Hi, Lounge. There was been a considerable amount of bargaining as to what the Green Bay could have done in the first round. Alex argued that Bryan Bulaga may have not been the impact playmaker Green Bay had hoped for at no. 23.
Though I don’t necessarily think he’s wrong, I’ve decided to prepare a three course meal draft-style as to how Brian Bulaga could have a substantial impact in 2010.
1.) “The Hot Wings” I think we can all agree Bulaga was essentially a value pick. The level of talent in offensive tackles dropped off considerably after Bulaga. People may argue differently, but there have been far more doubters of Indian’s Rodger Saffold and USC’s Charles Brown. Both are still on the board after round one and who is to say either would be available at 56. In which case, Thompson is probably relying on yet another middle to late round pick to be the franchise left tackle of the future. This does not prove his immediate value, but does give you a glimpse as to the limits of developing future players.
2.) “The Brats and Burgers” The O-line carousel has been a topic of criticism the past two off-seasons. If Clifton goes down in 2010 (which could plausibly happen multiple times), Green Bay has hedged any risk of moving another lineman over to LT and yet another Lineman to fill that player’s spot. And that isn’t even considering, Bulaga is likely an upgrade over Green Bay’s current back-up. Further, Bulaga has exceptional run-blocking skills for a tackle, which makes him more versatile as to positions he could fill in for this year and beyond. No, that does not necesarily make him Mike Wahle and an eventual guard, but possibly a franchise left tackle who doesn’t fit the stereotype of poor run-blocking.
3. “Post Dinner Whiskey-Dews” (Yes, that is exactly what it sounds like: Mountain Dew and Whiskey) Taking a dependable lineman was long over-due as the 50 plus sacks on Rodgers in 2010 indicated. No, Bulaga does not have break-away speed, but his ability to spread the field may be overlooked because his position virtually has no statistics. Fans and organizational insiders alike have dreamed as to what Rodgers would be capable of with more time to throw. No, Green Bay does not have someone who can spread the field a la CJ Spiller, but they do have 2 pro-bowl caliber receivers, and a future All-Pro tight end whose stats have been adversely affected by QB pressure.
A more detailed analysis of Buluga in relation to who else was available may have been impossible given the dozen players who could have been drafted at any spot between picks 20-40, which is further complicated when you consider Green Bay could have traded back or ahead. Feel free to comment which players might have provided more immediate and/or long-term value.
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