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Packers Hope Biegel Shines Early & Often

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Packers Hope Biegel Shines Early & Often

New Green Bay Packers linebacker Vince Biegel was eager to get to work when he found out the Packers were taking him in the fourth round of this year's draft.  He reportedly told the coaching staff he wanted to get his hands on the play book right away so he could begin digesting and learning how he would fit in.  

Because of rules governed by the collective bargaining agreement, rookie players are required to wait until their team holds the first rookie mini camp before they can begin classroom and on-field work.  This past weekend, Biegel finally got his play book.

The Packers went into this offseason with the high need of finding pass rush help.  Clay Matthews is back in 2017 and the team re-signed Nick Perry to keep that duo together on the outside.  Matthews will surely move around as he has for the past few seasons so the need for depth and impact still existed.  Kyler Fackrell and Jayrone Elliott will be back, but neither has been able to earn enough playing time to be deemed an answer.  

With their first three draft picks, Green Bay took defensive players but none of them were pass rushers.  They passed on Wisconsin's T.J. Watt late in the first round and opted to trade back instead.  With their first fourth round pick, they took Biegel.  The team and fans have to hope that strategy pays off.

I've said before that, generally speaking, fourth round picks are hardly the type of player that, out of the gate, can be counted on to jump in and be a big contributor.  The Packers have had mixed luck in that spot in past drafts.  

Going back to 2012, the Packers took defensive lineman Mike Daniels who was contributing regularly by that season's end.  In 2013, left tackle David Bakhtiari was a fourth round selection and was forced into the line up when Bryan Bulaga was lost to a season-ending injury.   Bakhtiari was just given a long-term contract extension.  In 2015, Jake Ryan was selected and last year, another linebacker, Blake Martinez, was the pick.  Both were starting in the base 3-4 by the end of last season.

Of course, there's also the Jerron McMillian's and Carl Bradford's who couldn't cut it at the pro level and Jonathan Franklin, who was the victim of an unfortunate neck injury that ended his brief career.  Davon House, Green Bay's fourth round selection in 2011, returns to the Packers after two seasons in Jacksonville. 

The Packers seem to have, at the very least, found a player in Biegel who has his head on straight and is coming in wanting to do the right things to succeed early on.  The mental part of the game is one that trips up many young players who possess the athletic ability and skill to excel.  

The team is hoping to see Biegel become another fourth round success story.



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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (47) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

The TKstinator's picture

Enough athleticism, great attitude and work ethic. Seems pretty reasonable that 45 will be at least "okay". Also, give him time. I DON'T think it's reasonable to expect an immediate big splash.

But if he DOES make a big splash, I'd not be opposed!

Nick Perry's picture

I like Beigel a lot. Being drafted in the 4th round doesn't always mean much since lots of players all over the NFL come in and contribute right away, no matter what round they've been drafted. Beigel has been compared athletically to Clay Matthews which is a pretty nice comparison.

Beigel is a "Football Player", much like Micah Hyde was a "Football Player". The kid will give 100% on every play all the time. He loves the game, seems and acts like a guy who eat, sleeps, and drinks as much football as he possibly can. Jason pointed out several Packers who were 4th round picks and contributed. The NFL is littered with mid to late round picks who contribute, even from day one. I think Beigel is one of those players.

RCPackerFan's picture

I like Biegel also. Getting him in the 4th round I think was a really good pick.

Not to get caught up on it but I really like what Thompson did in the first round. Trade back 4 spots and get King, then also gaining an extra pick which was used on Biegel.

I think Biegel at the very least will be a really good rotational OLB.

Down the road, I kind of wonder if he maybe a good one like Mathews to be a ILB/OLB tweener.

dobber's picture

"Down the road, I kind of wonder if he maybe a good one like Mathews to be a ILB/OLB tweener."

I think he could fill that same kind of role we'd envisioned for a Watt/CMIII pairing where you never knew who would be lining up where. Certainly Biegel tested well, but is not as "explosive" (based on combine #s) as Watt (but similar to CMIII), but if he can be a threat rushing the passer, that's what matters, IMO....and the sooner, the better.

RCPackerFan's picture

Thompson's 4th round picks have done really well. This is the complete list of 4th round picks under Thompson.

