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Random Musings on the Post-Draft Packers

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Random Musings on the Post-Draft Packers

The 2013 NFL draft is still plenty visible in the rear-view mirror, but Packers rookie mini-camp already starts up May 10. Before we begin to preview the next event on the NFL's never-ending schedule, let's take a quick second to look back on the draft and how it alters things moving forward.

Here's some things I think about the post-draft Packers:

1. The Packers have reinforced their commitment to run the football. Remember, this was an offense that averaged 30 rushing attempts and nearly 125 yards a game from Week 9 on last season. Only four other teams averaged more attempts over the final eight weeks. Playcaller Mike McCarthy had little other choice, as teams were basically daring the Packers to take the ball out of Aaron Rodgers' hands with heavy doses of two-high safety looks. Defenses can continue that trend in 2013, but they'll do so knowing that in Eddie Lacy, Johnathan Franklin and DuJuan Harris, the Packers have more rushing talent in the backfield than ever before in the Rodgers era. McCarthy's job, at least from a scheming standpoint, got a lot easier last weekend.

2. Much is expected from second-year safety Jerron McMillian. The need at his position was obviously more media-driven than reality in the Packers war room, as 11 picks in a deep draft for safety were spent on other positions. The board didn't fall great for Ted Thompson in that regard, but he still had ample opportunity to get a safety if he wanted. Instead, the Packers are banking on improvement from within at the back end. And with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, why wouldn't they? McMillian, a 2012 fourth-round, fits the new mold of fast and tough. If he can clean up the coverage lapses—and there's no reason to think he won't be better in his second year of transitioning from a FCS school to the NFL—McMillian can be a three-down starter.

3. The offensive line will be the most fascinating area during camp. Taking two former offensive tackles in the fourth round puts Marshall Newhouse on notice, even if neither are likely ready to push for playing time. The transition to watch is from Bryan Bulaga, who the coaching staff won't rule out at left tackle. McCarthy all but guaranteed at the NFL owners meetings that the Packers would be better along the offensive line in 2013. If that means shifting Bulaga to left tackle and starting Don Barclay on the right, so be it. McCarthy also seemed genuinely encouraged about the health of Derek Sherrod. The bookends of the offensive line are toss ups right now, as they should be.

4. B.J. Coleman is going to give Graham Harrell a run for his money to backup Rodgers. This wasn't a good draft for quarterbacks at the top, but there was value in the final three rounds. The Packers started the third day with 10 picks but avoided the quarterback position altogether. While Matt Brown was brought in as UDFA, Thompson's reluctance to take a quarterback late suggests the team is plenty comfortable with Coleman's progression. Harrell's physical ceiling has always been low, but he's been ready to play from a mental standpoint. Coleman has the big arm and everything you want physically, and might now be closer to putting it together mentally in his second season.

5. The Packers pass rush could be really, really good. Adding Datone Jones makes all the difference. When the Packers were at their best defensively, Cullen Jenkins was a centerpiece. He wasn't always a disruptor, but he made everyone else around him better. Clay Matthews saw more one-on-one's. B.J. Raji was a dominant inside rusher. And when teams shifted their focus, Jenkins made them pay. Jones, even as a rookie, could have a similar impact, especially when the Packers go to subpackages. Don't discount the returns of Desmond Bishop and Nick Perry, either; when healthy, few 3-4 ILBs were better on the blitz than Bishop, and Perry is still a talented power and speed rusher who just needs to get comfortable in the three-man front.

6. Charles Johnson is tantalizing as a seventh-round pick. Sure, he comes from a Division II program and rarely played against anything close to NFL talent. But there simply aren't many 6-2, 215-pound guys who run sub 4.4 and jump 40 inches, and the way he high points the football reminds me slightly of Marques Colston. Johnson just oozes upside. Securing a roster spot through special teams will be a start, but he could eventually be a major contributor in the red zone area. “I mean, passes from the best quarterback in the game?” Johnson told MLive. “How great is that?” He'll soon find out.

