Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Summary of the Packers 2013 Undrafted Free Agents

By Justis Mosqueda

After the draft, the Packers had 74 players on their roster (63 on contract and 11 draft picks) and Sam Shields, who is reportedly working on a long term deal with the team. Assuming that he will sign back with the Packers, 75 of the 90 possible spots for training camp are taken up, meaning that the Packers have room for 15 undrafted free agents. So far, they have signed 12, but I will keep the list updated if they do choose to add more. Typically one or two guys get signed after the rookie camp (May 10th this year).

Matt Brown QB Illinois State

Brown went to Illinois State as a three year high school starter, but redshirted his first year. After that, he lost out the starting his redshirt freshman year, but he didn't wait for his time much longer. In the season opener the starter went down and Brown started the next 45 straight before ending his ISU career in the FCS playoffs. He progressively got better while at ISU, starting off with winning the Offensive MVP Award on his team and Freshman of the Year in the Missouri Valley Conference. His freshman year he was first team newcomer in the MVC, his sophomore year he was honorable mention MVC, his junior year he was 2nd team MVC, and his senior year he was 1st team MVC and the Offensive Player of the Year in the conference. In his four year he totaled 10,952 total yards and 78 touchdowns. His teams never had a losing season while at ISU, and they finished #18 and #8 in the FCS his last two years, including a playoff birth in 2012. After the season Brown playing in the Texas vs the Nation all star game. He did well at his pro day (35" vertical, 10'02" broad jump, 4.83 40 time) in front of the Packers, Buccaneers, Bears, and Bengals. He also played with Nate Palmer (the Packers 2013 draft pick) and Ben Ericksen (another Packers 2013 UDFA) while at Illinois State. He's most likely just a camp arm that won't replace B.J. Coleman or Graham Harrell, but will push them.

Angelo Pease RB Kansas State

Angelo Pease is an interesting running back prospect. After signing with Kansas State in 2009 (coming out of high school), he was asked to spend two years at Hutchinson C.C. before transferring to Kansas State. After his two years were up he made the move, but only had 96 carries in his two years at K State. With a lackluster career coming to and end, he made the most of his final game, on a national stage. Versus Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl he tallied seven carries for 47 years. After the game his offensive coordinator had this to say about Pease:

"I think people saw tonight what Angelo is really capable of, that talent that I’ve seen all along. I think he really has a bright future, I hope he opened some eyes tonight. I wish now we could’ve redshirted him."

Via: Kansas.com

The small running back was third on the team in carries last year. Maybe he just wasn't given the reps in college?

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2013/01/04/2624009/angelo-pease-gives-k-state-offense.html#storylink=cpy

Ryan Roberson FB Texas

Ryan Roberson went to Texas with the intention on being a fullback, but was moved to linebacker his redshirt year. That year, he was a scout team linebacker. The next spring he swung between linebacker and running back for the Longhorns, but he only got playing time as a linebacker and on special teams his redshirt freshman year. His sophomore year, he made the flip to fullback (although only seeing time in three games there) and played special teams every match. Roberson became a fulltime fullback last year, but was a special teams ace his entire career at Texas, playing in all 52 games from his redshirt freshman year to his senior season. Nicknamed Robo, his numbers are the opposite of science fiction. He only had eight carries his entire career at Texas. While Kuhn is the only other FB on the roster, I think Roberson was brought in more as a special teams guy, than to steal that spot from him.

Miles White WR Louisiana Tech

Myles White was an All-Midwest selection coming out of high school, who started his career at Michigan State. He spent two years with the Spartans before playing time became an issue and he fled for Northwest Mississippi Community College. After leading NMCC in receptions (with 63, which ranked him 6th nationally), he joined Louisiana Tech's roster. Along side Quinton Patton, White assisted in aiding Colby Cameron in making the LaTech offense one of the most potent in college football. He earned 2nd team All-WAC in 2012 and a spot in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. White had six catches for 46 yards and a rush for 21 yards at the all star game. He also tested well at his pro day, where Green Bay was one of 23 teams in attendence. Thompson targetted two freak WRs in the 7th round of the draft and added White, who isn't too far off of those picks, through free agency. I'd bet one or two of them stick. This is the first guy on the list I think has a legit shot to make the Week 1 53 man roster.

Jake Stoneburner TE Ohio State

The two biggest "needs" the Packers didn't address this draft were tight end and free safety. The Packers starting TE, Jermichael Finley, is vastly overpaid due to a backloaded two year contract that runs out this year, the 2012 #2 TE, Tom Crabtree, left this offseason to Tampa for a better contract, D.J. Williams, a TE/HB hyrid, hasn't been able to produce as well in the passing game as hoped, and Ryan Taylor is more of a special teams ace than a true TE. While the Packers did sign Mulligan, a blocking specialist, they still needed help in the passing game. At first I thought Eifert was going to fall in their lap until the Bengals (who really didn't have a TE need) snatched him up. After guys like Gavin Escobar and Vance McDonald (who was picked with #55, a pick the Packers held) went earlier than expected, and Travis Kelce went two picks after the Packers's selection of Lacy, I had doubts of Green Bay picking a TE the rest of the draft. Green Bay seemed to have missed out on the TE run. Because of this, and the fact he had draftable talent, I think that Jake Stoneburner could make a run for a spot in the 53 man roster. The former high school All-American has flashed, while not used much, at Ohio State. He started 23 games for the Buckeyes and played 48 total. While Ohio State did run a run first offense, Stoneburner did what he could with his limited catches, taking 13 of his 53 receptions in for touchdowns. I truly think that Stonerburner, the former blue chip prospect, has the skill to play TE on a high level and was just not used to compliment his skill set in college.

Jeremy Vujnovich OT Louisiana College

Not much is known about Vujnovich and for good reason; he played for a Division 3 school. The Packers have never been afraid of going after small school kids, though. In the 2013 draft alone they took two FCS prospects in J.C. Tretter (Cornell) and Nate Palmer (Illinois State), and a Division 2 pospect in Charles Johnson (Grand Valley State). The big (6'5"), strong (35 bench reps), and athletic (4.8 at 290) lineman is most likely a project OL type that will be a practice squad type player. He was a two time all conference player at Louisiana College and an honorable mention all conference player his sophomore year, too. His senior year he tallied up 27 pancakes and was the left tackle for the first Louisiana College football team with a 3,000 yard pass and a 1,000 yard rusher in the same season.

Lane Taylor OG Oklahoma State

Green Bay already took two picks that project to be interior linemen in the 2013 Draft, but they nabbed up Lane Taylor as a heck of an insurance policy. Taylor took over as the right guard for Oklahoma State his redshirt freshman year and the only missed start he had was in his sophomore season opener. In total, Taylor played in 50 games for the Cowboys. The unanimous first team All Big 12 guard (by the coaches) allowed zero sacks his final two years at Oklahoma State. Zero. After visiting Green Bay earlier in the draft process, he chose the Packers over the much closer Texans and Cowboys, and the Raiders and Ravens. Lane Taylor is most likely a right guard or center on the NFL level, if he makes it out of the preseason.

