Saturday morning. 2 miles. 1,000 sit-ups. 250 push-ups. That's what a 12-pound, 10-day vacation will do to you.
Pot of Blue Heeler Organic coffee. Thanks, PatRad. Michael Franti on random iTunes. Everyone Deserves Music. All The Freaky People Make the Beauty of the World.
Defense wins championships. The Packers defense needs music. We need freaky people. The Bowl games are leading me to hypothesize. So, I'm going to have some fun. I'm going to add a freaky nature to our defense. After all, for the most part since 1998, I've watched my team have one of the best QB's in the league and a defense that was not good enough to win a Super Bowl. I'm sick of it.
***Quick side note as I'm the BuzzBoy. It's random encouragement from an interrogated spirit. Unknown in identity. Profound with intention. Why is there never a peep as to whether LeRoy Butler belongs in the NFL's Hall of Fame? In some way, didn't he alter the way the Safety position is played in the NFL? He was the first defensive back to have both 20 sacks and 20 interceptions. If it weren't for an injury, he would have eclipsed 40 interceptions (he had 38) and 20 sacks. He won a Super Bowl. Played in another. He was on the All Decade team in the 1990's. He was a leader both on the field and off. It should not be ignored that he invented the Lambeau Leap.***
As for rebuilding a defense, first, I'm going to trade Al Harris to the Baltimore Ravens for a 2nd round pick. The Ravens defense is aging and has a small window to bring home another Super Bowl title. Al harris still has plenty of game, but his NFL life is dwindling. Harris needs the Ravens. The Ravens need Harris. He fits their scheme and defensive mentality. The Ravens defense gets in your face. Not many do it better than Ras-Al.
Our defense has so many requirements that, once again, I'm going to trade down unless Malcolm Jenkins is available. Since it appears that the Packers are going to stay in a 4-3, I'm goiong to pass on Michael Johnson. Don't trade too far down, but we'll dip down either 2 or 3 spots in a trade with either the Bills or the Broncos who will want to jump the 49ers in an effort to land Johnson. The Bills will get their Cornelius Bennet type end. In return, the Packers add a 4th and a 6th. These two trades give the Packers 12 picks.
***Another quick side note, Corey Williams had 0.5 sacks this year. Ted Thompson has been bashed a lot over the last 12 months, but he deserves major props for that trade regardless of how either Brohm or Patrick Lee perform.***
Mock Draft 1.0a gives a different look. It's highly speculative and it includes only defenders. Through the draft, the Packers should build a freaky defense. My apologies go out to Brandon Spikes and Asher Allen who have yet to declare. If they both become eligible for the draft, I would not mind them being our 1st & 2nd round picks respectively. Until then, I'm only going to include players that have already stated that they are going to enter the draft.
Round 1: After trading down a couple of spots, the Packers draft BJ Raji, DT, Boston College. The Packers defensive line got abused against the run in '08. Raji is a solution to the problem. He's quick as a cat. He's got force. He lives in the backfield. He can also get to the QB.
Round 2a: Victor Harris, CB, Virginia Tech. I was disappointed in Mickens' play during the Orange Bowl. Clearly, his knee still bothered him. He was playing on one leg and lacked confidence. So, for now, I'm going to pass on him. This may change after the combine, but Harris makes sense. He's electric on special teams. With Willie B. being a FA, he may need to be replaced. Thompson like Virginia Tech kids. Harris is a ballhawk. Chuckie would like to mentor this kid.
Round 2b (Al Harris trade): Kevin Ellison, S, USC. Solid player. Good against the run. He'd complete our secondary. Everything I read is positive. Has the size and the speed. Use to big time competition and carries a winning attitude.
Round 3a: Zach Follett, LB, Cal. This guy's game excites me. I've wrote about him with length repeatedly. No need to repeat myself.
Round 3b (Brett Favre trade): Phillip Hunt, DE/LB, Houston. Kid can flat out get to the QB. He's 6-2, 260. By comparison, Trent Cole is 6-3, 270. Dwight Freeney is 6-1, 268. Robert Mathis is 6-2, 245. In '06, Hunt had 8 sacks. 12 tackles for loss. In '07, he had 10.5 sacks and 18 tackles for loss. In '08, he had 14 sacks and two forced fumbles. I saw him dominate his Bowl game late. Playing with what appeared to be a cramp. He'll come with the spin. He'll run around you. He'll try to bull rush you. He'll play with one hand on the ground. He'll line up with two hands on the ground. He piqued my interest. I'm intrigued. I'm going to pay EXTRA attention to him as the draft nears. It's also noteworthy that Jim Jeffcoat was his college position coach.
Round 4a: Myron Pryor, DT, Kentucky. Early in the year, I stated that he'd be an upgrade over what we've got on our team now. I still stand by that statement. In his bowl game, he's the one that forced the fumble in the backfield that was subsequently returned for the game winning touchdown.
Round 4b (trade down in 1st round): Terrill Byrd, DT, Cincinatti. I have watched him with interest over the last two years. He capped off his career with a 10 tackle, 1 sack performance in the Orange Bowl. He's quick off the ball. Moves up and down the line with grace. Can play the run and the pass. He had 8 sacks last year. I know that this gives the Packers taking three DT's in the first 4 rounds, but did you see our run defense? We need an immediate upgrade. Pickett is a soon-to-be FA. Cole is a FA. Harrell can't stay healthy. Jolly's status is in the air with the law and the league. We need DT help.
Round 5: David Bruton, S, Notre Dame. Interesting, but Bruton, Otis Wiley, and Keith Fitzhugh are all considerd 4th-6th round picks depending on where you look. I love Bruton's special teams play. He's a heady defender who is fearless on special teams. Thinking about forcing the turnover when making the tackle as well. Say bye-bye to Charlie Peprah.
Round 6a: Tim Jamison, DE, Michigan. Amazingly, he's considered a 6th round pick. A bust for a Senior year at Michigan. Both his and Terrance Taylor's stock have plummeted. Taylor looks to be had in the 4th round at this stage. At times, he's lazy. Other times, he's dominant and in the backfield. Disappeared a lot this year. Seemed to give up a bit. But, he has upside. As a Junior, he looked like a prime NFL prospect. On the DL, Michigan has sent out flops to the NFL. In two years with Arizona, Alan Branch has 0 sacks in 15 games. Still, as a 6th rounder, I'm taking a long look at Jamison. His college career reminds me of Alex Brown. Sort of an underproducer, but has the ability to play at the next level, if motivated. Jamison is 6-3, 266. Alex Brown is 6-3, 260. They play a similar style of football.
Round 6b (trade down in 1st round): Antonio Appleby, LB, Virginia. Worst case scenario, his speed and quickness improves our special teams. ILB that can run with most. Pressures the QB. Not a liability in coverage. Instinctive. Good late round pick.
Round 6c (last year draft day trade): Kaluka Maiava, LB, USC. He didn't get the hype because he's surrounded by future Pro Bowlers, but Maiava can play football. Good instincts. Plays on the fly. Pursues the football. He, too, would upgrade our special teams units.
Round 7: Brandon Fletcher, CB, Iowa. I saw him play once and that was in his Bowl game. In the first half, he intercepted a pass and forced a fumble. Both led to scores and an Iowa blowout. Iowa has a reputation for producing NFL DB's. At this point in the draft, I'm taking a chance and waving goodbye to J-Bush.
We're Getting Freaky,