Green Bay has Aaron Rodgers at QB so the search is for a great developing back up ala Matt Flynn.
QB – Colby Cameron 6-2 210 Louisiana Tech.
A Matt Flynn look a like. Tight compact throwing motion but not known for amazing arm strength. He played on the most prolific fast pace no huddle offense in college football and was very good at it. A late draft pick or even a UDFA I feel that the Graham Harrell experiment is over. I see this kid and BJ Coleman push to see who the #2 in Green Bay is.
He will be at the NFL Combine.
QB- Matt Brown 6-3 235 Illinois State.
An FCS school Missouri Valley Offensive Player of the year QB that played well above the talent around him and almost played Illinois State into the championship FCS game by beating Appalachian State at their house in an overtime 5 TD game and then going toe to toe with Eastern Washington in Washington in the final 4 championship play in game. Decent mobility and solid arm. Not great but not bad at anything he will be a great camp arm with a chance to challenge and show what he has.
Not a combine invite. He may get a shot as a combine QB to make throws and get exposure.
Running Back has been an area of concern and discussion in Titletown since Ahman Green moved on. Injuries at RB and the strength of Wide Receivers and a pass first mentality have so far help Green Bay deal with a lack of run threat.
RB- Zach Stacey 5-08 215 Vanderbilt.
Not known for NFL Caliber RBs this unheralded RB managed to get to back to back 1000 yrd seasons in the SEC. He shows great hands and a workhorse ability to carry the ball. BTW he is only the 8th SEC RB to get back to back 1000 yrd seasons in the last DECADE. He is a sub 4.5 runner that will get little love and might go undrafted but would be a great late round pick up or UDFA for the Packers. He was not invited to Senior Day but like I said there is some low round buzz about this young man and he is now invited to the NFL Combine. Laterally quick and fights forward for extra yards. He has soft hands and blocks well.
RB-Dennis Johnson 5-08 215 Arkansas.
Johnson stepped up last season when Knile Davis went down and proved himself. He is the RB version of Randall Cobb. He is a special teamer and was a THE top kick returner and a top receiver in Arkansas last season and had a career record 2475 yrds on kick off return yardage and 3TDs. He is shifty and has a tendency to make people miss. He is a hair slower than Cobb but very versatile and agile. He pops in and out and accelerates quickly and has a great quick choppy step which makes him difficult to tackle. With soft hands and decent blitz blocking he will be a very interesting player that will fit well in the ZBS spread offense here in Green Bay. Probably a late draft pick depending on his pro day.
FB-Harvard FB/RB/ Hybrid Back Kyle Juszczyk (Yoosh-chuck) looks like a young Mike Alstott. He bowls over D lineman and lead blocks with an attitude. He also has great hands and can catch in the flat or underneath and showed a great one cut running style. He was a 6th or 7th round pick but I think I am not the only one liking him as most scouting service have him as high as a late 5th round pick. I really liked this guy and would have no problem with TT bringing him in with a late round pick. He is currently not invited to the NFL combine while lower rated players are. He would be a direct challenger to Kuhn and Kuhn’s $2.5 million contract for 2013.
Wide Receiver has been a position of strength in Green Bay for many years. Picking (or stealing) Jennings, Cobb and Nelson in the 2nd round, James Jones in the 3rd, and Mr. Donald Driver in the 7th round plus a succession of UDFA wonders filling the ranks. So the 2nd round looks to be the earliest at WR that Ted Thompson would pick a WR. Let us see what players the Packers would have their sights on.
WR-Quinton Patton Louisiana Tech 6-0 204.
Played in a prolific offense that inflated his numbers but showed crisp route running, great hands, and creates space to catch and run. He plays like Greg Jennings and looks like Greg did on tape. On top of that he looked very good at the senior bowl. He should be a 2nd round pick and would be right at home here in Green Bay’s offense.
WR-Terrance Williams Baylor 6-2 201.
Williams looked solid at Baylor showing great body control and sticky hands. He was one of only 3 WR at the Senior Bowl that did anything worthwhile. He showed great hands tracking passes over his shoulder. Believe it or not I saw more drops on tape when the ball was straight at him. A solid 2nd round WR with a little bit more size and one of the fastest WR in the draft.
WR-Cobi Halmilton Arkansas 6-2 199.
Cobi has just put together the best receiving season in Arkansas history, he had 303yrds in one game, caught 90 passes, and posted over 1,300 yards for the season. He looks great on tape but he played only okay at the senior bowl. So which is the real Cobi? I think he just kind of got of lost in the mix at the senior bowl and when in doubt I trust tape. He will be a 3rd round pick most likely and can learn and grow much like James Jones has done.
