29

January

Nate Palmer 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

Packers, Nate Palmer, Green Bay Packers, Nate Palmer evaluation1) Introduction:When the Green Bay Packers selected Nate Palmer in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the team saw something.  Palmer was not projected by many to even be drafted but the Packers thought highly enough of him to make him a sixth round selection this spring. Illinois State is not exactly known as a football powerhouse, but Packers GM Ted Thompson hoped he found a diamond in the rough in Palmer.  The defense Palmer played in had similarities to what the Packers run under Dom Capers and that must have played a role in Green Bay selecting him.

2) Profile: Nate Palmer

  • Age: 24
  • Born: 09/23/1989 in Chicago, IL
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 248
  • College: Illinois State
  • Rookie Year: 2013
  • NFL Experience: 1 years
  • Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season: Not was expected out of Palmer in 2013.  He was expected to sit, watch and learn from Clay Matthews and at some point perhaps evolve over the next few seasons into a decent pass rusher for the Packers. Kevin Greene picked out Palmer when he visited Northern Illinois along with coaches from other teams and Greene was going to try to shape Palmer in the image of Matthews.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Palmer only saw minimal action, seeing the field in only eight of the team’s 16 regular season games. He failed to record a sack, which is a definite low-light for a player trying to be more like Matthews. On a positive note, Palmer recorded six tackles in both the loss to the Bears as well as the home win over the Cleveland Browns.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Palmer provided much needed depth for a team that was decimated by injuries at the linebacker position. For a player that very little was expected from in 2013, Palmer did the best with what he could being thrown into the fire as suddenly as he was.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Non-existent. Palmer did not register a tackle in the playoff loss to the 49ers.

Season Report Card:

(B) Level of expectations met during the season

(C) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(N/A) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: C

29

May

Packers Curious Love Affair with Nate Palmer

Packers sixth round pick in the 2013 NFL draft, Nate Palmer, OLB, Illinois St.

Nate Palmer, OLB, Illinois St.

Ted Thompson didn’t have to do it. Nate Palmer was not going to be drafted. You would be hard pressed to find him breaking the top 400 in anyone’s big board or player rankings.

Yet, when the Packers’ turn came up in the sixth round, they made Palmer the 193rd player drafted. This despite the fact they were holding three seventh round picks, and could have surely taken him with their last pick at # 232. Even better, as the only team that had him in for a tryout, the Packers would have been frontrunners to sign him as an Undrafted Free Agent (UDFA), although I can understand not wanting to risk that.

But why jump the gun and take him in the sixth? This is a question that’s been bugging me for the last month. In a draft where the Packers got fantastic value by not jumping the gun on Eddie Lacy or Johnathan Franklin, why not let Palmer fall to them in the 7th? That’s what Ted does.

Now, I can hear you all out there saying, “Hey Al – that’s speculation, some other team could have taken him.” Of course that’s a possibility, but pretty remote, as neither Palmer or his coach expected him to be drafted at all. He wasn’t even listed as a Free Agent signee on most draft boards, meaning he was expected to be a tryout invite guy. He was shocked when he got the call from Green Bay.

The Packers have had some measure of success in bringing in DE to OLB conversion projects from small schools (Zombo, Lattimore, Moses), but all were free agents. So does drafting Palmer mean they think he is a better prospect than the rest?

By now, you probably know the story of how Packers OLB coach Kevin Greene and Illinois State coach Spence Nowinsky spent a day together exchanging pass-rushing knowledge and watching tape of Clay Matthews (if not, read about it here). As he watched the Packers defense and how they used Matthews, Nowinsky kept thinking to himself how well Palmer would fit in the Packers’ defense. “As I’m watching that, I’m thinking Nate has a great opportunity with the Packers because his skill, his athleticism, his work ethic, he fits in really good,” Nowinsky said.

18

May

Saturday Listen: Three Radio Interviews with Packers Draft Picks

Three recent Packers draft picks talked about their selection by the Packers, their talents and how they fit.

 

Nate Palmer, 6th round pick, OLB Illinois State

J.C. Tretter, 4th round pick, OL, Cornell

Datone Jones, 1st round pick, DE, UCLA

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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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10

May

Green Bay Packers Sign All But Two Draft Picks

UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin

Franklin has signed his rookie deal and will participate in the team’s rookie OTA’s

With rookie organized team activities (OTA’s) underway, the Green Bay Packers have begun signing this year’s draft picks.  Earlier today and per Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, RB Johnathan Franklin, OL, J.C. Tretter, LB Sam Barrington and LB Nate Palmer had all signed their mandatory four year deals.  OL David Bakhtiari reportedly has agreed to a deal with the team and will sign his contract later today.

