It's that time of year again. Where we make or break our off-season each year. Draft weekend. It's the heartbeat of the Packers personnel departments job.
The Packers enter into Draft weekend with 63 players on their roster. By the end of the weekend, they can have as many as 90. Once again, Ted Thompson will load up on un-drafted free agents. Last year, he scored mightily with UDFA's. Geronimo Allison had a great year for an UDFA, Kentrell Brice showed flashed brilliance in his rookie year, and Marwin Evans had a dominant preseason. Entering 2017, Ted Thompson will possibly be counting on 2016 UDFA's Joe Callahan, Don Jackson, Lucas Patrick, Josh Hawkins, Brian Price and Reggie Gilbert to fill out the depth of his roster. Further, it's likely that Ted Thompson will, once again, need to strike it rich with UDFA's in 2017 in order for the Packers to have the depth to compete for a Super Bowl title.
Don't sleep on Reggie Gilbert. I have high hopes for him. Yes, I just wrote that. And, yes, I just dedicated a paragraph to Reggie Gilbert. Such is life as a Green Bay Packers fan. At times, we have to tightly grip onto the prospects of an UDFA who was on the Practice Squad for his rookie season.
I've turned to Peter Tosh's Bush Doctor album to bring the positivity for this writing session. I'm sipping Alo Aloe Vera Juice. Haven't had a beer in nearly 2 months. Call it a mid-life crisis. Turned 40. Went insane. Instead of beer, I sip GT's Kombucha. The Grape Chia and the Raspberry Chia flavors are my favorite. I've also turned to Happy Leaf Kombucha, on occasion. And, I drink Aloe. Won't last forever, but I'm enjoying it today.
As always, I like the thought of 4 of the top 100 picks. The Packers might be in a position at the end of R1 that would allow them to trade out and to acquire an additional top 100 pick. The Packers need players who are going to make an impact in Year 1. There's immediate help needed at OLB, ILB, and CB. These positions require talent that can immediately provide playmaking abilities. With the exception of bringing back Nick Perry and adding both Davon House and Ricky Jean Francois, Ted Thompson ignored the defensive side of the ball this offseason. The last time we saw this defense, it gave up 44 points. Thompson has to strike gold on with defensive gems on Draft weekend. A 4th pick in the top 100 would help to get the added defensive talent.
This is not what I think will happen, but it's what I want to happen. It's what I would do if I were Ted Thompson. With that, here's my Mock Draft:
Round 1: TJ Watt, OLB, WI.
Round 2: Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA.
Round 3: Derek Rivers, OLB, Youngstown St.
Round 4: Marlon Mack, RB, South Florida.
Round 5a: Rasul Douglas, CB, WV.
Round 5b: Jordan Evans, ILB, Oklahoma.
Round 6: DJ Jones, DL, Ole Miss.
Round 7: Steven Taylor, ILB, Houston.
As always, I only comment on a player if I saw him play and if he jogged my mind in some way. If I didn't watch him, I don't comment. Here's my rankings for each positional group coupled with a quick overview of the present state of the Packers union at the position:
QB: The Packers presently have the 3 QB's on the team that will compete for a spot on the 53-man roster. Rodgers and Hundley are locks. If Callahan plays as he did in the preseason last year, he, too, will make the team. Since I don't envision the Packers drafted a roster, I'll only list the late round and UDFA possibilities that caught my eye.
1.) Josh Dobbs, Tennessee. Round 6-7. Big, strong, athletic QB. Looks the part. Has the tools and played with big-time composure leading the Vols to multiple comeback wins late in games. Heavy upside. Big undisciplined. Would be a project. But, if Hundley is only around for another year, it might be wise to start fulfilling his back-up. Dobbs would benefit from sitting on the sideline and studying for a couple of years.
2.) CJ Beathard, Iowa. Round 6-7. Smart QB who generally makes good decisions. Underrated athlete. Has a shot to be a good back-up QB who could develop into a QB that can manage a game if pressed into action.
3.) Cooper Rush, Central Michigan. Round 7-UDFA. Lacks arm strength, but brings great command to the huddle. Never say die mentality. Gutty performer who plays with great moxie. Fearless. Smart. Coachable.
4.) Mitch Leidner, Minnesota. UDFA. Looks like an NFL player in his uniform. Moves really well. Tough QB who isn't afraid to take a hit. Presents challenges for defenses due to his athleticism.
5.) Greg Ward, Houston. UDFA. When he was on the field, he was always as athletically gifted as anyone else. Elusive. Likely translates as a WR, but played QB in college. He's dangerous with the ball in his hands.
6.) Phillip Walker, Temple. UDFA. Total athlete. Like Ward, he's possibly a slot WR. Every time he touches the ball, he's a threat. Tough to bring down. Unlikely a QB at the next level, but worth a camp body as a WR.
RB: The Packers enter Draft weekend with Montgomery, Michael, Jackson, Rip, and Kerridge on the team. Not lethal, but you can win with that combination. Especially if Rip is used as an occasional ball carrier. And, if Michael can learn the offense during the offseason. Nonetheless, the Packers have to add a couple of backs over the weekend. For the record, I don't see the Packers drafting a RB in the first round. If they do, Fournette, McCaffrey, and Cook will be off the board. Really, if the Packers are drafting RB in rounds 2-4, I want Mixon or Mack. Mixon is a short-term PR nightmare, but in the words of Bob Marley "The road of life is rocking. And you may stumble, too. So, while you talk about me, someone else is judging you. Judge not. Before you judge yourself." I don't like what Mixon did, but I'm not going to judge him for it. Guys like Corey Clement, Donnel Pumphrey, Matthew Dayes, TJ Logan, and Elijah McGuire do not interest me all that much.
1.) Alvin Kamara, Tennessee. Round 1-2. Kamara is electrifying. When the ball is in his hands, he's lethal. He's an uber dangerous punt returner as well. He's one cut and he's gone. Fully fits into the Packers scheme. Catches the ball out of the backfield. A match-up nightmare. Plays faster than everyone else on the field.
2.) Joe Mixon, Oklahoma. Round 2-3. Take out the off-field issues and he's a top-15 pick. I'd have him #2 on my list of RB's. Behind Fournette. But, the off-field issues make him a huge question mark. If you can stomach his issues and he's around in the 3rd round, you draft him. Think LeSean McCoy. A true weapon in the open field. Shakes defenders. Outruns them. Surprisingly powerful. He catches the ball like a WR. As a receiver, I'm not sure how you'd defend him. He can do it all.
