Well it has been another NFL Draft weekend. Three days of cheers or jeers as new players come to be selected by teams. This year the Packers maneuvered 8 Picks in to 11 and signed a great variety of interesting UDFAs on Saturday and Sunday after the draft.
Round 1 (26) Datone Jones DE UCLA
6-4 283lbs, 4.75 40yd, 4.32 shuttle, COD 0.43
I had him rated as the 3rd DE and the 28th player on my big board.
He is a very smart young man, not just football smart but UCLA smart. He played 4 years with one medical year off and was a senior. He came on strong in Jim Mora’s aggressive Bruins defensive scheme last year. He played inside and out and was a pressure presence on the Dline. 19 of his 57 tackles were for a loss and 6.5 sacks means he has to be respected as a DE.
He has long arms for his body type and should develop into a Richard Seymour style 3-4 DE for Capers and the defense scheme. He will need a year or so in the weight room to reach his full potential but will have the opportunity to be a defensive rookie of the year candidate. A great pick for the Packers.
Round 2(61) Eddie Lacy RB Alabama
5-11 231lbs, 4.64 40yrd, no shuttle at pro day
I had him rated as the 1st RB on the board at #48 on the big board just barely ahead of the 2nd RB at #51.
He is a beast that we saw run behind a NFL quality line in Alabama and punished the Notre Dame defense until he ran for almost 200 yrds in the National Championship game. A quick footed downhill runner that excels at blitz pick ups and has great hands. A solid all round back. Not a burner but an old school bowling ball style RB that wears down defenses and makes his QB look great.
Round 4(109) David Bakhtiari OT Colorado
6-4 299lbs, 5.02 40yrd, 4.74 shuttle, COD 0.28
I had him rated as the 9th OT overall and #80 on my big board.
A projected 2nd to 3rd round pick he lasted into the 4th round where TT pounced on taking this beast from the PAC 10. He has the trunk size and arm length to possibly be a LT on Sundays but is more likely to slide inside as his lateral movement is slower than preferred for a LT. He is a great pick, he can challenge in camp for LT against Newhouse and – more likely- move inside at LG.
Round 4(122) JC Tretter OG Cornell
6-4 307lbs, 5.03 40yrd, 4.69 shuttle, COD 0.34
I had him at #193 right on the cusp of the end of round 5 start of round 6 though I had him pegged as a 6th round pick
Maybe a little bit of a reach. JC went to Cornell as an athletic TE and became their starting LT the last 2 years. Definitely moving inside as he has the double curse of slow lateral movement and shorter arms than normal for his body type that does not translate into success on Sundays. On top of that he played against Ivy League competition and will need some developing to become the back up LG or RG of the Packers. I look for him to be developed behind Sitton as a backup at RG and become a solid spot duty starter.
Round 4(125) Johnathan Franklin RB UCLA
5-10 205lbs, 4.46 40yrd dash, 4.31 shuttle, COD 0.13
My 2nd RB and #51 on my big board. The very fact that Green Bay got Franklin this late is amazing. To get the 1st and 2nd RB in the draft means that the RB position will be manned by the best players since Ahman Green.
Johnathan is very capable RB that exploded in his senior season as a top zone read RB allowing him to set new single season records at UCLA. He runs better than Maurice Jones Drew did. Very impressive and with his history of staying healthy it may just be he is the lead RB this season.
Round 5(159) Micah Hyde CB/FS Iowa
6-0 197lbs, 4.52 40yrd, 4.20 shuttle, COD 0.32
I had him pegged as a probable 6th round pick at #183 on my big board
If you read my article about “Packer type players to watch in draft” you will recognize Micah.
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 can be a replacement for the “Bush” on special teams too. He is was the Big 10 Defensive Back of the year but to me is still a little rough on coverage and comes out late. A year or two will really polish him up.
Round 5(167) Josh Boyd DT Mississippi St
6-3 310lbs, 5.14 40yrd, 4.64 shuttle, COD 0.5
A great pick, I had him at #171 on my big board.
A run stuffer DT that eats up double teams but he is not a polished pass rusher at all. He can handle and learn behind Pickett and provides great rotational depth for Green Bay’s 3-4 base package. He has great lateral foot work for a big man and engages and disengages well from being blocked allowing him to keep RBs from getting past him. This is a great 5th round pick that fits right into the defensive scheme.
