Draft Strategy: Safety First?

A first round or even a second draft choice should be capable of contributing immediately.  There may not even be NFL football in 2011 and that really hurts 4 key players for the Packers (Harris, Woodson, Tauscher, and Clifton).  This should make the Packers approach 2010 with even more urgency. Where do we need the most help immediately?  On the defense where our team can be beaten regardless of how well our offense is playing!  Our offensive line will be playing at the beginning of 2010 much like they were at the end of the 2009 season.  We clearly need a Left Offensive Tackle but we should not need him to start until an injury occurs.

The first priority should be upgrading the Safety position and I see this as well worth a first or second round draft choice.  Why?  Because we get a top quality player that is on the field for every down.   In fact, this player would be on the field even when Woodson and Harris are healthy and at their best.  Something you could not say about drafting a top quality cornerback.  There are no valid backups on the roster for either safety position.  In addition, it addresses our greatest defensive weakness, big play passes.

This argument depends on TT seeing a Safety as being available at the right time and all the other players available on the Packer draft board are rated roughly the same in capability/potential.  Overall, I would not be disappointed with rounds one and two being an OLB, CB, or an Offensive Tackle.  This year I wouldn’t even mind TT trading down in order to get three second round choices.  I see second rounders as better team players, still having excellent skills, and fewer ego issues.


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  • http://Orlando Mark

    Well put. A good safety would be very important for blitzing as well. If not directly then by allowing Woodson the freedom to blitz because right now he’s second only to Matthews in that area. A good CB or RB who can return kicks would be useful in round three. TT can go in a lot of directions.

  • TJ

    I would say take a look at Myron Rolle in round 3. Use round 1 for a CB (Kyle Wilson, Boise St) & round 2 for either the best T or OLB available (Jerry Hughes, TCU?)

  • Rocky70

    Only way GB drafts a safety in rounds 1 thru 3 is if a highly rated one falls to them ………. This draft is all about the OL & its future for the next several years ……….. A premier safety can’t do squat to protect AR ……….. TT/MM know their futures in GB hinge almost entirely on keeping AR healthy.

  • roy jamison

    I hope they can get a OT and CB or SS. This is supposedly a good draft for OTs. To depend on Clifton to last the whole year is wishful thinking.

  • Mark Troy

    If anyone is hoping TT will draft “to win now” you will be disappointed.

  • Mel e Mel

    There is a buyer beware on taking a safety early. Look at Bob Sanders and Troy Palumalu. Excellent players but since they hit like LBs and have DB bodies they are constantly injured (See Atari Bigby). There is no Bob Sanders in this draft so O L remains the primary need.
    At 23 all you can do is hope TT did a good job on his board a hope a good player lasts that long.

  • snyz

    although i can’t argue against the need for a safety, the entire O-line needs help (as opposed to the secondary, where we have strengths) so i think you can’t go wrong wherever you draft an o-lineman. we all know predicting teddy t is pointless so i’m just excited to see what happens on draft day. after clay matthews last year, i’m not trying to guess, just hoping it turns out as well as he did…

  • roy jamison

    If the experts are right and the supply of OTs dwindles in the first round, the best player available probably will be someone other than an OT. If that best player available is a quality outside LB, then I would expect TT to take that player.

  • iccyfan

    snyz Says: “we all know predicting teddy t is pointless so i’m just excited to see what happens on draft day”

    Agree with your first point but have to take issue with your follow-up statement. I refuse to get excited or watch the draft. Two years ago I patiently awaited the Packer first round pick and there was somebody there who all the pundits thought was a no-brainer – Ted traded down and selected Jordy Nelson! Nothing against Nelson but I still haven’t gotten over the “let-down”…

  • Mel e Mel

    Icy how about this can of worms. If Dez Bryant slides down to 23 a la Randy Moss do you take him? He is easily the best receiver and DD isnt getting any younger.

    And for those of you didnt guess…

  • Mel e Mel

    Check the date

  • Larry

    With 6 tackles coming off the board in round 1 (possible) it may be prudent to see who becomes available after other teams draft them. A 5 year vet with starting time may be the plan. OLB/CB/safety could be a better value at 23 than the 5th or 6th OT.

    Maybe Harrell and 23 get you 10-20?

    Why not C. Woodson at safety with Collins and a high draft pick or 2 at corner. Might not play out this way on game 1 but a mid -season move could work.