3.) Marlon Mack, South Florida. Round 3-4. Great speed. Power runner. Terrific HR hitting RB. Good receiving threat out of the backfield as well. Plays as though he's the fastest player on the field.
4.) Brian Hill, Wyoming. Round 3-4. Runs with great patience. Feel like he plays faster than he timed. Good hands. Doesn't have the vision that other backs in this draft class have, but his patience allows him to find the hole.
5.) Samaje Perine, Oklahoma. Round 3-4. Reminds me a little of Brandon Jackson, but more powerful. Smaller is height, but shifty. Has shake. Nose for the sticks. A bit of a burst.
6.) Wayne Gallman, Clemson. Round 3-4. Fits the Packers scheme as a one-cut runner. Confidently carries the ball and attacks defenders. Runs a little like a young Starks. Upright. Can occasionally win the corner. Can occasionally power through you. Competitive fighter with the ball.
7.) D'Onta Foreman, Texas. Round 3-4. Great size, but often plays as though he's smaller than he stands. High level athlete who plays with better speed than you'd think when looking at his physique. Can get into the secondary. Has great upside if he could learn to play with the physicality that his body would allow.
8.) Kareem Hunt, Toledo. Round 3-4. Love his vision. Not sure that he fits into the current mold of the Packers offense, which seems to focus more on spreading defenses out and playing with pace. Grabbing chunks of yards. But, Hunt would bring a toughness that only Rip offers in the back. Not going to grab big yards but he'll fight forward. Like Eddie Lacy, he'll hit you with a spin move that allows him to maneuver well for a big back. Vision should allow him to be a solid one-cut runner.
9.) James Conner, Pitt. Round 5-6. Physical runner. Falls forward upon contact. Cancer survivor. Tough minded runner who plows through would-be tacklers. If Ted Thompson is looking for an Eddie Lacy replacement, Conner is it. Except you won't have to ever wonder whether Conner is motivated. He's ready to run.
10.) Dare Ogunbowale, WI. Round 6-7. Outstanding athleticism. Like his footwork and his ability to get loose from LB's. Like his ability as a runner and felt like he was underutilized in college.
11.) Joe Williams, Utah. Round 6-7. Great fighter as a runner. Runs with good rhythm. Runs with purpose. Runs with intent. Can beat you with both power and quickness. Concerned that he has a flawed attitude as I don't understand why he quit football earlier in the year, but when he's between the stripes he pounds away with desire. Has a slashy way to him as well.
12.) I'Tavius Mathers, Middle Tennessee. Round 7. Showed durability and production as a Senior. Great hands out of the backfield. Fantastic athlete who brings confident footwork and agility to the second level. His ability to move laterally allowed him to defeat would-be tacklers in the open field. Finds the marker and moves sticks.
13.) Jarveon Williams, UTSA. Round 7-UDFA. Powerful for his height. Great lower body strength allows him to power through arm tackles. Like his footwork and his ability to catch the football. Finds himself in the open space and plays quicker than he timed.
14.) Jahad Thomas, Temple. Round 7-UDFA. An undersized back who has a big bodied mind. Elusive in the open field. Would be great in the screen game and bring return value. He can get North-South with a shifty approach. Great vision.
WR: Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, Geronimo Allison, Jeff Janis and Trevor Davis return. Nelson, Cobb, Adams and Allison are locks. Janis brings value as a gunner. Trevor Davis is one of the few guys on the team that has experience as a punt returner. I'd be surprised if the Packers drafted a WR in the first 4 rounds. But, Ted Thompson loves himself WR's, so you know we're going to bring in 3-4 WR's over the weekend via the Draft and UDFA.
1.) Jehu Chesson, Michigan. Round 4-5. Big. Fast. Sure handed. Makes big plays. Would love him in Green Bay. Ran a 4.47. Plays faster than that. Fits into the Packers mold of WR's as he's a great blocker as well as a smooth route runner. Has shake to him after the ball is in his hands. Threat to score from anywhere on the field. Reminds me a bit of Geronimo.
2.) KD Cannon, Baylor. Round 5-6. Love his speed and his athleticism. Fear his frame. He's thin. He's a deep threat that would stretch defenses.
3.) Noah Brown, Ohio State. Round 5-6. Tremendous physical attributes. Still raw. Would fit in Green Bay as a developmental prospect that wasn't forced to see playing time early in the year. Battles for the football and has the potential to be a lethal Red Zone target as he masters body control.
4.) Chad Williams, Grambling. Round 6-7. Simply stated, Williams dominated the competition. Great hands and body control. Physical receiver. Does a great job of separating from defenders when the ball is in the air. Wins jump balls. Off-field issues are a possible concern.
5.) Tim Patrick, Utah. Round 7. Great height. Great speed. At times, he flat out dominated. Looks like a difference maker in his uniform, but lacks body control. Huge project. Doesn't adjust well to the ball in air and struggles to make plays on inaccurate throws. Has all of the physical tools. Will need patience, but he can play if he chooses to focus on being a true pro.
6.) Stacy Coley, Miami. Round 7. Talented. When focused, he's a first-tier route runner. Gets in and out of his breaks. Not always focused, but when he's energized to win, he's dynamite. But, he's inconsistent. Disappeared often. Has had injury concerns as well.
7.) Robert Wheelwright, WI. Round 7-UDFA. Yes, I'm a WI homer. But, I truly feel that Wheelwright didn't get the attention he deserves due to subpar QB play. I love the way he runs the deep crossing route, which is a staple of the Packers offense. Sub-par hands, but the guy gets open. Didn't time well, but he plays with football speed. Love the way he fights for the ball and isn't shy running across the middle. Shields defenders from the ball with his body. High effort performer. A Ted Thompson football player kind of mentality.
8.) James Summers, East Carolina. UDFA. Just get him the ball. He'll make plays. He's tireless. He'll line up anywhere. He just wants the ball in his hands. With the Packers use of WR's at RB last year, Summers would fit. Summers often played RB. He'd take snaps and plow through the line. He's a solid pass catcher as well. He's the type of utility player that Ted Thompson would call a "Football Player."
9.) DeAngelo Yancey, Purdue. Round 7-UDFA. Brings deep threat abilities. Gets over the top and works hard in his routes. When he catches the ball, he's thinking about a big play. Inconsistent hands but seems to play with the right attitude.
10.) Artavis Scott, Clemson. Round 7-UDFA. Smooth underneath route runner. Gamer. Lacks ideal NFL speed. But could operate well in the slot as he's great getting in-and-out of his breaks in short spaces. Quicker than fast. Lacks deep speed and would have limitations as he couldn't play on the perimeter.
