Packers draft according to status

It is safe to say the Packers might not see an immediate impact from their top picks this year, but that is a direct reflection of the status of their current roster more than anything else. With the lack of a drastic immediate hole in the roster the Packers could truly take the best player available and the fact that Bryan Bulaga dropped to them was a major bonus. Bulaga clearly is the future at left tackle with hope he doesn’t have to be pressed into duty this year. At 21 years-old, a year behind Chad Clifton would do wonders for the kid.

The best chance for immediate impact would be the next two picks – Mike Neal and Morgan Burnett. Neal will certainly see playing time unless he flops completely in training camp and my guess is Burnett is already the favorite to start opposite Nick Collins at safety. Current starter Atari Bigby can be written off if you ask me. Burnett or somebody else starts this year, Bigby is done, a one-hit wonder if there ever was one.

After that I’m as confused as the next guy. We didn’t really need a tight-end but Andrew Quarless could give the Packers their best tight-end tandem since the glory days of Mark Chmura and Keith Jackson. Spencer Havner had a great run, but it’s over. Donald Lee makes three. Of course Quarless is not likely to be that guy this year so D-Lee will be the backup to Jermichael Finley this year and see most of the playing time.

Marshall Newhouse is an interesting selection. Solid college career, bloodlines being the cousin of Robert Newhouse, the bruising fullback of the Dallas Cowboys in the 1970s. That Newhouse went to three Super Bowls, hopefully ours does the same. One thing is sure, competition on the offensive line is about to heat up big time. My guess is Daryn Colledge signs his tender real soon, however the Packers might be hoping he doesn’t. If Colledge were to win a starting job again this year the Packers are doomed to failure.

The last two picks, running back James Starks and defensive end C.J. Wilson will have uphill battles to see any playing time if they even make the team. Starks might have a chance because the Packers still don’t have a legit third-down back and it looks like Brian Westbrook will be signing elsewhere and the Packers appear to have no interest in re-signing Ahman Green.

But here’s the thing – the Packers didn’t need a huge impact player this year. I know cornerback is probably the biggest hole to be filled and the Packers were not able to address that in the draft or free agency, but the offseason still has three months to go. Al Harris will be available at some point but I think Tramon Williams will be the starter opposite Charles Woodson regardless. That isn’t exactly the end of the world. An increased pass rush would make them all Pro Bowl players.

All-in-all I thought it was a good three days for the Packers. The Packers aren’t a player away from the Super Bowl, they are home-field advantage away from the Super Bowl. Just like they were going into the 1996 season. The Packers hopefully made sure that they can overcome the ups and downs of a season with much needed depth where they needed it most, albeit one exception.

The Packers did well in the draft. Confidence is high.

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  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    Pretty obvious this was a depth draft for down-the-road starters. However, given that this group is all backup at this time, what an interesting camp its going to be. Sure beats the group we had two years ago when the OL fell apart w/ injuries. Regardless of what you think of Bush, Colledge, Jackson, Harrell, Bigby, and a couple of others, the onus is purely on them since they perform BIG in the Pre or they’re all gone.
    Its a fact that this is now a perenial playoff team with youth and leadership in place. Looks like two excellent drafts in a row to help us get over the disaster of 2007. Quit the knit picking of missing out on a position here or there. There will always be a better player that should have been taken at a particular spot but thats hindsight that cant be proven for a year or two.
    Its the team, guys. All (80) of them. You’re going to love the Pre.

  • CheesyD

    People are voting to give this draft an “F”? Seriously??

    Makes me shake my head in bewilderment.

  • Kevin

    OLB is another position we needed some help in. What do you think about the Packers using Havner at OLB instead of tight end? That was his original position anyways, and if Quarless succeeds to take a starting TE roster spot, OLB may be the best place to put Havner for now. That would add some instant veteran depth at a thin OLB position, and we have an overload of tight ends right now…

  • iccyfan

    Fans are fickle and I’m at the head of that list. I recall arguing with friends that selecting Nick Collins in the second round was folly – we could’ve gotten him in the fourth and selected ??? with that second round pick. Now Collins is all-pro and I have no recollection of who we “missed out on” to pick him…

    I’m pretty sure I made the same exact argument regarding Mike Neal Friday night, which falls into the category of “those who don’t learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them”.

