Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Case for Jarret Bush

I'm glad someone wrote this.

Jarret Bush is the guy every Packer fan loves to hate. He always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I will admit his performance in regular season games has been disappointing. What hasn't though is his determination. This guy knows how most Packer fans feel about him.  He really wants to change that. He's addressed the whole scenario publicly.  He seems like a good, hard-working guy that wants to be better than what he has been.  I really like his attitude and I'm really pulling for him to turn the corner and become a better defensive back this season. 

*Edit* I'll post the link to the interview when I find it.  I know I have it somewhere.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Draft Recap.

The NFL Draft is over and I feel pretty good about the Packers picks. I think it would have been pretty hard to to screw up though based on the fact that we already have starters at every position and no dire needs.  With that, I'll tell you who I would have picked based on who was left, and offer some thoughts on each pick.

Round 1: Bryan Bulaga, OT
My choice: Bryan Bulaga, OT
Thoughts: Guy was projected by many to be a Top 5 or 10 guy. Things just happened to fall the right way for Green Bay and it was a nice job being patient getting him where they did. I think it only worked out this way because a lot of teams went for need in the first. We had some good players still available at #23 but I think Bulaga was the best available.

Round 2: Mike Neal, DT/DE
My choice: Charles Brown, OT
Thoughts: There were some guys still on the board here that I knew more about and would have felt better about because of that. I think Brandon Spikes, Terrence Cody, and Charles Brown all of would have been on my board before Neal.  That said, after I look at some of the guys I would have picked, I can see reasons for not picking them and I really can't see a good reason for not picking Neal.  The guy seems to have a great motor and should provide some nice depth. Heck he may even get to start if Jolly's legal situation keeps him off the field at all.

Round 3: Morgan Burnett, S
My choice: Eric Decker, WR
Thoughts: Burnett seems like a good pick. Provides some depth at S in case Bigby or Collins miss some time. I thought Burnett was probably a 3rd round guy but obviously the Packers probably thought he was a 2nd round guy judging from the trade up.  I don't know if he was worth the 3rd and 4th round picks, but it definitely helped fill a need.

Round 4: none (traded for Burnett move up)
My choice: Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, CB
Thoughts:  I really like Ansah as a CB.  Strong, physical, man cover guy that would have fit in well with the Packers style. I would have taken him at #23 in the third if Decker was gone. This may have been my biggest let down of the day. And to know that we could have got him at #23 in the 4th.....

Round 5a: Andrew Quarless, TE
My choice: Larry Asante, S
Thoughts: The TE pick was pretty surprising.  I mean even at TE, I thought there were maybe some better guys on the board. I was not happy with this pick at the time.  Looking into him a bit more, he really has some nice upside.  He's drawing some Finley comparisons and I can see that. If he gets it together, he could add a whole new dynamic to the offense.  Come out in a two TE package and teams think run. If we had two guys like Finley, you could really throw teams a curve ball. So, I like the pick .

Round 5b: Marshall Newhouse, OT
My choice: Greg Hardy, DE/OLB
Thoughts: I like the pick of Newhouse.  He was a guy I saw all over the place on people's mock drafts. He's got a good upside and his main flaws are things that can be coached.  He'll be a little bit of a project but in time, probably a good player.  My pick would have been to take a flyer on Hardy.  He used to be considered a first rounder until the injuries hit him. If healthy, he might have been able to add to the pass rush.

Round 6: James Starks, RB
My choice: George Selvie, DE/OLB
Thoughts: Starks seems to be a good value here.  Honestly, didn't think too much about him since he didn't play this year.  But he was pretty productive prior to his injury.  Could turn out to be a great value.  Again, here I would have been looking for some OLB depth and some pass rush ability.

Round 7: C.J. Wilson, DE
My choice: C.J. Wilson, DE
Thoughts: Love this pick. I would have been happy getting him any time after the third round.  This guy is just one of those great football players, and an even better person. He belongs on the Packers. For all his bulk, he's also quick and could add some pass rush from the DE position. I know there were some mock drafts with this guy going in the 2nd and to be honest I thought some team might snag him up in the 2nd or third. I am debating ordering his jersey.

