Category Archives: Contributors

23

April

Green Bay Packers Draft Targets: Offense

packers draft targets  - Offense

Draft Target Bulls Eye

How many mock drafts have you checked out? How many positional ranking lists have you pondered? Maybe a scouting report or two? The draft is less then a week away. The NFL Draft might be one of the greatest marketing wonders of the world. Three days of TV coverage, on two Networks, with Parties at most home Stadiums and so much out there you can’t swing a dead cat and not hit something related to the NFL draft.

And I have to admit, I love it.

The amount of buzz created this time of year about everything football is quite amazing when you consider not that long ago, Well at least in my time as a Packer fan, which to some would be a long time ago, the draft was a much different affair. The year the Packers won the first Super Bowl, Vince had twenty two picks in 17 rounds. And that year of 1967 was the first year of the combined draft. The NFC and AFC had got that point to end the bidding war between the two Leagues for the Top prospects.

Today a player had better be a Super Star out of the box or that “B “ word gets tossed out there pretty quickly. We will also all hear what team had the best grade in the draft. That is the one thing out of today’s draft that makes me mumble short worded sentences that Jersey Al won’t put on his site.

Come back in a couple years and lets see who really did what. When you look at Ted Thompsons drafts over the last four years, they have been shaping up nicely.

I will not start a whole discussion on BPA and need. But I will add a link to what might be the best example of a NFL grading system you will find on the net, this is from someone that was a NFL scout. What we don’t know, is what each team puts the most emphasis on in generating those grades, but it shows the degree’s of rankings worked up on these prospects.

9

April

Pigskin Paul’s NFC North Mock Draft

2013 NFL Draft

2013 NFL Draft

Since my Packers Mock Draft a little while back, I’ve received request for a Bears mock draft as well.  So here goes nothing. But I do have one disclaimer. I am not familiar with the long term work of PHIL EMERY, so this one is purely on me with no inside information to draw from. And at the request of more than a few folks whose favorite division is the NFC North, here’s the whole division for you.

(As with my previous PACKERS MOCK the number in parenthesis after the Pick name and vitals is where I currently have the player ranked on my Regardless of Position Prospect list.)

 

DA BEARS   2013 MOCK DRAFT

Round 1, Pick 20    ALEC OGLETREE/LB/GEORGIA/6’3/242(22)

The LB position is the biggest rebuild unit on this team now that VFA has been used to finally upgrade the OL. If EMERY can get past the off-field issues OGLETREE could be an instant starter for them, on the outside in my opinion. He’s an excellent athlete and his ex-S skills can be put to best use outside rather than in the Middle where he’d be a bit undersized for the NFL.

Round 2, Pick 50    MARKUS WHEATON/WR/OREGON STATE/5’11/189(50)

DA BEARS have a solid group of WR, but none of them is the quick/fast combo slot type. WHEATON plays faster & quicker than his Combine 40-time of 4.45. And remember EMERY has announced that DEVIN HESTER is now a  RS not a receiver. Combine that decision with the injury retirement of JOHNNY KNOX and this team needs a fast slot receiver. You can’t have too many weapons when your centerpiece is JAY CUTLER. On my Board all the value DT types were gone when this Pick came up, or I would have gone there with the selection.

Round 4, Pick 117    AKEEM SPENCE/DT/ILLINOIS/6’1/307(116)

No, he’s not the behemoth they should have inside but he’s a young, athletic player who can play the run and push the pocket a bit. He’s an example of the quality depth in the middle of this Draft class. He’d come in real handy if OKOYE & IDONIJE both price themselves out of town. Could become an instant starter, or at the least a viable part of a DT rotation.

Round 5, Pick 153    TRAVIS KELCE/TE/CINCINNATI/6’5/255(152)

1

April

Packers Mock Draft #1 from Pigskin Paul

Packers GM Ted Thompson

Packers GM Ted Thompson

Trying to figure out Mocks that involve all 32 teams seems absolutely impossible to my old mind. Trying to construct something that captures the scheming and mechanization of TED THOMPSON’s mind may be even more daunting. But at least it only involves 8 Picks and no one in their right mind expects anything close to it to actually occur at the end of April. So here is my first PACKERS 2013 Draft projection.

Just a brief explanation of the effort. I am using my Top 300 prospect list and then selecting at the pick spots currently held by the PACK. When they are scheduled to select at spot 26 in Round 1 I consider prospects that I have ranked from 24-35. Thus I am hoping that Whitey likes someone in that 12 spot range. Within those 12 I am also considering needs as I view them. Even though Thompson professes the “best available athlete” philosophy as his drafting mode, he is far from oblivious to roster need factors if he has a group of players that are pretty much equally ranked on his Draft Board.