7. Johnny Jolly will need a miracle to make this team. Jolly was a long shot before last week's draft. Now, with Jones and third-day pick Josh Boyd on board, Jolly needs nothing short of a miracle to be one of the 53 in September. Keep in mind, the Packers kept six defensive linemen to start 2012. Raji, Ryan Pickett and Jones are locks, while Boyd, Mike Daniels and Mike Neal are very likely to stick. Jerel Worthy, once healthy, is another lock. There's seven names already. After three years out of football, can we really expect Jolly to be better than even a C.J. Wilson? It's certainly possible Wilson and Jolly are both cut ahead of next season.

8. John Kuhn might have a roster fight on his hands. Kuhn will turn 31 in September, and he's scheduled to be a free agent following 2013. Maybe his time is up a year early, especially with a $2.25 million price tag next season. You can only assume he's no longer needed in short-yardage situations, and his run-blocking has always lacked a certain punch. The Packers also signed former Texas fullback Ryan Roberson, who arrived in Austin as a linebacker but eventually switched to fullback. He brings vast special teams experience. If the Packers like Roberson more as a lead blocker, he could certainly make the final decision at fullback a difficult one.

Zach Kruse is a 24-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covers prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at zachkruse2@gmail.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (80) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Justin's picture

I like the depth that is being built on the DL and OL. The two lines should be a lot of fun to watch during camp and preseason. It seems like every position will have some good battles going on.

Evan's picture

Hard to argue with any of these, really.

I do agree, unfortunately, that the numbers are heavily stacked against Jolly. I'd love to see him make it.

PackerBacker's picture

Me too on Jolly. It'd be a great story. But 3 years is a freeking loooong time to be away from pro football.

Evan's picture

I do think Stroh's point about Vick being able to come back and how much easier it theoretically should be for a d-lineman is valid...but the numbers are his biggest obstacle.

Stroh's picture

I agree numbers are a big obstacle. I hope Jolly can take Wilson job as the run stuffing
DE. He would be a bigger badder more physical player and we need his toughness and attitude!

Its not a coincidence we had #1 run D w Jolly playing DE and he could take some NT snaps too

RC Packer Fan's picture

I agree with everything. But its going to be very hard for him to make the roster. He has been out of football for 3 years? Not easy.

Stroh's picture

I'm not counting on it. That's what I hope tho.

THEMichaelRose's picture

One thought on the DL depth chart...I don't think it's a stretch to think Boyd is only a practice squad guy early. We don't know if he's any good. It's kind of hard to imagine him being better than Wilson at Week 1. Maybe Jolly too? Just a thought.

lmills's picture

Great article Zach. I really am excited to see how the O-line plays out. I too am thinking that Kuhn might be a camp casuality. 2.5 million is a lot for a fullback who is 31. How much cap would it save if they cut him? Any dead money?

Tarynfor12's picture

"Adding Datone Jones makes all the difference."

Wasn't this the point about drafting Perry last year?

"and Perry is still a talented power and speed rusher who just needs to get comfortable in the three-man front."

This is the problem that was over looked with the 'reach' drafting of Perry..he should be playing with his hand in the dirt.

This is still a half full or half empty look at the glass,however,either way at the moment...it's still only a half a glass.

As a Packer fan,I hope both can add to the glass and not here the words "they need time to develop"...half full glasses don't have the luxury of much time before whats already there drys up.

madmanJack's picture

you expect rookies to come in and be immediate pro bowlers? cmon man!

Tarynfor12's picture

Who is asking for Pro Bowler play???

PackerBacker's picture

It's the addition of both that will help. We needed both an OLB and an pass rushing DT. Perry only gave us one and was a rookie. Another year and another talented DL could make a huge difference along that line. Make life easier for everyone.

Katsuya's picture

Perry did make an immediate impact last year. He just got injured, and put on ir. CM3 had like 9 sacks in the first 5 games with Perry on the other side. Once Perry went down, it was 2011 all over again for mathews.

