Green Bay Packers 2011 NFL Draft Predictions: Fresh Cheese

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Green Bay Packers 2011 NFL Draft Predictions: Fresh Cheese
Matt Ludtke/Getty Images

This is how I see late April turning out for the Green Bay Packers and GM Ted Thompson:

We have all our normal picks plus an extra seventh round pick from Carolina for a long snapper and a fourth as compensation for Aaron Kampman.


First Pick:
Gabe Carimi, T, Wisconsin 
6'7”, 315 lbs, 5.10 40-Yard Dash

After drafting a OT round one last year, Ted Thompson goes with best available which just happens to be...another OT. Carimi will most likely be a RT with Bulaga taking over LT when Clifton retires, which shouldn't be more than another year.

Thompson knows that he needs to protect Aaron Rodgers and this will assure that he will be safe for a long time to come. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjPsgcj2ufI


Second Pick:
 
Benjamin Ijalana, G, Villinova 
6'4”, 320 lbs, 5.30 40-Yard Dash

Ijalana is a small school prospect, but you couldn't tell that with all of the buzz surrounding him. He is a big prospect with fast, agile feet and a strong upper body. With Josh Sitton having no one else to start at G with him, Benjamin will be a starter from day one.

He very well could become the best run blocker on the team the day he graces a Packer green and gold uniform. If Carimi/Bulaga show that they can't be the LT, then Ijalana could get looks there too. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Opf5INfXt3I

 

Third Pick:
 
Ricky Elmore, OLB, Arizona 
6'5”, 255 lbs, 4.70 40-Yard Dash

I know most of you guys here are buying all the hype surrounding Brooks Reed (and to be honest, I am too), but I still think the best OLB prospect in the Pac 10 is his teammate Ricky Elmore.

If you want to talk about motor then this kid should be in the conversation for best in college. He consistently fights through tackles to get the the QB and stop the run. He is a tremendous athlete and he explodes with straight line speed once he gets a guy in a one on one.

When he doesn't have a guy on a one on one he comes and assists, and he doesn't give up on the play because he sees his teammate go after the ball carrier. Offensive linemen have been paying a lot of attention to Elmore since his junior year. Possibly a reason why Brooks Reed got so good at one on ones, while Elmore had to run through guys to get to the passer. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtE9qFonW7s&feature=player_embedded 



Fourth Pick:
 
Tim Barnes, C, Missouri 
6'4”, 297 lbs, 5.10 40-Yard Dash

With Scott Wells being the only center returning on the roster and Newhouse as the number three guard, the Packers need depth at the center position.

Barnes was one of the best centers in the NCAA. He is probably a second tier center behind the Wiz's and the Pouncey's, but with a 4th round pick the value and need is enough to pick up fast footed Barnes. Barnes is confortable with shotgun snaps, something he did a lot of in Columbia and will be expected to do in Green Bay. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsffbaopzAo 



Fourth Pick (Kampman):
 
Courtney Smith, WR, South Alabama 
6'4”, 220 lbs, 4.50 40-Yard Dash

After James Jones leaves us we are going to need a young player that can eventually be our second or third option at WR. Smith is a perfect prospect for that. His body is huge at 6'4”, and there are very few DBs that are going to be able to out muscle him in a jump ball.

Great value here if we could snag him; he didn't have the stats because he played in a run first offense at South Alabama, but his play will make your jaw will drop. He never drops a ball, but has average speed which labels him as a “possession receiver.” That may be just what we need, already having good slot players and a deep play threat in Jennings. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPunwlFOE78 



TRADE: Ted Thompson trades fifth, sixth and seventh for a future fourth and sixth to the Carolina Panthers, who are in more need of draft picks than Green Bay is right now, adding more selection to the draft next season. 

Seventh Pick (Carolina):
 
Alex Green, RB, Hawai'i-Butte 
6'0”, 220 lbs, 4.60 40-Yard Dash

Green is a fairly unknown player. He is a running back from a pass first offense that only played for for two seasons. After transferring from Butte(alma mater of Aaron Rodgers), he was the leading back for Hawaii, possibly practicing blocking and catching more than any other running back in the NCAA. 

If Brandon Jackson leaves at the end of the year, Greene would be a perfect fit to replace him. He isn't a small back at 220, but he won't really be the power back with Kuhn still on the team. Green will be a mostly third down back featured in passing situations. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8tLLVQzDTs 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVniji1AxI0 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AYgZCDKIkY 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHi-GDdlZ4Y 

 

Depth Chart:
QB Rodgers/Flynn/Harrell 
RB Grant/Starks/Green 
FB Kuhn/Johnson 
WR Jennings/Nelson/Driver/Smith/Swain 
TE Finley/Quarless/Crabtree 
T Clifton/Bulaga/Carimi/Tauscher/Lang 
G Sitton/Ijalana/Newhouse 
C Wells/Barnes 
DE Jenkins/Jolly/Neal/Wilson 
NT Raji/Pickett/Green 
OLB Matthews/Elmore/Jones/Zombo 
ILB Hawk/Bishop/Barnett/Chillar 
CB Woodson/Williams/Shields/Bush/Lee 
FS Collins/Martin 
SS Burnett/Peprah 
K Crosby 
P Masthay 
LS Goode 

Anyone not on the depth chart above is not brought back by either cuts or free agency.

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