Meet Your “New” Green Bay Packers

By Rick

Ted Thompson has always followed a core belief in value drafting and thus building a team with quality and depth. This can be handy since due to injuries and Free Agency you never know where a need will arise and then it is too late to fill it. His picking Rodgers when a QB was not a need was one of the top picks in Green Bay history, but looking at the gems in acquired in later rounds or as undrafted free agents such as Charlie Peprah, Pro Bowler Tramon Williams, and the man of speed Sam Shields show that Ted has an eye on what he thinks will work when a player gets to the field. One thing I noticed is that as you go through this year draft you see TT drafting a variety of “hybrid” players. Is this an attempt to increase the athleticism from the 3 FB ST roster GB has used in the past for ST duty? I will have to say yes as otherwise many of the late round picks were a waste of value otherwise.

So with another draft ended we have some new Packers to welcome into town… when there is football again.

1st rounder Derek Sherrod – O lineman from Mississippi State.

Positives: 6’5” and 321 is what you like to see size wise in an NFL Tackle. He has huge hands and a great wingspan. Played in the SEC and is graded as a NFL Tackle or Guard and has a great football IQ. He is a great pass blocker and is average to above average as a run blocker. He fits the ideal blocker type for a pass first Green Bay team. Sherrod was faster in the cone drills and shuttle then Bulaga by almost half a second. He was a team captain and hardly missed a game in 4 years and is a great young man with character. He has a 3.54 grade point in business and volunteered all 4 years at MSU.

Negatives: 23 Bench presses was a few less then most 1st and 2nd round Tackles in both the 2010 and 2011 draft. He will need some weight room work to up his strength. A possible lack of nasty streak could spell trouble as well as a tendency to be top heavy when dealing with bull rushers and run blocking.

Overall: As the #25 big board player he was not only a great value pick for Green Bay at #32 but also provides some high quality depth with the ability to challenge for a spot as a Tackle or Guard. He should be in the mix as a possible starter on the O line.

2nd rounder Randall Cobb – WR from Kentucky

Positives: A mid 4.4 speed excellent athlete with great hands, crisp route running, and an eagerness to do anything. He can run routes as a WR, wildcat RB, back up QB, KR, and PR. But that is not all folks, he also holds on field goals and extra points, and likes tackling/blocking when on special teams. If Sam Shields is the Man of Speed then Randall is MacGyver as he is the Swiss Army Knife do anything of football.

Negatives: Did we mention he is 5’10” and does not even weigh 200 lbs?  A possible jack of all trades and master of none can be a trick bag for a player. It is hard enough to make a team and have an impact just learning and performing one position let alone 4, 6, or 8.

Overall: Another great value (in fact an outright steal) and Green Bay again brings in yet another crisp route running WR with great hands. Think a faster Donald Driver that also can play almost any Offensive and Special Teams position on the field except Lineman and K/P. He may be the returner threat lacking in Green Bay since the Desmond Howard days. He reinforces an excellent WR squad and maintains it as a strength in GB.

3rd rounder Alex Green – RB from Hawaii

Positives: 6’0” 225 RB that runs a mid 4.4 like a WR and averaged over 8 yards per carry and that was in one of the most pass happy systems in college football. He ran in between the tackles, caught passes, and ran for over 1000 yards for the first time at Hawaii in over 20 years. Originally it was thought he would run mid 4.6s instead blew the doors off at his combine with a 4.45.

Negatives: Numerous fumblitis concerns. He played in the WAC and was not running against top tier defenses. Originally was thought of as a FB ala Davenport but his 40 time is closer to Ahman Green.

Overall: This player had one of the highest increases in draft boards across the NFL in the last 45 days rising from a #225 player to #89 on my big board. Relatively unknown because of the WAC conference and the fact that a Noon game Hawaii is about 6pm Milwaukee time. Heck you can’t see a PAC 10 game unless Notre Dame is playing USC. Green Bay stole this player from the Raiders as they were trying to trade up into the early 4th to take him themselves. Alex is a very interesting player to see if he can translate to the NFL and if so the NFC north just got a lot tougher and Ryan Grant had better watch his back.

4th rounder Davon House – CB New Mexico State

Positive: If you are the GM of a team the plays press and bump and run coverage with your CB locked up man to man a lot and the 3rd best CB at that defense and the #60 big board player is available do you take him with pick #131?  6’1” and ran a 4.37 at his Pro Day, Davon was a KR as a freshman and set a school record returning 4 to the house for TDs. Excellent work ethic and strives to be the best shut down corner, period.

Negatives: Unless I missed the memo this guy plays in the WAC as well. Limited exposure to top collegiate talent – Boise State was the best they faced. Plagued by ankle issues all season saw a drop in his numbers.

Overall:  I am in awe of the luck that allowed Green Bay to trade out of the 4th round and grab more picks later in this draft and still get a top target player that I thought would sneak into round two. This pick maybe TT’s best value of the 2011 draft and maybe of the entire draft. House’s draft projections almost match Pat Lee’s from a couple of years ago. Hopefully he stays healthier then Lee has.

5th rounder DJ Williams – TE Arkansas

Positives: Overcame adversity and is a great young man. Played TE/FB/Hybrid Back in college, can you say made for GB. If added Linebacker duty he would be a bigger, faster and better catching Havner/Kuhn love child. He will excel at ST and filling possible holes with Hall and Kuhn being Free Agents and we all know of the TT’s 3 FBs, 4TEs on the roster last year.

Negatives: He is shorter than the typical NFL TE. Decent speed and hands but shows weakness in getting off jams by Strong Safety and LBs. Questionable in line Block skills as a TE.

Overall: First I am proud that he has worked so hard to overcome and seems to not take life for granted. He will work hard for the coaches and team. Being in the NFL he will get the ability to speak out on his message about abuse. He may be a practice squad player depending on team decisions to resign Hall and Kuhn. I hope he makes the team.