  • Kevin

    Wow Larry (commentor, not author) – come back to earth. I agree with your first statement but after that…

    Harrell has zero value and will not help any trade. Why on earth would you move Woodson to safety when he just darn near got MVP last year for playing cornerback? Collins at corner? Come on…

  • Steve

    In addition, to DB and OL, I think they should entertain ILB as well. How many times did Hawk get torched up the middle last year. That’s where the pro-bowl caliber QBs were picking us apart. Hawk and Bigby were major liabilities in coverage…..

  • iccyfan

    Larry – Like Kevin, but for completely opposite reasons, I don’t like the idea of including Harrell in a draft trade. At this point Harrell has not contributed, but that’s because of injuries, not lack of talent. IF, and it’s a huge IF, the kid could ever get / stay healthy, he might measure up to his draft status and be an extremely valuable defensive lineman. If he’s not healthy, nobody would trade for him anyway. If he is healthy, no way the Packers get a decent return on investment.

    Kevin – Larry wrote – “Why not C. Woodson at safety with Collins?” He wasn’t suggesting Collins move to CB…

  • roy jamison

    If Harrell’s back is as bad as reports claim, I don’t see him in the NFL for too long. The NFL “Ain’t no place for the weary kind”.

  • Rocky70

    Agree on Harrell ……… He has little trade value because of his health issues ……… However, the dude’s still only entering his 3rd year in the NFL in 2010 & is still only 26 years old ………… If he can get healthy, stay healthy & become part of the DL rotation for a full season in 2010 he’ll be worth more to GB than any other team ……. Plus he’s still on his rookie contract & if healthy will be a cheap option on the DL ……… He may never live up to his draft status but he may also be like many NFL players who play well after stumbling out of the blocks at the start of their career ………..

    Also, if Harrell were traded or released, who would be the ‘player of choice’ for fans & pundits to trash? ………. Bush & Popps have already served as whipping boys & Brohm’s already gone ……… Need to choose a new ‘low-life’ for the fans to hate.

  • Rick

    Rocky I agree.Harrell has value to the Packers but minimal to anyone else. If healthy he is great depth, if not healthy then he is out of the NFL.

    With Kampman gone and Brad Jones a solid but not great OLB yet. My Mock has the Packers selecting Sergio Kindle.

    I will post just round one in a second post if anyone wants to read it.

  • iccyfan

    I’ll read it, but only if it goes two rounds. I want to see which OT you project in Round 2…

  • Pack Fan

    The special teams suck period! FA punter most likely, boot in the butt for Crosby who made $1M last year w/ incentives at 75% accuracy.

    They need to take Jahvid Best at 23. Kick returner, punt returner and 3rd down back with hands and speed. Your not going to get better value than this pick. OT and DB/LB are also needs but can be fopund round 2-6

  • Steve Cheez

    Anybody see any value in picking up Flozell Adams? Might be a nice insurance policy…

  • Steve Wolf (Ron’s Smarter brother)

    Flozell is going to want a starting job. He’s more likely somebody a team like the Bears will sign.

    Harrell has back issues and they never go away. He’s done. I am really surprised TT drafted him knowing he sat out his senior year with back problems. That’s not like him.

    As for a safety, who’s going to be there at 23 that is deserving of being drafted that high? Taylor Mays is a straight line guy who can’t cover.

    We need to draft a pass rusher to compliment CM3. We can’t afford to give up 500+ yards of offense like we did against Pitt. and the Cards.

  • Steve Cheez

    Love the moniker, SW.

  • Mel e Mel

    I like Sergio Kindle but his rap sheet is longer than the playbook. Dont see the regime taking the PR Grenade.

  • Rocky70

    Some interesting & wide ranging 1st round predictions for GB at 23.

    Scout.com (Steuber): Mike Iupati G Idaho (3/26)
    NBCsports.com (Silva): Brandon Graham DE Michigan (3/24)
    NFLDraftScout.com (Rang): Mike Iupati G Idaho (3/24)
    NFL.com (Kirwan): Maurkice Pouncey C Florida (3/22)
    NFL.com (Brooks): Charles Brown OT USC (3/18)
    SI.com (Banks) Maurkice Pouncey C Florida (3/16)
    ESPN (Kiper Jr.): Bryan Bulaga OT Iowa (3/11)
    ESPN (McShay): Anthony Davis OT Rutgers (3/11)
    NFP (Bunting): C.J. Spiller RB Clemson (3/10)
    CBSsports.com (Judge): Trent Williams OT Oklahoma (3/8)
    CBSsports.com (Prisco): Kyle Wilson CB Boise State (3/4)
    FOXsports.com (Schrager): Bruce Campbell OT Maryland (3/4)
    ProFootballWeekly.com (Nawrocki): Bruce Campbell OT Maryland (1/30)

