21

February

10 Players Packers Fans Should Watch at the NFL Combine

Cal tight end Richard Rodgers could be a good fit to replace Jermichael Finley in the upcoming NFL draft.

Cal tight end Richard Rodgers could be a good fit to replace Jermichael Finley in the upcoming NFL draft.

The NFL Scouting Combine starts on Saturday and Packers general manager Ted Thompson will be there to observe all of the young NFL hopefuls who could potentially fill holes on the Packers roster.

Yes, it’s that time of year where words like “athletic” and “upside” become part of our everyday vocabulary and we pay extra close attention to how long a player’s arms are and what kind of motor he has. Keeping track of everything going on at the NFL Combine and the buzz about various prospects can be overwhelming. That’s why ALLGBP.com is here to help.

I picked out 10 players to watch at the NFL Combine if you’re a Packers fan. I have no idea if Thompson himself will be closely watching these players over others, but these 10 players are a mix of possible first-round targets for the Packers, or mid-round picks that appear to have the tools to help the Packers in one way or another down the road.

Of course, after the NFL Combine wraps up, ALLGBP.com will have more NFL draft profiles on possible future Packers than you will be able to handle. For now, keep an eye on these 10 players and we’ll see if any of them wind up in Green Bay come April.

HaHa Clinton-Dix, Safety, Alabama
The Packers need a safety and Clinton-Dix might be the best one in this draft class. Scouts rave about Clinton-Dix’s instincts when the ball is in the air and his ability to shift directions and accelerate. His tackling could use some work, but the Packers desperately need a safety who can close on the ball and help eliminate big plays in the opponent’s passing game. Based on what I’ve seen, it’s really hard to get over the top on Clinton-Dix. Teams have had no problems getting over the top on the Packers safeties ever since Nick Collins was injured. If you’re a Packers fan, you might actually hope Clinton-Dix has a poor showing at the combine to increase the chances that he’ll fall to the Packer at pick No. 21.

24

April

Green Bay Packers Draft Targets: Defense

Packers Defense Draft ProspectsI hear defense, defense, defense fans for this draft. In my other piece on the offensive side of the ball, I stated the offense fell from #3 in 2011 to #13 in 2012. The defense improved across the board in 2012 over 2011, and I expect a lot more of that improvement this coming season. I don’t believe we will see a repeat of last year, but there are needs that have to be addressed in the draft, where in the draft is the big question.

Based on the opinion of many, need and BPA make a convergence in this draft with a number of DT/DE prospects rated around the Packers #26 pick. All of these Defensive linemen have those warts I talked about in the offensive piece.

Lets start with Sylvester Williams,
A some what under rated DT, not as hyped as others right now, but very talented. But there are questions about him, Real concerns? Hype? Misinformation? All in the eye of the beholder.

To continue the Williams theme lets go with Jesse Williams NT/DE Alabama,.  I like this Williams because he can play NT, DE and that 3 technique used in the nickel and dime for the Packers. He is raw and limited in pass rush. Back to these players having questions.

Lets look at Jonathon Hankins,  more warts, but a possibility for the #26 pick, what I don’t like is two years of knee injuries. But quick long arms another prospect that can play multiple spots in the defense.

The player that is getting more and more buzz right now for the Packers is, Datone Jones. He might be the best fit as 3-4 DE in the entire first round. Like the rest of the group of Dlinemen at the #26 pick, he has questions about his effort but there is no question of his ability.

And last but not least is this D-line Prospect.  Rankings on him are all over the map. This is a high risk, possibly high reward pick. Big men with his athletic ability are few and far between, he will be drafted higher then he should be because of that. But I would think he is in the mix. He is a high effort, great work ethic prospect, and is a physical freak, The thing with this pick would be the teams projection of what he could be with development.  Margus Hunt offers the type of player along the defensive line the team does not have now. The question is, when do you draft him.

23

April

Green Bay Packers Draft Targets: Offense

packers draft targets  - Offense

Draft Target Bulls Eye

How many mock drafts have you checked out? How many positional ranking lists have you pondered? Maybe a scouting report or two? The draft is less then a week away. The NFL Draft might be one of the greatest marketing wonders of the world. Three days of TV coverage, on two Networks, with Parties at most home Stadiums and so much out there you can’t swing a dead cat and not hit something related to the NFL draft.

And I have to admit, I love it.

The amount of buzz created this time of year about everything football is quite amazing when you consider not that long ago, Well at least in my time as a Packer fan, which to some would be a long time ago, the draft was a much different affair. The year the Packers won the first Super Bowl, Vince had twenty two picks in 17 rounds. And that year of 1967 was the first year of the combined draft. The NFC and AFC had got that point to end the bidding war between the two Leagues for the Top prospects.

Today a player had better be a Super Star out of the box or that “B “ word gets tossed out there pretty quickly. We will also all hear what team had the best grade in the draft. That is the one thing out of today’s draft that makes me mumble short worded sentences that Jersey Al won’t put on his site.

Come back in a couple years and lets see who really did what. When you look at Ted Thompsons drafts over the last four years, they have been shaping up nicely.

I will not start a whole discussion on BPA and need. But I will add a link to what might be the best example of a NFL grading system you will find on the net, this is from someone that was a NFL scout. What we don’t know, is what each team puts the most emphasis on in generating those grades, but it shows the degree’s of rankings worked up on these prospects.

5

April

Names to Remember When the Packers are Drafting

2013 NFL Draft

2013 NFL Draft

Every draft season, I put together a last minute pre-draft post with some predictions and things I’ve heard. In both 2011 and 2012, there were a few gold nuggets in there that came to be;  Derrick Sherrod, Randall Cobb, Casey Hayward, BJ Coleman, trade predictions, etc.