    None of us are NFL GM’s, position coaches or scouts and we should stop pretending we have their depth of knowledge or understanding. Of course our job is to be passionate, and bitching it up on a message board is part of that. Onward ho…

  • Rick

    I guess I am starting to see what the idea is with our picks. The Cowboys are leaking information on rankings and projections so I am using their information as to cpabilities on some of the players we drafted.

    So we rotate Jolly/Neal/Harrell as RDE and Jenkins/Wilson/Wynn as LDE and Pickett/Raji as the NT.
    That actually looks good to me plus you can even rotate among the DE positions to hide scheme adjustments and keep the D Line strong with fresher legs.

    As to the TE Quarless. I guess when Jermichal Findley was in most teams knew he was not a blocker and adjusted to cover him so he had to stay in to block. Now with another stretch TE we can run a double TE set and the D have know clue as to the offense intent. In MM’s West Coast offense that should buy A-Rod about a .5 second and that will make our O line look better and give us better mismatches.

    We know Burnett is to challenge Atari as starting Saftey and that is good for the Packers. May the better player play.

  • http://Orlando Mark

    Typical TT draft. If a good player falls to us like Bulaga TT will take him. If not he’ll just play safe. We need a pass rush LB on the left side, return man and corner not to mention backup QB. TT should have traded players or picks to plug at least one of these holes. I expect us to win our division, even with a tougher schedule, this year but we can forget the SB if this draft is the all the talent that’s coming in this year.

  • Larry

    I’m not going to spew hate this time but Mark said it all. Its not about what we did take but what continues to be absent from the team that appears to be very close to a SB team. Mark may want to add the perrenial punter position to list.

  • http://Orlando Mark

    TT did a good job of holding our core players together and had a solid draft. I’m just hoping he’s not done looking for talent. Buffalo has too many return guys, Adalius Thomas might do better in our system, a lot of QB’s will be available later, etc. What I posted was just a comment that I hope TT isn’t complacent that he’s done enough, he hasn’t.

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    I dont think complacent is a charge one can ever lay on TT. A bunch of short memories here. I seem to recall six months, here, of OT, OT, OT, as #1 need (done).
    Looks like Jones at OLB will be my Bush of 2010. He either performs at an All-Pro level or TT failed at anothe draft. Oh, I forgot, TT was just lucky, again, at 23 like he was with Rodgers. Yeah, yeah, I know, Rodgers is too brittle to ever finish a season on his feet. Oh, such experts!

  • http://Orlando Mark

    LT, if TT wasn’t complacent after the ‘o7 season you can certainly say he wasn’t aggressive. Adding Nelson and trading Corey Williams didn’t get the job done. The personnel moves so far won’t get us to the SB as any review of our playoff game vs the Cards shows. We have real needs that haven’t been addressed and you don’t have to be an expert to see that. I don’t see Jones putting pressure on the QB and I don’t see Harris playing better at corner. Who returns kicks, who’s the punter? LT, you may be satisfied with making the playoffs but I’d like a chance to win the SB. The Saints took a lot of chances on free agents as well as onside kicks. I don’t see that with TT this year after he took some chances last year.

  • iccyfan

    Geez Mark, there are sure many things you “don’t see” – you reference it three times in your gripe-fest preceeding!

    I’ll tell you what I “don’t see”. I didn’t see the Packer Draft Board and where they had any of these players rated. We think (with the advantage of hindsight) they could have taken Jerry Hughes in the first and Charles Brown in the second, addressing two of their huge needs. Maybe they didn’t like either of those players that much…

    I “don’t see” the Packer off-season workouts, medical reports and internal player evaluations. You don’t think Al Harris will return to prior form and feel we should have drafted a corner; I feel the same way but I “don’t see” the progress reports on young corners Pat Lee and Brandon Underwood. Would a rookie from the third or fourth round fare any better than them against Roethlisberger, Favre or Warner? I “don’t see” it!