  • Packer’s Advocate

    A little story for ya’all.
    Came across an old classmate and we were discussing the Pack………… it seems he had made a trip down Kiln, MS (however it’s spelled, just as stupid as Favre is) to drop off a load of something or other. Ends up having a few beers in the bar and Butt Farve’s uncle is there. He’s talking to him a bit and finds out that his uncle can’t stand Butt. Family jelously? Maybe, but maybe he’s just a prick. Would I share this story if is was a “yah Butt” story????? Not sure, but I guess I’d have to come across one first to find out. Not sure what it is that everyone see’s in him? Pretty damn fine QB, but great…… I wouldn’t say that, durable, yeah. I think he’s played his best, most controlled ball the last three years, unfortunately, two of those have been for someone else. If he doesn’t hang’em up, I sure as hell don’t want him in the ring of honor anymore than I’d want Sharper or Longwell in there…….

  • Rocky70

    A center in the 1st round ????? ………. From NFL(dot)com.

    ” 23. Green Bay Packers
    Maurkice Pouncey, C/G, Florida
    Pouncey is a Day 1 starter at guard or center. Two line coaches confirmed what I saw on tape about his first-round grade, even though few guards or centers go in the opening round. (Previous pick: Mike Iupati) “

  • http://Orlando Mark

    Interesting McNabb trade. It’s like what would have happened if we traded #4 to the Bears. A team with no receivers or O-line, decent defense. The biggest difference is fan reaction. We seem to care a lot more. You won’t see a lot of anger at Eagle management or support for their best QB since Van Brocklin. Probably fans won’t even care he was dealt to a rival or be more up for the ‘Skins game than the Cowboys or Giants.

  • iccyfan

    McNabb’s relationship with Eagle fans was screwy from the very beginning when they booed roundly at the draft. Despite many appearances in the playoffs and NFC Title Game, he was never able to win the huge ones. I really believe the majority of Eagle fans were ready for a change behind center and won’t miss McNabb at all…

    As for trading him intra-division, I doubt they think he’s the one piece that’ll take the Dead-Skins to a highly-competitive team. It’s kinda the equivalent of trading him to Buffalo or Oakland in the eyes of the average fan…

  • Sammy

    Have not been here for awhile as I find this time of year….well you know. HOWEVER, it does not matter what the topic, someone has to bring up Favre. FAVRE FAVRE FAVRE…..stop it already! See y’all after the draft. Peace

  • http://Orlando Mark

    Iccy, you’re right. Sammy, my bad, but I’d rather be a Packer fan even with all the hard feelings than an Eagle fan.

  • PackerPete

    Hey All!

    I finally saw one other internet reference besides mine to Jagodzinski and the ZBS he talked McCarthy into implementing and then Jags bailed out.

    The reference said if Jags is available why not bring him in to run the ZBS?

    I agree. I would go one further and bring him in as OC and push Philbin down to OL Coach-Asst OC, with Campen going to asst OL coach or out-the-door.

    Much like Capers et al last off season, a coaching addition could be the single best strategic maneuver the Pack can accomplish this off season!

  • PackerPete

    on other matters…

    the draft sure seems wide open this year for the Pack!

    We could go in any number of directions with our 23 pick. more than any other year I believe this draft will follow a path dictated by how the board falls.

    I think TT takes into consideration the value proposition of who is available and how much value they have within their positional peer group as well as how deep each position is in quality draftees before pulling the trigger on any moves, either trade or selection.

    Everything seems to be on the table this year, with that said, I am going to give my prediction.

    after mocking the top players at all positions and considering who is left and their relative value, I came up with Jared Odrick as the best value left on the board at #23, so that is my prediction for our first round selection.

    I have us with jared Veldheer in round 2.

    Lets see how it plays out, I cannot wait!

  • PackerPete

    BTW, my selection of DL in round 1 was partly based upon the depth of positional quality of other positions of need for the Pack in this years draft. IMO DL quality drops faster than other positions.

    I see good depth in this draft for CB and S, so no need to go for less relative value and select one in rd 1. I see OLB and OL much the same way.

  • Rick

    @Mel e Mel -Actually Kindle had the ability to be great if he gets somewhere where he can not get in trouble. I hop ethat is here in GB.

    @Iccy- I really do not see us touching O line man until the latter rounds. I have Kindle – 1st and Parrish Cox in 2nd. I really hope Alex Carrington is available instead in the second round but the Patriots just have to many dang picks in front of us.

    Next post will be first two rounds with updates from McNabb trade.

