Sunday, April 28, 2013

Building The 53 - 2013 Green Bay Packer Draft Picks

Welcome to my fourth annual review of the Green Bay Packers draft (2010, 2011, and 2012).  The 2013 NFL Draft was Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson's ninth draft of his tenure in Green Bay.  The best pick Thompson made during his tenure so far in Green Bay was his first in 2005, when he drafted Aaron Rodgers 24th overall. There have been a number of other great picks along the way as well, too many to name in fact.  Based on my early review, either of Thompson's first two picks in this draft have a chance to be two of the best players he ever drafted for the Packers.

It is apparent that Thompson prefers quantity over quality since he is much more apt to trade back than trade up sans the 2012 NFL DraftWhether Thompson is your college buddy that regularly trools for 6's instead of dime pieces, the fact that Thompson regularly lands dime pieces irrespective of the round that he is picking, is why the Packers have been so competitive during his nine-year tenureOh that and it helps to have a consistently awesome wingman.

The Packers entered the 2013 NFL Draft with eight picksThey traded down three times (no shocker there) amassing four more picks, but then traded up once after that so they ultimately drafted 11 players.  Here are my thoughts on the 11 new members of the Green Bay Packers:

1st Round (26th Overall): Datone Jones, Defensive End 
School: UCLA (Pac-12) 
Height: 6'3⅞" 
Weight: 283 lbs 
Arm Length: 32 5/8" 
Hand Size: 10" 
40-yard Dash: 4.8 seconds 
3-Cone Drill: 7.32 seconds 
20-yard Dash: 4.32 seconds 
225-pound Bench Press: 29 reps 
Vertical Leap: 31.5" 
Broad Jump: 112" 
Wonderlic: 20 out of 50 
Other Possible Picks: Sylvester Williams (DT, North Carolina), Matt Elam (S, Florida), and Johnathan Cyprien (S, Florida International)
Analysis: If the Packers wanted to "get more physical" as a team then they started off the draft the right way taking Jones with the 26th pick.  In 2009 the Packers hit a home run at 26 when they drafted Claymaker.  I am not saying that Jones is in that class but I could see him being 75% of Claymaker, which would make this draft a success on its own.  The Packers thought they were getting a player like Jones last year when they drafted Jerel Worthy in the second round but Worthy never made the impact the Packers hoped and now he is rehabbing a torn ligament in his knee so he is a long shot to even play in 2013. With no real 3-4 defensive on the roster besides C.J. Wilson, my guess is that Jones starts Week 1 in San Francisco.

2nd Round (61st Overall): Eddie Lacy, Running Back 
School: Alabama (SEC) 
Height: 5'11" 
Weight: 231 lbs 
Arm Length: 31" 
Hand Size: 9 3/8" 
40-yard Dash: 4.53 seconds 
3-Cone Drill: N/A 
20-yard Dash: N/A 
225-pound Bench Press: N/A 
Vertical Leap: N/A 
Broad Jump: N/A 
Wonderlic: 17 out of 50 
Other Possible Picks:Christine Michael (RB, Texas A&M), Tyrann Mathieu (DB, LSU), and John Jenkins (DT, Georgia)
Analysis: It felt like Lacy was going to the Packers in the first round, so to get him in the second round feels like an asbsolute steal.  All the injuries are definitely a concern but if healthy, Lacy gives the Packers an every down back they desperately need.  One last thing on Lacy, he was the last player selected that was invited to attend the draft.  That is the second time in three years the Packers have taken that player.  In 2011 the Packers drafted Randall Cobb at the end of the second round, which has worked out pretty well so far, so let's hope that trend continues for the Packers with Lacy.

4th Round (109th Overall): David Bakhtiari, Offensive Tackle/Offensive Guard 
School: Colorado (Pac-12) 
Height: 6'4¼"  
Weight: 299 lbs 
Arm Length: 34" 
Hand Size: 9 3/8" 
40-yard Dash: 5.15 seconds 
3-Cone Drill: 7.70 seconds 
20-yard Dash: 4.74 seconds 
225-pound Bench Press: 28 reps 
Vertical Leap: 25.5" 
Broad Jump: 101" 
Wonderlic: 25 out of 50 
Other Possible Picks: Shamarko Thomas (S, Syracuse), Barett Jones (C, Alabama), and Khaled Holmes (C, USC)
Analysis: The Packers got the 109th pick as a part of trading back with the Dolphins on Day 2 but let's not lose sight of the fact that the Dolphins owned the 104th and 106th picks as well, thus everyone that went 104 through 109 could have been a Packer if the Thompson held a harder line when negotiating with the Dolphins.  Here are the guys that went 104-109: Jelani Jenkins (OLB, Florida), Duke Williams (S, Nevada), Dion Sims (TE, Michigan State), Brian Schwenke (C, California), and Edmund Kugbila (G, Valdosta State).  I am super salty that the Packers did not hold the line on getting either 104 or 106 because Brian Schwenke went 107th overall and I think he is a perfect up tempo center that can be a starting center in the NFL as soon as next season.  The Packers ultimately took Bakhtiari so now they have 25 tweener tackles/guards on the roster.  Despite not having left tackle height, Bakhtiari has long enough arms to play left tackle.  Worst case scenario I could see the Packers using Bakhtiari as a 6th offensive lineman when they try to run the ball.

