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First-Year Grades for Green Bay Packers' 2013 Draft Class

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First-Year Grades for Green Bay Packers' 2013 Draft Class

Several strong pieces looking back on the 2013 NFL draft hit the web this week, including Mel Kiper's regrading of the entire class of rookies and Don Banks' redrafting of the first round. Both are strong pieces worth checking out, although Kiper's is behind the ESPN Insider paywall.

Looking back on the Green Bay Packers' class of first-year players was something I've been wanting to do since the season ended, so I'll add my thoughts to the crowded mix already out there. Here's my look back at the Packers' rookies in 2013.

Note: Grades are determined by impact, playing time, expectations and draft position. All snap counts provided are via Pro Football Focus. 

DE Datone Jones (1.26)

When the Packers selected the 6'4", 285-pound Jones in the first round last April, it was easy to envision his frame and experience in the 3-4 defense allowing the possibility of Jones becoming an every-down player right away. That didn't happen in 2013. Jones suffered an ankle injury early in training camp and then became nothing more than a situational player as a rookie. He finished with 3.5 sacks and 18 quarterback disruptions—both second among the Packers defensive linemen—while playing just 263 snaps, including less than 10 per game over the final five weeks. The Packers rarely trusted him in the base defense, likely because his weight still isn't at a level where he could consistently anchor at the five-technique. Filling out his frame should be on Jones' to-do list this offseason. He did show flashes of pass-rushing ability in subpackages, but he'll need to beef up to handle a significant uptick in snaps. Looming losses along the defensive line might force an acceleration of his development. The Packers need a lot more from him in 2014. Grade: C-

RB Eddie Lacy (2.61)

Lacy joined Nick Collins, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb as second-round home runs for Ted Thompson. While 60 players went in front of him, Lacy had few rivals in terms of impact or production. The former Alabama back spearheaded Green Bay's rushing revival, carrying 284 times for 1,178 yards (eighth in the NFL) and 11 touchdowns (third) to fuel the league's seventh-best rushing offense. He broke 61 tackles, averaged 2.28 yards after contact, caught 35 passes and allowed just three quarterback disruptions. He's the complete package. His production would have been even greater had he not suffered a concussion that cost him most of two games or an ankle injury that slowed him down late in the season. A second coming of Marshawn Lynch, Lacy and his impact were good for two or three wins. There may not be more than a handful of NFL backs you'd want over Lacy during the next five or six seasons. Grade: A+

OT David Bakhtiari (4. 109)

A total of seven offensive tackles were drafted ahead of Bakhtiari in April. Of the seven, zero played more snaps than Bakhtiari's 1,138 and zero started more than five games at left tackle, which he did 16 times. D.J. Fluker and Lane Johnson had strong opening campaigns, but both played primarily at right tackle, the less stressful of the two tackle positions. Bakhtiari held down the blindside for the Packers and was arguably one of the two best rookie tackles. In fact, he got my vote as an All-Rookie tackle on both my B/R and PFWA award ballots. There were a few hiccups from Bakhtiari—most notably in San Francisco, Cincinnati and Detroit—but he handled himself well in an emergency situation and against a litany of top pass rushers. Now, the Packers have the option of developing him on the left side and repositioning Bryan Bulaga back at right tackle. Can't ask for much more from a fourth-rounder who wasn't expected to play in 2013. Grade: A

OL J.C. Tretter (4.122)

Tretter's season all but ended before it ever got started, as he broke his ankle during a May minicamp and was later placed on the PUP list to start the season. He eventually returned to the active roster but never saw the field. There was never an expectation that he'd play in 2013 anyway. If free-agent Evan Dietrich-Smith leaves, there's a possibility that Tretter could be the opening day starter at center in 2014. The Packers are grooming him there. His college experience came at left tackle and tight end. We'll reserve judgment until Tretter gets a healthy training camp. Grade: Incomplete

RB Johnathan Franklin (4.125)

A jitterbug back with receiving chops and crazy college production, Franklin had some thinking early on that he could challenge Lacy as the Packers' go-to rookie. That perception suffered a swift death in camp and the preseason, when the pro game initially looked a little too fast for Franklin. He ran hesitantly and his ability as a receiver was all but voided when the Packers found out they couldn't trust him in pass protection. Buried as the No. 3 back to start the season, Franklin exploded in Cincinnati when injuries decimated the Packers backfield. He ran for 103 yards on just 13 carries, with 79 coming after contact and a long run of 51 yards. But his fumble on fourth down late in the game cost the Packers a win. The special teams unit got almost nothing from him as a returner, too. He landed on injured reserve with a concussion in late November. The Packers will expect a jump during his sophomore season, when he could help replace free agent James Starks. Grade: C-

CB Micah Hyde (5.159)

