Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson must be really determined to fix the lackluster pass rush that hampered the team all last season and is officially pulling out all the stops to do so. They traded up for the third time in the 2012 NFL draft to get the Patriots fifth-round choice, the 163rd overall, to select North Carolina State linebacker Terrell Manning.
Manning is another very good value selection by the Packers and adds yet another pass-rushing talent to a Green Bay defense in desperate need of an upgrade. Manning is a prototypical 3-4 outside linebacker at 6'2", 237 pounds and has the ability to rush the passer as well as cover.
Since he's started 26 games at linebacker with the Wolfpack, making his transition the Dom Capers 3-4 scheme should be a smooth one. In fact, Manning may have an opportunity to get on the field early this season as an edge rusher, which shows how desperate Green Bay is for pass rush help. Coming into the draft their only proven rusher is Pro Bowler Clay Matthews.
Manning was a highly productive player in three college seasons playing in the ACC, notching 10 career sacks and 27 tackles for loss. He also had 193 total tackles, eight forced fumbles and five interceptions. Last season was his most productive with 76 tackles, 14.5 for loss. He also registered six sacks, four forced fumbles, three interceptions, eight passes defensed and a fumble recovery.
Normally, Thompson is not one to trade up but has surprised everyone by trading up for the third time in the same draft. To get Manning, Thompson gave up the Packers lone sixth-round pick (197) as well as two seventh's (224 and 235) but he added yet another pass-rusher to the Packers impressive haul.