Well another draft has come and gone, while opinions will and already have varied, I thought this was a good draft by Ted Thompson in the main, with the potential to be a stellar one. Here are some snap judgements....
1. Bryan Bulaga is an absolute steal at number 23, I'm already sick of folks saying he has no LT potential, we won't know until he plays but they've rated him highly for a reason. He's a good pass-blocker with a killer instinct - I expect the run-game to improve when he's on the field.
2. Talent will out. I've heard a lot of stuff about size and measurements over the past few days, frankly if the guy has talent then if he works hard it will win out. MJD was told he's too small to be an every down guy, Dwight Freeney was too small to compete with massive tackles and Drew Brees was knocked for being short. Measurements are useful things to have, but gametape and intangibles are far more important.
3. I like the two D-line picks. Mike Neal is seen as a reach but I disagree for a couple of reasons.
i. There was a massive amount of D-linemen taken - he may well have gone in the third round before Green Bay had the chance.
ii. Jenkins and Jolly are coming up on contract years, Justin Harrell has taken out a mortgage on the treatment table, Pickett is aeging. Add all these factors and you can see why we have made two picks in this area.
4. Morgan Burnett is an excellent pick and will provide back-up for both Collins and Bigby and push the latter for his place....
5. ...They gave up too much to get the guy, there were other safeties available such as Darnell Stuckey and Reshad Jones who went in rounds 4-5, we may not even have had to trade up for Burnett.
6. No OLB pass-rusher? Yes Wilson and Neal can provide help in that area in a big way, but depth at OLB would have been useful, a fourth rounder for Ricky Sapp, or O'Brien Schofield or later pick for George Selvie? All were feasible options...
7. The medical staff at Lambeau must have had an input. Consider a few things:
i. No CB was selected, Pat Lee has been injured last year but that was on a kick-return in preseason - is he considered not enough of a fitness risk then? The evidence suggests that is so. Al Harris' recovery has been documented as quicker than expected, they may well expect him back near the start of the season...
ii. No OLB was selected, keen Packer fans may remember a lot of talk last year about how a little known DE converted to LB named Jeremy Thompson had really impressed the training staff before he suffered a horrible injury - do they look at him again if and when he recovers?
iii. Two D-linemen were selected. Justin Harell fetch your crutches and shut the door on your way out.
8. Why take another TE? This was the one pick I truly disliked. From what I gather he has all the talent in the world but a serious amount of off-field issues. Add to that that we already have Finley in the Antonio Gates/Tony Gonzalez role on offense, plus Donald Lee and Spencer Havner and the pick made not a lot of sense.
9. Marshall Newhouse is a really really nice pick-up that low, very athletic with lots of potential. Not an instant starter but help at guard should Spitz remain a medical problem and Colledge out of form.
10. James Starks is great value in the 6th round. As a guy who also has return potential he could really be a fantastic asset in terms of a change of pace back as well as being an instant replacement for the ponderous Jordy Nelson on kick returns.
11. The lack of OLBs selected clearly shows they like Brad Jones long term and with 4 sacks - allbeit not always rushing the passer - and stepping in ably for Kampman, it's hard to argue. Consider also that rushing the passer on Dom Capers' defense can come from the DBs and inside linebackers - something at which Nick Barnett and Brandon Chillar are excellent.
12 (and most important). Let's see who makes the roster first. Remember last year, Jamon Meredith was thought of as a steal in the later rounds as an possible OT prospect. He didn't make the 53-man roster and has since done nothing in Buffalo. Training Camp is where we'll really see what we've got our hands on...