Sunday, May 1, 2011

2011 Green Bay Packer Draft Picks

Congratulations to the ten players taken by Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson in the 2011 NFL Draft, today is truly a Sunday Funday for all of them.

1st Round (32nd Overall): Derek Sherrod, Offensive Tackle
School: Mississippi State (SEC)
Height: 6'5⅜"
Weight: 321 lbs
Arm Length: 35.29"
Hand Size: 11.0"
40-yard Dash: 5.18 seconds
Vertical Leap: 28"
Broad Jump: 8'1"
225-pound Bench Press: 23 reps
Wonderlic: 25 out of 50
Other Possible Picks: Da'Quan Bowers (DE/OLB, Clemson), Marvin Austin (DE/DT, UNC) or Stephen Paea (DT, Oregon State)
Analysis: Another year, another tackle drafted in the first round. Last year Thompson drafted Bryan Bulaga and followed it up this year by taking Sherrod with the last pick of the first round. Sherrod has longer arms and bigger hands than Bulaga. Only time will tell whether that means that Sherrod is the left tackle of the future ahead of Bulaga. Sherrod is a smart guy, he graduated college in three years and even started on his masters. With how impressive Sherrod is in the classroom, he is even more impressive on the field. Sherrod started 37 games at left tackle, 47 starts total, and appeared in 49 games for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Sherrod's senior season was his best, he didn't allow a sack in 2010 despite playing in the SEC and facing some of the best best pass rushers in the country.

2nd Round (64th Overall): Randall Cobb, Wide Receiver
School: Kentucky (SEC)
Height: 5'10¼"
Weight: 191 lbs
Arm Length: 31.0"
Hand Size: 9.3"
40-yard Dash: 4.47 seconds
Vertical Leap: 33.5"
Broad Jump: 9'7"
225-pound Bench Press: 16 reps
Wonderlic: 25 out of 50
Other Possible Picks: Dontay Moch (OLB, Nevada), John Moffitt (OG, Wisconsin) or Leonard Hankerson (WR, Miami)
Analysis: Thompson has gone 2 for 3 drafting wide receiver in the second round hitting a homerun with Greg Jennings, a double with Jordy Nelson, and got plunked in the head with Terrence Murphy. Cobb will line up in the slot, at running back, at quarterback in the wildcat, as a return man, and he might even serve as the holder...something that I have long advocated the Packers should do with their backup quarterback. Cobb reminds me of a rich man's Antwaan Randle El or a poor man's Percy Harvin. Cobb set an SEC record with 2,396 all-purpose yards in 2010, check out the breakdown:
- caught 84 balls for 1,017 yards and 7 touchdowns
- rushed 55 times for 424 yards and 5 touchdowns
- went 5 for 10 throwing for 58 yards and 3 touchdowns out of the Wildcat
- averaged 7.82 yards per punt return
- averaged 23.74 yards per kickoff return
With the decline of Driver in 2010 and the potential loss of Jones via free agency before the 2011 season, the Packers added another stud receiver to an already impressive group of wide receiver.

3rd Round (96th Overall): Alexander Green, Running Back
School: Hawaii (WAC)
Height: 6'0¼"
Weight: 225 lbs
Arm Length: 32.0"
Hand Size: 9.1"
40-yard Dash: 4.52 seconds
Vertical Leap: 34"
Broad Jump: 9'6"
225-pound Bench Press: 20 reps
Wonderlic: 15 out of 50
Other Possible Picks: Jordan Cameron (TE, USC), Sam Acho (DE/OLB, Texas) or Christian Ballard (DT, Iowa)
Analysis: Talking about the rich getting richer. By picking Alex Green the Packers selected three offensive players with their first three picks for the first time since 1996. Green is only the fourth running back Thompson has drafted while in charge of the Packers. The highest pick that Thompson used on a running back was a second round pick in 2007 on Brandon Jackson. Oddly enough, Green will most likely replace Jackson as the 3rd down back for the Packers in 2011. That means barring a change in events, Green is going to claim Jackson's roster spot. Before we go any further, let's get the Butte Community College reference out there. Yes, both Green and Rodgers played at Butte Community College. In fact, Green played with Aaron's younger brother Jordan. Green played at Butte for two years, leading them to the 2008 Junior College National Championship finishing 12-0 for the season. Green moved on to play at Hawaii where he averaged 9 yards per touch last year amassing 1,562 all-purpose yards (1,199 rushing yards and 363 receiving yards) and 19 touchdowns. Green played in the spread offense at Hawaii so it will be interesting to see how Green performs in a more traditional offense. The system is not the only change that Green is going to have to get used to in 2011. Green played college football in California and Hawaii, now he can look forward to playing in bitter cold winters in Green Bay. The only knock on Green is that he is a bit of a fumbler (8 fumbles in 271 touches) but that is fitting since another Packer running back named Green, Ahman Green, had fumbling issues.

