NFL Draft: Who Will The Packers Pick?
I ran into one of Wisconsin's top sports columnists tonight. Since the NFL draft is tomorrow, I took the opportunity to pick his brain about what he thought the Packers would do.
I guessed that the Packers would take Iowa defensive end Matt Roth, but no, I was informed, the Packers think Roth's arms are too short. Seriously, that's how nitpicky these teams get. I'm amazed. The guy managed to be a star in college with his shorty short arms, I doubt that that's what's going to hold him back at the next level. Maybe this is why the Packers have had such crummy drafts lately.
Anyway, this reporter told me that the Packers really covet Georgia safety Thomas Davis, but he'll probably be long gone before they pick in the 24th spot. So, this guy predicts that they'll pick Florida State defensive tackle Travis Johnson. Here's what ESPN's Len Pasquarelli has to say about him:
Upside: Compelling size-speed-quickness combination. Exceptional athlete with quick, active hands and nifty feet. When he's on his game, explodes off blocks, finds the ball and makes the play. Enough movement skill to get wide. Enough power to compact the pocket and chase down the quarterback. Like several of the top tackles in this draft, very nice pass-rush acumen. Can be a disruptive, dominant player when his motor is revved. Knows how to slip the double-team block and how to make himself narrow enough to get through small spaces. Aspires to be more than just another player.
Downside: Good but not great size and could use a little more strength. Probably has to play the three-technique spot. Will have to use his hands a little better and learn to shed quicker. Has a tendency to mope. Only started one full year as he had to wait his turn behind some of the Seminoles' big-time tackles. Has had some injuries.
The dish: A pure one-gap player who, based on athleticism and potential, should be the first tackle off the board.
Maybe I'm just dwelling on the negative, but a description that includes "has a tendency to mope" doesn't exactly fill me with confidence.
I also asked this reporter if he thought the Packers would be looking for a quarterback to be the heir apparent to Brett Favre. While the team sent someone to Auburn to talk to Jason Campbell this week, the word is that the team hasn't reached a consensus on whether they prefer Campbell to Akron's Charlie Frye. While I remember Frye from his awesome game against the Badgers two years ago, I don't know enough about either player to have a preference. What really disturbed me was the mention of Purdue's Kyle Orton as a pick. He's just about the last guy I'd want to see the Packers pick.
Hopefully the Packers are just playing possum and they'll pick up a great player in the first round and some steals later. We need it, because otherwise we're in for some lean years ahead.
Update: California QB Aaron Rodgers, considered a potential number one overall pick, dropped all the way to the Packers and they took him. I'm pretty happy with the pick. The Packers have too many problems to solve them all with one first round pick. Packer fans know they're going to suck for awhile. Hopefully Rodgers can lead the Packers in the post-Favre, post-Sherman (I hope) era.
I think that Craig Nall is going to be a good NFL quarterback, but maybe not for the Packers. The ideal situation is that Nall looks great in this preseason and we're eventually able to deal him for some good draft picks, a la Mark Brunell & Matt Hasselbeck.
Posted by at April 22, 2005 09:11 PM
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|# April 22nd, 2005 9:14 PM james|
|you mean "more" lean years.
you know, i think that you're just sensitive to comments about short people
|# April 22nd, 2005 9:17 PM kris|
|nah, i don't mind the comments. i just get mad when i can't reach things |
|# April 23rd, 2005 10:02 AM kris|
|Actually, the worst pick the Packers could make is to draft another punter or kicker. I still can't get over the fact that they drafted a punter in the third round last year. A punter who didn't even play! You should never draft punters and kickers. I maintain that you could stop your team bus anywhere and find someone on the side of the road that could be just as good as the guy you drafted. |
|# April 23rd, 2005 10:29 AM james|
|the kicker thing must be the result of some backroom players union deal |
|# April 23rd, 2005 2:42 PM kris|
|i see that Houston took that Travis Johnson guy. good. I wonder if the Packers will move up to get the QB from Cal or if maybe they're looking at someone like Erasmus James. |