6th rounder Caleb Schlauderaff – Offensive Guard Utah

Positives: Strong worker, good size and weight. Able to work inside on the line and has had some time at Left Tackle.

Negatives: Reoccurring Hamstring injury has slowed him most of the season as well as a shoulder injury. A reach as normally I would have rated him as an Undrafted Free Agent signing. Caleb should stay a Guard if he wants to make team as he was not as effective in space as a Left Tackle and was moved back inside.

Overall: A depth chart pick of questionable value I have him at #290 on the big board and we drafted him at #179. He is very coachable but is injured and has limited success beyond that of a Guard. I figured he would be on the short list for teams to sign as a UDFA. Perhaps TT wanted to draft the couple of players he would have focused on as UDFAs. With coaching and a year or two of work may become a solid Tackle/ Guard back up.

6th rounder DJ Smith – OLB from Appalachian State

Positives: One of the top FCS small school LBs. He was invited to the combine and showed average speed (4.7)and above average tackling skills. Weak in pass coverage but was flexible enough to play both OLB and ILB to exploit mismatches.

Negatives: At 5’10” and 239 he has the mass but not the size and speed to excel at OLB at the NFL. He has great numbers but he played against FCS opponents.

Overall: TT must have wrote down wrong player this is pick #186 and I have this guy in the 350s on my big board. He must have dirty pictures of TT somewhere. The only thing I can think of is the see something of a SS position change (think Palamaluish) for him because he is very iffy in coverage but hits and tackles well. Again maybe we decided to draft the guys we would normally invite to camp.

6th rounder Ricky Elmore – DE from Arizona

Positives: Non stop motor, high energy guy like CMIII. Played as DE for all of his career.

Negatives: Played in a 4-3 defense as DE and at 6’5” and 255 he is like a 3” taller version of AJ Hawk. Not elite strength or speed and has minimal pass rush skills.

Overall: A nice late round 4-3 DE that would have made sense for the Bears but I am unsure of how he can fit into plans for GB. Converting him to OLB seems a waste with depth on team. At best a practice squad player for GB.

7th rounder Ryan Taylor – TE/H back North Carolina

Positives: Soft hands and a solid receiver. Willing to play any position and allowed North Carolina to move quickly without substitution from one play to the next. Extremely versatile and effective in the variety of positions he played in.

Negative: A tweener, a little short to be a TE and a to big to be a FB and to slow to be a RB. 6’3” and 254 running a 4.76.

Overall: A hybrid player that has moxy to do anything and work hard to try and make the roster. I did not even have him getting drafted and at best a camp invite. He was #378 on the big board getting drafted at #218.

7throunder Lawrence Guy – DT from Arizona State

Positives: 6’4” and 305 Defensive tackle that can play the 5 technique as a 3-4 DE and also a 3 as a 4-3 DT. Played his heart out on a bad team and was one of the few bright spots they had. Other teams basically focused on him the entire season to control the ASU defense.

Negatives: Not great numbers. Poor grades and immaturity issues followed him until he stepped up as a leader for the 2010 season.

Overall: The immaturity issues may have shoved his draft stock down but as the last pick for GB he is probably the 4th best player of GB’s draft. Rated #190 on the big board he was a very nice pick up at #233 and should make the team or practice squad. I like him a lot as a player and I think he will back up Neal and Pickett very well on the D line.

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  • 4205

    Great summary – I don’t look at nearly as close as you Rick. Nice to see the non-Gruden superlatives when appropriate.

  • 4205

    That didn’t come out right – I meant to say good reviews that had none of the Gruden superlatives about everyone! Your assessment seems consistent with the A rating by Bleacher Report

  • Steve Cheez

    Thanks, Rick. this is a perfect wrap-up that I can spend the next three months trying to explain to Mrs. Steve Cheez.

  • Rick

    Thanks guys for the kind comments.

    I give the Packers a B for the draft.

    Lots of value picks but TT drafted some very low ranked players near the end. We will have to see if the Hybrid Back is the way of the future for ST and versatile depth.

    • http://www.scotrstone.com Scot

      Because no one doesn’t know when the lockout will end, I really think that affected TT’s draft philosophy this year on the back end of the draft: draft the best guys now that would normally go undrafted, and who would have the greatest outside shot to make the team. With all the trading back TT did in the later rounds, it only proves this point. Overall, I think it’s another solid draft for now. But, we won’t know for sure until about three years out at least, right?

  • Larry

    Great summary…I’m not sure Sherrod will ever be a “black and blue” guard…hopefully he’ll have a tackle spot for years to come. I like 4205 comments…Gruden drives me crazy!

  • iccyfan

    I would give an A grade to rounds 1, 2, 4 & 5; outstanding value picks in each of those slots. Ted’s the man, but I just can’t convince myself Alex Green was the way to go in Round 3 when Christian Ballard was still sitting there with a high grade for position, and that position being a future need. Rainbow Warrior players tend to accumulate gaudy statistics due to that crazy offense of theirs, yet none of them have ever been more than pedestrian in the NFL (possibly excepting Davone Bess). I’d have given the draft an “A” if we could exchange Ballard for Green; as it is, I give it a well-above average B+.

    Having said this, I hope Alex Green takes the NFL by storm!!!

    • Rick

      I picked Ballard pre drug test as a Packer player at the end of the 2nd round. I agree he would be excellent with the Packers but I think Jolly has shown the folly.

      If the biggest job interview of your life is coming up in the next 30 days and EVERYONE is drug tested and you do drugs anyways…. you are either an addict or an idiot. Both can be fatal to your career in the NFL. Just

      • Rick

        saying

        • 4205

          well put

    • Steve Cheez

      Let’s hope he ends up like the last A. Green RB we had…

  • dave76

    Nice job Rick! Great summary on all picks.

