Monday, May 16, 2011

NFL Draft Team Grades-Green Bay Packers

The Packers are coming off of a Super Bowl title, and this class brought them a haul of 10 players from every area of the field. If the Packers could actually get better, they could have cemented their status as a title contender for years to come. Let's see what they did to lock that down...

Round 1, Pick 32
Derek Sherrod, OT
Mississippi State

May not be a front line starter this season, but will likely be the heir apparent to Chad Clifton after this season. Clifton has reached the end of the road, but if Sherrod performs well enough whenever training camp finally occurs, he may force the Packers to make a decision on Clifton before he is ready to do it himself. In the meantime, he adds significant depth all across the line.
Final Grade: B+

Round 2, Pick Pick 32
Randall Cobb, WR

Randall Cobb is one of the more athletic players in this draft. He has been used as a WR, a RB, a QB, and a return man. He is a talent that has to be utilized in certain ways to maximize his abilities. He is a Percy Harvin styled player, and should be used in as imaginitive way possible. Cobb posted a line of 84-1017-7. He also rushed for 424 yards and 5 TDs. He racked up 736 more on kick returns, and another 219 and a score on punt returns. A real top flight weapon and talent. Kentucky will miss him.
Grade: A

Round 3, Pick 32
Alex Green, RB

Green has the size and the ability to be a force for the Packers. He fits their need to be a big power back, with the ability to be a huge factor in the passing game. He rushed for 1199 yards with 18 TDs last season for a team that throws the hell out of the ball. With Brandon Jackson likely checking out, and Ryan Grant being injury prone, Green has a huge opportunity here. The Packers have one as well.
Final Grade: A

Round 4, Pick 34 (Compensatory Selection)
Davon House, CB
New Mexico State

House played for a terrible team at NMSU, and he was not the top tier player that some thought that he may be despite the fact that he broke up 10 passes last season for the Aggies. With all of the opportunities he had, he only picked off 1 pass all season long. He is considered by some as a high risk/high reward type, and lots has to happen before we know which he'll be. He fits into Dom Capers system athletically, but the jury is out.
Final Grade: C

Round 5, Pick 10 (From 49ers, Broncos)
DJ Williams, TE

He's built more like an H-Back or a FB, and that is likely where he'll end up for the Packers, but he could be dangerous on passing downs because of his pass catching ability. He caught 54 passes last season for 627 yards and 4 scores, and has played his entire career from high school through college in pass heavy offenses, minus his first couple of seasons under Houston Nutt when the Razorbacks were forced to run with talents like Darren McFadden and Felix Jones both being on the roster. If implemented correctly, Williams could be a hig production find in the later rounds. Nice pick here.
Final Grade: A

Round 6, Pick 14 (From Miami)
Caleb Schlauderaff, OG

He'll be given an opportunity to provide some bench depth at both guard spots this season, as the Packers try to keep an infusion of youth moving into the line. Schlauderaff is not especially huge at 302, but he is athletic and has a nasty streak that the Packers love in their linemen. He will compete, and maybe down the line become a starter with hard work and development. An intriguing find in this slot.
Final Grade: B

Round 6, Pick 21
DJ Smith, LB
Appalachian State

Smith finished 2nd in the SoCon in tackles in 2010 with 144 on the season. He knows how to find his way to the football and make plays. The drawback on Smith, however, is that he finds all of his plays after the line of scrimmage, and is not a backfield attacker. That could be a problem, but he is consistent in that he misses very little after the line of scrimmage. He'll be given an opportunity on special teams, and may get a shot at backing up AJ Hawk on the outside.
Final Grade: C+

Round 6, Pick 32
Ricky Elmore, OLB/DE

Arizona has a bit of a history with seeing undersized linemen going into the NFL and moving to LB (See Tedy Bruschi). Elmore finished last season leading the Wildcats with 13 TFLs on the year and had 11 sacks. Kevin Greene loves his potential for the Packers, and will try to use him as a rush LB on passing downs, as he obviously has a strong ability to create pressure on the backfield. This could be a valuable late pickup for the Packers.
Grade: A

Round 7, Pick 15 (Through Jaguars, Dolphins)
Ryan Taylor, TE
North Carolina

Got some opportunities last season due to injuries, and made the most of his chances. Like Williams, Taylor projects to more of an H-Back role, but he has value as a pass catcher. His limited experience as a starter had him drafted this low, but with some good coaching, he may wind up being a steal. Came on strong late in the season.
Grade: B-

Round 7, Pick 30
Lawrence Guy, DT
Arizona State

He's built more like a big DE than a DT, but that's just his body type. The knock on Guy is that he really does not do anything overly well. Not a huge production guy, and not really built like a stop gap DT that can take on multiple blockers. I guess if you are finally going to whiff on a pick, it may as well be this late. Not sure what they were thinking here.
Grade: F

Players That Could Surprise
Taylor, Elmore, Schlauderaff, Williams

Players That Could Flop
Guy, Smith, House

Guaranteed To Be a Star
Cobb, Green

Guaranteed Flop

Final Team GPA
Outside of Cobb and Green, there are no sure fire hits here, and those two are only hits if they are implimented correctly, as is the case with both Williams and Taylor at TE. Some nice pieces, but no marquee type that grabs your attention. It could be a while before we know how good or bad this class can be.

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