Now that the 2013 NFL draft is over, most of the pundits have agreed that the Green Bay Packers had a very nice draft. It appears that Ted Thompson and Co. have added some more nice talent to the roster, which has been primarily built through the draft since Thompson took over the front office in 2005.
Let's take a look at what some of those who we see or read most say about the Packers regarding the recently concluded draft.
NFL.com put together a draft tracker page of the 2013 NFL draft for all NFL teams, including the Packers.
The crew at NFL Network, including Mike Mayock and Charles Davis, had some comments about some of the draft selections of the Packers.
Datone Jones: "Because Green Bay plays a 3-4 defense, this kid is an ideal fit. I love this kid's upside. He fits the scheme. He's the only one I saw who beat Eric Fisher all week long in one-on-one."—Mike Mayock
Eddie Lacy: "At 230 pounds, he's got much better feet than people think. This guy's a three-down tailback. He'll protect the quarterback. He can carry 20 to 25 times a game. For the Packers, who have been running the ball by committee, this is a perfect pick."—Mike Mayock
David Bakhtiari: "I don't know where they're going to play him. There's a little bit of an issue at left tackle with the Packers. He's not as tall as people would like. His arms weren't as long as you'd like, but I think he can play right tackle -- even though he has left tackle feet -- or he can play inside because he's tough."—Mike Mayock
J.C. Tretter: "He's a gifted kid that's put some weight on at Cornell. He played left tackle for them. Ultimately, he'll play inside."—Mike Mayock
Johnathan Franklin: "I think this is a big-time value pick. Johnathan Franklin plays bigger than what you think. He's compact, but he'll run inside the tackles. His problem in the past: Putting the ball on the ground. This season, he had only one fumble. Good locker-room guy."—Charles Davis
Micah Hyde: "He reminds me of Glover Quin. He can play corner, safety, can return kicks and can be a special teams player. He fits Green Bay because he has great ball skills."—Mike Mayock
I don't have the insider package at ESPN.com, but Kevin Seifert was kind enough to to write a Mel Kiper draft grades blog regarding the NFC North in the 2013 NFL draft.
Kiper gave the Packers a B+ grade. He also said, "I love what Green Bay got out of this draft, particularly at two spots -- defensive end and running back."
Seifert also gave his take by saying,
The Packers really went after the running back position, drafting two backs -- Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin -- that many teams pegged as feature backs on their own. Franklin also hedges concerns about Lacy's durability. The Packers can feel confident that at least one of them will make an impact on 2013. Defensive end Datone Jones is a different-looking player than what the Packers currently have at the position, and fits into the league's trend toward longer and leaner even for 3-4 ends.
In another blog, Seifert posts a video of Kiper and Todd McShay discussing which teams did the best in the draft. McShay is very impressed with the "great draft management" of the Packers, as well as running back Ediie Lacy, who he deemed perfect for the Packers in terms of instant impact.
"He's a perfect fit in a zone-blocking scheme," McShay said about Lacy. "Why? Because he can stick his foot in the dirt and accelerate up the field. He runs with a wide-base. He creates yards after contact. And the two really important things...he can play right away because he can pass protect and he has good ball-security."
Jason La Canfora, who is the NFL Insider for CBS Sports, wrote an interesting piece about the Packers draft (and Aaron Rodgers) for CBSSportsline.com. Here is what La Canfora had to say:
After seven rounds and too many hours to recall of this 2013 NFL Draft, here are a few things on my mind about how it all played out.
When I asked people about Eddie Lacy's drop, the thing that I heard the most was simply not pushing himself hard enough in training leading up the combine and the draft. The buzz around the Alabama program was that he wasn't taking that side of it seriously enough, it was reflected in poor times and a muscle injury that set him back, and he never quite recovered.
He's a good kid, isn't into partying or any of that stuff, but needs to stay motivated. Should be a wake-up call for him, and that, coupled with the Packers drafting plenty of competition at his position, should keep him pushed as well. Could turn out to be a total steal there, because some on the Alabama staff believe he has more talent than Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson -- former Alabama backs who recently went in the first round (and in Richardson's case, near the top of the first round).
