Saturday, February 23, 2008

NFL Combine underway

The 2008 NFL Combine is underway in Indianapolis. It's the place where prospects can make or break their spots in the draft. If you're a hardcore fan -- and I'm guessing if you're reading this blog you qualify -- you can check out all the goings on on the NFL Network. If, also like most fans, you don't have access to the NFL Network you can check things out online here.

It's interesting to ponder what the Packers might do in the draft. Our online poll here at is almost evenly split between those who see the Pack's greatest need in the draft as an offensive lineman and those who see the greatest need at defensive back.

A few of the mock draft sites that are up and running have the Packers selecting DOMINIQUE RODGERS-CROMARTIE, a cornerback out of Tennessee State. Yes, he is a cousin to Antonio Cromartie, cornerback with the Chargers. "DRC's" stock apparently went up with a standout performance at the Senior Bowl. He would not be forced into a starting spot with the Pack, but could learn behind two of the best in the game, Charles Woodson and Al Harris. One of the scouting reports on him says that "even though he has to bulk up he is a rare athlete with terrific height, leaping ability and ball skills." While both Woodson and Harris have been great, both are also aging; Woodson just turned 31 and Harris will be 33 by the time next season ends.. For as good as Harris played most of the season, we may have also gotten a glimpse of the start of his decline during the NFC Championship Game. The Pack will definitely have to find a top-notch replacement and Rodgers-Cromartie might in fact be a great pick if he is available when the Packers pick at #30. Some mock drafts have Rodgers-Comartie moving all the way to be a top 10 pick. If he's gone, and the Packers are targeting a CB, other names mentioned in this selection for the Packers are Aqib Talib out of Kansas (also noted in at least one mock draft as a possible top 10 pick), Reggie Smith from Oklahoma, Tracy Porter from Indiana, and Antoine Cason of Arizona, who was mentioned in several mock drafts. Very interesting, the number of drafts that have the Packers going with a cornerback with their first selection.

As to other possibilities, various mock drafts have the Packers selecting: underclassman Felix Jones, the "other" RB out of Arkansas; Dan Connor, LB from Penn State; Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh; Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College; Sam Baker, OT, USC; Pat Sims, DT from Auburn ...among others. Our friends over at Packer Chatters have the Pack taking Erin Henderson, OLB, out of Maryland based on the assumption that all the top defensive backs will be gone by the time #30 is on the clock.

One of the possibilities which hasn't been widely discussed, at least in terms of a first-round pick, is tight end. Now that Bubba is gone and Donald Lee essentially the only legitimate tight end on the squad, and with this draft apparently deep in tight end talent (albeit with no exceptional standouts), the Packers could indeed pick up a TE in the second round; the first round might be a stretch. Of course, GM Ted Thompson always says he goes for the best player available not need. Maybe there will be an exception to that rule this draft. There is a good article about the tight end possibility at It also has a sidebar article profiling seven of the top TE prospects.

Brett and Ted talk

After reports emerged that Brett might be a bit miffed that he hadn't heard from GM Ted Thompson since the end of the season -- even though Brett and Head Coach Mike McCarthy have spoken -- Ted apparently picked up the phone and called Brett. Of course, Ted isn't saying much about the conversation other than to say Brett still hasn't made his decision to return and, further, that he's earned the right to take his time with the decision. Last season, Brett decided by Groundhog's Day. A couple years ago, things went into April. Let's hope Brett decides soon so the Pack knows how to proceed in free agency and plan for the draft. Odds still have him coming back for one more run.