4th Round (122nd Overall): J.C. Tretter, Offensive Guard/Center 
School: Cornell (Ivy League) 
Height: 6'3⅝" 
Weight: 307 lbs 
Arm Length: 33 1/4" 
Hand Size: 10 1/8" 
40-yard Dash: N/A 
3-Cone Drill: N/A 
20-yard Dash: N/A 
225-pound Bench Press: 29 reps 
Vertical Leap: 29.5" 
Broad Jump: 109" 
Wonderlic: 33 out of 50 
Other Possible Picks: The Packers picked at 125th overall as well so that leaves only two players selected between Tretter and their next pick so see below for other possible picks
Analysis: For the second pick in a row the Packers selected an offensive lineman, this time they got the Lane Johnson of the Ivy League.  Much like Bakhtiari, it looks like Tretter is a tweener tackle/guard.  Hopefully the Packers can work with Tretter to improve his skills as an interior offensive lineman to push Greg Van Roten for the primary interior backup.  In more pressing news, between the two picks the Packers made in the 4th round I read a report that said the Packers are "willing to trade trade Desmond Bishop", which makes no sense to me.

4th Round (125th Overall): Johnathan Franklin, Running Back 
School: UCLA (Pac-12) 
Height: 5'10" 
Weight: 205 lbs 
Arm Length: 30" 
Hand Size: 9 1/4" 
40-yard Dash: 4.55 seconds 
3-Cone Drill: 6.89 seconds 
20-yard Dash: 4.32 seconds 
225-pound Bench Press: 18 reps 
Vertical Leap: 31.5" 
Broad Jump: 115" 
Wonderlic: 21 out of 50 
Other Possible Picks: Quinton Patton (WR, Louisiana Tech), Earl Wolf (S, N.C. State), and Jesse Williams (DT, Alabama)
Analysis: In the eight previous draft in Thompson's tenure in Green Bay he selected four running backs (Brandon Jackson, DeShawn Wynn, James Starks, and Alex Green) so when the Packers traded back up in the draft giving up the 146th and 173rd picks to get the 125th pick, the last position I thought they would draft was running back since Thompson already took one in the second round.  As it turns out I was wrong and Thompson actually trade up to draft a second running back.  Based on the tape I've seen, Franklin looks like he can break a run fora long gain every time he touches the ball.  Off the field Franklin wants to be the mayor of Los Angeles after he is done playing football so may be he has a little Robert Smith in him.  After adding Lacy and Franklin in the draft, all of a sudden the Packers have five legitimate NFL running backs on the roster but that is probably one too many so it makes senses that James Starks is on the chopping block because right after the Packers selected Franklin a report surfaced that said the Packers are "willing to trade James Starks".  DuJuan Harris ended the season as the starting running back for the Packers.  With all due respect to Harris, even though he played well at the end of last season, his diminutive body type makes him a long shot to survive as an every down back in the NFL.  Going into the draft the Packers did not have a single every down back on their roster.  After drafting Lacy and Franklin, the Packers now have two legitimate every down backs on the roster for the first time since Ahman Green left town.

5th Round (159th Overall): Micah Hyde, Cornerback/Safety 
School: Iowa (Big "Ten") 
Height: 5'11¾" 
Weight: 197 lbs 
Arm Length: 31 3/8"" 
Hand Size: 9 1/4" 
40-yard Dash: 4.55 seconds 
3-Cone Drill: 6.78 seconds 
20-yard Dash: 4.20 seconds 
225-pound Bench Press: 12 reps 
Vertical Leap: 33" 
Broad Jump: 121" 
Wonderlic: 21 out of 50 
Other Possible Picks: The Packers picked at 167th overall as well so that leaves only seven players selected between Tretter and their next pick so see below for other possible picks.
Analysis: This was a total luxury pick by the Packers since they already have five NFL caliber cornerbacks on the roster.  That said, they did got a player that was voted as the best defensive back in the Big "Ten" last season  in the fifth round so it is not like they took a slouch.  Hyde's measurables are not off the charts but let's not forget that Casey Hayward didn't have the most impressive measurables going into the draft last season either but Hayward was in the running for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.   The Packers shot down initial reports that Hyde would move to safety next season, but my guess is that the only way he makes the roster is if he can excel on special teams while showing the ability to slide between cornerback and safety.

5th Round (167th Overall): Josh Boyd, Defensive Tackle 
School: Mississippi (SEC) 
Height: 6'2⅝" 
Weight: 310 lbs 
Arm Length: 32" 
Hand Size: 9 1/4" 
40-yard Dash: 5.05 seconds 
3-Cone Drill: N/A 
20-yard Dash: N/A 
225-pound Bench Press: 32 reps 
Vertical Leap: 28" 
Broad Jump: 104" 
Wonderlic: 14 out of 50 
Other Possible Picks: Ricky Wagner (OT, Wisconsin), Joshua Evans (S. Florida), and Nick Moody (OLB, Florida State)
Analysis: Although I wish the Packers would have added a run stuffing defensive tackler earlier in the draft, at least the Packers drafted a taller more imposing defensive tackle than they have in pervious years.  For exampled, the Packers picked six consecutive defenders to start the 2012 NFL Draft but none of them are as physically imposing as Boyd. In the first round the Packers added a versatile 3-4 defensive end that can occupy blocked and also get after the quarterback in Datone Jones.  In drafting Boyd, the Packers added a space eating interior defensive lineman with some height that has a chance to be the next Ryan Pickett, which is a good thing since not only is Pickett getting long in the tooth, but he is set to become a free agent this off-season.

6th Round (193rd Overall): Nathan Palmer, Outside Linebacker 
School: Illinois State (Missouri Valley) 
Height: 6'1¾" 
Weight: 233 lbs 
Arm Length: 33 1/2" 
Hand Size: 9 5/8" 
40-yard Dash: 4.72 seconds 
3-Cone Drill: N/A 
20-yard Dash: N/A 
225-pound Bench Press: N/A 
Vertical Leap: 35.5" 
Broad Jump: 125" 
Wonderlic: 15 out of 50 
Other Possible Picks: Kapron Lewis-Moore (DE, Notre Dame), Michael Williams (TE, Alabama), and Joe Kruger (DE, Utah)
Analysis: The Packers were the only team that Palmer visited throughout the draft process so he thought that he would go undrafted.  To Palmer's surprise, the Packers must have liked their visitPalmer projects as a very similar player to the newly departed Erik Walden or Frank Zombo but will be in a fierce competition for the coveted backup outside linebacker spots behind Claymaker and Nick Perry since the Packers like to rotate their outside linebackers.

7th Round (216th Overall): Charles Johnson, Wide Receiver 
School: Grand Valley State (Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) 
Height: 6'2" 
Weight: 215 lbs 
Arm Length: 30 1/2" 
Hand Size: 9 1/4" 
40-yard Dash: 4.40 seconds 
3-Cone Drill: N/A 
20-yard Dash: N/A 
225-pound Bench Press: 14 reps 
Vertical Leap: 40" 
Broad Jump: 132" 
Wonderlic: N/A 
Other Possible Picks: Jordan Poyer (CB, Oregon State), Ryan Seymour (OG, Vanderbilt), and Nicholas Williams (DT, Samford)
Analysis: The jump from college to the NFL is difficult, especially at wide receiver.  Since Johnson played Division II football, it will be even more interesting to see how he adjusts since he looked like a man amoungst boys in college but will now be a boy amongst men in the NFL.

7th Round (224th Overall): Kevin Dorsey, Wide Receiver 
School: Maryland (Big "Ten" ACC) 
Height: 6'1" 
Weight: 207 lbs 
Arm Length: 33 3/4"
Hand Size: 9 5/8" 
40-yard Dash: 4.47 seconds 
3-Cone Drill: N/A 
20-yard Dash: N/A 
225-pound Bench Press: 17 reps 
Vertical Leap: 38" 
Broad Jump: 130" 
Wonderlic: 22 out of 50 
Other Possible Picks: Eric Herman (OG, Chadron State), Everett Dawkins (DT, FSU), and Ty Powell (OLB, Harding)
Analysis: Dorsey has a very similar build to Johnson, although Johnson looks a hair faster than Dorsey.  Odd are that only one of Johnson and Dorsey will make the final 53-man roster to open the season so expect a number of spirited battles between Johnson and Doresy throughout the preseason.

7th Round (232 Overall): Sam Barrington, Linebacker 
School: South Florida (Big East) 
Height: 6'1" 
Weight: 235 lbs 
Arm Length: 32 1/4" 
Hand Size: 10 1/4" 
40-yard Dash: 4.73 seconds 
3-Cone Drill: N/A 
20-yard Dash: N/A 
225-pound Bench Press: 22 reps 
Vertical Leap: 37" 
Broad Jump: 122" 
Wonderlic: 23 out of 50 
Other Possible Picks: Zeke Motta (S, Notre Dame), Mike Taylor (LB, Wisconsin), and Jordan Rodgers (QB, Vanderbilt)
Analysis: Mr. Irrelevant of the 2013 NFL for the Packers is Sam Barrington.  If there is one position on the roster that will be hard to crack come next fall, it is linebacker.  The good news for Barrington is that he reminds me of Jamari Lattimore because of his ability to play multiple linebacker position, which is going to be key for any reserve linebacker given the fact that roster spots are so scarce.

Congrats to the 11 players drafted by the Packers, take a day to celebrate and get ready to work because available roster spots are scare.  Check back on Wednesday because I am going to take my first guess at what the opening day 53-man roster will look like for the 2013 Green Bay Packers.

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