11.) Damore'ea Stringfellow, Ole Miss. Round 7-UDFA. Uses height really well to win 50/50 balls. Can get over the top for the deep ball. Needs work on the underneath routes, but has great upside due to his size. Showed good hands on contested throws.
12.) Quincy Adeboyejo, Ole Miss. Round 7-UDFA. Has all of the intangibles. 4-4 speed. 6-3. Lean frame with ability to put mass on. Showed a bunch of promise, but still raw. Still a developmental prospect as he didn't see large targets due to the large number of elite targets Ole Miss has had in his time there. Would benefit from a team like the Packers where he could learn under top-tier WR's and an elite QB.
13.) Jamari Staples, Louisville. Round 7-UDFA. I am a sucker for that 6-3 WR who can get deep. Even if he displays inconsistent hands. Big play target who smells on a big play on each snap.
14.) Michael Rector, Stanford. Round 7-UDFA. Reminds me of a young Antonio Freeman. He plays with speed. If he gets in the open field, he's going to make plays. Doesn't look 6-0 in his uniform, but he stands it. Occasionally, he drop passes, but you know what you're going to get and that's production. He seems to always get open whenever you need a big play. A gamer. Shows when the lights are on.
15.) Brandon Reilly, Nebraska. Round 7-UDFA. As the Packers target an added deep threat, Reilly will be considered. He gets over the top. He's a big-play threat on each snap. Outruns defenders and adjusts to the ball well when it's in the air.
16.) Rodney Adams, South Florida. Round 7-UDFA. If it weren't for his kick returning skills, I probably wouldn't be mentioning him. But, he's a lethal kickoff returner and the Packers need a return man. Stands 6-1, plays longer than that. Thin, lanky frame. Doesn't separate exceptionally well, but he's a fierce runner for his size when the ball is in his hands.
17.) Austin Carr, Northwestern. UDFA. Not going to outrun anyone, but if you watched him play the Badgers, he caught your attention. He was unstoppable. He almost single handedly carried Northwestern. Great route runner. Each stride seems calculated. Solid hands.
TE: Martellus Bennett, Lance Kendricks and Richard Rodgers. You wouldn't think that the Packers would draft a TE. But, think again. The Packers WILL add two TE's this weekend. Even if they come in UDFA. And, as we know, Ted Thompson likes to prepare for the future. With Richard Rodgers becoming a Free Agent after this year, it wouldn't shock me if the Packers drafted a TE. Crazy as it sounds. Thompson won't get OJ Howard or David Njoku. Evan Engram will also likely be off the board before the Packers are ready to pick a TE. The same likely applies to Gerald Everett. Everyone else is a possibility.
1.) Jordan Leggett, Clemson. Round 3-4. I questioned his run blocking skills for most of the year. I questioned his desire to block and I wasn't interested in him because of it. But, the more I watched Leggett, the more I became interested. He's massive at 6-5, 250+. And, he uses his frame very well to fend off defenders. He plays with great speed. He uses his hands to catch the football. He can stretch the field. He's a go-to receiver in the clutch. He's a lethal 3rd down option. With the Packers growing infatuation with the TE, Leggett fits.
2.) Jake Butt, Michigan. Round 3-4. Without the knee injury, he was a top 60 pick. But, with the knee injury, you have to wonder how far he falls and when he'll be ready. Butt is a great blocker. He sits in the zone well and is the ultimate safety valve for the QB. He's smart. He falls forward. He's a natural leader. He's intelligent. If he makes it all the way back from injury, he'll have a great 10 year NFL career.
3.) George Kittle, Iowa. Round 3-4. Have to love Iowa TE's. Kittle is an ideal TE for the Packers offense. He does it all. He's a great route runner, he's a high effort blocker, and he has fantastic hands. He's an overachiever. Packers fans would love him. He can play tight to the line of scrimmage, but you can also shift him into the backfield as a blocking FB. Moves well. Good athleticism. Runs by defenders, too.
4.) Jeremy Sprinkle, Arkansas. Round 4-5. Really strong run-blocker. Loves to block. For the most part, he displayed reliable hands. Routes a sharp out route like a true pro. Physical football player. Adjusts well on the move. Tough football man.
5.) Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech. Round 4-5. Almost comes across as a WR. Although he's 257 lbs, his weight hides well on his 6-6 frame. Looks as though he could play similarly to Jared Cook. He can stretch the middle of the field or you can line him up outside and run vertical routes with his 4.57 speed. He presents mismatch problems all over the field. He's a limited blocker and at times, he flat-out appears unwilling to block. Will get pushed around at the line of scrimmage as a blocker in the NFL. But, has monstrous receiving abilities.
6.) Cole Hikutini, Louisville. Round 5-6. Willing blocker. Doesn't always win the blocking fight, but he's in the play to battle. Good underneath route runner. Uses his hands well both to get separation and to catch the ball. Lacks elite speed, but he's an athletic TE who should be able to make an immediate impact in the NFL as a situational TE.
7.) Wyatt Houston, Utah State. Round 7-UDFA. Great size. Solid hands. Fantastic blocker who almost acts as an extra OL. Also has solid hands. But, he's not fleet of foot. Won't stretch the field. Will rely on size, intelligence and using his frame to create separation.
8.) Michael Roberts, Toledo. Round 7-UDFA. Mammoth TE. Plays much softer than you'd think. Almost appears as though he'd prefer to play on the outside or standing up near the line than with his hand in the dirt. Looks uncomfortable with his hand in the dirt and doesn't release well. But, at 6-4, 270, he can't be ignored. And, what's wild is that he almost looks taller than 6-4 on the field.
9.) Pharaoh Brown, Oregon. Round 7-UDFA. At one point, Brown looked like a future NFL star. Then, he hurt his leg in ugly fashion. Couple the injury with QB issues for the Ducks and Brown never realized his potential as a collegiate. But, he's 6-6, 255. An immense target and a football mind and a tough, physical football presence. Hands are suspect though.