Patrick Lewis C Texas A&M

Patrick Lewis has a Packers connection. At Texas A&M he played alongside two of Clay Mattews's cousins. Mike Matthews was actually the backup center behind Lewis. Patrick Lewis has a legit shot at making a run for the roster because of the lack of centers on the Packers roster. Jeff Saturday, who started a majority of the games at center last year, retired after being benched last season. Evan Dietrich-Smith signed a one year tender to come back to Green Bay and is most likely the Week 1 starter for the Packers. J.C. Tretter, the 2013 draft pick from Cornell, has the ability to move from guard to center. After EDS and Tretter, there is really no NFL caliber center on the team. Due to Lewis's size, though, he's most likely a center only prospect on this level. Coming out of high school he was actually ranked the #4 C in the nation. He started his career at RG where he started for two years, gaining All Big 12 honorable mentions before moving to center. As a junior he moved to center and earned All Big 12 honorable mention at that position, too, before Texas A&M moved to the SEC. He also worked out for Green Bay during the draft process.

Gilbert Pena NT Ole Miss
Via: NFLDraftScout.com

With only two players on the roster that play true nose tackle, it's no surprise that the Packers signed a guy like Pena as a UDFA. Pena had the potential to be drafted, but it's hard to assume that an NFL team would be confident turning the card in with the name of the 26 year old NT who only started six games in his two years at Ole Miss. Prior to Ole Miss, Pena was playing at ASA College, earning All Conference honors. Pena's body type is only comparable to B.J. Raji's and Jordan Miller's. They are the only other nose tackles on the roster, and while Thompson does tend to keep two NT's, one of which is typically picked up as a free agent, Miller has only been active in one game in his two NFL seasons. That shows some lack of confidence in Miller. While Pickett and Jolly can probably move out to NT, they will see more DE time than anything else. Some have speculated Josh Boyd (the 2013 draft pick) could gain more weight and play NT, but it sounds like he's going to cut some of the weight he put on during the draft process and be a LE for the Packers. All this allows a guy like Pena to make an honest attempt to make the Packers roster. While he doesn't blow people away with his workout numbers, he's not just a space eater. Pena was able to rack up 6.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks while only starting six games at NT for the Rebels in 2012.

Andy Mulumba OLB Eastern Michigan
Via: NFLDraftScout.com

Like Pena, a big part of Mulumba's signing is how many players at his position are on the roster. While listed as a defensive end, Mulumba is going to be a OLB for the Packers. Outside of Clay Matthews and Nick Perry (both first round picks), the Packers only have Dezman Moses (2012 UDFA) and Nate Palmer (late 2013 draft pick) on the roster at OLB. While Brad Jones has spent some time at OLB, it seems more and more likely that he will be a full time ILB with the Smith release and Bishop rumors. Mulumba has decent size and workout numbers, but didn't produce much at Eastern Michigan. The Canadian native only had one sack last year. Unless he plans to make a living on special teams only, he should be able to get to the passer better than that.

Ben Ericksen S Illinois State
Via: NFLDraftScout.com

Ben Ericksen joined Illinois State as a wide receiver in 2009. After planning to reshirt his first year, his redshirt status was burned mid-way into the year. Luck fell the wrong way again for Ericksen as he injured his leg after a couple of games his sophomore year. After spending two years at WR he made the switch to FS and never missed a start since. He returned kicks for part of his sophomore and junior years before moving to other spots on special teams. While he didn't have any interceptions his junior year, his senior year made up for it. His seven interceptions helped propel him onto various All American lists and his conference's All Conference team. Green Bay was one of four teams that were at the Illinois State pro day to see him and his teammates (Nate Palmer and Matt Brown, also 2013 additions to Green Bay.) Ericksen's senior year and workout numbers hint that he could last on Green Bay's roster with weak FS depth.

James Winchester LS Oklahoma
Via: NFLDraftScout.com

He snaps footballs and shares his name with a Revolutionary War officer. While Winchester does have some crazy explosion numbers (38" vertical jump and 11'5" broad jump), he's not a threat to Brett Goode, who recently signed an extension to stay in Green Bay. There are three kickers/punters on the team; you have to sign more than one LS.

You can follow Justis at: https://twitter.com/JustoFS

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Summary of the Packers 2013 NFL Draft Selections

By: Justis Mosqueda

Round 1 Pick 26:
Datone Jones DE UCLA
Jones's measurables compared to other Day 1 3-4 DL:

Before the draft I ranked the defensive line as the Packers number one need, but I didn't think they would address it high, if it wasn't in round one. The reason I say that is because their starters aren't bad: Ryan Pickett, B.J. Raji, C.J. Wilson. The issue was that everyone was set to be a free agent in 2014. C.J. Wilson (last year's starting RE), B.J. Raji (last year's starting NT), Ryan Pickett (last year's starting LE/only other player who can play NT on a starting level), and Mike Neal (third DE) are all off the Packers books after this year.

With their first pick, to my approval, the Packer went with Datone Jones, a 3-4 lineman who has the combo of athleticism, length, and strength, which is unmatched by anyone in this class outside Margus Hunt.

The question I have about Jones is regarding the nickel. What's he going to do on first and second down in the 2-4-5? Typically, the Packers run a LE-NT combo on those two downs, and Jones is clearly a RE. With the Packers running a majority of their snaps out of the nickel, the RE basically has the same value as a nickel CB (12th defender) in most defenses.

While the nickel fit is questionable, Jones is probably going to be the best LE the Packers have seen since Cullen Jenkins left for the Eagles after the Super Bowl run. Honestly, they were still looking for his replacement until this weekend. C.J. Wilson, last years starting RE, while not terrible, isn't great by any means, and he will most likely flip to LE, leaving Datone Jones-Mike Neal-Mike Daniels as the RE depth chart. Jones also needs to gain some weight, in my opinion. He gained weight for the combine but reportedly dropped down into the 270s again for his pro day. He's going to need to be closer to 300 than 270, if he wants to play all three downs. When McCarthy was asked about the subject, though, he stated, “Datone Jones has ability to be a 3-down-lineman.”

2013 projection: starting LE

Round 2 Pick 61:
Eddie Lacy RB Alabama
Lacy's measurables compared to other Day 2 RBs:

After trading back from #55, the Packers selected the free falling running back at #61. I think Lacy's draft process really hurt him. He went from being the number one ranked running back almost unanimously and running all over Notre Dame in the National Championship, to missing the combine due to injury and preforming poorly at his pro day. What's weird is the only drill he really did terrible in was the 3 Cone, which Bell also did bad in, but he went to Pittsburgh, even though he had way more wear on his tires than Lacy had by a huge margin. Lacy's been kept fresh. His first season as a full time starter was this year (backed up #3 overall pick, Trent Richardson, prior to starting.)