Drafted into a loaded position, Hyde stepped on the field for the first day of Packers training camp and immediately looked like he belonged. An injury to Casey Hayward and the inconsistent play of Davon House ensured Hyde would play a significant role in 2013. He saw 428 snaps and finished second in overall grade and third in total stops among Green Bay's defensive backs, per PFF. Hyde also brought stability to the Packers return game, averaging 24.1 yards per kick return and 12.3 yard per punt return, fifth-best in the NFL. His 93-yard punt return for a touchdown was the third longest in franchise history and the team's longest since 2007. He nearly tied the game against Pittsburgh with a late 70-yard kick return. He also made seven tackles covering kicks and punts. Most will remember his dropped interception in the Wild Card round, but Hyde was asked to do more than almost every other fifth-rounder in this draft, and he handled each of those roles without much of an issue. Grade: B+

DL Josh Boyd (5.167)

By the end of the season, Boyd was playing more snaps than Green Bay's first-round pick. That was partly due to injuries and positional fit, but also because Boyd earned the opportunities. He's big, quicker than expected and a handful up front when he played low and understood his gap responsibilities. Over his 117 snaps, Boyd produced five quarterback disruptions and three stops. With a full offseason ahead of him, there's a chance he could make a Mike Daniels-esque jump in 2014. In fact, it wouldn't be at all surprising if he plays more snaps than Datone Jones next season, especially if the Packers lose any combination of Ryan Pickett, B.J. Raji and Johnny Jolly. Dom Capers likes the wide-bodied Boyd against the run. That guarantees he'll see more of the field as a second-year player. Grade: C+

OLB Nate Palmer (6.193)

The Packers gave Palmer a long look at outside once Clay Matthews and Nick Perry both suffered injuries mid-way through the season. The sixth-rounder played all 200 of his defensive snaps between Week 6 and 11, but the results were marginal. He produced just four quarterback disruptions and eight stops, and by the end of the season, undrafted free agent Andy Mulumba was receiving the defensive reps instead. Six times over the last seven games, the Packers declared Palmer inactive. That was somewhat telling for a team so banged up at outside linebacker. He couldn't even find a role on special teams. Kevin Greene pounded the table for Palmer back in April, but he'll likely be fighting for a roster spot come this summer. Grade: D

WR Charles Johnson (7.216)

A rare combination of size, straight-line speed and jumping ability, Johnson dealt with injuries throughout training camp and eventually wound up on the Packers practice squad, where the Cleveland Browns poached him in early October. It was later discovered that Johnson had a torn ACL and he missed the rest of the season. He would have been an interesting player to see develop in the Packers receiver-friendly system, but that's life for a seventh-rounder who couldn't make it through his first camp healthy. Grade: N/A

WR Kevin Dorsey (7.224)

Like Johnson, Dorsey dealt with a hamstring injury in camp that all but eliminated the chance of him making the roster. He was later placed on injured reserve, which gives the Packers a chance to get a second look at him this summer. He has the size and speed to challenge for a roster spot. We'll see how much he gained from a redshirt year. Grade: Incomplete

LB Sam Barrington (7.232)

The Packers gave Barrington just one snap on defense, which came against Cleveland in Week 7. In the meantime, he instead started entrenching himself as a core special teams player before a hamstring injury struck in Week 8. The Packers put him on injured reserve in early November. He was one of Green Bay's more active defensive players during the exhibition season. He'll still enter 2014 behind several inside linebackers. But if the Packers don't tender restricted free agent Jamari Lattimore, it could telling for how highly they think of him. Grade: C

UDFAs

As is the case every year, Thompson managed to pluck a few college free agents who eventually made the Packers 53-man roster. Andy Mulumba, Chris Banjo and Lane Taylor all earned initial roster invites in Green Bay after originally going undrafted. Mulumba played over 300 snaps at outside linebacker but was a non-factor as a pass-rusher. He competed against the run but needs significant development getting to the quarterback. Banjo received a handful of snaps for a bad safety group but eventually became one the team's better special teams players, registering nine total tackles with zero misses. Taylor played 14 total snaps over three games, including nine during the Detroit debacle. Myles White eventually played 125 snaps at receiver but caught just nine passes for 66 yards. He's limited because of his size. Tight end Jake Stoneburner was active for 11 of the final 12 games, but he played just nine snaps on offense and eventually became a liability on special teams. There obviously wasn't a Sam Shields in the group, but getting contributions from five college free agents isn't bad for a team that made the postseason. Grade: C+

Zach Kruse is a 25-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covered prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at zachkruse2@gmail.com.

Comments (93)

mark's picture

I'm in general agreement with these assessments, though I would give higher marks to both Boyd (B) and Mulumba.

With respect to young players, next year is put-up-or-shut-up time for Jerel Worthy, Nick Perry and Datone Jones. Those are three very high picks who need to take the next step. I hope all 3 put in serious work this off-season.

Evan's picture

Make or break year for Perry, sure. He needs to play all 16 games.

But Worthy? No. Not with the injury.

And Datone? Please. He needs to step up, yeah, but year 2 is hardly a make or break it year for him.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Great read Zach.
Overall, I really agree with the grades. I think they are spot on.

I think top to bottom this is one of Thompsons best overall drafts.

There are 5 potential starters out of this draft class. Jones, Lacy, Bakhtiari Hyde, Boyd.
We could potentially add Tretter to that list, but I kept him off since we haven't seen him play yet.
Also add in Franklin who did flash talent and could develop into a very good change of pace RB to Lacy.