OL: Frankly, I don't study it at the college level as much as I'd like. So, I'll be shy with projections here. The Packers appear to have a hole at Guard. Call me crazy, but I think Kyle Murphy can fill that void. After the Packers drafted Murphy last year, I wrote: "Murphy might end up being best suited for G. He lacks quickness and might not have the footwork to play Tackle." I had penciled Murphy in as the starting Guard until the Jahri Evans signing. Evans' signing shows us that Ted Thompson is going for the title this year. He wants to enter the 2017 without holes. Evans' signing allows the Packers to focus on RB and the defense during the draft. Granted, the Packers will add competition this weekend, but the need isn't as pressing as it was prior to Evans' addition. Admittedly, I feel comfortable talking about 4 Guards: Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky; Dan Feeney, Indiana; Danny Isidora, Miami; and Adam Pankey, WV. The Packers might consider Pankey as a late round selection. Pankey played both Guard and Tackle. Thompson likes the college tackle who can move to guard. Pankey is a strong straight-line blocker who'd do well standing up to physical DL. He has the talent to play Day 1.
DL: The Packers have bodies along the DL. But, due to Guion's suspension, it's possible that the Packers draft a DL depending on how Brian Price is viewed. Clark, Daniels, Lowry, and Jean Francois are locks, but the Packers need at least one more body while they wait for Guion to return. My problem is that most of the DL in this draft appear similar to me. Jaleel Johnson and Vincent Taylor look like 3-down players, but I'm not sure if there are any others. It appears to me that most players that sit between Round 3 and beyond have a lot of similarities. Their is a glaring pass rushing weakness.
1.) Malik McDowell, Michigan State. Round 1-2. The knock on McDowell is that he's inconsistent and that he gets lazy. He doesn't always show up. While that's true, if you line him up next to Mike Daniels, he won't be allowed to be lazy. He'll have to be a fighter. And, when McDowell plays with aggression, he's as good as it gets. He has Pro Bowl potential. Has great instincts. He's an outstanding athlete. But, he didn't produce as you'd expect at Michigan State.
2.) Vincent Taylor, Oklahoma State. Round 2-3. What a beast! A physical specimen who is motivated to terrorize the OL. He punishes the line of scrimmage. I love his game. He can stop the rush. He can apply pressure. He's a fighter who'd look great in a rotation with Daniels and Clark for years to come.
3.) Jaleel Johnson, Iowa. Round 2-3. Johnson did it all at Iowa. He got to the QB. He played the run. He was a three down player. He'd provide an interior push at the NFL level as well. He's a high effort player who will make an immediate impact as a rookie. Plays with great recognition. Elevates in key moments.
4.) Chris Wormley, Michigan. Round 2-3. Aggressive, mean defender. Highly intense. When he uses his arms to get separation and to extend, he's elite, but he occasionally gets sucked in and then he gets moved. Doesn't play with the quickness that you'd like, but he makes up with it via effort and intensity.
5.) Montravius Adams, Auburn. Round 2-3. He's an athletic run stopper who is best used eating up blocks. Not an overwhelming pass rusher, but he's ultra quick off of the snap. When he wins with his first step, watch out because he's going to destroy the play, but he isn't as high of an effort player as Vincent Taylor.
6.) Larry Ogunjobi, Charlotte. Round 2-3. He's an anchor on the DL. He's tough to move. He stacks, sheds and moves OL out of the way. He also plays with great quickness. But, he's raw since he played lesser talent. Might be a bit more developmental than you'd like out of a Day 2 pick.
7.) Eddie Vanderdoes, UCLA. Round 3-4. Dude does more than hold his ground. He moves ground. He overpowers OL. Like most of the DL in this draft, he's not going to be a pass rusher. He's going to win run downs. But, he's strictly a situational player.
8.) Dalvin Tomlinson, Alabama. Round 3-4. Another great run stopping defender. He eats blockers and clears the way for the ILB's behind him. Not going to show up well in the stat box, but he does all of the dirty work. A true team player. Hard worker who perseveres on nearly every play.
9.) Davon Godchaux, LSU. Round 3-4. Has all of the gifts to be a star. I worry about his desire. Disappears at times. Great explosion off the snap, when he's motivated. Had a great statistical year and didn't even seem to care half of the time. A lot of untapped potential.
10.) Carlos Watkins, Clemson. Round 4. True leader. Great heart. Plays with instincts. Recognizes plays quickly. Reads and reacts really well. Will outperform his ability with sheer desire.
11.) Ryan Glasgow, Michigan. Round 4-5. He'll produce on effort alone. Great locker room guy. Doesn't seem to want attention, just wants to go about his business and make plays. Will make a great rotational DL who won't allow an OL to take a play off. He's playing at 110% each and every play. Would fit in well along the Packers DL.
12.) Elijah Qualls, Washington. Round 4-5. Wish Qualls had a little more height because I love his game. A magnificent athlete with a team-first mentality. Showed a surprising amount of pass rush skills at the college level, which probably won't translate to the NFL game. Nonetheless, he has great burst off the ball, but at 6-1, he'll have to be a run-stopper to start. I fear he might get eaten up - at times - at the next level.
13.) DJ Jones, Ole Miss. Round 6-7. Great lateral movement in the run game. Tough to move. Wish he was an inch taller, but he's stocky enough to where he's tough to move and would eat up blocks in run down situations. He's a stout run defender.
14.) Stevie Tu'ikolovatu, USC. Round 6-7. Guy just gobbles up OL. True definition of a run defender. Slow off the ball, but just stacks upon contact. He's physical and he stands his territory with an armored protection. On passing downs, he's non-existent.
15.) Joey Ivey, Florida. Round 7-UDFA. He has moments of brilliance and then he disappears. But, when he's displaying his greatness he'll be a disruptive force that dominates plays. The struggle will be to ensure that he's consistently motivated.
16.) Ondre Pipkins, Texas Tech. Round 7-UDFA. Pipkins is a run stopper. He's disruptive with his hands. He's a muscular big bodied defender who will compete in run down situations.
OLB: The Packers might appear to have some depth at OLB with Perry, Matthews, Fackrell, Elliott and Gilbert. However, Perry and Matthews have major injury histories. Fackrell has left a lot to be desired in limited playing time - with the exception of a couple of splash plays. Elliott has never seen his game translate into a high performer during the regular season. As mentioned, I have really high hopes for Gilbert, but I have to be realistic about whether I'd bank my season on him becoming a legitimate rotational player this year. I'm hopeful. I really am. But, I'm not going to lay money on the line over it.
1.) TJ Watt, WI. Round 1. He makes so much sense. Imagine growing up in WI. Having a natural affection for the Packers. And, then, you're running out of Lambeau Field every Sunday? Think you'd be motivated? He has ideal size. He's still learning the position. His upside is tremendous. He's a great athlete. He'a high effort player. He has fantastic length. Never gives up on a play. It'd be a perfect selection for Ted Thompson, if Watt is available.
