Posted by Mike Wendt on May 3, 2011 Jump To Comments
The 2011 NFL draft is in the books, so it’s time to take a look at some of the fresh meat the Packers will be bringing in this season, assuming we can put an end to this stupid lockout. I’ll skip the breakdown of Derek Sherrod, as we talked about him last Friday when we broke down the first round, and begin with Randall Cobb.
Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky
I love this pick for the Packers. I’d heard speculation that they would grab a wide receiver in either the second or third round as Donald Driver is getting close to retirement and James Jones is likely to leave via free agency, but I didn’t think we’d get as dynamic of a receiver as Cobb. Calling Cobb multi-dimensional is an understatement, because the guy did EVERYTHING at Kentucky. Here’s his statline from his final year at Kentucky.
84 Receptions for 1,017 yards and 7 touchdowns. 12.1 yards per catch.
55 Rushes for 424 yards and 5 touchdowns. 7.7 yards per rush.
31 Kickoff returns for 736 Yards. 23.7 yards per return.
41 Punt returns for 219 yards and 1 touchdown. 5.3 yards per return.
5 pass completions on 10 attempts for 58 yards and 3 touchdowns. 197.7 Passer rating.
The dude can literally do it all. If you do the math, Cobb accounted for 2,454 yards from scrimmage last season. You can bet the Packers will find ways to get him on the field. Although he wasn’t a dynamic kick/punt returner, I’d feel better knowing Cobb was returning kicks instead of Tramon Williams, simply because an injury to Williams really hurts our defense. Look for Cobb to get a look on special teams as well as some slot receiver formations when the Packers go with three or four wide receivers.
Alex Green, RB, Hawai’i
This pick left me scratching my head a bit. Ryan Grant has been fine when he’s healthy, Brandon Jackson is a solid blocker and has great hands catching the ball out of the backfield, and James Starks was crucial during the playoff run last season. Green posted some solid numbers as a senior, but he played in the WAC, a conference not known for staunch defenses. Green rushed for 1,199 yards and a whopping 18 touchdowns in 2010, and he also has above average hands as he grabbed 27 receptions for 363 yards. He’s a bruising back (6-0, 225 pounds) and should be in the mix as a third down back if he can prove his worth over Jackson and Starks. The biggest thing working against Green right now is the lockout, but I’m sure the Packers will keep a close eye on a guy who once rushed for 327 yards in one game on only 19 carries.
Davon House, DB, New Mexico State
Another player from the WAC was selected by the Packers in the fourth round in Davon House. House led New Mexico State with two interceptions, 57 tackles and 10 pass break ups in 2010, and was the seventh ranked defensive back in the draft according to some scouts. Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers likes to run with three cornerbacks in passing situations, and House could be an upgrade over guys like Pat Lee and Brandon Underwood. And, as the Packers learned last season, it never hurts to have depth at defensive back if injuries strike. House won’t have a huge role this season as he’ll likely spend 2011 learning the system and adjusting to the pro game, but he could develop into a solid cover corner. Plus you have to love the swagger the kid brings to the team. House, when asked if he would go back to playing baseball if football didn’t work out, told the Green Bay Press-Gazette “Football is going to work out”.
DJ Williams, TE, Arkansas
Williams adds depth at tight end, as Donald Lee is likely out the door. This may have been a pick where Thompson was simply grabbing the best player available, but Jermichael Finley and Andrew Quarless are clearly the first and second options at tight end. Williams should make the squad, but he won’t see the field unless the injury bug strikes.
Caleb Schlauderaff, OL, Utah
D.J. Smith, LB, Appalachian State
Ricky Elmore, DL, Arizona
Ryan Taylor, TE, North Carolina
Lawrence Guy, DT, Arizona State
The rest of the Packers’ draft picks will be fighting for spots at the tail end of the depth chart. Ryan Taylor will have an uphill battle making a team who is stacked at tight end. Guys like Schlauderaff and Elmore have been praised for their work ethic and drive, and my roommate thinks they have been drafted solely to bolster the practice squad and to push the starters during the middle of the week. An impressive training camp could earn Lawrence Guy a roster spot if indeed the Packers lose Cullen Jenkins to free agency.
So there’s an expanded look at the Packers’ draft class. Now it’s just a matter of lifting the lockout and getting these guys in training camp so they can get a chance to earn a roster spot. What are your thoughts on the draft? How would you grade the Packers? Drop me a line at email@example.com or tweet me @MikeWendt7.