Saturday, May 10, 2014

Packers 2014 Draft Review: Rounds 1-3

While the actual NFL football season is still several months away, the NFL Draft marks the unofficial start of the season for many fans. It sure gets the juices of Packers fans going.

To the surprise of some, GM Ted Thompson -- Trader Ted -- didn't make a move through the first three rounds, choosing instead to stay pat with the team's assigned picks. So, what do we make of the Pack's picks through the first two days? From this vantage point, we're pleased. Let's take a look at the selections, shall we...

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Davante Adams
Fresno State
Khyri Thornton
Southern Miss
98 (compensatory)
Richard Rodgers

Analysis on each player can be found here; kudos to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for providing a great overview of the newest Packers.

What's our take?
As noted earlier, we think the Packers have generally had a good start to the draft. Getting Clinton-Dix, one of the top safeties available, means there is finally a good complement to Morgan Burnett. Perhaps the Pack's safeties will actually record an interception this season. Plus, Clinton-Dix is physical. Being given Charles Woodson's old number -- 21 -- is hopefully a precursor of things to come.

With Adams at wide receiver, the Packers added the nation's reception leader from 2013. He knows how to find the endzone, too. Over the last two seasons, he scored 38 touchdowns with Fresno State. As one pundit stated after the pick, the Packers replaced James Jones with a better version of James Jones. If you were happy with Jones (at least, most of the time), we think you'll be happy with Adams. Our guess is Aaron Rodgers will be, too.

Thornton may have been an unknown commodity to most Packer fans, unless you happen to reside in the South, of course. He was a fifth-year senior and team captain at Southern Miss. The story on him is that he is an athlete. At 6'3" and 304 pounds, he is the type of defensive tackle that could spell relief for B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett, and perhaps be the replacement for one or the other down the road...with Pickett the more likely given his age.

To say we'll have fun with the Rodgers to Rodgers pass-catch duo is an understatement. Plus, both of the Rodgers' attended California...synchronicity! Rodgers (that will be Richard, not Aaron) has played at both blocking tight end and inside receiver. He has versatility, something the Packers value highly in all their players and particularly their receivers. He's not exactly a burner speed-wise (not too many tight ends are), but at 6'4" and about 260, and apparently with very good hands, he should add some needed competition and depth at the tight end spot for the Pack, who will likely be without Jermichael Finley going forward.

So, bottom line: good job, Ted. Can't wait to see what you do today.

At least for now, the remaining selections for the Packers look like this:
Round 4 (121st overall)
Round 5 (161st overall)
Round 5 (176th overall) -- Compensatory
Round 6 (197th overall)
Round 7 (236th overall)

Go Pack Go!!!