2005 - Marviel Underwood, Brady Poppinga
2006 - Cory Rodgers, Will Blackmon
2007 - Allen Barbre
2008 - Jeremy Thompson, Josh Sitton
2009 - TJ Lang
2011 - Davon House
2012 - Jeron McMillian
2013 - David Bakhtiari, JC Tretter, Johnathon Franklin
2014 - Carl Bradford
2015 - Jake Ryan
2016 - Blake Martinez, Dean Lowry
2017 - Vince Biegel, Jamaal Williams

Obviously 2016 and 17 are to be determined on how good they will be, but Thompson has been really good at finding players in the 4th round.

I like both Biegel and Williams chance to have an impact on this team this year. Biegel will likely be a rotational type early, but if he performs well could get more playing time.
Williams I think has a really good chance to start the season as the number 2 RB.
By the end of the year I think there is a good chance that both players could be playing a significant role.

Worztik's picture

It seems that TT has outperformed his 1st round picks with his 4th... just sayin'...

Nononsense's picture

Don't think so:
Aaron Rodgers
AJ Hawk
BJ Raji
Clay Matthews
Bryan Bulaga
Nick Perry
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

He may have had more busts in the first round but it's crazy to say his 4th round picks have outperformed his 1st rounders.

dobber's picture

I always think of TT as a "playing it safe in the first round" kind of guy over the last 3-5 drafts. Maybe Perry argues against that, but for the most part, his first rounders have been high-floor but maybe not as high-ceiling as many of the players taken around them.

People get after Hawk, but he was a very productive OLB in the 4-3 and took his lumps as the "take-on" guy in the 3-4. He was a team leader and a team player...I just wish he'd been a step or two faster there toward the end.

Spud Rapids's picture

It's hard to not play it safe when you average pick is like 25th or higher

Bearmeat's picture

The team looks stacked. Except at OLB. There's not enough depth there and the starters are always hurt. These are facts. OLB is where a young guy NEEDS to step up. Biegel is IMO less likely than Fackrell to be that guy - at least right away. I'm not sure either are difference makers.

The DL is deep and talented. That group is going to have to pick up some of the slack at OLB when CM3 and Perry get hurt again.

Down vote away gentlemen. You all know it's true. :(

Nick Perry's picture

I like both Beigel and Frackrell BM. Are they going to be 10 plus sack guys this year? No, but I hope they can contribute about 10 sacks combined this season which I think is a pretty realistic number. Both Beigel and Frackrell can be nice complementary pieces to the Defense this year but neither is ready to be starting for any significant amount of time.

If Matthews or Perry were injured this year the Packers could find themselves in the exact same position they were last season at CB, depending on a couple of guys still very wet behind the ears. This is the man reason why I don't think Thompson is done adding to this defense through FA. When cuts start to happen he's got to add some depth.

cuervo's picture

I strongly belive we'll sign a situational pass rusher before the season begins....we have to because as you stated there is not enough proven depth at OLB, and injuries will happen.

RCPackerFan's picture

My cousin told me that he heard on Friday a radio show said that the Packers were looking to sign Elvis Dumervile. I haven't been able to find anything else about it.
It wouldn't surprise me if they did try to add more to the position.

Though they may take the wait and see how the young guys look first.

dobber's picture

The only reference to this I've been able to find has been speculation on clickbait sites trying to play "matchmaker" for higher profile FAs still on the market and teams that might need that kind of player. I haven't been able to find any concrete indication of communication from either side on this rumor. Does anyone know anything I've been missing?

RCPackerFan's picture

yeah, i'm not sure where it was at. Supposedly its been on bleacher report but I haven't seen it.

Until I see they signed him or anyone I will just say its probably speculation.

Nick Perry's picture

That was first said on Bleacher Report I believe in one of those articles matching the remaining FA's available to teams that could use them. From there it's been mentioned here and there but it's basically a wish report.

cheesehead1's picture

Agree....Sure hope we add another OLB because it's almost a given someone goes down. Still wish we would have taken Watt, but I trust TT. We'll know for sure in 3 or 4 years.