At first glance this is an amazing pick for Green Bay, but there's a reason Thompson traded back and didn't take him at #55. Lacy isn't a great fit in the Packers offense, but he's going to be good enough to start. Cedric Benson (gone), Ryan Grant (gone), Alex Green, and James Starks all started games last year at RB before DuJuan Harris really started to take over the show. Because of his lack of impact in the passing game, Harris didn't start a game until the playoffs. The Packers didn't really need a running back as much as they needed a three down back. They need someone the defense has to respect, a threat on 3rd and mediums so the defense doesn't just play two high, like they did all last year. Another way for Lacy to prove he is an every down back would be through the passing game. He ran routes a majority of the time during passing plays at Alabama, but if he can add a pass blocking dimension to his game, he might never come off the field.

Lacy brings that to the table, but I hope his vision is better than I give it credit for. If there was ever a RB that could get through college with a lack of vision and be highly touted, he would be thrusted into that spot by an offensive line like Alabama's. Vision is the key to the RB position in Green Bay's zone scheme. There have been talented players that lack vision that busted, like Brandon Jackson, in the past in this system.

While I don't think Lacy is a tremendous fit for Green Bay, he runs routes pretty well and is the most talented RB on Green Bay's roster already. That alone will get him on the field as the starter while McCarthy tweaks with the run offense to fit Lacy.

2013 projection: starting RB

Round 4 Pick 109:
David Bakhtiari OG Colorado
Round 4 Pick 122:
J.C. Tretter OC Cornell
Bakhtiari and Tretter's measurables compared to other Round 4 interior linemen:
Via: NFLDraftScout.com

Right when the Packers media members thought they had Thompson figured out, he threw a curve ball at them. With many wide receivers, like Quinton Patton, falling everyone thought that Green Bay was going to go WR with one or both of their forth round picks. This was based on the assumption that WR or FS were the biggest needs left for the Pack. With Greg Jennings already gone (along with their #2 TE Tom Crabtree), Jermichael Finley (#1 TE) and James Jones (league touchdowns leader in 2012) coming off the books in 2014, and Jordy Nelson (league touchdowns leader in 2011) coming off the books a year later, it seemed like Green Bay needed some youth to keep the arsenal of weapons goings. Ted Thompson wasn't having any of that.

Instead, he went offensive line. Twice.

First was David Bakhtiari (Bock-T-R-E), a three year starter from Colorado, who declared a year early. After his redshirt season, he started 33 games for the Buffalo over three years. First starting at RT, he moved to LT his sophomore year, taking over for Nate Solder (1st round LT) who left for the NFL. If there is an offensive line type Thompson likes to target in the middle rounds, it's guys that can swing to at least three positions on the offensive line. While I don't think that Bakhtiari can play left tackle on the pro level like he did in college, I think he has the skill set to develop to a nice RT, or guard. I don't think that either of these picks are evidence the team has given up on Derek Sherrod (2011 first round pick). They seem more like depth/draft and develop players than "make up for a first rounder" type guys.

The athletic and mobile Bakhtiari was reportedly ranked as the #7 offensive lineman on the Packers big board. If nothing else he will be able to push Marshall Newhouse as the #3 OT, this year. Newhouse is a free agent next off-season, so I imagine if Bakhtiari does well we don't see Newhouse back, unless the market for him isn't very good. Some even think Bakhtiari could play center at the next level.

J.C. Tretter reminds me a lot of an offensive lineman the Packers already had: Evan Dietrich-Smith. EDS and Tretter both played left tackle in college, but both will most likely be remembered as athletic centers in the NFL. Tretter actually spent his first two years at Cornell as a tight end before swinging inside to left tackle. While the center position is often the toughest position to play mentally on the offensive line, we have got to assume the Ivy League grad has something going on upstairs and can be taught the position.

Unlike Bakhtiari, who was really a swing depth guy, Tretter is going to be play a position (center) which he has a legitimate shot to be in the running for. Evan Dietrich-Smith is really the only 53 calibre center on the team, and he's only on a one year deal after taking over as the starting center the second half of the Packers 2012 season.

While I don't think either of these guys should see the field in an injury-free world, they should be nice OL projects that have the potential to start between the tackles for Green Bay, within two or three years. It's hard to say exactly where these guys will play, because they seem to have the flexibility to play almost every spot on the line. Basically every OL Thompson has drafted was an OT in college, so I see no reason why these two left tackles couldn't swing inside to guard or center like many have before them.

2013 projection (Bakhtiari): second string guard
2013 projection (Tretter): second string center

Round 4 Pick 125:
Johnathan Franklin RB UCLA
Franklin's measurables compared to other Round 4/5 RBs:

Not only did Green Bay (a team which doesn't value RBs much) pick two running backs in the first four rounds of the draft, but they actually traded up to grab Franklin. After sending a fifth and sixth round pick to Denver, the Packers doubled dipped with UCLA players.

Heading into the day Franklin was arguably the best running back on the board. After Bernard, Bell, Ball, Lacy, Michael, and Davis went Day 2, no one selected a running back until this pick. 

Honestly, Franklin's got a shot at starting over Lacy long term for the Packers. While Lacy is more talented, but a questionable fit, Franklin is a smaller, faster back whose skills might actually translate better in a zone blocking system. Franklin's got experience in zone blocking in his years at UCLA, while Lacy was running with the power system at Alabama. Another way the two new Packers backs are different is their college workload. While Lacy just became a starter this year, Franklin is a four year starter who never rushed for less than 126 carries (almost had 300 this year alone.) Lacy only had one 100+ carry season his whole career.

Franklin, like Lacy and unlike the rest of the RBs on the Packers roster, also brings three down ability to Green Bay as he was effective as a pass catcher for the Bruins. Like Lacy, I'd like to see him block a little more.

I'm actually pretty surprised that Thompson made the move up for Franklin because he already took a running back and he doesn't draft players that are smaller than 5'11", typically. The fact that he traded up for him makes me think that they value this pick a lot. If I were Lacy, I wouldn't sleep on Franklin, and if I were James Starks or Alex Green, I just wouldn't be able to sleep at night.

2013 projection: second/spell/third down RB

Round 5 Pick 159:
Micah Hyde CB Iowa
Hyde's measurables compared to other Round 5 CBs:
Via: NFLDraftScout.com

Hyde was my second ranked player that I thought could swing from CB or FS for the Packers (behind David Amerson.) When this pick was first made I thought he was going to be a free safety, because the depth there is pretty bad. Morgan Burnett, a SS, played at FS when we were in the nickel/dime, which was a majority of the time. Joe Whitt, the Packers CB coach, let everyone know that Hyde is going to be a CB to start out for the team and work in the nickel, dime, and special teams.

The cornerback position is pretty crowded at this point. Tramon Williams, Sam Shield (who's working on a long term deal), Casey Hayward (stud rookie nickel CB in 2012), Davon House, and Jarrett Bush all could be on the roster next year. House has been highly praised by the coaching staff, too, but his shoulder injury, similar to Tramon's, has been holding him back as of late. Jarrett Bush is a special teams ace that swings between safety and corner, much like Hyde is projected to do. If I had to guess, I would say Hyde's role will be closer to Bush's than a true CB. After Bush, now 28, started at CB Week 1 for the Packers, he saw very little playing time. He's going to to cost $1.68 and $1.99 million in salary cap over the next two years, and while that not very much, Thompson always is trying to take advantage of his cap situation. A cheap replacement to Bush could come in handy when Green Bay tries to extend quality players who become free agents next year.