Morgan Mundane's picture

I hate to disagree amigo but I watched for steller from Mr Perry in pre season and didn't see it. When the season started and he was being substituted often that told me he wasn't the flash they were expecting.
We could both be wrong but IMHO this is make or break year for him. He either shows up to the plate or we can write 'bust' next to his name.

Stroh's picture

Perry injured a wrist in game 1. When he had to engage an OL the wrist injury was a problem for him to control the OL and then disengage. He certainly had his share of struggles, but the wrist and later the knee hampered his play. Too early to judge him from just his rookie year.

In addition, Pitts always used to give the OLB they drafted from college DE 2 full years to learn how to play standing up. All things considered, you can't judge Perry till his 3rd season as either a make or break year. Lets give him time to learn how to play OLB before calling him a bust!

ArodMoney's picture

How soon we forget!!!!

Clay Matthews didn't even start until week 4 of his rookie season while Perry started week 1.

Yes Perry looked lost to begin with, but he quickly picked it up and was outplaying Walden by leaps and bounds.

As far as the rotation goes I wouldn't read into that at all. The Packers main goal last year was the Super Bowl and to expect a rookie to come in and play full time snaps for 19 games and not get burnt out is unrealistic. They'll probably play him in a rotation again this year for a while just to keep him healthy and ready for a stretch run.

Pack Fan in ATL's picture

Key Difference: Datone played in a Pro style 3-4 last year for a former NFL coach, Jim Mora. He is likely to feel alot more comfortable with his responsibilities than Perry was last year making the switch from a 4-3 DE to a 3-4 OL and having to cover occasionally instead of rushing.

THEMichaelRose's picture

This is a good point. Datone played all over the defense last year.
Your point is also tangentially useful to combat the argument that Datone only played well in his last season at UCLA - it was his only season in Mora's defense.

ArodMoney's picture

The thing about Perry is that even if he is an average player, that is a HUGE step up from Walden, the worst OLB in the league.

Jake's picture

This right here. Even in the limited time we got to see Perry play, it was extremely evident he was already 100 times better at holding the edge in the run game.

Johnny's picture

I know this is just the completely dead period of the offseason talking...but I'm getting excited about this team. We play an absolutely brutal schedule and we'll definitely need some new leaders to step up with Wood and Jennings gone but....

Our defensive front could be insanely physical in the snap of a finger. If Desmond Bishop comes back even close to what he was, there aren't many ILB's more physical than him. I always remember him just knocking Danny Woodhead's block off in 2010. And I think his absence was a huge reason why we struggled against Peterson this year. Add Perry to that mix (Andrew Luck can attest to his power) and BJ in a contract year...and baby you got a stew goin.

And I'm really hoping Sherrard comes good and steps into the LT role. It's really our only big hole on the line. EDS is already an upgrade over Saturday, and Lang will have another year under his belt as a starter. I'm also really hoping that McCarthy and Clements look at installing some 6 OL packages, especially with our new stable of running backs. We did it briefly with Van Roten last year, and we know how good of a run blocker Barclay turned out to be. I think in a 2nd and short situation, our play-action could be insane.

Idiot Fan's picture

Man, that hit on Luck got me really excited about Perry's potential. I think the ref threw the flag just because it was SO HARD.

Also, one thing to keep in mind about Sherrod - he still hasn't really had a normal, full training camp. His rookie summer was the lockout, then he broke his leg and has been rehabbing since. Depending on when (if?) he finally gets healthy, he may not have a full camp this year. I'll be excited to have him back, but I don't want to expect too much from him right away.

PackerBacker's picture

MAybe not immediately, but you could have an EDS / Saturday situation where he takes over during the season. Maybe after the early bye?

Barutan Seijin's picture

Newhouse isn't bad as a pass blocker. I still think the number one problem on the line last year was Saturday's almost unimaginable awfulness. Often Rodgers couldn't step up in the pocket because Saturday was getting blasted backwards. That made the tackle play look worse than it really was because outside pressure was that much more likely to get to Rodgers.

