Welcome to the News Editorial section of PackerChatters.com where you will find Green Bay Packers news updates throughout the year. Packer fans editorial's, pre and post game reports, draft talk and more.
Friday, May 06, 2005
Final Analysis 2005 Green Bay Packers Draft
In sizing up this draft it is noteworthy to remind everyone that I am in no way declaring myself a draft guru and a better judge of talent than the GM and Head Coach of the Green Bay Packers.
My first response was we drafted a lot of athletes with speed but maybe short on smarts and instincts. My second response was we passed on higher name recognition players for lesser named players but so did the rest of the teams in the NFL. For years I have preached speed and for years I have seen Ron Wolf and Mike Sherman draft smart players but players who lacked quickness and outright speed. Now this year I see speed was a prime factor but the smart part is to be desired. The thinking I believe is the onus is now on the coaching staff.
I believe Ted Thompson showed everyone that he is willing to gamble but then that is nothing new to me as I previously posted a comment that in his history he does reach for players. Hey, there is nothing wrong in reaching for a player that you truly think the guy will be a player. The crime is wanting a player but then trying to get him a round later and end up losing such player.
My initial response was to grade this draft a D+ because I believed the Packers passed on better players to make some of their selections and also took probably 3 players they probably could have signed as rookie free agents. But after getting over my disappointment and reviewing their draft I have raised my grade to a sturdy C. I mean to really think about it they probably added 5 or 6 players from this draft to their roster and anytime you can do that you did pretty well. Rodgers, Collins, Murphy and Bragg are almost certain keepers and throw in 4th round picks Underwood and Poppinga and maybe 5th round picks Coston and Hawkins and that is 8 players added to a team that won their division and played some decent football last year in stretches. Now of course for this grade to reach B status some of these players will have to earn starting spots.
So you discover my grade as always is a floating grade. It is based on perceived immediate results and tempered with the understanding that it is not a final grade.
Also any draft that includes getting a potential franchise QB and a really good receiver makes it hard not to award a prelim grade of a minimum C
This is the kind of draft that 3 or 4 years down the road we see as many as 8 players still on the team. While Underwood and Poppinga and Coston and Hawkins may never start any games they will or have the potential to become solid depth players and more than adequate back ups. I believe Rodgers and Murphy have potential to be Pro Bowl type of players and Collins has a chance to be good.
As you read this analysis of the draft, keep in mind that a grade of C is not bad at all.
2005 NFL DRAFT SELECTIONS
AARON RODGERS QB 6-1 1/8 227
In two seasons at California, Rodgers completed 424 of 665 passes (63.8 percent) for 5,469 yards, 43 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, adding 336 yards and eight scores on 160 rushing attempts (2.1 avg.)
Aaron has good mechanics with very good foot speed and excellent agility. His release is very quick and his follow through is compact. He has very good velocity as well. Aaron has no trouble reading defenses and will not force the ball into traffic and goes through his progressions. Above average arm strength yet he rarely opens up for a deep throw. When he does throw it long it is smooth and at the right angle. In fact his deep pass is nice to see. Excellent medium range thrower who leads his receivers well.
Aaron has good field vision and when his receivers are covered he can tuck it and run. His athleticism and nimble feet makes him dangerous as a runner. Has good poise and quite remarkable patience with his receivers.
A tendency to lock onto his primary receiver when he is out of sync but rarely makes mistakes. The thing I notice about Rodgers is he will throw the incomplete pass and come back another play if things are not working on a play. He does not throw it up for grabs in other words.
He carries that pocket awareness and respect well and exudes confidence.
A knee injury did not keep him from playing and he had ligament damage and surgery in January of 2004 and sat out Spring Drills. Came back for a good 2004 season.
Should not go below pick 5 of the draft. He is for real.
Green Bay had the fortune to get a top 5 player at 24 and did not fail to see it. They selected Aaron Rodgers in round 1. Personally I just do not see how the Packers could have passed on Rodgers. I would rate him right up there with Philip Rivers and Eli Manning and ahead of J P Losman and Rex Grossman. I even think he is better than Kyle Boller
NICK COLLINS FS/CB Bethune Cookman 5-11 203
A big play maker as he had 30 pass deflections and 13 interceptions while making a total of 144 tackles. Extremely quick and fast. Sub 4.4 forty times with very good 3 cone drill (6.92)
Nick has good hip rotation and is fluid in motion. Has good back pedal and turns well. Plays tight on the line in press coverage and sticks close to his receiver. Makes good adjustments and sees the ball well in the air. Above average man coverage.
Has some tackling issues but if he keeps low he makes good wrap up tackles. Also some concentration problems especially if the play is not directly in his area. Needs to stay more alert to the receiver's double moves and will blow a coverage, with head fakes giving him fits.
There are some questions about his mental ability to understand complicated offenses but when I watch him play I see no problems. He always seems to be in the picture and he makes big plays. I believe where the work with Collins will be is concentration. He has to stay alert and not get himself taken out of plays so quickly. The longer a DB stays with his guy the more effective he is.
