30

July

Green Bay Packers Draft Picks Get Their Numbers

Packers Blank JerseyIn what has been a frantic week of negotiations, trades, and player signings, the Green Bay Packers have finally signed each of their 2011 draft picks. These ten rookies had been waiting anxiously for the end of the lockout so that they could get to Green Bay and start training. And now, with all of their contracts signed, they have earned their uniform numbers and are ready to take to the practice field.

Below is a list of the draft picks, their new numbers, and some information about their contracts:

Derek Sherrod

Drafted: Rd 1, Pick 32 (32)
Position: OL (T)
Number: #78
Contract: Four-year contract total: $6.6 million ($5.32 million guaranteed); Signing bonus: $3,301,456

Randall Cobb

Drafted: Rd 2, Pick 32 (64)
Position: WR
Number: #18
Contract: Four-year contract total: $3.2 million; Signing bonus: $834,000

Alex Green

Drafted: Rd 3, Pick 32 (96)
Position: RB
Number: #20
Contract: Four-year contract

Davon House

Drafted: Rd 4, Pick 34 (131)
Position: DB (CB)
Number: #31
Contract: Four-year contract total: $2.34 million

D.J. Williams

Drafted: Rd 5, Pick 10 (141)
Position: TE
Number: #84
Contract: Four-year contract total: $2.33 million; First-year pay: $424,500; Signing bonus: $198,000

Caleb  Schlauderaff

Drafted: Rd 6, Pick 14 (179)
Position: OL (G)
Number: #68
Contract: Four-year contract total: $2.21 million; First-year pay: $401,450

D.J. Smith

Drafted: Rd 6, Pick 21 (186)
Position: LB
Number: #51
Contract: Four-year contract

Ricky Elmore

Drafted: Rd 6, Pick 32 (197)
Position: DL/LB
Number: #57
Contract: Four-year contract total: $2.18 million; First-year pay: $397,059

Ryan Taylor

Drafted: Rd 7, Pick 15 (218)
Position: TE
Number: #82
Contract: Four-year contract total: $2.14 million; First-year pay: $389,794

Lawrence Guy

Drafted: Rd 7, Pick 30 (233)
Position: DT
Number: #91
Contract: Four-year contract

Our Packers roster here at Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com has also been updated to show these changes. We will keep it current as training camp/preseason continues and cuts are made.

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

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28

July

Packers 2011 Training Camp: The Best Positional Battles to Watch

Ryan Grant will be taking on all challengers for his starting job

Ryan Grant will have plenty of competition in Packers training camp.

With the NFL’s longest work stoppage in league history in the rear view mirror, the Green Bay Packers will begin their 2011 training camp on Saturday, July 30th in De Pere, Wisconsin. It will be the first step in the Packers Super Bowl title defense, and like most training camps, it should provide a framework for how the organization’s roster will look heading into the 2011 season.

But it will also be home to several intriguing and important positional battles that will determine who starts and who rides the bench to open the year. Let’s go in-depth to breakdown some of the Packers best battles to watch during training camp.


RUNNING BACK

This will be the one everyone watches. 28-year-old Ryan Grant is returning from a season-ending ankle injury, and as the leading man to start each of the last three seasons, Grant still believes he is going to be the primary carrier. Grant claims the ankle is 100%, which is more then conceivable considering he believed he could have played in the Super Bowl if not on IR. He’s also the most experienced and accomplished back on the roster, as Grant rushed for over 3,400 yards and 23 touchdowns from 2007 to ’09.

When Grant’s 2010 season ended just eight carries in, the Packers running game floundered in his absence. Grant’s vision and one-cut and go mentality were sorely missed. Neither Brandon Jackson or John Kuhn were able to handle the No. 1 role, and the Packers running game was nearly non-existent. That is, of course, until 2010 sixth rounder James Starks took control of the position late in the season.

Starks rushed for 73 yards on 18 carries in his NFL debut against the 49ers, marking only the second time to that point that a Packers rusher went over 70 yards in a game. Starks then mostly disappeared for the remaining of the regular season, but reemerged for the playoffs and took the postseason by storm. His 123 yards against the Eagles in the Wild Card was a Packers rookie playoff record and arguably the team’s best rushing performance of the 2010 season. He rushed for just 66 and 74 yards in the following two games in Atlanta and Chicago, respectively, but Starks provided the kind of offensive balance the Packers needed.

5

May

Packers 2011 NFL Draft – What was Ted Thompson Thinking?

With the 2011 NFL Draft in the books, Green Bay Packers fans everywhere are left to speculate on why Ted Thompson chose the players he did. In this article, I will try to delve into the mind of our ‘awkward genius” and present a coherent rational for each pick.

* Derek Sherrod – Offensive Tackle – Round 1, Pick 32 – Replacement for Chad Clifton: The Packers hope that they have their bookends for quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ prime years.  This pick reminds me a lot of Bryan Bulaga, another offensive tackle that was widely respected but not as highly touted as some of the other offensive linemen in the draft and probably fell roughly 10 spots before the being selected by the Packers.  Thompson was thinking value last year with Bryan Bulaga and that applies to Derek Sherrod as well.

At the moment, the Packers claim that they haven’t worked out where Bulaga and Sherrod will be playing, but I think it largely lies with Mark Tauscher.  If Tauscher decides to come back for another year (and beats out Bulaga as the starter), then the Packers will have the option of choosing who goes where.  If on the other hand Tauscher retires, gets cut or becomes the backup, then Bulaga becomes the logical choice for right tackle since he already has experience there and Sherrod gets to learn the ropes behind Clifton and become the future left tackle.

In my opinion this isn’t a snub on Bulaga, nowadays both bookends are equally important, especially with a pass first offense like the Packers; defenses will take advantage of the weakest offensive linemen, not just the blindside tackle.

* Randall Cobb – Wide Receiver – Round 1, Pick 64 – Replacement for James Jones/Donald Driver: The Packers hope to add another wide receiver to their stable to replace James Jones (who is likely to leave for greener pastures) and continue to add depth behind Donald Driver, who just turned 36.  Thompson knows that the Packers are a passing team and keeping multiple receivers on the field gives the Packers the best shot at winning.

While Cobb was seen as a slot receiver, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cobb spends plenty of time outside the numbers. The Packers are rather unconventional in the sense that they don’t really have designated roles for their wide receivers, with every receiver playing every position. For example, Greg Jennings was often most effective coming from the slot, perhaps due to the fact that #1 receivers rarely line up there and often have linebackers or safeties covering them.

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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