Pigskin Paul analyzes the 2012 NFL Draft Class of the Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings.
The LIONS made the Play-Offs with 10-Wins and but for a few less injuries, and a bit more talent at certain positions they might have been able to make a solid run at a Super Bowl appearance. Lots of teams could say the same thing, but those other teams weren’t setting a League record for futility by going 0-16 but a few years ago. The team has truly come a long way since the FORD family parted ways with MATT MILLEN, and turned most of the personnel matters, including the DRAFT, over to MARTIN MAYHEW. The 2011 DRAFT didn’t even yield much immediate help because of serious injuries to NICK FAIRLEY & MIKEL LESHOURE.
The 2012 LIONS DRAFT looks promising on paper. RILEY REIFF may be the most talented OL that the team has drafted in the past decade. Whether he takes over at LT or RT he almost certainly guarantees that MATTHEW STAFFORD will take less hits in the pocket starting now. He’s a good athlete and comes from the FERENTZ school of OL play, which means he’s fundamentally sound and tough already. He’s a great value at Pick 23. The team took a slight flier in Round 2, by picking OKLAHOMA/WR/RYAN BROYLES. He’s coming off a serious knee injury and will most likely start the season on the PUP list. But if he returns to pre-injury form he’ll make NATE BURLESON an extra piece by season’e end. He’s only the NCAA D1 all time receptions leader, and is a dangerous Return Man as well. Healthy, he was a marginal late first rounder only lacking in great speed.I like the calculated gamble. Read more... (3046 words + 1 image, estimated 12:11 mins reading time)
This is a preview of
Looking at the Packers’ NFC North Rivals: How the Lions, Bears and Vikings did in the NFL Draft
. Read the full post (3046 words + 1 image, estimated 12:11 mins reading time)
What would Ted do?
It is April Fools’ Day 2012. And it seems to me to be just about the perfect time to be the perfect fool and attempt to predict the entire PACKERS Draft 2012. I might update this just before the actual Draft … then again maybe not. So pay attention, it may be your one and only chance to Mock me in my attempt to predict what TED THOMPSON might do.
Just a few explanations of how I do this. No, these are not excuses, just my own ground rules. The key is using my Regardless of Position prospect rankings list. I take each PACKERS Pick number and look at my list starting 3 ranked players before the actual Pick number. Anything from that number and beyond is fair game. For instance in Round One, where they pick at 28 I look for a player that might fit their needs, type of player profile and guys who “fit their scheme.” Then I make a Pick, i.e. guess, from players I have ranked 25 and on. Read more... (974 words + 1 image, estimated 3:54 mins reading time)
This is a preview of
NFL Draft Predictions: Packers Mock Draft from Pigskin Paul
. Read the full post (974 words + 1 image, estimated 3:54 mins reading time)
I just updated my “Regardless of Position” list, and though it’s still not posted at my site, I’d like to share my 2012 Top NFL Draft Dozen, bakers’ style that is…
1) ANDREW LUCK/QB
2) ROBERT GRIFFIN/QB
3) MATT KALIL/LT
4) QUINTON COPLES/DE
5) JUSTIN BLACKMON/WR
6) MORRIS CLAIBORNE/CB
7) TRENT RICHARDSON/RB
8) MICHAEL FLOYD/WR
9) LUKE KUECHLEY/LB
10) DAVID DeCASTRO/OG
11) COURTNEY UPSHAW/OLB
12) FLETCHER COX/DT
13) DONTARI POE/DT
This list is based on three factors:
- My perception of their pro potential.
- The importance of the positions they play to NFL teams in 2012.
- Their actual physical attributes and potential.
It is not based on who I think specific teams are enamored with for their myriad of reasons. That I leave to the MOCK DRAFT process, which I guess I am about due to participate in.
Questions I have, some with answers, coming out of the COMBINE:
How high in the First Round did DONTARI POE place himself with his huge numbers at the COMBINE? Quite frankly I think the kid is somewhere between HALOTI NGATA & B. J. RAJI, when it comes to pure talent and potential NFL impact. I don’t think he’s MT. CODY at all. He’s huge, but is squarely built. AS for the rap that he seems to take plays off… welcome to the world of really big buys along the DL. On teams that don’t regularly rotate their DL all big guys get a series off here or there during a game, or they take a breather occasionally on the field. Guys that big can only be conditioned to a certain degree, which does not include running at full speed all day long. Read more... (2279 words + 1 image, estimated 9:07 mins reading time)
After reading a few quick items in he sports pages this morning I’m not sure how much extra insight I’m going to bring to the table regarding the PACKERS win over the COLTS Friday night, but here goes…
What more can a coaching staff hope for in the Pre-Season than a game that goes right down to the wire and requires back-ups and rookies to secure a victory in the clutch? How psychologically rewarding is it for MASON CROSBY to redeem himself from an earlier FG miss with a clutch game-winning kick in the final minute?
I would say I saw two negatives that I am sure MIKE McCARTHY and his staff will be concentrating on in the next two weeks. The first team offense was plagued by some untimely (not that there is any such thing as timely) penalties that hampered several scoring drives. The OL was a bit less than stellar in protecting AARON RODGERS from the COLTS pass-rush… in particular DWIGHT FREENEY.