Sherrod barely played in his first year (inactive for first 3 games, didn't play in the next half a dozen or so). He was also shuffled around the o-line. He didn't exactly set the world on fire his first.

Then he was out the entire year last year. Now he's had a second surgery. Even if he were to recover -- and we don't know that he will -- he'd have a lot of catching up to do. Can't see him being more than a sub this year.

Sherrod's on a four year contract. The team would have to decide about using its option for a fifth year by the end of this season.

Stroh's picture

Think Sherrod is a 5yr contract as a 1st rd draft pick. I agree can't expect too much, he's got some catching up to do.

Stroh's picture

So your excited that he got an illegal hit penalty? ThaThat's dumb. It was an illegal hit, he lead w his head not his shoulder! And he was UNBLOCKED! Sorry s big hit is graet but it was illegal. I don't like it anymore than you but that's the rule. I would get excited if he beat an OT to make the hit, but he was left unblocked. Cant get excited for a penalty on a free hit!

BradHTX's picture

Whoa, whoa -- there's still plenty of meat on that bone!

I may be the only one, Johnny, but I caught the Carl Weathers reference. Well played, sir, well played.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

So pumped. The draftees, paired with guys coming back from injury, and the young guys like McMillian and Haywood... Just excited, man. Can't wait for camp.

bryce's picture

Not sold on McMillan, but obviously the Packers are. I think they need Sherrod to step up. Kuhn is probably gone. I hope Jolly sticks on the practice squad or something.

madmanJack's picture

i agree about Kuhn being gone...way to expensive and we need a sledge hammer blocker for our new RB's. i don't think jolly is eligible for the practice squad.

Mojo's picture

Because Jolly has already played in more than nine regular season games and for some other reasons - he is PS ineligible.

Good topics Zach. And you've only scratched the surface.

I see Jolly and Wilson fighting for the same position - run stuffing, hold the point - little pass rush d-lineman. Who ever has the better camp will be on the 53 the other - gone. Boyd will probably end up on the PS, even if he has a good camp - simply because he's eligible. That we they can keep six until/if Worthy comes back, at which point they'll have to make a decision.

Agree with Zachs other points - Kuhn & Harrell are in trouble.

The o-line could go anywhere - I'd say only Sitton seems like a lock to stay at his old position - RG, who knows where everyone else will land.

The run game should be much better. I'm worried a little about Lacy's injuries. Not so much the toe thing, but the torn pec. Hope it doesn't signal any tendencies relating to his health. Love the way Franklin runs in the clips I saw of him. Gifted running backs are born that way, not made. Should be good.

As far as a much better pass-rush, I'll believe it when I see it. Having Perry back could be key. And when Bishop was 100%, he was an effective stunter.

ArodMoney's picture

Anyone else like MD Jennings? From what I saw safety is his to lose. He may not be as physical as McMillian, but I think Jennings' coverage ability was far better and thought he was a little faster as well.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Not a fan.

ArodMoney's picture

Any reason in particular? I know he's not a great tackler and isn't asked to do much in run support. Do you remember any blown or bad coverages on his part?

I'm not sold on him either, but I saw more out of him than McMillian.

Katsuya's picture

We need more physicality at SS. Jennings is too small and doesn't play physical enough imo. I just feel McMillan will compliment Burnett better and allow him to play in coverage, while McMillan plays the box.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Bat the ball down!

Seriously though, imo, he's too small. As you stated, not a great tackler, can't offer much in stopping the run, and I just didn't see any physicality out of him.

McMillian has much more upside imo. I'm anxious to see if he's made any strides this offseason.

ArodMoney's picture

I agree that McMillian has the potential to be a more 'complete' safety and has similar attributes to Burnett. I think whichever one starts will end up being a quality player.

PackersRS's picture

Me neither. His attitude rubs me the wrong way.