Tight end is in flux depending on what Finley and the Packers work out. My guess is he stays in Titletown with a reasonable contract. But if he goes then in the 3rd round is a Packers TE.
TE-Vance McDonald Rice 6-4 264.
He looks solid on tape but looked great at the Senior Bowl. He is quick and has pretty darn good hands. He should challenge for a starter spot if Finley is gone.
The offensive line has played with many players out due to injuries. At center though Jeff Saturday’s body just plain gave out and luckily Evan Dietrich-Smith stepped up and help handle the Center position. Can EDS be the answer at Center? Maybe but another center even just for depth is needed.
C-Barrett Jones Alabama 6-4 305.
Jones injured himself in the SEC championship game and should be available late 1st to late 2nd round in April’s draft. He is by far the one of the best Centers I have ranked over the last 8years. The injury will take some luster off of him so Green Bay should have at least 1 if not 2 shots at him in the draft. He will be back healthy by camp and can challenge for the starter job right away. He played all over the line at Alabama so if EDS is better at Center he can challenge/back up Lang at LG or Newhouse at LT as well.
What about the Guard position? Its depth was taken from Green Bay’s practice squad by other teams and other than the healing bodies not much is there to challenge Lang or back up Sitton, EDS and Lang on the inside. So what players can be had in the later rounds?
OG-Brian Winters Kent State 6-4 312.
Top Wrestler and plays Tackle at Kent State but he is to laterally slow for the NFL but he is nasty in the trenches and stays on his man through the whistle. Good low center of gravity and long arms with powerful hands he will be great on the inside at Guard. He will be at the NFL Combine and should be a 4th round pick.
OG-Hugh Thorton Illinois 6-3 310.
Played 7games as a freshman at RT, moved inside to Guard his sophomore year and moved to LT as a junior and senior on a lack luster Illinois team. He does well in pass protection with a thick base and long arms. He does get too excited and over extended in space. His lateral foot speed is okay but probably not a Tackle in the NFL. Pulls well and engages and disengages with his hands well. He should be a solid OG and possibly an OT in the league and a decent value as not many have him higher than a 6th round pick. Thorton has starter potential that shows on tape against the best of the Big 10 and Baylor and RGIII in the Illinois win at the Texas Bowl from his junior year. He will be at the combine.
Tackle. Is it an area of strength when Bulaga and Sherrod are both back healthy or an area of concern again as Rodgers was sacked 51 times? I say it will be okay if healthy but injuries and the Packers seem to go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly. So what late round gems are Packer players at the Tackle position to challenge the Newhouse, Bulaga, Sherrod, and the Datkos of the world?
OT-Tanner Hawkinson Kansas 6-5 307.
Tanner has played for 4 year since redshirting. He played 1 year at RT and 3 at LT for the Jayhawks. He has good tape and has improved all 4 years. That said he plays over extended and can get off balance and fall down. His upper half is great but he needs work on his lower half. He has worked out hard and put 60+ lbs of mass on his frame since his freshman year. He learns well and just keeps improving. He will be a day three draft pick but in 2-3 years could just be a NFL starter caliber player or at least a very solid back up. I think he will be a 7th round pick myself but good tape makes me believe that his upside has not topped out.
OT-Manase Foteki West Texas A&M 6-5 330.
This West Texas Buffalo was actually a top LT at Kansas State in 2010 and a possible future 2nd round pick. He tore his Achilles in the first game in 2011 and medical redshirted. He got his degree while rehabbing and decided when he came back that the team had moved on with out him. He wanted to play somewhere else and the Snyder and KState denied his transfer. So he went to Div II West Texas A&M and graded out over 90% in every game and showed he had healed well from his injury. He will be at the combine and may be a 2nd or 3rd round talent that not many GMs will hear about from their scouts but those in the know will know about him. I think he will go late 5th to 6th round. He will not last to the 7th.
OT-Luke Marquardt Azusa Pacific 6-9 315.
He is from a little Christian college. Believe it or not it is the same school where the Nigerian Nightmare RB Christian Okaye was drafted from. Luke was one of the most dominate NAIA tackles and perhaps top NAIA player for that matter with a draft grade in the 70s. That is normally 3-5th round range. He played against lower level competition which will mean he will probably be a 3 day three or UDFA. However with a combine invite he will have a shot to show if he deserves his draft grade and move to being drafted on day two. Amazing arms with great punch he is actually very technically sound as his head coach whom is a former NFL lineman taught him well. Of good heart and gets good grades he is a solid player with great character, a definite Packer type player. So look for him in lineman drills at the combine and see if he succeeds or not.
