Packers 2014 Draft Picks: Results, Analysis and Grades

Justis Mosqueda@justisfootballFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2014

Packers 2014 Draft Picks: Results, Analysis and Grades

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    Jason DeCrow/Associated Press

    In a few excruciatingly long hours, the Green Bay Packers will go on the clock in 2014 NFL draft.

    Since the title run in 2010, the Packers have yet to match their postseason success, only netting a 1-3 record over the past three seasons.

    This year, the Packers will try to turn the ship around to match the postseason success of 2010 and the regular-season success of 2011.

    Since that title run, Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson has had to replace many players via the draft, and this season is no different. While the names change, the fans, colors and Thompson don't.

    From Day 1 (Thursday) to Day 3 (Saturday), we're here to give you instant analysis on the prospects Thompson deems the best players available.

    When the Packers make a trade or selection, we go on the clock to give you quick, trustworthy analysis.

    For all seven rounds, stick with us for draft coverage of the Green Bay Packers. 

1st Round, 21st Overall Pick: HaHa Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama

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    Craig Ruttle/Associated Press

    After an off-season of thinking HaHa Clinton-Dix would be the first safety off the board, the New York Jets surprised the world by taking Calvin Pryor ahead of the Alabama product.

    A couple picks later, the Packers stole the top-tier defensive back. Likely a starting safety Day 1, Clinton-Dix will have a major impact on the Packers defense. After losing M.D. Jennings in free agency, Clinton-Dix fills what was likely the biggest need for the squad.

    This pick also always Micah Hyde to stay in his slot role, where he's a better fit, than playing back at safety. In some ways, this pick can be looked at as two-for-one deal, due to the impact it has on the rest of the roster.

    While HaHa Clinton-Dix may not have the size or speed of an ideal safety, he does have one of the most important traits for a Dom Capers safety: intelligence. Learning on Nick Saban, he may not have come from a better situation to mesh with the Packers' scheme. Flexed both at free safety and strong safety at times in Tuscaloosa, he'll do the same in Green Bay.

    With the immediate impact that he has, no one would be surprised if the steal of the draft ended up as the Defensive Rookie of the Year. We'll have to see how he pans out in action, but Clinton-Dix projects very well for the team.

    Grade: A

2nd Round, 53rd Overall: Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State

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    Dean Hare/Associated Press

    With Scott Crichton and Cody Latimer as prognostications before the selection, Davante Adams, the large pass-catcher from Fresno State was the selection. Back in April, Cody Latimer was first linked to the Packers, and it only continued, which made this pick surprising.

    With James Jones gone, the Packers needed to replace the big slot role in their offense. Davante Adams, a master at fade routes while in college, will likely have to bump into that role at times, when the team wants to match Randall Cobb on the outside.

    Either way, the Packers filled a need at receiver that was previously filled by Jarrett Boykin, and undrafted free agent from 2012. With Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson also in contract years, the position needed to be addressed. Before this, there was potential for the Packers to lose five of their best receivers (Cobb, Nelson, Greg Jennings, Jones, and Donald Driver) in just a three year stretch.

    While not the pick Ted Thompson was "supposed to make", it was still a very high quality one based on media boards. Many had speculated that Adams would even be a first round pick.

    Not everyone agrees, though. Ryan McCrystal states that should've gone exactly where he landed, between the second and third rounds, in his scouting report.

    Adams put up some gaudy numbers thanks to his big-arm quarterback Derek Carr, but he needs to completely reinvent himself in order to succeed in the NFL. While at Fresno State, Adams was basically a Torrey Smith-type player—a receiver who wins with pure speed. But his speed and athleticism are average, at best, by NFL standards.

    He needs to transform from a speed receiver into a Greg Jenningstype—a guy who wins with his routes with overall technique. Adams comes across as an intelligent player, so don't bet against him, but he also shouldn't be relied upon as an instant-impact rookie. It will likely take some time for him to develop and learn where he can win with his skill set in the NFL.

    Grade: B

3rd Round, 85th Overall: Khyri Thornton, DL, Southern Mississippi

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    Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

    An under the radar prospect is Ted Thompson's third selection of the 2014 draft. Khyri Thornton wasn't thought of enough coming out of Southern Mississippi to warrant a bid to either the Senior Bowl or the Shrine Game, but he did catch eyes at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

    His final season at Southern Mississippi only earned him second-team All-Conference USA, but his postseason events are what lead to him rising up boards. While competing at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Todd McShay listed him as the top prospect at the event.

    Then at the Combine, Thornton put up impressive numbers, when you put them to scale.

    NBC and Rotoworld's Josh Norris calls the defensive tackle prospect a top sleeper, while Kevin Weidl of ESPN said, "light on his feet and has TONS of raw power."

    Likely a rotational defensive lineman to start, he's more of a player in the mold of a weak-side defensive end that can contribute to rushing the passer, than a player suited for the B.J. Raji nose tackle or strong-side role.

    The last time the Packers took a player from Southern Mississippi, it worked out well. Packer fans hope that Thornton contributes half as much in his career as he who shall not be named did.

    Grade: C

3rd Round, 98th Overall: Richard Rodgers, TE, California

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    With their compensatory pick in the late third round, the Packers took Richard Rodgers, the assumed starting tight end of the future for Green Bay.

    In California's new spread system, Rodgers was basically a wide receiver for the Bears. After a lack of targets with a freshman quarterback under center, Rodgers passed on his final year at the University of California to enter the NFL draft.