This afternoon, ESPN Milwaukee’s Jason Wilde is reporting, via Twitter, that the only unsigned draftees are first rounder, DE Datone Jones and second round pick, RB Eddie Lacy.

Per the new league CBA, all rookies, with the exception of first rounders, must sign a four year rookie contract.  There is also a rookie salary cap that was implemented that has taken some of the labor and intrigue out of teams getting their rookies signed.  As a result, these deals are getting done in quick succession.

The team is hoping to sign most, if not all, of their rookies as quickly as possible.  Players who are unsigned are still permitted to take part in team practices, but have to sign a waiver in the event that they are injured while at the team facilities.

Only Franklin’s deal had a reported value and that was at around $2.5 million.  There were some questions about whether Franklin would be able to participate in rookie OTA’s due to an NFL rule that states that draftees are not permitted to practice with their new team until their school’s graduation has passed.  Franklin, however, finished his undergraduate degree in June, 2012 and so he is fully eligible for all team activities.

Check back here periodically for updated signings and details.

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Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on "AllGreenBayPackers.com

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28

April

Green Bay Packers Final 2013 Draft Board

Packers GM Ted Thompson and Head Coach Mike McCarthy completed their eight draft together this weekend

Packers GM Ted Thompson and Head Coach Mike McCarthy completed their eight draft together this weekend

The 2013 NFL Draft is in the books which means the Green Bay Packers have made all of their selections and we know who will be joining the team in training camp come late July.  Our team at ALLGBP.com has done a fantastic job in breaking down each of these players and be sure to check out each and get to know your newest Packer players!

Let’s take a look at this year’s full slate of draft picks:

Round 1

26th, 26th overall – Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

Many expected this pick if the Packers were staying put in round one.  Many say Jones was a great value at 26th overall and should start right away.  Helps solidify a position of need.

Round 2

29th, 61st overall (from 49ers) – Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama

After several draft analysts had Lacy going to the Packers in round one and even before their pick, Green Bay had to be shocked to see him fall into their laps in round two.  Touted by many as the best running back in this year’s class, Lacy was the fourth back taken after Giovani Bernard (Bengals), Le’Veon Bell (Steelers) and Montee Ball (Broncos).  Clearly the Packers wanted Lacy and he will make an immediate impact to a running game that has lacked punch for the past three seasons.

Round 4

12th, 109th overall (from Saints through Dolphins) – David Bakhtiari, OT, Colorado

After trading down a few spots in the fourth round, Thompson opted to add some depth to the Packers offensive line.  Bakhtiari brings all 6’4″, 300 lbs with him to Green Bay and should be given an opportunity to battle with Derek Sherrod (if healthy) and become a starting tackle opposite Bryan Bulaga.  He is versatile, however, and can also play at the guard spot.

25th, 122nd overall – J.C. Tretter, OT, Cornell

Tretter was a bit of a surprise pick here, at least to me.  Just 13 picks after selecting Bakhtiari, the Packers drafted another offensive tackle.  A further glace at Tretter shows that he is more likely to translate in the NFL as a guard or possibly even center.  That versatility is what Packers GM Ted Thompson and Head Coach Mike McCarthy like in a lineman.  Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been sacked more times than any other quarterback since 2008.  Shoring up the offensive front was clearly a priority for Thompson.

27

April

Packers 2013 NFL Draft: Day 3 Grade and Analysis

UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin

UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin

Entering the final day of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers were slated to make ten selections. But when it was all said and done, the Packers added only nine players to the team.

Their first two selections of the day were offensive linemen David Bakhtiari and J.C. Tretter.

Bakhtiari was a three-year starter at Colorado, and I had a late-second to early-third round grade on him entering the draft. He was a tackle at the college level but will probably play guard at the NFL level. The Packers drafted Bakhtiari with pick No. 109 in the fourth round.

Tretter started at left tackle the past two seasons at Cornell. He was a unanimous All-Ivy League First Team selection as a senior after beginning his college career as a tight end. He was a high school quarterback. With the Packers, Tretter will likely play on the interior of the offensive line.

Later in round four, Ted Thompson continued his trading ways by moving up for UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin.