Even though I believe this to be a very good Draft to trade back a couple of times because of high quality depth I refuse to even begin speculation on when and where he might trade. Therefore, this projection is confined to the current 8 Picks that the PACKERS organization holds.

PACKERS MOCK DRAFT 1st Edition March, 2013

Round 1, Pick 26 DESMOND TRUFANT/CB/WASHINGTON/6’0/190(25)
He fits the mold of a PACKERS CB. He is a solid athlete, with extreme confidence who can cover and will tackle with gusto. TRAMON WILLIAMS is now in his 30’s & SAM SHIELDS may moving on this year (RFA) or next. He could be an immediate sub-package contributor and a starter by 2014. He’ll be the 3rd TRUFANT brother to play in the NFL. I just love those gene pools. He adds speed to the PACK with his 4.38/40 from the Combine.

Round 2, Pick 55 JOSH BOYCE/WR/RS/TCU/5’11/206(66)
With all the QB issues at TCU last season this guy fell off the radar for many NFL teams. But he caught their eye and got back into serious consideration when he ran a 4.38/40 at the COMBINE. Looks to me like he can bring the same kind of skills & production to the PACK as those of recently departed GREG JENNINGS. He also flashed some return ability during his college career.

1

April

Searching for Sleepers: Packers 2013 NFL Draft

Ted Thompson on the Prowl

Ted Thompson on the Prowl

Since Ted Thompson has had final say in who the Packers draft, there have been a number of, WHO?, picks. Nick Collins, Jerron McMIllian, James Jones, Josh Sitton come to mind looking back at different drafts and remembering the comments by many of the sideline GM’s. You could have got this or that player way later and TT should have taken this or that player instead. When you look at these picks and how they have turned out, I give TT the edge over the sideliners.

All of these picks were either smaller school players or players that had little or no buzz about them heading into the draft. For those that don’t know me, I have always been a big fan of these types of players. A college OT that makes the move to OG, a college DE that makes the move to OLB or even ILB like Lattimore now with the Packers. My thoughts have always been that good football players are good football players, it does not matter where they come from or who they played against. Call them reaches or for some flyer picks for this we will call them sleepers. With most of these player there is little of no Video on them, but I will get what I can for your viewing pleasure.

Here are a few that have caught my eye so far in the pre draft process. I am not putting any importance on a position, just prospects I think need a closer look.

Matthew Tucker RB TCU. 6-0 221#, 4.50 40 time, 1.54 ten yard, 35.5” vertical, 4.44 short shuttle and 7.13 3 cone drill, averaged over 5.0 a carry in his career, 3rd all time in TD’s for TCU. When you look at his stats he had his best games against the toughest teams.

Kyle Juszcyzyk Played HBack/ TE/ FB at Harvard 6-1 246# 4.71 40 time, 37” vertical, 10’1” long jump, AMAZING agility with a 4.19 short shuttle and a 6.93 3 cone drill and 24 reps at 225#
Few FB’s have that kind of athletic ability. Having been a Hback/TE he can catch the ball and has experience blocking. Watch the helmet removing block in the video, Runs good routes, Shows he is just a good hard nosed football player. With his versatility he could be a better more athletic Kuhn.

23

March

Packers Defense: Who’s Still On the Way Up?

Green Bay Packers defense

Who’s Rising on Defense?

Here we are at the start of the 2013 NFL season. Let the great debates roll on!   Sign a FA?  Keep your own?  Difference maker free agent? Hole filler? Last gasp?  Which leads to next big thing, the team has to draft this position this year! { fill in your choice}.

Everyone goes nuts this time of year, I am of the use Free Agency to fill a hole in depth crowd,  but first and foremost keep your own.

From most of talk across the web, Packer fans are screaming for “DEFENSE” and I can’t disagree, but for many, players already on the team are over looked waiting for that big signing. { like that is going to happen in Green Bay in the first place}

So while many are playing fantasy GM with all the if’s, maybes, should have’s, could have’s, lets look at players on the team that are on the way up and will improve the team from the inside.

I consider C.J. Wilson on the way up. He missed games with a knee injury last year, in the eleven games he played, he was looked at as one of the Packers better run stoppers, he had 24 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Nothing to get excited about, but Wilson did improve in his second year, not bad for 7th round pick that played 4-3 DE in college. He is a better athlete then given credit for at 6-3 300# he ran a 4.83 40, 32 reps at #225, 1.67 ten yard time 4.50 shuttle and 7.65 3 cone drill. His best football is still in front of him.