    A highly-touted recruit and son of an NFL special teams coordinator, football has always been in his blood.

    With only Andrew Quarless and Brandon Bostick contributing significantly in the passing game in 2013, Rodgers could walk into a rookie starting role in 2014. Though, another option would be to sign Jermicheal Finley, the 2013 starting tight end, after the draft if he should pass the medical requirements.

    When seemingly all the quality tight ends were taken off the board, Ted Thompson swings at a sleeper tight end from a BCS school who wasn't used correctly. Will Ted Thompson find a diamond in the rough with this piece of football lineage? Another Rodgers hopes so.

    Grade: C

4th Round, 121st Overall: Carl Bradford, ILB, Arizona State

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    At Arizona State, Carl Bradford played a position called "devil-backer", a hybrid defensive end, linebacker role that the team created to move him around. At the next level, Bradford's length likely isn't enough to be an effective pressure creator from the edge, which likely lead to his "drop", but can be played in other spots as well.

    Some speculated that in a 4-3, he may even be able to play middle linebacker. In a 3-4, any 4-3 middle linebacker could play inside. With Brad Jones not living up to expectations up to this point, this pick may come into play for a starting role in 2014.

    Bradford could play either inside spot, though. He could replace A.J. Hawk in the future as the strong-side inside linebacker, as he's had experience being that defensive fullback at Arizona State already. He also has the closing speed to sweep up tackles from the weak-side inside linebacker spot, potentially replacing Jones.

    If nothing else, Carl Bradford will contribute to special teams in 2014, and will lead the team to think twice before investing more in the inside linebacking corp.

    Grade: A

5th Round, 161st Overall: Corey Lindsey, C, Ohio State

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Coming into the draft, it was known that the Packers needed an interior offensive lineman to backup and/or compete with J.C. Tretter for the vacancy at center. With their fifth round pick, the Packers did just that.

    After seeing limited time at tackle and guard his first three years at Ohio State, Corey Lindsey took over the starting role once All-American Michael Brewster turned professional. Lindsey then started for two seasons on an offensive line near the top of all of college football.

    Lindsey, with experience elsewhere than center also, is perfect for that swinging offensive lineman role that the Packers currently need. This allows for only seven gameday linemen to be active, as opposed to eight, which would hinder the special teams of the team.

    Who knows, maybe Lindsey even pushes Tretter for the starting job in 2014? Coming out of a well known school like Ohio State, you never know.

    Grade: C

5th Round, 176th Overall: Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin

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    Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

    After addressing the wide receiver position early, the Packers weren't finished. Adding the homestate product in the fifth round, the Packers solidify the receiving corp.

    The crisp route-runner had fantastic showings against some high profile corners in his Big Ten career, including the famous matchup against Ohio State's Bradley Roby, a first round pick to Denver, where Abbrederis torched him several times.

    With Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Jarrett Boykin all slated to leave after 2014, Abbrederis could be thrown into the starting role as soon as 2015. Until then, though, he's likely a fourth or fifth option, who'll get some, but not many, targets and will contribute to special teams.

    All in all, Ted Thompson finished his work on the receiving corp by taking who many had as the hands down top receiver on the board. Another great move by Ted Thompson to not only help the 2014 Packers, but a move for the long-term as well.

    Grade: A

6th Round, 197th Overall: Demetri Goodson, CB, Baylor

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    With Tramon Williams and Davon House slated to hit the open market in 2015, the Packers needed to make a move to get another outside cornerback to match with Sam Shields, potentially as a starter. Micah Hyde and Casey Hayward are productive, but best in the slot.

    The Baylor product came via Gonzaga, where Goodson played three years of basketball, before playing three years of football for the Bears. While he's on the older side of the game, already 24 years old, he's worth a shot in these later rounds.

    Son of a former NBA player, cousin to Jakar Hamilton, and brother of Mike Goodson, Demetri has sports running through his veins. Known as "Meech" by some, he quit his football career as a sophomore in high school to focus on basketball, but did get the attention of some schools, such as Texas A&M, before giving up the sport.

    A broken ankle put him on the bench for his first season of football at Baylor, once he picked the sport back up again. He opened up the 2012 season as a starter, but before mid-season could come, he broke his arm. After getting a medical clearance for an extra year, he was able to finally start in 2013.

    He lead the Big 12, which featured the first corner to go off the board, in passes defended and earned All-Big 12 honorable mention honors in 2013.

    An interesting project, Ted Thompson has a full year in which he and his staff can try to put Goodson in a position to succeed.

    Grade: C

7th Round, 236th Overall: Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley

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    GM Andrews/Associated Press

    A surprising pick, not because of value, but because of position. With three wide receivers a lock to make it on the roster already, and two more drafted, it would seem unlikely that there's a 100% show Janis fits onto the roster, just because of depth. If he's going to make it on the 53, the team must be confident in his ability to contribute to special teams.

    A flashy speedster from a small school, Janis really started to swirl around in the media after his showing at the Senior Bowl and the Combine. As a receiver well above average as far as height and weight are concerned, he still put up amazing numbers, without even taking into account of scale.

    Not likely to contribute early, he's a project who will play special teams and likely be at the tail end of the roster. Janis was projected to go higher, and it seems as though that Ted Thompson agreed.

    The highest risk/reward pick of the draft, Janis has had the metrics and fantasy football community behind him for a while. For Packers fans' sake, they hope their predictions are true.

    Grade: A