Round 6(193) Nate Palmer LB Illinois St
6-2 248lbs, 4.7 40yrd dash, 4.37 shuttle, COD 0.43
A reach of epic proportions as I had him as a UDFA at #567 on big board.
He is a Chicago native that was playing for Illinois but transferred to Illinois St to not miss playing time and avoid the team and coaching implosion that ended Ron Zook’s reign.
He had a solid 2 years at ISU ending his career there with impressive TFL and a total of 17 sacks. The reason I think he was drafted so highly by the Packers is the sacks total plus the 27 quarterback hurries he was credited with. His tape shows him disrupting team after team and harassing the opposing QBs into mistakes. A hair slower than I like and it was against lower level competition but he was a top recruit and posted numbers that rival Clay Mathews from USC. We will see how good the scouts were on this one.
Round 7(216) Charles Johnson WR Grand Valley St
6-2 215lbs, 4.38 40yrd dash, 4.31 shuttle, COD 0.07
I had him rated at #235 so this is right up TT’s alley. A small DIV II school guy with an absolutely amazing pro day and an excellent 40yrd time. If he had been at the combine he would have been near the top of all the measurables. He racked up an impressive array of TDs and reception numbers at this Div II powerhouse. He will have to show he can get it done with the big boys now. A perfect pick for the Packers.
Round 7(224) Kevin Dorsey WR Maryland
6-2 207lbs, 4.47 40yrd, 4.28 shuttle, COD 0.19
I have him as #468 on the big board.
A solid 5 yr WR for the Terrapins. He has great hands and is solid in his route running. Kevin has no real top end game speed and seems slow out of his cuts. A solid college receiver I am unsure if I would have drafted him at all here in Green Bay. His hands are great but the rest is average for a college WR. He needs to show something or consider playing in Canada.
Round 7(232) Sam Barrington LB South Florida
6-1 246lbs. 4.69 40yrd dash, 4.25 shuttle, COD 0.44
Big Board #343
A 4-3 ILB with 65 tackles each of the last three seasons. An intriguing pick at ILB for the Packers he radically improved his lack luster combine with a solid proday showing. He has actually decent game tape against some more major opponents. A reach big board wise but a solid pick that may have been tough to sign to a UDFA contract with the Steelers and Colts looking at him.
UDFA Matt Brown QB Illinois St
6-3 229lbs, 4.83 40yrd, 4.42, COD 0.41
Another player from my draft preview that I thought would be a Packer type player to bring in for camp. I had him at #452 on big board.
Matt is a 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. He has an excellent throwing motion and a lot of solid things to work with and develop.
UDFA Ben Erickson S Illinois St
6-1 194lbs, 4.42 40yrd, 4.22 shuttle, COD 0.20
An FCS All American he finished 4th in nation for interceptions per game. His performance against FCS power house Appalachian St in the second round of playoffs was epic with 12 tackles. He was the highest rated Redbird I had at #353 on the big board. Ben was a one star player coming out of high school that showed great growth in the FCS. This is a solid UDFA pick that has had success in college and has the measurables but was never challenged by top tier talent. He was effective in 2011 as a both a kick and punt returner and maybe called on to show what he can do in training camp.
UDFA Patrick Lewis C Texas A&M
6-1 311lbs, 5.28 40oyrd, 4.93 shuttle, COD 0.35
I had him at #599 on my big board and another Packer type player to watch for as a UDFA I would like TT to get.
He is a guard that made the transition well to Center and received some Big 12 accolades and was amazing in 2011 for Ryan Tannehill with no bad snaps all season. He is another great UDFA pick up that will have a chance to show if he can be a back up at Center and Guard.
UDFA Andy Mulumba DE/OLB Eastern Michigan
6-3 260lbs, 4.80 40yrd dash, 4.58 shuttle, COD 0.22
I had him listed as try out only and not even on draft big board.
A nasty two and three technique player from the FCS. He is not super fast or super agile. He can come down hill as an OLB and stop the run and likes to hit and tackle. He is a camp body with limited chance to make the roster. He has weakness concerning pass coverage but is real solid in staying clean and making tackles in the run game.