At the end of the day, I think the Pack did pretty well. My favorite picks were C.J. Wilson and Bryan Bulaga.  My least favorite move was trading up to get Burnett. Not because I think he's not good enough, but because we had to give up a pick that could have been Ansah at CB. I think Burnett could have still been there at #23. But I also have the benefit of looking back and knowing how it all played out.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

By Position: FB, TE, and WR


Current Players: John Kuhn, Korey Hall, Quinn Johnson

Situation: Last year the Packers kept all three of these guys on the roster. I doubt they do that again as it is not a position the Packers feature.  I would expect Kuhn or Hall to be the odd man out since Johnson is young and started to show some potential. A draft pick is probably not necessary and will not likely be used.

1st-7th:  Garrett Graham


Current Players: Jermichael Finley, Donald Lee, Spencer Havner, Tom Crabtree, Devin Frischknecht

Situation: Finley really shined last year and appears to have the potential to be the next Antonio Gates.  A real game changer. Lee is still reliable and the best blocking TE on the team.  Havner is a special teams demon and a great surprise target for goal line situations. I don't know much about Crabtree or Frischknecht. It is highly unlikely the Packers will be spending a draft choice on a TE this year.

1st/2nd: Dorin Dickerson
3rd/4th: Dennis Pitta
5th-7th: Colin Peek


Current Players: Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Bret Swain, Charles Dillon, Patrick Williams

Situation: Driver just had a big year. Jennings had a solid year despite it being less flashy than previous years. Jones and Nelson are both capable of handling the #3 spot and its just a matter of who steps up more.  Swain will be coming back from a knee injury so it will be interesting to see how that pans out.  Overall, a good group of core receivers.  This years receiving class has some quality players.  It's not a need, but if a good receiver falls, I don't see the Packers passing on one either.  There are a couple of good possession guys that can be had a little later.

1st/2nd: Arrelious Benn
3rd/4th: Eric Decker
5th-7th: Jordan Shipley

Next up: Offensive Line

Monday, April 19, 2010

By Position: QB and RB

The Packers have some great offensive weapons and really are not in dire need of any upgrades across the board. The biggest issue on offense is solidifying the offensive line. So with that, a break down of who the Packers have, what the situation is at the position, and some possible early, mid, and late round draft prospects.


Current Players: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Flynn, Chris Pizzotti

Situation: Rodgers is the starter and an elite QB.  Flynn progressed nicely from year one to year two and should hopefully continue to progress in year three. Flynn knows the system and is good enough to replace Rodgers for any short term injury. Pizzotti, I'm not very familiar with. Green Bay could draft a QB with the idea of adding some depth, but it would be a luxury and the pick could easily be used to fill another position or traded to someone in need of a QB.

1st/2nd: Colt McCoy
3rd/4th: John Skelton
5th-7th: Johnathan Crompton


Current Players: Ryan Grant, Brandon Jackson, Ahman Green, DeShawn Wynn, Kregg Lumpkin

Situation: Grant is the starter and an above average back who many don't give the credit he deserves. Jackson is entering his 4th year in the league and has had some ups and downs.  Green hasn't been resigned, but is still listed on the Packers roster.  Wynn and Lumpkin have both been trying to find a permanent home on the team.
This is one of the more polarizing positions among Packer fans when it comes to talking about the draft.  Some feel this is a position of need and others feel strongly about the guys we have. As boring as it may be, I am in the middle of the road. I am a firm believer in Ryan Grant.  I feel his slow start last year wasn't really his fault.  He's durable and his running style is best suited for the workhorse RB1 role. I think getting a RB this year is fine, as long as he is elusive and can catch. It would be a big plus if the guy could return kicks as well.

1st/2nd: Joe McKnight
3rd/4th: Dexter McCluster
5th-7th: Darius Marshall

Next up: FB, TE, WR

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Realistic possibilities for this weekend.

So, the draft is nearly upon us and I've posted my last first round mock draft.

After looking over all the first round picks thoroughly, if I could get any of them for the Packers, it would be....