And by attitude I mean his borderline need for going for the pick all the time instead of BATTING THE FUCKING BALL DOWN!

Sorry for the terms and the rant.

So, yeah, I'm not very fond of him.

Barutan Seijin's picture

I'm not a fan, either. I'd prefer the Doctor stayed on the bench.

Stroh's picture

Way too soft for my liking. Hope McMillan makes a lot of progress. Jennings was better in coverage last year tho.

PackerPete's picture

Hard to argue with any of the points. I think competition this year is great, especially on OL and DL, and that should make the team better.

Lou's picture

The OL battle will be interesting to watch, but I think the TE battle will also be interesting. There are six guys, each of whom are interesting but each of whom has warts. The team could keep four, or five, or all six. Finley's long-term future is up in the air. There are injury comebacks, one-dimensional guys, unknown younger guys, potential position switches to FB....this position will be high drama in camp!

jim's picture

i wouldnt write off kuhn quite yet....just his presence in the backfield protecting the best quarterback in the nfl might get him a ticket on the packer bus. if jolly makes the team, packs dline is deep and tough... regardless, deeper and tougher than it was last year if he doesnt. ol ought to be an interesting battle. i thought that thompson may have gone for vaccaro if he had the oppurtunity, but the fact that he didnt go for a safety hints that he is happy with what they have. i dont question the moves of tt anymore. if injuried players heal and return and running game gets established, this is going to be one damn tough team.

Evan's picture

"but the fact that he didnt go for a safety hints that he is happy with what they have"

That, or it's just how his board fell. I wanted Cyprien badly, but in the 1st, Jones was the better pick, imo.

By the 2nd round, the top tier of safeties had been taken and Lacy was too good to pass up.

After that you sort of reach a point where the guys available aren't really an immediate upgrade to what's already on the roster.

KC Big DOG's picture

I know we have several scheduled FA next year - but you cannot rule out the possibility of TT signing a vet or two before the start of training camp. CM3 and Rodgers deal did not kill the cap and after signing rookies the Pack will have 7-8 million left to sign Raji, Burnett or a couple of vets. this is TT's time of year vets looking for jobs on the cheap.

Evan's picture

Silverstein (I think) mentioned in passing the possibility of bringing in Kerry Rhodes or Gerald Sensabaugh. I don't know enough about either to have an opinion.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Kuhn is our best back at pass-pro, that said, I just don't see what he brings to the table that justifies his salary. He's not a great run-blocking FB, he's not great at gaining a short yard or two when called upon... As far as I'm concerned, he needs to go. As a package, Lacy and Franklin can not only replace what Kuhn brings to the table, they can upgrade it.

Evan's picture

"he’s not great at gaining a short yard or two when called upon"

You are being far too kind...

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Never been accused of that before!

Point Packer's picture

Every time the Pack run the FB Dive to Kuhn on 3 and short, I lose six months of my life.

I agree his days may be done.

That being said, guy finds space as a relief valve for Rodgers and has a knack for the endzone. That, at the end of the day, may save his job.

THEMichaelRose's picture

Point Packer - that's the point I was going to make. He is one guy it seems like Rodgers actually checks down to. And Kuhn has pass plays, not screens, designed for him on occasion. That said, I'm not sure why someone like Franklin or DJ Williams (H back edition) couldn't fill that part of Kuhn's role.

Preponderance of evidence (in May) suggests he's out.

KC Big DOG's picture

I am excited about the run game if MM will commit to it! We have two possible studs that will open up the passing game and finally get Defense out of the cover 2 - pick your poison....Johnson may be the steal of the draft IF he can adopt to the NFL - Jones will be a FA next year and will reach that magic number (30) that TT tends to shy a way from. Jones may be in the same boat as Jennings was this year. Newhouse may not make the team this year - I know everybody will beat me up on this quote but the Packers have more options this year and are already deeper. You have the two draft picks, Datko will be stronger and from what I read his shoulder is finally healed (he had 1st/2nd round talent but slipped to the 7th because of the injury), Sherrod may be back to full strength and the UDFA brought in from Oregon ST has some skills. Training camp will be fun to watch this year....