4th Round (131st Overall): Devon House, Cornerback
School: New Mexico State (WAC)
Height: 6'0½"
Weight: 200 lbs
Arm Length: 31.7"
Hand Size: 9.399"
40-yard Dash: 4.41 seconds
Vertical Leap: 33.5"
Broad Jump: 9'1"
225-pound Bench Press: 14 reps
Wonderlic: 15 out of 50
Other Possible Picks: Buster Skrine (CB, Chattanooga), Marcus Cannon (OT, TCU) or Brandon Burton (CB, Utah)
Analysis: House is the second highest cornerback Thompson drafted while in charge of the Packers. Perpetually injured former Auburn cornerback Pat Lee was the highest cornerback drafted during the Thompson regime. Much like Green taking Jackson's roster spot, it looks like House will claim Lee's roster spot. House started started 6 of last 7 games in 2007 and was a full-time starter from 2008-10. That means that House started 43 of 49 games at New Mexico State, so at the very least House got a ton of experience in college, which should help him make a smooth transition to the NFL.

5th Round (141st Overall): D.J. Williams, Tight End
School: Arkansas (SEC)
Height: 6'2⅛"
Weight: 245 lbs
Arm Length: 31.4"
Hand Size: 10.3"
40-yard Dash: 4.61 seconds
Vertical Leap: 33.5"
Broad Jump: 9'3"
225-pound Bench Press: 26 reps
Wonderlic: 26 out of 50
Other Possible Picks: Karl Klug (DE, Iowa), Dion Lewis (RB, Pittsburgh) or Christopher Carter (OLB, Fresno State)
Analysis: Williams had a tough childhood, his father suffered from mental health issues and beat his mother so Williams was forced to move to Arkansas to get away from his father. On a more positive note, Williams was the 2010 John Mackey Award recipient (best collegiate tight end) thanks in large part to a pretty impressive career at Arkansas. As a two-year starter Williams had 152 receptions for 1,855 yards and 10 touchdowns. One final note, the Denver Broncos traded up 12 spots with the Green Bay Packers to select Julius Thomas (TE, Portland State) instead of Williams. Check back in five years to see if Denver should have taken Williams instead of Thomas.

6th Round (179th Overall): Caleb Schlauderaff, Offensive Guard
School: Utah (MWC)
Height: 6'4¼"
Weight: 305 lbs
Arm Length: 32.2"
Hand Size: 9.6"
40-yard Dash: 5.09 seconds
Vertical Leap: 28"
Broad Jump: 8'6"
225-pound Bench Press: ? reps
Wonderlic: 28 out of 50
Other Possible Picks: Tyrod Taylor (QB, Virginia Tech), Jordan Todman (RB, Connecticut) or David Carter (DT, UCLA)
Analysis: Even with Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz as kinda a sorta free agents because of the labor unrest the Packers have a ton of guards on the roster (Sitton, McDonald, and Lang) so Schlauderaff looks like a pure luxury pick. Schlauderaff was a four-year starter at Utah but I would be surprised if he makes a start in the NFL before 2013. The Packers moved back twice (shocker) before taking Schlauderaff. The San Francisco 49ers selected Daniel Kilgore (G, Appalachian State) 16 picks earlier, another set to compare against down the road much like Williams and Thomas.

