Green Bay Packers: A Sneak Peak At GM Ted Thompson's 2011 Draft Board
Certain of you die-hard chedderheads are already speculating who Ted Thompson might have on his draft board for April.
You know who you are, the guys who have read every possible article and blog posted in both the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal and the Chicago Tribune that has any reference to this weekend's epic battle between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears.
Waiting for the kickoff this Sunday is excruciating so here's a little something to take the edge off. Here’s my prediction for the Green Bay Packers 2011 draft.
7th Round Selection, Noel Devine, RB West Virginia Mountaineers
The Packers may have caught lighting in a bottle last year with its 6th round selection of James Starks, tailback out of Buffalo.
Regardless, a change-of-pace back with punt return ability like Noel Devine of the West Virginia Mountaineers will add sizzle to the backfield.
At 5' 08" Devine may not intimidate linebackers with his size, but with 4.30 speed he'll get to the edge and leave linebackers like Brian Urlacher wondering what just blew by.
6th Round Selection, Jarvis Jenkins, DT Clemson Tigers
With Cullen Jenkins in the final year of his contract and uncertainty whether Johnny Jolly will return in 2011, following his year long suspension, the Packers will look to add depth to the defensive line.
Jarvis Jenkins anchored the Clemson Tigers defensive line that established a nasty reputation for stopping the run.
At 6 '4" and 315 pounds, Jenkins is a beast of a man and athletic which means he’ll be collapsing the pocket on Jay Cutler from the interior of the line.
5th Round Selection, Casey Matthews, ILB Oregon Ducks
It’s improbable that Green Bay will keep four inside linebackers next year all earning starting level salaries (Nick Barnett, A.J. Hawk, Desmond Bishop, Brandon Chillar).
Unfortunately fan favorite Nick Barnett, who spent most of this season on injured reserve, will be the odd man out.
Ted Thompson will look again to go young in the draft with none other than Casey Matthews, a senior at the University of Oregon.
While Casey may not have the elite speed of his older brother Clay, there’s no denying his tenacity and play-making ability that clearly runs in the family genes.
4th Round Selection, Marcus Cannon, Tackle/Guard TCU Horned Frogs
Left guard Daryn Colledge has proved adequate this year, but at 300 lbs. lacks the bulk and power to consistently smash open holes for the running game.
At 6’ 5” and 350 pounds, Marcus Cannon was a key reason why TCU was able to control the line of scrimmage on a physical Wisconsin team in this year’s Rose Bowl.
Cannon lined up at left tackle at TCU but will slide inside to the guard position on Sundays providing a boost to those 1-yard TD runs by John Kuhn.
3rd Round Selection, Dontay Moch, OLB Nevada Wolfpack
There’s no denying a tenacious quarterback hound opposite of the “ClayMaker” Matthews would strike fear in the hearts of offensive coordinators throughout the NFC North Division.
While most scouts are focused on the blue-chip recruits in the BCS conferences, the Packers will quietly steal a future pro-bowler from the University of Nevada Wolfpack by the name of Dontay Moch, a 6’ 1”, 245 pound outside linebacker who runs a legitimate 4.30 second 40.
2nd Round Selection, Gabe Carimi, Tackle Wisconsin Badgers
Kudo’s to Chad Clifton for being selected to the Pro-Bowl this year, but he’s in the twilight of his career.
Green Bay’s first round pick in 2010, Bryan Bulaga, will shift back to his natural left tackle position in 2011and the Packers will look to hometown favorite Gabe Carimi out of University of Wisconsin to anchor the right side of the offensive line.
With Carimi measuring in at 6’ 7” and 325 pounds, it's obvious why Wisconsin’s rushing attack was able to steam roll opponents last year with three 1,000 yard rushers.
1st Round Selection, Aaron Williams, CB Texas Longhorns
Green Bay’s secondary is star studded with three pro-bowl caliber players in Tramon Williams, Nick Collins and Charles Woodson.
With that said, Sir Charles, the consummate professional, would welcome the opportunity to groom his heir. The Heisman trophy recipient and last year’s Defensive Player of the Year will leave big shoes to fill which is why we reserve the 2011 first round draft pick for this purpose.
Aaron Williams, a junior at University of Texas Longhorns, has the prototypical size GM Ted Thompson likes in his cornerbacks. Williams measures in at 6’ 1” and 195 pounds. and has the speed to blanket elite NFL receivers.