Friday, April 26, 2013

NFL Draft: Round 2

Now that round one is complete and we know who will be suited up on the defensive line for the Packers this year, our attention turns to day two of the draft. These are the rounds of the draft that define you as a GM. Here you have very good talent, sometimes higher rated talent than what went in the first round, but because of needs of the other teams picking in the first round (or a few character issues/weighted medical reasons) teams didn't want to spend a first round pick and give guaranteed money to that player. 

As we scan the Best Players Available in these rounds here are a few the Packers should be happy to see fall. In no particular order I will give you the players that I feel best fit the Packers, and why I see it. Of course, these are the guys that should actually be available, and not players I see going in the top five of the second round.

The Packers still want a Safety in this class. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Ted Thompson won't pick a safety in the second round, because he wants last years safety prospect McMillian to prove Ted was right on with that pick.

Phillip Thomas is a top option for the
Packers at safety

Here are a few 
Safeties that will be available to Ted when his time comes tonight.

Phillip Thomas (Fresno State): Good prospect with aggressive style the Packers could use in the back of the defense.

DJ Swearinger (South Carolina): Good prospect

Offensive line
: Center should be the direction Ted will go after Round 2.

Barrett Jones: If he is available here I believe we will go ahead and take him. I think he's a little overrated. He never solidified the position at Alabama. He played many positions, which is probably why Ted likes him. He is not dominating at center, guard, or tackle, but has played every position.

David Quessenberry: He also can play multiple positions and is ready to start in the NFL from day one.

Running Back
: This is the position that I hear every Packer fan ranting about in the days leading up to the draft.

Johnathon Franklin: I am going to stay with UCLA here with picks early in the draft. Ted Thompson was on his A game the day he went to Pro Day in Los Angeles. He comes away with two very good football players from the same School. Franklin could be very similar to a Marshall Faulk type player, very dynamic with the ball in his hands.

Le'veon Bell: Big Back, a back that can be an every down runner. If you pair him up with Dujuan Harris, you might have thunder and lightning in your backfield. Very durable player with very light feet for a big back.

I know all you 
Wisconsin fans want Montee Ball, but I believe Montee Ball's best days as a running back are behind him. He will be a very average pro back who will last for about 6 years as a backup on an NFL team  ---  Sorry Badger Fans!!!!
Aaron Mellette might be a player to keep an eye on

Wide Receiver: Ted likes the wide outs on his roster, that's why he let Greg Jennings leave via free agency.  He will replace Greg with a solid player.

Stedman Bailey: If you've been following me in the past couple of weeks I love this kid. He remind me of Greg Jennings a little bit as a kind of a fast,run after the catch receiver. Not a big receiver, but an outside, quick  receiver who is tough enough to run a crossing route and take it to the house. No matter where he ends up, I want to keep my eye on him. He isn't as highly rated as his counter part Tavon Austin, but no slouch at the wide receiver position.

Kenny Stills: I don't thinks he is a day two pick, but a player that Ted is eyeing up.

Aaron Mellette: This is a name that I keep coming across as I researched the type of receiver that the Packers usually are interested in. I don't know why, he just seems to come up. A small school prospect.

Corey Fuller: What would the NFL draft be without Ted Thompson choosing a player from Virginia Tech? I haven't researched this, but I believe that Ted Thompson has a special relationship with a coach at Virginia Tech and he slips him some info on a late pick player that Ted feels he can take a swing at later in the draft.

Defensive Line:  I still believe that if Kawaan Short from Purdue is there in the second round Ted would take him.

Margus Hunt would be too awesome to pass up, but with the pick of Jones in the first round there would be no                              need to pick another defensive end

Line backers:  I really believe that Ted is happy with all of his linebackers. He will add an outside linebacker later in the draft, but not in the second or third.

There you have a synopsis of what is to come on day two of the draft. Keep your eyes peeled to the television as Ted continues to work the draft board and prove he is a genius.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

A "Patty's Report"

A "Patty's Report"

Hi Packer fans,  
Tonight starts the 2013 NFL football season with the NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

This is the time of year Ted Thompson loves. This is the time when he can prove to everyone how smart he is and how he can upgrade his roster and continue to be the youngest team in the league while not having to spend any money for other teams free agents.  

With Jennings leaving for
Minnesota, the Packers need
depth at WR

The Packers need to upgrade in a few areas--safety, offensive line, defensive line, running back, and regain some depth at wide receiver where we lost Greg Jennings in free agency. Ted can't upgrade all these positions with starters out of this one draft, but it has quite a lot of depth in it. There aren't a lot of first year Pro Bowl caliber players, but a number of guys that could work their way onto a football roster and eventually could be starters, then eventually Pro Bowlers in this league.  

That being said, it is my guess that Trader Ted will allow us to be glued to our televisions tonight talking about everyone else's choices and how they fit into their schemes, and he will find some team that wants to jump back into the first round to grab the overrated quarterback that they so desperately need and give the Packers their second round pick and another fourth or so. I really feel strongly that, if he can find a suitor, this is the route he will go with (unless some of the overrated quarterbacks get chosen early, and some of the " can't miss " prospects fall to him). 