  • Mel E Mel

    In the light of Johnny Jolly, you can not make a serious argument for Ballard above Round 7. Why replace one druggie for another. Picking at 32 is difficult yet TT pulled it off. He upgraded the best roster in football. Randall Cobb is going to greatly improve field position. Sherrod adds stability to an O-Line was anything but stable. House may be the Steal of this draft. House went out and competed knowing his team was about to get its doors blown off. I know wouldnt compete under those circumstances. DJ Williams fits the Packers like no other team. Imagine a Two TE set with, Finley and Williams no SS or ILB in their right mind will cheat toward the LOS in that formation. More room to run the ball more time to pass.

    No matter what anyone says the Lions will be the team to challenge the Pack. Thankfully they got jobbed twice vs the bears so they will be more motivated vs them than the Pack. They didnt upgrade their line so Stafford may be undersiege again their D will be ferocious though.

    • Rick

      I agree Mel E Mel. Can you get to Stafford before the ball comes out? That is the way to beat the Lions.

      They have a solid defense that is getting stronger. Beating the offensive line and getting to Stafford will be the key to victory. Leshore is a solid back and is a threat to pound it inside so the play action pass has teeth. You just have to get there first.

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    Did you notice…………….?
    Cobb is 20. Our OLBs out weigh our ILBs. We have a mob in the backfield.

    • Rick

      …and this month has no “R” in it…..

      jk

      No I had not noticed.

    • Rick

      BTW LT, 1:38 am posting? Tsk, Tsk, You were up almost as late as I was. :)

  • http://www.scotrstone.com Scot

    I don’t know about you guys, but I’m getting a little tired of hearing about how “great” the Patriots’ draft was, and how wonderful Bellicheat is at acquiring future picks. I’m also miffed about why there is so little coverage by the NFL Network and ESPN on the Packers’ draft. Which team actually won the last Superbowl?

    Also, I see other team’s players starting to do their own OTAs without coaches, despite the lockout. What are the Packer players doing? Where’s our leadership?

    • Packer’s Advocate

      Last part first, our guys were practicing into February and they got a SUPERBOWL TROPHY for it, so they got several weeks of extra practices the other teams didn’t.

      The N.E. Cheater’s are the best thing since the invention of the TV. A sideline video taping program here, tuck rule “huh” call there……….. But even the analyst at the time were confused over the trade w/Oakland. Oakland was still 10 picks away when making the trade. Where Oakland is likely to pick is closer to a 1 for the Patty’s and the 3 and 4 of the Patty’s will be at the end of the round, so closer to a 4th and 5th. But they’re all raving about them getting Mallett. Hope it blows up on them. And same w/the Lion’s and their draft. Sure they had a decent draft. They all want to rave about it but they’re picking 20 spots ahead of the Pack. Think they need to divide the round into quarters (A,B,C,D). The Lion’s picks at 1B, 2B, etc. are going to look alot different than 1D, 2D, etc. of the Packer’s. Sometimes I think these analyst consider the picks as the same, where ever they were taken in the round.

      • http://www.scotrstone.com Scot

        I agree completely. They need to divide the draft into quarters -sounds like a good idea. You can’t compare a team picking in the first part of every round with a team picking in the last part of every round. The team picking in the first part will be hailed as “brilliant” every time since they got the perceived better talent. I really don’t like grading drafts immediately after a draft anyway. We should be focusing on the grades from the 2008 draft right now, not the 2011. I hope the Lions get a big head and then get beat down again when we come to town!

      • Rick

        The sexier higher picks always have the pundits rating teams higher.

        The truth is in the middle. Will Fairley work hard and succed next to Suh or will he be lazy?

        Will Mallet develop into a solid back up with starter potential or pull a Matt Jones( former Arkansas QB/WR) and get caught with Mary Jane and Cocaine partying?

        Green Bay had two number one picks before and we had the best draft grade, which was correct looking at the two selections – Raji and CM III.

        We have some guys enjoying there time while others are working out. Nnamdi Asomugha, and Percy Harvin and a few others are in Florida working out with Woodson.

        • Packer’s Advocate

          Good point Scot………. It’s a good time for the “then and now” ratings from the 2008 draft. Can’t say I even remember who was picked?

          Rick, hope Woodsy is telling Asomugha to give the Pack a hometown discount and come join him!!!

          I’m hoping at a shot for a “three-peat” for the Pack!!! Two of the better teams in the NFC “Saints/Falcons” won’t have a first rounder next year to improve, should the Pack get back to the Super Bowl this year. I just hope the Pack did enough. I remember back a while ago (80’s/90’s) when the 49’ers and Cowboys were busy stealing each others F/A’s (mainly Charles Haley and Deion Sanders) to get themselves past one-another and into the Super Bowl.

      • http://Orlando Mark

        Who on earth cares what the pundits think. They only matter to the absurd BCS. Teams have different needs and great players can sit on the bench or be destroyed with bad coaching. This will all be decided on the field if we ever get the season going. That said, the longer camps are closed the more we’ll benefit as our playbooks and starters are stable and proven. For once we don’t have to rely on rookies and second year guys with new coaches.

