26

April

Packers 2012 NFL Draft – 10 Last-Minute Predictions, Opinions and Whispers

NFL Draft Logo Image

2012 NFL Draft

As the 2012 NFL Draft is about to begin, here are some things that have been whispered into my ear as well as some of my own opinions and predictions.

  1. Whisper: The Packers love Shea McClellin, but so do the Patriots, who pick just before them. If Ted HAS to have him, he’ll need to trade up in front of NE (unless Mercilus is there for New England, who is their first choice)
  2. Prediction: There will be no Ted Thompson head-scratchers on the first 2 days of the draft. The Packers are still burning from a 15-1 season and first round playoff loss. They have virtually the same team coming back. Ted knows if he can plug a few holes with immediate help, success will follow.
  3. Whisper: The Packers also love Casey Hayward in the second, but will have competition from the 49ers.
  4. Opinion: The only four positions I would draft an offensive player at are center, tackle, quarterback and running back.
  5. Whisper: The Packers are seriously considering some linebackers that are thought to be more suited as 4-3 LBs, but who they consider to be  ”moldable.”
  6. Prediction: The Packers will select two cornerbacks in this draft. One will have potential for a conversion to safety.
  7. Prediction: The Packers will not draft 12 players. Trade-ups will be made.
  8. Opinion: Ted should increase the weight he gives to need in this draft. The team is in a position to warrant it.
  9. Whisper: If the Packers don’t take McClellin, their next LB target could be Bobby Wagner.
  10. Whisper: The Packers are considering Austin Davis as a late-round development quarterback pick if they don’t pull the trigger on B.J. Coleman much earlier.

9:05PMEST:  Addendum: Got late word that Packers are keeping a close eye on Brockers, who some think could fall into the 20s.

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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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17

August

The Best and Worst of Packers GM Ted Thompson – Part 2: The Misses

Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson

Ted Thompson is not happy about the items on this list.

As a follow up to Part 1 of this series,  Part 2 is a compilation of Ted Thompson’s worst moves as General Manager of the Green Bay Packers. Finding 10 things that Ted Thompson has done wrong in his career was a much more painstaking process than finding what he has done right. Without further ado, here they are:

The Misses:

 

1. Allen Barbre – Ted Thompson went into the 2009 season with Allen Barbre as his starting right tackle. During his starting stint Barbre may have been the worst right tackle in the history of the franchise. He allowed Jared Allen to sack Aaron Rodgers 7.5 times in two games, which was a huge factor in two of the Packers most painful losses of the last decade. Need more proof Barbre was awful? He allowed 5 sacks by Antwan Odom, who has only 23.5 sacks in his 7 year career.

2. Drafting Justin Harrell – Rarely has Ted Thompson completely whiffed in the first round of the draft, but he reached and whiffed badly with Harrell in 2007. Harrell tore his bicep tendon during his senior season at Tennessee and then showed up to his first training camp slightly out of shape. Following the bicep injury, Harrell injured his back and knee. Over four seasons as a packer Harrell participated in 14 games and made an impact in exactly none.

3. Signing Marquand Manuel – The first free agent to be signed by Ted Thompson was Safety Marquand Manuel. Ted Thompson signed his former Seattle player to a 5-year $10 million contract. The only issue with the signing was Manuel had the agility of an overweight and slightly ill hamster, and the speed of a run away sloth carrying a brick. He was cut one year into his 5-year contract.

4. Drafting Brian Brohm – The heralded Louisville quarterback was thought to be a possible first round talent by many draftniks as he entered his senior season. But a pedestrian year and an apparent lack of need at the QB position caused Brohm to fall through the cracks to the Packers with the 56th overall pick. Some people saw it as a waste considering the Packers’ numerous holes in their roster, others saw it as a good value (considering the Packers did not have a backup quarterback). After Brohm’s first preseason game Danny Wuerffel was seen laughing and hilariously imitating Brohm crow hopping to throw a ten yard out.

15

August

The Best and Worst of Packers GM Ted Thompson – Part 1: The Hits

Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson

Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson

Since January 14, 2005, Ted Thompson has been the driving force behind the reincarnation of the Green Bay Packers. At times he has been reviled by a huge portion of Packer Nation, and recently has been lauded as the eccentric genius architect of the deepest and most talented team in the league. To encapsulate his triumphs and failures of the past 6 years I have created a top ten list of hits and misses (coming soon).