I can't wait to see how these guys do in year 2.

Clay's picture

For Zach and whomever, I really need help understanding how Datone Jones is suddenly the wrong size. Every article had him as 'ideal size' for 3-4 defensive end coming out of the draft. The whole size with respect to position thing is getting so old for me in general. I think it's better to look at the actual players who dominate a respective position and look at their measurables. You might be surprised. Two examples: JJ Watt (6'5" 189) Justin Smith (6'4" 185) ....those guys play the same position in the same defense and are dominant AND seem to have no problem with the run! Also people keep saying the Pack needs to get bigger in the lines bla bla. I've looked it up and the Pack is not lacking for size on either line (except maybe at center). Here's another example: Seattle's safety...I believe Earl Thomas (?) is lighter and smaller than Tinkerbell! Ok I overstate...but he and Micah Hyde are clones in measurables.
So yea I guess this is leading up to does size matter... Nyuck nyuck.
But seriously I hope someone can explain or see my logic. It's a convenient explanation to say Datone is too light, when if you compare him to the best at his position, he's FINE. Earl Thompson IS undersized but in the running for defenseman of the year.
I'm not a TT basher, but in the case of Datone Jones I'm just going to say guy needs to get BETTER not bigger, or I will consider it a wasted first round pick. We need him badly to step up.
Thanks for reading my rant if you got this far. That issue is my question of the off season.

Evan's picture

"Two examples: JJ Watt (6’5? 189) Justin Smith (6’4? 185)..."

Those are two skinny dudes.

But, I agree about Datone. His measurables are right in line with Watt and Smith. But remember, neither Smith nor Watt set the world on fire their rookie seasons either. It takes time for d-linemen. You're right - he needs to get better, not bigger.

Clay's picture

Thanks Evan. They may be skinny but they dominate. That's my point. That's why I don't buy that he needs to get bigger...fine add 8 pounds of muscle, but it's really about him simply improving. Let's hope he does.

Evan's picture

"They may be skinny but they dominate..."

I was just making a joke - you wrote 189 and 185 instead of 289 and 285.

Clay's picture

Haha damn oops!!!! And I worked so hard to put that together...DUH! Yea I guess in that case Datone needs to add about a buck!

RC Packer Fan's picture

I don't know for sure, but I heard that Jones was losing weight throughout the year. That is why he was to light.

He wasn't able to anchor as well as others.

I really believe he will be fine. Most rookies d-lineman don't come in and perform well their rookie year. That is one of the toughest positions for rookies to come in and play well.

Just give the guy time. He has shown potential, especially as a pass rusher and that is what you hope for. I expect him to take a big jump in year 2.

Evan's picture

"I don’t know for sure, but I heard that Jones was losing weight throughout the year. That is why he was to light."

I hadn't heard that, but I wouldn't be surprised. I believe maintaining weight is often an issue for a lot of rookies.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I heard it. I don't know if its true or not.

You are correct. Maintaining weight is tough for rookies. An offseason in the weight room and better nutrition will help him out a lot.

I really think we will see a much improved player in year 2.

Stroh's picture

Its not unusual for rookies to have problems maintaining weight during a season. Heck even vets have an issue w/ that to some degree. But as the rookies mature and fill out it helps maintain the weight and learning how much you have to eat and drink helps a lot. Football players eat an insane amount of calories a day. Upwards of 8 - 10,000 calories a day in most cases. Its actually very difficult to force yourself to eat that much. Even mature physically active men take in only about 1/3 that amount. IMO that's what rookies have to learn to do and its hard.

MarkinMadison's picture

I'm not the best at Xs and Os by a long shot, especially when it comes to other teams, but there are different types of 3-4 defenses. Some focus more on DL penetration, others on having the DL eat blockers. I believe that Houston is in more the penetration category. So it may be a little simple to look at Watt, because he may be being asked to do different things. Smith I think is a bit more of an eater, but I'm not sure about that, and he may just be stronger than Jones at this point, even if the weights are comparable. The Packers are definitely more of a block-eating DL, and so Jones needs (in my view) to add more weight in order to do what the Packers are asking him to do - eat up 1-2 linemen to free the LBs to make plays.

Clay's picture

I agree with you Mark although it seems like Smith does it all; getting to the passer AND stuffing the run.

It is possible to pack more raw strength per pound, so yea agreed guys can be same size but different strength.

But that leaves me back at why does does the Pack seem to pick guys and then try to adapt or change them???

Jones isn't going to become a 300 plus lb guy. Supposedly his game is speed.

I just don't get it. But again I'm not hating. I know their front office has these conversations at a much higher level. Just wish I could really know their thinking is.

Phatgzus's picture

Justin Smith is possibly the greatest of his generation, and that's all I have to say about that.

cLowNEY42's picture

Why would you pick an undersized (for 3/4 DE) player in the first round if all you wanted them to do was hold up blockers?

Couldn't you find big space eaters later in the draft?

I sure hope that's not what they have planned for Jones... If it is then they drafted the wrong guy for the job.