Denver's picture

Re: Newhouse, I've been thinking that as well. If that happens, it would definitely mean the O-Line has taken a significant step forward.
Quite a few "if's" involved, though, as you mention.

Stroh's picture

Datko hasn't played in almost every 2 yrs and he MIGHT have been a 2nd rd pick. Sherrod same problem and neither is a lock to return full strength. I want no part of moving Bulaga either. Neither Datko or Sherrod, knows how to play in the NFL really so its foolish to expect either will supplant Newhouse this year. I can see next year tho.

I think you under appreciate Newhouse and have expectations for Sherrod and Datko that are unrealistic coming off injuries

packsmack25's picture

Here we go again:

"Datko hasn't played in almost 2 years"

Except for, you know, those 4 preseason games he played in last year.

Sherrod hasn't played or practiced at all in over a year. He and Jolly are the only Packers you can say that about.

Stop using false statements to try and discount the optimism people have about guys returning from injury. The fact is, no one knows. You don't have to shit on their hopes. Hopes are not the same as expectations.

Stroh's picture

Gee that's funny I didn't know preseason, IF in fact he played in the preseason, counted for squat in the NFL! Oh and upon further investigation Datko played in 2, count'em 2 preseason games, probably for all of about 1 qtr each. So maybe a 1/2 of a game total! Now if you wanna continue to be a dick about it feel free!

Either way he hasn't played in an NFL game... Why don't you quite being a dick and talk about REAL football, which the preseason isn't?

I'd rather hope than expect anything out of Sherrod or Datko at this point, since we don't know anything about their NFL ability. That "P" word gets coaches fired, so I'll hope at most.

packsmack25's picture

The preseason is when pretty much all of the evaluations of the guys in the OP will happen. But yeah, it's meaningless. I'll be a dick when someone else is a dick. Sucks when people respond in kind, doesn't it?

redlights's picture

Not only does MM have to commit to the run, but so does AR. My understanding is that each play allows AR to go run or pass, and he usually opts for pass. We could have Walter Payton, but if he doesn't get the rock, the running game is going nowhere.

MD Jennings is our current version of Charlie Peprah IMO. He can start and get us through the year, but let's not lean too hard in his direction.

PackersRS's picture

Am I the only one that remembers Kuhn getting a first down at most critical times in our super bowl run?

Yeah, he can't convert 3rd and 1 by running up the gut.

It's kind of hard to make a play that your opponents, your parents, your dead grandmother and your dog know it's coming.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

No, I remember. But, this is a cold ass world, produce... Or, beat it!

PackersRS's picture

Here's a stick. Go hunt that cougar. Make sure to yell as loud as you can so he sees you coming.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

No thanks, I have guns for that... 'Merica!

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Ted can't let nostalgia factor into who's on his team. Woodson was key in that SB run too, should we sign him again... For more than he's worth? Shit, better pick up Howard Green too.

PackersRS's picture

But that's not my point.

What I'm saying is that Kuhn has proved he's capable of playing well for this team, but the shenanigans of the HC make him look worse.

He is specially important at pass protection, and has call responsabilities (as stated by Rodgers and McCarthy).

And, contrary to those other players, he hasn't shown clear signs of decline.

Nononsense's picture

I was just watching the playoff game against the Vikes last night and Kuhn scored twice on short passes, so hes still a valuable guy to have around. Not sure hes 2.5 mil valuable but hes still has value none the less. Now with Lacy and Franklin on the team maybe the FB dive will start to work again.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

If we FB dive with Lacy and Franklin on the team... I'm breaking shit!

And he does have some value, like, vet minimum value. No effing way 2.5 mil value!