The Hits


1. Drafting Aaron Rodgers:

This draft pick caused me and my friends to scream and throw our draft guides at the television. “Get Brett Favre some weapons! Our window is closing! Why does The Albino hate us?” we shouted between moments of rage filled couch punching. Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in the league, which is the most important position in all of sports.

2. Hiring Mike McCarthy:

It took some guts to bring in the coordinator of the worst offense in the NFL to be your first hire. As my screen name may indicate, I was an extreme doubter of McCarthy and may have even called for his head on a platter on this very website. Two things have become very clear after the Packers beat the Steelers in the Superbowl; Thompson found the right man for the job, and I good sirs, am an idiot.

3. Trading Brett Favre:

There seems to be a theme here, Ted Thompson’s greatest moves were also his most controversial. This moment in Packer history will be discussed for years to come. In the end it was the perfect time to make the franchises biggest change in two decades.

4. Signing Charles Woodson:

Thompson has been very selective in free agency is like saying Gilbert Brown was slightly overweight, but Charles Woodson is the second greatest free agent signing in Packer’s history. I will give everyone one guess as to who is #1 on that list.

5. Drafting Clay Matthews III:

Trading up in the draft is not something that Thompson appears to be comfortable with, but he left his comfort zone and moved up to draft one of the most feared young defenders in the NFL. Matthews was the least known of the three USC linebackers drafted in 2009, but he has been a force from day one.

6. Drafting Greg Jennings:

When Ted Thompson chose Jennings with the 52nd pick of the 2006 draft most people said, “Who?” It became quite obvious in Jennings’ first preseason that Thompson knew exactly what he was getting in Jennings.

2

May

The Complete Green Bay Packers NFL Draft Class of 2011

Round 1 (32): Derrick Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State (@dsherrod78)

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. 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.

Round 2 (64): Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky (@rcobb18)

Cobb measures in at 5-11, 196 pounds with 31″ arms. He posted a 4.46-second 40-yard dash, 16 bench-presses, 33.5″ vertical leap, 115″ broad jump, 7.08-second 3 cone drill, 4.34-second 20-yard shuttle and 11.56-second 60-yard shuttle.  Over his three years in college, Cobb racked up 5,000 all-purpose yards, including 1,661 receiving and 1,313 rushing. In his final year, Cobb posted 84 catches for 1,017 yards and was selected as a First Team All-American for his efforts.

Round 3 (96): Alex Green, RB, Hawaii
Green measures in at 6-0, 225 pounds with 32″ arms. Green posted a 4.53-second 40-yard dash, 20 bench-presses, 34″ vertical leap, 114″ broad jump, 6.91-second 3 cone drill and 4.15-second 20-yard shuttle. Playing in Hawaii’s pass-happy offense, Green was able to rush for 1,199 yards on 146 carries (8.2 ypc) and 18 touchdowns his senior season. He also caught 27 passes for 363 yards and another touchdown. Green was named Second Team All-WAC in 2010.

Round 4 (131): Davon House, CB, New Mexico State (@davonhouse4)

House measures in at 6-1, 200 pounds.  At the NFL Combine, he posted a 4.44-second 40-yard dash, 14 bench-presses, 4.12-second 20-yard shuttle and a 33.5″ vertical leap. House played 12 games as a true freshman and continued to improve throughout his entire college career. He intercepted 11 passes in four years and returned three for touchdowns. He also demonstrated an ability to stop the run, racking up 202 solo tackles.

Round 5 (141): D. J. Williams, TE, Arkansas (@dj45williams)

1

May

Green Bay Packers 2011 NFL Draft — Seventh Round, No. 233: DE Lawrence Guy

With the 233rd pick in the 2011 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers selected Arizona State DE Lawrence Guy

He measures in at 6-4, 305 pounds.  At the NFL Combine, he posted a 4.96-second 40-yard dash, 28 bench-presses, 4.43-second 20-yard shuttle and a 29″ vertical leap.

