Closer Examination of the Packers Picks on Offense (with video)

Davante Adams, WR Fresno State.
Davante Adams, WR Fresno State.
Davante Adams, WR Fresno State.

I am going to start this with saying the WR position was a bigger need then most seemed to think, with all the focus on defense and that was warranted, the offense also needed work.  The Packers were one injury away from Miles White or Kevin Dorsey being the #3 WR.

With the number of three and four wide receiver sets and adding the loss of Finley, WR had to have a influx of talent and competition.

Now I like Boykin and how he has developed, but the Packers have the #1 QB in the NFL and he has to have weapons and the position needed depth.

Center was another position that needed added competition. I think Tretter will be the starting Center and be a very good one, but he should not just be handed the job. Behind Tretter there was only one real Center, Garth Garhart a UDFA from Arizona State last year. To go with that, I would love to see Barclay added to the mix at both Center and OG, I think he could be a Pro Bowl Level OG. He is not a NFL OT.

TE would be the last stop. A lot of post draft Blather has been spewed about not taking Niklas or C.J. Fiedorowicz.

I happen to like Richard Rodgers and will start with him for a review of the offensive picks.

A lot has been made about his weight by the Fan GM’s and pundits and most of based on bad information.  I see a prospect that was asked to play multiple roles, in two different systems and he did whatever was asked of him. That tells me a lot about his love of the game and how much he is willing to work to help his team. He is a fluid athlete with great hands and body control. He being asked to fill different roles in college as a in-line TE, spread out in the slot as a WR has given him experience that fits the Packers use of TE’s well.

He is 6-4 257#, he played at 270# in one offensive system at Cal and under 250# in another. I think the Packers will keep him in that 255# to 260# range. He had a 4.82 40 time and a 1.69 ten yard time with a 32” vertical, none of those are great by any means but when you watch him play he looks faster and quicker. He comes off the line very well. He runs really well after the catch.

But one of the things that sticks out to me is his blocking, using the cut block, a very big part of the zone blocking scheme on the outside and his blocking when moving to the next level in the run game. He needs to get stronger and bit more nasty with it, but knows what to do and where to go.

 

 

His combine workout.

 

Next we have the first of three wide receivers taken in the draft.  I have to say it now, I love this pick. Davante Adams in my view is a better, more polished James Jones coming out.  Now the system in which he was very productive, 131 catches for 1,718 yard and 24 TD’s, in yes just 2013 is different, he is going to have to learn a more complete route tree, the other thing he is going to have to do is get stronger for down field blocking that the Packer demand there WR’s do in the running game.

But what you cannot teach him is his ability to do things as a WR on the field, IMO one of the best WR’s in the draft for high pointing catches, 39.3” vertical at 6-1 and 212#. Excellent body control and the ability to make all the catches and those that most can’t make. If I have to have a knock on him, he is not speed burner or a exceptionally quick. He ran a 4.51 at his workout and had a 1.60 sec. ten yard time.  One of the things that scouting reports said is that some of his inflated production was because of his QB in Derek Carr, Well I don’t think that is going to be a problem in Green Bay.

 

 

Next we have the first Wisconsin Badger ever drafted by Ted Thompson, Jared Abbrederis.  I have mixed feelings about this pick, he is not a great athlete by any means, 6-1 195# decent speed at 4.5 sec. 40, 1.60 ten yard, 30” vertical, what I have questions about is his body type and strength. He had 4 reps at 225#. FOUR! He looks like a popsicle stick standing straight up.

NFL secondary coaches are going to see that and play him press man and drive him in the dirt in the first five yards. He is going to take a bit of time to develop the ability to get off the line in the NFL, once he does, he can be a very nice WR. He has the knack of getting separation, reading zones, just getting the ball in his hands, and when he does, he has that after the catch ability to make a lot of yards. Anyone that saw him play Ohio State and what he did to a first round CB knows he has the something you can’t measure, he stole Roby’s lunch, ate it front of him and made him go get some more milk.

The 3rd WR to me is the most intriguing, 6-3 219# 4.37 40 time, 1.51 ten yard, 37” vertical, AMAZING 3.98 short shuttle and 6.64 3 cone drill. That is impressive at any position. Now the down part, he comes from the GLIAC a Div. II conference. He did dominate there with 83 catches for 1,532 yard and 14 TD’s in 2013. Did a bit more then that in 2012 also. But he is going to have to learn fast to make it in the NFL.