PackersRS's picture

If the Packers, at any future instance, go FB dive on 3rd and short, McCarthy should be fired on the spot.

packsmack25's picture

I dunno, seems like it has a better chance of success with Lacy or Franklin lined up behind him. Brings the element of surprise back into the picture.

SCFPackFan's picture

It'd be an even bigger surprise with Roberson totin' the rock.

Point Packer's picture

I'd seriously love to see someone break down that play last year - 3rd and short dive. From a 10,000ft level perception based side of things, it failed almost every single time. Drive killer. Hate when we were in 3 and 1 situations.

As previously stated, Kuhn is a great dump off passer and pass protector, but he was garbage in the running game last year - both running and blocking.

I think he's fighting for a spot this off-season - 2.5 million is about a million more than he is worth.

Lucky953's picture

I don't understand the thinking that the Packers won't "commit" to the run. We just drafted two of the top five backs in the draft. The Packers, and I know this is hard to believe for some, are more committed to winning games than setting passing records. They know they have to make teams pay for playing two deep safeties. They will.
I just hope we finally get a frickin' break with IR this year.

Ma Linger's picture

Mac and Don is only one dimensional. He cannot put togther a sophisticated offensive attack. I have goldfish who know what his game plan is. He now lacks the deep threat, his tight ends are marginal and his running game is only as good as the O line can block.
Doesn't sound good

Lucky953's picture

Also I think they believe Sean Richardson can develop into a starter. Excellent size and good speed, don't know about coverage skills though

SCFPackFan's picture

One thing to consider with Jolly is that the Packers wanted to get tougher, bigger, and longer on the DL, and he provides all three.

Jolly had really just begun to master the art of getting his hands up and knocking down passes with 10 PDs in 2009. The entire DL only had 6 in 2012.

It was Jolly's first year in the 3-4 and his finest season. But, yeah... that was 2009. Interestingly enough, Josh Boyd has similar size and length to Jolly. He's very impressive holding the point and can be disruptive versus the pass even if it doesn't show up as sacks, much like Jolly.

Datone Jones and Boyd give the Pack some much needed size and length upfront. The toughness remains to be seen.

BrianD's picture

Oddly enough, Kuhn's place on this team may depend on the health of Andrew Quarless.

denniseckersly's picture

"Zach Kruse is a 24-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel."

Is it just me or has Zach Kruse been 24 years old for more than 365 days?

Zach Kruse's picture

Ha! You are the second poster to bring this up. I actually still have almost three more months of being 24. I'll turn 25 on July 25th. I started here at CheeseheadTV when I was still 23.

antonio's picture

I don't wanna be pessimistic and I agree with all the guys who say that no draft can be judged fairly unless you wait at least a couple of years.
But, conceptually, they can be judged.
Did the Packs upgrade the SAFETY spot? No.
Did the Packs upgrade the OL spot? Unless Bakhtiari and Tretter make incredible and unexpected impact, is TOUGH TO ANSWER YES to this question too.
Did the Packs upgrade the ILB spot? No.
Did the Packs upgrade the PASS RUSH? The acquisition of Datone Jones could be enough. But it could be not either. He's not a Natural Pass Rusher by role, he's a DL. Unless he's the next JJ Watts the Packers could have and should have done more.
Did the Packs upgrade the WR spot? No. Please... I know some suys were taken in the late rounds... but, well, they did not. Period.
Did the Packs upgrade the HB spot? Definitely. Finally. Thank God.

But is this only one crystal clear upgrade at HB position enough to say the Packers are an upgraded team?

Time will tell. But, in the meanwhile, too many questions about important positions still remain pretty much unsolved. So...

Ma Linger's picture

There are a lot of 'what if' players on this team. Either they're super bowl bound or 6-11 this year. I think the comp. just a lot stronger and we a lot weaker. Ted again settled for a host of late rounders to play cheap ball when some very good players were passed on.
He already had to dump several of those late round picks from previous drafts as unproductive, maybe he has another batch of Zombo's, Walden's, etc.

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Packers Tickets

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"The Bears still suck!"
"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."