Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Rookies Rewarded

With all the rookies playing for the Packers this past season -- with all the rookies starting (a possible club record with five primary rookie starters) -- the odds would seem to favor a presence of some kind on the NFL's all-rookie team. And so it is. Wide receiver Greg Jennings, guard Daryn Colledge and linebacker A.J. Hawk were named to the all-rookie team. Selections are made by writers and editors from Pro Football Weekly and members of the Pro Football Writers of America. So there's some credibility and respect behind these selections.

As the season went on, it became more and more apparent that the Pack had made some good picks last April. Jennings surprised early on, but was unfortunately more limited as the season progressed as a result of an ankle injury. Still, he was good enough to be named to the all-rookie team. Hawk started all 16 games and led the Packers in tackles with 155. Colledge started 15 games and became a solid and reliable performer with a great upside. The experience that all the rookies received this year bodes well for the future.

The Packers are slotted to get the 16th pick in the first round of this year's draft. The final total number of picks, especially with GM Ted Thompson's penchant for wheeling and dealing, is an unknown. Unless there is someone he really wants and values at that 16th pick -- or earlier -- it wouldn't be surprising to see Thompson trade down for additional picks. One player that has been mentioned as possibly being of interest to the Packers and who might be available at that slot is Ohio State's Ted Ginn, Jr. Ginn is a junior who is coming out early. He is a wide receiver and punt and kick return specialist. Ginn's injury early on in this year's Fiesta Bowl took away the Buckeyes key offensive and special teams playmaker and was a prime factor in their loss of the national championship to the Gators. The Pack could certainly use a returner who is a legitimate threat. And another playmaking receiver -- regardless of who may be throwing the ball -- is always a plus.

Hey, it's January. It's cold. The only things we have to sustain us right now are thoughts of the draft...and the Saints beating Da Bearz this weekend.