Packers 2015 NFL Draft: Day 3 Grade and Analysis

On the final day of the draft, Ted Thompson addressed the all-important linebacker position by adding Jake Ryan and then followed that up with a…quarterback?

It’s pretty well-known that I’m not a fan of the fullback position. I was surprised the Packers brought back John Kuhn, but I really like the addition of Oklahoma’s Aaron Ripkowski. He comes from a strong program and he’s the earth-moving, quarterback protecter that the Packers need.

The last day of the draft is when general managers separate themselves. Thompson mined Jeff Janis last year in the seventh round and he got Mason Crosby in the sixth round in 2007.

But the biggest surprise was easily UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley. After watching Scott Tolzien blossom in the preseason last year, Thompson felt more competition was needed at backup quarterback. So he traded a fifth and a seventh round pick for the dual-threat quarterback that gets plenty of praise for his high character. If Hundley can pick up the offense quickly, this move could mean the beginning of the end for Tolzien as a backup in Green Bay.

The rest of the pieces are purely building blocks. Defensive tackle Christian Ringo has a little more upside than tight end Kennard Backman mainly because Backman isn’t a very good blocker. And the only way you can see the field as a Packers tight end by not blocking is by having the athleticism of Jermichael Finley — which Backman does not possess.

What they’re saying:

“He goes about his business in a workmanlike manner. Smart. Intelligent. Fundamentally sound. This might be one of the best picks in Round 4.” — Mel Kiper Jr. via ESPN on Jake Ryan.

“You’ve got to stack talent at positions. Just because you’ve got a Hall of Fame starting quarterback, if he goes down Week 2 what happens? What if he goes down Week 7 next year and you’ve been able to develop Brett Hundley?” — Mike Mayock via NFL Network on Brett Hundley.

“For all the Aaron Rodgers talk, you know Eddie Lacy was a big part of that offense and you like having a guy opening holes. That shoulder is a lethal weapon.” — Lance Zierlein via NFL Network on Aaron Ripkowski.

“He’s more of a quick-twitch, penetrate type of thing. He’ll be part of the way we do things with packages and things like that. … We like him. We thought he was a pretty good player.” — Ted Thompson via Milwaukee Journal Sentinal on Christian Ringo.

Who was on the board:

Grady Jarrett, the 6-foot-1, 304-pound defensive tackle from Clemson, and Marcus Hardison, the 6-foot-3, 307-pound defensive tackle from Arizona State, were on the board when the Packers took Jake Ryan.

Kyle Emanuel, the 6-foot-3, 255-pound outside linebacker from North Dakota State, Shaquille Riddick, the 6-foot-6, 244-pound defensive end from West Virginia, and Jesse James, the 6-foot-7, 261-pound tight end, were on the board when the Packers took Brett Hundley.

Day 3 Grade: C

While I do like Thompson’s mantra of taking smart, high-character guys, there has to be a point where talent wins in the end. And even if smarts were that much of a barometer, North Dakota State’s Emanuel should’ve been picked instead of Hundley. He’s a small-town kid that would’ve worked his tail off on a unit that needs a few lunchpail guys.

Secondly, the tight end position was a need because it took Richard Rodgers until December to figure it out. But bringing in a guy that cannot block doesn’t spark competition and could make Rodgers regress in his sophomore season.

Finally, Thompson must really trust B.J. Raji and Letroy Guion because he didn’t pick a defensive lineman until the sixth round. And there’s still a chance that Guion could be suspended for getting arrested in the offseason. The Packers were 23rd in rushing defense last year and if the defensive line gets stung with the injury bug, that number will get worse.

 

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Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn

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  • I really like Ryan in the 4th. Good player, good value. A-
    I liked Hundley in the 5th. Good prospect. Some discount for having to trade up though and losing a 7th rd. pick. B

    I am okay with Ripkowski. He has a chance to play if he develops in pass pro and shows he can catch the ball if necessary. C+

    Ringo: good athlete with production against lesser competition. So many players I prefer: Pullard, Daryl Roberts, Covington. Still, he has a chance. D+

    Backman is fast and has good hands, but can’t block, or run routes. D

    I like UDFAs Dantzler and Crockett that GB has signed better than Ringo and Backman. Grade C- for day 3.

    • croatpackfan

      Backman was playing DT: “Backman played two ways in high school, and was an honorable mention all-state defensive lineman at Whitefield Academy High School in Georgia, where he got those 73 tackles and seven sacks. He was named to the Associated Press’ second team for tight end.”
      So, please check the data before giving opinion. It was good pick at the position!

