Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rethinking the Packer draft...

Now we're here in the in-between time of the draft. And if you look at my previous effort? You will notice that several of the players I have chosen are rising up the draft boards. My top four have gone up in value. So, I have to come out and rethink this.

So I will. Because I love my readers.

1) B.J. Raji NT Boston College

Now I am dubious to whether or not he'll be there at 9. But he is a big, tough space eater going down and facing your center. If he's there? He'd be the perfect anchor for a team switching over to the magic of the 3-4 defense.

2) Jarron Gilbert DE San Jose State

And you know what? Even at this point he still may be at the lower end of his draft stock. You saw the youtube. You saw the spot. Jarron Gilbert may find his way into the end of the first round when we're done.

This is why I want Crabtree to fall to 9 and the Eagles on the Phone. I'd be willing to go up to 28 to get him. I like him that much. Jarron Gilbert will be a force of nature.

3) Darcel McBath FS Texas Tech

Now everybody is excited about Sean Smith and his size and athleticism, and I'm not here to rain on that parade. He is good. But Darcel McBath? He is good Day 2 value. He has better quickness and lateral agility than given credit for. He could be a cornerback in a pinch.

But he's a leader in the defensive backfield. He's best as a ballhawk. He's great in run support. In fact, let's call it like this. He's Darren Sharper with instincts. You want some of that? I want some of that.

3b) Coye Francies CB San Jose State

There are a few cornerbacks where you really probably should throw the 40 time out with. Malcolm Jenkins is one. Joe Burnett and Macho Harris are others. But Coye Francies has a listed 4.63 40-time according to So the question comes? Is he quick enough? He's as quick as tag team partner Christopher Owens (who's 40-time is 2 tenths of a second faster.)Yes. He has the physical, instinctive game, with the loose hips in coverage that remind me of a young Al Harris. And the 40 time means he's still available here.

But drafting two guys from San Jose State? Trust me. The defense was not the issue. Not by a longshot.

4) Troy Kropog OT Tulane

He doesn't have the mean streak or the right tackle power of a Fenoki Tenopu, but that may not be necessary in a zone-blocking scheme. He engages his blocks, and even if it's more of a catch than a push, you aren't going to disengage. But as a pass blocker? He's got real skill. He's savvy enough to pick up blitzers and other such schemes. He's quick enough to handle speed rushers.

5) Sammie Lee Hill DT Stillman

On potential alone? Hill may jump up a round or two. How many 330 pounders are quick enough to be a 3-4 defensive end? Hill can. But we're drafting Hill to see if he couldn't be a Nose Tackle. And when he gets low? The man can eat centers for brunch. He has great power when his leverage is right.

The only problem is obvious. He is still raw in terms of hand placement and getting low. A good defensive line coach makes him spectacular. Hill has high character. It's not the case of the million dollar body with the ten cent head. He can get there.

6) Nate Davis QB Ball State

Now, I know. Just three weeks ago, he was my fifth quarterback taken. At this point? He's in an Andre Woodsonesque free fall. But while there was a certain lack of orthodoxy to his success, if he actually lands in Round 6? You look at the gifts. And he reminds you of Troy Smith with his upside. He's a mobile quarterback with a cannon for an arm. You know he won't start right away at this point, and if the light comes on? He's an asset and a half.

At the very least? He tells Brian Brohm that he can't get too comfortable after he couldn't beat out Matt Flynn.

6a) Lee Robinson OLB Alcorn State

Now some would say take Aaron Maybin at 9. And you know what, if Raji wasn't there? I would at least consider it. But here? Here you have the perfect 3-4 Outside Linebacker. His coverage skills are somewhat sketchy. I will admit that. But that being said? Going downhill, there are few linebackers better in this draft. He can disengage those who wish to pick him up. And he can keep the trash away at the line of scrimmage. He very well could be Aaron Maybin at 1/100th the price.

7) Chris Ogbonnaya RB Texas

I like him a lot. He's a bit of a hybrid between BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Matt Forte. He's a hard-charging one cut runner who came into Texas as a wideout. He has good quickness and a decent power game. And he's a high character guy who can help on special teams with the soft hands of a wide receiver. And in a league where anybody can come off the street and be a fantasy football hall of famer at running back, isn't it important to have reasons to like a guy? I think so.

I know, this draft looks weird. Smaller schools and Texas. But you know what? I like it. I'm going to give myself an A for the day.



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