What he can do right away is take the top off a defense, unlike Abbrederis, Janis did 20 reps at 225# so he can work on eliminating press coverage, something he did not get much of at that level.  I am hoping they work him as a return man. I do know this, he has the raw tools you cannot teach and his coach with the Packers will get the most out of him.

 

 

What we do have left is another pick that I have read quite a bit of nasty Fan GM remarks about. The remark ranged from, WHY did TT draft him, to, we could have got him much later.

Corey Linsley was one of the Center’s I liked for the Packers. He has some nasty to him. 6-3 and 301# he has good speed with a 5.03 40 time, 1.78 ten yard. STRONG 36 reps at 225#. Average vertical at 27” and a good 8’11” long jump.  Decent agility with a 4.53 short shuttle and 7.46 3 cone drill.

What I liked was watching him play. There is not a lot of Pass protection video on him. Ohio State was a bit short on WR’s this year. But I got to see a quite a bit of was him in run blocking, besides seeing him play in Big ten games, the highlight video for Carlos Hyde was good place to see him run block. Linsley shows he has worked with zone scheme’s, combo blocking and moving to the second level. He has good feet and quick hands, sinks his hips and anchors. If I have a complaint on him he can get over aggressive and end on the ground.

 

Following video is really for OSU RB Carlos Hyde, but gives you a great look at Linsley:

 

Did I miss anyone, no I don’t think so.  Ahh but I did, my favs the UDFA’s I will save those for another piece.  Ted Thompson did his job and created competition with some very good picks. Every pick in the draft has some worts, but you have to look at how they match the teams systems and how they use the players at the different positions. I like what the team has going into the 2014 season on both sides of the ball.

  • gamer

    Interesting info, much of which I hadn’t already read. Utilizing “spell checking” and proof reading however, would make it more polished and flow easier while reading. thanks.

    • Oppy

      I don’t see the problem with courteous, constructive criticism. I don’t think this was venomous or mean-spirited. Gamer started out with praise for the content, pointing out it was informative a fresh.

      I would think that the one of the perks of writing for a site like this is it gives budding writers and journalists the opportunity to hone their craft. This kind of critique would be the kind a budding writer would gladly accept, I’d wager.

    • http://yahoo.com jozinho

      funny, misspelled words usually jump off the page at me and I didn’t notice any. Maybe I am lowering my expectations when reading on the internet,where it seems errors run rampant in any article.

  • clayton

    You forgot the cornerback from Baylor Demitri Goodsoon.

  • clayton

    My bad this was just the offensive rookies woops

  • Archie

    I love the way Adams goes up for the ball and he seems to catch everything he touches.

    Abbredaris, like you say, is weak as a kitten and may not be able to get off the LOS in the pros. And he has a concussion history. Other than he looks good.

    Janie does not get much separation considering his athletic numbers and the level of competition.

    Rodgers is tough to judge from this video – one catch v Portland State. Will he be able to separate in the pros or bust the seam? If not, he will be a bust.

    The video on Ohio St C didn’t jump out to me. Carlos Hyde sure looked good though.

    Always good to read analysis but these guys all have a lot of development to do before they will be NFL-ready. Even Adams needs to learn the full route tree as you say, but what a leaper. Him and AROD will be dynamic.

    Character-wise TT did a great job bringing in good guys who have a burning desire to play football. That factor is often overlooked. I’m willing to wait and see before declaring this draft an A, B, C or worse.

    • Ed Schoenfeld

      Archie, I think all of us who are used to seeing how rookies were developed in the old days need to uderstand that all of them are coming into the pros with a lot less preparation these days.

      Most colleges don’t run a full-on pro offense, so receivers won’t have the complete route tree, TEs are basically bigger slower WR, etc. Its encouraging that Rodgers at lest spent a Freshman year year in an offense where he occasionally blocked (BTW I think the vid here was posted to emphasize his blocking — he has pass catching highlights elsewhere.)