2.) Jordan Willis, Kansas State. Round 1-2. Dude can flat-out rush the passer. He gets off the snap in elite fashion and he turns the corner with brilliance. He dominates the line of scrimmage and has burst that cannot be coached.
3.) Charles Harris, Missouri. Round 1-2. Pass rushing specialist. Wide array of moves to get to the QB. But, he disappears at times and at crucial moments. Other times, he owned the line of scrimmage as a pass rusher. Intriguing first step. Looks like a natural 3-4 OLB prospect.
4.) Takkarist McKinley, UCLA. Round 1-2. Unbelievable burst off of the line. Has a top of the line energy and offers consistency as a pure pass rusher. Makes plays in the run game, too. Offers a nice mix of pass rushing options, but he's best when he turns the corner. He has a sharp cut move off the edge that tackles can't compete with.
5.) Tyus Bowser, Houston. Round 2. High powered motor. Excellent pass rushing skills. Fantastic athlete. Should be able to develop skills that allow him to drop into coverage as well. Can get swallowed at times by the OL, but when he wins off of the ball, Bowser makes big things happen.
6.) Derek Rivers, Youngstown State. Round 2-3. Caution: Sleeper alert. Ascending player. Runs well. Dominated low-level competition. If the Packers go CB in Round 1, Rivers could be a target in Round 2. He has the optimal size and exemplary length. Gets around the corner well and he extends his hands in the run game.
7.) Tim Williams, Alabama. Round 2-3. Needs to add weight, but when Williams' speed game is on point, he's unstoppable as a pass rusher. In the short-term, I think he's strictly a pass rushing specialist. Has to get stronger before he can be counted on to stop the run. Due to his need to add weight, he might be a bit of a project in his rookie year. But, he has unlimited upside.
8.) Carl Lawson, Auburn. Round 2-3. Injury prone, but when he's been on the field, he's been dynamite. True trouble maker for opposing offenses. He has to be game planned for. His production along the line of scrimmage was consistent as he played with a purpose. But, can he stay healthy??
9.) Ryan Anderson, Alabama. Round 3. Underrated talent because he was surrounded with so many stars. All Anderson did was make plays consistent. Fierce pursuit on every down. Wish he was a little bit taller, but he understands leverage and does a really good job getting underneath bigger blockers. Good quickness off of the edge.
10.) Vince Biegel, WI. Round 3-4. A quick twitch, maximum effort performer. He can play on my team any day. He is a blue collar performer who showed well at the combine. He's often first off the ball. He never gives up on a play. Drops in coverage well. He extends his hands in the run game and sheds blockers to find the ball carrier. Like Watt, he'd be an exciting addition to Titletown, U.S.A.
11.) DeMarcus Walker, FSU. Round 3-4. If the Packers are going to stick with the elephant end, then Walker has to be considered. Walker could lose a couple of lbs and add to his quickness off of the ball. The guy has a knack for making game changing plays. He thrives on the big stage. He's an energized motivator. A fun teammate. Brings a great push. Can win with power and speed off the edge. Could also be an interior pass rusher on 3rd down. I like his fit in GB.
12.) Daeshon Hall, Texas A&M. Round 3-4. Oft overlooked, but Hall has an intimidating presence. He might be best as an interior pass rusher on 3rd downs, but he can stand up to Tackles on the outside and win the war by using his long arms. Could add more muscle and be an elephant end as well.
13.) Trey Hendrickson, Florida Atlantic. Round 4. Great length. An intimidating figure who muscles his way through Tackles. His long arm are disruptive as he is well-schooled and gets his arms in the arm when he's stymied as a pass rusher. Plays the run game well. Again, he's another potential Elephant End. Heavy upside.
14.) Deatrich Wise, Jr. Arkansas. Round 4-5. At times, Wise flashed 2nd round pass rushing skills. He really translates as either a 3-4 Elephant end or a 4-3 DE. I'm not sure that he could translate to an interior pass rusher, but he definitely feels more comfortable with his hand in the dirt. He lacks elite burst off the ball, but he wins because he never gives up on plays and his consistent pursuit pays off for him.
15.) Dawuane Smoot, Illinois. Round 4-5. Emotional leader who brings maximum intensity. Didn't have overwhelming statistical production, but he was in position to make plays. He just didn't finish them. Quicker than fast. I like that he attacked from both a 2-point and a 3-point stance.
16.) Samson Ebukam, Eastern Washington. Round 5-6. Highly motivated OLB who is ultra quick off of the line of scrimmage. Really drives his shoulder into the ballcarrier. Sure tackler. Intense pursuer of the football. Plays with great drive. Uses his quickness to get himself into the backfield. Savvy player. Has a future. Has the figure to add weight. Immense potential.
17.) Avery Moss, Youngstown State. Round 5-6. Tremendous athlete who dominated lower level competition. Dips his shoulder like a true pro. Can drop in coverage. His lateral movement and quickness grabs your attention. His size and athleticism are tough to find. Might take a year to develop, but he's worth the investment.
18.) Hunter Dimick, Utah, Round 5-6. High intensity performer. Blue collar hard hat kind of player. Going to out work the competition. Surprises with his athleticism. Has the frame that would allow him to trim weight and keep muscle mass. Could translate well to a 3-4 OLB as he has the ability to both stand and play in the three-point stance. Feels most natural for him when he is in the 3-point stance though. Would be a developmental prospect.
19.) Jimmie Gilbert, Colorado. Round 6-7. Love the way he pursues the QB. Long OLB talent. Way too skinny to be an every down player, but he has a natural flexibility that allows him to get around the edge and his long arms allowed him to make plays on the QB. When he's making a tackle, he's thinking about forcing a turnover. His forced fumbles became a buzz for the Buffs in 2016.
20.) Keion Adams, Western Michigan. Round 6-7. Really like Adams' game. Can do it all in the 3-4, but needs to add weight. And with added muscle, he has to be able to keep his top-shelf lateral quickness. Looks good in his back pedal and feels comfortable playing in space. Also won 1 on 1 battles as a pass rusher. Intriguing prospect.
21.) Corey Vereen, Tennessee. Round 6-7. Vereen was consistently making plays behind the line of scrimmage for the Vols. Has good burst off of the ball. He attacks OL with a vicious passion and might be able to add immediate value as a pass rusher.
22.) Joe Mathis, Washington. Round 6-7. Wish he could've stayed healthy. Liked how he played in a variety of stances. He'd line up at ILB, at OLB and at DE. He attacked from a variety of stances. He played with quickness and came across as a team-first player. Would bring versatility to a defense as he can be moved around. Smart player who reads plays well. Interesting prospect as he might be rated significantly higher had he stayed healthy.
