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Tuesday, April 06, 2004
The 2004 NFL Draft….Green Bay
As I look at this draft, I see value throughout all rounds even as low as the 7th round
but, as a fan, it is the first 3 rounds that concern me the most.
We have dreamed of trade downs and some of us have envisioned a trade up as well.
Some of us are ready to jettison Mike McKenzie (including me) and there has been talk of round 1 or 2 draft pick for him. But I fully expect McKenzie to be coddled and we keep him where the value is greater.
I am taking a very conservative approach to the draft:
Round 1: I believe Mike Sherman would love to move up a little for Phillip Rivers QB but that is not going to happen.
I also think Mike Sherman is exploring a trade down but will not receive a fair offer. Therefore, I will look at specifically pick 25 in round 1.
Will Poole CB: a quality player who seems to be on the Packers radar. If his effort were due to the flu and he returns to normal then this could be our pick
Antwan Odom DE: I think the packers have some concerns, the same concerns that I have expressed and are not fine with selecting him at 25. John Dorsey said recently he did not like any of the DL at this slot.
Darnell Dockett DT: I think Green Bay is giving strong consideration for this player. A definite boom or bust type of player with a good upside to him. But I think Dockett is probably 5th or 6th in line for them
Ben Troupe TE: another reason why they are exploring a small movement down in the draft. They like him but not at 25
Derrick Strait CB:: I believe he would be their choice if they had the first pick in round 2. I really do not understand this thinking – If you like a player why quibble over 8 spots??? Take him and move on. And they do like him.
John P Losman QB: they may just select Losman after all is said and done. Even if they trade for Couch. The thinking is he is minimum 2 to 3 years away from being a starter so they get Couch and develop Losman. The argument can be made that this would represent a wasted pick and we need defense and a starter from our first pick. I adhere to that premise as well.
Batman Carroll CB: I believe he is a favorite of Mark Hatley but not at 25. Another player they could target with a trade down. Carroll is likely a better fit for the packers because he can handle the smaller receivers. The taller ones do give him some fits but Carroll would fit the spot for where the packers need help.
Marquise Hill DE: we could see Green Bay after selecting their 1st rounder make a trade up in round 2 for Hill….Possibly around the 42 area. Green Bay does like Hill and his potential. The fact that he is bipolar does not seem to bother Sherman. Hill has the reputation of religiously taking his medications and has not been a problem.
SO you can imagine the thinking going on right now. Green Bay is looking at a reach with pick 25 unless for some reason a player slips down. The player that I believe Green Bay would trip over is Randy Starks. Despite Gil Brandt’s and some others comments, Starks represents an immediate upgrade on our DL. He is infinite better than Hunt and could allow Hunt to play some outside as well. Randy also would allow Kenny Peterson to work more on his pass rush skills and make the move outside as well.
But realistically I do not see Starks slipping to 25. So what does Green Bay do? I think they will still work on a trade down but the chances are slim for that. A possible move up is still possible but doubtful.
So this brings me back to pick 25. They will take a reach with this pick and since they are reaching I believe it will come down to Strait, Poole or Carroll and my money is on Derrick Strait. Since you are “reaching,” you might as well reach to fill a need.
AND YES I DO BELIEVE IN FILLING NEED IN ROUND 1 AS LONG AS YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT SAME PLATEAU ATHLETICISM. By this I mean you have about 12 players who are so close on the value board you might as well fill a need. The Best Player Method is still being adhered to as long as you are staying inside the same plateau. Lateral sliding along the plateau/ -- For example Derrick Strait gets a grade of M 1 / 18.25 whereas Carroll gets a grade of U 2/ 18.75 whereas Mark Clayton gets a grade of L 1/15.80 – In my system of drafting if Strait is off the board the difference between Batman Carroll and Mark Clayton is so small that I fill need of Carroll over the slightly higher ranked Clayton. What I did was slide laterally for need and still within the confines of taking the best player on the board.
Here is where I believe the Packers work a trade to move up a little. They really do like Marquise Hill DE. I would not be surprised at all to see the packers use their 5th rounder and a player along with their 2nd rounder to move up a ways in round 2 for either Odom or Hill.
I know I have been saying for about a week that a corner is the area they are piling up interest. Players like Vasher and Spencer and Joey Thomas and Ricardo Colclough and Greg Brooks and Keith Smith. I just believe the McKenzie issue is gonna’ force Sherman to address corner earlier. And I think we keep McKenzie in house. For at least 1 more season.
For the sake of this post let us assume they cannot make a trade up for Hill or Odom. Then what? Mike Sherman is not so well sorted that he would not come right back with another DB (either a Safety or a CB) – would not surprise me at all. Joey Thomas is easily adaptable to safety.
But do not be surprised if Green Bay selects Darryl Smith LB. A LB that I have been told Mark Duffner really likes and Dorsey and McKenzie share the same feeling.
I have this hunch that Sherman will move up for either Odom or Hill. But it could be Sean Jones (all 3 of these players have a grade (mine of course) of U 2/ 17.60 or higher
ROUND 3: Here is where most anything can happen. This pick could be used for that round 2 move up. But I think Sherman is determined to move up in round 2 without sacrificing this selection.
