Though the draft is far from over - the Packers have 3 sixth round picks and 2 in the seventh, I'm excited about what we've done so far. Our biggest need in my mind was offensive line. Last year's first round pick Brian Bulaga stepped up when veteran Mark Tauscher's knees continued to fail him and I'm hoping Derek Sherrod can do the same. Chad Clifton was a deserving Pro-Bowler last year but he's been in the league a long time too. While Clifton continues protecting Mr. MVP Aaron Rodgers, I've read that Sherrod's versatility could help him push for a starting spot inside where Colledge and Spitz have been inconsistent.
With our second pick I thought we'd go running back or outside rusher, but instead we picked up another weapon for A-Rodg. I'm ok with it though for two reasons: 1) we got a great value in Hawaii RB Alex Green in the 3rd round and 2) Randall Cobb should be considered a return man for the Pack who haven't had a special teams threat since Desmond Howard (our last Super Bowl MVP in 1997). I guess a third reason would be Donald Driver's age and injuries too really - though he'll be back next year, his injuries down the stretch made him less of a target.
In our 4th and 5th rounds we picked up depth at CB (very smart) and TE (not a bad idea considering how important the pass game is for McCarthey and Rodgers). That's only one defensive player though. Yes we had A LOT of defensive players hurt last year who should be back to make an impact this year, I'm still thinking we look for D-line or D-back value with our final 5 picks. Linebacker we obviously don't need as there's already a log-jam of good, contract-extended backers (Matthews, Hawk, Barnett, Bishop, Chillar, Popinga) and young talent (Jones, Walden, Zombo, and Francois). PHEW!
But then again, Ted Thompson is the master when it comes to building teams out of the draft! Think of last year's preseason super bowl favorites and eventual winners (despite being decimated by injury) - only Chuck Woodson was picked up in free agency. Just like his predecessor Ron Wolf, he's at it again this year!
NOTE: The Wisconsin Badger's have faired well in the draft this year too. Two of our 3 All-Americans were taken in the first round. JJ Watt went #11 overall to the Houston Texans and Gabe Carimi went #29 to the Chicago Bears. This is the first time since 2001 that two Badgers have gone in the first round when Jamar Fletcher and Michael Bennett went back-to-back in the mid-twenties. Watt's pick ties him for second highest since 2000 when Ron Dayne also went 11 (and we all remember Joe Thomas going #3 in 2007).
Lance Kendricks went in the 2nd round to the St. Louis Rams and our other All-American, John Moffitt, went to the Seahawks in the 3rd. I've read that all 4 should be first day starters. Also, Carimi was just the 5th OT taken in a tackle-needy league again this year, and Kendricks was 2nd TE taken (4 spots behind Notre Dame's Rudolph).