Let guys use their talents.

Man - I hate the personnel they have for this 3/4. They just don't have the guys to play it.

They really only have one TRUE OLB (the rest would be better served playing end in a 4/3), their best DL'men (Raji, Jones, Daniels) are NOT " 2-gappers", their ILB's are light.

I wish they would move to a 4/3... not because I like it better than the 3/4... simply because I think their players are better suited for it

...All except Matthews, that is.

al fresca's picture

I agree. The 3/4 can be effective but you have to have the right guys with the right skill sets. From my standpoint, and you can all say I'm full of it, but I don't see us in a 3/4. I've watched true 3-4 teams and often the linebackers drop back in coverage on pass plays. We really are rushing 5 guys most of the time: Mathews, whomever is on the other side, Jolly, Pickett and Raji. So were short a linebacker with 3 actually playing linebacker. I don't get it.
I do agree with one statement from Vic, three four teams save a lot of money by not having to draft the very talented and expensive defensive ends.

Stroh's picture

Al... Our rush guys are certainly not Raji Pickett and Jolly. Generally we rush w/ 4. 2 DT among them Daniels, Jones, Raji. Neal was originally supposed to rush from DT also, but the injuries to Matthews and Perry forced him to rush as a LB instead. The rush LB being mostly Matthews Perry Neal and sometime Mulumba.

Maybe we don't have to pay the really expensive 43 DE's but we still have to pay the OLB (a la Matthews). I guess it might save a little money, but I don't know its that much. Either way playmakers are going to have to get paid. Doesn't matter if its DE or OLB. Matthews contract averages a bit over 13M per. Jared Allen's averaged a bit under 13M.

Evan's picture

That's a good point, Mark.

Stroh's picture

Your right about the different 34 D's. The Capers/LeBeau version asks DL to take on a lot of blockers. Hence Pickett and Raji having very low numbers. The other version is the Wade Phillips version which allows the DL to only be responsible for one gap, as opposed to 2 gaps as the Packers do.

Datone was drafted to be the Packers version of JJ Watt and Justin Smith. However remember what Cullen Jenkins looked like when he was in the Packers scheme. As the RDE Jenkins had more freedom and opportunities to attack and make plays. Jones was drafted to play in that mold. I think he'll probably play at about 290 in '14.

cLowNEY42's picture

I don't think where a player was drafted should be factored into the grading system.

Just grade the performance of the player regardless of how/when he was acquired.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I sort of agree with you. I think...

Can you give an example.

cLowNEY42's picture

Example - Barrington gets a C mainly because, as the 232nd pick, he had zero expectations... but he did not provide C level production for the team... he didn't really do anything.

Take it further...
Hawk and Jones are both classic C level players at ILB but Jones was picked in the 7th round while Hawk was drafted in the 1st. If you factored their draft positions into their grading Jones would have to receive a much higher grade than Hawk.

Just too complicated.

Bakhtiari exceeded expectations but as a starting NFL LT he's not an "A" player.

Are you grading the PLAYER or are you grading the PICK. Two completely different things.

Evan's picture

I get what you're saying. But I think 1 year removed, factoring in draft position is fine. For rookies, expectations play a big factor.

As you move further into a player's career, then, yeah, draft position becomes meaningless and you evaluate the performance.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Ok, yeah, I get what your saying, but I tend to disagree with you for the most part.

When grading a draft especially this early, you have to factor in where they were picked as well as the players production. You can't come in expecting a 7th round player to be a starter immediately in the league. That's why if a 7th round comes in and performs well they generally get a higher grade.

Bakhtiari might not be Joe Thomas, but he far exceeded expectations and was the only rookie OT to start every game at LT this year. (playing well overall). That means that that pick was an A grade.

Its hard to grade a draft 1 year out because we have only seen them play 1 season. Its why they usually say it takes 3 years to grade a draft. By then you have a body of work on them.

C's picture

By this logic every single draft class with every single team is an aggregate 'F'.

cLowNEY42's picture

All I'm saying is... grade the PICK not the PLAYER.

Jamie's picture

That's the troll's point. Well maybe not giving them all an F, but indirectly suggesting all/most all grades Zach handed out should be lower.

Shocking.

Phatgzus's picture

I take draft grades to mean grading of the pick.

Cole's picture

This was a great draft. I still think Franklin is going to be great. Him and Lacy will be the best starting combo in the league.

Also, I think Perry really was starting to play great until that foot injury. It's unfortunate.

Hyde and Bak were great finds! And I think Datone will be fine.

We really could be poised for a SB run next year if we can somehow(please lord) stay healthy.

Hank Scorpio's picture

If Franklin can solve his fumble issues and stay healthy, he and Lacy are the classic "Thunder and Lighting" backfield combo.

If TE is problematic (which based on current personnel it would be), a 3 WR set with both in the backfield is one heck of potent offense skill set. Especially with Rodgers pulling the trigger on where the ball goes.

MarkinMadison's picture

Lacy fumbled in his first start too. I'm not ready to label Franklin as a fumbler just yet. Guys need to get used to the way defenses go after the ball at the NFL level. (Well, defenses not wearing Green and Gold.)