    I agree with Packer Pete about DL drop off. That is why if you can get Kindle without moving in the draft, duh, then go get him. The quality of Olineman has already dropped by the time our pick comes up so we need to pass on that in the first round.

  • Rick

    Draftnik that I am, I update my mock draft week by week after the Packer lost in the Playoffs. This is my last before the real draft, just posting the first round only. For fun, I have had 16 correct team and draftee as my record for the 1st round. I did have two others draftees at the right spot but trades allowed a different team to take the player. Note: I have adjusted for McNabb trade

    2010 NFL Mock Draft
    1 St. Louis Rams Sam Bradford, QB Oklahoma
    2 Detroit Lions Russell Okung, OT Oklahoma State
    3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ndamukong Suh, QB Oklahoma State
    4 Washington Redskins Trent Williams, OT Oklahoma
    5 Kansas City Chiefs Bryan Bulaga, OT Iowa
    6 Seattle Seahawks Jimmy Clausen, QB Notre Dame
    7 Cleveland Browns Gerald McCoy, DT Oklahoma
    8 Oakland Raiders Bruce Campbell, OT Maryland
    9 Buffalo Bills Dan Williams, NT Tennessee
    10 Jacksonville Jaguars Joe Haden, CB Florida
    11 Denver Broncos (From Bears) Rolando McClain, ILB Alabama
    12 Miami Dolphins Jason Pierre-Paul, DE UCF
    13 San Francisco 49ers Eric Berry, S/CB Tennessee
    14 Seattle Seahawks (From Broncos) Dez Bryant, WR Oklahoma State
    15 New York Giants Sean Witherspoon, LB Missouri
    16 Tennessee Titans Derrick Morgan, DE Georgia Tech
    17 San Francisco 49ers (From Panthers) Taylor Mays, SS USC
    18 Pittsburgh Steelers Kyle Wilson , CB/KR Boise State
    19 Atlanta Falcons Brandon Graham, DE Michigan
    20 Houston Texans Earl Thomas, FS Texas
    21 Cincinnati Bengals C.J. Spiller, RB Clemson
    22 New England Patriots Jermaine Gresham, TE Oklahoma
    23 Green Bay Packers Sergio Kindle, OLB Texas
    24 Philadelphia Eagles Ryan Mathews, RB Fresno State
    25 Baltimore Ravens Jared Odrick, DE/DT Penn State
    26 Arizona Cardinals Anthony Davis, OT Rutgers
    27 Dallas Cowboys Nate Allen, S USF
    28 San Diego Chargers Jahvid Best, RB California
    29 New York Jets Golden Tate, WR Notre Dame
    30 Minnesota Vikings Maurkice Pouncey, G/C Florida
    31 Indianapolis Colts Charles Brown, OT USC
    32 New Orleans Saints Everson Griffen, DE USC

    1 St. Louis Rams Bruce Campbell, OT Maryland
    2 Detroit Lions Devon McCourty, CB Rutgers
    3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Arrelious Benn, WR Illinois
    4 Kansas City Chiefs Jerry Hughes, DE/OLB TCU
    5 Philadelphia Eagles (From Redskins) Ricky Sapp, DE/OLB Clemson
    6 Cleveland Browns Daryl Washington, OLB TCU
    7 Oakland Raiders Geno Atkins, DT Georgia
    8 San Diego Chargers (From Seahawks) Terrence Cody, NT Alabama
    9 Buffalo Bills Vladimir Ducasse, OL U Mass
    10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (From Bears) Patrick Robinson, CB Florida State
    11 Miami Dolphins Brandon LaFell, WR LSU
    12 New England Patriots (From Jaguars) Damian Williams, WR USC
    13 Denver Broncos Brandon Price, DT UCLA
    14 New York Giants Tyson Aluala, DT California
    15 New England Patriots (From Titans) Jason Worlids, DE/OLB Vriginia Tech
    16 Carolina Panthers Mardy Gilyard, WR/KR Missouri
    17 San Francisco 49ers Rodger Saffold, OT Indiana
    18 Kansas City Chiefs (From Falcons) Mike Iupati, OG/C Idaho
    19 Houston Texans Ben Tate, RB Auburn
    20 Pittsburgh Steelers Kareem Jackson, CB Alabama
    21 New England Patriots Alex Carrington, DE/DT Arkansas St
    22 Cincinnati Bengals Cam Thomas, DT/NT North Carolina
    23 Philadelphia Eagles Major White, FS Florida
    24 Green Bay Packers Parrish Cox, CB/KR
    25 Baltimore Ravens Brandon Ghee, CB Wake Forest
    26 Arizona Cardinals Koa Misi, DE/OLB Utah
    27 Dallas Cowboys Dominique Franks, CB Oklahoma
    28 Seattle Seahawks (From Chargers) Montario Hardesty, RB Tennessee
    29 New York Jets Reshad Jones, SS Georgia
    30 Minnesota Vikings Chris Cook, CB Virginia
    31 Indianapolis Colts Jon Asamoha, OG Illinois
    32 New Orleans Saints Navarro Bowman, OLB Penn State

  • Rick

    Note per Iccy I added the second round too.