23.) Josh Carraway, TCU. Round 7-UDFA. Ideal height for a 3-4 OLB. A little light but has the upper body to add strength. Lower body looks like a legit NFL OLB. Has a good burst off of the line of scrimmage, but gives up too easily. Hasn't shown the ability to drop in coverage.
24.) Garrett Sickels, Penn State. Round 7-UDFA. High tension, developmental player. Has the frame to add muscle. Has the tools and athleticism to drop into coverage. Plays with great intelligence. Has a lot of the Ted Thompson "Football Player" qualities, but needs to continue to mature as a football player.
25.) Devonte Fields, Louisville. Round 7-UDFA. Field dips his shoulder and really goes after the edge. He's a fluid in his movements as a pass rusher, but he needs to understand leverage better because when an OL gets his hands on him, Field has a tough time separating.
26.) Ifeadi Odenigbo, Northwestern. Round 7-UDFA. Has the right height/weight combination to play 3-4 OLB. Flashed pass rushing skills including a nice spin move. Currently, his weakness is in the run game. Gets eaten when bigger tackles get their hands on him. But, he shows well in stunts and would be worth getting into camp to see if he can continue to develop his pass rushing skills.
27.) Bryan Cox, Florida. Round 7-UDFA. Wish he performed better at the East-West game and at the Combine because I really liked the way he played at Florida. He was often in the mix. He played with discipline. But, his quickness off of the ball and his lack of speed will hinder him at the next level.
28.) Noble Nwachukwu, WV. Round 7-UDFA. A slippery pass rusher. A true over achiever. Would bring immediate value as a pass rusher. A little undersized for a true OLB in a 3-4, but his big play abilities at the college level warrant attention.
ILB: If Clay Matthews isn't playing ILB, the Packers must add depth at ILB. Blake Martinez is limited. Jake Ryan gives great effort, but he doesn't force turnovers nor does he intimidate. Joe Thomas is undersized and strictly a 3rd down ILB. Jordan Tripp is a great special teams player, but he cannot be counted on to make an impact on defense. I wish Haason Reddick would drop. He won't.
1.) Reuben Foster, Alabama. Round 1. If Foster somehow slides, the Packers will have a decision to make. Foster has a number of red flags attached to him, but he was also a top 5 player in college football last year. He dominated. He was an intimidating presence who was shining every week. He does it all.
2.) Jarrad Davis, Florida. Round 1-2. A physical beast. Great presence in the middle of the field. Stacks and sheds blockers. Finds the ball carrier. Can be a 3-down ILB. He's occasionally slow to read the angle and he gets beat to the sideline, which is why I'd prefer him in R2, but it's highly doubtful that he'd last to the end of R2, so if the Packers want to upgrade ILB with a full-capacity LB, they might need to do so in Round 1.
3.) Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt. Round 1-2. Sleeper pick for the Packers. Leader in the middle of the defense. He's always around the football. Remarkable instincts. Savvy football player. Terrific recognition. Sees the play develop at elite levels. Sometimes, he gets eaten up as he plays too tall.
4.) Alex Anzalone, Florida. Round 2-3. If this guy had stayed healthy, we'd be talking about him as a possible R1 option. He flies to the football. He punishes ball carriers and could be an ideal 3-4 ILB. Has the makings of being a 10-year starter if he's healthy. And, he can start Day 1. A true baller. Love his game.
5.) Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State. Round 2-3. High energy performer. Great pizzazz on the field. Diagnoses plays. Shoots the gap. Heady player. Quicker than fast. Great awareness.
6.) Duke Riley, LSU. Round 2-3. Offers solid speed. Can cover the TE. Fits nicely as a 3-4 ILB. Tough baller. Hungry to plug plays. Work-hard performer who has difference making speed.
7.) Jayon Brown, UCLA. Round 3-4. Love his speed. And his recognition. Fits into the new breed of 3-4 backer. A little undersized, but he sees the football and he can change the game with his speed and his ability to read the play.
8.) Kendell Beckwith, LSU. Round 3-4. Hard nosed ILB. Lacks football speed and plays a little upright, but this man takes on blockers with a fierce mentality. Solid 1st and 2nd down ILB who can slow down the run game by himself. Mean dude.
9.) Anthony Walker Jr., Northwestern. Round 4. Love his ability to diagnose plays. Stallion in the run game. Bursts through the line of scrimmage. Trusts his ability to read and react. Wins plays because of it. Muscle man. Quicker than fast. Shoots the gap better than he moves to the sideline. 3-down ILB potential. Tackling machine.
10.) Jordan Evans, Oklahoma. Round 5. Ted Thompson "Football Player" alert. And, because of it, it shouldn't shock you that he was brought in for a pre-draft visit. He's assignment sure. A true ILB. A long LB who was a consistent playmaker. Plays with attitude. He's comfortable coming on the inside blitz. He stunts well. He loops around the line to track down the back in the run game. He's also a talented pass defender. Would make a really good mid-round selection.
11.) Ben Gedeon, Michigan. Round 5-6. Heady, try hard LB. Witty player who outsmarts the competition. Lacks top line speed, but makes up for it with toughness and heart. A legit Grade-A hustler. Two-down LB who will win in small spaces.
12.) Ben Boulware, Clemson. Round 6-7. The true definition of a leader. Straight up bad boy ILB who gives every ounce of sweat every week. He's a grinder. Limited athleticism, but a physical freak.
13.) Steven Taylor, Houston. Round 6-7. A touch undersized. Didn't show extremely well in pass coverage, but he is first-class as a run stopper and a pass rushing ILB. Love his ability to pursue. His instincts are phenomenal. So is his burst to the ball. Potential to be an absolute late-round steal. He'll also be a special teams gem.
13.) Eric Wilson, Cincinnati. Round 7-UDFA. Eye-popping coverage skills for a LB. Plays with speed. Always around the ball. Really undersized. Might be strictly a 3rd down ILB. Will struggle to get off of blocks, but he can do wonders dropping in coverage. Acts as another safety on the field.
14.) Brandon Bell, Penn State. Round 7-UDFA. Wish he never got injured. A gamer. A leader. A dictator of the defense. Keeps the troops organized and ready to attack. A playmaker who also is a team cheerleader on the field. Productive tackler. Makes plays when the lights are on. Emotional leader.