I think Matt Schaub goes very early round 3 or even late 2nd. But I think Sherman prefers Tim Couch over Schaub.
We could see another DB taken here or we could see a LB. We also could see a DL as well.
Based on what I think will happen I believe we will see either a DB or possibly a LB
Players that could be there are Rod Davis LB – Richard Seigler LB – Keiwan Ratliff CB – Will Allen S or Etric Pruitt S
But there is another direction that could happen. Jeb Terry is getting a lot of interest from Green Bay. And I can see why. Terry is a pretty good OG but he also deep snaps as well. and is pretty good at it. He fits a need and fits the better player on the board scenario as well. Terry could develop into the RG spot and eventually replace Rivera. They have similar game with Terry a little nastier. And he could fill the Deep snapper position as well.
I know Terry is not the pretty pick over a DB or a LB but might be the better selection of the draft. Terry carries a grade of L 3/15.025
I believe these are the issues facing Mike Sherman right now. If Rivers comes close to being available I think Sherman will go up for this QB. There is a lot of sites who say the Packers wanted Grossman last year. I for one do not buy that. I believe the QB they wanted last year was Kyle Boller, and these internet sites are wrong.. Well 3 of the top assistants say Rivers is better than Boller. That is high praise.
But the potential for Rivers to be there is slim if it comes down to pick 25
Therefore my thinking is they will reach for a player at 25 if Derrick Strait is off the board, and will 80/20 make a move up in round 2 for the DL. This seems to be the direction that Sherman is leaning if all my sources are level with me.
DERRICK STRAIT CB AND MARQUISE HILL DE or SEAN JONES FS
And either another DB (Ratliff or Pruitt or Allen) or Jeb Terry OG in round 3
Now that we have taken care of day 1 what about day 2::
There are some very fine players who are not in the top 96 who will be steals in round 4. In most drafts these players would be solid round 3 picks. It is possible that Sherman will use his 4th for that 2nd round move up that I am sensing but in case that does not materialize then what can we expect with the round 4 selection.
Players like Brian Rimpf OL – Jericho Corchery WR – TE Kris Wilson – Shaun Phillips DE – Corey Williams DT – Dexter Reid FS – Rich Scanlon LB – Bruce Thornton CB – and maybe Bo Schobel DE – all of these are normal round 3 players and we have a solid chance to select from most of these names in round 4. But a player of interest the last few days is Tony Hargrove DE. He might be the choice.
Round 5 offers some talent as well and might be the reason why Green Bay wanted the pick to be a 2005 selection instead of this draft. Some value that might be there include:
TE Tim Euhus
TE Ben Utecht
DE Andrew Shull
DT Jordan Carstens
FS Erik Coleman
LB Caleb Miller (just might go in round 4)
FS Deandre Eiland
DT Mondre Dickerson
SS Gibril Wilson
LB Greg Richmond
LB Cody Spencer
CB/SS Arnold Parker
QB John Navarre
These are some mighty fine talented players to be there in round 5 and in fact Euhus, Shull, Miller, Parker all would be welcomed if I were in charge of drafting.
The Green Bay Packers will find talent through round 5 and the level of talent might surprise many. Just like last year in getting Barnett. For most including the draft experts on the internet Barnett was a reach and we got lucky. For those who really study the draft, Nick Barnett was no reach and represented no surprise.
For example Caleb Miller a LB is a very good player who of course has a few areas of weakness but he also makes plays and has a lot of range and makes solid play decisions. It would not surprise me at all if Caleb Miller gets a lot of playing time for the team who selects him. Arnold Parker is a fast and quick Db with big play potential. Would not surprise me at all to see Parker get a couple of picks his rookie season and get more than a 3rd of playing time.
Round 6 and 7 will probably be some off the wall picks like a Terrence Copper WR who is a good return specialist. Eddie Jackson is a track star who can play some decent CB and has some cover skills. Renaldo Works is a nice hard running with decent hands Rb who might be better than Tony Fisher. Trey Darilek OG with some skills and a good pass blocking OG. Jared Clauss a very intelligent player with ability and a good drive and heart type of player who makes a quality depth player for most teams. Josh Buhl whose only fault is he is a 5-10.5 LB with only 203 lbs on him and not quick enough to play safety. Yet he will make an excellent special teams gunner and a good depth player. Casey Claussen QB will make a roster somewhere in the NFL He has enough arm and skills to get a look and will surprise. I think Brett Hudson will fall into round 6 area. Hudson is a hitter with decent quickness who needs works in play recognition. Once he learns that he could be one of those 6th round starters in a few years. Curtis DeLoatch S/CB will make a team because of his special teams play and return skills. He is raw as a beet in pass coverage and basically is a zone player but he could eventually work his way into becoming a decent Safety prospect. Lamar Bryant seems to be dropping off the radar of every team and that is wrong. Bryant has enough ability and production capability to become a solid prospect at RG. Not a Pro Bowl player but a solid player. Jeff Choate CB who could be a surprise selection in round 7. Stanford Samuels CB has been looked at by the Packers and some good comments made by Butler about this kid.