With NFL draft now behind us, I’ve found myself asking one question about the Packers over the last week: Do the players Ted Thompson selected make the Packers a more physical team?
The answer I come up with is…maybe?
- First-round pick Datone Jones is 6-foot-4, 280 pounds. When you see him play, you think long and lean instead of tough and mean. But a player’s height and weight doesn’t tell you much about how physical they’ll play. I’m sure Jones will add some weight. If he doesn’t, sometimes smaller guys play with such an attitude that they might as well be 320 pounds of brute force.
- The first thing that comes to mind when I watch Eddie Lacy run is physical. You can automatically place Mr. Lacy in the immediately-makes-the-Packers-more-physical category. The catch with Lacy is his health. One of his big toes is fused on, he’s got screws in his hand, he can barely bench press because of an old pectoral injury and he’s had hamstring issues. It’s hard to help your team be more physical while riding an exercise bike on the sideline. Let’s hope Lacy is able to use his aggression on the field instead of in the team’s rehab facility.
- J.C. Tretter and David Bakhtiari are two offensive linemen that were not projected to be drafted because of their physicality. The Packers like drafting athletic college tackles who can play multiple positions in the NFL, and that’s what Tretter and Bakhitiari are. I suppose they could develop into maulers, but neither one makes me think they’ll immediately make the Packers more physical.
- When you think of being physical, do you think of riding a Jetski? Probably not, but that’s the nickname given to Packers fourth-round pick Jonathan Franklin because of his ability to leave defenders in his wake. Franklin does little to make the Packers more physical, but I don’t really care. You don’t draft speedy running backs to batter the other team. You draft them to run away from the other team once they are already battered.
- Fifth-round pick Micah Hyde probably won’t get an opportunity to make the Packers more physical on an every-down basis, but he should get his shot on special teams. The Packers could always use more physicality on their special teams. Josh Boyd, the Packers other fifth-round pick, is 6-foot-3, 310 pounds. He at least possesses the measurements to make the Packers more physical.
- I don’t know enough about the late-round picks to speculate either way. Nate Palmer is intriguing, though.
Regardless of how Mike McCarthy and the Packers try to spin it, they need to play more physical in 2013. Third-and-1 shouldn’t have to be a nail-biting adventure all the time. Adrian Peterson shouldn’t run for over 500 yards whenever he plays against Green Bay. Quarterbacks, regardless of how mobile they are, shouldn’t be able to move and dance around the field whenever they feel like it.
Staying healthy will go a long way in improving the Packers’ physicality (I love that word). I hope the draft class does too, but I’m not quite sold yet.
Of course, it’s silly to judge a draft class on their physicality before any of them step foot on the field, but the NFL draft wouldn’t be as fun as it is without the prognostication, speculation and analysis that comes with it.
When it comes to the physicality of this Packers’ draft class, let’s hope my “maybe?” turns into and firm “YES!”
Packers News, Notes and Links
- The folks had Cheesehead Radio had a nice chat with Packers defensive lineman Ryan Pickett this week. Make sure to give it a listen here.
- The Packers offensive line, it’s a shufflin’. Check out the changes here, then read the words I wrote about it here.
- Al Harris officially retired as a Packer this week. Jason Wilde always had interesting interviews and stories on Harris, and Wilde’s blog post this week was no exception.
- Evan Western at Acme Packing Company breaks down the Packers wide receiver post-draft.
- Could the Packers add a veteran safety? Brian Carriveau at CheeseheadTV has a nice breakdown of that situation.
- Quick shoutout to Packerpedia’s twitter account. They’re always tweeting useful news and nuggets of information on the Packers that are great for people on the go (also check out their fine blog here).
Non-Packers Links and Other Nonsense
- Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman died this week from liver failure. People always laugh at me when they learn I’ve listened to Slayer since I was 10 years old, but I don’t care. There is more emotion and feeling packed into a Slayer song like “War Ensemble” than most of what passes as acceptable or safe music that the “cool” people listen to these days. Hanneman’s death bothers me. I know, he’s just some quasi-celebrity that I’ve never met and probably have little in common with, but when you’ve connected with a band’s music for 20 years, it stings a bit to see one of its members die. It’s an odd sense of feeling old yourself, knowing you’ll never get to hear him play again, and hoping he’s up in heaven (or hell, he played in Slayer, after all) at peace and with a clear understanding of all the lives he touched through playing loud, obnoxious, fast, and just plain awesome music. I guess I would compare the feeling to how I felt after Reggie White died, even though I was much younger when White passed on.
- That’s all I got this week. RIP Jeff Hanneman \m/ \m/