UDFA Angelo Pease RB Kansas St
5-11 211lbs, 4.50 40yrd dash, 4.44 shuttle, COD 0.06
Unless you are K-State fan you probably never heard of Pease. He came in as a very effective RB at almost 5.5 yrds per carry in a sub role for the more know starter. He is a tryout kind of player. He was a great athlete and QB in high school that was a JUCO transfer and showed flashes in limited game experience.
UDFA Gilbert Pena DT Mississippi
6-3 330lbs, 5.47 40yrd dash, 4.81 shuttle, COD 0.66
Big board #521
A large man that played NT at Ole Miss and helped their run defense. He is large but with average strength. He will have a shot to show if he can play NT at this level at all. Unless he steps up I don’t think he will make first cut down. He is laterally quick and has the body shape but I don’t see strength or skill to get it done on Sunday.
UDFA Jake Stoneburner TE Ohio St
6-4 252lbs, 4.53 40yrd dash, 4.27 shuttle, COD 0.26
He was #231 on my big board and I expected him to probably go in the 6th or 7th rounds. He is a WR that grew to almost 6-5 while in college. He is an Aaron Hernandez TE/WR body type and is an absolute coup for TT and the Packers to get him as a UDFA. I will say it right now – I expect him to make the 53 man roster and be a great special teams contributor as well as TE depth this year. An excellent pick!!
UDFA Lane Taylor OG Oklahoma St
6-3 324lbs, 5.35 40yrd dash, 4.72 shuttle, COD 0.63
#667 Big Board.
A steadfast at Oklahoma playing RG since his redshirt Freshman year. He was over shadowed by some of the more talented Oline men to come from Ok St. He plays well inside and has some solid tape against top quality opponents. He is not great but solid at the RG position and is a solid tryout training camp player.
UDFA Jeremy Vujnovich OT Louisiana College
6-5 290lbs, 4.87 40yrd dash, 4.64 shuttle, COD 0.23
Other than loading his numbers from his pro day at McNeese St I have almost zero information. There are only 5 videos online I can find and it is almost like watching high school games. So your guess is as good as mine.
Big positive is that his pro day numbers looked good great and he did 35 reps which is very eye opening. For comparison Lane Taylor listed above did 23.
UDFA Miles White WR Louisiana Tech
6-1 182 lbs, 4.42 40yrd dash, 4.15 shuttle, COD 0.27
I had him at #315 on my big board and one of the top UDFA WRs to sign. He was a Michigan St transfer that played 3rd WR in one of the most prolific scoring offenses in college football. A little light and little raw on route running he is fast and has great hands. The fast paced offense and constant audibles that L Tech ran also showed that he is a versatile X, Y or Z receiver. He does show that he tips routes on his film but that should be correctable with coaching. A great UDFA pick up for the Packers and a strong force to challenge the other WRs for depth.
UDFA James Winchester LS Oklahoma
6-3 210lbs, 4.58 40yrd dash, 4.17 shuttle, COD 0.41
Besides one of the best draft names he is an amazing athlete with great times, long jump numbers, and vertical. He has 15 reps and was superb as a long snapper for Oklahoma. Any team looking for a young consistent deep snapper would be happy with him. I assume he is coming to provide better quality at rookie and training camp for special teams and perhaps challenge veteran Brett Goode for a ST roster spot.
UDFA Devin Willis CB Northern Arizona
He was a solid competitor at the NFL regional combine. He is light but quick. A camp invite at best I am afraid. Not on draft board or tryouts at all.
UDFA Cedrick Moore DB/S Stony Brook
5-10 204lbs, 4.49 40yrd dash, 4.28 shuttle, COD 0.21
Another one of the Packer type players I liked. I had him #757
Same height and weight as Palamalu but from little Stony Brook. He is a thumper and loves to hit. He played against lower competition but had a reputation amongst all the offenses he played against. I think he will crush people on ST and may just make the team. He is my player of interest to watch in camp and first preseason game.
UDFA Jamal Giddens LB Norfolk St
6-1 237lbs, 4.95 40yrd dash, 4.55 shuttle, COD 0.40
A tryout player at best. He would shock me to survive first cut downs at all.
Well that ends the players that have joined that Packer and provides a little primer on who the heck you are looking when training camp begins. A lot of LBs, WRs and DBs were signed as part of the UDFA group so it will be interesting to see how this helps the depth come the final 53 roster this fall.