Eric Berry, S.

It's not a strong position of need, but this guy is a true football player.  He's got all of the physical tools and knows the game inside and out. There was a great article about him in Sports Illustrated.  Don't get me wrong, Bigby and Collins do a great job back there, but this guy is just too good. He would be a quality guy who could back up and rotate with either Collins or Bigby. It would probably help keep everyone healthy as well.

But it is unlikely the Packers would want to give up what would be required to get him (and I understand that). That being said, I'm going to go throw out some names I'd like to see in each round and guys I'm not sold on (not saying they won't be good).

Guys I like: Taylor Mays, Mike Iupati, Jason Pierre-Paul, Kyle Wilson, trade down
Guys I'm just not sold on: Charles Brown, Maurkice Pouncey, Brandon Graham, and Bruce Campbell
Notes: If Pierre-Paul falls enough, go up and get him.  He's got the size and speed to do well as a 3-4 rush guy. Could be wrong with Campbell.  He may do well in a zone blocking scheme. I like Pouncey, but at C, I would like him much more in the 2nd.

Guys I like: Rodger Saffold(despite the 'd'), Ricky Sapp, Kareem Jackson, Vladimir Duccasse, Nate Allen, Jerry Hughes, Joe McKnight.
Guys I'm not sold on: Jonathan Dwyer, Brandon Spikes, Tim Tebow
Notes: Lots of guys here that can make trading down a good move. I love Tim Tebow.  I think he's going to be great.  Just not worth it for the Packers.  They'd be developing him for someone else. Rodgers will be around for a long time. They'd never be able to get a good return on their investment in Tebow if they get him here.  In the third? Sure.

Guys I like: Jared Veldheer, Eric Decker, Myron Rolle,
Guys I don't like: none in particular.
Notes: Decker is one of two receivers I wouldn't be upset to see the Packers snag.  The guy is solid. He was the only real weapon on the Gophers offense and he still managed to put up some great games.  Great route runner who's not afraid to go over the middle. Would be great on the slant.  Rolle seems to be in great shape and we know he has a great mind. 

4th - 7th.  It gets tough in here. I'm just going to throw out some names I like:
Selvish Capers, Anthony Dixon, Ciron Black, Jason Fox, Perrish Cox, O'Brien Schofield, Jordan Shipley.

The good news is that Green Bay really has viable starters at every position and shouldn't be reaching at all. It would be nice to have some more depth, but the Packers don't really have to find an immediate starter at any position.

Since this week is all about the draft, I'll examine each position this week and try to pick out an early, mid, and late round prospect for each.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Final Mock Draft, First Round

This will be my final shot at a mock draft before the draft. There are always first round trades, but I'm not going to try to guess those. I'm just going to base it off of what we currently know. Barring any last minute trades before next Thursday, here is how I see it:

1) Rams - Sam Bradford, QB - The Rams are going with Bradford because they can't escape the #1 pick, and spending that much on a 4-3 DT is crazy. The safer pick I still feel is Clausen, but Bradford offers more of an upside. Even if they do trade this to Cleveland, the Browns will take Bradford.

2) Lions - Russell Okung, OT - The Lions are trying to entice someone to move up to grab Suh ahead of Tampa so that Lions fans don't go crazy when they do the smart thing and pass over Suh. The Lions have already made vast improvements to their defensive line and have quite a bit invested their.  They now need to turn to their offensive line. To win games, your offense must score. That's hard to do when your field general is on his back the whole time. This is also an easier move to financially justify, and the bust rate for OT is significantly lower than the DT bust rate.

3) Bucs - Ndamukong Suh, DT - The Bucs gutted their defensive roster and need to start rebuilding.  At number three, they get arguably the best player in the draft.

4) Redskins - Trent Williams, OT - This move makes the most sense with the recent acquisition of McNabb from Philly.  They need a replacement at LT and he fits the zone blocking scheme.

5) Chiefs - Bryan Bulaga, OT - The Chiefs could benefit from Eric Berry, but that is not how their front office works. They are a positional value club. They value an OT more than a S.  After a bad year for Cassel (and a lot of money paid for him), the Chiefs will do what is best for their team.