And, as part of a general theme in this draft of the rich getting richer -- i.e. Baltimore, Seattle, San Francisco finding great value down the board -- kudos again to Green Bay. Between Lacy and Johnathan Franklin, they landed two backs who could make a real difference there. And if the both pan out, the trade route is always open.
Also lost amid the draft hoopla was the single biggest piece of NFL news in a while and the most significant transaction of this offseason: Aaron Rodgers is now locked up in Green Bay until 2019 and at a very team-friendly price. Agents and execs around the league were surprised Rodgers “only” got $22 million (this is all relatively speaking) and set no real huge benchmarks despite being the best in the game. Getting $62 million over the first three years is already in line with what guys like Joe Flacco are getting. In hindsight, Flacco's agent, Joe Linta, looks smarter and smarter with the deal that he did.
So, yeah, a massive weekend for the Packers.
Rob Rang of The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com has put out his draft grades for the NFC North. Here is what Rang wrote about the draft of the Packers:
Anyone who watched the Packers get dismantled by San Francisco in the playoffs anticipated that general manager Ted Thompson would focus on defense early. He did so, nabbing productive defensive end Datone Jones from UCLA in the first round. Jones was terrific this past season and carried that over to the Senior Bowl. The Packers only had one selection on Day Two, but he could prove a steal, nabbing running back Eddie Lacy, a player whom many (including myself) projected them to take a round earlier. Lacy has drawn comparisons to Steven Jackson for his blend of power and agility. Considering the red-zone opportunities that he could get with Aaron Rodgers throwing the football, Lacy could be an offensive rookie of the year candidate -- if he beats out fourth-round selection Jonathan Franklin, who left UCLA as the team's all-time rushing leader and also turned heads at the Senior Bowl. Franklin was the headliner but was just one of the standouts from the Packers' impressive haul on Day Three. Frankly, no team got better value in rounds four and five than Green Bay. David Bakhtiari and J.C. Tretter are future contributors to an offensive line that needed reinforcements, and defenders Micah Hyde and Josh Boyd are good football players who didn't get enough national attention after being overshadowed by more high profile teams in their power conferences. Grade: A
FOXSports.com gave draft grades on every team in the NFL, including the Packers.
Floyd Engel gave his grade:
(A) The power of a good GM has been proven again. Ted Thompson killed it, especially like the two running backs he picked up in Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin.
As did Alex Marvez:
(B) UCLA’s Datone Jones fits the bill as a 3-4 end. The selection of Lacy (second round) and UCLA’s Franklin (fourth) doesn’t bode well for incumbent running backs James Starks and Alex Green.
As did Peter Schrager:
(B+) Jones is a talented 6-4 defensive lineman that can play multiple spots. He’s stout enough to play defensive tackle and can get to the quarterback. Lacy was a nice value pick in the second round, but Franklin could be a Warrick Dunn clone. Two solid running backs to add to a good squad.
Chris Burke gave his grades for all NFL teams on SI.com, including his mark for the Packers:
So…no one else wanted RBs Eddie Lacy or Johnathan Franklin? Well, good luck trying to stop them in Green Bay’s offense. DE Datone Jones also has a perfect look for the Packers’ front. G/T David Bakhtiari gives the Packers another option along the O-line (as does J.C. Tretter), while S Micah Hyde will be in the mix on defense. Grade: A-minus
While Peter King, in his Monday Morning Quarterback column, said this:
Love what Green Bay GM Ted Thompson did with his position of greatest need.
King also added this:
On Ted Thompson's patience. Green Bay entered the draft needing a running back or two. GM Ted Thompson, one of the most self-effacing and laconic men to ever do his job, chose to take a classic 3-4 defensive end, Datone Jones. No way his favorite back, Eddie Lacy, would be there in the second round. Then Thompson, with Lacy on the board, traded from the Pack's spot at 55 in the second round down to 61, with San Francisco, picking up a sixth-round pick. Thompson got Lacy -- the top-rated back by most teams, at 61. Then Thompson traded down twice more with his third-round pick and ended up with a fourth-round tackle, David Bakhtiari, and a fourth-round back, Johnathan Franklin ... as well as two seventh-round picks to take fliers on a pair of wide receivers. "That's Ted,'' one of his peers said Sunday. "Most of us would have had a need like that and just filled it without risking the trade-downs. It doesn't work all the time, but it seems to work for him more often than not."