Hyde isn't the fastest player in the world, but he seems like the effort guy. He played special teams his freshman year and was Iowa's ace player in that corp. From then on he was a starter, even starting a couple games at FS before flipping back to CB. He's also a good tackler, something the Packers need in the secondary if they plan to stay out of the wrong side of highlights this year. He did have an arrest in college, but Thompson must have not thought it was that big of a deal.

2013 projection: fifth CB/special teamer

Round 5 Pick 167:
Josh Boyd DE Mississippi State
Boyd's measurables compared to Robert Woods's:

Josh Boyd out-weighted Robert Woods by 109 pounds at the combine and they basically had the same 3 Cone time. That's all I really have on that one. Boyd and Mike Catapano were the two DE prospects I really wanted the Packers to give a shot in the later rounds. While Green Bay took a DE in Round 1, Jones is more of a RE and Boyd is more of a LE. This move could mean a number of things. I thought the Packers would have leaned LE over RE in the first round. The reason I thought so was because the depth chart doesn't look good for the future. Ryan Pickett is the starting LE, he's making around $8.4 million this year, is heading into 2014 as a free agent, and will be 34 by the end of the year. The Packers second LE going into the draft was Jerel Worthy, a 2012 rookie that got injured at the tail end of last season and may have to start on PUP. After that there was nothing. While the Jones pick probably does mean a flip from RE to LE for 2012's starting RE C.J. Wilson, he's nothing amazing, and he's also a free agent in 2014. So basically, every LE on the roster is most likely leaving in 2014 or is injured to start 2013.

While many have speculated that he was going to be a NT, he had to gain a significant amount of weight to get to 310 and is probably going to get lighter, than not. I feel like he's going to be the third NT behind Raji-Pickett, but really won't see that much time on the field there, although he's stated that he thinks he can play a little of DE and DT in the 3-4.

If his agility times tell us anything, it's that he's athletic for his size. Assuming that losing about ten pounds would make him even more athletic, you can guess that he could get a rush on 3rd down from the LE or NT spots. Combo that with his motor and strength, he's going to be a nice backup/situational lineman for the Packers in the future. He might even have the ability to start if Worthy doesn't pan out. A base nickel with Datone Jones-Josh Boyd-Mike Neal with Clay Matthews or Nick Perry coming off the edge could generate some nice pressure. People forget how great of a season he had with Fletcher Cox next to him last year, another player the Packers were high on. With Cox gone it allowed SEC offensive lines to target Boyd as the only real threat on Mississippi State's defensive line. Very few win that battle, and I think that's why Boyd's stock dropped his senior year.

2013 projection: second/third string DE/reserve NT

Round 6 Pick 193:
Nate Palmer OLB Illinois State

After signing Clay Matthews to a long term deal and taking Nick Perry in the first round, you would think that outside linebacker wasn't a big need for the Packers, but you'd be wrong. It isn't so much the quality, it's the quantity of outside linebackers that's the issue.

Outside of Matthews and Perry (who is recovering from a rookie injury), the Packers really only had Dezman Moses on the roster at OLB. The Packers #3 OLB was Erik Walden last year, and he split to Indianapolis for a lot more money than he would have netting in Green Bay. Brad Jones has some experience playing OLB, but after resigning for what seemed to be a huge amount (3 years $11.75 million) the Packers have decided he's more of an ILB. That left, like I said, Dezman Moses, a 2012 UDFA, as the lone OLB outside the two Packer first round picks.

With the selection of Nick Palmer the Packers have basically secured their Matthews-Perry-Palmer-Moses OLB corp, unless for some reason a UDFA flies up during the preseason.

Palmer is an Illinois transfer that left due to playing time issues. While at Illinois he was a Big Ten All Academic team member. He played two years for the Illini before heading off to Illinois State, but not before breaking his foot in a scooter/car accident. Like many Illinois natives, unfortunately, Palmer grew up as a Chicago Bears fan.

At Illinois State, Palmer played a hybrid DE/OLB role. A DE in the 4-3, an OLB in the 3-4. The reason for this was his small size, reportedly around 220, but he's got that up to 248 by his pro day and still flashed good numbers. Those numbers earned him his one and only visit with an NFL team, the Green Bay Packers.

Palmer is a good, athletic pass rusher (17 sacks in two years at ISU) that lost very little by gaining almost 30 pounds this offseason, at least by numbers standards. If he is the same football player with an added 30 pounds to his frame he will have no problem rotating in Dom Capers's defense. Most likely a second stringer, he's going to be able to help on special teams, too.

2013 projection: second string OLB/special teamer

Round 7 Pick 219:
Charles Johnson WR Grand Valley State
Round 7 Pick 224:
Kevin Dorsey WR Maryland
Instead of nabbing a dropping WR in the 4th, when Thompson double dipped on offensive linemen, the Packers got two project WRs in the seventh round. Much like OLB, the Packers didn't have quality problems with WRs, but they had quantity issues. The Packers two starting WRs, Nelson and Jones, have lead the league in touchdowns the past two years, and the Packers slot WR, Randall Cobb, broke the team record for all purpose yardage in only his sophomore year. With Jennings departure, though, the Packers were only left with two other receivers from their 2012 season: Jarrett Boykin and Jeremy Ross. Jarrett Boykin was viewed as a UDFA who should have been drafted in 2012, but he only caught five passes his rookie season. Jeremy Ross, also an UDFA rookie in 2012, saw a majority of his time on special teams, where he became a returner late in the year. He had no catches last season. The Packers top three could be the best three, but the rest of the roster only had three combined catches in their combined careers.

The first WR chosen was Charles Johnson, a small school prospect from Grand Valley State. Thompson has plucked players from small schools repeatedly, so this was nothing new (Nick McDonald, a former GVSU lineman, was on the Packers roster for a while as a UDFA.)

Both of the receivers have medium height and weight, and extraordinary workout numbers. Charles Johnson even ran a legit 4.3 twice at his pro day. Both were also brought in for visits at one point by the Packers.

Johnson started out at Eastern Kentucky (an FCS school) before being suspended, enrolling at a community college, and ending up at Grand Valley State (a D2 school.) The suspension raises some flags, but everything must have gotten cleared up during his visit in Green Bay. His body control is part of the reason he was able to catch 31 touchdowns in only two years at GVSU. Many small school guys that have crazy numbers don't show dominance over weaker competition. Johnson totally blew his competition out of the water.

Kevin Dorsey is very much the same as Johnson but very different, as well. Dorsey put up crazy workout numbers (Maryland WR's like Darius Heyward-Bey have done so in the past) and took a visit to Green Bay, but his production is the opposite of Johnson's success. After only racking up 18 catches his first two years, Dorsey started to breakout his junior year with 45 catches. His senior year, though, three quarterbacks got injured (not including O'Brien, who transferred to Wisconsin), which ended up making a freshman linebacker move to QB and start. He finished with only 18 catches. You can blame him for not getting open, but it must be hard when you are on your fourth best quarterback on the roster, again not including O'Brien. He did the best he could with the limited catches, though, tallying up 17.3 yards per catch.

