Last week, Chris gave me his take about the selection of safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in Round 1 by the Packers:
I didn't really think Clinton-Dix would be there for you, but I thought about you last night and I knew Packer fans like yourself have got to be really happy. This is a perfect example of a guy who knows how to run a draft in Ted Thompson, that works that draft board and good players fall to you. And you knew that the player was going to be a good one, and I thought it might be another guy from Alabama [C.J. Mosley], but this one's a great one and was a really good pick for them.
Yesterday, Chris gave me his rundown of the rest of the draft done by Ted Thompson and company. First, Chris talked about the new receiving weapons that quarterback Aaron Rodgers can now utilize:
Overall, I love the Packers' draft. Getting nine guys. I love the receivers [they drafted]. Davante Adams is a big-time playmaker who I like a lot. We've mentioned [Jared] Abbrederis. Jeff Janis is a kid from Saginaw valley who has super measurables. To me, he can get vertical and he's an excellent red-zone target. Little bit inconsistent hands. He's a 4.42 guy at 220 pounds [and] he can really run. A really solid draft. I think Richard Rodgers is a good value there in third round with the 98th pick.
Landry and I had talked about Abbrederis before the draft, and this was his take on the former Wisconsin Badger:
"Jared Abbrederis. I like him. I think he's a really good X-receiver [who] can be a three or a four in the league. He's smart, and he runs good routes. He's got good quickness.
"He's sneaky vertical. Listen, he's one of the many guys, maybe as many as 16, 17 or 18 wide receivers that I think can eventually be starters this league out of this draft class."
If Landry sounds like he really likes the new receiving talent that the Packers drafted, just imagine the reaction of Rodgers, who already had a talented group of receiving options to utilize. Options like Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Jarrett Boykin and Andrew Quarless.
Getting back to the rest of the draft, Landry liked the other selections that the Packers made as well:
Khyri Thornton can get some good push. I like Demetri Goodson as a corner who can play in a sub-package. Corey Linsley has some ability as a run-blocker at center. As usual, Ted and his staff did a great job in getting that many players.
Here's the thing, Steve and Bob. People talk about the draft, [whether it's] more important or less important. I can't stress enough the importance of the draft and getting all of those guys. These are guys who are your backups, some will be starters, but it's your core backups—your core special teams guys. This is what separates your team from being pretty good to getting over the top.
Yes, it's pretty apparent that Landry really liked what Ted Thompson and his staff did in improving the talent and depth. You may have noted that Chris did not talk about linebacker Carl Bradford, which I'm sure was just an oversight.
To me, I think the selection of Bradford may be one of the best choices Thompson made in this draft. The defense of the Packers is desperately looking for more playmakers, which is exactly what Bradford is. Just look at his last two seasons at Arizona State.
The 6'1", 250-pound Bradford had 142 tackles, 39.5 tackles for a loss, 20 sacks, two interceptions (one for a touchdown), one fumble recovery and six forced fumbles.
The Packers are initially going to play Bradford at outside linebacker, but I believe he has the ability to play inside as well. Landry will give me his take on all that and more regarding Bradford next week.
It's one thing when people in the media classify a given draft by a team as being good or giving the the team an "A" or a "B" for a grade, which sounds good in theory, but one really won't know about how good a draft is for a team for around three years or so.
But when you hear someone like Landry—one of the best scouts in the business—say that the Packers did well with their draft selections in 2014, it adds quite a bit more credence.
Landry was one of the scouts who first initiated the NFL scouting combine, and he also worked for the Cleveland Browns and the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans. Chris now does draft consultancy work for several NFL teams.
If Landry thinks that the Packers did well in the 2014 NFL draft, you can basically take that to the bank.
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