RCPackerFan's picture

I disagree with the depth part at OLB. They have depth. Its just young, and unproven talent.
I thought Fackrell really flashed some skills last year. A year in the weight room will really do him some good. I do expect him to take a jump. If the Packers didn't think he would, they would have done more at the position.
Also Elliott has played well when he was on the field. But having Peppers and 1st round pick Jones kept him on the sidelines.
Biegel will factor in as well.

We may see a bit different of a defense this year then we have been seeing. Without Peppers/Jones we won't see the Elephant End anymore. Likely we will see more of the type of defense that Capers first came to GB with, with more pure OLB's. We may start seeing more 3 DL sets and 1 less OLB some. One of the strengths on this team is our DL. With Daniels, Clark, Lowry, Francois, Guion, Adams we go 6 strong. Don't be surprised if they use that strength more.

croatpackfan's picture

Bearmeat, it is little bit premature to worry today what will be in the future 4 moths away from today. That is why you, mostly, got minuses. And, no, I do not know that what you are writing is truth. I will remind you on the last season when Packers were stacked with CB. Lot of people here (you included) where salivating how deep Packers were at DB position. To remind you, in Packers last game last season (NFCCG) they almost did not have CB and BD to put on the field.
That is what we knows today how deep will be different positions through 2017 season...

Tundraboy's picture

I agree. The elephant concept always seemed like a bandaid, an attempt to fix the D when the talent just wasn't there.

dobber's picture

It works for some teams if they've got the right guy playing there. We might get rid of the elephant term, but an OLB that you're going out of your way to not drop into coverage (ahem, Perry) will always be an elephant.

Handsback's picture

If Biegel can contribute in 1-2 plays a game, that would be great. I really think his presence will be great in two years as he adds strength and knowledge to the details of the defense.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Agreed, though the unsteady health of our OLB starters may demand faster progress.

Finwiz's picture

Yes - I agree. I'm not sure you're going to get 1-2 plays a game out of him this year though. Simply because he won't play that much.

dobber's picture

If he's healthy, I can see him logging 20+ non ST snaps per game depending on how Fackrell and Elliott show up...

Finwiz's picture

I think they are going to give Elliott every opportunity to take over the Peppers role in passing situations, and depending on how he performs, it will dictate how much PT Biegel gets. Preseason will be very interesting this year.

dobber's picture

I think you're right: Fackrell and Elliott are next men up, but if neither is up to snuff on run-downs, they'll have to do something on the outside. CMIII has shown a propensity for overrunning plays and losing contain when playing OLB, and his health doesn't hold up well playing on the edge full time. Maybe Biegel won't be as athletic, but he might be more assignment sure...if he doesn't get blown out of his shoes by RTs.

Finwiz's picture

Well if they play Biegel in CM111's position, he'd be facing a LT over there - correct? That's a huge assignment for a rookie of his stature.
Even CM gets "enveloped" most of the time.

stockholder's picture

I like TTs picks this year. They took the best players early. I have in the past complained about TT trading back. But this year was different. He wasn't pressed to make the picks. (Time Wise) He had the next day first picks. In K. King and Biegel he got to take his time. That may result in two starters. I would trade back to start off the round from now on. In fact; I would like to know how many clubs that had the opening pick the next day, became starters?

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

Biegel has nowhere near Lowry's athleticism, but with his solid ability combined with high intellect and work etic, he might still provide another Lowry-type 4th round impact.

That's what I'm hoping for.

The biggest challenge is strength. Fackrell will be a very different player this year after living in the weight room. Hopefully, Biegel is already pumpung some serious iron.

DThomas's picture

Biegel had a better 40 time, vertical leap, broad jump, and 3 cone drill time at the combine than Lowry. Not sure how you came to the conclusion he "has nowhere near Lowry's athleticism". And of course we normally wouldn't expect a DL to be more athletic than a LB.

DThomas's picture

How else do you measure athleticism? And the apples and oranges comparison was what I was responding to: "Biegel has nowhere near Lowry's athleticism". That's a ridiculous comment IMO.

Lphill's picture

The kid is living a dream , playing for the team he grew up loving , what more motivation could he need? I think he makes an immediate impact.

