The Green Bay Packers entered the 2012 NFL draft as one of the top teams in the entire league. With only a few positions to address, Ted Thompson figured to have another successful draft by the time the draft ended Saturday evening, and he certainly didn't disappoint.
While it wasn't an overly exceptional draft, Thompson definitely did what he needed to do to improve his team heading into the 2012 season. Here are grades for every pick the Packers made in the 2012 NFL draft.
Heading into the draft, the Green Bay Packers' biggest need was at outside linebacker. With a prospect like Nick Perry, the Packers addressed that need with one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL.
While Perry will need to improve against the run and pass, Green Bay needed to get someone to get after the quarterback, and he excels in that category. Not only will Perry improve the play of Clay Matthews, but he'll improve the overall play of the entire defense, secondary included.
The first round couldn't have gone any better for Green Bay.
This was the first trade that the Green Bay Packers made in the second round, and by trading up with the Arizona Cardinals, the Packers improved their defensive line with Jerel Worthy.
The defensive line was the second biggest need heading into the draft and, once again, Green Bay did a great job at filling that need. While Worthy doesn't have a huge amount of potential, he is as ready for the NFL as any prospect in the draft.
Worthy should be able to come in immediately and greatly improve the Packers' play against the run. He may never be an All-Pro player, but he'll be a solid starter from day one.
The Green Bay Packers traded back into the second round again, this time with the New England Patriots. It was clear by taking Casey Hayward of Vanderbilt that the Packers were intent on improving their defense.
There is a lot to like about Hayward's game, including his playmaking ability and power when tackling in the open field. Hayward steps into an ideal situation where he'll be able to learn from Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams before seeing much time on the field.
One interesting question that needs to be asked about this pick is whether the Packers intend to give Woodson a chance at free safety. It's possible that if that happens, Hayward could see the field much sooner than expected.
Without a third-round pick, the Green Bay Packers had to wait until their first compensatory pick of the fourth round to get another defensive lineman in Mike Daniels out of Iowa.
To be honest, I'm not a big fan of this pick. I like the idea of going all-in on defense, since it was clearly the weakest part of the team in 2011. However, Green Bay also needed to address running back and offensive line, and with players like Zebrie Sanders of Florida State still on the board, it would have been a good pick for the Packers.
However, Daniels does give the Packers some more depth along their defensive line, so it is hard to be too critical of this pick.
This was easily the worst pick for the Green Bay Packers in the entire draft.
Jerron McMillian is a developmental player who appears barely ready to make an impact on special teams at this point in his career. He has a nice upside to his game, but the Packers would have been likely to draft him a few rounds later than the fourth round.
This pick did address a need in the secondary, but Green Bay pulled the trigger way too early on McMillian.
As much as I loved the Green Bay Packers drafting Nick Perry, I think I love them taking Terrell Manning this late in the draft even better.
Manning is a true playmaker who could turn into quite the player for Green Bay. He has the ideal size, athleticism and strength to thrive at outside linebacker, and he could end up battling Perry for the starting position opposite Clay Matthews.
This was a fantastic pick by Ted Thompson, and was one of the top value picks of the entire draft.
The Green Bay Packers waited until their second-to-last pick to address their offense, and they did it with offensive tackle Andrew Datko from Florida State.
Datko has suffered from injuries during his collegiate career, but before injuries, he was considered a top offensive lineman. If he can stay healthy, he could end up as a future replacement for the recently departed Chad Clifton.
We all knew that the Green Bay Packers were going to draft a quarterback sometime during the draft. The only question was during what round they would do it.
There is a lot to like about B.J. Coleman and his potential, and he ends up in the ideal situation in Green Bay. He'll be able to compete for the backup job to Aaron Rodgers from day one, and should learn a great deal in the Packers organization.