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Point Of Veau: Packers Draft Productive Players

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Point Of Veau: Packers Draft Productive Players

I'm not about to grade the Packers' draft, but I think the Green Bay Packers did a fantastic, fantastic job adding to their roster this past weekend based upon the opinion that they added some very, very productive players.

While I think that things like 40 times and bench press reps have their value, my personal evaluation of players begins with production and gets my heaviest emphasis.

I don't care if a guy runs a slow 40 time as along as he somehow, someway find a way to make plays on the football field. How he does it doesn't matter, just so long as he does it.

Now, I'm not naive enough to be blind to the fact that sometimes even high levels of college-level production doesn't always equate to the same level of success on the football field.

Fans of Wisconsin sports can look to former Badgers running back Ron Dayne, one of the best players in the history of college football that didn't pan out in the pros.

Regardless, I still love what the Packers' draft class of 2011 did on the football field and think they can be quality players in Green Bay. Here's what I like...

  • First round: Derek Sherrod, offensive lineman, Mississippi State––Sherrod was a second-team all-conference selection his junior season and a first-team selection his senior season, in the SEC nontheless, the best conference in America. He was a second-team All-American by the Associated Press in 2010 to boot. Despite reports that run blocking is one of his weaknesses, he helped pave the way for the Bulldogs to average 218.9 rushing yards per game, good for second in the SEC (runner-up to only national champion Auburn) and 15th in the nation. He helped Mississippi State qualify for only their second bowl game in the past decade, a New Year's Day win over Michigan in the Gator Bowl. And he was a team captain.
  • Second round: Randall Cobb, wide receiver/return specialist, Kentucky––Setting the single-season conference record for all-purpose yards says it all. In a conference like the SEC, that is beyond impressive. Cobb led the conference in receptions per game in 2010. And he was also the only player in the nation to be either first or second on his time in passing, rushing and receiving.
  • Third round: Alex Green, running back, Hawaii––Led the entire nation (FBS) with 8.2 rushing yards per attempt among players with over 100 rushes. Green had 1,199 yards rushing this past season, which is the second-highest single season total in Hawaii history. He also became the first Hawaii player to top 1,000 rushing yards in a season since 1992. His 38 receptions in just two seasons at Hawaii stand out as impressive.
  • Fourth round: Davon House, cornerback, New Mexico State––During his junior season, House led the entire WAC Conference in both interceptions and passes defensed. Then his senior season, he led his team in interceptions, passes defensed and tackles. He was a first-team All-WAC selection both years. House returned three interceptions for touchdowns in his career and set the school record for career interception return yardage.
  • Fifth round: D.J. Williams, tight end, Arkansas––Williams was the John Mackey Award winner in 2010 given annually to the player voted as the nation's best tight end. He led Arkansas with 49 catches in 2010, which is impressive considering their deep receiving corps and how much they spread the ball around. He was a first-team All-SEC selection and a third-team All-American this past season after being a second-team All-SEC pick in 2009.
  • Sixth round A: Caleb Schlauderaff, offensive lineman, Utah––During the college football season, there was a statistic that stood out to me. By the end of September, Utah had only allowed a single sack. By the end of October they had only given up three. Should it come as no surprise that they were undefeated until that point. They surrendered 11 sacks the entire season, which was good for 10th in the entire nation, and that includes the service academies that rarely pass. Schlauderaff was a first-team All-Mountain West Conference selection, a second-team All-American by Walter Camp and Sports Illustrated and a third-team All-American by the Associated Press.
  • Sixth round B: D.J. Smith, inside linebacker, Appalachian State––Smith led the Southern Conference and ranked fifth nationally with 144 tackles. His 525 career tackles were the most among active Division I players in 2010, rank second in his school's history and fourth in the conference's history.
  • Sixth round C: Elmore might be the prime example of a player whose measurables don't stack up with his college production. He's been criticized for barely being able to break 4.9 seconds in the 40-yard dash, but the fact remains he led the Pac-10 Conference in sacks in both his junior (10.0) and senior (11.0) years. For those concerned about his 40 time, it may be worth noting that short-shuttle time of 4.32 seconds ranked second among all defensive lineman at the NFL Combine.
  • Seventh round A: Ryan Taylor, tight end, North Carolina: Set the school record at North Carolina for most receptions by a tight end in a single season with 36 for 330 yards and two touchdowns. He'll be looked at primarily as a special teams player as a person who says he won North Carolina's special-teams award all four years he was in school.
  • Seventh round C: As a three-year starter at Arizona State, he totaled 122 tackles, 23 for a loss and eight sacks.
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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (27) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Franklin Hillside's picture

According to my old gym teacher, "fantastic, fantastic job" roughly translates to winning 3 of 4 dodgeball matches which gets you an A.

WoodyG's picture

Throw in the fact that many productive college players also get coached-up once they enter the NFL ..... GB certainly has a coaching staff that is capable of making productive players even better ..... More so, than many NFL teams ......

PackersRS's picture

Cmon, Brian. You were dying to give the Packers' draft a grade. Don't let Nagler get the best out of you, man!

Brian Carriveau's picture

Ha. I've never given draft grades, and don't want to. It's not like I'm vehemently against it. You just have to take it for what they are, something done for fun and not to be taken seriously.

Tony's picture

Just by watching some youtube clips, I'm sold on Green and Cobb... I think they'll keep 3 RBs this year, Grant, Starks, and Green. Nance will get cut, and Jackson and his douche agent can go elsewhere.

