Sunday, April 26, 2009

Packers take OT as first pick on Day Two

With their first pick of Day Two in the 2009 NFL Draft -- #109 overall -- the Packers took T.J. Lang, OT of Eastern Michigan. No doubt, the Packers will try to use his size (6'4", 312 lbs.) along the offensive line as needed, much as they have with some of the other current lineman on the roster. From the profile description, "Despite coming into his own as a tackle in 2008, many professional scouts feel that his drive blocking ability, reach and quick hand placement could see him shift inside to guard or center in the National Football League."

Here's a few other tidbits from Lang's profile: "All-Mid American Conference first-team and Super Sleeper Team selection by The NFL Draft Report, adding second-team All-MAC honors from the league's coaches... Earned the Harold E. Sponberg Award, given annually to the top down lineman scholar-athlete..."

The Packers did not have any picks in the second or third rounds, after trading those to New England yesterday to move up to take OLB Clay Matthews with the #26 pick of the first round. Barring trades, this will be the Pack's only pick in the fourth round. The Packers are set to have two picks in round five, #s 145 and 162, two in the sixth round, #s 182 and 187, and one in the seventh, #218.

Not moving up into the third round seems to indicate that it would be surprising if the Packers now traded out of any of their remaining picks, although anything is possible, of course. It seems as if they were really focused on getting Raji and Matthews as the main goals of their draft, and the other picks will be to take the best available players remaining given the team's needs.

In the post-pick press conference, Packers offensive line coach, James Campen, was very high on Lang. Campen noted that Lang was a captain on his team, has a defensive player's mentality (coming to the O-line from defense), will be able to play any of the offensive positions (even though he has never played a down at guard or center), is very intelligent, ran a 5.1 forty and did 30 reps on the bench press. According to Campen, the Packers had Lang in for a visit and he said he fit in very well with the Packers and showed a real appreciation for the game and for the Packers organization.