College history

Highly recruited out of High School, Guy turned down offers from Oklahoma, Nebraska and other big-time programs to play for the Sun Devils. Guy has played every position on the defensive line for the Sun Devils, but mostly played tackle in a 4-3 defense.  Guy was a three-year starter and is leaving ASU with one year of eligibility left.

In 12 games in 2010, Guy ended the year with 41 tackles (14 solo), six tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and a pair of pass break-ups..

Commentary

Here’s what I wrote about Guy in the CheeseheadTV Draft Guide:  ”Guy could be this year’s Mike Neal – an under-the-radar player with below average stats but a ton of potential. Where Neal’s best asset was his strength, Guy’s is the athleticism he displays for a man his size. He shows an explosive first step and never stops coming. Perfect body type for a five-technique end but needs to hit the weight room. The Packers make him Neal’s workout buddy – that should do it.”

I had him pegged as a fourth round pick, and so did most draft boards. He thus draws comparison to C. J. Wilson, another DL who was expected to go much higher than where the Packers drafted him. I was excited about the Wilson pick at the time (called it a steal) and I feel almost as good about this Lawrence Guy pick.

Guy has had to overcome dyslexia and attention deficit disorder. After a shaky start in college, Guy has worked hard to better himself in the classroom and as a person in addition to his play on the football field.

The official scouting report on Guy states, “Known primarily for his pass rushing skills, his size, strength and athletic ability make him a prime candidate to move to the ‘five technique’ defensive end position in a 3-4 alignment at the next level.” Then, from NFLDraftScout.com, “Guy’s statistics are solid (122 tackles, 23 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 35 games), but not spectacular, leading to some discounting his talents. Don’t be surprised when this Sun Devil defensive tackle proves to be anything but just another ‘Guy’” and hears his name called among the top 100 selections.”

30

April

Green Bay Packers 2011 NFL Draft — Sixth Round, No. 197: LB Ricky Elmore

With the 197th pick in the 2011 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers selected Arizona linebacker Ricky Elmore.

He measures in at 6-5, 260 pounds with 31″ arms. He posted a 4.88-second 40-yard dash, 26 bench-presses, 4.32-second 20-yard shuttle and a 31.5″ vertical leap.

College history

Elmore finished his college career with nearly 150 tackles and 25.5 sacks for Arizona. He started the final 39 games and appeared in 51 games total.

Elmore led the Pac-10 in sacks in both 2010 and 2009 after finishing with 21.5 total over the two years. He was an Honorable Mention All-Pac 10 selection in 2009 and a First Teamer in 2010.

Commentary

The Packers took a pass rushing linebacker from Arizona, but his name wasn’t Brooks Reed. While that might be a disappointment to some, Elmore was the more productive of the two prospects and features a similar non-stop motor to Reed.

He certainly lacks the athleticism you want in a 3-4 outside linebacker, but Elmore has a knack for getting to the quarterback and won’t stop until the whistle blows.

And while there are certainly some holes in his game, Elmore can also come in and fight for playing time at a suddenly overflowing outside linebacker position. He’s also another high-character guy—a reoccurring trend for the Packers 2011 draft class.

Video:

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Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.

You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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30

April

Green Bay Packers 2011 NFL Draft — Sixth Round, No. 186: LB D.J. Smith

With the 186th pick in the 2011 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers selected Appalachian State linebacker D.J. Smith.

Smith measures 5-10, 240 pounds with 32.2″ arms. He posted a 4.75-second 40-yard dash, 20 bench-presses and a 31″ vertical leap.

College history

Smith has been one of the more productive linebackers in college football over the past four seasons. A four-year starter at Appalachian State, Smith racked up over 500 tackles and nine sacks in 50 career starts.

Smith was also a three-year All-American selection, including two First Team picks his final two seasons. In those last two years, Smith was a final for the Buck Buchanan award, given to the best defensive player in the FCS.

Commentary

Most fans wanted this position addressed much earlier (I not being one of them), but the Packers finally got their outside linebacker.

Smith is a well-built defender and has the production and experience to add competition to the position. He doesn’t seem to have the pass-rushing skills that would warrant starting on the outside, but the Packers obviously saw something in the way he was always around the football.

Video (DJ Smith is #9)

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Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.

You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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