Collins has excellent speed and big play ability. I would not select him before round 3 but clearly he has ability to develop into a solid DB in the NFL. The athleticism skills are evident. The area of concern is mental acuity to handle playing safety in the NFL.
Packers took Collins with pick 51 of round 2. Might have been a reach. I believe some sources who tell me that Collins was their choice for pick 58 but when all of their players went off the board so quickly just picks ahead of the Packers, they decided against waiting to pick 58 to select Collins. I suppose we may never find out if the Packers knew that some teams might have been interested but it comes back to one of my beliefs. You got a player that everyone on your staff thinks can be a good one then why fiddle around. Go ahead and get your guy instead of rolling the dice that he will still be on the board later.
I did not like Collins as much as the Packers did. But the difference is this. I spent maybe 45 minutes evaluating Collins and reading scouting reports on this player. I am sure the Packers exhausted every angle in viewing and study. Probably 5 to 6 hours were spent including time talking with him by position coach Baker. That is invaluable.
TERRENCE MURPHY WR Texas A&M 6-0 204
Murphy finished his career with 29 starts in 45 games. He caught 172 passes for 2,600 yards (15.1 avg.) and ten touchdowns.
He is tall enough with very good speed and excellent receiving skills. He has very good acceleration with good body control. Makes good cuts and makes very good head fakes and uses his shoulders well in mis-direction.
Terrence also is very good in running the underneath routes as he quickly recognizes defenses. He has a second gear and often breaks first tackles with his strength and quickness.
Murphy needs work on route refinement and selling his routes. He needs work in smoothing off his routes as well. He needs to learn how to secure the ball as he has had 9 fumbles of which 6 led to opponents scoring.
Overall Terrence is an excellent receiver who just gets better and better after coming to A&M as a QB. A 2 year team captain and team leader whose head coach called him his �coach on the field�.
A solid round 2 selection that might be good enough to go late round 1. If the Packers decide to listen to some of us who think they need a WR then Murphy would make an excellent choice. I doubt they select Murphy because he will not last past round 2.
Packers selected Murphy with pick 58 of round 2 � Solid choice. I was surprised but pleased to see the Packers address WR early in the draft. I have been told that Green Bay had Nick Collins and Terrence Murphy WR on their 2nd round plateau and 2 other players (I am guessing Dan Cody DE and Charlie Frye QB) as well. They really wanted Collins first and I believe would have taken Cody at 58 if he had been there but we will never know. Reports on the radio had Cody as saying Green Bay and St. Louis as the two teams most interested other than Baltimore.
ROUND 3: The Green Bay Packers made a calculated decision that they would get a player they liked with a 4th round selection and made a trade down for an extra 4th round selection. Personally I am not so sure that the value was there and might have stayed put and made a round 3 selection.
MARVIEL UNDERWOOD FS San Diego State: 5-10 � 204
Starting 36 of 46 games, he recorded 222 tackles (130 solos), 7 interceptions and deflected 20 passes.
A tremendous athlete with very fast speed and good quickness. Determined man-coverage defender who is quick to get up field and has the ability to suddenly to turn and run on the ball. Very fluid flowing to the ball, breaking sharply out of his backpedal and has the recovery quickness and range with sideline to sideline ability. In other words he can make plays anywhere on the field.
Plays physical football and is good in run support. Has problems with the mental aspect of the game and will need work in route recognition and diagnosing plays., Slow to pick up things and gets taken out of plays quickly. Looks sloppy dropping back to switch off in the zone, showing marginal awareness as he loses sight of the receivers.
His overall lack of instincts could become a huge problem for a team that wants their safeties to play a lot of zone. Still he is a good tackler and has very good speed. He has that suddenness to his game and if the coaches are patient with him he might turn into a pretty decent player.
I would not consider him until round 4 and there are better safeties I believe that I would consider before Underwood. But if you want an athletic speedy safety then consideration for Underwood is appropriate.
Packers selected Underwood with pick 115 of round 4. Just about the right spot for this level of player. Not sure I agree with the trade of round 3 pick for this selection as I believe they passed on some very good talent. - My thinking is that they could have selected Underwood at 125 and gotten a very good prospect at 89 � But we will never know!
BRADY POPPINGA LB/DE BYU 6-3 259
Brady started 25 games for BYU. He finished his career with 193 tackles (99 solos), 19 sacks for minus-120 yards, 39 stops for losses of 162 yards and nine pressures. His 19 sacks rank seventh on the school's career-record list. He also recovered five fumbles, caused four others, intercepted a pass and deflected another.
Brady is a good football player with good speed and suddenness to his game. He knows how to make plays and he is always generating and moving to the ball or the QB. Has above average lateral agility with good balance and body control. Knows how to use his hands to get through trash and make plays in the backfield.