Hank Scorpio's picture

Mark,

I agree. Lots of younger guys need to adjust to increased demands of ball security. Many do. Some don't. I don't think it is a huge issue but it did eat into his playing time prior to the injury.

Nick Perry's picture

Franklin had fumbling issues at UCLA until his Senior season. His first 3 seasons at UCLA he fumbled, A LOT! Fumbles put you in MM doghouse faster than just about anything and I felt bad for the kid after the Bengal game. He'll fix the problem just like he did his Senior season at UCLA. He'll be the perfect change of pace guy to Lacy, and a excellent toy for MM to get involved.
With Datone I can't believe the negative crap fans have heaped on him . Considering the defense gave up 579 yards in the final game of 2012, did you really believe the 27th player picked was going to save the defense? Give the kid more than a year. I still think Jones was the perfect pick for the Packers.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Remember when Adrian Peterson came into the league he was a fumbler. He fumbled a lot. In his first 3 seasons he fumbled the ball 20 times, lost 13.
Since then, in the next 4 years he has fumbled the ball 11 times, lost 6.

Players learn how to adapt. Most Packer fans remember one of the biggest known fumblers and that was Ahman Green. Hell he was traded because of it.

I like Franklin a lot actually. He like a lot of young players needs to learn to hold onto the ball better, and I think he will. He did clean it up as a senior at UCLA. I think he will do that again.

Stroh's picture

Franklin isn't a gamebreaking RB either. He's a role player and he won't be given 3 years to work out his fumbling issue. You put up w/ some fumbles is the RB is a great player (Ahman Green), but you don't if its a role player. Franklin better get that figured out this year or he won't have THIS year!

RC Packer Fan's picture

See I disagree that he isn't a game breaker. He has home run type of speed and that makes him a game breaker.
But yes, I agree with you about the role player part.
He will only be a role player with Lacy. He will be the change of pace player to Lacy.

I agree with you on his fumbling though. He won't have as many opportunity's to clean them up.

I was just giving some examples of young players that came into the league that had fumbling issues that corrected it.

Sven's picture

Franklin has alot of work infront of him. Dujaun Harris is that change-of-pace back going into the season. He was glued to McCarthy on the side lines in 2013.

I have high hopes for franklin, but don't envy him the challenge infront of him.

Truly, a great draft class. Hyde and Bak where surprises. Lacy goes without saying.

cLowNEY42's picture

I know I've been pegged as a Franklin hater (probably because I disagreed with the pick from the get go) but, initially I was a bit excited about him... until I witnessed a few live practices.

That dude is REALLY small.
Waist.
Hips.
Thighs.

I'm very skeptical that he'll ever become a contributing player.

He's no MJD or Sproles... those guys are much more compact.

C's picture

LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Reggie Bush, C.J. Spiller, Andre Ellington, Bobby Rainy and Monte Ball just to name a few. All the same size/build, some smaller. All had in excess of 500 yards. He's more than capable of adding 500 total yards to this offense, and that would be a win as a 4th round pick and un-featured back.

cLowNEY42's picture

Can he get 500 overall yds/season?
Sure.

I was under the impression that some on this board thought more highly of him.

I must have been mistaken.

I can agree with this assessment.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Cole, For the most part, I agree with all the comments here. I have got to believe there is another SB in our near future, & could very well be next year?? I know some will disagree, but I think we were close this year, even as poor as our Defense was. Should any of you want to venture a few $$$, now would be the time to do it, if you can get a bet down.
GB is on the board in Las Vegas @ 20-1 to
win next years SB. If you wait till September, I would guess they'll be down to 4 or 5 to 1. At 20-1, there will be a few of my dollars on them. I think it's the Best Bet on the board. JMO

Arlo's picture

Cole

"I think Datone will be fine."

I keep reading how everything will always "be fine". What does that even mean? ---- He's a 1st round pick. Does that mean he'll play like a 1st round pick? Will he ultimately be an impact player? Pro-Bowls? All-Pro?

He'll be fine. Makes no sense, at all. Sorry.

4thand1's picture

Fine to me usually means average. Nobody wants average in a 1st round pick. But, that's one person's evaluation of a player. If he doesn't contribute a lot next year or two, then its a wasted 1st round pick, IMO. Nobody will know untill then.

Nick Perry's picture

I think it means if you thought he'd save the defense in 2013, your sights were a tad high. After all this was a defense that gave up 579 yards in their last game of the 2012 season. Did I expect more? Sure, but I also think he was the perfect pick where the Packers took him. Look at the guys taken just before and after him. Jones actually had MORE sacks that Warner and Williams. If your pissed, be pissed we didn't take a safety, not at Jones.

Phatgzus's picture

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Duujuan Harris.

Kt's picture

Giving respect to draft position, I believe Hyde deserves a solid A. He is one of only a few Packers who seemed to tackle well. Often, where he made initial contact was where the play ended, very few yards after contact. Too bad he didn't make the interception, but at least he made the deflection.

