Packers XLV

A Recap of Thursday's Round One in the North

Posted April 26th, 2013 @ 02:04pm

When you swing and miss on predicting your team's first pick, it bugs you. For about five minutes. Then you listen to the Mike Mayocks and Jon Grudens gush and you start to get excited.

Four years later, the Packers have a Cullen Jenkins replacement. The addition of UCLA's Datone Jones will give the defensive line a much needed infusion of speed and versatility and should make the linebackers behind him look better.

When the Packers were on the clock, I figured they were debating between nose tackle Sylvester Williams (who was expected to be off the board) and Eddie Lacy, Bama's hard-nosed running back. But clearly Ted Thompson and the scouting department had their hearts set on Jones and it sounds like they got a guy who has big time upside.

His college coach, Jim Mora, says he'll be a better pro than he was a college player. Mayock said his combination of length and quickness make him an ideal end in the 3-4. He completely manhandled the #1 pick, tackle Eric Fisher in the Senior Bowl. He'll likely be a three down guy, moving inside on sub-packages, since he is strong and quick enough to deal with interior linemen. Gruden calls Jones his sleeper of the draft. I'm pretty sure he only said this once on Thursday night--even though he loves pretty much everyone.

Plus, he grew up in Compton, CA a Packer fan, because of Reggie White.

I had my heart set on a safety and Ravens took my guy, Florida's Matt Elam with the final pick of the first round. I have to believe the Pack will consider that position if they like who's left on the board when they pick at 55. Tackle and running back could also be in play.

And now, a thought on the Vikings' first round haul. When Sharrif Floyd fell in their laps at 23, the night was a success, no matter what happened next. They grab Xavier Rhodes next, one of the few calls I got right in the first round, giving them a big, physical corner: precisely what they needed most. So they add two instant starters to their defense, which was a must--though middle linebacker is still a huge need.

Then Rick Spielman made the big splash, handing the Patriots both Friday night picks, plus a 4 and a 7 to jump back in and take WR Cordarrelle Patterson. You've got to give him credit in the cojones department. He could have gone to sleep knowing he made his defense instantly stronger and that he could probably grab a receiver in the second round.

But Patterson is the one guy who was different from all the other guys. He's completely raw, playing just one year of major college ball. He won't be ready to contribute as a starting WR because he needs to learn a whole lot about running routes, making adjustments, reading defenses, etc. His Wonderlic was in the single digits.

But he will make an instant impact in the return game, and as a guy who can run some Harvin plays: bubble screens, running plays. His size and speed had scouts drooling, but he's a work in progress. Having Greg Jennings around to mentor him will be huge. Vikings get an "A" for Thursday night, but will now be spectators until Saturday. I'll give the Pack an "A" as well. Adding Jones should make Clay Matthews even more deadly.

As for the other two, the Lions needed to add a defensive end, since both of their starts from a year ago are gone. Ziggy Ansah had never heard of football a few years ago. He's raw and inexperienced but many feel he has the potential to be a Pro Bowler. The Bears raised more than a few eyebrows with their selection of Howie Long's other kid, Kyle Long. He's another raw prospect that most of the experts projected to go in the second or third round. Yes, the Bears need all the help they can get on the line, but they could've waited. I thought they'd grab TE Tyler Eifert here.

I'll break down the first three round in depth "In the Zone" Saturday morning from 8-10 on KFAN and kfan.com. With my partner Trent Tucker absent (to attend Michael Jordan's wedding), we'll put the NBA aside for a week and talk NFL draft for two solid hours.

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Comments (5):

Good job, TT. A wise choice to address the D line in this round. As for the Vikings, a good job as well. Floyd and Rhodes helps their D, but with only a handful of offensive skill guys taken in the whole round, I have to question if 4 picks was too steep a price to get Patterson. Sure, I can see why the purple faithful are giddy today, and frankly, if I owned a helga horn (God forbid), so would I. But I have to agree with THC - the Pack gets a thumbs up, and taking a non-objective view, the Vikes also get a thumbs up. #23 and #25 were excellent choices, but you better hope #29 works out for the price of 4 picks. If RS can figure out how to get back into tonight's action, that might lessen the impact of giving up the 4.

on April 26th, 2013 at 02:29pm

We got our d-lineman. Today I expect Teddy to somehow get a third day2 pick through some wheeling-and-dealing. With those 3 Friday picks he will add a safety(our biggest need), a WR(he loves taking wide receivers in the 2nd round and with his success no wonder), and either a RB or TE.

on April 26th, 2013 at 03:48pm

Davy.....like you I initially wondered about our pick....but after further review in my replay booth I like the pick. Jones outplayedFisher the No.1 choice in the Senior Bowl and being a 5 year guy in college should be ready to help immediately. Trashman...excellent take....hope TT can get another day 2 pick and I agree we need a safety and running back. Still would love to see us get the big RB....Le'veon Bell from Michigan State. GO PACK AND TT GO !!

on April 26th, 2013 at 05:34pm

TT strikes again! Good move to trade back with SF, get an extra pick, and get Eddie Lacy. Now they could go for some OL help. I know what you guys are thinking regarding secondary help, but I disagree with it being THE priority need - I've said all along the secondary is the strongest part of the D; sure, the need is there, but the Pack has other more pressing needs.

on April 26th, 2013 at 08:24pm

The first night picks of Datone Jones and Eddie Lacy certainly address priority needs for the Packers and have been getting good reviews by people in the know. I just hope Jones and Lacy can break the Packers' historical experience with first round picks and high round rb selections. Lacy was rated as the top prospect among rb's in most pre-draft mocking but he was only the third back taken in this year's actual draft. I don't know if that should tell us something but I would be wary of declaring him our Adrian Peterson just yet. The Packers have taken backs in the second and third rounds before and gotten Brandon Jackson and Alex Green so there. If Lacy can turn out to be a Matt Forte or Ray Rice type of back the Pack will have something. For now I think Lacy is the first guy on the committee with DuJuan Harris and James Starks, but that's still an improvement. The positive reviews on Datone Jones are nice but we heard similar things about other recent de end selections Mike Neal and Jerel Worthy on their draft days. Ted Thompson's record of first round choices has been only average, and gets that high an evaluation only because of the emergence of Aaron Rodgers, who fell in his lap in 2005 and matriculated on the bench for 3 years before starting. TT's other first rounders have been the underachieving A.J. Hawk, the fluctuacting B.J. Raji, and the injured and still unknown quantities Brian Bulaga, Derek Sherrod and Nick Perry and the out and out bust Justin Harrell. (Clay Matthews was a first round pick but the second one after Raji.) The Packers desperately need Datone Jones to be an immediate impact player as well as a more durable one to break that tradition of first round underachievement.

on April 28th, 2013 at 07:39am

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