Reflections on Sports in Brew City and the Dairy State.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
PFR Packers Draft Recap
1.23 (23) Bryan Bulaga (OT-Iowa) 6'5"-314 2.24 (56) Mike Neal (DT-Purdue) 6'3"-294 3.7 (71) Morgan Burnett (SS-Georgia Tech) 6'1"-209 5.23 (154) Andrew Quarless (TE-Penn State) 6'4"-254 5.38 (169) Marshall Newhouse (OT-TCU) 6'4"-319 6.24 (193) James Starks (RB-Buffalo) 6'2"-218 7.23 (230) C.J. Wilson (DE-East Carolina) 6'3"-290
The Packers wildest dreams were fulfilled when Bulaga fell to them at the 23rd spot in the draft. Many viewed Bulaga as a top 10 pick, and he fills the Packers biggest need. He'll step in immediately at either right tackle or at guard. Neal will help bolster the defensive line, and projects as a defensive end in the Green Bay's 3-4 scheme. Along with last year's first round pick B.J. Raji, the Packers defensive line continues its transformation under their new system. Burnett raised eyebrows with a 4.42 40-time and a 39.5 inch vertical leap; he'll provide depth to a secondary that was exposed as thin by the Cardinals in the playoffs. Quarless was a very productive tight end at Penn State, and is a strong receiver; he also has a long history of off the field issues and is a classic boom or bust pick. Newhouse can play guard or tackle, and impressed scouts by running the 40 in just five seconds flat. Green Bay didn't find an outside linebacker in this draft, but may go after one now in free agency to replace Aaron Kampman (Jacksonville)
Packers did everything I could have wanted. They took the best value (which also happened to be the biggest need) in the first. I'm with Paul in that I generally prefer the Belicheat model of accumulating second rounders, but Bulaga is an irresistible talent at 23. Picking up a run first defensive end will free up Capers to blitz backers if he pans out. The rest of the picks fill needs well. I was a little disappointed that the Packers didn't "reach" for Bruce Campbell in the third (I thought they would take him in the 1st!) or trade up to get him in the 4th, but Gil Brandt loved the Morgan Burnett pick and that is definitely good enough for me. The Packers then took best available based on their board, can't ask for more than that. Boom or bust picks are great in the 5th, terrible in the 1st (especially when they are brain dead as Dez Bryant).
I kind of hope the Packers pick up a running back in free agency. Brian Westbrook would be a solid addition for a low, low price and used properly (as a receiver). I was concerned about the lack of OLB's until I read Thompson's comments saying basically, don't worry yet. I'm thinking he might dip his toe into the FA pool or work something out here before camp starts.
Detroit had a fantastic draft, Seattle had one of the greatest draft weekends I can remember, San Fran knocked it out of the park and who the hell was picking for Tampa and Oakland? Since when are they respectable.
Tim Tebow might not have a great career, but based on the contract he is likely to sign I am guessing it will be longer than Josh McD's. TT is a fantastic human being but all that charity work won't stop him from being a coach killer. Chicago was piss poor with what little chances they had and I will not pile on Jax, They know what they did.
I was driving all week so I missed all the TV coverage. Let me tell you, it was the best draft experience I have ever had (sans the moment I was drunk off my gord when the Packers drafted Rodgers. I was so thrilled I ran out of The Harp, took my shirt off and danced in the street...best draft ever). Gil Brandt is, quite literally, the best football talent evaluator I have ever listened to in my entire life. He had brilliant insights on the tip of his brain (his tongue didn't always cooperate with that speed) and even had hilarious nuggets like "Bulaga wins the most attractive girlfriend at the draft competition." Do yourself a favor next year; find out where he is broadcasting from and listen. This year was the NFL Radio channel on Sirius.
All in all I am happy, but as always we'll see around December if the last few months of painstakingly detailed analysis was worth a damn minute.