  • Rick

    2008 Green Bay Packers NFL Draft selections

    Round Choice Player name Position Height Weight College – Comments
    ——————————————————————–
    2 36 Jordy Nelson Wide Receiver 6’3 217 Kansas State – Still with team #3 or #4 reciever
    Player Rating : B

    2 56 Brian Brohm Quarterback 6’4 225 Louisville – Practice Squad player currently on active roster with Buffalo Bills Player Rating : D (C with Bills)

    2 60 Patrick Lee Cornerback 6’0 201 Auburn – Dime CB. Has been IR as much as on roster since being drafted. Player Rating : C ( Effective when healthy)

    3 91 Jermichael Finley Tight End 6’4 243 Texas – Pro Bowl calibre. Great stats but injury prone. Player rating : A

    4 102 Jeremy Thompson Defensive End 6’4 264 Wake Forest – A 4-3 man in a 3-4 world. Depth was nice and then cut. Player Rating: D

    4 135 Josh Sitton Offensive Guard 6’3 324 Central Florida – Pro Bowl RG. Player Rating A

    5 150 Breno Giacomini Offensive Tackle 6’7 303 Louisville – depth player that just could not get it done game day. Player Rating: F

    7 209 Matt Flynn Quarterback 6’2 227 LSU – Developmental pick and became a solid back up, allowing GB to only carry two QBs. Player Rating : B

    7 217 Brett Swain Wide Receiver 6’1 200 San Diego State – Made the final roster and plays ST very well. Player Rating : C

    Out of 9 draft picks
    2 starters – Sitton, Finley ; 2 Almost Starters- Nelson, Flynn; 2 Depth guys – Lee, Swain

    Not bad – I give a solid B to the 2008 draft. Not bad for no number 1 pick.

    • Packer’s Advocate

      Thanks Rick!! I’d give it a B+ on the strength of Finley and Sitton. Also 6 of 9 made it, which is pretty decent I think. I might take some time and look up what the draftniks gave it right after the draft. Also, we were picking in the D spot I believe (NFC Championship loss, would’ve put us in the last 8). Remember where we got the extra 2……. Corey Williams trade???

      • Rick

        We traded down out of the 1st round.

      • Rick

        I agree with you on the B+ PA.

    • Michalske

      One correction:

      Jeremy Thompson was not released because of a lack of talent or ‘fit’ for the 3-4. He retired due to potentially life threatening injury situation.

      http://bleacherreport.com/articles/384729-unfortunate-end-to-a-once-promising-career-lb-jeremy-thompson

      However, I don’t disagree with the grade as TT traded up to get him.

  • Larry

    Predicting the draft and rating the draft are the “preseason” for fans. Not much value but it makes for good discussion. In the end the only thing that matters is results. Did any of the picks fill a need for the Packers LONG TERM. As Rick ably pointed out, that 2008 draft, without using a first round pick solidified 2nd QB, 3rd WR, starting TE and starting RG. Four critical positions! This allowed TT, to move on to other positions in 2009/10/11.

    I for one wasn’t impressed with the 2008 draft. Findley didn’t light up 2008, Brohm was the 2nd QB (and Rogers was already the future) so why draft Flynn, our starting WR’s were on the roster so how much value was Nelson, and interior lineman are about as glamourous as milk.

    3 years later these 4 are firmly entrenched and very good. This probably is the draft that emphasized the BPA mentality. We had no business drafting Flynn in the same draft as Brohm BUT as the story unfolded he was BPA and being looked at by other teams as well.

    The rest is history! I buy the draft mags like many others, and feebly make predictions, but in reality I know that TT and company are YEARS ahead of me and the the taking heads. He’s built a team that has the luxury of drafting for two/three years out…and he does it REALLY WELL. I’ll guess I’ll just have to wait to 2014 to see just how well he did.

    • http://www.scotrstone.com Scot

      If anything, it is fun to be proved wrong and watch your team go from good to great.

  • Larry

    Well said, Scot

  • http://Orlando Mark

    What bothered me about the ’08 draft was waiting hour after hour watching ESPN only to see us take Jordy Nelson. I always thought he was a good player, in fact I thought he would be better sooner, but I really wanted us to get a D-lineman. And, when we finished that year 6-10 I wasn’t a happy camper. It just proves how little we know about drafting. That said, I still think Cam Newton and Ponder are lousy picks.

  • Packer’s Advocate

    Here’s a couple random ones I looked up.
    USA Today B-
    Green Bay Packers: Skipped out of the first round in deal with New York Jets. Grabbed WR Jordy Nelson in second round and this could be a steal though a bit mystifying since the Packers aren’t short of talent at this position. The kid can fly, runs 4.5 40-yard dash. Filled needs later with CB Patrick Lee and TE Jemichael Finley. Stole DE Jeremy Thompson in fourth round. QB Brian Brohm could have gone higher.

    NFL Draft Site
    Green Bay Packers: (C+) Jordy Nelson, Brian Brohm, Patrick Lee, Jermichael Finley, Jeremy Thompson, Josh Sitton, Breno Giacomini, Matt Flynn, Brett Swain.

    Why the heck do you draft Jordy Nelson when Limas Sweed, Malcolm Kelly, and DeSean Jackson are all on the board. Don’t get me wrong, Nelson is an underrated receiver and runs routes well, but he definitely is no t the best receiver available. The Packers don’t even need a receiver right away, so why not draft someone like Kelly and Jackson and have them improve while not being pressured to contribute immediately. Brohm was a great pick, he was rated as a first round NFL Draft Prospect for most of the season. Brohm is great insurance and should be a started in the league in a couple years. The more questionable pick is Flynn. I don’t think the Packers want Favre back anytime soon with all the quarterbacks they drafted. Patrick Lee however, is possibly the best pick of the bunch. He’s a physical cornerback who fits what the Packers want in a cornerback. Sitton and Giacomini are great picks, but they are needs that the Packers could have and should have addressed earlier in the draft. Sitton might have been a bit of a reach though.

    Kansas City got lots of A’s and A+’s. Glenn Drosey was a steal at 5 (huh)………… is he even still playing? Miami also got lots of good grades.

    • Rick

      HAHAHA…. Sitton a reach. That is rich. Oh man, I said at the time he may have been the steal in the draft .

      As to DeSean Jackson, his speed is amazing but he was not known for great route running and dropped easy catches. That is why was still on the board. More returner ST player first and then a receiver second.

