Saturday, April 25, 2009

A successful first day for the Pack

Now that Day One of the 2009 NFL Draft is in the books, we can make a quick assessment in terms of how the Packers fared: great!

Getting nose tackle B.J. Raji and outside linebacker Clay Matthews addressed two of the biggest defensive needs of the Packers. As was heard on more than one occasion from the TV pundits today, as well as after the season ended, QB Aaron Rodgers wasn't the reason the Packers wound up with the record they did last year; it was the defense.

The Pack got two players today who could both potentially start immediately. And to hear new defensive coordinator Dom Capers talk about Raji after the pick, he seemed almost giddy at the prospect of having both current nose tackle Ryan Pickett and Raji as part of his lineup. In addition, Ted Thompson made it clear in his press conference that they really liked Clay Matthews and when it became apparent that he was still available at #26 the Pack pulled the trigger on a deal with New England to move up and get him. New linebackers coach Kevin Greene spoke afterward about the potential that Matthews now adds to the linebacking corps. Greene seems quite enthused about what he sees.

All in all, kids, you have to rate the Packers' picks on Day One as A+.

Looking to the second day of the draft, the Pack goes into it with six possible picks, barring trades. Other needs that will likely be addressed: offensive tackle, defensive end, defensive back, running back and punter. No doubt Thompson would also like to pick up a receiver along the way, as well as attempt to add additional depth on the D-line and at linebacker depending upon the players available.

Thompson has always been good at getting production and value out of the later rounds. If he does as well with those tomorrow as he did today, this could shape up to be one of the better drafts the Pack has had under Thompson.

Go Pack Go!!!