Evaluating the Green Bay Packers' 2006 Draft
Before the 2008 season, I wrote an article about the 2005 Draft. As I said in that article, I always find it ridiculous that fans and experts analyze drafts the day after.
After re-reading my article, three years may not be long enough.
Aaron Rodgers finally gave us a glimpse of what is to come. There were some spectacular moments for Rodgers, others fans would like to forget. Nick Collins exploded as well, reaching his first Pro Bowl.
The 2006 draft, I believe, is more clear cut.
Round One (Fifth overall): A.J. Hawk
Hawk has been good. Not great, not terrible, just average. For the fifth overall choice, though, more is expected.
It is a bit strange, as Hawk's numbers have regressed every year. Tackles, interceptions, passes deflected, forced fumbles, you name it, it seems to get worse. Granted, Hawk had more on his plate to worry about this past year due to Nick Barnett's injury, but the statistics are rather odd.
The sack total did rise from '07 to '08. But again, three sacks is nothing special.
He does have durability. Hawk hasn't missed a game since he was drafted. Whether or not he is playing well, at least you know he built. So well built he ruptures spleens (see Al Harris).
I took a peek at the rest of the top ten picks that year, which include Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, Vince Young, Michael Huff, Donte Whitner, and Vernon Davis have all underachieved. By no means does it grant Hawk a reprieve, I just found it interesting.
The switch from a 4-3 to 3-4 will be an interesting experiment for Hawk. Hopefully it better suits him. But for now...
Round Two (47th Overall): Daryn Colledge T/G
Colledge has become a starter for the team, with McCarthy projecting him to be the left guard. However, Tauscher's situation brings up the opportunity for Colledge to play right tackle.
Look, there aren't statistics for offense line. You can't really compare unless you study film. But I remember hearing the name Colledge during games, and when you are an offensive lineman, that is not a good thing.
The main problem seems to be that McCarthy doesn't know where to put him. He has started, he has potential. As a second rounder, you have to though.
Round Two (52nd Overall): Greg Jennings WR
Probably the best pick Ted Thompson has made so far.
After trading Javon Walker, there wasn't exactly a clear cut No. 2 behind Driver. I remember being frustrated early on as Jennings would run the wrong routes. Then an injury. But his ability to be a deep threat was intriguing.
Now, I believe Jennings can make the Hall of Fame. I truly believe he can be one of the greatest Packers to ever play the game.
The man has speed, heart, and soul. Not to mention a pretty good head on his shoulders. Jennings can burn you deep, or find 20 yards after a quick slant route. He has the muscle and vertical to out-reach defenders, and the intensity to fire up the team.
He is selfless. I hear countless stories about his character. I don't remember hearing a peep about renegotiation after his 12 touchdown spectacle in '07.
I am not ashamed: I love Greg Jennings. I hope he is a Packer for life.
Oh yeah, some stats. Over three seasons he has 2844 yards, and 24 touchdowns, including last seasons 1292 yard and 9 TD's totals.
And this never gets old. He had 12 touchdowns on 53 receptions in '07. Nearly every four times he touched the ball, the Packers scored six.
Grade: No grade qualifies for how amazing Jennings is. I seriously wanted to do this preview just for the fact of reviewing Jennings. I guess we can move on now.
Round Three (67th Overall): Abdul Hodge LB
Didn't quite pan out. Hodge only played eight games for the Packers, and could never get beyond Hawk, Barnett, and Poppinga.
He currently is a backup on the Bengals
Round Three (75th Overall): Jason Spitz
Spitz has had a slightly better career than Colledge, but is moved around like his second-round counterpart. Spitz started last season filling in for Scott Wells at center, and had some issues fumbling the ball.
Spitz is currently the right guard, but will face some competition from backup Josh Sitton. Spitz should, however, retain his position.
Round Four (104th Overall): Cory Rodgers WR
Never really panned out as a WR or KR.
Round Four (115th Overall): Will Blackmon CB
Blackmon's career didn't exactly start out the greatest. He was Justin Harrell, but without as much hype.
I looked for Blackmon to really grab that nickel spot, but injuries kept him from developing. He is currently, in my mind, competing with Pat Lee for that fourth CB spot.
Blackmon has found his niche as a return man. Scoring two touchdowns off of punts last year, it looked like Blackmon finally started coming around. What I'm really thankful for, is that he stepped out so Charles Woodson wouldn't kill himself returning punts anymore.
Blackmon also shared kick-offs with Jordy Nelson, averaging a decent 21 yards a return.
Round Five (148th Overall): Ingle Martin QB
He had a funny name. Not much besides that
Round Five (165th Overall): Tony Moll T/G
Moll has seen some playing time, but has been a backup for most of his career. Tauscher possibly leaving can create a space for him, but he will battle Sitton and 6'7" Breno Giacomini. He has played all over the line, and the experience might give him the edge.
Round Six (183rd Overall): Johnny Jolly DT
Jolly cracked a starting spot after Corey Williams was traded, and it coincided with a lack of stopping the run. He also ran into some legal problems before the season last year.
Jolly, if he can play, will be an important part for this team. If he does not start, he may be a backup for the NT or DE positions. For a sixth rounder, he's promising.
Round Six (185th Overall) Tyrone Culver S, Round 7 (253rd Overall) Dave Tollefson DE
Neither did much for the Packers, but Culver has lived long enough to provide depth for the Miami Dolphins.
Recap: The 2006 Draft was particularly impressive for Thomson. Six players are current or projected starters, one more is a backup. I doubt many teams can claim six starters from one draft alone.
Many are still just players and may never be superstars, but Jennings and Hawk have the chance. One more year, and Jennings will be. Changing schemes gives Hawk an opportunity.
This draft is one reason I trust Ted Thompson. There are starters found from the first to sixth rounds.
Let's hope he can do it again come this April.
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