Arlo's picture

Certainly Lacy, Bak and Hyde (somewhat) made an impact on season 2013. The rest of that draft class is a complete toss-up. What happens if none of the rest (Jones, Boyd, Franklin, Palmer, etc.) step up from year 1 to year 2? ---- 2011 is a lost draft. 2012 needs major player improvement or it will end up similar to 2011's disaster.

Where is this talent and depth coming from that is going to put the Pack over the top in season 2014 (SB?). --- Some of you are talking SB in 2014. The present 53 needs some major adjustments to ever see the SB.

Don't deny 8-8-1. It's reality.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Arlo, I can't disagree with what you're saying. I'm one who is thinking SB in 2015. I like GB at 20-1 no matter who's on the field? JMO

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

P.S. As long as ARod is one of them.

Arlo's picture

Agree. AR has to start & play 16 games in 2014 for GB to be a factor. However, it won't matter if the D remains a liability. The playoffs will again be 'one & done'.

I'm think'in (also) 2015 or even 2016 before GB returns to an elite status in the NFL.

IMO, TT has to leave first. A bolder & more flexible GM needs to run the operation. TT is old and stuck in his ways. MM and his comrades may even have to be replaced. However, HCs are a dime a dozen so it's really less important in the equation.

I'm going to be pissed if AR as a Packer never sees another SB.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Arlo, I agree 1000% with your last sentence. I will be pissed as well. I just don't see that happening, that's why I keep Future Betting GB.
I don't follow the drafts, like it seems everyone does here. I'm not qualified to judge GB's management.
We seem to win the North just about every year. In all Honesty, if you go back to the so called Glory Day's of the Packers, winning the north as we do, should be a good indication of our Coach & GM. There was a long time, we couldn't seem to win a game. I do agree with you, if AR doesn't win several more SB's, looking back, I'll be the 1st to say, Something Was Wrong. JMO

4thand1's picture

Nice response Tom. I think what the Packers went through this year will make them better. They didn't quit, even though the Lion's game it looked like they did. It was one game, that shit happens to every team.

4thand1's picture

Tom, when you bet, do you usually bet on points spreads? Weather or not a team covers?

Nick Perry's picture

Reality is Shields, Matthews, Neal, Jolly, Hayward, Finley, and Bulaga all out of the Playoff game. Well with the exception of a few snaps played by Shields and Neal. Another 10 or so core players on IR. Or the few that came off like Worthy or Sherrod who should have just stayed on IR.

More reality? Cobb at about 80%, Rodgers in his 2nd game back, James Jones and Nick Perry at far less than 100%. At some point injuries ARE a excuse.

Stroh's picture

8-8 is only reality if Rodgers is hurt for 1/2 the year every year! If Rodgers was healthy the Packers overcome all the other injuries to Bulaga, Cobb, Finley, Matthews, Perry, Hayward etc. to finish 12-4. That is every bit as much reality as 8-8! Packers may not be a SB favorite but they are in the top 5 or so and have legitimate SB aspirations!

Point Packer's picture

Giving Do Nothing Jones a C- is being generous.

4thand1's picture

Noboby wins the SB every year. Its the cap era. IMO the best thing is to stay healthy with your core players, meaning your star players. That didn't happen this year. To the some old beating a dead horse people, do I have to name you? TT isn't the problem. So STFP.

Arlo's picture

TT's not the problem?? You wonder why GB constantly struggles to put a viable defense on the field.

Here's the list of 36 draftees TT has made on defense in his 9 drafts. Easy to see why GB's D is missing in action most of the time.

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/draft-finder.cgi?reques...

4thand1's picture

Yeah TT is solely responsible for picking players. No one else is involved. Send him an e-mail and advise him. Maybe with your personal knowledge you can make a difference. He's a GM for a reason and your ......what?

Arlo's picture

TT gets paid a truckload of money to be a GM. The buck has to stop on his desk. That's his job.

I'm a football fan and have nothing to do with anything TT or the Packers do or don't do. (same with you). Who I am has zero to do with any of this. (except the fan part)

Your constant defense of TT is a little disturbing.

Try objectivity for a change.--- You may not reek of the smell of troll as much as you do now.

Stroh's picture

Objectively the Packers are the only team in the past 5 yrs to make the playoff every year and have a SB ring as well! Try that objectivity on for size! I guess all the other GM's need to take lessons from Thompson. LMFAO

I'm not saying he's perfect, but making the playoffs and winning SB's define the GM. Seems you've lost site of reality!

Arlo's picture

Not at all, Strohman.
I'm only concerned about where an 8-8-1 season is leading to.

SB in 2014? --- I doubt it. The responsibility is on TT, where it belongs. --- That's today's reality. History lessons are for those living in the past.

Stroh's picture

With a healthy Rodgers a full season this time and another year of Lacy, along w/ continued development by a host of young defensive players the Packers are heading for another NFCN title, a long post-season run and a possible SB appearance.

That's where it leading to!

Phatgzus's picture

If you're gonna Analy deft picks you should probably include undrafted free agents as well, to avoid bias and present the complete picture and whatnot.