Many scouts thought Franklin would be a second-round pick, and some even had Franklin and Eddie Lacy as the top two players at the position. My final rankings had Franklin as the No. 2 back in the draft, just ahead of Lacy and behind Giovani Bernard who was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals at the top of the second round.

It was my belief that Franklin would be a better fit for the Packers offense than Lacy. But now that the Packers have both young backs, the running game should be vastly improved in 2013.

After making UCLA defensive end Datone Jones their first selection of the draft, the Packers went with four straight offensive players: two linemen and two running backs.

But in the fifth and sixth round, the Packers went back to the defensive side of the ball by selecting Iowa cornerback Micah Hyde, Mississippi State defensive end Josh Boyd and Illinois State outside linebacker Nate Palmer.

Hyde faces an uphill battle to earn regular playing time at cornerback, perhaps the Packers’ deepest position, but his versatility and ability to play special teams could help him crack the 53-man roster. Boyd will be a part of the team’s defensive line competition come training camp. Palmer started his college career at Illinois before transferring to Illinois State; he racked up 17 sacks his past two seasons at Illinois State and led the country in quarterback hits in 2012.

27

April

Packers 2013 NFL Draft – Sixth Round Pick: Nate Palmer, OLB, Illinois State

Packers sixth round pick in the 2013 NFL draft, Nate Palmer, OLB, Illinois St.

Packers sixth round pick in the 2013 NFL draft, Nate Palmer, OLB, Illinois St.

With their sixth round pick (193rd overall) in the 2013 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers select Nate Palmer, outside linebackers, Illinois State.

 

PLAYER DETAILS: 
Nate Palmer
OLB
Illinoise State
6’3″/240 lbs

Career Notes: Injury issues throughout his career. Broke his ankle as a junior in high school and played just four games. Broke his foot after getting knocked off a motor scooter by a woman in his car during his third and final season at the University of Illinois. Eventually transferred to Illinois State.

Palmer visited the Packers before the draft. Here is a story on Palmer from the Chicago Tribune.

From CBSSports.com.

2012 SEASON

All-Missouri Valley Football Conference Second-Team selection … started all 13 games at defensive end … ranked third on the team and was fifth in the MVFC with 15 TFL … 10.5 of those came in conference play, which tied for third …was second on the team and tied for fourth in MVFC with 7.5 sacks … finished the season with 71 tackles and was credited with 27 quarterback hurries … also forced a team-high three fumbles … posted multiple TFL in four games … tied career-highs with two sacks and three TFL against Southern Illinois … had a career-high nine tackles against Missouri State … had a sack and two TFL in a road win at UNI … posted at TFL in each of ISU’s playoff games.
2011 SEASON
All-Missouri Valley Football Conference Second-Team selection … started all 11 games at defensive end for the Redbirds, who led the conference in total defense (294.8 ypg) … led the team and the MVFC with 9.5 sacks … was 19th in the country in sacks per game (.91) … recorded 46 tackles, 10.5 tackles-for-loss and forced two fumbles … posted at least a half sack in nine games … posted a sack and returned a fumble 42 yards for a touchdown against Morehead State … recorded a career-high eight tackles and a sack at North Dakota State … named the MVFC Newcomer of the Week after registering five tackles, two sacks, three tackles-for-loss and a forced fumble in a win over nationally-ranked Indiana State.
2010 SEASON
Played in nine games for the Illini … recorded six tackles on the season … tallied a pair of stops in the win over Indiana … added one tackle in back-to-back games against No. 6 Ohio State and at Penn State … registered a solo stop in consecutive contests against Northwestern and at Fresno State.
2009 SEASON
Earned Academic All-Big Ten honors … played in all 12 games on special teams … recorded two tackles at Ohio State … had one tackle at Cincinnati.
Combine:
Did not participate. Did have a predraft workout with the Packers.
Scouting Report: 
Not much for scouting reports out there on Palmer. For now, check out this interview he did with New Era Scouting.
He took part in Northwestern’s pro day and ran the 40 in 4.7 to 4.76 seconds, had 20 reps on the bench, a 35.5 inch vertical and 10’5″ broad jump. He also played DE in college, but almost certainly will play OLB for the Packers.
Commentary:
Palmer might be Dezman Moses 2.0. Very raw. Very athletic. A hit or miss kind of guy, with the odds heavy in favor of miss, but you never know. All the injuries throughout his career are a concern, but this is another project type of pick for the Packers. If he sticks with the team through training camp, I don’t expect to hear much from him in 2013. Then again, maybe he’ll get a shot on special teams and make an impact. We shall see.
Video: