Wednesday, May 1, 2013

2013 Packers Draft Review

The last weekend was pretty crazy with all of the moves that the Packers made moving backward in the draft.  Of course the move forward for Johnathan Franklin is always interesting since the Packers rarely move up.  Well let's take a look at the players that we drafted this year and see exactly what they were up to in college.

1st Round (Datone Jones)--6'4" 283 lbs DE-UCLA.  Will wear 95 for the Packers.

This past season he had 62 tackles, 19 for loss, 6.5 sacks.  High for one game in tackles against Arizona State with 9.  In the game I watched with him against Nebraska (my favorite college team) he had 3 tackles for a loss, including a safety on Taylor Martinez.  He will definitely end up as a 3-4 DE for us, and like many Packer fans have noted, he gives us a lot of flexibility in a zone blitz look, which is really helpful for our defense since we need to be able to throw a lot of complex looks at the QB since we have had trouble getting people off the field in recent years.  The last time that the Packers have drafted a DE this high was in 2001 when we took Jamal Reynolds from Florida State at #10 overall.  If nothing else then I sure hope that Jones is a lot better than Reynolds was.

2nd Round (Eddie Lacy)--5'11" 231 lbs RB-Alabama. Will wear 27 for the Packers.

Last year Eddie Lacy ran for 1322 yards and totaled 19 touchdowns.  The entire packers team ran for 1702 yards last season and had only 7 touchdowns.  The main issue with Lacy of course is that he has injury concerns.  Everyone has brought up the toe fusion and the issues with that.  The most recent RB we selected near this was Brandon Jackson at pick 63 back in 2007.  Jackson was the 6th running back selected.  The NFL draft profile shows a NFL comparison to Frank Gore.  That would be amazing.  Gore, despite some injuries, has been a strong running back and has been durable when under a committee the past few years.  If that is the situation that we are in with Lacy, then we would definitely be incredibly happy about that.

4th Round (David Bakhtiari) 6'4" 299 lbs OT-Colorado.  Will wear 69 for the Packers.

One thing that I find incredibly interesting is that we used pick 109 in the draft on Bakhtiari (Bock-T-are-E) and our current starting guard, T.J. Lang.  They both had played OT in college, because that's where a team should put it's best offensive lineman.  But like Lang, Bakhtiari is expected to move inside for the Packers.  He only missed one game this past season with a knee sprain, and so we are definitely hopeful that his health stays on the upswing.  David does have an older brother Eric who has played linebacker for several teams in the NFL.  Another great thing is that he only allowed 5.5 Sacks in all 3 seasons he played at Colorado.

4th Round (J.C. Tretter) 6'4" 307 lbs OT-Cornell. Will wear 73 for the Packers.

Just to bring up another previous draft comparison, we drafted Josh Sitton in the 4th round as well.  Tretter has only been an offensive lineman for two years, because he had initially gone to Cornell as a Tight End, but did make 20 starts after quickly learning the tackle position.  He had played basketball in high school, where he was the school's all time leader in scoring and rebounding.  The main thing that I think of for Tretter is that he is an athlete, who is still learning how to block.  Like Lane Johnson, Tretter had played quarterback in high school as well.  He had a 3.4 GPA at Cornell, he's crazy smart.  He's an athletic, smart kid who I hope is able to do a lot of great things with our offense.

4th Round (Johnathan Franklin) 5'10" 205 lbs RB-UCLA. Will wear 23 for the Packers.

The last running back that we selected in the fourth round was Najeh Davenport, and I think hopes are much higher for Franklin.  His senior season was the best season by far at UCLA.  He ran 282 times for 1734 yards and 13 touchdowns.  He cleared over 200 yards in a game twice last season.  Franklin is a great back.  He looks to be able to do a lot in our offense.  Last year he had been coached by Jim Mora, and that is where he had thrived.  Franklin is able to do a lot with the football, and if nothing else he was great value at pick 125, plus he also is insurance for our second round pick Eddie Lacy.

5th Round (Micah Hyde) 6'0" 197 lbs CB-Iowa.  Will wear 33 for the Packers.

Hyde could easily be either a CB or a S in our defense.  Some of his major strengths are his ball skills and his ability to read zone coverage.  He had 8 interceptions in college in 3 years as a starter.  He simply seems to make plays.  McShay said that he played his best games against his best opponents.  There is also a play from the 2011 season where one of his teammates picks off Kirk Cousins, laterals the ball to him, and then he takes it 66 yards and across the field for a touchdown.  I would love to put him back on our kick return team while he learns our defense.

6th Round (Nate Palmer) 6'3" 240 lbs OLB-Illinois State. Will wear 51 for the Packers.

I must agree with my dear friends at the Packer Addicts forum, that he should be known as "Napalm" from here on out, as long as he is able to earn the nickname.  Palmer is going to be around to try to push Perry and Moses.  Also, you can never really have enough depth at OLB, always need to be able to get pressure on the quarterback.  The main numbers that I like from him in college are 15 TFL, 7.5 Sacks, 3 FF.  Right now he runs a 4.7 40 yard dash, but I think the Packers want him to put some muscle on in order to consistently rush the passer.

7th Round (Charles Johnson) 6'2" 215 lbs WR-Grand Valley State.  Will wear 17 for the Packers.

Runs underneath 4.4 40 yard dash, has great size.  It looks like his measurables are what makes him with the late round pick.  They say that his vertical (39 inches), broad jump (11 feet) would put him among the top performers at the combine, if he had been invited.  A lot of good natural ability, and he put up 72 catches for 1199 yards and 16 touchdowns last year.  Definitely worth the seventh round pick and could be in position to challenge for a roster spot.

7th Round (Kevin Dorsey) 6'3" 210 lbs WR-Maryland.  Will wear 16 for the Packers.

4.47 40 yard dash.  Only 18 catches last season, but of course they started 5 different quarterbacks last season.  On those 18 catches he had 4 touchdowns and averaged 17.3 ypc.  38 inch vertical and a broad jump of 10'10".  Again, another guy who has strong skills as far as how they are tested.  He had a former LB throwing him the ball at one point last year, and now he gets to play for arguably the best quarterback in the game.  That is what I call an upgrade for him.

7th Round (Sam Barrington) 6'1" 246 lbs. LB-South Florida. Will wear 58 for the Packers.

65, 72, and 80 tackles for him as he started the last 3 years.  I'm a little worried about his speed, as he only ran a 4.91 40 yard dash at the combine.  Probably needs to lose a little bit of weight in order to truly challenge some of the current ILB that we have in Hawk & Bishop.  One thing that I find intriguing is that he had forced 5 fumbles last season.  I like someone who can strip the ball, but that's easier said than done.

Obviously it's too early to grade this draft, but I am hopeful for the future and ready for us to have our first game against the San Fransisco 49ers.

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