15.) Matt Milano, Boston College. Round 7-UDFA. He'll probably be drafted before this because he has tremendous instincts. He's sharp. But, he's really undersized. Aggressive, witty linebacker who will instantly make a difference on special teams.
16.) Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Tennessee. Round 7-UDFA. Total stud of an athlete. Struggled to stay on the field. Sideline to sideline hustler. Can play in coverage and he is quicker than most on the field. But, needs to add muscle. Often an arm tackler. Could be a late round gem.
16.) Jermaine Grace, Miami. UDFA. He's from the _ and the Packers brought him in for a pre-draft visit. He's an undersized third down ILB. He's really intense. Finds the ball. As quick as it gets. He'll dominate the sideline to sideline game, but he'll struggle taking on blockers. Plays to the whistle.
17.) Kenneth Olugbode, Colorado. UDFA. Plays with a fun fever to him. Animated player. Limited athleticism and plays too tall, but the football seems to find him. Tracks down the ball from behind. Really solid in coverage. Makes a lot of tackles, but rarely seems to make the play behind the line of scrimmage.
18.) Joseph Jones, Northwestern. In an era in which teams like to mimic one another, Jones warrants attention. Undersized at 6-0, but he ran a 4.5 40. He can jump in elite fashion and he has top-shelf athleticism. Didn't perform extraordinarily at Northwestern, but he was a workout warrior that is worth a look.
CB: The Packers must acquire multiple CB's this weekend. The Davon House signing helps, but it doesn't solve the problem. The Packers need CB's who can play on the perimeter.
1.) Marlon Humphrey, Alabama. Round 1. Turns and runs with the football. Slaps at the football when he's looking to make a tackle. Potential to be a turnover machine. Can play on the perimeter and in the slot. Also physical enough to help out at safety. Sure tackler. Would be a great addition.
2.) Kevin King, Washington. Round 1. Best Red Zone CB in the draft. Uses the sideline as his best friend. Has the size to match-up with any WR in the league. Additionally, he runs sub 4.5. He plays the ball well in the air. Often, on deep passes, it looks as though he's the WR on the play. Has the prospects to be a #1 CB.
3.) Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado. Round 1. Gun to my head and I'm picking Awuzie as the Packers selection. He's a Ted Thompson style of CB. He reminds of a young T-Mon. Can blitz out of the slot. Can play on the perimeter and in the slot. Plays with excitement. Forces turnovers in big ways. Fun loving teammate as well. Turns and runs really well. He's also really comfortable in zone coverage.
4.) Fabian Moreau, UCLA. Round 2. Prior to his injury, I had him as a potential Round 1 target for the Packers. Plays with as much speed as any CB in the draft. Breaks really well on the ball. Defends the comeback route at an elite level. As strong as any CB in the draft. Didn't have huge stats in college, but didn't seem to be targeted much either. Huge upside. I've dropped him over the last two weeks due to his injury.
5.) Gareon Conley, Ohio State. Round 2. Would've been an unquestioned first round pick before the rape allegations. I was considering him as a R1 target. Love the way he breaks on the ball. Can be a fire starter. Shows up in big games and makes big plays. Energizer. Good tackler.
6.) Adoree Jackson, USC. Round 2. Don't love his height. But, everything else about him is elite. Plays with toughness for his size. Has great swagger. Turns and sees the football. Plays as fast as anyone on the field. Great punt returner as well. Can be a game changing performer. Has a little T-Buck bounce to him, which I both love and hate. He can be beaten on the jump ball.
7.) Tre'Davious White, LSU. Round 2. Not a boom nor a bust prospect. You know what you're getting. Doesn't have elite size or top-end speed. But, White is a playmaking, steady CB. He's assignment sure. He's got playmaking ability. Won't be a mental case. Good locker room guy.
8.) Ahkello Witherspoon, Colorado. Round 2-3. An underrated prospect who offers high-level perimeter CB skills. He sees the football. Got his hands on a lot of balls, but didn't always finish plays. Plays with great length. Jams wide receivers, turn and runs and then gets his eyes on the football.
9.) Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson. Round 2-3. Great speed. Great length. Plays better when the ball is in front of him and he can break on it. Can certainly turn and run, too. Not overly physical but he doesn't shy from contact.
10.) Quincy Wilson, Florida. Round 2-3. Ideal size. Didn't flash the speed that you'd hope and he doesn't offer great make-up speed either. He's confident. He's proud. He's a really solid tackler. He takes too many plays off in the run game for my liking though. Can be blocked too easily.
11.) Cameron Sutton, Tennessee. Round 2-3. Poised CB who can play on the perimeter or in the slot. Was tested often on the outside and often rose to the occasion. Playmaking CB who plays with a bounce to his step. Good length. Could use a little more weight if he could keep his speed.
12.) Teez Tabor, Florida. Round 2-3. Love his gifts. Bump and run corner who bumps with a light touch and plays with quickness. But, he has to get a bump or else he's grabbing. Lacks straight line speed, so he's better when the ball is in front of him. He'll battle and win with a finesse approach.
13.) Jourdan Lewis, Michigan. Round 2-3. Probably best as a slot CB, but might be able to turn and run on the outside against the less than elite speed WR's. Uses his body really well in coverage to shield the WR for position. He's a playmaker. Sees the football and plays it.
14.) Sidney Jones, Washington. Round 3-4. Wish he hadn't gotten injured. He was a fun one. Would've been a first round pick. He plays with a brash splash to him. A chest pounder. Feel for him.
15.) Jalen Myrick, Minnesota. Round 3-4. Wish he had another inch on him. Blazing fast speed. Tactically, he can play the outside. But, probably transitions better to the slot position. Plays off the WR. Not much of a jam CB. Likes to give space and see the ball in front of him. Really quick in and out of his breaks.
16.) Rasul Douglas, WV. Round 4. I had him as a 2nd or 3rd round pick until he ran his 40. Thought he played faster than he timed, but we've learned that a 4.6 40 simply doesn't cut it on the perimeter in the NFL. So, Douglas probably translates to a Nickel CB. He played very well on the outside at the college level. Showed make-up speed on crossing routes. He was a ball magnet. Love his length and his ability to jam at the line.
17.) Shaquill Griffin, UCF. Round 4. Ideal size/speed combo. He's fearless on the outside and he has the necessary length to play on the perimeter. He's a sub 4.4 corner who has the length to play on the outside. He helps in run support. Has the tools to be a solid mid-round pick.