Digital Tucker Hero's picture

Two cows > one arlo

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

4thand1, Thanks for the Nice reply. I do think maybe we've gotten a little spoiled, having had 3 Great QB'S in a row. I'll probably get flack on this one, but I think Majakowski, was just as good as Favre & Rodgers. He just never got the team around him. Somehow, we also had a number of Pretty Good back-ups along the way. Those 3 guy's have raised the bar a lot higher than it is in Chicago, Detroit, or that other place. Having said that, We do need to do 2 things, & quick. We need to get & stay Healthy, & we need to make changes to our defense. At some point, if we get Healthy, & the defense doesn't change, someone has to take the fall. IMO, we haven't had what I'd call a Solid defense since we had Reggie on one side, & Sean Jones on the other. Our defense needs to become a force, next year already. I'm not sure that is possible, but that is what GB needs. JMO

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

4thand1, Always on point spreads, but using the spread, I try to go against where I think most other people are betting. IMO it's your only chance of winning. The line is designed to get you to bet wrong. As I've said a number of times, look how many times the line turns out to be wrong. They don't make it easy to see, & there are a number of different (Major) ways of betting, but Las Vegas always wins. I'd like to say more, but not here. I've had Amazing Success going against the grain. I don't bet the GB game, because you can't put your head where your heart is. Just as an example, the year GB won the SB, we were a 6 seed, on the road, & the $$$ was the other way, every game, including the SB. We won them all. Same way with NY at GB, the $$$ was on us, we Lost. 15-1, we Lost. No SB Champion has won even 1 playoff game since 2004. For some reason, the $$$ always seems to be wrong. Have you noticed, No one in or connected to the NFL can use the "G" word?? That includes newscasters. The NFL or Las Vegas has control over our local sports people. They can lose their jobs, for speaking out against calls, or mentioning PT Spreads & Gambling. I've probably said enough.

4thand1's picture

TY. I've noticed a lot of what you're saying. No need to say more. One thing I do know is you can't bet with your heart. Safety and ILB coming soon( I hope). C.J. Mosley. 1st round . Trade up Ted.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

4thand1, I am REALLY CONCERNED with CM.
I've had a thumb injury, no where's near as serious as his. It takes a long time to heal. His injury Scares me. When you're talking Pins & whatever, that's pretty serious. I wrestled with a Bad Hand. I wouldn't be surprised if he played from now on, with his hand & thumb taped together. I'm sure they'll do what's best for him. I don't want to pretend to be a doctor, but I'll be relieved when I hear CM say he's 100%.

4thand1's picture

Yeah, that shot of him on the sideline with his head down, I knew he was done for the year. Maybe they should have put him on IR. But, its like the season, they went all out. That Bear game was great. That's what's great about football. Even some of the experts on NFL network were saying to sit AR. We would have missed a great game. The Bears still suck.

Stroh's picture

I had the exact same thumb injury as Matthews (Bennetts fracture right thumb). By 3 months I was able to do the things I had always done and by 5 months just as well as before. A thumb injury doesn't take that much time. Matthews is about 1/2 my age too and mine happened about 2 yrs ago. There are going to be no issues w/ Matthews thumb whatsoever! It won't even impact his offseason training much. He's about 6 weeks removed from the 2nd surgery, so in another couple weeks he'll be out of the cast for sure.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Stroh, Did you have pins put in ect.?? Do they then remove those pins? Hard to believe that thumb can heal up without any issues? I hope that's the case. In his line of work, I would think that thumb is always going to be suspect, after 2 such serious breaks.

Stroh's picture

Yes I had pins. Still do actually... No big deal. They didn't remove my pins but if necessary they will. Was told that they might eventually work their way out and towards the surface of the skin. If they do they'll take them out then, but its not necessary for now. Maybe in late adulthood some arthritis but none now. Dr/surgeon said possible loss of 5% or less mobility, but not enough to mean any restrictions or limitations of any kind.

I'm not sure about the 2nd break but given that the first one really wasn't completely healed and it was a rebreak of the same injury, just surgery, put in new pins to replace the old, which didn't hold and the recovery shouldn't be any different.

Phatgzus's picture

I would love it if they could somehow get Mosely and Donald, or Donald and Borland.

cLowNEY42's picture

Been reading/hearing a lot about this Jordan Zumwalt character… so I went and checked out some of his highlight tapes.

While I understand that highlight tapes are just that… HIGHLIGHT tapes, I can honestly say that I have never wanted any college player to be a Packer more than I want Jordan Zumwalt to be a Packer.

He is exactly what this defense needs.
Fluid
Powerful
Relentless
Smart
Instinctive
Excited

Get.
This.
Guy.

I’m also starting to love Christian Jones.

4thand1's picture

The talk about him a lot on GB's web site. They're high on him too. I still want Mosley. Total package.

cLowNEY42's picture

I don't think Mosley will be there for them @ 21 and they have to many holes on the roster to be giving away picks to move up.