      The Eagles have done well to develop him and he is a real fun player to watch. Nelson is not that crazy returner but he runs crisp routes, does not get jammed easily and gets seperation, and is exactly where A Rod wants him. That is the utmost for our offense to work.

      I’ll call a tie between them. Since GB beat the Eagles twice and won the SBowl I will say tie goes to Packers right now.

      • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

        Agreed, the wins will out! BTW, sirens of the local gendarmes led to the 1:38 yesterday. College town, you know.
        The ’08 draft has never bothered me as much as ’07 ’cause I’ve always blamed the record on the lack of depth of the OL (which has taken another couple of years to develop, as you know).

        We WILL have Pro Bowl reps on the OL if we don’t continue to win Lombardis.

        • Rick

          5 0 making noise and bustin’ down doors LT. Better be careful. Us here in the Great White North read up on that evil Texas temptation that got poor old Jolly. LOL

      • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

        Well, no friggin excuse for Jolly behavior and he is gone unless there is a need (Jenkins, Neal not ready). Speaking of NEED I’m struck by the concensus that TT did, and always drafts BPA and then all the justifications for the picks end up need.

        IE; Sherrod/Clifton, Cobb/JJ and Driver along with STs, Green/Bjax and FBs on roster not able to convert on short yardage, House/Lee injuries and Woodson’s age, Williams/STs, etc, etc, etc. Now, some will say these were all BPAs because they were the best available at that position (pick) but we sure won’t know that for a couple of years, will we?

      • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

        Anybody think LG is a need?

        • iccyfan

          Not really. Colledge ended up at guard because he “failed” in his opportunities at OT; he never lived up to his draft status and his mistakes came at inopportune times, but he was serviceable. If he moves on, next man in from our legion of versatile college OT’s. Also, I kinda like what I read about our under-the-table draftee from Utah, Slaughterhouse.

          Also, your logic on BPA / Need is circular; every pick fills a need! I saw D. House projected as a second or third round pick on many mock draft sites. You identify CB as a need (and I agree), yet TT traded away our original fourth round pick for a pair of fifths and ended up picking House with our supplemental 4th. That’s not the calling card of a guy drafting for need – he’s obtaining extra picks to aquire extra bodies (BPA’s) and ratchet up competition in training camp (assuming we have one).

          • Rick

            Good points

          • Rick

            Very valid points

          • Rick

            Sorry…

            @LT – Good Points

            @iccy- very valid points

        • Rick

          And that seems to be Ted’s MO. Aquire extra picks to bring in as many solid players as possible and see who sticks. It brings up the overall quality instead of just a “star” player and garabage at back up. This year for GB was all about depth and a teaching coaching staff.

          I like the idea of Tackles galore to be your depth along the line. Except for the center position. The blocking calls and adjustments in GB offense really requires more than physcical gifts at center. The Spitz/Wells competition proved that.

          • Michalske

            Correct on the OT to OG transition. Regrding the center need watch the 6th round pick Schlauderaff, who actually played center for a few games.

            What I’ve noticed about TT’s ‘BPA’ system is that at some point there will 10 or so guys with the same grade, and at that point he picks to fill a position. So you always get the pundits saying something stupid like ‘have no idea why they wasted their first selection on a receiver but they ‘filled needs in later rounds.’

            Ron Wolf once said that you always need to draft 7 positions (OT, OG/C, WR/TE, RB, DL, LB, DB). BPA guys like Ted draft their top guy in the first regardless of position, and fill needs with value picks in the later rounds. ‘Draft for Need’ teams draft a 4th round grade QB in the first because the ‘need’ one (e.g. Matt Jones, and this year I think Locker) and aren’t patient enough to wait for value (e.g. Flynn, or Brady).

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    My LG comment was meant to be sarcastic as I’ve never been unhappy (as it seems most, here) with Colledge. I think iccy is right – a lot easier for an OT to slide in than an OG to slide out. Those comments on the needs were not mine; they come from our own posts on this site. Again, I guess I had a failed attempt at sarcasm.

    • iccyfan

      OK. I just reread the post and I’m not clear on how you expected anybody to identify it as an attempt at sarcasm, but I’ll take you at your word. It makes Rick’s “good points” compliment kinda funny, considering you didn’t mean any of them…

      While stranger things have happened, I think James Jones and Darryn Colledge signed their own exit papers when they neglected to sign their FA tenders before the lockout went into effect. I’m ambivalent about both of them; fine if they return and fine if they take their leave – both are replaceable if it comes to that…

      • Rick

        I was saying to LT (and I did not realize sarcasm was in effect) that he had a good point that by TT always drafting BPA you have enough depth to stay competitive if injuries, FA, or (in the case of Jolly) stupidity leaves a team short handed. However when the BPA matches possible future needs that is all the better.

  • Rick

    - In my best Chicago accent-

    Ok Ok, who would win Coach Ditka oooorrrrrrrrrr a Hurricane named Ditka??!!

    Answer….. neither. The Packers have won twice since Ditka!!! :) LOL

    GO PACK GO!!

    Gosh it is fun to be a Packers fan.
    Sorry about the strangeness but I watched the Season DVD and got all fired up again. :)

  • Larry

    I don’t quite agree with tackles shifting to guard being as effective and I think our run game has suffered to a degree because of it. Guards are usually shorter/stockier and on many teams heavier than the tackles (although Cliffy is our biggest). They need to block nose tackles at 340+ or 4-3 tackles at 310/315 College was a tackle but as a guard he doesn’t compare to Sitton who is 320ish. (the press weights are generally low/Raji/Pickett/GREEN and lord knows that Gilbert Brown wasn’t 340).

    The assumption is that Colledge is a FA and Lang/Sherrod would fill the spot. I thinks I’d really like to see a true guard at 320+ giving GB a fairly large front with Wells 308 as the little guy. Lets see how Grant/Starks and rookie Green run with a true guard next to Wells.

