Going into the draft most fans were of the mindset that we needed to address the defensive line, linebackers, and offensive line. Mission accomplished.
After the first day of the NFL draft, the Packers were a much better team than the day before. They brought in a stud nose tackle in B.J. Raji with the ninth overall pick. That was followed up with an uncharacteristic aggressive move by Ted Thompson to trade away draft picks so he could get a kid his coaches and scouts really like, Clay Matthews.
After day one a lot of fans cried that we gave up too much for CM3. “What will we do on day two now,” they asked. The answer to that question is “We will put on a drafting clinic and be the envy of every team in the NFC North.”
Day two of the NFL draft is where Ted Thompson makes his money. He brings in guys we never heard of or takes advantage of how a situation is playing out. This is exactly what the Packers did on day two.
Not many people thought T.J Lang would be there at 109 and the Packers took him. Lang is versatile, can play both guard and tackle, and was one of the more touted tackles in the draft. He’s a Packer now. Our offensive line offended a lot of people last year. It just got better.
Our running game struggled in 2008. We don’t really need more running backs since Jackson, Grant, and Lumpkin\Wynn are fine. We addressed the offensive line, so what else is there? How about we draft the #1 ranked fullback in the draft? Welcome to the Packers, Quinn Johnson. Boom.
Then “the steal of the draft” happened with the 162nd pick. We drafted an offensive lineman that was ranked in the top 60. We drafted Jamon Meredith. That offensive line I said just got better? Well it just got even better.
As important as bringing in an outside linebacker when you transition to a 3-4 defense is bringing in defensive ends who fit that scheme. We did just that with the 6-3 277 pound Jarius Wynn.
At this point with our biggest needs addressed everything else was just butter, so when we ended the draft with cornerback Brandon Underwood and outside linebacker Brad Jones, you couldn’t help but acknowledge that we now have depth and special teamers who won’t allow us to be one of the league’s worst again.
It’s amazing how two days in April can push your team over the edge. The Packers are now the team to beat in the NFC North.
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