linebacker both Matthews and Sean Porter ended up playing everywhere, from traditional outside linebacker to the “joker”/”elephant” positions. Porter in particular started out as the “joker” in the 3-4 and then moved both strong and weakside linebacker in a traditional 4-3 after a defensive scheme change in his senior year. Both Porter and Matthews probably deserved to get more credit coming into the draft and like Matthews, Porter has the ability to be the best linebacker from his school this year.
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CBSSports.com: “Possesses an athletic, well-defined frame, looking the part of an NFL linebacker. Versatile defender who can line up in multiple roles. Has the burst to beat tackles off the edge as a rusher and is particularly adept at timing the snap as a walk-up blitzer, showing the burst and ability to “get skinny” to slip through interior gaps. Porter, however, is at his best in pursuit of ballcarriers on the flanks and operating in coverage due to his athleticism, including impressive straight-line speed. He shows good strength to set the edge and the agility to avoid blocks and make tackles in the running game.”
A lot of times draftniks and media types alike try to fit round pegs into square holes: one common example is calling for the Packers to draft a offensive tackle this year, only they have forgotten that Bryan Bulaga and Derek Sherrod were both 1st round picks and drafting a 3rd OT in 4 years is getting close to Matt Millen levels of insanity. Other examples include cornerback and inside linebacker, two positions where the Packers have the most depth. Really, people should think of it the other way around; there are only a few exceptional players every year that are talented enough to change how a team operates (think RGIII or Russell Wilson), most other players have to learn to play in the system already set in place. So really the question you have to ask is, what player fits best into the system that the Packers have in place? One of those players I believe is Rex Burkhead.
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Based on the comments from my previous draft posts, I’d like to point out that this is a prospect profile, not a draft prediction. I haven’t analyzed a player who I think the Packers will take at 26 and that trend is going to continue; in fact I’m not advocating one way or the other that the Packers should draft/sign Jordan Rodgers at all. With that being said, Jordan Rodgers is an interesting prospect because he’s almost a reflection of what Aaron Rodgers’ story might have been had it not gone as well; Jordan also started at Butte Community College, where he lead the team to it’s first undefeated season in his second year. He then transfered to a big name football program (Vanderbilt) but ended up redshirting his freshmen year with a shoulder injury. From there he rode the bench until injuries struck and ended up as the starter, again much like his brother. However, it took Jordan two years to transfer out of JUCO, then lost a year after getting a medical redshirt and only ended up as the legitimate starter in his senior year. All in all, Jordan Rodgers will begin his NFL career at 25 while his older brother was only 21, which makes Aaron’s story all that more incredible. It’s hard to imagine how different Aaron Rodger’s story would be if Jeff Tedford hadn’t come up to Chico to scout a tight end or if Rodgers hadn’t had the chance to start as a junior, but in fact that story might be Jordan Rodgers. Read more...(1167 words + 1 image, estimated 4:40 mins reading time)
Jordan Reed is one of the more interesting prospects when he joined the Florida Gators as a man with no position. A high school quarterback that lead his team to an undefeated season, the Gators first tried him out at running back where he gained 335 rushing yards on 44 carries (4.4 ypc) in his freshmen year. He then made the transition to tight end where he lined up everywhere including inline, in the slot and bunch formations. While Reed offers up an intriguing skill set he also carries much personal baggage that may ultimately cause his draft stock to fall.
What they’re saying about him: Read more...(951 words + 1 image, estimated 3:48 mins reading time)
CBSSports.com: “Reed is a fluid and flexible athlete with smooth body control and controlled balance. He flashes WR moves after the catch with quick, elusive feet and deceiving speed to run away from defenders. Reed shows smooth athleticism in his routes, creating separation with sharp footwork and quick body movements. He has reliable hands and does a nice job holding onto the ball after a big hit, proving his ability and toughness over the middle of the field.”