Rather than make you wait until just before the draft, this year I’m going to whet your appetite with some early scuttlebutt.  I’m not going to give you any details at this moment, that will be forthcoming closer to the draft.

Here are some names you should keep in mind:

Eddie Lacy
Le’Veon Bell
Stedman Bailey
Arthur Brown
John Simon
AJ Klein
JJ Wilcox

There are still three weeks to go before the draft. Much can and will change between now and then as teams like the Packers do their final homework on guys they’ve identified as “players of interest.”  But for now, study up on the players above…

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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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2

April

NFL Draft Prospect Profile: RB Montee Ball, Wisconsin

Montee Ball

Wisconsin RB Montee Ball

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: RB Montee Ball

Player Info:

Montee Ball

5’11”

212 lbs.

Hometown: Wentzville, MO

STATS:

NFL Combine:

-40-yard dash: 4.66 seconds

-Bench press: 15 reps

-Vertical jump: 32”

-Broad Jump: 118”

-3-cone drill: 6.88 seconds

-20-yard shuttle: 4.40 seconds

News and Notes: Highly recruited out of high school after racking up over 5000 yards and scoring 71 times in his final two years.  Owns the NCAA career record for touchdowns, tied Barry Sanders during the 2011 season for the single season mark with 39 and was a Heisman finalist.  Spent first two seasons at Wisconsin as a backup and ran for over 1300 yards in a “running back by committee” approach.

Ball stunned many by choosing to come back to Wisconsin for his senior year instead of entering the NFL draft in 2012.  He was assaulted on campus early in the season which resulted in a concussion.  Finished his career at Wisconsin with 5,140 rushing yards and 77 touchdowns. Ran a 4.46 40-yard dash at his pro day, which is about two-tenths quicker than his time at the scouting combine.

What they’re saying about him:

NFL.com: “Reliable, hard-working zone back. Presses the line of scrimmage, and generally has good vision and feel to find the cutback lane or cut away from penetrating defenders. Smaller back with a lot of wear on his tires. Possesses average overall size and straight-line speed. One speed runner who another gear to accelerate once in space, and doesn’t have elite agility to elude quicker defenders.”

CBSSports.com: “Ball does a nice job finding the run lanes and attacking the line of scrimmage with good quickness in tight areas, showing the speed to get around the edge. He has good balance and deceiving run power to slip out of tackles, rarely going down easily.  With more than 600 touches (so far) on his collegiate resume, Ball has put a lot of tread on his tires and shocked many when he decided to return to school for his senior season. But as long as he stays healthy, he will be one of the highest-rated backs next April and could hear his name in the first few rounds.”

Video:

 

Video Analysis:

1

April

Searching for Sleepers: Packers 2013 NFL Draft

Ted Thompson on the Prowl

Ted Thompson on the Prowl

Since Ted Thompson has had final say in who the Packers draft, there have been a number of, WHO?, picks. Nick Collins, Jerron McMIllian, James Jones, Josh Sitton come to mind looking back at different drafts and remembering the comments by many of the sideline GM’s. You could have got this or that player way later and TT should have taken this or that player instead. When you look at these picks and how they have turned out, I give TT the edge over the sideliners.

All of these picks were either smaller school players or players that had little or no buzz about them heading into the draft. For those that don’t know me, I have always been a big fan of these types of players. A college OT that makes the move to OG, a college DE that makes the move to OLB or even ILB like Lattimore now with the Packers. My thoughts have always been that good football players are good football players, it does not matter where they come from or who they played against. Call them reaches or for some flyer picks for this we will call them sleepers. With most of these player there is little of no Video on them, but I will get what I can for your viewing pleasure.

Here are a few that have caught my eye so far in the pre draft process. I am not putting any importance on a position, just prospects I think need a closer look.

Matthew Tucker RB TCU. 6-0 221#, 4.50 40 time, 1.54 ten yard, 35.5” vertical, 4.44 short shuttle and 7.13 3 cone drill, averaged over 5.0 a carry in his career, 3rd all time in TD’s for TCU. When you look at his stats he had his best games against the toughest teams.

Kyle Juszcyzyk Played HBack/ TE/ FB at Harvard 6-1 246# 4.71 40 time, 37” vertical, 10’1” long jump, AMAZING agility with a 4.19 short shuttle and a 6.93 3 cone drill and 24 reps at 225#
Few FB’s have that kind of athletic ability. Having been a Hback/TE he can catch the ball and has experience blocking. Watch the helmet removing block in the video, Runs good routes, Shows he is just a good hard nosed football player. With his versatility he could be a better more athletic Kuhn.

10

February

All Packers Talk Podcast: 2013 NFL Draft Needs

Packers 2013 NFL Draft Needs

Looking towards the 2013 NFL Draft…

The latest “All Packers Talk” podcast gets the Packers’ Draft season underway with a general discussion of positional needs.

In tonight’s edition, we “start the conversation.”

We plan on doing a series of these podcasts, looking closely at this Packers team, position group by position group, and analyzing where improvements are needed. Then, of course, we’ll examine college prospects that could help the Packers.

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Tune in for this expanded coverage of the original Packers Draft Needs Post  and much, much more…

Listen using the player below or download the podcast from the Packers Talk Radio Network on Itunes.

Listen to internet radio with Packers Talk Radio Network on Blog Talk Radio

 

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Follow Jersey Al:


                    Add to Circleson Google+

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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