Mike Neal actually stayed fairly healthy last year and flashed some of what he did as a rookie. He and Matthews got on a bit of roll before Matthews got dinged up. He has the work ethic and gained experience last year.  He now has 22 games played,  11 for 2012 with a 4 game suspension. Still on the way up.

Terrell Manning and Jamari Lattimore are the two inside linebackers I want to see most. Manning was a OLB in college and missed time with a parasite, but made his way on the field for 5 games in 2012. Lattimore was a DE in college, Packers they tried him at OLB first, he moved to ILB last year and showed promise in the preseason. Both are more athletic then Smith and Bishop.

22

February

Talking Wide Receivers: NFL Draft Possibilities That Fit the Packers

Packers Wide Receivers, NFL Draft

Packers Wide Receivers

With Donald Driver retiring and Greg Jennings putting his house up for sale, the Packers will be kicking the tires on Wide Receivers. The 2013 NFL draft has a talented group of prospects, so if you need one, it’s a good year to go shopping.

The Packers still have one the best WR groups in the NFL, with or without Jennings and Driver. Jennings leaving will make a hole in the group, but not as large are some think. Jennings has missed half of the regular season games with injuries the last two years. Driver was used very little this last year, where his smile and leadership will be missed, his production will not be.

Jones had his best year, lead the NFL in TD’s and reduced his dropped passes significantly. Nelson is still on the rise as a WR. Cobb when he was drafted, I called a steal, and he has shown that to be very true. His play and continued development is a huge plus for the Packers.

After those three, it’s unproven developmental players. Boykin could become a very nice procession type receiver or even more, he has good size at 6-2 and 217#. His testing numbers are almost identical to James Jones coming into the draft, not fast 4.57 40 time, Jones 4.58. Both have good quickness showed in there ten yard times and good agility. Boykin does have great hands and a excellent coach so I give him a 4th round type grade going into this next season.

Jeremy Ross is the other interesting WR to develop. He showed his ability with the ball in his hands returning punts and kick offs. Good size at 6-0 215#, 4.44 speed and a very nice 1.50 ten yard time.

I give extra credit to development players already on the team. The NFL training, coaching with the added experience of being a Pro gives these players a step up over most rookies. Regardless of those players the Packers are going to have to look at drafting a WR, and making it a priority to sign some UDFA’s for development on the practice squad. Wide Receiver might have the deepest talent in the 2013 draft, intriguing prospects can be found through the 4th round and even beyond.

6

February

First thoughts on Packers Draft Season from Pigskin Paul

Ted Thompson is on the prowl...

Ted Thompson is on the prowl…

Before I get totally immersed in DRAFT information, including, but not limited to, the upcoming NFL COMBINE I thought it might be a good time to drop a few tidbits of information and opinion on the PACKERS off-season.

I can assure you that TED THOMPSON and his staff are involved up to their eyeballs when it comes to the off season scouting process in preparation for the 2013 NFL DRAFT, which is the lifeblood of this organization under the guidance of the Thompson  administration. Want some further proof of that statement look no further than the current official PACKERS roster posted at their official website http://www.packers.com . Taking away the announced retirements of DRIVER & SATURDAY the roster stands at 69 players right now. Of those 69, 36 are original draftees of the PACKERS.

But for THOMPSON, the 7 Round Draft is just part 1 of the annual talent acquisition process. The other part takes place (legally speaking) a second after the final pick of each draft concludes. That is when all teams hop on the phones and try to sign the highest ranked, or most interesting players not drafted but classified as having that something special that Green Bay is looking for. Another 10 players on the current roster were signed as Undrafted Free Agents by the Green & Gold.

It should also be noted that the PACKERS scouting personnel don’t always get everyone they are interested in to sign those UDFA contracts. So they keep a list of players they wanted but could not sign. Then the pro personnel staff scout these and other players during training camp as they attempt to make other rosters around the league. Every season a few of the ones that got away, get cut and are signed by the PACK. Another 18 players on today’s roster originally joined other teams as UDFAs, but were picked up by the PACKERS when they were released by said teams.

That means that out of 69 total players on the current roster 28 came into the NFL as undrafted players. Besides the PACKERS ability to find talent, one of the major tenets within the organization is that TED THOMPSON must have a coaching staff that prides itself on teaching and developing young players into NFL caliber veterans. Other than “stars” like RODGERS & MATTHEWS, there isn’t much talent differential at roster spots 20-50 for most NFL teams. It is more often than not the ability of coaches to teach and develop  players within a team’s schemes that leads to a deep and productive roster.