Despite the NFL lockout having been lifted by a district court judge, no Green Bay Packers showed up for work yesterday. “Nelson’s ruling on Monday night forced teams to open their doors to players on Tuesday,” writes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “While players in many other NFL cities reported to their team headquarters, Murphy said no Packers players showed up at Lambeau Field.” Most players weren’t in the immediate Green Bay vicinity, so working out at the Packers’ facilities wasn’t even an option for many of them.
Packers president Mark Murphy, part of the NFL’s labor negotiations committee, addressed reporters in Green Bay regarding the recent ruling. The NFL has requested a stay, which would keep the lockout in place until an appeal can be heard. If that is not granted, the league would have to open for business. “I think it would be a lot of chaos,” Murphy is quoted as saying by Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I think the test is whether it would cause irreparable harm to the owners and the game.” Murphy is concerned about business starting and then stopping again if an appeal rules in the owners’ favor.
With their first pick in the NFL Draft, Pete Dougherty of the Press-Gazette wonders if the Packers might take Pitt wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin. “There’s a good chance University of Pittsburgh receiver Jonathan Baldwin will be available when the Packers’ turn comes up,” writes Dougherty. “On pure football ability, he might be the best physical talent on the board, a combination of size and athletic ability that often isn’t available at No. 32 overall.” As Dougherty goes on to note, Baldwin––while talented––has some character concerns as well.
The Packers’ defensive backfield is analyzed by Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin. “With three Pro Bowl players in their secondary – cornerbacks Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams and safety Nick Collins – the Packers can boast one of the NFL’s top defensive backfields,” writes Wilde. “But a look further down the depth chart reveals a need to cultivate depth.” Fans only have to wait one more day until they find out if the Packers add depth in the secondary, or any other position.
In a power ranking of NFL quarterbacks by writers at ESPN.com, Aaron Rodgers came in fourth. NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert explained his own personal rankings, that had the Packers quarterback a little bit higher. “I ranked Rodgers No. 2 behind Tom Brady of the New England Patriots,” writes Seifert. “As it turns out, however, I was the only voter among our eight-man committee to do so. As we suspected he might, Rodgers finished fourth after Brady, Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts and Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints.” Seifert makes a good argument based upon statistics. If I had to make a ranking it would be Brady, Manning and then Rodgers.
Former Packers quarterback Rich Campbell responded to Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette calling him the biggest draft pick bust in franchise history. “Once again, a sports writer is guilty of ignoring the contributions — or lack thereof — of an offensive lineman (Mandarich), and giving a quarterback (me) more credit — or blame — than I deserve,” writes Campbell in a column. Campbell is currently a newspaper columnist in Florida.
Packers director of retail operations Kate Hogan is interviewed about the NFL Draft party being held at Curly’s Pub at Lambeau Field starting tomorrow. “Curly’s is the perfect atmosphere for our official NFL draft party,” Hogan told the Packers’ official website. “It’s right in Lambeau Field and the president, general manager and head coach come down to talk to the crowd. The excitement level is always high, there are alumni to visit with, some terrific giveaways and the environment can’t be beat for Packers’ fans.” The environment was easily beat by the old location in the Lambeau Field Atrium before the NFL changed the format of the draft by moving it from a Saturday to a Thursday.
UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers is predicted to go to the Packers in the first round by Mike Wendt of BrentFavre.com. “Ayers is built just like Clay Matthews, and would be a perfect fit in the Packers’ 3-4 defensive scheme,” writes Wendt. “Ayers is listed a 6-3, 254 pounds, and Matthews is listed on the Packers website as 6-3, 255 pounds. In three seasons at UCLA, Ayers racked up 183 tackles, 14 sacks, seven forced fumbles and six interceptions. Sounds like a playmaker.”
Penn State running back Evan Royster is considered as late-round draft pick of the Packers by Ryan Cook of Acme Packing Company.
Prairie View A&M outside linebacker Quinton Spears, who worked out with the Packers, was interviewed by Packer Report (subscription required).
A Packers seven-round mock draft by Zach Kruse of Bleacher Report has Green Bay taking Danny Watkins with their first pick.
Another Packers mock draft is at Packer Chatters.
Interest in the draft is analyzed at Lombardi Ave.
For those making hotel reservations in Green Bay for Packers games, the Packer Ranter has a review of the Economy Inn.
Video: Former Packer Matt Bowen talks to CSN Chicago about the NFL Draft and the Bears playing catch up with the Packers…