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Wednesday, May 25, 2005
The View of the Packer Nation as we approach the June minicamp:
by Mark Quarderer
On Ted Thompson: TT has been on the job for only 5 months and has already made some tough choices and put his stamp on the team. He put lowball offers on all his RFAs and didn’t lose a single one. He let Wahle, Sharper, and Rivera go without trying to overpay to keep them. He put the transition tag on Bubba Franks and essentially deterred any teams from making a run at Bubba. He resigned Aaron Kampman when the Vikings tried to pull a maneuver and steal him. He didn’t try to stop the departure of some slow defensive backs like Hawthorne, or a poor tackler like Jue. He has signed some bargain type free agents like O’Dwyer, Klemm, Freeman, Franz, and Raynoch Thompson. None of these are top tier guys, but all were available at bargain rates.
In short, TT has done a pretty solid job out of the blocks. Now he needs to deal with the Walker and Bubba situations. Hey….nobody said this was going to be a walk in the park.
On the Draft: We got some good players in this draft. Collins, Underwood and Hawthorne are a desperately needed infusion of fast tacklers...as is Poppinga. Murphy and Bragg are solid additions as returners and receivers; Coston is a versatile and athletic lineman who has the luxury of being able to develop under Beightol. Of course, the crown jewel here is Rodgers, a guy that we never would have thought we had a shot at going into the draft. This guy could very easily have been the #1 overall pick of the draft and he fell into our laps. God IS a Packer fan!!
On Sherman: Able to concentrate exclusively on coaching now, Sherman has an opportunity to quiet his critics. The man’s record speaks for itself. His star player has endorsed him. But it would be human nature for TT to want to remove the guy who headed the old regime, and if the Packers don’t advance to the Championship game, he’ll have his opportunity to make a change if he so desires. Nobody could fault TT if he made the switch and mumbled something about “Lack of playoff success….new direction….blah, blah, blah.”
Personally, I think Sherman deserves an extension. He came into this job with no head coaching experience. He made some mistakes. He surrounded himself with some mediocre assistants. But he may have learned something from this experience…hiring Bates was certainly a good step. These people who denounce Sherman as an incompetent and a bumbler are simply not on target. I think it’s pretty hard to argue that he hasn’t been one of the better coaches in the league over the last five years…and that should be rewarded with a new contract
On the Offensive Line: We return a great pair of starting tackles in Clifton and Tauscher. Bedell certainly seems to have the inside track at backing up the left tackle spot and Barry and Curtin will be competing for the backup right tackle spot. Mike Flanagan returns as our starting center and will be backed up by Scott Wells who played pretty well last year when thrust into the starting lineup.
We’ve lost Rivera and Wahle. I don’t think the loss of Rivera hurts on the field very much (the locker room may be different). Essentially, last year we had Reugamer and Rivera in the interior of our line; this year, we’ll have Reugamer and Flanagan in the interior of our line. I think that’s a wash. Rivera was on the wrong side of 30 and had an injury history. There is no way he was worth the kind of money it would have taken to keep him.
Wahle is a little different story because he’s a quality lineman entering what should be the prime years of his career. I don’t really see how we could have paid him what it would have taken without having to lose somebody else as a result. We’re going to miss Wahle—how much will depend on Adrian Klemm. If Klemm stays healthy and plays well, it’ll take a lot of the sting away. But if Klemm is hurt and plays poorly...we could have a weak link on the offensive line. O’Dwyer and Morley figure to be in the mix for backups at guard. Look for the rookie Coston to end up on the practice squad.
Beightol is a very good coach and I’m pretty confident we’ll have a good line, but I think it would be unfounded optimism to conclude that it’ll be better than last years…and it could be worse.
On Walker and Franks: The Bubba thing is easy, in my mind—you sign him to a five year contract that includes a $10 million signing bonus and is worth about $17 million overall. The guy never misses a game, keeps his nose clean, blocks his man, and is a consummate threat in the red zone. We should lock him up for the long term…it’s much more difficult to draft a quality TE than a quality WR and we’d have a hard time replacing him if he left. Almost certainly we’d have to spend a first round pick and even that might not be enough.
Walker is worth a lot more than he’s scheduled to get, but I just don’t think the Packers can afford to establish a precedent of negotiating with a holdout who still has two years left on his contract. The Packers should tell Walker they’ll talk after the season and then be prepared to move on without him. It’d be interesting to see what some team might offer in trade.