    I’m excited about our young teams improvement this coming season via increased maturity and experience. Ted is obviously respected in the NFL community as evidenced by teams stealing his developmental players off the practice squad and employees from his personnel department. When Nick Collins was selected in the second round, the talking heads from ESPN were all over it explaining why it was a terrible selection. You didn’t hear any of that when Mike Neal was picked, probably because they’ve learned their lesson and respect Ted’s eye for talent. It’s long past time for fans to give him a little respect…

  • Rick

    Iccy – FTW!!!

  • Kevin

    I think most Packers fans do respect Ted Thompson. But as is the usual way of things, the most vocal are the ones who don’t.

  • http://Orlando Mark

    iccy, it’s not a gripe fest. It’s a call for action. TT had a solid draft but we need to do more. We have redundant players we can trade and free agents who are or will be available. I hope the opportunities that come up won’t slip away this time. Returner, pass rush LB and punter will make an immediate improvement in our chances to win it all.

  • Pierre

    Packers are building a solid, deep, defensive line that is capable of dominating the line of scrimmage thus allowing the linebackers to pressure the QB more consistently. (Look for BJ Raji to have an increasing, significant impact.) This seems to be a sound strategy towards slowing down the passing game of those more talented QBs who had such remarkable success last year against the Packers.

  • roy jamison

    On paper, it appears to be a solid draft by TT. Also like the FA rookies he picked up. If I’m Donald Lee, I’m feeling the pressure of getting squeezed. But that’s life in the NFL, (not for long) league. I’m thinking maybe one of those speedy kick returners makes it on special teams. Maybe Al will try out for punting…again!

  • jonnyfootballhero

    Overall I’m pleased with the draft. However, I really would have liked it if TT would have picked up another OLB with more pass rush ability than Brad Jones appears to have. Hopefully the light will turn on for him and we’ll see him get to the QB more.

  • iccyfan

    Daily transaction wire says the Packers resigned Charlie Peprah; don’t exactly know why, but I like Charlie Peprah – maybe because he’s not Jarrett Bush!!!

    Comments following the Pacman Jones story say he was “sighted in Titletown” today; I’m all for redemption stories but there’s no way TT would go this direction!

  • 4205

    Fans don’t seem to realize that TT likes to believe younger players will get better – and give them a chance. Instead of signing an older player whose peak has been reached.

    Pacman would be pretty tough to believe, but remember Andre Rison provided a final piece for a year in the mid-1990′s so even Ron Wolf strayed from the same thinking occasionally.

  • iccyfan

    4205 – I said I’m all for “redemption stories”; if Pacman Jones has matured and still has that stunning athletic ability, he’d fill two holes for us, namely CB and punt returner. I’d not hold his past against him and suggest this is an opportunity for a Packernet fundraiser. Al can design and retail “Let it Rain” t-shirts, replacing dollar bills with NFL Lombardi Trophies….

    Having said this, I still don’t believe Pacman was in Green Bay yesterday…

  • Packer’s Advocate

    I’m a bit confused why Big Ben is getting suspended for six games for being accused of something (innocent until proven guilty???) and the Williams’ have been proven guilty and over 2 1/2 years later, are still playing w/o serving theirs??????????

    Why teams have and pay 53 players but can only dress 45 for the game???????????

    I am left to wonder what happened in Minnesota. They couldn’t fill their stadium, were this close (fingers apart a smidgin) to firing Childress and ready to fall apart. Two time quitter Butt Farve joins them, they turned things around and now we’re stuck w/a bunch of obnoxious Viking fans. Can’t imagine anyone wanting his number in the ring of honor??????????

  • Rick

    The Player’s Union should grow some balls and represent ALL the players in enforcing a uniform drug rule. This has become a farce with the Williams and the Vikings.