29

April

Thoughts and Reactions to the Packers 2012 Draft Class

Green Bay Packer Draft Pick Nick Perry USC

USC DE/OLB Nick Perry

Saying that Ted Thompson and the Packers focused on defense in the 2012 NFL Draft wouldn’t be strong enough. Thompson used the Packers’ first six draft picks exclusively on defense before drafting Andrew Datko in the seventh round.

The heavy emphasis on defense wasn’t the only difference in this years’ draft for the Packers. After trading up just three times since taking over draft day responsibilities for the Packers, Thompson traded up not once, not twice, but thrice to get players.

Round 1: Nick Perry, OLB, University of Southern California

Perry fulfills a specific need while providing great value to the Packers at the 28th pick. Perry should be able to make the transition to OLB and fit nicely opposite Clay Matthews. It would appear that Perry will be the starter making the jump over Erik Walden, Brad Jones and Frank Zombo. With some coaching, Perry should be able to make an immediate impact on the Packers defense.

Round 2: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State

With a pick I would have been pleased with in the first round, the Packers traded up and grabbed Worthy. The combo of Perry and Worthy will come into Green Bay with big expectations, similar to Matthews and B.J. Raji. Worthy will immediately improve the Packers defensive line lined up alongside Raji and Ryan Pickett. Worthy not only adds to the pass rush, but allows the Packers flexibility on the line because of his size.

Round 2a: Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt

As if one trade up wasn’t enough, Thompson did the previously unthinkable and got back into the second round to grab Casey Hayward. The pick should provide the Packers with better depth at cornerback and flexibility to adjust their defensive backfield accordingly. There were whispers of the possibility of Hayward switching to safety and the possibility of Woodson to safety seems more likely now than ever.

Round 4: Mike Daniels, DT, Iowa

Apparently the Packers are taking their issues up front seriously. Before taking Daniels in the fourth round, the Packers had already added Anthony Hargrove in free agency and drafted Jerel Worthy in the second round. In addition to the newcomers, Lawrence Guy should be back in camp fighting for a chance. Daniels will have every opportunity in camp to crack the rotation and get some playing time. This could be a deathblow to Jarius Wynn and C.J. Wilson.

26

April

2012 Packers Mock Draft – My One and Only

As the Packers draft analyst for DraftTek.com, I’ve done at least 20 mock drafts over the last 6 months. They’re not entirely mine, however, as the actual picks are made by computer. I get to input needs information, and can try to “grab” certain players or “lockout” players from contention.

Analysts for the other 31 teams all do the same thing. What results is the closest thing to a real draft simulation (they don’t call it a mock) I’ve seen anywhere. It ‘s quite unique and if you are not familiar with it, you really should check them out.

What’s even cooler is that on draft day, the “simulation” is updated within minutes of when each pick is selected. So, as the Packers are up at #28, it will re-run the simulation, eliminating the 27 other players already picked from contention for the Packers pick. Isn’t that rather amazing?

Well anyway, on to my personal mock draft, totaly devoid of any sense of reality and pure guesswork at it’s best:

2012 Packers Mock Draft

Round 1 (#28):  Shea McClellin, OLB Boise State – I’ve finally come around to the inevitable. If McClellin is there, the Packers will take him. I say I’ve come around because I’m not still not convinced McClellin is a first round player, but I so want OLB help that I’ll gladly take McClellin here. Problem is New England wants him also, and guess where they pick – just before the Packers. Alternates: Kevin Zeitler, Lavonte David

Round 2 (#59) Casey Hayward,  CB/S Vanderbilt - the answer to the Packers’ woeful secondary tackling, Hayward actually led his team in TFL as a cornerback! He’s a ball hawk, has excellent field vision and is also a prime candidate for a shift to safety. Alternates: Jamell Fleming, Brandon Thompson.

Round 3 ( #90) Derek Wolfe, DE Cincinnati – Powerful, cat-quick and the prototype size for a 3-4DE, Wolfe would be a fantastic addition to the Packers defensive line rotation. Alternates: Jared Crick, Ben Jones

Round 4 (#123) Nate Potter, OT Boise State – The best left tackle prospect you’ll find this far down in the draft. With a year or two to add some bulk, Potter could be competing for a starting job. Alternates: Matt McCants, Philip Blake

22

April

Packers 2012 NFL Draft Coverage Details

NFL Draft Logo Image

2012 NFL Draft

AllGreenBayPackers.com is ready to bring you the best in Packers’ NFL Draft Coverage. We’ll bring you detailed analysis on the players the Packers select, not from “draftniks” (not that there’s anything wrong with draftniks…), but from a professional scouting organization used by the teams themselves. Yes, you heard that right, real insider information from the true experts.