On the defense: New defensive coordinator Jim Bates has unequivocally stated that the Packer defense "will be vastly improved this year”. I concur. Look, despite what some people on the fans board have said, the Packer defense did not suck rocks last year and has not sucked the big one during Sherman’s tenure. Before last year, the Packers had been a Top 5 defense in 2001, an above average defense in 2002, and a Top 10 defense in 2003. In 2004, we slid to the bottom half of the league in some key categories, like plays over 20 yards (32nd, dead last) 23rd in points, and 25th in yards. We were also dead last in takeaways. In my opinion, the scheme, the rookies in the secondary, and the problem at nose tackle were the three biggest factors. When Grady was in the lineup we went 10-2, without him we went 0-4, partly because his backups, Lee and Washington, were also out with injuries.
Despite the hole at nose tackle and the confusion in the secondary, the Packers held 8 opponents to 14 or less and 10 opponents to 20 or less. This is not terrible defense…in fact, three teams with defenses every bit as ineffective actually made the playoffs…and some even advanced!!!
There was nothing wrong with this defense that can’t be fixed with a simpler scheme, better coaching, and an infusion of a few players in the secondary and nose tackle. All of those things are in place. Mark my words: This defense is going to be MUCH, MUCH, improved this year.
On Green, Davenport, and Fisher: Reportedly, Green has been working out hard and is eager to put his rocky domestic life behind him and play football. Green has been one of the top backs in football for the last several years and if he’s healthy the Packer running game is going to be good. But staying healthy on that job isn’t easy, which is why you need a quality backup who can fill in to keep you rested or when you’re dinged.
Last year, that didn’t happen. Davenport was injured early and often and as a consequence Green carried the ball way too many times early in the season and was beat up by the halfway point. Davenport is a real key to the success of the Packers this year; if he can stay healthy and play well…and help keep Green healthy…then the Packers are going to roll on the ground. With the acquisition of Murphy and Bragg in the draft it’s probably that Davenport will be relieved of his kickoff return duties. While I think that Davenport is a good kick returner, I think he has more value to the team as the guy who can keep Ahman healthy.
Both Green and Davenport are quite possibly entering their last year in Green Bay. Unless they can stay healthy and hang onto the rock, the Packers aren’t going to want them back. If they do stay healthy and hang onto the rock, they’ll probably attract offers from other teams in free agency that the Packers won’t want to match.
Tony Fisher is one of the better third down backs in the league. He catches, runs, blocks, and even passes. He is assignment sure, he hangs onto the rock, and he stays healthy. I don’t foresee any changes at this position.
Sherman or Slowik to blame?
I think you have to lay the blame on Sherman for some of it and Slowik for the majority part.
I once worked in a factory where we had a manager who was a good manager of people and yet was undermined by an employee (a foreman) who had the main boss ear. This undermining led to some problems and it blew up in the face for everyone.
I wonder hpow many times Slowik talked with Sherman about things and was told that it was being taken care of? We will never know
Slowik in my thinking should have demanded Sherman to correct the issues that were biting and defeating. Slowik should have demanded total adherence from the assistant coaches and not the lip service he was getting.
But the coaching or lack of continuity within it was only a part of the whole problem. I listed 7 things and probably could have listed 5 to 7 more things
I really questioned the hiring of Shottenheimer and posted my fears that he and Slowik would knock heads on how to do things.
I thought Franklin needed replaced after the 2003 season.
I still say the poor play of the LB's - insufficient pass rush (when we really needed a pass rush we got nothing) and the injury to key players hurt Slowik's schemes.
As for tackling and such I read an article by one of the writers who said the Packers last year spent more time working on fundamentals and tackling and positioning than he had ever seen in the past 10 years.
Ultimately it falls on Sherman's shoulders. The buck stops with him. But the responsibility falls on SLowik in my thinking because he was too passive in his complaint - The blame was the underlings as you call them but that could have easily been diffused.
A head coach's two most important hires are his coordinators. He has to give them 100% assurance that he backs them. When you work all week on a game plan and everyone feels good about it you cannot listen to one of the assistant coaches on Saturday and throw the game plan away come game day.