In reality both of these receivers could make the roster, or both could be cut by the third preseason game, depending on how many the Packers plan on holding on their roster. Thompson took two freak athletes with very different senior years and is hoping one sticks.

2013 projection (Johnson): fourth WR/special teamer
2013 projection: sixth WR/special teamer

Round 7 Pick 232:
Sam Barrington ILB South Florida
Via: NFLDraftScout.com

Confusion at the ILB position started the day before the draft in Green Bay. D.J. Smith, who was a spot starter his first two years in Green Bay, was cut after a failed physical, but he was signed by San Diego shortly after, leading many to think the physical meant little to nothing. The Packers wanted Smith out. It continued on Day 3 as rumors of a trade for starting ILB Desmond Bishop, who has been recovering from an injury that kept him out of almost all of 2012, started swirling.

Brad Jones, a weak-side ILB like Smith and Bishop, was brought back this off-season after being projected to leave for a starting job. All of this lead me to think the Packers were moving on from the Smith's and Bishop's and making Jones a full time starter at some point this year.

I was slightly shocked when Barrington was picked because of this. Barrington has so many similarities to D.J. Smith, it's hard to count. What's interesting, is he seems like a better athlete than him, but only by his pro day numbers. I don't know what happened between the combine and his pro day, but his numbers got a lot more explosive.

There are red flags with Barrington, as he's had four arrest for a revoked license. He's since gotten his license back and said it's a non-issue for the future.

The Packers have never been shy about keeping ILBs on their roster for reserve and special team purposes. With Hawk, Jones, and Bishop all having large dollar signs attached to their names, Barrington will have to compete with Robert Francois, Micah Johnson, Jamari Lattimore, and last year's fifth round pick, Terrell Manning, for special teams time and a roster spot.

2013 projection: reserve ILB/special teamer

You can follow Justis at: https://twitter.com/JustoFS

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Day 2 Packers Thoughts

Picture via: ESPN.com
By Justis Mosqueda

Round 2 Pick 61:
Eddie Lacy RB Alabama

After filling their biggest need in the first round, the Packers focused more towards the offensive side of the ball in Day 2. If you asked a Packer fan what the biggest need( unfilled to this point) was, you would probably get 25/25/25/25% saying RB, WR, TE, or FS.

The Packers signed running back Benson halfway through the preseason last year, and he ended up being the starter, until injury. He was brought in on Wednesday, the day before the draft, but it really seems like Green Bay was trying to check out his foot in case someone didn't fall to them in the draft. They also signed Ryan Grant in December, to see if he could give the team any spark. There was a spark late in the year, but it wasn't by Grant. DuJuan Harris, who was selling cars prior to his mid-season call-up, became a really good change of pace type running back, but gave little value to the passing game (either blocking or receiving), which is why he didn't start until the playoffs. Between to Harris taking over and Benson's injury Alex Green (2011 3rd round selection) and James Starks (lead the RB corp during the Packers playoff run, which lead to a Super Bowl) started games, but neither could fill the role.

Wide Receiver isn't so much an immediate need as it is a future one. Jennings left for Minnesota this year, which hurts, but with Nelson (2011 TD leader), Jones (2012 TD leader), and Cobb (Packers single season total yardage record holder), the star WR didn't really create a need. The problem is the lack of bodies outside those three (Driver also retired) and that Jones is a free agent next off-season, with Nelson a free agent a year later. The Packers don't really need to take someone early, but there is a feeling that they need to take someone.

Tight End is another future need. Finley has a tight hold on the #1 TE spot in Green Bay, but he is almost certainly leaving next year, when his contract runs out. Finley has flashed at times, but his off the field antics, concentration drops, and price tag could have had the Packers looking for their 2014 starting TE. The Packers #2 TE, Tom Crabtree, left to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this off-season, also. With no real pass catching threat in the Packers vertical system outside of Finley, who will be gone in a year, it seems like the Packers would have to think long and hard if someone fell to them.

Free Safety is a now need that the Packers might need to fill this draft. MD Jennings and Morgan Burnett aren't going to cut it in shootouts. With Woodson's departure, the FS position took a huge blow. Burnett was stuck playing a lot of FS last year, when really he should be used to play more SS than anything else.

As the Packers neared their first pick of Day 2, wide receivers kept slipping. Keenan Allen, regarded as a first round talent, lead the pack. When the Packers were finally on deck I was sure I pinned the Packers pick to one of four players: Keenan Allen, Markus Wheaton, Eddie Lacy, or Jesse Williams. Thompson then traded down with San Francisco seven spots and picked up a 6th round pick (#173) in the process. (What's interesting is that Baltimore and Seattle traded right after, and Seattle got a better deal than Green Bay did.) Again, all four of those players were on the board when the Packers were on the clock. It was pretty obvious that the pick was either going to be a WR or a RB. The quality TEs that fit the Packers style (like Gavin Escobar) were already off the board and the high tiered FSs were also gone. The Packers had to chose between slipping players in both an immediate need (Eddie Lacy RB) and a future one (Keenan Allen/Markus Wheaton WR). The pick: Eddie Lacy RB Alabama.

What's interesting to me is that Eddie Lacy isn't really the greatest fit for Green Bay (played in a power system which didn't rely on his vision, while vision is the key to the Packers offense as a running back), but the guys that were good fits, but less talented, went before Lacy to teams that seemed to need a running back like Lacy. Teams like Cincinnati and Pittsburgh could have used a power guy much more than Green Bay, and Montee Ball's skill set translates better to Green Bay's offense than Denver's, in my opinion. Either way, Eddie Lacy was slipping quickly, and Thompson pulled the trigger for many people's top rated running back in this class, including mine.

Now, while Lacy is assumed to take over as the starting running back in 2013, Harris isn't going down without a fight. I think Harris might start in mini camp/the first couple preseason games, but he will eventually lose out to Lacy's superior talents. Lacy backed up Richardson and Ingram (both Heisman winning, first round RBs), so I think his ability to compliment Harris, and vice versa, is there. I have a feeling both of them will be getting some touches (65/35, I'd say) each game. Lacy's lack of wear also helps solidify this pick for me. He's like the anti-Bell/Ball in that aspect. Both of them took plenty of shots in their college days.

Overall, I like Lacy's potential, but I hope he's able to read and react to holes better than say Brandon Jackson did. That's another 2nd round Thompson drafted RB that had the talent to be a great back, but didn't have the vision to be productive in McCarthy's offense. I also wonder what he does in the passing game. In Alabama he seemed to have run routes most of the time, but Green Bay might need him to stay back there and protect their 110 million dollar man in Rodgers. While the fit wasn't great, the upgrade in talent was too much for Thompson to pass up at #61. Three cheers for the end of the Kuhn 3rd and 1 failed dive plays.

For reference here is how Eddie Lacy compared to the rest of the RBs selected Day 2. While he did not do drills at the combine, his pro day numbers are listed below.
All numbers via: NFLDraftScout.com
Eddie Lacys pro day numbers:
40 time: 4.64 (worst of the group)
Vertical Jump: 33.5 (only behind Christine Michael)
3 Cone: 7.33 (worst of the group)

Updated RB depth chart:

Eddie Lacy (possibly not a week 1 starter, but it's likely he is)
DuJuan Harris (2 starts in the playoffs in 2012)
Alex Green (6 starts due to injury in 2012)
James Starks (3 starts due to injury in 2012)

You can follow Justis at: https://twitter.com/JustoFS

Friday, April 26, 2013

My Favorite Day 3 Prospects

Picture via DraftBreakdown.com

by Justis Mosqueda

This is nothing too special, just a list of guys I would like to see the Packers target Day 3 (which they have ten picks in):

Matt Scott QB Arizona
Ryan Nassib QB Syracuse
Matt Barkley QB USC
Kyle Juszczk FB Harvard
Quinton Patton WR Louisiana Tech
Chris Harper WR Kansas State
Da'Rick Rodgers WR Tennessee-Tech
Ryan Swope WR Texas A&M
Levine Toilolo TE Stanford
David Quessenberry OL San Jose State
Barret Jones C Alabama
Brian Schwenke C California
William Gholston DE Michigan State
Jesse Williams NT Alabama
Alex Okafor OLB Texas
Trevardo Williams OLB UConn
Joe Kruger OLB Utah
Mike Catapano OLB Princeton
Malliciah Goodman OLB Clemson
Jordan Poyer CB Oregon State
Cody Davis FS Texas Tech
Phillip Thomas S Fresno State
Shamarko Thomas SS Syracuse

You can follow Justis at: https://twitter.com/JustoFS

Day 1 Packers Thoughts

Picture via NEPatriotsDraft.com
by Justis Mosqueda

Round 1 Pick 26:
Datone Jones DE UCLA

Going into the draft I really thought that the Packers pick would come down to either Tyler Eifert (assuming he would fall, which he did, but not to 26), Jesse Williams, or Datone Jones, in that order, if they stayed at 26. There were even rumors on Day 1 that they were going to trade back to the 2nd with the 49ers if things fell correctly, but the 49ers ended up trading up before the Packers were even OTC.

Eifert was just flat out my number one offensive skill player. I thought because he was a TE there was a possibility to fall. The Bengals swooped in and crushed that possibility.

The reason I had Jesse Williams over Datone Jones (same grade as a player) was his fit. First off, I thought that defensive line was the biggest "need" of this team. Here's what the Packers DL DC looks like:

Ryan Pickett (15 starts in 2012, free agent in 2014)
Jerel Worthy (5 starts in rookie year at LE/RE due to injury in 2012, might start season on PUP)

CJ Wilson (14 starts in 2012, free agent in 2014)
Mike Neal (no starts, rotational pass rushing DE, free agent in 2014)
Mike Daniels (no starts in his rookie year of 2012)

BJ Raji (15 starts in 2012, free agent in 2014)
Jordan Miller (has only played on game in two years pro with Green Bay/Chicago)

So that ends up looking like four free agents, two rookies (one of which is hurt), and a guy who probably won't make the roster. Because of this I leaned Jesse, who can play NT/DE (sort of like Pickett), instead of the DE only Datone Jones.

Maybe the staff was scared off by Williams injuries. Maybe they just wanted length. The staff did say they wanted to add length to the DL. The measurables of the 34 DL bodies that went Day 1 paints a pictures of what type of player Datone Jones is coming to Green Bay as:

All numbers via: NFLDraftScout.com

Datone Jones was by far the most athletic DL taken, not named Sheldon Richardson. He was only one bench rep, a half inch vert, and four inches off the broad from being on par or better than Richardson in every drill.

I have two questions going forward for Jones.

The first is: What he will do in the nickel? Green Bay runs more snaps in the 2-4-5 (nickel) than they do in any other formation. The two DL are usually the LE (Pickett) and NT (Raji). The RE's value in Green Bay is almost the 12nd man on defense, like a nickel corner in other defenses. Maybe with his rushing ability they keep him out there (like they used to use Cullen Jenkins) and take out Hawk (not a very good cover ILB) and go with a 3-3-5 type of defense from here on out as the nickel. No matter what the DL is the most rotated spot on the field, so we will see Jones on the field during the nickel, even if it's only on third downs or in for injury.

The second is: What's his playing weight going to be. Thompson said they were looking at other DL (namely Sylvester Williams), but that they were surprised Datone Jones fell to them, and they liked his length and athleticism. How athletic can Jones be if he gains 10-15-20 more pounds? He's already got strength (one more reps than Syl Williams, one less than Sheldon Richardson, who was the first DT off the board), but is he going to get pushed around at 283? Even at his pro day he seemed to drop some weight. According to NFL.com:

Datone Jones, DE (277) — Jones stood on his combine numbers and only did the position drills. The feeling with Jones is that he has to be play defense end in a 4-3 base defense in the NFL.”

He was 283 at the combine, but they reported he was down to 277 at his pro day? Jones needs to swing his weight in the opposite direction.

Updated DL depth chart:

Ryan Pickett (last year's LE starter)
CJ Wilson (last year's RE starter, plays more like a LE, just a lack of talent at the LE pos.)
Jerel Worthy (started five games last year, might start on PUP)

Datone Jones (maybe not week 1, but by the end of the year he should be starting)
Mike Neal (pass rush specialist)
Mike Daniels (pass rush specialist, rookie last year)

BJ Raji (last year's NT starter)
[Ryan Pickett]
Jordan Miller (inactive body, only played one game in two years)

You can follow Justis at: https://twitter.com/JustoFS

32 Knee-Jerk Reactions to the NFL's First Round

by Justis Mosqueda

1 Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Fisher OT Central Michigan
I was about as excited for this #1 pick as I have been for any. Once news started pouring in that Fisher, not Joeckel, was going to be the pick, I felt a little bit of vindication for the side I chose in the Fisher v Joeckel debate. Fisher is a good fit in KC, if they are moving Albert, or at least flipping him to RT. I think that Fisher is a better LT than Joeckel, but Joeckel is the better RT. Kansas City got the best player on my board at #1.

2 Jacksonville Jaguars: Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M
After all that talk about finding a building block for the Jaguars defense and all the rebranding and the Jacksonville fans taking over the NFL Draft on Day 1....they take a possible RT? I was really on the line of thought that had them taking Dion Jordan. Their HC is a defensively orientated guy and Jordan is as versatile as they come. Joeckel wasn't a bad pick for Jacksonville, it's just not what I expected. Gabbert has had criticism thrown his way about staring at the pass rush because he's been sacked so many times. Maybe the Jaguars took Joeckel just before Gabbert was going to go full-David Carr.

3 Miami Dolphins: Dion Jordan DE Oregon
Miami needed someone else to rush the passer, besides Cameron Wake. I didn't think it would be this early, though. After losing Jake Long I thought they would maybe try to slip in and take Lane Johnson before Chip Kelly could get his hands on the athletic lineman. I guess they thought Chip was going to take another former Duck in Jordan. I like the pick for Miami, but I'm not so sold on the trade up. We have seen move like this (Julio Jones-Atlanta) become huge building blocks for franchises, though. Hopefully Miami knows what they are doing.