JohnnyLogan's picture

I liked the move down, but I'm the only one who apparently thought at the time we should have taken Reuben Foster. A top ten talent, a mean linebacker to plug the middle of the field where we are always so vulnerable... We rarely get a chance at one of the top players in the draft and when we do I think we should take advantage of it. If you go BPA, most people would agree that Foster was better than King. Having said that, I like King and hope he becomes Richard Sherman. Biegel to me is just a clone of Martinez and Ryan, guys you get in the middle rounds who will rarely turn into All-pros. We need more All-pro players, not just guys with great effort.

Handsback's picture

JohnnyLogan, I think I read somewhere that Foster's operation wasn't successful and that he needed another year before he would even see the field. This came in after the draft...That was why he skidded so far in the draft.

egbertsouse's picture

How is his hand? I know thatMM says it's fine but he tends to lie about injuries. I just hope he isn't Abbrederis II.

PatrickGB's picture

I believe the Vince was a more NFL ready OLB than Watt but Watt has a higher ceiling. But getting King AND Vince was a great move. VB hurt his finger, nothing broken so I don't worry about his readiness. Also he can play MLB so I don't think he is a one trick pony like many edge rushers and we know how much MM likes versatility.

DThomas's picture

To achieve the same amount of pressure on the QB as they had last season, they have to replace Peppers' and Jones' 64 pressures. (Together they played just over 100% of the defensive snaps.) And even with an improved secondary (the CBs could hardly be worse), it'd be great to increase the pressure on opposing QBs. So it's not only Biegel that needs to "shine early and often". They will also need contributions from Fackrell or Elliott or Reggie Gilbert or Johnathan Calvin or another UDFA, or a vet yet to be acquired. It would also be fantastic if both Perry and Matthews could make it through the season without sustaining serious injury.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Excellent post. Peppers and Jones played 1135 reasonably productive snaps that have to be replaced. Healthier Perry (606 snaps) and CM3 (497 snaps) could pick up maybe 300 of those snaps, and perhaps 250 of the departed pair's snaps came on the DL, but we will still be looking for around 500 to 600 productive snaps from Elliott, Biegel and Fackrell.

Finwiz's picture

I'm sure they do hope he has immediate impact.
Unfortunately, I think he will need to get in the weight room and get a bit stronger to avoid being neutralized on every play. Plus he will need to learn leverage and how to fit in the scheme. I don't see him having an impact until the back 1/3 to 1/4 of the season. As is seen in the article, 4th round picks are about 50/50 to have an impact.

MarkinMadison's picture

I like Biegel. I hope he does well. I'm tired of hearing the CM3 comparison. Let's be clear about this - for a pass rusher the most important piece is the 10-yard split, not the total 40 time. Neither Biegel nor TJ Watt were in CM3's zip code when it came to that 10-yard split. So let's not build the expectations for Biegel too high by constantly saying his numbers were just like CM3's.

Nick Perry's picture

From what I could find Beigels 10 yard split at the combine was 1.64 & Matthews was 1.61.
Beigel ran a faster short shuttle, 4.16 to Matthews 4.18.

Did you find other times that were further apart Mark or am I missing something?

dobber's picture

I read a scouting report that called him "duck-footed" and saying that he "lacked explosion/twitch". Certainly the testing might argue against that, but how he looks in shorts vs pads is what really matters. He was productive both ways.

Finwiz's picture

If that is in fact true (comparison of 10 yard split) - that is 0.03 sec diff in speed, which is relatively insignificant and the difference most likely can't be observed physically on the field. I had heard it was much more of a difference than that, but never saw any times. If those numbers are true, that's pretty incredible.

dobber's picture

"So let's not build the expectations for Biegel too high by constantly saying his numbers were just like CM3's."

As an extension, go look at Jeff Janis's test numbers and compare them to Julio Jones. They might test similarly and have the same initials, but that doesn't mean it extends to the field...

Nick Perry's picture


Bert's picture

I'm not ready to compare Biegel to CM3 or anyone else until he sees the field. Heck. He's a 4th round pick and not a 1st round pick for a reason(s). CM3 was a 1st rounder and All-Pro player. Let's not get too premature. If we can get some positive production I'll be happy. Anything more than that is gravy.

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