6) Seahawks - Gerald McCoy, DT - Everyone is surprised he's dropped this far.  Seattle rejoices. It is like the heavens have smiled upon them. They could use the help on the DL and who better than arguably the best player in this years class.

7) Browns - Eric Berry, S - Something tells me they don't like Jimmy Clausen, and no it's not Holmgren's comment. It is the fact that they are discussing trading up to get Bradford when it is very likely that they will have a good shot at Clausen.  Unless that is all an elaborate smoke screen by Holmgren (and it could be), I would think they'll wait until later to get a QB.

8) Raiders - Bruce Campbell, OT - He's an athlete. Al Davis loves workout guys. He can't take Clausen so soon after J. Russell.  Taylor Mays may go here too due to his size and speed.  If Davis passes on Campbell, I think he falls to the second round.

9) Bills - Jimmy Clausen, QB - With some of the top tackles off the board, the Bills are in an awkward spot. They need a QB and an OT and the most likely teams have already passed on Clausen. They could get away with trading down to get to a point where they still get Clausen and an OT.  Regardless, the Bills need to get fans enthused and sell some tickets. They have a high pick in the second and can use that on an OT.

10) Jaguars - Derrick Morgan, DE - Yes, the Jags just signed Kampman, but they are always out for positional value.  Morgan is a great player and will provide a nice insurance policy should Kampman not be ready to go early on.

11) Broncos - Dez Bryant, WR - Why would Josh Daniels want another possible diva receiver? Who knows? Why did he want Cassel when he had Cutler? The need is there and Daniels, being an offensive minded guy needs someone who can catch the ball and help them get points on the board.

12) Dolphins - Jason Pierre-Paul, OLB - The Dolphins DT Jason Ferguson is out for the first 8 weeks, but Bill Parcels is smart enough to not let that affect his choice. They have Pierre-Paul rated higher than Dan Williams, and that is who they get. Plus, if San Diego doesn't grab DT Cody, Miami could get a shot at him early in the second.

13) 49ers - Joe Haden, CB - San Fransisco isn't far off from being a serious contender in a weak division. They can take the best player available, get good positional value, and fill a need with Joe Haden.

14) Seahawks - Anthony Davis, OT - Dez Bryant is gone. Still a great spot to pick up a very talented OT.

15) Giants - Rolando McClain, ILB - The Giants released Pierce.  They didn't make any offseason moves to fill the void which leads one to believe that they like a few of this years linebackers.

16) Titans - Dan Williams, DT - The Titans have been missing Haynesworth something fierce.  Williams is a great DT and could give them some production right away.

17) 49ers - Sergio Kindle, OLB - Not a top need, but a great player that combined with Haden would have an immediate impact on their pass defense.

18) Steelers - CJ Spiller, RB - Spiller falls to the Steelers and they can't pass him up after losing some depth at RB this offseason.  He's a great compliment to Mendenhall and give the Steelers a more dynamic offense.

19) Falcons - Brandon Graham, DE - He's got great positional value here and I'm not sure any of the guys around here would make a better impact on this team than a great pass rusher.

20) Texans - Earl Thomas, S - He's fallen a bit further than everyone expected, but the Texans grab him up.  They've done well drafting defensive players in the first round. They will stick with what works for them.

21) Bengals - Jermaine Gresham, TE - The Bengals need another target for Palmer.  They get one, just not at the exact position they were thinking.

22) Patriots - Jared Odrick, DE - One could argue he's the best player on the board that fits their system.  He'll fill in where Seymour left.

23) Packers - Mike Iupati, OG - Best guard in the class. Some say he could line up at tackle if he has to. Regardless, Green Bay gets a great football player.

24) Eagles - Ryan Matthews, RB - McNabb is gone. Westbrook is gone. Kolb is going to need someone to help him out when things aren't clicking. If they don't go up and grab Spiller somehow, they'll take Matthews here.

25) Ravens - Kyle Wilson, CB - Ravens waste no time handing the card to the commissioner when they realize Wilson has fallen into their laps.