    I don’t see Sherrod as a guard ever. RT or LT but not a guard. IMO

    • iccyfan

      I don’t disagree with this sentiment; I kinda liked the later draft pick of the Utah Guard, Caleb Slaughterhouse. The criticism of him was his lack of athleticism – how much does he need!?!. He’s big, strong and smart with a nasty streak – Excellent!

  • http://jlworden1suddenlink.net LarryTex

    You know what, I’m going to quit refering (even in jest) to BPA and NEED. A new term has popped out this year since I think we all think both were accomplished. In fact, other than the TT drafts that have resulted in super-stars, ie, Raji, Matthews, (a reach with good bloodlines at the time?) Rodgers, etc. this has the potential to be one of the best. In any case the new term being kicked around a lot now is VALUE.

    Anybody disagree that this was not a first class VALUE draft? Certainly not me.

    • Michalske

      Agree 100%. Value id the way TT operates. Take Sherrod — as a pass blocking OT (always the Packers preference) he was maybe the #3 guy in the draft (at least 2 of the tackles drafted previously were more run blockers).

      So TT gets the #3 pass blocker while teams around him are picking the #7 or 8 pass rusher — who won that contest?

  • Larry

    LarryTex…this idea has VALUE!

  • Larry

    We know TT loves his team young so I looked at the roster by age just to see how the draft lines up as a replacement for the elder Packers. Over the last two years…TT seems to have put in place the replacement for nearly every Packer 28 or older. Here’s the list:

    “Quickie” Driver at 36 is the oldest and his skillset is best replaced by rookie Cobb

    Cliffy has Sherrod to ease him into retirement.

    Woodson…House

    Tauscher at 33 seems to have been replaced by Baluga at RT

    Green is 32 and is a pure run stuffer, backup NT…he spell Raji or backup at tackle. he’s they’re
    depth or goal line.

    Pickett is 31 and I would consider a starter with Neal replacing Jenkins. He will be the only
    starter I see without his replacement in place. Unless Justin Harrell or John Jolly?? is counted.

    Jenkins is 30 and probably has given way to Mike Neal

    Scott Wells is 30 (although not old for a center) but has McDonald in the wings.

    Wilhelm is 30 but a role player at best.

    At 29 we have Barnett, Bigby, Colledge…perhaps none of these will even be on the roster in
    2011 but only Colledge a FA has a chance to start.

    and for grins the 28 yr olds Grant, Kuhn, Havner, Spitz, Chillar and Peprah are looking at youngins Stark, Green, Williams, McDonald, and Burnett.

    I’m not sure what this all means but it APPEARS that TT starts to look for upgrades as a player approaches 28 and other than Picketts replacement he’s seem to have found them.

    • dave76

      I think you are right Larry with TT and the age factor. I believe also he appears to be doing this, maybe thinking it will take 2 or 3 years to have them groomed to be a starter. We all know how injuries can shorten careers, and I think TT is genius at preparing the roster for the future. He certainly knows how to build a championship team of players and staff.

      • Rick

        I reread what was being said about TT in 2008 after the Brett Favre affair. He was not looked upon kindly by fandom and some coaching circles. However he held his course and this year’s injury filled year was not a write off. In fact it became a Super Bowl championship team.

        There was some luck and fate to it, there almost alway is, but it was a 10-6 team not a 6-10 team. I will offer to buy DeSean Jackson a beverage any time I see him. That return allowed GB to stay in charge of their fate for the playoffs.

        One of my Bears friends points out, no amazing return and the Giants win that game. If every game stayed the same GB does not get to go to the playoffs. The Giants would have had the last spot.

  • Larry

    A few years back didn’t some nobody QB throw a final second touchdown to beat the Vikings to send GB to the playoffs. Each season has a similar tale for some team. Music City miracle, Immaculate reception etc…some times lady luck smiles your way. GB still had to win 4 to hold the Lombardi…they made the most of it.

    • Rick

      2003-2004 season. QB Josh McNown to Nate Poole. GB flew Poole up and gave the Nate and his wife a tour and free dinners and drinks and visited with the GB mayor.

      Next game was the Seahawks vs Packers playoff game and the ” We are gonna take the ball and win” quote.

      … and then the 4th and 26th game :(

      Boy it was like yesterday in my mind but 7 years ago in real time.

      • Rick

        I always felt the Eagles were doomed because of that 4th and 26th game. They pO the football gods.

        I really think GB should have won. Then beaten the upstart Panthers. Won the Super Bowl and probably had Favre retire since that was the first year of should I shouldn’t I.

        Then Sherman would not have been fired and he would have traded up to #23 from #32 and grabbed Grossman as a rookie QB to throw in the fire instead of the Bears. We may have Sherman and Grossman for the last 6 or 7 years. How is that for a where are we moment?

        • Rick

          … and in this alternative history I would have won the lotto and retired. LOL

      • http://Orlando Mark

        The 4th and 26 was devastating. We were outcoached. The play I remember most was the run blitz on the goaline by Jim Johnson. He negated a tough but predictable run play and Sherman was afraid to run out the clock when he was in good position at the end. That was our best team until the current one. A lot would have changed but #4 wasn’t going to retire till he was physically washed up.

  • Larry

    You need to sleep more, Rick!

    • Rick

      To many children. We have proms, middle school field trips, helping run school fund raiser carnival, organizing family reunion….oh and trying to work.

      Sleep I will get when I am dead :)

      • Packer’s Advocate

        Good idea Rick…….. is the slow time of year. Takes a while to get back that far by repeatedly pushing “older entries”. Thought I’d look back too. Alot of names I remember. Most of them gone now. I think most were kinda anti-TT. I suppose after the success the Packer’s have enjoyed the last couple years, I can see why. I remember spending waaaay tooooooo much time texting back-and-forth back then.