Does anyone think Jones stays? I'm on the fence about him. I can see him taking a pay day, although I don't know what kind of pay day that will be... his drops in the playoffs couldn't have been more publicized.

If he does, fine by me. Make Cobb a Mike Wallace-type who can hit the deep ball or play in the slot and use his speed.

All in all, I'm very excited to see how some of these guys pan out.

PackersRS's picture

I seem to be one of the only Packer fan left that likes JJ and wants him back.

But he has said he wants to start, and that he knows and respects DD too much, that he doesn't see it in GB.

I don't know if that necessarily means he's not coming back, but it's indicative.

Jake's picture

I love/hate JJ, probably how many of us feel. He is easily the most frustrating and cursed at member of our team. However, the talent is obviously there. I'd hate to see him have catches like the TD in Atlanta in the playoffs against us. Our receivers all love him, they'd hate to lose him too. I know he respects DD but he has to know he's the opportunity is right in front of him to start. But if he wants to go, he wants to go.

Jake's picture

Do we know that Cobb can go deep? I thought he was more of just a slot guy? Either way he looks like a badass.

Brian Carriveau's picture

Don't think Cobb will be much of a deep guy, speed threat. You're right, more of a slot guy that's valuable in his own regard. Regarded as running good routes, good hands.

PackersRS's picture

If he wants to make an impact, he'll have to learn every single route and every single position.

Not saying MM won't use him from the get go, or that he needs to be as good in a 9 as in a 4, but he'll have to know it, at least to keep defenses honest.

FITZCORE1252's picture

How the hell do you know so much about football in terms of lingo/coach speak being Mexican. LOL, just kidding RS, I know everything south of the US isn't Mexico. Really though, could you see games in Brazil growing up?

Wiscokid's picture

We all know that there are two grades. The first comes immediately after the draft based on potential where I give them A-/B+. They appear to have added depth where they wanted it with the possible exception of OLB. The board just didn't fall the way Ted would have liked to get the help they were looking for with a value pick at that position.

The other grade is always TBD and will be given after the players prove their true value.

Brian, maybe you should start doing an annual assessment of drafts using a three year lag. It might be interesting to do a comparison between what everyone thought at the time these guys were drafted with versus reality. Just a thought.

MarkinMadison's picture

On OLB, TT has gotten lucky with late rounds and undrafteds before, maybe he'll get lucky with Elmore. 40-yard time is meaningless for sack men. His short-cone time is impressive. I'd like to see his 40-yard splits. But regardless of measurables, he has produced. And he looks like he's bringing some needed pop to the table too. I'm not disappointed with this draft in any way.

Wiscokid's picture

It's going to be a tough year for the un-drafted guys. Unless they can get the CBA done soon.

Did it look to anyone else that Cowboys took Nagy in the seventh round to prevent GB from signing him as un-drafted free agent?

Another question. Do the Packers have any interest in John Clay?

Mark's picture

Brian, Hawaii is in the FBS not FCS

Brian Carriveau's picture

Thanks for the catch.

afrenchpackersfan's picture

OK that has nothing to do with football but as a French I must make this remark:

I guess (almost sure) Carriveau is a name that has French origins and I think that "Point of Veau" is an abbreviation for "Carriveau"... the thing is that "veau" in French means "Calf"... maybe this abbreviation is not relevant ;-) even though I guess nobody speaks French on this chat!

Anyway, good job for this draft analysis. Personaly, beyond the Sherrod pick (which was absolutely necessary in my opinion) I specially like the Cobb, Williams and Smith picks and I am looking forward to seeing what Elmore is going to do once he is adapt to the NFL (and to the OLB position as well).

Brian Carriveau's picture

Ha. Yes, my heritage is French, although my family has Americanized it and is pronounced Voo.

afrenchpackersfan's picture

Interesting... because you would have had to change your name in "Carrivo" ("veau" is prononced "vo" in French), had you desired to preserve the French prononciation...
Otherwise, you could also change your name in "Carrivou" in order to have the prononciation "Carrivoo" in French as well... ;-)

jerseyAl's picture

Maybe Brian should go with Vue Nouveau ?

Nerdmann's picture

Green and Elmore are my favorite players from this draft. I think they're both going to surprise people.

chicago hooligan's picture

Randall Cobb is going to be awesome and the Lions are stupid as hell for taking Titus Young higher in the 2nd round.

FITZCORE1252's picture

I ain't sceeered... Solid B+ at 1st blush, hopefully that stands up in 3 years when you can actually grade a class.

My favorite thing coming out of this draft is the versatility out of the backfield. Mayock said if Green doesn't have the best hands of all the RB's he's at least right there. Cobb is an ex QB and RB, so many things coach can dream up for a guy like that. And Williams has played H-back Fullback and TE, you can line him up back there too... great hands. And we may have landed our other bookend tackle for the next decade. My only gripes are in a perfect world I would have liked to see more D-line depth and a bonafide OLB, but this ain't no perfect world. B+.


Wiscokid's picture

Where the heck were you for CheeseheadTV draft party this weekend? And don't give me this "I have a life" story. Seriously dude, we missed you.

PackersRS's picture

Yeah, don't get too cocky Fitz, but you're hard not to notice, so when you're not present, it's easily perceptible.

Understand that however you feel like ;)

FITZCORE1252's picture

Thanks for keeping an eye out for me fellas.

It was a little Fitcore with pig-tails B-day party Friday and I had to work Saturday, sucked balls. I'll be there next year.

Wiscokid's picture

You and RS need to check out my comments on the "And Now We Wait" article on the Packers Lounge. I would love to hear what you have to say about my eBay problem.

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