4thand1's picture

Take mock drafts for what they're worth, but I've looked at a lot of them and Mosley is still there at 21. The Pack has 9 picks, hate to give away a 3rd to move up but they need another impact player now. If he's there and TT passes on him, I'll bash the F out of him too. For a while anyway HA! Its going to come down to the dam Combine and the #'s he puts up.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I look at Mocks this way. I usually only look at mocks from people I respect in scouting seriously.
And inside of that, I look at where they have people going. Some peoples views of a guy are different then others.
I seen some saying Mosley would be a top 10 pick some thing he will go around 21.
That to me just means that they either think teams will go in another way or they don't think as highly of Mosley as other players.

It is early to try and put a projection on a player when we haven't hit the combine yet. But really most of the players won't change that much from now till then anyways. Some will move way up and some will drop a lot but in general most will be rated close to where they are rated now.

Stroh's picture

The mock drafts have Mosley as a 50/50 shot of being available at the Packers pick, at least just going by CBS and NFL sites. Surprisingly none of the mocks have the Packers taking Mosley even if he is available. He goes as high as #9 and as low as 26. I love his game and he would be my favorite at the moment if available. I'm also a big fan of Christian Jones. Every bit as athletic as Mosley just not as instinctive or accomplished yet. He would be a GREAT pick in the 3rd. Zumwalt is kinda tall 6'4 and light 231. I'm not sold yet... I know he's having a good Sr Bowl. Still looks like a 4th rd pick to me. We'll see...

4thand1's picture

I'll never forget Ted Hendricks.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I like Zumwalt. He is a physical player who has good speed and he hits like a truck.

But the guy who I love is Borland. If you watched him at the Senior Bowl, you saw him doing the same things that we saw him at UW.
The thing that he proved to me was that he was able to drop in coverage and be able to play in space. That was my biggest concern of him.

His instincts and awareness are off the charts. He is almost always in spot to make a play. He is always near the ball..
He has a very good ability to get around/through blockers to make a stop on the ball carrier.

Here is a tweet from Todd McShay-
WISC LB Borland is an animal. Great instincts. Strong this wk as rusher and in cvg. Doesn't have measurables but who cares. He's a player!

I know a lot of people don't like him because of his size, but his instincts make up for his lack of size.

cLowNEY42's picture

If the Packers' Dline didn't suck so bad I'd be all for drafting Borland. If he played on this team he'd be dealing with Guards and Centers all day long. This DLine is not capable of keeping their LB's clean.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Can't that be said for any LB they would draft?

That being said. If you watch Borland, he fights his way through traffic. He does a very good job of getting through blockers, either getting there before the blocker gets to him or gets around the blocks. He doesn't get blocked out of the play very often.

cLowNEY42's picture

I don't think he has the size to deal with that for an entire game. They need stouter ILB's.

RC Packer Fan's picture

That's why he will be dropped in the draft is because of his size.

I would have absolutely no problem taking him in the 2nd round.

Patrick Willis who some consider the best ILB in the game today measured in at the combine at 6'1-3/4" 242 lbs.

Borland measured in at the Senior Bowl at 5'11-3/8" 248 lbs. He is 2 1/2" shorter, but weight wise he is bigger.

Mike Mayock said that if he was 3" taller he would be a top 10 pick.
What did they say about Russell Wilson. If he was 3" taller he would be a top 10 pick.

Some football players are just good, doesn't matter how big or small they are.

If you don't think he is big enough, watch him vs. Ohio State. That is Carlos Hyde a 230 lb RB who many project to be the #1 RB drafted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT86Xup3PCw

cLowNEY42's picture

I'm not going to argue against Borland. I love the guy. Would love to see him in GB... Just think his talents would be wasted here. He'll go somewhere with a creative/attacking D coord. and thrive. If he comes to GB he'll just be another confused/hesitant body on the field.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Yeah, See I think his talents would be perfect in Green Bay's defense. He played the 3-4 this year, and he played well there. He can blitz and cover, and defend the run.
Remember how good Bishop was for use during the Super Bowl. I think Borland could be that good.

Stroh's picture

RC.. I like Borland, not as much as you seem to, but Willis ran a 4.4 40 and tested as an elite athlete. Borland by all accounts seems to run in the 4.7 range maybe slower. His height doesn't bother me too much, but his shoulders do. Those are the things dropping him from being a 2nd. Not so much his height.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Yeah, I have a man crush on him. lol...

I'm not even being a Homer fan with him. I just think as a football player, he is extremely good. I came up with that conclusion during the Senior Bowl. I watched him objectively.

He reminds me of Zach Thomas.

My biggest concerns are that he has been injured in college. Will that transfer to the NFL? I don't know. I questioned his ability to play in coverage, but I thought he answered those questions at the Senior Bowl.
But the things I love about him are is leadership quality's. He is very smart, and has superb instincts.
He might run a little slower 40, but with his instincts and awareness he makes up for it.

4thand1's picture

Hope they don't draft Louis Nix. Seems lazy.

Point Packer's picture

It may be just me, burt in the NFL, Borland has the potential to be the second coming of AJ Hawk. We need big speed at LB. Don't think Borland cuts the cloth on that front.

Happy to be told otherwise, cause the guy was a heck of a football player.

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