26) Cardinals - Taylor Mays, S - They are really hurting this year. Mays offers them help and has a tremendous upside.

27) Cowboys - Sean Weatherspoon, ILB - Jones should consider taking Charles Brown, but he never takes an OL in round one. He needs something flashier.

28) Chargers - Terrance Cody, DT - He's the best replacement in the draft for Jamal Williams.  It is a bit of a reach, but the other route would be Jahvid Best who is also a bit of a reach.  There aren't enough big men out there, so Cody is the pick.

29) Jets - Everson Griffen, OLB - Big strong pass rusher that will bolster an already great defense. A Ryan type of guy.

30) Vikings - Brian Price, DT - They should go after Colt McCoy here, but they won't.  The feeling in Minnesota is all or nothing this year and no one cares about afterward. Retirement looms for Big Pat and Price would be a good 4-3 DT.

31) Colts - Charles Brown, OT - They are committed to doing something about their offensive line and Brown is arguably the best player left on the board.

32) Saints - Nate Allen, S - They have a pretty solid team. Sharper hasn't signed yet, and this will help drive his price down, while getting a great player for the future.

Draft thoughts and other team ideas

It's been a while since the last update. But I'll try to keep this from happening again. To be honest, there hasn't been much news on the Packer front lately.  The best I have is that they have contacted Brian Westbrook which may or may not mean anything.

But, here are some bold predictions for the draft:

1) The best two QB's to come out of this years class will be Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow. Sure Bradford and Clausen will be taken before them, but neither will go to a team with the ability to tap their true potential. The real winners will be Tebow and McCoy.  They have a better chance at going to a better team, probably one with a solid starting QB, and have time to develop.  I think Bradford does no better than Matthew Stafford.  I think Clausen stands a little better chance. I think he's the safer bet while Bradford has more upside.  McCoy and Tebow just have something more about them. Those intangibles that are capable of taking them to a whole new level.  When its all said and done, I think the two names we remember from this years QB class are McCoy and Tebow.

2) The Lions will do the smart thing, and not take Suh.  As good as he and Gerald McCoy are, the Lions have already invested quite a bit in their defensive line and to be honest, DT's in a 4-3 are not that valuable. You need them, but not that high. Neither are just absolute freak athletes like Reggie White who played a much more coveted position.  They'll both be great, but the Lions need to right the ship, and they are well on their way, but they need to keep their captain at the helm for the whole season.

3) Goes along with 2, but don't be surprised if Gerald McCoy falls out of the top 5. If the Rams take Bradford, Detroit Okung, Tampa Suh, Washington Williams, KC Bulaga, it could very well happen. It only works out that way because the way the teams at the top fall. Rams need QB, 4-3 DT's not valuable enough, and Washington and KC run 3-4s which don't fit McCoy.

4) Maurkice Pouncey, Charles Brown, Bruce Campbell, and Demaryus Thomas do not go in Round 1.

Thoughts on the current state of the Packers:

1) As much as one can look at it and say they need this or that, they really have viable starters at all positions this year and are really poised to take the best player available come draft time.  I honestly can say this is the first year in a while that I don't have a 1st round guy I really want. Last year I thought the right choice was Raji.  So did GB. The year before, I really liked Talib, D. Rodgers-Cromartie, and Flowers but things didn't work out. This year, it would be great if one of the top tackles falls to us or even Iupati. Outside of that, I'm not opposed to trading back. I'm also not strongly opposed to drafting any position on the field.  If the guy is the best player available, take him. 

2) Why didn't the Packers make and inquiries about Jermon Bushrod?  I know I sound like a broken record, but the guy can play at a high level and he's quick. He seems like the type of guy that would do well in a zone blocking scheme. Maybe if they miss out on a top tier tackle the first day, they can trade down to late first or early second and work a deal with New Orleans.

3) I like the aggressive move the Packers made last year when they went up to get Clay Matthews.  I hope they are not afraid to pull the trigger again this year if a similar opportunity arises.

Look for my final 2010 Mock Draft soon.

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