The NFL Draft is 4 days away. It's a rainy Sunday on South Beach in Miami. I'm an addict for the NFL Draft. I've quenched my cravings by creating a top-10 things to consider leading up to the NFL Draft.
10.) In 2006, during the week of the NFL Draft, Ted Thompson signed Sir Charles Woodson to patch a huge hole at CB. With Brian Westbrook available, is Thompson looking to add another veteran to fill a void?
9.) We enter the draft with 8 picks. I'm hoping for a Safety, a CB, 2 OLB's, 2 OT, a QB, and either a RB or a WR who can return kicks. It would not surprise me if Thompson felt that DL was a need with the uncertainty regarding Jolly's suspension and Jenkins' contract. It also would not surprise me if Thompson looked at a WR as Double-D is in the last year of his contract. Couple Driver's contract with the inability of both Jordy Nelson & James Jones proving that they're a legitimate #2 receiver and there is a small question mark with regards to the future at WR. So, please, tell me that all speculation regarding the Packers drafting a Punter is false. Unless we come away with a minimum of 10 picks, it'd be disappointing if the Packers drafted a Punter. In no way am I diminishing the importance of a Punter, it's just that I feel we'll be able to sign one after the draft, if required.
8.) Mike McCarthy undoubtedly wants to leave this years draft with a new toy at QB. I just hope that it's not until the 4th round, at the earliest. Preferably, we'll wait until the 5th round. Hopefully, it'll be later. And if it's in the 4th round, please tell me it is either Jevan Snead, Tony Pike or Dan LeFevour. Jonathan Crompton can wait until Round 5.
7.) When Willie B. went down last year with a torn ACL, the Packers special teams units have failed miserably. With Willie B.'s health still in question, will Thompson address the return units with a pure KR? He's tried this before with Cory Rodgers and we know how that worked out.
6.) The Packers appear heavily interested in the Texas vs the Nation All Star Game. It's also interesting to note that Thompson has always seemed interested in kids from the states of California, Texas & Michigan. In 5 years, he's drafted 8 players from the state of California. He's drafted 5 players from Texas schools. Last year, his top undrafted FA was "Obi" Cyril Obiozor from Texas A & M. He's also drafted 3 players from the state of Michigan. His top FA signed, Sir Charles Woodson, went to the University of Michigan. And, last year, two of his top undrafted FA's were Jamarko Simmons, WR, Western Michigan and Andrew Hartline, OL, Central Michigan.
It's interesting that Kevin Matthews (Clay's cousin) went to Texas A & M where he was coached by Mike Sherman. He played in the Texas vs. the Nation All Star Game. Does this carry weight for Jared Veldheer, OT, from Hillsdale, MI? Veldheer also played in the All-Star Game. How does this affect AJ Jefferson, CB, Fresno State and Seyi Ajirotutu, WR, Fresno State? I've stated a couple of times about my liking of Ajirotutu. I've yet to discuss AJ Jefferson. He has the size to play CB in the NFL. He also is a stellar kick returner. He's also been timed running a 4.32 40. Oh, and Jefferson played in the All-Star Game as well.
5.) I can't emphasize it enough, I truly hope that the Packers draft two players at OLB. It seems that drafting a player that fits the 3-4 OLB position is - in some small way - a game of Russian Roulette. Bill Parcells is arguably the master of defining what fits the role. Think LT, Carl Banks, Willie McGinest, Chris Slade, DeMarcus Ware, and Anthony Spencer. All are a minimum of 6'3 (though 6'2 is acceptable) and all weigh over 250 lbs. All can run. All can get to the QB. And, they can drop in coverage. I'd look for someone with those dimensions and grab a couple of them.
4.) Will another teams desire to draft either Tim Tebow or Colt McCoy be reason enough for them to trade up and allow the Packers to acquire additional picks later in the draft? It seems as though Buffalo is a likely candidate for trading up. For comparison sake, in 2008, the Falcons had a new regime. They drafted a QB (Matt Ryan) and then traded back into the 1st round and drafted an OT (Sam Baker). Could the Bills draft an OT in the first round and then trade up to draft their desired QB later in the 1st round?
3.) As I've documented in the past, I don't closely follow offensive lineman in pre-draft analysis, but from what I've read & seen, I don't want to draft Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland or Charles Brown, OT, USC in the first round.
2.) I'd be really interested to see how Ted Thompson would react if Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama; Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State; Taylor Mays, S, USC; Everson Griffen, OLB, USC; Jerry Hughes, OLB, TCU; and Sergio Kindle, OLB, Texas; are all on the board when the Packers select in Round 1. Over the years, Ted Thompson has grown on me. I totally respect his decision making skills. I'd be curious to see where Ted Thompson places our greatest need. Therefore, pay extra attention to who the Falcons draft at #19, the Texans draft at #20 and the Patriots draft at #22. The Falcons need a CB. The Texans need a RB and a CB. The Patriots will most likely draft either defense or a RB.
1.) In local Miami radio, there is much speculation that the Dolphins will trade down. And that they are not requiring much to do get their #12 pick, especially because they no longer have a 2nd round pick. There are rumors that they'd be willing to give up their 1st rounder for a 1st and 2nd round pick. If CJ Spiller is available when the Dolphins are on the board at #12, I'd trade up in a heartbeat. With the Dolphins trying to trade down and there's no doubt that they're trying to accumulate picks, there's no question that I'd give away my 1st and 2nd round picks to grab the most lethal back in the draft. Additionally, Spiller is a dangerous return man. Could Ted Thompson trade up for the 2nd year in a row? Doubtful, but we'll see.
It's 4 days until Christmas in April.
Go Pack Go!