28

April

Green Bay Packers 2011 NFL Draft – 1st Round, Pick 32: Derek Sherrod

With their 1st pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select offensive tackle Derek Sherrod  from the Mississippi State University.

Sherrod measured 6’5” 321 lbs with a 35 3/8 inch wingspan and at the combine and posted a 5.18 second 40-yard dash, 23 bench presses, 28 inch vertical jump, 97 inch broad jump, 7.43 second 3-cone drill and 4.63 second 20-yard shuttle.

 

College history: Derek Sherrod is one of the most decorated college football players in the nation both on and off the field; he was named to seven All-American teams this year as well as winning the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Award, which is given to the top 16 players in the nation for their academic and leadership ability.  Sherrod graduated in August of 2010 with a 3.54 grade point average in business.

On the football field he played in 47 games and started 36 of them at left offensive tackle, racking up 319 knockdown blocks (8.86 per game, highest of any draft eligible offensive linemen in this years draft), and graded out at 92.8% in blocking efficiency.  Sherrod is more of a pass blocker than a run blocker, just like the Packers like them.  He’s also seen as more of a technician than an athletic specimen, which again is just like the Packers like them (see Bryan Bulaga)

Commentary: The Packers waited until they had 30 second left before turning in their pick; this probably meant that the Packers were fielding trade options until the last minute (as is Ted Thompsons MO), but apparently the value wasn’t there for the Packers so they selected their best player available, which was Sherrod.  Sherrod is likely to be the future tackle once Chad Clifton decides to hang it up or as Bryan Bulaga’s replacement once he switches over to the left when Chad Clifton finally decides to hang it up.  Who will be where?  In actuality, it doesn’t really matter.  The Packers have stated that they prefer to have two “left tackles” at bookend; with defenses commonly shifting personnel to get the best match ups, the best pass rusher is no longer over the blind slide, the best rusher is now over the weakest player.

Video:

On Packers.com

 

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Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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14

April

According to Hobbes: Packers Offseason Primer on the NFL Combine: Outside Linebackers

Outside Linebackers: Here’s the eighth of a series of articles, looking specifically at the NFL combine and the Packers’ drafting tendencies. (Read here for the rationale for this serieshere for quarterbackshere for running backs, here for wide receivershere for tight endshere for offensive tackleshere for offensive interior linemen and here for defensive ends).  This article will use the combine numbers from previous players drafted by GM Ted Thompson as a guide for what outside linebackers are likely to fit into the Packers’ scheme.

Again, this is merely an attempt to make a best guess based on statistics at which players the Packers might be interested in, game tape naturally trumps combine numbers, so take all of this with a grain of salt.  But I believe it will make for some interesting discussion.  Also listed below are also two outside linebackers in this year’s draft who I think fit the Packers scheme the best, based on their combine numbers.

Statistics of outside linebackers linemen drafted by the Packers:

Name Height Weight 40-Yard 3-Cone Shuttle Vertical Broad Bench
Brady Poppinga 6’3” 259.00 4.59 7.29 4.39 35.50 110.00 26.00
Dave Tollefson 6’4” 263.00 4.74 6.98 4.48 34.50 114.00 27.00
Jeremy Thompson 6’4” 262.00 4.75 6.97 4.23 32.00 117.00 25.00
Clay Matthews 6’3” 246.00 4.59 6.90 4.18 35.50 23.00
Brad Jones 6’3” 230.00 4.54 6.75 4.21 33.00 119.00 19.00
Average 6’3” 252.00 4.64 6.98 4.30 34.10 115.00 24.00
StDev 0.55 14.05 0.10 0.20 0.13 1.56 3.92 3.16

 

What the Packers are looking for: Again one of the biggest discrepancies with this analysis is the fact that the Packers switch to the 3-4 in 2009 under Dom Capers.  Just like with my previous article on defensive ends, I have projected players who were drafted before 2009 into their most likely positions in a 3-4 defense.  Luckily this isn’t as big of a challenge as it was for defensive end players as only one player, Dave Tollesfon, had to be projected to a 3-4 outside linebacker.

9

April

According to Hobbes: Packers Offseason Primer on the NFL Combine: Defensive Ends (Defensive Linemen)

Defensive Ends (Defensive Linemen): Here’s the seventh of a series of articles and first for the defense, looking specifically at the NFL combine and the Packers’ drafting tendencies. (Read here for the rationale for this serieshere for quarterbackshere for running backs, here for wide receivershere for tight ends here for offensive tackles and here for offensive interior linemen).  This article will use the combine numbers from previous players drafted by GM Ted Thompson as a guide for what defensive ends are likely to fit into the Packers’ scheme.

