Green Bay Packers 2014 Draft: Aggregating Report Card Grades from Around the Web
The 2014 NFL draft has come and gone for the Green Bay Packers. When looking around the web at report cards, there are plenty of experts who believe that Green Bay had one of the better drafts in the league this year.
This really shouldn't come as a surprise considering the haul they brought in. From safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to receivers Davante Adams and Jared Abbrederis, the Packers added major talent on all three days of the draft.
For what it's worth, I thought the Packers really did a fantastic job throughout the draft at taking talent in each round. While not drafting a true inside linebacker was a little concerning, the Packers still have talent at the position with A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones and Jamari Lattimore.
The biggest reason why the Packers are clear winners in this year's draft is because of their first-round pick, Clinton-Dix. Adding the premier safety in the draft gives the Packers an elite playmaker in the secondary.
Today I'll take a look at report cards from around the web in attempt to break down just how well experts from different sites felt Green Bay did.
Doug Farrar, Sports Illustrated: A
Few teams addressed obvious needs as aggressively and intelligently in this draft as the Packers, starting with first-round safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. The Alabama product can cover deep, and he’s a great hitter from linebacker depth up. Three underrated receivers — Fresno State’s Davante Adams in the second round, Wisconsin slot man Jared Abbrederis in the fifth and Saginaw Valley State’s Jeff Janis in the seventh — should make Aaron Rodgers very happy. Cal tight end Richard Rodgers is the Jermichael Finley replacement — a receiver who can flare wide and make plays. And Southern Miss defensive tackle Khyri Thornton will help a line in great need of young, tough talent.
Sports Illustrated's Doug Farrar was one of a handful of analysts who thought the Packers knocked the draft out of the park.
His favorite pick was the first pick Green Bay made, safety Clinton-Dix. This shouldn't come as a surprise since safety was the biggest need for the Packers and Clinton-Dix was widely regarded as the best safety prospect available.
However, what Farrar really likes about this draft is the amount of weapons given to Rodgers. With four new targets to go along with Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Jarrett Boykin, it's hard to see opposing defenses slowing down the Packers on Sundays.
Finally, Farrar points out that Thornton should help bring some talent to a defensive line that struggled last year. Overall, there's a lot to like about what the Packers did over all three days of the draft.
Dane Brugler, CBS Sports: A
It is tougher to find players who will stick on a roster as talented as the Packers' but GM Ted Thompson may have pulled it off with yet another very solid crop. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix certainly made sense as the rangy centerfielder to help Green Bay's lack of ideal speed and fluidity in the deep patrol. The Packers also added high motor front seven defenders in defensive tackle Khyri Thornton and Carl Bradford. The addition of wideout Davante Adams and tight end Richard Rodgers give the Packers potential replacements for James Jones and Jermichael Finley and Thompson didn't stop there, adding arguably the draft's best route-runner in Jared Abbrederis in the fifth and developmental prospect Jeff Janis in the seventh to protect against another injury-shortened season from either Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb. The Packers added athleticism, physicality and intensity each day of the draft, making it one of the NFL's clear winners in this year's draft.
Few minds involving media and the draft are respected as much as Dane Brugler. So, when he gives the Packers an "A," you know he must have really liked what Green Bay did.
Once again, the premier pick that Brugler points to is Clinton-Dix. He believes that he'll be able to add speed and fluidity in the secondary.
However, instead of focusing on the offensive weapons, Brugler points to the two other defenders that the Packers drafted. He thought the picks of Thornton and Bradford were so good because of the non-stop motors that they'll bring to the defense.
Finally, Brugler enjoyed all of the receivers that the Packers drafted on Day 2 and Day 3. There wasn't much that Brugler didn't like about what Green Bay did, calling them one of the "clear winners in this year's draft."
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: B
One of the most outspoken NFL analysts out there is Pete Prisco from CBS Sports. While people usually argue with Prisco, he's still regarded as one of the better football minds out there.
Of the Packers' draft, Prisco said, "I love the pick of safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round to bring range to the secondary. And Adams was a nice hit. All in all, it was a good, solid draft."
Prisco's biggest concern for the Packers was the fact that they didn't select an offensive lineman. However, the Packers did select center Corey Linsley from Ohio State in the fifth round, so this criticism really doesn't make much sense.
He did really like the third-day pick of cornerback Demetri Goodson, a pick that few others liked. Goodson is an extremely raw cornerback that has good size and athleticism, but little else to offer the Packers from day one.
There are some concerns about how the Packers drafted that Prisco pointed out, but his grade still seems a little too low.
Mel Kiper Jr, ESPN: B
What He Said (Subscription Required):
Another solid draft. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was an easy call at No. 21. I thought he'd be off the board by then, potentially to Dallas or Baltimore, so Green Bay got a good value there, and he addresses a need at free safety, where the Packers didn't have much. Davante Adams isn't explosive, but he catches everything and will flourish with Aaron Rodgers (This tends to happen with good receivers catching passes in Green Bay lately). I really thought they needed a WR or two in this draft, and I loved the additions of Jeff Janis and Jared Abbrederis. If you saw Abbrederis simply steal Bradley Roby's lunch money in Columbus, you know he can battle NFL-level athletes, and Janis is a major physical talent for a seventh-rounder. He dropped on hand size and competition level coming out of D-II. Carl Bradford is a player I really like, and I'll be interested to see if they move him around a little bit. I thought inside linebacker was a big need even though that's typically something you can address later, but they didn't touch it. (Does Bradford fit?) There's not a point where you feel like the Packers flat out got a steal, but aside from the question at ILB, there's not much not to like.
Like the rest of the analysts around, Mel Kiper Jr was quite surprised when Clinton-Dix fell to the Packers at the No. 21 pick. In fact, had the Packers not drafted Clinton-Dix, there was definitely a possibility of mutiny amongst their fans.
Kiper also loved the three receivers that will be joining Green Bay in the 2014 season. While he liked the pick of Adams in the second round, he really loved the addition of Abbrederis. He points to Abbrederis dominating first-round pick Bradley Roby in college as to why Abbrederis will be so successful in the league.
Finally, Kiper was a big fan of adding a linebacker like Bradford. He thinks that Bradford is a player who can play a handful of positions for the Packers.
His biggest concern was that the Packers didn't add an inside linebacker, although he does believe that Bradford could potentially be a fit there. All in all, Kiper realized that there's not too much to not like from what Green Bay did in this year's draft.
Eric Edholm, Yahoo! Sports: A-
While Eric Edholm of Yahoo! Sports might not be as well known as the rest of the analysts above, he's still a great NFL mind.
He graded the draft for Yahoo! Sports, saying, "A terrific talent haul for Thompson and the Packers, who filled needs and found talent in every round. A really nice group of players with one head scratcher (Rodgers)."
Edholm really wasn't a fan of the Packers taking Rodgers in the third round. He called it a "reach" due to Rodgers lack of ability as a true tight end. However, the Packers weren't looking for a true tight end, but rather a receiving tight end, which Rodgers is.
While Edholm didn't think the Packers had the best draft in the NFL, he did think that the talent that Thompson brought in was really quite good.