Pigskin Paul Peruses Packers Picks

Packers NFL draft picksSo now all the guess work is over and the NFL Draft is in the books. As I write this most Packers rookies are showing up for their first taste of an NFL OTA.

And it is obvious that unless I am going to be totally oblivious of my readers’ desires, which is not a good thing at all, I am going to have to relent of my “no Draft Grades” stance, at least relative to the PACKERS and the rest of the NFC North.

So let’s start right at the top of the list with the team that is the clear choice as “America’s Team”, to the vast majority of my readers.



ROUND 1, PICK 26        DATONE JONES        6’4/283        UCLA        4.80/40    32 3/4” ARMS    10” HANDS

JONES selection may have been a slight surprise to some, but his name had been surfacing in talk of the PACK’s Draft plan on a regular basis over the final weeks leading up to the Draft.  The team’s brain trust (THOMPSON&McCARTHY) clearly agreed in principle with a lot of the PACKERS fan base that the team needed more help for CLAY MATTHEWS in generating pressure on opposing QBs. Disrupting opposing backfields turned into a hobby for JONES last season under the new coaching staff at UCLA, led by veteran NFL Coach JIM MORA. He recorded 19 TFL and 6.5 Sacks in his final season for the BRUINS. He might be a bit light in the pants for an NFL 3-4 scheme, but he carries his current weight well and combines functional strength and quickness to keep from being engulfed by bigger OT. His 29 reps in the Bench Press at the COMBINE was impressive for his weight. He also shows solid hand work combining strength and quickness to keep blockers off balance. He had a very solid week of work in Mobile at the Senior Bowl. He excelled in practices and roamed the field effectively during the game. One would expect that DOM CAPERS will move JONES around and have him on the field even in his 2-man DL formations. He has experience all along the line and has more athleticism than the last guy the PACKERS selected to fill this role for them: MIKE NEAL. I would expect JONES and a healthy NICK PERRY to help CLAY MATTHEWS tremendously in the front 7 in 2013. Not a “special” player like MATTHEWS, but appears to be an excellent fit in the PACKERS schemes and should contribute right away as a Rookie.



Packers vs. Saints Week 1 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

Week 1: Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 0-0 Green Bay Packers 28-24
Offensive Fireworks complement the ones during the concerts.  Packers defense makes a last minute stand as is becoming their trademark.  This would be a fun NFC title game matchup.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 0-0 Green Bay Packers 31-30
Both offenses move the ball with ease, GB D stiffens more often than NO, forcing 3 Saints field goals. That’s the difference in the game.
Adam Czech 0-0 New Orleans Saints 22-17
Defense usually rules the Thursday night opener and this year will be no exception. I don’t like how the Packers match up against an elite QB with a shiny new toy (Mark Ingram) at RB. Don’t worry, we’ll beat them in the playoffs.
Thomas Hobbes 0-0 Green Bay Packers 17-10
If training camp has been any indication its that the defense seems to be ahead of the offense, and while the Packers and Saints boast two of the most high powered offenses, they also boast two of the best defenses.  It probably comes down to who makes less mistakes.
Zach Kruse 0-0 New Orleans Saints 21-20
The Packers offensive line struggled this preseason, and Saints DC Gregg Williams will be coming after Aaron Rodgers. Both defenses rule the day, but Williams’s blitzes will get home more often then Dom Capers’. Saints TE Jimmy Graham will be a handful.
Chad Toporski 0-0 Green Bay Packers 24-21
With the exception of his first season, Mike McCarthy has never lost a Week 1 game or a home opener. I don’t expect anything to change here, but look for both offenses to try to spread out the opposing defense.

Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski