Monday, April 30, 2007

Many Fans Are Not Happy with Draft

According to an online poll at -- with more than 11,000 fans responding at the time of this posting -- 29% graded the Packers draft a C, nearly 24% give the selections a D, and nearly 29% score the Packer picks an F. That's more than 80% of the fan base (at least those responding to this poll) that basically are saying, "This draft sucked." Ouch. Seems as if many of the national pundits also agree. Some are saying the Packers are one of the teams that had the "worst" draft because they didn't get any weapons for Brett. You don't like to hear that sort of thing...even if you know it's true.

As Wayne Larrivee, "Voice of the Packers" and sports reporter on WTMJ620 Radio in Milwaukee said this morning, most fans have never seen most of these picks play. None are the marquee names that had been bandied about in mock draft scenarios. But as Larrivee pointed out, some of the players picked, particularly on the second day, could have an impact on special teams. He mentioned LB/FB Korey Hall out of Boise State as an example. He is a guy whose motor is always running, as they say. He likes to hit. If a couple of these other players can doing nothing but perform well on special teams -- especially given how dismal the performance of Packers special teams has been over the last two years -- that, Larrivee noted, will in itself make a big impact upon the team overall. Amen.

It would also still seem that the Packers would look for a free agent pick up, or perhaps trade, to take care of the need at running back; that issue was not resolved with this draft despite the Packers selection of Nebraska's Brandon Jackson and Florida's DeShawn Wynn. Buffalo's selection of Marshawn Lynch -- as some had speculated would happen -- really dealt a blow to the possibility of picking up a featured rookie running back this year. Although, if the Packers hadn't traded their second round pick to the Jets they likely still could have picked up RB Kenny Irons out of Auburn. So it goes.

And it remains to be seen what, if any impact, the two new receivers might have in the Packers offense. David Clowney out of Virginia Tech, has exceptional speed and could be the downfield threat the Packers have been looking for. He can also return kicks.

The player that is being called the Pack's "value pick" is kicker Mason Crosby out of Colorado. According to some reports, you might say he was the only kicker worth selecting in the draft. As the impact report says, "Few kickers in the nation can match his leg strength or college career accuracy. Crosby is also almost automatic on extra points. He is that rare blue-chip kicking prospect who only comes along once every few years." Mel Kiper, Jr., he of perfect hair fame, even described this pick as "potentially one of the steals of the draft." Those are words -- as opposed to "worst draft" -- that you like to hear. OK, it's about a kicker, but it's the principle of the thing, right? Oh yeah, Crosby has made a 60-yard field goal during a game, and a 71-yarder, Crosby says, in practice. OK, that may be at a mile high...but still...We all know how important a good kicker is, especially when winter rolls into Lambeau. Having someone who is used to adverse kicking conditions -- and Boulder isn't exactly warm-weather football either -- can only be a plus.

So, Packer fans, perhaps more than in recent years this year's draft class will definitely be one where we will have to wait to see what really comes of it. It may be a year or two before we know how good -- or bad -- it really was. The downside to that timeline is that Brett does not have that many more years to go...a year, maybe two. But he has to have the weapons. Now. So far, it looks as if that is still a question mark for this year, pending any trades or free agent pick ups that might occur.

A Fifth, Not a Fourth

One of the trades which didn't happen, of course, was for Randy Moss. The Packers were offering a fifth round pick, and apparently a more aggressive restructuring of Moss' contract. When it was all said and done, the Raiders wanted -- and got -- a fourth round pick from the Patriots. Mike Vandermause, columnist with, takes Packers GM Ted Thompson to task for loosing out on the Moss trade. You can read his column here.