  • iccyfan

    You have Bruce Campbell going #8 to the Raiders and again at #33 to the Rams. I applaud you for completing a two-round mock and deviating from standard mind-set…

  • Pack4life

    CJ Spiller lasting to 20 I wish! TT would have no choice but to go get him. Players like Harvin, Desean Jackson and others are taking over the league. The Pack does need a speed threat

  • Rick

    @ Iccy -I just want the Rams to have the best draft possible I guess :) LOL

    I can not get my spread sheet to copy over properly so I hand typed.

    #33 Rams Demaryius Thomas, WR Georgia Tech

  • Rick

    At least I stopped typing Kaupman. Darn letter M.

    P4L – I do not think TT and MM believes RB is enough of a need for the trade up. But if we did, CJ would be a fantastic RB to get.

  • Rick

    Iccy – I am not sure if I am that different from others. I have been doing this as a hobby for about 10 years and you get a feel for GM/ Owner draft ideas. My worst was 4 in the first round in 2001. I had them all in the right within 2-3 slots but just kept missing. Then I hit on like 12 in the 5th round. At that point it is almost blind luck.

  • Rick

    Further note: I did NOT see the trade back into the first round by TT last year for CM3. That was an awesome move. This may be the year Clausen falls far too like Rodgers. If the Seahawks pass, I am not sure who will jump with a trade and get him in the late first.

    Well gotta put kids to bed. Nite

  • Rocky70

    I know Tampa Bay has tried many diffrent options at QB the past few years but I doubt they’ll convert Ndamukong Suh from DT to QB unless Rick has some kind of inside info no one else is privey to ……….

    CJ Spiller will never last until 21 ……… IF A. Davis or C. Brown are available at 23 one will be drafted by GB even if Kindle is still available ………. GB likes Brad Jones too much to spend a 1st on an OLB instead of an LT …………

    Another note – Mike Iupati will go higher – probably late 1st round ……… Some project him as LT in NFL.

  • Rick

    Typos strike again.

    Then again I don’t think I would want to tackle a QB the size of Suh :)

  • Rick

    Thats the fun Rocky isn’t it. Trying to figure out how each team will think and value players.

    We may take an OT in the first but the drop off to OLBs,CBs, and S is huge this draft and not as bad for O line. So get one of the defense playmakers early makes more sense. Of course if something happens like Clausen falling we could pick up more draft picks for our slot too.

  • Rick

    The cruicial part of the draft I believe is all about the 49ers. They literally control the first two rounds. Now I have them taking to of the best Safeties in the draft to upgrade their secondary. BUT… they literally can change the landscape. Every mock I did slowed down and depended on what the 49ers do. Pick #13, #17, and #49 are powerful picks.

  • Rick

    To Grandpa Brett.

    Good luck and health to the grandbaby.
    You are still a douche though.

  • Rocky70

    Imagine if Cliffy had not resigned with GB, then what would everyone’s 1st round pick be for the Pack ? ………. IMO, TT/MM will draft as if Cliffy signed with another team ……… The guy’s 34 years old & his chances of playing a 16-game season are slim ………. Both Cliffy & Tausch were resigned as insurance & don’t project as starters after 2010 ………. As a result, the OT positions (especially LT) need attention in 2010 …………. Waiting until the 2011 draft only puts off the inevitable one more year ………….

    Trade up & draft Bulaga …………. Starting line in 2010 ………. Cliffy, Lang, Wells, Sitton, Bulaga with Spitz, Taush, College as back-ups.

    Draft Mike Iupati & you have ……….. Cliffy, Iupati, Wells, Sitton & Lang.

    GB’s OL is just not good enough (Or deep enough) with the present players to protect AR for a full season …………. They’re missing the rookie stud ……….. After the draft they will have him ………. You can bank on it.

  • Rick

    Rocky you may be right about OT but I see TT more concerned with reequipping the defense further for the 3-4 system when looking at the quality player avaliable at the end of the first round.

    We do not have the trade points to trade as high as Bulaga is going to go and Iupati will not be around where draft in the second. If we could get those two players though I would be all grins, I just do not see it happening.