Will definitely have to play OLB in the NFL because he just does not have the power to stack up against the powerful OL. Needs work on technique and covering receivers out of the backfield
Brady is a good college player who must take it up another notch and learn the LB position to make it in the NFL. But he has good speed and instincts. There are some concerns about chronic back problems.
A round 4 to 5 type of development project. Might not consider Brady due to his back woes.
Green Bay selected Brady in round 4 pick 125. A concern due to my concerns about his back and can he make the adjustment to OLB in the NFL? There are some who are close to the Packers who believe Brady represents better value than LB Darryl Blackstock who went in round 3 - Some scouts I talked to said some teams consider Brady a better football player (instincts and smarts) than many of the LB�s ranked ahead of him. I do not know about that.
JUNIUS COSTON G/C North Carolina A&T 6-3 312
I did not evaluate Junius and have no scouting reports on him.
From the draft tidbits from several draft publications, he is a project with promise and good quickness who uses his hands well. Will probably have a fight on his hands to win a spot on the final roster and might make the teams developmental squad this year
Michael Hawkins CB AFL 6-1 176
Hawkins is a smooth fluid athlete with top end speed and exceptional quickness. Great agility with very good hip rotation. Has good hip flexibility coming out of transition, which gives him better quickness in his turn-and-go.
A lot of talent but needs a lot of work and a lot of patience from the coaching staff. He is a playmaker with good awareness and anticipation. With that speed and suddenness you just wonder what if this kid could have played 3 or 4 years in college.
Exceptional 3 cone drill which shows how quick he really is.
Packers selected Hawkins in round 5 pick 167 and this is a good spot to gamble. Many believe this was a huge reach and the Packers could have gotten him in round 7. Well why risk it when you get an athlete as gifted as this who just needs a lot of coaching and instruction. Seems to be the kind of player who responds to coaching. This is definitely a gamble pick, which could turn out to be a steal. Sometimes you get a feeling about a player and you just cannot gamble any longer. Green Bay was said to be extremely energetic about Hawkins athleticism
MIKE MONTGOMERY DT Texas A&M 6-5 276
Selected in round 6 pick 180 by the Packers and I can say this with clarity. I think the Packers made a mistake. I hope I am wrong but I really do believe they made a mistake. Bill Swancutt a more polished DE with productive 3 years behind him was still on the board. This guy had a really good career and backed that up with a very good Senior Bowl.
Okay what did the Packers get? A player under development that brings some talent to the table. Has adequate power and quickness and tackles pretty well. What he does have that is very good is a short sudden burst to his game that he uses to make plays
Grade: D and the only positional grade I will give out. (Because better players in my opinion were on the board. Jared Newberry and Bill Swancutt to name just 2. Also there is some health concerns about Montgomery and consistency issues as well. I just do not feel good about this selection. I would have preferred not making the trade of pick 175 with New England and selecting Nick Speegle OLB and then come right back at pick 180 and selected Bill Swancutt DE. Time will tell who is right about this.
CRAIG BRAGG WR UCLA 6-1 � 198
The only player in UCLA history to lead the team in receptions 4 years. Also had 12 TD�s of 40 or more yards and returned 87 punts for 2 TD�s and an 11.0 average per return.
Excellent competitor with good speed, size and athleticism. Does not excel in any area but is just a good player. Can get deep and create separation after the catch and is best when working against man coverage, as he uses his hands effectively to prevent the defender from rerouting him
Bragg runs precise routes and does a very good job with those quick slants and the quick out routes. Also has the ability to break open on the deep post route as well. Great timing and makes wonderful adjustments and superb concentration
Bragg has that 2nd gear after the catch even though he does not have blazing speed , he is deceptive. The thing I notice about Craig is that he gets open a lot quicker or faster than faster receivers. Does a good job of sinking his hips, dropping his weight and accelerating out of his breaks without gearing down
One of the better 2nd tier receivers in this draft and should not get out of round 4. A solid player with good work habits and a competitor. Has some elusiveness to his game and as I said earlier he always seems to be open on a route. Has good field vision as well and is adept at breaking off his route when he sees the QB in trouble.
Green Bay was known to like this player a month before the draft. It was no secret the interest the Packers had in him. They selected him in round 6 and got a steal of a player. A good special teams player and a pretty decent receiver as well.
KURT CAMPBELL LB ALBANY
I had no evaluation on this player.
WILL WHITTIKER OG MICHIGAN STATE
I had no evaluation on this player.
My personal feeling is the Packers took these players based on private workouts and something they saw. They very may well could have signed both of these guys as rookie free agents after the draft but maybe the team had information of another team about to sign them and they liked something they saw in each of these players. I do not know what they saw in them because I did not evaluate these players.
Some interesting names they passed on for these two players were: George Gause DE, Lorenzo Alexander NG/DT, Marcus Lawrence ILB, Roger Cooper OLB, C J Brooks OG, Junior Rosegreen SS
My personal choice would have been C J Brooks OG and Roger Cooper OLB but I am not the GM of the Green Bay Packers
Copyright 1995-2005 PackerChatters.com Inc. All rights reserved.