There are a few possibilities that the Packers have their eye on this year. Ted always has his eye on the future and not this years team, (which is why we will always will be near the top every year).  It is my understanding that this will be Ryan Pickets last year with the Pack, and BJ Raji is a free agent next year. Raji will have to show more than he has in the last two seasons to receive the kind of money he thinks he deserves, especially after signing Rodgers and Mathews to large extensions this off season. 

D-Line and linebackers

There will be some very intriguing options available in the first round when the Packers select, barring a trade, as I proposed. At the end of the first round the Packers would love it if DT Shariff Floyd dropped to them, but that may be wishful thinking. DT Sylvester Williams from North Carolina  wouldn't be a bad choice either. 
Kawaan Short makes plays, despite double teams

There are two other defensive tackles that I believe Ted loves, maybe just because they played in the Big Ten:  Kawaan Short from Purdue and Jonathan Hankins from Ohio State. Of the two, I would prefer Shorts because he is a little more explosive. He had 17.5 tackles for  losses on a team that didn't have another good defensive player. He was routinely double teamed and still made plays. 

Keep in mind this group of players all have potential, but their game is lacking a few areas, and good coaching can get these players to the next level.

If the Packers want to go with a player that can play outside and inside on passing downs I am really intrigued with LB Donta Jones from UCLA. He is the perfect fit in the defensive end 3-4 scheme. The problem with him is that he has a "good" pass rush and he is "good" at playing the run; he's not great at anything, much like the guys on the roster now.

The Boom or Bust player that would get fans buzzing, but could be cut before his rookie contract runs out, would be Margus Hunt from SMU, a 6' 7" raw defensive end.  This kid could be JJ Watt or Bruce Clark (former Packers defensive end draft pick---BUST). Personally, I would like to see if he falls to the second round and take a gamble on him there.


The other position that I could see the Packers taking in the first round is safety. This is a very good safety class and I there will still be the top safeties on the board at the time we pick late in the first round. I love Kenny Vaccaro from Texas. He is a complete safety with range and he can cover receivers one-on-one. This is the only safety on the board that will have to fall to get to the Packers. 

Shawn Williams makes a tackle

A player like Matt Elam from Florida isn't the same type of "cover" safety that Vaccaro is, but he will bring the wood.  He reminds me of Ronnie Lott; huge hitter, plays the run with abandon. I just don't know if his size will be an issue going against some of the Big receivers in the NFC North. Georgia's Shawn Williams reminds me of a combination of Charles Woodson and Nick Collins. He's a team leader and is good at all aspects of the game, but the only question I have with him is that he only had 4 interceptions in 4 years at Georgia (looks like Tarzan,  plays like Jane syndrome, maybe?).

I could also see Ted going after small school prospect Jonathon Cyprien. This kid has shot up draft boards everywhere. The argument could be made that he is the best safety in this class. If the Packers pass on a safety in the first round, I really like Tony Jefferson from Oklahoma in maybe the third or fourth round.

Ball Catchers (WR, TE)

I know that we will see a wide receiver chosen in this draft, but not in the first two rounds. So I looked at some of the second tier wide outs that the Packers could consider in the middle rounds. The two that kept coming up when I watched their tapes were Stedman Bailey from West Virginia and Kenny Stills (Ken Stills kid though, so...).

Both guys remind me a little of Greg Jennings in a way. They are fast and good with the ball in their hands. It is not the way Ted operates, but Denard Robinson, the converted quarterback from Michigan, intrigues me in the later rounds.

I still believe that Jermichael Finley has major value on this team, so I don't see them pushing him out the door.  I'm not in the locker room day in and day out, but I don't see what the team has to put up with with his immaturity. To this issue, I  don't see what every other draft guru sees when they predict that the Packers will pick Tyler Eifert from Notre Dame. I just know that I don't want to see Eifert go to any other team in the NFC North. He will be a match-up nightmare for teams. Hopefully he isn't a nightmare for the Pack twice a year.  

Ball Runners

Marcus Lattimore will have to prove he's a top
talent after two knee surgies

The Packers just might look at Levean Bell in the second round.  He is a big back, to team up with Jawaan Harris, kind of in the mold Cedric Benson. The only other running backs I would take in this draft are Jonathon Franklin from UCLA if he lasts to the third or fourth round, or Marcus Lattimore, who is the best running back in the draft but is coming off of two reconstructive knee surgeries so would have to be a fifth or sixth round flyer in this draft.

My seven round Mock Draft would look like this:

    Round 1     Kewaan Shorts           DT                   Purdue

    Round 2     Travis Fredrikse          Center              Wisconsin

    Round 3     Tony Jefferson            Safety               Oklahoma

    Round 4     Justin Pugh                Guard               Syracuse

    Round 5     Stedman Bailey          Receiver            West Virginia        

    Round 6     Ray Graham              Running back     Pittsburg

    Round 7     Maalick Bomer           OLB                  Cinncinati

Or I could be wrong with every pick in this mock (most likely) and Ted will pick the best player available to continue to build the Green Bay Packers into perennial champions.

In Ted We Trust

Have a good night, the best time of the year........NFL DRAFT 2013

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