27

April

Top 20 Day Three Targets for the Green Bay Packers: 2013 NFL Draft

2013 NFL Draft

2013 NFL Draft

Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama – What is he still doing here?

Nick Williams, DE Samford – Prototype 3-4 body and a great athlete.

Philip Thomas, S Fresno State –  Instictual ball hawk, good tackler.

Duke Williams, S, Nevada – great athlete, early character issues seemingly behind him.

Cooper Taylor, S, Richmond – Kid is 6’5″, 228, 4.55 40yd. dash – medical concerns (heart condition)

Reid Fragel, LOT, Ohio State – TE convert, only one year at tackle. Lane Johnson body type.

Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech – Greg Jennings II?

Josh Boyce, WR, TCU – One of my sleepers of the entire draft…

Ryan Swope, WR Texas A&M – 4.34 at the Combine, but doesn’t look it on the field.

Chris Harper, WR, Kansas State – former QB, good athlete.

Barret Jones, OL, Alabama – Solid, versatile, Packers’ type of guy.

Luke Marquardt, OT, Asuza Pacific – Coached by Hall of Famer Jackie Slater.

Brian Schwenke, C, CAL – Looks like a perfect ZBS center…

Khaled Holmes, C, USC – Fits in a ZBS, but has some nasty…

David Quessenberry, OL, San Jose State – my favorite “all-purpose” OL. Can play any position on the line.

Khaseem Greene, ILB, Rutgers – Plays with abandon ala CM3… But he’s not CM3.

John Simon, OLB, Ohio State – relentless, hard working over-achiever type.

David Bass, OLB, Missouri Western – 39 sacks at Div II level – Sleeper Alert!

Cornelius Washington, OLB, Georgia – Underwear Olympics Champ.

Zach Sudfeld, TE, Nevada – best blocking TE in the draft, and he can catch too…

AJ Klein, LB, Iowa State – Jonathan Vilma-like…

(in case anyone notices, it’s actually 21 – I had left out Nick Williams, one of my favorites – realized it when I saw Stroh’s comment…)

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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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18

April

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Barrett Jones, OL Alabama

Alabama OL Barrett Jones

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: OL Barrett Jones

Player Info:

Barrett Jones

6’4”

306 lbs.

Hometown: Germantown, TN

STATS

NFL Combine:

Missed due to lisfranc injury

News and Notes:

Missed NFL Combine due to foot injury, and his draft stock has been impacted.  Won the Rimington Award last season as the nation’s top center. Played all over the offensive line at Alabama under Nick Saban. Won All-SEC Honors at right guard in 2010, and in 2011 moved to blind-side tackle position and was named the SEC’s top offensive lineman and was a consensus All-American.

First Crimson Tide member to win the William V. Campbell Trophy as the nation’s best “scholar-athlete.”

What they’re saying about him:

NFL.com: “Possesses NFL size for an interior player. Solid pass protector whether playing inside or outside, plays with a wide base, mirrors and anchors effectively by keeping his feet moving and extends his arms to stay engaged. Good hip extension in the run game. Very good football and general intelligence. Great awareness of late blitzers and twist stunts, and he gives excellent effort to reach free rushers so his quarterback stays upright.

“Tends to stop his feet and lunge at pass rushers on the edge. Top-heavy, upright runner on pulls without great foot speed. Gets to the second level well, but can struggle tracking and adjusting to moving targets.  Has a lengthy injury history (but shows the toughness to play through them) and will need to check out medically.”

CBSSports.com: “Jones is typically characterized as a try-hard player who gets by with excellent fundamentals, and it is true that he uses his hands and feet very well to consistently defeat his opponent. Jones is smooth and efficient when easing back at the snap in pass protection or getting to the second level. He latches on and keeps his feet moving on contact, rarely allowing his opponent to make the play even if he’s relatively close to the ballcarrier.  Doesn’t blow defenders off the ball with pure strength. Not a flashy athlete and may struggle to excel at the NFL level.”

20

August

Looking into the Packers Crystal Ball: Future Help at the Center Position

Packers Center Jeff Saturday

Packers Center Jeff Saturday – Who’s Next?

Now that TJ Lang has signed his contract extension, the Packers have 3 of their 5 linemen secured for the foreseeable future.  He joins Josh Sitton and Bryan Bulaga as the 2 other pieces of the OL who are at least signed through 2014.  If the team wants to capitalize on the gangbuster talent on the offensive side of the ball, the O line will be key.  So 3 of the 5 pieces are set.  The left tackle position remains in flux with Marshall Newhouse and Derek Sherrod battling injuries and rookie Andrew Datko very green so far this camp.

The Pack brought in veteran free agent center Jeff Saturday this offseason.   Saturday is signed for 2 years and can hopefully remain durable and effective.  But it goes without saying, the team will need to find someone to step in when Saturday retires.  It also goes without saying that the offensive center is invaluable in a pass-heavy offense.  Let’s take a look at a few prospects the Pack may have their eye on this Fall and as they prepare for the 2013 draft.

While Barrett Jones (Alabama) will be at center for the Crimson Tide this year and is a Jacobs Blocking and Outland Trophy winner, he is not part of this discussion.  He is projected as a Guard in the NFL so let’s focus on a few guys who very likely remain at Center when they get to the next level.

Khaled Holmes, USC (6’3”, 310 lbs) – The book on Holmes is that he’s a much better pass blocker than run blocker.  In the Pack’s offense and as long as #12 is QB, that may be enough to warrant a long look.  He’s not very athletic and has trouble bursting off the line but is a smart player.  He displays very good footwork in pass protection and gets set quickly.  Holmes is said to be very good on the outside running the screen.  It wouldn’t be a bad thing if the Pack’s screen game got a boost.  Early projections have him going late in round 1, right where the Pack hope to and should be come next year’s draft.