18.) Howard Wilson, Houston. Round 4. Wilson was an interception maniac. When the ball was in his direction, he made the play. Didn't time well in the 40, but he brings a great burst as he gets in and out of his breaks. Additionally, he uses his size to get up and win jump balls on deep routes. Wish he were stronger. He's thin. Needs more muscle mass. Developmental talent.
19.) Desmond King, Iowa. Round 4. Love his heart. Love his intensity. A self-assured CB who really carried Iowa's defense in the past. Likely a slot CB or a safety in the mold of Micah Hyde. Tough nosed. Uses his hands really well. A little undersized and much quicker than he is fast.
20.) Channing Stribling, Michigan. Round 5-6. If he were a touch faster, he'd be a 3rd round pick. But, he didn't time well. Still, he's worth a mid-to-late round selection. He plays the ball well. He's a reliable corner on the perimeter who doesn't mind being left on an island. Uses his body really well to force WR's towards the sideline. His speed is a concern, but he can play both man and corner. Assignment sure.
21.) Marquez White, FSU. Round 6-7. Ideal length. Uses sideline as his friend on deep route. Doesn't get his head turned to see the ball though. Plays with better speed than he timed. Needs to get stronger. Has the frame to add muscle.
22.) Jack Tocho, NC State. Round 7-UDFA. Won't be a smarter CB in the draft. He won't make a mental mistake. Not afraid of getting in a WR's face at the line of scrimmage. Out thinks the WR as he directs him off of his route. Lacks speed and high-level playmaking ability, but worth a look as a training camp body as you know he'll pick up the system.
23.) Ashton Lampkin, Oklahoma State. Round 7-UDFA. Soft cornerback who needs to get tougher in run support, but he has the ability to play in both man and zone coverage. He can turn and run. 4.5 speed. 6-0. Can't coach those things. He faired well on the deep ball and isn't afraid to get up and jam a WR.
S: With HaHa, Burnett, Evans and Brice; I wouldn't think that the Packers would draft a Safety. In fact, I feel like Safety and QB are likely the two deepest positions that the Packers have entering this weekend. Additionally, I thought Jermaine Whitehead offered some decent intangibles during the preseason last year. But, since Morgan Burnett is in the last year of his contract, the Packers will likely add a safety or two this weekend.
1.) Eddie Jackson, Alabama. Round 3-4. Yes, he's recovering from a scary injury. But, when he was healthy, he'd have been the perfect replacement for Micah Hyde. He's lethal with the ball in his hands. He could be a punt returner. He can cover in the slot. He's savvy. If he's healthy, he'd be a classic Ted Thompson pick.
2.) Xavier Woods, Louisiana Tech. Round 3-4. He's a punishing, fearless safety with great range. Offers good speed and the ability to slide into the slot on passing downs. Wish he was a little bigger, but his athleticism makes up for him being a little smaller than you'd ideally draw up.
3.) Justin Evans, Texas A&M. Round 3-4. Great football speed. Gets sideline to sideline and plays the football in the air. True playmaker with natural cover skills. Lacks muscle, but plays with heavy physicality. Looks to lower the boom rather than wrapping up. Likes the splash play and gets burnt because of it.
4.) John Johnson, Boston College. Round 4. Really intelligent football player. Likes to mix it up in the box. Has speed to get the angle, but struggles to catch players from behind. I worry about his make up speed. Leader. Likable. Will contribute right away.
5.) Rayshawn Jenkins, Miami. Round 5. Physically, he's intimidating. He looks like he should dominate. Plays the ball in the air really well. Isn't afraid of contact. What's odd is that he doesn't play as fast as he times. Doesn't play football fast and thus, he's a developmental project. Would be a good special teams player Day 1.
6.) Tedric Thompson, Colorado. Round 5. A trusted leader in the heart of the secondary. Does a good job keeping things organized. He finds the football in the air. He's aggressive in attacking the football and his production followed. Extraordinary football knowledge positioned him to be successful. An anchor in the secondary.
7.) Jadar Johnson, Clemson. Round 6. Great instincts. Elite athlete. Looks the part. Plays with great speed. Has the size to dominate. Still needs seasoning. Heavy upside. Finds the football. Breaks well. He can lower the boom and he'll let you know about it.
8.) Nathan Gerry, Nebraska. Round 6-7. CAUTION: Ted Thompson Football Player alert. He's always around the ball. Not the greatest athlete, but he finds the football and he's a playmaker. Classic team leader. He's going to show up when the lights are on and he's the heartbeat of a defense. No one plays with more heart.
9.) Adrian Colbert, Miami. Round 7-UDFA. If he goes Undrafted, I really hope he gets a tryout in Green Bay. He was oft-injured, but he has all of the skills. He flies around the field. Tremendous athlete. When he's on the field, he has difference maker potential. But, he needs to find a way to stay healthy. Has ideal size/speed combination. He's not afraid of stepping into the box. And, as a safety, he has the speed to get to any spot on the field. Could be an eventual steal.
10.) Leon McQuay, USC. Round 7-UDFA. Love McQuay's swagger. Plays with great confidence. Has the height that you target and he uses it well. He's around the football and when the ball is in the air, McQuay is going to make a play on it. But, he struggles as a tackler. A lot of grabbing. If he toughens up, he could have a really good career.
11.) Orion Stewart, Baylor. Round 7-UDFA. One of those guys that seemed like he was in college forever. A hard hitting safety who is certain to bring down ball carriers when he makes contact. Additionally, he's got the smarts to read the QB's eyes, which puts him position to make plays. Stewart doesn't have the burst that you'd love to get to the deep ball and he occasionally get beat over the top.
12.) Damarius Travis, Minnesota. Round 7-UDFA. Physical safety who isn't going to drop into the slot and cover a WR, but he'll feel coverage sliding out to cover a back in space and he'll man-up and belly himself against a TE. He'll hit you. Quicker than fast. Has the size to play in the league.
13.) Dante Barnett, Kansas State. UDFA. Likely just a training camp body, but he's worth a shot. A true leader in the middle of the defense. He won't make mistakes in assignment and he diagnoses plays really well. He's extremely aggressive, but his speed is a true concern.
14.) Jamal Carter, Miami. UDFA. Adrian Colbert's injuries presented an opportunity for Carter. Carter never fully blossomed. He's a muscular monster, but he's too slow to play deep. He does have the physique to be an undersized ILB on passing downs and he doesn't shy away from contact.
15.) Drico Johnson, UCF. UDFA. Really like his football presence. Needs to toughen up, but he has the size that translates at the next level. Not overly football fast, but he's worth a camp look as he brings smarts that are tough to teach.
In Ted I Trust.
Go Pack Go!