6th Round (186th Overall): D.J. Smith, Outside Linebacker
School: Appalachian State (Southern)
Height: 5'10¼"
Weight: 239 lbs
Arm Length: 32.0"
Hand Size: 9.6"
40-yard Dash: 4.74 seconds
Vertical Leap: 31"
Broad Jump: 8'8"
225-pound Bench Press: 20 reps
Wonderlic: 20 out of 50
Other Possible Picks: Jason Kelce (OG/C, Cincinnati), Brian Rolle (OLB, Ohio State) or Markell Carter (DE/OLB, Central Arkansas)
Analysis: When Thompson drafted Smith I am sure most Packers fans thought it was about time Thompson got another outside linebacker. As I said a few months ago though, the Packers have a ton of talent at outside linebacker already on the roster even before the 2011 NFL Draft. Smith started every game from 2008-10 (32 at WLB and 8 at MLB). At least 15 potential 3-4 outside linebackers went before the undersized Smith so the odds that he becomes an actual NFL starter are slim.

6th Round (197th Overall): Rick Elmore, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker
School: Arizona (Pac-10)
Height: 6'4½"
Weight: 255 lbs
Arm Length: 31.0"
Hand Size: 9.6"
40-yard Dash: 4.84 seconds
Vertical Leap: 34.5"
Broad Jump: 9'7"
225-pound Bench Press: 26 reps
Wonderlic: 20 out of 50
Other Possible Picks: Jerrell Powe (DT, Mississippi), Ross Homan (OLB, Ohio State) or Steve Schilling (OG, Michigan)
Analysis: Elmore has shades of Frank Zombo shifting from defensive end to outside linebacker. Elmore actually had more production than his college teammate outside linebacker Brooks Reed (picked 42nd overall by the Houston Texans) that was often linked with the Packers. Elmore started 36 of 51 games at Arizona and was very productive for his career: 128 tackles (33.5 for loss) and 25.5 sacks. Elmore lead the Pac-10 in sacks in 2010 with 11. If you are not already in love with Elmore as much as I am, he worked with the Claymaker's dad to help him transition from a 4-3 defensive end to a 3-4 outside linebacker in the pros. Mark my words, Elmore is Aaron Kampman 2.0 for the Packers.

7th Round (218th Overall): Ryan Taylor, Tight End
School: North Carolina (ACC)
Height: ?
Weight: ? lbs
Arm Length: ?
Hand Size: ?
40-yard Dash: 4.78 seconds
Vertical Leap: 34"
Broad Jump: 9'10"
225-pound Bench Press: 21 reps
Wonderlic: ?
Other Possible Picks: Anthony Gaitor (CB, Florida International), Greg Romeus (DE, Pittsburgh) or Frank Kearse (DT, Alabama A&M)
Analysis: After drafting a tight end earlier in the draft and already being the only team in the league to carry more tight ends/fullbacks than true wide receivers and running backs, Thompson added another tight end/fullback. Thompson has drafted more tight ends (5) than quarterbacks (4), running backs (4), centers (1), and defensive tackles (4). It might have been better for Taylor to go undrafted because he could have gone to a team with less depth at tight end. Either way, why not draft the feel good story of the draft Mark Herzlich? For those that don't know, Herzlich passed on entering the draft despite looking like a sure fire first round pick to return to Boston College. Soon after making that decision, Herzlich was diagnosed with cancer. Fortunately Herzlich beat cancer but his play suffered as a result of his illness. Herzlich's story has all the makings of a Donald Driveresque ending, why not add a guy like that instead of another backup tight end/fullback?

7th Round (233rd Overall): Lawrence Guy, Defensive Tackle/Defensive End
School: Arizona State (PAC-10)
Height: 6'4⅛"
Weight: 305 lbs
Arm Length: 32.59"
Hand Size: 10.6"
40-yard Dash: 4.99 seconds
Vertical Leap: 29"
Broad Jump: 8'8"
225-pound Bench Press: 28 reps
Wonderlic: 17 out of 50
Other Possible Picks: Lee Ziemba (OT, Auburn), Bill Nagy (OG/C, Wisconsin) or Chris Neild (NT, West Virginia)
Analysis: A big body that can move will help add some depth along the defensive line for the Packers. For his career, Guy had 122 tackles (23 for loss) and 8 sacks. Some people are comparing Guy to the Packers' 7th round pick from the 2010 NFL Draft, C.J. Wilson (6'3", 300 pounds). Guy left college early and barely got drafted, will that put a chip on Guy's shoulder?

If you want to take a look back my thoughts on the 2010 Draft for the Green Bay Packer the day after the 2010 NFL Draft, click here.

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