      Mpore to the point there are more and more juniors and in some cases even 3rd year *sophmores* who are 20 or 21 years old and have just 2 years of football at the college level. The way the economics are working out for young players nobody wants to take a year in a prep program or as a redshirt, they want to get in, get out and get to the NFL. Its not even about sighning bonuses really, for some of these kids a rookie minimum contract weekly paycheck is more money than their families have seen in one place in their entire lives.

      (Yes, I know Thornton and a couple of other GB picks are older — that doesn’t detract from the point being made about the league as a whole.)

  • Oppy

    Janis is big, fast, a quick footed, but it doesn’t look like he translates it to the field very well. He does not look like a natural route runner at all, and he is not very crisp in and out of his breaks.

    He does seem to use his length quite well once the ball is in his hands.

    I’m still thinking we’re going to be hoping he clears waivers for a place on practice squad. He needs a lot of work.

    One thing that stuck out to me on Abbrederis’ highlight reel is that too often he cradles the ball with his body when catching. He does show the ability to snatch the ball out of the air extended away from his body, but it looks to my eye like if he has the option, he’s going to body catch it. That needs to be corrected at the NFL level, especially with Rodgers zinging the ball around. If they can break him of that bad habit, he looks good! The strength will come with time.

  • GBPDAN

    I really hope that 2 of these WRs, the TE and center all pan out and have great careers with the Pack, and Dix, Thornton and Bradford do too. The Packers really needs to hit on this Draft if they want to keep pace with ,or catch up to, the elite teams in the NFL. I hope TT didnt mess up in the 3rd rd. I thought he should have traded a 3rd and our 4th (or 5th) and moved up for a quality player.

  • Dan Collins

    Adams can burn you deep or long, which will pose problems for defenders. He may not have top speed, but he and Abbredaris both have nifty feet, which will get them a lot of YAC. Abbredaris may have problems with press coverage, but will find all the holes in soft zones. Since Janis is a weight room monster, it’s good that he and Abby know one another and get along. You can say that Janis doesn’t look like he’s a top receiver on this video, even at the D-II level, but opposing teams seem to know that if it’s a pass play, it’s likely going to him, and the QB is spotting him open, then delivering the ball, rather than putting it where he’s going to be, which gives the defense a lot of time to react. All these guys will give the Pack options in the return game that they haven’t had the past couple years without endangering Cobb.

    Franklin had a rough rookie season, but I’m sure they are working on him. If Rodgers learns to block, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him playing some FB. If these guys pan out, the Packers are going to drive defensive coordinators absolutely mad.

  • Dan Collins

    Oops, meant “deep or underneath”.

  • Tmoneey

    It is pretty amazing when you see how much a young Jeff Janis resembles Jordy Nelson physically. I saw the vid of him in OTA’s and you can’t help but think of Jordy when he first got to GB. Then you take Adams and he also has a ton of James Jones in him and his game. Be pretty sweet if all 3 RC WR’s make the roster and end up being good players, odds say that won’t happen though, at least they have a good system and a great QB so that improves the odds.

    • Oppy

      Adams looks like a straight baller. I know everyone is comparing Adams to Jones, and when you look at the measurements, I get it. On tape, though? Adams is a completely different beast when you look at his game, IMO. I really think this kid has the ability and the attitude to etch his name in Packers record books if things go right.

  • Tmoneey

    I tried to get on board with the Rich Rodgers pick but I still don’t see it, at all. watched a bunch more of his games at Cal. and I have no clue what Ted was thinking. Usually when I watch a guy a bunch I can see what they saw to a degree. The guy can’t change directions at all and I didn’t see great hands or ball skills, I saw a one speed player that isn’t very powerful or aggressive with average hands. Sure all his catches are contested in college because he can’t get any separation, is that a strength??? Finley was light years better athlete than this kid when he came out of Texas. This kid would compare more to Bubba Franks, without the ability to block. Hope I’m proven wrong but no way this kid gives us any impact at all this year.

  • jtmax

    Don’t understand other posts but I saw Janis smoking guys all day long down the field. You have to watch for 1/3 way in to see footage of that. He is blazing fast. He is the diamond in the rough. Jared is not fast but his is really good with his fakes. He fakes guys out all day and that’s important to get separation. Drafting Rodgers is about character and getting big at TE. He is stout fella with receiver skills. I’m feeling better about this draft.

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