Packers XLV

Hey, Everybody, R-E-L.....

Posted April 29th, 2016 @ 02:04pm

OK, like most of you, my salivary glands began to work overtime as the first round moved into the early 20s. A run on wide receivers was beckoning, which meant Ted Thompson would likely have more options than Eddie Lacy has midday snacks.

I started to dream of Myles Jack plunked into the middle of the defense. Of course, in my dream, Jack's bones don't rub together at the knee every time he moves. I also dreamt that linebacker Reggie Ragland would fall into the Pack's hands and, while he may bring coverage concerns with him, he would have brought instant grit, toughness and an ideal inside linebacker on early downs, at the very least.

Maybe Ted would trade down. Maybe a team would freak out for a quarterback and allow Thompson to add a pick or two and slide down 8-10 picks and still get a defensive lineman he liked.

Or, he would do what he did. And it caused most of us to yawn (maybe a few of you said a naught word).

Sure, there were a million highly regarded defensive linemen on the board. But he had one he liked best. One he thought could step right in make us forget all about BJ Raji.

In Kenny Clark, Thompson saw a young (just 20 years old), talented, former wrestler who is strong enough and nimble enough to get into the backfield and stuff running backs. You could argue that finding a Raji replacement was a more critical need than inside linebacker, where Sam Barrington's return and Jake Ryan's development assure us that the cupboard is not completely bare. More on inside linebacker in a bit: I expect Thompson to find one tonight, preferably with his first pick.

The immediate reaction is: what, another UCLA guy? Great, that's four Bruins in the last three drafts The last couple Bruins picks haven't been very inspiring: Jonathan Franklin had to retire before he ever suited up and Datone Jones, another DL picked in the first round, is hoping to find new life at outside linebacker. OK, the jury is still out on Brett Hundley (early returns look promising).

Reaction #2: OK, if you're going to address the D-line, fine. But what about those 'Bama guys? Or Billings from Baylor, or Butler from La. Tech? Those are the guys we heard all the draft experts talking about.

When the Journal Sentinel's Bob McGinn tabbed Clark as the pick in his mock draft yesterday, it should have prepared everyone. The guy is about as good as it gets in the nation when it comes to covering the draft. His top 100 picks are usually more spot on than anyone else's. He knew that Clark was Thompson's kind of player. One with tremendous upside, versatility and coachability.

His back story is also interesting--his father has been in prison since he was nine, serving 55 years for murder. There's a terrific story at espn.com, describing how inseparable father and son were before the fateful night. Clark's father has maintained his innocence from the start and the key witness who helped get him convicted has since recanted his testimony. The Clarks are hopeful he will be released soon. Clearly, this sad, tragic experience has caused Clark to grow up in a hurry and shaped who he has become.

So Clark will be needed to step right in and help the Pack's most decimated position, which will also be without Mike Pennel for the first quarter of the season. I expect Thompson to draft another lineman this weekend and bring in a couple more after the draft.

As for rounds two and three, I would be surprised, disappointed and aggravated if Thompson doesn't find an inside linebacker on Friday. My favorite is Temple's Tyler Matakevich, a four year starter and tackling machine. Other names to watch: Mizzou's Kentrell Brothers and Arizona's Scooby Wright (from Thompson's favorite conference).

The other Friday selection? I'd say it will likely be an offensive lineman or an outside linebacker...followed by tight end or running back.

Parting thoughts: deep breaths everyone. Let's look at the class as a whole after the weekend and remember that Thompson is pretty damn good at this. He's built a roster that's the envy of most organizations and his work on day three and after the draft is as good as anyone's.

Drafting Clark is a good start. Not a sexy start. But a solid, 'let's make sure we can stop the run and not allow teams to double team Mike Daniels all day' start. On to Day 2.