Again, this is merely an attempt to make a best guess based on statistics at which players the Packers might be interested in, game tape naturally trumps combine numbers, so take all of this with a grain of salt.  But I believe it will make for some interesting discussion.  Also listed below are also two defensive ends in this year’s draft who I think fit the Packers scheme the best, based on their combine numbers.

Statistics of offensive interior linemen drafted by the Packers:

Name Height Weight 40-Yard 3-Cone Shuttle Vertical Broad Bench
Mike Montgomery 6’5” 276.00 5.05 7.39 4.33 34.50 115.00 19.00
Johnny Jolly 6’3” 310.00 5.41
Justin Harrell 6’5” 300.00 5.04 7.63 4.79 30.50 108.00 24.00
Jarius Wynn 6’5” 273.00 4.94 19.00
Mike Neal 6’2” 294.00 4.95 7.53 4.53 33.00 113.00 31.00
C.J. Wilson 6’4” 271.00 4.93 4.77 33.00 116.00 32.00
Average 6’4”
287.33
5.05 7.52 4.61 32.75 113.00 25.00
StDev 1.26
16.24
0.18 0.12 0.22 1.66 3.56 6.28

 

What the Packers are looking for: Obviously one of the biggest differences between the offense and the defense in regards to drafting is the switch to the 3-4 defense under Dom Capers in 2009.  As a result some players were slotted into other positions, such as Aaron Kampman moving from defensive end to outside linebacker.  Ideally this article would only analyze players drafted from the 2009 season and beyond, but unfortunately there haven’t been enough drafts and picks to make a good analysis.

31

March

According to Hobbes: Packers Offseason Primer on the NFL Combine: Offensive Tackles

Offensive Tackles: Here’s the fifth of a series of articles looking specifically at the NFL combine and the Packers’ drafting tendencies. (read here for the rationale for this series, here for quarterbacks, here for running backs, here for wide receivers and here for tight ends).  This article will use the combine numbers from previous players drafted by GM Ted Thompson as a guide for what offensive tackles are likely to fit into the Packers’ scheme.

Again, this is merely an attempt to make a best guess based on statistics at which players the Packers might be interested in, game tape naturally trumps combine numbers, so take all of this with a grain of salt.  But I believe it will make for some interesting discussion.  Also listed below are also two offensive tackles in this year’s draft who I think fit the Packers scheme the best, based on their combine numbers.

Statistics of offensive tackles drafted by the Packers:

Name Height Weight 40-Yard 3-Cone Shuttle Vertical Broad Bench
Allen Barbre 6’4” 303.00 4.84 7.40 4.63 32.00 105.00 28.00
Breno Giacomini 6’7” 304.00 5.20 7.56 4.63 22.50 108.00 23.00
T.J. Lang 6’4” 305.00 5.15 4.42 26.50 30.00
Jamon Meredith 6’4” 289.00 5.03 105.00 31.00
Bryan Bulaga 6’5” 315.00 5.22 7.70 4.75 27.50 98.00 26.00
Average 6’4” 303.20 5.09 7.55 4.61 27.13 104.00 27.60
StDev 1.30 9.28 0.16 0.15 0.14 3.90 4.24 3.21

What the Packers are looking for: Offensive tackles are considered incredibly safe picks; offensive lineman are the most likely to start as rookies of any position, command cheaper contracts in comparison to other picks (such as quarterbacks and defensive ends), and finally a high draft pick left tackle will be given thee chance to play right tackle and then either guard position should he fail at tackle (Such as with Robert Gallery).

While it remains unknown whether offensive tackles are given a higher value due to their low “bust” probability, chances are GM Ted Thompson does factor in “risk” in the BPA approach.  Ironically enough, even with all that being said, Thompson hasn’t drafted many offensive tackles; with the noticeable exception of Bryan Bulaga, who I’ve written was believed to have fallen about 10-15 picks (a fantastic value), no other offensive tackle has been drafted higher than the 4th round.  In part that probably has to do with the fact that Thompson inherited one of the best bookend combos in Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher when he became GM in 2005 and only in the last two years has really had to worry about the position.