I am excited about Ted Thompson's approach to the 2008 Draft. Thompson wanted play makers on offense. He went after his guys and he got them. He added competition at WR, QB, CB, TE, and DE. This draft was about finalizing our roster and then building depth and competition. He went with athletes at the front of the draft and went fishing for offensive depth to finish the draft.
While watching the draft, I wanted Thompson to either trade down and out of the first round or I wanted to draft a WR. I was hoping for either Thomas, Jackson or Sweed. Jordy Nelson surprised me. I like having Nelson as a Packer, but I thought that we could get him much later. But, if you like a guy enough, why wait? Obviously, Nelson was the guy that Thompson wanted. He traded down to accumulate a pick and he still got his guy. As an interesting stat: Nelson stands 6'2 5/8" and weighs 217 lbs. By comparison, Terrell Owens stands 6'3" and weighs 223. Roy Williams stands 6'2" and weighs 220 lbs. Additionally, while he ran a 4.51 40 at the combine, video shows him running away from Aqib Talib, the Bucs 1st round pick, when they are both in the open field. At the combine, Talib ran a 4.45.
In the second round, I wanted Slaton. I was hopeful. I understand the Brian Brohm pick, but I do not love it. I don't believe that he's a fit for the system. He's a good pocket passer. He's intelligent. He's got solid awareness and a strong arm. He's accurate. But, he's immobile, which will limit his production in our current system. Nonetheless, Thompson got his guy. Thompson said that he was considering Brohm in the 1st round at #30. Personally, I would have rather had Kevin O'Connell in Round 3.
With the other second round pick, the Packers needed corner. They got one in Patrick Lee. Lee has the build and speed to make it in Green Bay. I like the pick. I'm excited to see him perform.
Before the 3rd round started, I sent my good friend, Stack, a text message. I wrote "Slaton, Charles, Zbikowski, C. Jackson, Schmitt, Hillis, Rucker, J. Finley, DE, OL." All were available to start the 3rd round and by the time we were eligible, only Schmitt, Hillis, Rucker, and Finley were available. I'm excited to have Finley. 6'4" 243 lbs. Big. Athletic. Great hands. Not afraid of contact. Great run after the catch. Welcome to Green Bay, "J-Mike." Watch these videos and judge for yourself:
And for an even better buzz, read this article which was dated February 21, 2008:
No doubt, "J-Mike" will add a nice dimension to the Packers offense.
In my mock draft, I suggested that I'd be open to Jeremy Thompson becoming our 3rd round pick. I was happy to see Thompson trade up to get him. I've been drawn to Thompson over the last 4-5 days. His name kept showing up in front of me. I was getting signs that Thompson would be a part of the Packers draft. He's mobile in space. He's got a great build. He's seems aggressive. And apparently, he's got football & body growth ahead of him. He's a solid 4th round pick.
Josh Sitton and Breno Giacomini add depth, competition, toughness and attitude to our offensive line.
I also liked watching Ted Thompson work his magic and accumulate 7th round draft picks. Before the 7th round, I thought that the Packers were positioned for success. We had options. I thought that Peyton Hillis would have provided versatility and an upgrade at FB. I wanted the Packers to also consider a RB such as Cory Boyd. A third-round specialist back or a speed back would have been a desired addition. I also thought the Packers should think about a small school S such as Bobbie Williams. Stack and I discussed the possibility of drafting a QB and living in a world like we did in the early 90's with Favre, Brunell and Detmer. But, ultimately, Ted Thompson had positioned himself to select the best player available.
I like the Matt Flynn pick. Not because I think that Flynn is going to be a great NFL QB, but I like Flynn because he's going to compete every day. He's a fighter. He's tenacious. He's been a winner. He's been a leader. He's been a champion. He's a good guy to bring into our program as we continue to mature in a young locker room environment.
Brett Swain has the build that you look for in a WR. Statistically, he showed a knack for making the big play at the collegiate level. Here is a link in which you can see him score 3 TD's in the 1st half of a game. While the video is over 7 minutes long, you can see his TD's in the first 4:35 seconds of the video. But, I would suggest that you cue up the video to 5:45 seconds and watch the rest of it. It'd be approximately 90 seconds of good Swain video. He's wearing #16.
Overall, I'm happy with the draft. Jordy & J-Mike will add excitement to our offense. Thompson and Lee will add energy and athleticism to our defense. We've added depth & competition at OL and QB. We took a chance on a WR from San Diego State and we added a pick for next year. Expect to see the Packers sign a number of players as undrafted free agents.
J-Mike for a 1st down,