CAROLINA CRISIS: THIS IS BIGGER THAN YOU By Michael...
Green Bay Is Ready and Loaded
Any general manager who watched the Packers make their magical Super Bowl championship run should take notes on how their fellow GM Ted Thompson built his team through the draft.
What Green Bay did was add players on both sides of the ball. Last season, the Packers lost key starters to season-ending injuries, and yet they still limped through the playoffs, despite the odds of barely getting in the postseason.
To make sure that didn’t happen again, the Packers made the most of their nine draft picks in the three-day event, Apr. 28-30.
In the first round, they selected Mississippi State’s Derek Sherrod at No. 32. He spent his college career playing mostly left tackle, but it’s clear that they’re trying to groom him to play on the right side.
Sherrod took pride in not allowing a sack after his sophomore season, and he wants to protect Aaron Rodgers. With last year’s first round pick, Bryan Bulaga, manning the left side of the line, Green Bay should have bookends at tackle for several years.
Randall Cobb was a good pick in the second round. The team might use him as a kickoff and punt returner and will let him play some wide receiver.
The Packers took running back Alex Green from Hawaii in the third round. With three other running backs on the team, Green is a couple of injuries away from lining up behind Rdgers in the backfield.
Depth was also added at the defensive back and tight end positions in the fourth and fifth rounds. Davon House, the fourth rounder, will push for playing time. D.J. Williams, from Arkansas, overcame a rough childhood, and he’s still fighting an uphill battle as an undedrsized TE at 6-foot-2 inches. The Packers might use him as an “H” back.
Caleb Schlauderaff, D.J. Smith, Ricky Elmore, Ryan Taylor and Lawrence Guy, the sixth and seventh rounders are a long shot to make the team. A seventh rounder came from long odds to make the team in 1999, and he’s a champion who is near the end of his career, receiver Donald Driver.
Head coach Mike McCarthy hoped to bring the rookies into an orientation session this week, but that was postponed because of the NFL lockout. Whenever the lockout is lifted, watch out. This edition of the 2011 Green Bay Packers will be ready to defend the Lombardi Trophy that they brought back home to Titletown.