Defensive End in the 3-4 is a position in which I see as a major weakness here in Green Bay. Neal so far has not been on the field long enough to show if he has what it takes. Worthy, Daniels, and Wilson all seem to be 4-3 DEs playing in our 3-4 and Worthy may need a year to recover from his injury if not more. Looking at Capers 3-4 scheme, a long armed edge 5technique Defensive End needs to set the edge.
DE-Margus Hunt SMU 6-8 280.
Estonia’s Margus Hunt I mentioned earlier as a player to watch. The former SMU track star tried football for the first time in 2009 when track was eliminated from the school and has blocked 7 kicks almost an NCAA record. He looked very raw but very coachable and improved each day of senior bowl practice. He is very much a player I would be interested in here in Green Bay. Standing 6-08 with matching arm length and 280 lbs this physical freak is a 3-4 DE and is exactly the talent that I would go for at the end of round 1 if I were TT. Like Bruce Irvin last year Hunt is raw but workable and you can’t teach track speed to a 6-8 man. He will be at the combine and I am very interested to see what he can do there. Probably a 2nd round pick.
DE-William Gholston 6-6 280.
He is a strong physical beast of a player. He played 4-3 but he has proven to be a little to stiff and limited as a pash rusher but is proven to be a mauler and mangler that drives back Olineman. Very clean reputation off field; he was suspended for one game against Wisconsin for dirty plays against in state rival Michigan. (He punched an Offensive lineman in a pile and then tried to treat QB Denard Robinson’s head as a twist off) He plays nasty on the field but is a pleasant young man. He is made for the 3-4. Strong with long arms and a nasty streak to punish play after play the Tackle across from him. His attitude on the field is what I like as long as he doesn’t draw flags. That concern will help keep him as a 4-5th round draft pick and a great value pick.
DE-Joe Kruger Utah 6-6 280.
A junior that played alongside the best NT in this year’s draft, Star Latulelei. He is considered a 7th round by most scouting services but I see him climbing the draft boards, I hope no higher than the 5th round. Strong and nasty he is ready to come in and challenge for a starting DE spot here in Green Bay. He has great tape and plays well alongside a dominate NT. I really like him. I am afraid he might go 2nd or 3rd round which is too high I feel for TT to value and draft him. However if he looks as good as I think he will then I would be happy with him as a starter at any of Green Bay’s draft spot. As he fits the player type for Caper’s scheme.
Nose Tackle is crucial for the 3-4 defense to work. A strong inside space eater that can take the stress of constant double teams play after play and seal the A gaps is tough to find and keep. Raji played almost 2 years of snaps in one season when Green Bay went on to win a championship. I feel that wearing down and injuries have kept him from being what he was. The problem is that other then Pickett sliding back inside there is NO depth at NT to back Raji up. That needs to end this year. The most important thing in 2011 and 2012 was the up and down D line play. So who are the NT to look at in the draft that will be available when the Packers pick?
NT – Sylvester Williams 6-3 308 NorthCarolina.
A lethal Swim move and a beast in the middle. Weakness is his poor recovery technique, he get spun to his side sometimes and disappears sometimes in games- a little hot and cold. He should be available end of round 2 for Packers. Coming in he can challenge at NT and be a solid outside play in the 3-4 DE role for rotation strength. I would think of him as a younger Pickett. He will be at the combine and is a possible 2nd or 3rd round player plus is a great addition to push Raji and handle Pickett’s duties as I think he has maybe just one year left in him.
DT/NT-Kwame Geathers Georgia 6-5 350.
Can you say the second coming of Gilbert Brown?? He is a man beast in the middle. However he showed a lack of run stuffing against Alabama in the SEC championship game- he was manhandled by Alabama’s almost NFL O line. He will be at the combine and I have him slated as a late 5th rounder. He is strong and really does not get moved around at the Nose by the offense, but can he get off blocks to stop runs through the A gaps? The tape says yes, the SEC championship game says no. I need to see him myself but in the 5th I would be happy with him in Green Bay.
NT-John Jenkins Georgia 6-4 355.