  • Mel e Mel

    Rick the 4-26 was setup by Sherman, refusing to go for it on 4th and short. Ahman Green, Mike Wahle, Marco Rivera, etc yet Sherman didnt man up when it counted. He did the girly thing. And paid the consequences.

    • Steve Cheez

      And didn’t whatever pus-leg we had punting then pooch it in for a touchback? So something like a 15-yard net.
      So I guess games like that kinda balance out with the DeSean return.

      • Rick

        You maybe right Steve

    • Rick

      Yes MeM Sherman screws pooch…..

      Donatell’s 4th and 26 call to field was a blitz with McKenzie and Harris on their men in a cover2 zone instead of pressure man to man. Push the routes to the outside and use the side line and safety help over the top on both receivers.

      Call went in and Sherman called it off and changed to a soft coverage man to man (Prevent). The receiver broke free and split the seam and the safety was late reacting. I am still pissed at Sharper. If he had not been trying to peek in the backfield he would have been there before the receiver and GB still would have won.

      Sherman’s fault for changing the call. I know blitzing into max protect sounds crazy but they needed 26 yds to stay alive. Force the quick throw give up 10 or 15 yards. 1st down your ball and thats the game.

      Also Sherman’s fault for “safe” play calling and going 3 and out the last two times GB had the ball.

      The idea of pooch punting when you are that close was also a stupid call.

      Sherman forgot that is how GB beat the Eagles near the end of the season. They played it safe and GB caught back up and won the game.

      It took me two years to not keep reviewing the tape of that game.

      Due to Sherman’s folly,Donatell get fired and leads the Falcond D into GB in the playoffs and man handles Favre.

      Instead of Sherman getting fired and hiring MM and keeping Donatell

  • iccyfan

    Aaron Rodgers is hanging out with Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Marissa Miller at the Kentucky Derby. As if that guy’s life could get any better…

    C’mon guys, let’s talk about things that aren’t depressing…

    • Rick

      He maybe one of the sport’s most eligable bachelors.

      I picked archarcharch for the derby.
      Who did you pick iccy?

      • iccyfan

        Not a horse racing fan, but not too old to appreciate Marissa Miller!!!

        • Rick

          LOL

  • Larry

    Iccy picks Marissa Miller in the first round…Draft grade A++

    • Rick

      All of a sudden I heard that song from Kanye West ” She take my monnneeeeyy……”

  • LarryTex

    85 players considered active roster. 5 have double digit experience and 9 are only 30 years old or more in age. QBs are 25-25-27 and oldest RB is 28. Excluding Woodson the only age is at OT and DE.

    • LarryTex

      Poppinga and Wilhelm or Driver don’t count.

  • iccyfan

    Not much NFL to talk about and still looking for discussion of items that aren’t depressing to a Packer fan. Let’s have a little fun with Rick, who was a major proponent of the Packers drafting Texas OLB Sergio Kindle in 2010. An article in today’s NFP chronicles his 2007 DUI, lost 2010 season (fell down stairs) and December DUI arrest. He was able to avoid jail time via voluntarily spending five days in a treatment center. What say you, Rick, did we dodge a major bullet with this one?

    I don’t know the specifics of his pre-season stair fall, but the article says he signed a one-year pro-rated $320,000 rookie minimum contract with no signing bonus. The Ravens retain his rights as a RFA. His attorney argued “financial hardship” as a contributing factor in his DUI. Wish I could get a one-year $320,000 deal from my employer to stay home and convalesce!

    Wish I had been better at HS football. Rather than having a talent to rush the passer, I was inclined to let the rusher pass by me….

    • Rick

      Iccy, it seems to me that NFL Players should not hang around in Texas.

      Jolly-partying with Sizzor, Kindle partying and gravity on a stairwell, Benson partying on a boat, Kalib shooting after a party, Bryant- can’t keep pants up at the mall, and I am sure others as well.

      Jamarcus Russell was in Texas and drove to Mobile for a prty and got nailed in Mobile, so it was a Texas “assist” on the do not hang around in Texas curse.

    • LarryTex

      On the other hand, “right to work”, no state income tax, flying weather all winter, great roads, wide streets, and no pot holes. Ah, AND the death penalty!

      • Rick

        Idle hands are the devil’s playthings….

      • Rick

        Wisconsin… a little snow, a little cheese, a lot of beer, and we have the Packers!!

        Wisconsin for the win

        :) just playing Larry Tex

  • Rick

    Speed versus Quickness

    By Rick

    Well the lockout continues and there is no real NFL news to look at. So I went back through some of my analysis and why I rate some players better or worse than others on my big board. It goes without saying that how each and every one of the newly drafted prospects performs on game tape is still the most important element to the final decisions in drafting, but I always like to dig inside the numbers looking for clues about each and every player.

    Using a method derived from Pat Kirwan when he was with the Jets and the Big Tuna. He took the 40-yard dash times for players with a draftable grade and compared them to the results in the short-shuttle test. A player with a cumulative grade indicates he should be one of the 224+ athletes drafted.

    So we look at athlete’s 40-yard times for their position and how straight speed compares with quickness and change of direction. As we all know, unless you’re on the kickoff team or running a “go” route at the wide receiver position, it’s almost impossible to find a spot in a football game where you can identify a 40-yard dash. A lack of great straight line speed can easily be offset by the ability to explode out of a stance, change direction in five yards, explode again for 10 yards and then change direction again, all while keeping your weight down. The short shuttle can be a much better indication of your ability to play football fast. I didn’t say an indication of the ability to play football, but rather of the ability to play football fast.