      • My facts are correct. There is absolutely no way in hell Backman can play DT for GB, or at any other position on the defensive line. At 6’3″ and 243 lbs., he can bulk up to be a complete TE, or stay at 243# and be a receiving TE/hybrid big receiver (See Adam Czech’s recent article on this). I salute you though for really researching Backman, but what he was able to do in High School doesn’t mean he can do it in the NFL.

        I played Center on my middle school basketball team, but by high school I was a slow, white guard with a pretty good 6 foot hook shot. Unfortunately, my HS coach had no creativity and could not create a scheme where a 6 foot hook was of much use to a shooting guard. He said: Cut! Next!

  • croatpackfan

    Considering my position that I think and believe TT & MM knows what they are doing, I’m OK with this year draft… I like taking Ripkowski and Ryan, I’m OK with Ringo, Hundley is the steal of the draft, but question is do we need him this season… TE was surprise (I expected Wes Saxton), but we will need to see what they saw in the guy… I’m little more optimictic… Last day grade B-…

    • Nick Perry

      Wes Saxton is still unsigned as far as I know, at least he was at about a hour ago. I’d like to see him signed by the Packers too.

  • croatpackfan

    Also, it is important to know who Packers bring from UDFA:

    Offense
    Matt Rotheram, OG, Pittsburgh (confirmed by player)
    Adrian Coxson, WR, Stony Brook (reported)
    Fabbians Ebbele, OL, Arizona (reported by UofA)
    Larry Pinkard, WR, Old Dominion (reported by ODU)
    Mitchell Henry, TE, Western Kentucky (reported)
    Jimmie Hunt, WR, Missouri (reported)
    Austin Dodge, QB, Southern Oregon (reported)
    John Crockett, RB, North Dakota State (reported, confirmed by player)
    Marcus Reed, OL, Fayetteville State (reported)
    Ricky Collins, WR, Texas A&M-Commerce (reported, confirmed by player)
    Raymond Maples, RB, Army (reported)
    Alonzo Harris, RB, Louisiana Lafayette (reported)
    MINICAMP TRYOUT: Jake Silas, OT, Buffalo (reported by agent)
    MINICAMP TRYOUT: Blake Sims, QB, Alabama (reported)
    MINICAMP TRYOUT: Josh Bredl, OT, Colorado State-Pueblo (reported by APC’s Jason B. Hirschhorn)

    Defense
    Tavarus Dantzler, ILB, Bethune-Cookman (reported by agent)
    Bernard Blake, CB, Colorado State (reported by agent)
    Lavon Hooks, DT, Mississippi (reported)
    MINICAMP TRYOUT: Skye Povey, DB, BYU (reported by APC’s Jason B. Hirschhorn)

  • Archie

    Very underwhelmed. Hard to find another team with a worse looking draft class.

    • Very unsurprising comment from our resident negative nancy.

  • Archie

    Mediocre at best is the term that comes to mind. TT’s simplified drafting mantra is to “pick football players” i.e., don’t tell me about hand size, height, speed, arm length, vertical, cone drill etc. Just tell me, is he a football player……heck, I like them even more if they are baseball players……..or basketball players. We are about to see if such simplicity produces results or is simply simple-minded.

    • marpag

      So glad to see that you’re not happy. “Do what Archie hates” is a proven formula that has worked very well in Green Bay for the past decade.

      Keep up the good work, Arch.

    • TedTomsin

      Archie, what do you mean “we are about to see”?
      Where the hell have you been the past 10 years. TT hasn’t suddenly changed his draft philosophy. His way is a proven winner. You just like to complain and hate. Congrats once again at pissing people off. I hope you have front row seats at the Favre retirement ceremonies.
      Ted

      • Big T

        Ted, sounds like you hate Favre and you definitely are a whiner. You have no room to criticize others…

    • Nick Perry

      So you’re saying if the player scores well in spandex doing 3 cone, 20 yard shuttle, vertical jump, drills like that, those are the players that TT should draft right? Then I suggest you look at Randell’s test scores and compare them to Trae Waynes, the first CB taken off the board at 11. With the exception of running a slightly slower 40 time than Waynes, Randell had BETTER scores than Wayne in several of the drills including the 3 cone and 20 yard shuttle, the 2 drills I think would really matter for a CB.

  • mark

    You are still to much in the NFL that says stopping the rush is the key. That has not been true in many years. Excluding a very limited number of teams, like Seattle, you dare them to run (hence only 2 DL) because most teams running instead of passing is a victory. And we proved we can take away Seattle’s run – their run game was not remotely how or why they won the NFC.

    • Agree to disagree on running in the NFL in general and Seattle’s ability to run in the NFCCG.