You get confused players who do not know what in the hell is happening and they blow assignments and coverages because of it. You get solid players making mistakes and looking like 9th graders trying to play senior in high school football.
Here is something to think about. Mike Sherman I believe, learned a hard lesson. Do you think for a moment that he will allow Joe Baker to usurp Jim Bates? Do you think come Sunday morning SHerman will tell Jim Bates that the defense schemes for the game (that they worked on all week) are not going to be used and instead the team is going to do something else?
A hodge podge thrown together game plan where the coaching staff had no clue and the players were confused most of the time.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
What did the Packers get?
One of the best coaches I ever met once told me that you can only do so much coaching and if the player does not get it in his mind or his heart then forget it he will not improve.
We got a lot of speed and athleticism out of this draft but most of these players lack the intangibles or smarts or instincts. There can be only so much coaching before you get to the point where it is the player who has to do it.
Pro Bowlers in this group??? I am laughing right now. Not now we do not.
Collins is not as "dumb" as depicted by the media and the Packers spent time finding this out. But he does have difficulty in route designation and integrity. He can get turned around and completely fooled by not even great fakes right now. Speed and athleticism he has but the intangibles are lacking or not evident on the surface.
Underwood forget about him for awhile. This guy gets lost about half the time and a simple head fake gets him to bite. The Packers have their work cut out with this guy if they expect him to start. He does have speed and athleticism and those things cannot be taught. But the huge knock on him predraft was no instincts for the position.
Poppinga does have the intangibles to go along with above average speed. But he comes with innjury concerns and on some teams boards a lot of questions. Not sure here as well.
Hawkins might be the closest thing to having everything there to coach into a Pro Bowl player. Still there is a lot of work ahead with this athlete.
I believe what we did obtain was speed and athleticism with the hopes of finding a coupole of players. Sort of throw the dart at the board and hope you hit a couple of balloons.
Thompson could have gone the safe route and selected premium players that might never be great but would give you 100% and give you a good solid performance. But he rolled the dice and took chances with faster and quicker athletes with the hopes that these guys with better and more concise coaching would develop further and become better than just solid good players.
Monday, May 09, 2005
Quick Hits (and misses): The Post-Mother's Day Edition
by Mark Beerman
You shouldn't speak bad about a man's mama on Mother's Day. That is why I'm doing it the day after...Hah!
To Donovan McNabb's mom: GO AWAY! Nevermind you hocking bad soups to the people, but you make Donovan look like the ultimate mama's boy. I can see Mama McNabb packing Donovan a sandwich, chips and juicebox for his pre-game meal and taking him to Baskin Robbins to celebrate every victory. No wonder Donovan gagged in the Super Bowl...he realized he wasn't going to get his ice cream sundae in the football helmet of his choice!
To Kellen Winslow Jr.'s mother: What the *bleep* were you thinking when you raised this kid? Kellen practically ingested that silver spoon when he crashed his motorcycle. But I'm sure mama tells little Kellen Jr. that teams will take chances on him until he makes it (or more likely, crashes and burns). I've known some spoiled brats in my day, but Kellen Jr. just doesn't get it. You can also blame Kellen Sr. for it too. It's just that Senior comes across as being sane when Junior wants to throw away his career before it starts. Whatever it is in the Winslow household, mama needs to slap Junior...even if she needs to breakout a blackjack to do it.
To Tom Brady: Thank your mom everyday for the charmed life you live. Stop screwing the Tara Reid's of the world and go get yourself a woman with beauty and brains, who'll help you make great grandkids for your mother. Stop trying to be the millionaire playboy. Based on your recent contract extension, you don't have enough to survive a couple of illegitimate kids and two marriages. It's time to plan for the future, Tom. You owe it just as much to yourself as your mom to settle down and ready the next generation of the Brady clan.
To Drew Rosenhaus' mother: Thanks for beating the boy with a rubber-hose for 17 years...he's taking out his aggression, frustration and need for money on other teams now. Nevermind the ramifications on the actual NFL teams. Do you know how this will effect me in my keeper league? Javon Walker is my best receiver and I don't need Brett not passing to him. Nevermind that my second best keeper option at wide receiver is Drew Bennett. If your little boy ruins my championship aspirations, I will find you and take you out...and I don't mean on a date.
You are dismissed Marine...Semper Fi, hooorah!
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
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