    Kirwan’s general rule of thumb for comparing speed (the 40-yard dash time) to quickness and change of direction (the 20-yard short-shuttle test) was to take the 40 time and subtract the short-shuttle time and expect a 0.5 difference. For example, a player with a 5.0 40 time needs to run a 4.5 short shuttle to get the 0.5 differential. Simply stated, his speed and his quickness relate to each other. A man who runs a 4.4 40 and a 4.4 short shuttle is really a guy with straight-line speed who may not play very fast because of a lack of quickness. He is often referred to as a guy with “track speed.” Conversely, an athlete who runs an average time of 4.7 in the 40 but can hit the short shuttle in 3.9 — significantly better than the 0.5 differential — can overcome his average speed with great quickness and change of direction.

    So how do the 2011 GB Packers look using this method?

    NAME SCHOOL POS. 40 TIME SHORT SHUTTLE DIFFERENCE
    1. Derrek Sherrod Mississippi State OT 5.18 4.63 0.55

    2. Randall Cobb Kentucky WR 4.46 4.34 0.12
    Donald Driver WR 4.47 4.35 0.12

    3. Alex Green Hawaii RB 4.45 4.30 0.15
    Ryan Grant RB 4.43 4.14 0.29

    4. Davon House New Mexico St CB 4.44 4.12 0.32
    Darelle Revis NY JETS CB 4.38 4.08 0.30

    5. DJ Williams Arkansas TE 4.59 4.51 0.08
    Jermichael Finley TE 4.82 4.32 0.50

    6. Caleb Schlauderaff Utah OG 5.18 4.81 0.37

    7. DJ Smith Applachian St LB 4.75 4.45 0.30
    Charlie Peprah SS 4.66 4.10 0.56

    8. Ricky Elmore Arizona DE/LB 4.88 4.32 0.56
    Clay Matthews III LB 4.62 4.18 0.44

    9. Ryan Taylor North Carolina TE 4.79 4.47 0.32

    10. Lawrence Guy Arizona State DE 4.96 4.43 0.53

    As you can see I added some NFL players to show a comparison to top NFL talent with credited NFL quickness.

    Right away you see that Sherrod has a solid COD (Change of Direction or difference). I won’t bore you but Sherrod’s numbers are slightly better then both Clifton and Bulaga.

    Also you can see that both Elmore and Guy had significant COD and why GB may have been attracted to them.

    Randall Cobb has similar speed and short shuttle times. His times are quick but with the difference so close, route running and technique for separation for Cobb will be crucial to his success. His position does involve the highest amount of straight away speed but he does not have the COD of DeSean Jackson. A Donald Driver with returner skills is what he looks like. That will work out very nice in GB.

    Alex Green will have to show if he can find the hole or redirect as well as Grant could when GB traded for him from the Giants. Alex may not be a change of direction guy but I think we all have seen that in college he can make one cut and run to daylight as well as anybody coming out in the draft. With his size he may also prove a little harder to wrap up.

    Davon House has been seen as a steal by GB as he plays well on tape and shows excellent COD. Notice how close his numbers and difference are to Revis. This is a very important benefit to having fluid hips that allows a CB to turn and readjust quickly.

    DJ Williams is a player everyone is talking about as being a solid #2 TE taking a spot from Quarless ( 4.57 40 yrd and 4.57 cones for a 0.00 COD). Yes he is faster than Finley but remember I said in my analysis that he had trouble recovering off of jams from Safeties and LBs. You can see why if you look at his COD number compared to Finley. He looks like a shorter Quarless. I think H back as a lead blocker/TE threat makes more sense then a true TE position.

    Caleb Schlauderaff has a number similar to Clifton’s. I am impressed with his numbers but his tape is still not the greatest.

    DJ Smith has solid numbers and a good COD. He produced a lot of numbers playing in the FCS against the second tier in the NCAA but is only 5’10” which is more S than LB. I still have no clue what GB was doing with his pick. Back up ILB maybe a SS conversion?

    So what do you think?

    • http://Orlando Mark

      Good stuff Rick, thanks.

  • iccyfan

    Interesting piece. Did you generate any COD information for the top players in the draft, say Patrick Peterson? Do you have this for other Packers, say Greg Jennings? Wes Welker makes his living on short area quickness – what was his COD? I guess I find it interesting, but does it translate to actual demonstrated NFL success?

    • Rick

      Player Pos 40yrd time Shuttle Time COD

      Patrick Peterson CB 4.37 4.07 0.30

      Wes Walker WR 4.65 4.01 0.64

      Greg Jennings WR 4.42 4.18 0.24

    • Rick

      Try about 320 players

    • Rick

      Wes is a great example of where straight line 40 times in the 4.6s will not get a WR drafted almost anywhere in the draft but with this information in your back pocket and great tape the Patriots invited a 5’9″ 4.65 receiver in to TC to see what he could do. The rest they say is history.

      It does not guarantee you can play though, it just helps me assign more realistic values on the draft board.

      For example

      Player Pos 40yrd time Shuttle Time COD

      Sam Shields CB 4.30 4.19 0.11

      Sam is a fast man and a special teams gunner. Maybe able to handle KR/PR duties.

      GB brought in a ST upgrade player. He is fast but does not have cover and hip swivel like Peterson.

      You will notice a lot of the top players are close to 4.2 or below in the shuttle. That I think shows how much quick twitch versus pure speed works out best in football.

      • Rick

        That said, speed is important. If Shields was a 4.55 and 4.19 he would be bagging groceries in Miami.

      • iccyfan

        No credit to the Patriots! The Chargers had Welker in for a cup of coffee before cutting him, after which the Dolphins had the foresight to bring him in. The Patriots only traded for him…

        I agree though, that Welker is the poster boy for your theory!

        • Rick

          I flubbed it was the Chargers…

          BTW

          Charles Woodson 4.46 4.06 = COD 0.40

          That man is quicker than Revis in change of direction…..

  • Larry

    Really impressive work Rick…got any theories on powerball! LOL

    • Rick

      Like the movie Wargames. The only way to win is not to play. LOL

  • Rick

    RIP Aaron Douglas

    To young just to dang young.