4 Philadelphia Eagles: Lane Johnson OT Oklahoma
If there was ever a perfect fit for a coach and prospect this draft it would either be Chip Kelly (really coach Az, former Oregon defensive line coach) and Dion Jordan, or Chip Kelly and Lane Johnson. Johnson really broke out on the scene this year. There are questions whether or no he can anchor, but the reason he's the third offensive lineman off the board, and Chip Kelly took him at #4 overall, is because his athleticism. Johnson is going to be able to pull, keep up with edge rushers, and get to the second level on screens, draws, and zone plays, just like Chip wanted his left tackles at Oregon to do, but at a higher level. As a football fan, I wanted to see Geno Smith and Chip Kelly matched up, but maybe Day 2 has something in store for us.

5 Detroit Lions: Ezekiel Ansah DE BYU
It's obviously a disappointment for Detroit that all the blue chip tackles were taken off the board by the time they were on the clock, but they made their defense a lot better with the Ansah selection, at least in theory. The knock on Ansah is his lack of production and rawness, in general. If there was ever a DT tandem to eat enough space, and be respected enough by offensive lines in the passing game, to allow Ansah to be freed up a bit in the pass rush, it would be Suh and Fairley. It's also worth noting that Ansash was coached up by the Lion's staff at the Senior Bowl. Maybe he can buy some real glasses with that signing bonus: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BIvTJmTCYAAOnrp.jpg

6 Cleveland Browns: DE Barkevious Mingo OLB LSU
Wait, his name has Bark in it...and he's going to play in front of the Dawg Pound? (Until the team get repossessed by the league and gets moved away, again, that is.) Cleveland is obviously making the pass rush a priority this offseason by not only taking a OLB at #6, but signing free agent Paul Kruger (former Raven) to a big deal. At this point, I would take Mingo over Ansah, if we strapping on cleats today.

7 Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Cooper OG North Carolina
I was actually taking to a Cardinals fan the night before the draft and he was pitching to me why guards are a more important upgrade than tackles for them. I'm going to assume he really liked this pick. While Warmack was rated by many as the blue chop interior lineman of the draft, Cooper is much more athletic. Arizona flat out needed pass protection help everywhere on the offensive line. Instead of “reaching” on an offensive tackle, they took the best LG and C on the board. By doing so, Cooper became the first OG taken in top 10 since 1997. I like this pick about as much as you can like a guard being taken in the first.

8 St. Louis Rams: Tavon Austin WR West Virginia
The longer the draft process went along, the more I started to like Austin as a first round pick. His size scares me (as a Ducks fan, I compared DAT to him), but he's so fast that defenders rarely hit him dead on. It almost seems like they have to clip him to take him down. The Rams were really desperate for weapons, and Austin can be their Darren Sproles. Anything you can do to help Bradford is a plus at this point, for them. Based on the media reports the Jets really wanted him, so I can see why they pulled the trigger here.

9 New York Jets: Dee Milliner CB Alabama
I had to pause ESPN last night (yes, I watched the ESPN version instead of the NFL Network broadcast) because I saw something I thought I would never see. Jets fans. Cheering. At the draft. After Tavon Austin went off the board it was pretty well known that the Jets were going to take a CB, a positional need created after trading off Revis earlier this week. I like Milliner, but I wasn't crazy about him like many. I don't think there was that much of a value difference between him and Trufant long term. Rex is going to love Milliner, because he's already as good technique wise as most corners in the league.

10 Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack OG Alabama
If this pick wasn't going to be Warmack, I wouldn't have an idea which way the Titans would have gone with this pick. Thankfully, though, four offensive linemen went before Warmack, which caused him to “slip” to the Titans. His head coach is a Hall of Fame offensive lineman, he's a highly touted interior lineman, Jocker's and Johnson's growth seems to have been stunted after the Titans offensive line took a nose dive. Everything seems to make since for this pick. Also, Chris Johnson seems to have liked the pick: https://twitter.com/ChrisJohnson28/status/327594958821400576

11 San Diego Chargers: DJ Fluker OT Alabama
With the 11th pick of the NFL Draft, the NFL selects: more Alabama players. Seriously, maybe we should start having Saban coach two teams. Start a spring league solely coached by Saban. Saban Bowl. Call it the Say-Ban Bowl when Alabama gets smashed for paying players...say like...I don't know...DJ Fluker? The Chargers needed help on the offensive line and got it. Fluker is the best RT in the class and the first one off the board. If nothing else he becomes the last straw for Rivers and Matthews before the Chargers move on from them. They got them help, now it's up to them to improve.

12 Oakland Raiders: DJ Hayden CB Houston
I honestly thought that this Hayden stuff was a bad smokescreen until I saw his name flash on the screen next to a Raiders logo. Where has this guy been all through the draft process? Maybe I'm just not watching the right games of his. McKenzie does come from the Packers GM tree, though, and they do some weird things the first couple rounds of the draft. Hopefully he's good enough man to man to cover guys like D. Thomas from Denver twice a year.

13 New York Jets: Sheldon Richardson DE Missouri
I'm surprised that the Jets took Richardson for two reasons: 1) I like Star more than Richardson and 2) the Jets were talking big about getting faster and younger all before the draft and didn't really have a need at the 5T. Either way, this was close to BPA. Sheldon's intelligence and maturity have been questioned before, but I don't think that's really something Rex Ryan worries about too much in his lineman. Richardson is a freak athlete at his size and that's enough to take him in the mid first.

14 Carolina Panthers: Star Lotulelei DT Utah
Not only was Carolina in position to take a really good DT, but they had their choice of them, sans Richardson. The celebration in their war room must have been insane. Star was my number two player this year (behind Fisher) and Carolina's DT need was one of the biggest in the draft, Needless to say, I'm a pretty big fan of how this one turned out for the Panthers. If they sure up their run defense they could sneak into the playoffs next year and Star is the run stopper they have been dreaming up.

15 New Orleans Saints: Kenny Vaccaro S Texas
Semi-surprised by this pick. With the Saints transitioning to a 34 defense and Jarvis Jones seeming to slip, I thought they would be in the perfect position to make a move for him. I guess a hybrid FS/SS/slot corner had more value to them. Bill Walsh once stated that when you know you are good on offense, you need to start building your nickel defense, just because chances are you get into more shootouts. Vaccaro can play the center field or play the slot man well. Those are two big advantages when you are in a shootout.

16 Buffalo Bills: EJ Manuel QB Florida State
Who feels worse here: Geno Smith or Ryan Nassib? Yeah, Smith is falling, but Nassib is basically being told by his former coach that he's not good enough anymore. The NFL is a business, but that's got to hurt a little bit. Manuel's got all the tools that a starting QB needs in the NFL. Consistency is going to be the biggest factor for him. I'm not sure that Buffalo is the best place for a young QB with consistency issues, though. Hopefully he sits a year behind Kolb and can develop into something nice. I for one would rather get someone like Matt Scott in the forth round and let him sit and develop, than use a first rounder on someone like Manuel, who not only comes at a higher physical price, but the stigma of a “first round QB” that usually forces them into the lineup before they are ready.