Here’s a little sample, their ranking of the top-20 wide receivers in the 2012 draft:

TOP-20 WIDE RECEIVERS

PRD GRD PLAYER SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT 40-YD POS
1 7.5 BLACKMON, Justin  (J) Oklahoma State 6:012 215 4.48 WR
1 7.0 FLOYD, Michael Notre Dame 6:025 220 4.43 WR
1 6.7 WRIGHT, Kendall Baylor 5:102 196 4.44 WR
1-2 6.5 RANDLE, Rueben (J) Louisiana State 6:031 212 4.44 WR
1-2 6.5 HILL, Stephen (J) Georgia Tech 6:040 215 4.28 WR
3-4 6.3 CRINER, Juron Arizona 6:025 224 4.61 WR
3 6.2 JENKINS, A.J. Illinois 6:002 190 4.37 WR
2-3 6.2 SANU, Mohamed (J) Rutgers 6:014 211 4.62 WR
2-3 6.2 GIVENS, Chris (J) Wake Forest 5:111 198 4.41 WR
3-4 6.1 CHILDS, Greg Arkansas 6:031 219 4.40 WR
3-4 6.1 JONES, Marvin California 6:017 199 4.51 WR
2-3 6.0 QUICK, Brian Appalachian State 6:034 220 4.50 WR
3-4 6.0 HILTON, T.Y. Florida International 5:094 183 4.37 WR
2 6.0 JEFFERY, Alshon (J) South Carolina 6:027 216 4.54 WR
5 6.0 MCNUTT, Marvin Iowa 6:026 216 4.48 WR
4 5.9 BROYLES, Ryan Oklahoma 5:101 192 4.52 WR
4-5 5.9 MATTHEWS, Rishard Nevada 6:003 217 4.54 WR
5-6 5.8 WYLIE, Devon Fresno State 5:092 187 4.36 WR
4-5 5.7 TOON, Nick Wisconsin 6:017 215 4.49 WR
4-5 5.7 ADAMS, Joe Arkansas 5:105 179 4.51 WR

And here’s a little excerpt from the official scouting report on Trent Richardson:

With more and more emphasis in the passing game, coupled with teams gearing towards a “running back by committee” approach, the day and age of the franchise ball carrier is starting to fade away. One look at this year’s tailback class and it is easy to see that there is one true franchise running back in the group, and the only player considered to be a certain first round pick – Alabama’s Trent Richardson.

14

March

Packers DE Mike Neal Suspended: What Lies Ahead?

Packers DE Mike Neal

Will Mike Neal be in camp this summer?

As Al alluded to earlier, the Green Bay Packers are making headlines during the first day of free agency. Unfortunately, none of them are the good kind.

The news about Scott Wells likely leaving aside, the big topic of the day in Packer Nation is the four-game suspension of defensive end Mike Neal for violation of the league’s performance enhancing drugs policy. Neal has missed a large amount of time his first two seasons due to injury and today’s news raises a few questions.

First is a simple “why?” Neal was becoming the next Packer defender to have the “injury prone” label slapped on his forehead after the merciful departure of Justin Harrell.  Neal knew he wasn’t seeing the field that much so why take the PEDs? Was he hoping to get the upper hand over his teammates ahead of him on the depth chart?

If that’s the case, could it be time to hand him his walking papers?.  That’s not how things are done in Green Bay and Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson will not hesitate in making that message crystal clear to Neal. McCarthy and Thompson pride themselves on running their team the right way and shenanigans like this will not be tolerated one bit.

While he may deserve a second chance, he’s teetering on thin ice due to his injury history and with him entering his critical third year this is the last thing neal needed as he makes his case to remain a Packers.

The second and more important question this suspension raises is how it affects the Packers’ draft plans.  Neal was looking at some playing time next season should he have remained healthy but he was far from being a key cog in Dom Capers’ defensive unit.  Defensive end had already been identified as a position of need for the Packers (yes, Thompson drafts the best available player but he has to know the team is lacking in this area) but they may have been thinking of taking one in a later round.

Instead this forces Thompson to strongly consider using his first round pick on a defensive end.  This may have been the plan all along, but only Thompson and his team know for sure.  Regardless, the team will be down one defensive end for the first quarter of the 2012 season and that hole will need to be addressed.