FREENEY, who is still at the top of his game, made CHAD CLIFTON look like an old man on multiple occasions. CLIFTON should be OK most weeks, since there are not many DEs in the league of FREENEY’s caliber. But I’ll just voice the opinion that for the long term DEREK SHERROD had better make a ton of progress during the 2011 campaign so that he can handle that LT position by the time the 2012 season rolls around. Read more... (1426 words + 1 image, estimated 5:42 mins reading time)
I was on the air with CHAD HOLMES @ ESPN Radio 100.5 in Wausau last night and he brought up a plethora of PACKERS questions for discussion. Since there is no posting of the show to send you to I thought I’d summarize some of our topics that might be of interest to PACKERS fans.
We discussed the lack of off-season OTAs and such this year, and whether or not it hurts the PACKERS, or gives them a slight advantage as an experienced, defending Super BOwl squad. Other than teams with new coaching staffs I think the PACKERS as a team will be hurt by the 4+ months of no contact. I say that primarily because under the TED THOMPSON regime this team relies of developing younger players to develop into starters.
Any time they lost that could have spent working with young guys like NICK McDONALD, FRANK ZOMBO, MARSHALL NEWHOUSE, JAMES STARKS, et al (not to mention their Rookies) can’t be regained. And progress lost, though hard to gauge, is a consequence of the Lockout. If the team should suffer through an injury plagued campaign such as last year, then time not spent developing these back-ups could be felt on the field of play.
I reiterated that i felt the two places the PACKERS face a personnel challenge this season could be the DL and ILB positions. AFter HAWK & BISHOP I see ROBERT FRANCOIS & D.J. SMITH (R) as the next men up. I see lots to like abut both these young guys, but i am not sure how effective they would be if called upon to play a lot early in the season because of injury to the starters. Read more... (1167 words + 1 image, estimated 4:40 mins reading time)
Ted Thompson on the prowl...
It happens every Summer when Training Camp rolls around in Green Bay, at least under the TED THOMPSON’S regime. Some familiar veteran names show up as ‘cuts’ from the PACKERS roster as the team gets under way preparing for the upcoming season both financially & athletically. It may be less frustrating to deal with this year than most because the team has the Lombardi Trophy on display within the bowels of Lambeau. But once again a rather long list of vet players will no longer wear the Green-and-Gold.
Let me remind you who is MIA as the team prepares for its first Pre-Season game.
NICK BARNETT/ILB BILLS Too much $ already being paid to HAWK/BISHOP inside.
ATARI BIGBY/S Once he got his big contract he’s been fighting HARRELL for hot tub time too often.
BRANDON CHILLAR/LB Was coming back to team until he hurt his leg (again) in offseason.
DARYN COLLEDGE/LG CARDINALS Never completely satisfied coaches with inconsistent play. Too expensive.
KOREY HALL/FB/ST SAINTS Pure Special Teamers get too expensive after a few years.
JUSTIN HARRELL/DE The king of the training room was never available.
BRANDON JACKSON/RB BROWNS Solid 3rd Down RB, but wanted, and got, more $ than that role is worth.
CULLEN JENKINS/DE EAGLES Great attitude, average athlete who greatly benefitted under CAPERS schemes.
DERRICK MARTIN/S Marginal player who helped during injury rash last year… no upside. Read more... (889 words + 1 image, estimated 3:33 mins reading time)
This is a preview of
Thoughts on the Dozen Green Bay Players Sent Packing
. Read the full post (889 words + 1 image, estimated 3:33 mins reading time)
Sam Shields - An Undrafted Free Agent Gem
After our look yesterday at NFL rookie free agents on offense, Let’s hop on over to the other side of the ball and give you ten defenders to look at as the Undrafted Free Agent market gets ready to kick-off.
There is no logical reason to explain PARKER’s availability right now. he had a stellar senior season on a good team. He has decent size and athleticism for the NFL game. He showed very well at SHRINE Week, actually capturing the Defensive MVP award for the game. He showed well at the COMBINE running a 5.03/40 which was 10th best at the DT position. He is, at the least, a good candidate for a 4-3 scheme DL rotation. He was the only player in my TOP 100 list, not to be Drafted in April. He may be limited and unlikely to ever get to a Pro Bowl, but he looks the part of a DL rotation player at the pro level.
A good athlete who has developed slowly, but steadily during his college career. He played DT in a 4-3 front at Northwestern, but might be best suited for a 3-4 scheme as a DE in the pros. Not being invited to the COMBINE hurt his stock a bit. He may have to be stashed and groomed on a Practice Squad for a year or two, but after watching him play in 3 games last Fall I think his potential is undeniable for a team with patience, teaching coaches and the right scheme for his talents. Read more... (1415 words + 3 images, estimated 5:40 mins reading time)
This is a preview of
Top Ten 2011 Undrafted Free Agents on Defense NFL Teams will be Targeting – (Whenever that happens)
. Read the full post (1415 words + 3 images, estimated 5:40 mins reading time)