Jenkins is already penciled in by mock drafts as the first round pick of the Packers. John Jenkins is also the player I would love to have with pick #26. He played a 3 man front in Georgia and has great tape. He compares to Raji in upper strength and light feet. Not fast at all, he moves like a glacier, but destroys all in his way. He will never get sack numbers but he will eat up Olineman in the middle and keep LBs clean to make plays. That is what is needed in Green Bay. He can rotate with Raji or allow Raji to move out side to spell Pickett or handle duties if Pickett’s body breaks down.
Outside Linebacker should be set with veteran Clay Mathews III on one side and Nick Perry on the other however after watching 10 different LBs play because of injury I think depth should be looked at as many of these back up back ups played poorly in their assignments and were starting because they were next man up not the best man up.
At OLB I do not see a high draft pick being used but I do see value in the 3rd to 4th round range.
OLB-Trevardo Williams Connecticut 6-1 235.
He is a fast off the edge pass rush machine. He is a fast off the edge pass rush machine. He is a fast off the edge pass rush machine. Do you get the picture? While he may be a one trick pony right now out of college but what a trick it is for any 3-4 team wanting a go for it OLB. He is a solid 3rd or 4th round range pick and either could back up CMIII or come heck bent for leather from the other side. He has no real tape of being in coverage or in space. He literally shot out and went and hunted down QBs. 12.5 and 11.5 sacks in the last two seasons when teams knew he was coming. He looked like the poster child for 5 hour Energy on the tape, almost video game like. We will see more at the combine but I don’t think he will magically cover better. He is a pitbull on speed and the team drafting him just needs to know that is what they are getting.
Again some people complain about AJ Hawk and his contract versus his production. Also we have two ILBs that were starter caliber go down and hopefully will be healthy and give back depth on the inside. However a fresh player to challenge the lackluster back ups could do much in case the injury bug continues.
ILB-Vince Williams Florida St 6-1 247.
Played great during the season and personally singled out NIU for destruction in their bowl game. He was fast and ran side line to side line. Originally a safety he plays like Urlacher did coming out of college. He may go 4th to 6th round but ILBs always seem to drop on draft day. If he is there in 6th TT better draft him or I am going to go to his mother’s house and slap her. This guy is a talent and if drafted at the end of the 5th round I would not complain. I know we have depth but a lot of it is coming off injury and sickness plus what was out there was not getting it done on gameday.
At Cornerback I see little movement on especially if the Packers keep Restricted Free Agent Sam Shields. However with Woodson in doubt and slipping in his physical abilities and general questions about Safety depth; I see some players available late to challenge the lower portion of the CB roster and may even challenge for starter at Safety.
CB/SS-Micah Hyde Iowa 6-0 196
Micah is a solid CB that is a tackling machine and played a lot in the hybrid CB/S spot. I see him as a possible staring Safety in place of Woodson since he has good speed and understands the WR/TE routes and releases. He actually tackles which would be a nice change compared to the rest of Green Bay’s current secondary. He will be available late maybe even the 6th or 7th rounds and can be a replacement for the “Bush”.
If Thompson wants to go with a straight coverage Strong Safety then there is good news. SS always falls in the draft so great starting potential players are available in the 4th to 5th rounds.
SS-Robert Lester Alabama 6-1 215
Not the thumper of Mark Barron from Alabama last year, Robert has the size and closing speed to be a major ball hawk. He lacks film tape showing heavy hits but he is perfect for the back end of a 3-4 defensive secondary and Nickel formation. He will be around for the Packers in the 4th or 5th round and should compliment Burnett in the back field.
SS-Johnathan Cyprien Florida International 6-0 210.
Watch this guy at the combine weigh in and you will go wow. This guy looks like the freaking terminator and played great in thud drills. I am not kidding if he fails in the NFL he can get into wrestling or action films. I had him pegged in the 4th but now scouting services rank him at the end of the 2nd or 3rd round. He may move fully into the 2nd round after teams see him at the combine. In the words of Drago in Rocky 4 – he will break you. Maybe to high of a pick for Green Bay’s blood but I don’t know what will happen with Woodson either.
Only two kickers are worth looking at in the draft to challenge Crosby.
K-Dustin Hopkins Florida State 6-2 189.
24-28 in kicks including a couple over 50 yrds. Missed 4 extra points. Looks like a younger Mason Crosby with a monster leg. Great leg with good accuracy.
K-Caleb Sturgis Florida 5-10 186.
23-27 and was pretty clutch however never made a kick over 50 yards. So good leg and great accuracy.
Well here you go, a quick value preview of Packer type players in the draft. Hope it helps if you watch the combine or the draft.