17 Pittsburgh Steelers: Jarvis Jones OLB Georgia
James Harrison leaves Pittsburgh. Player that compares fairly well to James Harrison goes to Pittsburgh in the first round. Pittsburgh is currently treading on water, trying to keep talented players in house, or replacing them with about the same value. After New Orleans passes on Jones I thought this pick was going to be down to Floyd and Jones. Now Jones isn't the most athletic LB when it comes to drill times, but neither was Terrell Suggs. On tape, though, they both flashed a bunch of talent in college and had high levels of production. Jones almost becomes a plug and play guy in the same mold of Harrison.

18 San Francisco 49ers: Eric Reid S LSU
Eric Reid is a quick replacement for Dashon Goldson, who left for more money in Tampa Bay. Reid's got legit 4.4 speed and good size that allows him to play the center fielder role really well. I thought that maybe San Francisco was going to move up for a Jesse Williams (NT), but I guess they always have a shot at that with their other hundred picks tomorrow.

19 New York Giants: Justin Pugh OL Syracuse
I really like Pugh as a versatile offensive lineman. He's not the best right tackle and his length isn't great for left tackle but he's able to pretty much play any position on the offensive line at any moment. Pugh flat out gives the Giants a safety net in case someone goes down and the depth on the team at that specific position doesn't look great. Bounce in/out Pugh and plug someone in a position that has more depth.

20 Chicago Bears: Kyle Long OG Oregon
The Bears always seem to need offensive line help, but I didn't think Long would go in the first round. He didn't even start his lone season in major college football as a starter. Injuries pushed him up the depth chart and into the eyes of the scouts. People will point to the success of his father and brother as vindication of the pick, but Clay, Clay Jr, and Clay III were pretty good, too. How did Casey turn out? He doesn't have enough length arm wise to play LT, but I think he can be a solid LG, if he develops correctly.

21 Cincinnati Bengals: Tyler Eifert TE Notre Dame
Eifert was my number one rated offensive skills player this draft. Who would have guessed the team with the former AFL coach as a OC neglected their RB need to nab a second very nice pass catching TE? I'm not going to say that Eifert/Gresham are going to be the next Gronk/Hernandez, but they sure are in conversation for the next tier. The healthy Eifert/Gresham/Green/Sanu combo has got to make Andy Dalton feel a little better about his offense, than he did his rookie season.

22 Atlanta Falcons: Desmond Trufant CB Washington
I saw a lot of Trufant out here on the West Coast, which might have aided my bias to picking him as my #2 CB of the draft. He's great man to man, and his Senior Bowl cuts reflect that. Trufant and Poyer were out in Mobile playing better than any other corners on the field. Maybe even better than anyone else on the field, period. I like this move up and selection for Atlanta a lot. Trufant should be a nice #2/3 CB starting this year. My only concern is that he won't be able to match up against the big Calvin Johnson's of the world.

23 Minnesota Vikings: Sharrif Floyd DT Florida
So he only went 20 picks after most mock drafters had him selected.. I wasn't a big Floyd fan (had him ranked behind Star, Richardson, and Jesse Williams), but even this slip was bigger than what I had imagined. I don't understand how he got past the Cowboys, to be honest. Minnesota catches their first of three Day 1 picks with applause in the background.

24 Indianapolis Colts: Bjorn Werner OLB Florida State
I'm not really sure how the Colts are going to use Bjorn Werner in the 34 (not a big fan of him outside the 43). I feel like the Werner/Walden combo could look a lot worse than what the Colts staff is projecting them to be like. After spending all of 2012 on offense, though, the Colts had to pick up a defensive player. I wonder if this means drunk, German Tweets are in store from Irsay. :refreshes Twitter: Nothing, yet.

25 Minnesota Vikings: Xavier Rhodes CB Florida State
I'm not the biggest Rhodes fan (I actually thought he was going to fall to Day 2), but I can see why the Vikings made the move for him. After losing a starting corner this offseason they needed to replace him, and it seemed like the run for corners would go between this pick and their 2nd rounder.

26 Green Bay Packers: Datone Jones DE UCLA
As a Packer fan, I've had my eye on Jones and Jesse Williams for a while. I really thought it would come down to those two player or Eifert, if my some miracle, he dropped to #26. Jones is going to be a left end for Green bay which means in the nickel (2-4-5), he's going to be left out. This is what's confusing to me. Either way, the Packers are still trying to replace former LE Cullen Jenkins, who left to Philadelphia after the Super Bowl run, in their base defense. Datone Jones's workout numbers are only really comparable to Richardson's when it comes down to 34 DE's. They blow everyone else out of the water.

27 Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins WR Clemson
I'm not a giant Hopkins fan, but Andre Johnson flat out needs help in Houston. It just seems like it's always Andre Johnson, a decent slot guy, and average WRs for the Texans after that. Hopkins runs reall nice routes and can play pretty much everywhere as a WR (flanker, split end, slot). I might have gone with Patterson or Wheaton over Hopkins, but it's not a bad pick.

28 Denver Broncos: Sylvester Williams DT North Carolina
The Sylvester Williams story is a pretty cool one. From driving truck, to JuCo, to being a first round pick. He may be a Bronco now, but I'll always root for the guy. He and Jesse Williams were the last DTs in the third tier for me, and you could argue that their on the same level as Floyd. The Wolfe and Williams combo will really help out the Bronco's run defense compared to two years ago.

29 Minnesota Vikings: Cordarrelle Patterson WR Tennessee
After trading the rest of their draft to move up to this pick, the Vikings take their replacement for Percy Harvin. Much like Harvin, Patterson is a very raw prospect. When Harvin was traded it really created a hole for a number one target for Ponder and a returner on special teams. Patterson can fill both of those (if he can get his routes down) and is arguably the best WR with the ball in his hands, outside of Tavon Austin. The Vikings made some nice selections, catching falling prospects, but they still need help at ILB and they have basically played themselves out of plugging in a rookie day 1 of the season.

30 St. Louis Rams: Alec Ogletree OLB Georgia
If Ogletree stayed away from alcohol and adapted well to coaching, he would have been a top five pick. He's got that type of talent. If. But, Jeff Fisher has never shied away from character issue marked players. Ogletree, the fast linebacker, might actually be exactly what the Rams needed to combat the zone read they see at least four times a year. The read is just math and angles and LBs like Ogletree can use their athleticism to change the angles of runners. It really comes down to coaching on this one.

31 Dallas Cowboys: Travis Frederick OC Wisconsin
So the Cowboys lost out on the Floyd selection and picked Frederick in the first round? I really think Jerry needs to hang up his GM hat soon. That's all I got on this one.

32 Baltimore Ravens: Matt Elam S Florida
With the departure of Ed Reed to Houston, the Ravens had big shoes to fill. I guess they though Elam could fit Reed's better than Te'o could fit Lewis's. Much like Vaccaro, I think Elam can play deep and cover slot guys. He was recorded having a 4.43 40 at the combine, that's good enough to cover a lot of ground when center fielding. The last time the Ravens rolled with a S from the state of Florida it worked out, why not?

You can follow Justis at: https://twitter.com/JustoFS