To begin this article, I want to first say that I thought the Green Bay Packers did a very nice job in the 2012 NFL draft. Ted Thompson focused on defense, and I thought he selected a number of players who can help the 32nd ranked defense right from the get-go in their rookie year.
I had written a number of times that Thompson was going to be aggressive in the draft, and he definitely did not let me down because he traded up three times to select a player he wanted.
That being said, I want to talk about three players I think will be key assets to the teams that selected them in 2012 and beyond and would have obviously helped the Packers as well.
In the 2011 NFL draft, I did a number of mock drafts for the Packers, just like I did in 2012. The player I had the Packers taking in the first round on a couple of occasions, including my final mock draft, was OLB Brooks Reed.
Reed was available for the Packers to select with the 32nd pick of the first round, but instead the Packers selected OT Derek Sherrod.
Reed was picked by the Houston Texans in the second round and had a fine rookie year. Reed had six sacks in the regular season and was tied for the lead in the postseason with 3.5 sacks. The Packers could have surely used Reed in 2011 because the Packers' pass rush was abysmal (ranked 27th in the NFL with 29 sacks).
Meanwhile, Sherrod developed slowly with the Packers. The Packers first gave Sherrod an opportunity to start at LG, but was beaten out by T.J. Lang early in that process. Sherrod was also beaten out by Marshall Newhouse as the primary back up OT for the Packers when the 2011 season started.
Sherrod did get some playing time because of injuries to both starting offensive tackles, but his progress was derailed when he broke his leg in two places in the game against the Kansas City Chiefs late in the season.
Here are the three players that I believe will have an impact on the field in 2012 much like Brooks Reed did in 2011.