Packers XLV

Protecting the Franchise QB Was Top Priority

Posted April 29th, 2011 @ 04:04am

Maybe you're like me. As the back half of the first round began to unfold and Mark Ingram started to drop, I began to fantasize about plugging a dynamic running back into the Pack's offense--forgetting about his troublesome knee and imagining a Thurman Thomas-type ending.

But when the Saints jumped back into the first round, Ingram's fate was sealed and I turned my attention to Cam Heyward, a guy who could step in and replace Cullen Jenkins. But the Steelers ended that notion by grabbing the former Buckeye at #31.

So Ted Thompson fielded some calls about moving out of the first round but ultimately grabbed his second offensive tackle in as many years in Derek Sherrod, of Mississippi State. The fifth of five first round tackles, many scouts saw very little separation among any of them. Sherrod played in a spread offense, which is far different from the pro-style offense, but his size, quick feet and upper body strength have most convinced that he can be a ten-year left tackle in the NFL.

With Clifton's knees like a ticking time bomb, there's no way to know how quickly he'll be asked to protect Rodgers' blind side. The Pack may elect to move Bulaga to the left side and put Sherrod on the right side, once Clifton hangs 'em up. Who knows? Sherrod may get a shot at the LG spot this season if Darren Colledge moves on.

What we do know is the Pack did not have a second legit tackle of the future before this draft started. Now they do. The biggest asset this team has, Aaron Rodgers, will sleep well knowing that the Pack has prioritized the offensive line, adding another blue chipper at one of the game's most vital positions.

It's a very solid start to the Packers' 2011 draft. With two picks on Friday, expect them to grab at least one defensive player and maybe a wide receiver.

Other observations from the first round: The Lions could have the best D-line in the league next season. Pairing Nick Fairley next to Suh is frightening. I like what they're doing over there. The Bears have to be ecstatic that Gabe Carimi fell to them. Huge upgrade at a huge position of need. Badger fans are going to have a tough time with this one.

As for the Vikings, I give them credit for reaching for a QB and rolling the dice. They were convinced they couldn't wait till round two and were unable to move down so they just took the guy they liked, even if Christian Ponder wasn't considered a top 20 talent. But if Ponder doesn't deliver in 2012, the franchise will be set back for years.

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Comments (14):

Davey, I was thinking the same thing regarding Cam Heyward. Was excited to see him come to GB. Once the phone wasn't ringing, you pretty much knew Sherrod was going to be the choice. There are still a bunch of good players available. Hope you're right that Cobb is there at 64. Wouldn't mind seeing TT trade some later rounds to get a second 2nd round pick. GoPack!

on April 29th, 2011 at 06:29am

From my warroom.....I told you guys back in Febuary getting an OT with the first choice was what TT wanted and I predicted before the draft Sherrod was the guy. Ingram would have been tempting but protecting ARod is more important. Brian Billick before the draft had him rated the steal of the first round. Many scouts had him rated the best pure pass blocker in the draft. Yes he played in a spread offense but he shined in workouts and post season play. I like that this guy is smart....he was a finalist for the NCAA's William Campbell Trophy....aka the" Academic Heisman" with a 3.54 GPA in business. This is a great pick to eventually replace Clifton on the left side and keep Buluga on the right side. With the strike still on Rodgers should sneak off and buy this guy dinner as ARod will be sleeping well.

on April 29th, 2011 at 07:55am

Great call OSSG. Hope you both are right with Randall Cobb being available in 2nd or 3rd. Quick question: Since so many teams are likely to address their D-line issue during a deep D-line draft, is there a possibility that Cullen Jenkins doesn't get the payday he assumes? Figuring that GB may release Barnett and his 5.5Million salary cap hit, does that leave the Packers in a position to keep Cullen Jenkins for 5-6Million? Or do we simply scrap him anyway for a younger player like Jarvis Jenkins/Kendrick Ellis anyway? Your thoughts? GoPack!

on April 29th, 2011 at 08:40am

Well, I was wrong. I have no problem with that. I also chose not to say everything possible and therefore claim some sort of rightness. There is a difference, though, between making a prediction and naming all the possiblities. The question is, Which one did you do?

on April 29th, 2011 at 09:06am

I'm confusued. How can they make this about Fox News. Haven't they alyaws referred to Fox News as "Faux News?" If Fox News is "Faux New," why would someone make a decision as serious as hiring or firing someone based upon what they report. Now they are saying they made a personnel decison based upon what Fox News reported. By doing this are they not saying Fox News has a track record of getting stories right? If so, then they don't really believe Fox News is "Faux News."I'm not stating a case for or against Fox News. Fox News is simply a television news station not much different than any others. I'm simply pointing out what seems to be a contradiction in the actions of Mr. Obama, his team, and his allies.Actually we can find a number of contradictions in the actions of this man, his team, his allied and the US government in general. This is just one of many. Sometimes its difficult to keep up. How can any of them be trusted?

on August 1st, 2012 at 08:09am

The thing that makes it worse is that it was Obama and/or his administration that did it. Keef was tyirng to make it out to be FOX news and FOX didn't touch the story until after Obama fired the woman. But facts never get in the way of a good story for Keef.

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