NFL Draft Grades 2010: Green Bay Packers Report Card
The Packers came into this season with a few needs and most of them were addressed in this 2010 Draft. However I do feel that some needs were left unfilled.
In the preseason, the team showed a lot of promise and looked to take the NFC North. But with injuries and inconsistency on the O-line, the Packers really struggled in the first eight games, including a loss to the then-winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The team's record pace for giving up sacks was nothing short of nauseating, and our franchise QB was in jeopardy just about every game. Our line basically sent every defensive end we faced to the Pro Bowl, so to speak.
However, with the re-signing of Mark Tauscher, the team really began to rise once again. Bringing a much-needed constant to the offensive line, the Packers finally trotted out the same line for the last eight games.
Allen Barbre is obviously not the answer, and with Jason Spitz coming back, Daryn Colledge can move back to his normal guard spot.
The security of the line caused the Pack to go on a 7-1 tear to end the regular season—that lone loss came on a last-second TD to the Steelers.
The loss of Al Harris really showed up as Jarrett Bush, Tramon Williams, and Josh Bell were all exploited by Ben Roethlisberger.
The coverage skills definitely diminished when Harris went down. That left Clay Matthews to cover deep downfield without Bush’s help over top.
That proves the Packers' needs for OLB, CB, and safety help to complement Matthews, Harris/Charles Woodson, and Nick Collins respectively.
Big Ben and Kurt Warner destroyed our secondary, which leads to three other needs besides tackle: a pass rusher to complement Matthews and some cornerback and safety help.
Round 1 Pick 23: OT Bryan Bulaga (Iowa)
I'm starting to warm up to this pick. I was all in favor of drafting and outside linebacker like Sergio Kindle or Jerry Hughes, but the more I see and hear, I think we got our future tackle. Whether it's left or right, who knows, but Bulaga adds depth and talent to a thin offensive line.
JSOnline.com grade: B
Round 2 Pick 56: DE Mike Neal (Purdue)
Drafted as a defensive tackle, Neal will be moved outside in the Packers 3-4 scheme. With the uncertainty with Johnny Jolly's drug case, Cullen Jenkins and Jolly's free agent status after 2010, Neal adds depth to the defensive line and could rotate in this year. May have been a big reach as he was projected as a 5th rounderm but the Packer's seen something that scouts didn't. Could spell the end of Justin Harrell's injured Packers' career.
Round 3 Pick 71: S Morgan Burnett (Georgia Tech)
My personal favorite of all the Packer's picks. I had Burnett mocked to us in my first mock and my dream came true. Burnett could possibly be the day 1 starter if he proves to be better than Atari Bigby, which i think he will be. Burnett is a ball hawk and had 14 interceptions in 3 seasons at Georgia Tech.
Round 5 Pick 154: TE Andrew Quarless (Penn State)
One of the picks I originally questioned, but Quarless could be a diamond in the rough. He has a very checkered past but says thats behind him. Could force either Donald Lee or Spencer Havner out of Green Bay. My guess would be Lee is gone. Let's hope that the kid with "God's Gift" tattooed on his arms is exactly that for the Packers.
Round 5 Pick 169: OT Marshall Newhouse (TCU)
Packers add another versatile, project lineman that could create a future left tackle/right tackle combo of Bulaga and Newhouse. He was a vital part of TCU's top ten rated team.
Round 6 Pick 193: RB James Starks (Buffalo)
Starks in a good sized back that sat out 2009 with shoulder surgery. Could spell the end of Ahman Green's second go around with Green Bay. He could take over 3rd down duties and force Brandon Jackson into a reduced role. Preferred to have a speed guy but what can you do.
Round 7 Pick 230: DE C.J. Wilson (East Carolina)
Probably just another Best Player Available selection by Ted Thompson. We just added a defensive end in round 2. Not sure about this pick.
Cornerback- The secondary got torched when Al Harris went down. He is coming back but who knows how effective he'll be considering he is 36. Will Blackmon went down although he was one of the top back ups. Apparently Ted feels good about second and third year guys like Brandon Underwood and Pat Lee.
Outside Linebacker- Brad Jones filled in admirably but could have been upgraded especially with Sergio Kindle and Jerry Hughes available at pick 23. We'll see if this decision comes back to bite them.
Speedback/ Returner- Another situation where it all depends on injury. Blackmon was ok before the injury but could have easily been upgraded with a duel threat corner/returner. I would expect a non-drafted free agent to come in and compete.
Wide Receiver- Not a need but Donald Driver is getting older and Brett Swain is also recovering from ACL surgery. A replacement could have been found and possibly boot Swain off the team.
2 defensive ends?- We still have Johnny Jolly, Cullen Jenkins, Mike Neal, and Justin Harrell, although he might be out the door.
Look for a few undrafted free agents to come in and make this team.