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Comments (10):

Interesting that the first three comments on this site are from our back stabbing Terrible Threesome. Let them vent their trash now lets talk some sense. Yes...this is not a sexy pick of a guy most draftniks had as a second rounder. But...as my friend The Voice would say trust TT. This guy is not a Worthy or a Sherrod or Perry. What I like about Clark is he is a riser who is getting better. Look at some of the guys selected ahead of him at any position and some of their analytics and physical measures have peaked and got weaker. Clark is only 20 and will not be 21 until October and all his measurables physical and on the field stats have gotten better every year. One thing I like about TT is that as a GM he will personally get down in the pits and test and measure these guys and get more of a personal feel for a prospect rather than relying totally on scouts. Check it out I have....very few GM's do this. I think he will be a Day 1 starter and contributor. As for Day 2 I like most think LB at 2 and offense with the 3 if we keep it. Keep the faith....we will be fine. GO PACK GO !!

on April 29th, 2016 at 01:05pm

the vikings must not have website to vent ha?? God you guys are paranoid. just relax and enjoy your 1st place team.This is a Packer site if you hadn't noticed. I was 1/2 right,OSSG and Voice, I wanted Billings,NT they got. Clark was team captain, so should have a good head on him and seems quick off the ball for big guy, just liked Billings more, hope I'm wrong. TT draft an OLB tonite, and don't you dare trade back, if anything move up. we don't need more picks we need impact players b4 12 is gone. Get wr, sterling shepard tonite too. GO Packers

on April 29th, 2016 at 01:12pm

Okay...let me take a flyer on our day 2 picks. Round 2--- We defenitely have to go LB here...If we want a true inside backer I like Kentrell Brothers of Missouri....think Chris Borland us Badger fans who was a great conrributor at SF before retiring. A takling machine who is around the ball. Or.. Joshua Perry of Ohio State who is big at 6-4 254 lbs and a good tackler. But....the guy I really would like is Deion Jones of LSU who is a hybrid new age type of LB/S at 222 lbs runs a 4.4 forty and would give our defense Claymaker and him flying all over the field. Round 3-- We go offense and take Jerel Adams a 6-5 247 lb tight end from South Carolina. Yes...we signed Cook....but this guy is coming on and is Finley long with some speed. TT go for it. GO PACK GO !!

on April 29th, 2016 at 01:43pm

hey what are you doing OSSG?, you can't be paul allen now, and change your mind every day. hahahha. need lb's with speed and can tackle. simple as that

on April 29th, 2016 at 05:13pm

Two. Thumbs. Up. Good pick...a lot to like about Clark. Vikings fans will be wishing they took O-line help instead of the Treadwell reach. You could have found your WR in a later round, but you blew it. Good luck with that.

on April 29th, 2016 at 05:51pm

Hey, we all know that you guys are absolutely pitiful at taking DL in the first round. And while you also passed on more talented defensive lineman, it could have been worse. Keep your heads up, all you gotta do... is BOLIEVE!

on April 29th, 2016 at 10:03am

A couple questions, THC: 1) Who is Leroy Guion? Does he likes guns, pot, and mysterious sacks of cash? 2) How is TT pretty damn good at his job? Certainly not the last 5 years. Need I remind you of guys like Datone Jones, Worthy, Perry, Sherrod, and Davante Adams? All big misses at high picks. TT has gone down his fast.

on April 29th, 2016 at 10:14am

Nothing more depressing than trying to talk yourself into a shitty draft pick. You can try to justify it all you want, but the stench of desperation is just too strong. Or maybe that's just the body odor of thousands of unwashed Packer fans

on April 29th, 2016 at 10:33am

TT better hope FalkenOLB can play from Utah, Schobert was sitting there, God he has a hard time drafting Badgers. at least he moved up, I like Spriggs alot. Kind a like Wr from Cal, looks like returner. sure wished we could have gotten Ervin, RB from San Hose ST. and Shepard, just watch boys and girls. Not sure what happened to Billings, watch him out play Clark now. hope I'm wrong. One thing I learned from this draft, I can judge talent, 92% of the guys I wanted and where they were projected, all went 2-3 rounds ahead from the so called experts predicted they would go... Let's play. GO Packers.

on May 1st, 2016 at 08:04am

I think the UCLA WR you drafted will be really good with arod.

on May 1st, 2016 at 10:38am

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