3 Bold Predictions for the Green Bay Packers' Rookies
The draft has been in the books for almost a week now, and we are getting closer to seeing rookies enter the NFL with their new teams.
The Packers went the obvious route and drafted six defensive players and only two offensive players. The goal this offseason was to improve on the NFL's worst defensive team in 2011. This Packers draft class could be Ted Thompson's best as GM, but it's loaded with boom or bust players.
Nick Perry, Jerel Worthy and Mike Daniels come to mind as either Pro Bowl players or the next Vernon Gholston.
While I feel the guys brought in will be coached up enough to excel at this level, there is always the chanced the guys don't work out.
Here are my three bold predictions for some of the Packers' rookies.
Nick Perry Makes It to Hawaii
I realize the rookies haven't even made it to Green Bay yet, but the potential is there for Perry.
Nick Perry is a pass-rushing beast and that should only be helped by the fact that Clay Matthews is his running mate.
Perry's pure athleticism should already give him an edge to succeed in the Packers defense. And with Kevin Greene and his fiery attitude as his coach, Perry could reach his ceiling very quick.
Perry excels in pass rush and has a great array of moves to get to the quarterback. He may be lacking in pass coverage, but his rush abilities should negate his other deficiencies.
Not saying that Perry's expectations are no lower than the Bowl, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.
Terrell Manning Steals Snaps from A.J. Hawk
Manning has all the makings of a star. Coming out of NC State early, Manning may have lost some quality learning time and another year of refining his skills, but he is already well on his way to being a compete ballplayer.
Manning has had some injury issues that he is hopefully over, and if he his, look out A.J. Hawk.
Manning is an incredible talent with the one thing that makes some people great—a chip on his shoulder. He claims to be the best linebacker in the draft, and if he truly believes that, his fifth-round draft status should make him want to prove himself.
Manning is not a one-trick pony. He can cover the new hybrid tight ends and also rush the passer, two things that A.J. Hawk cannot do.
If Manning adds some bulk, he could be a dangerous inside rusher in the 3-4, and he could spell the end to Hawk's career in Green Bay.
I expect Manning to gain more and more playing time as the season progresses before taking the starting spot later this year.
Andrew Datko Is the Left Tackle by Week Four
The Packers addressed the offensive line in Round 7, and they got absolute value. Datko was an expected first-round pick prior to the 2011 college football season, but his shoulders shut him down just four games in.
Datko has the size, pass protection skills and quick enough feet to be a left tackle in the NFL.
If Newhouse doesn't perform well in those four games and Derek Sherrod isn't fully ready, I expect Datko to take over and never look back.