Category Archives: Nate Palmer



Nate Palmer 2013 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

Packers, Nate Palmer, Green Bay Packers, Nate Palmer evaluation1) Introduction:When the Green Bay Packers selected Nate Palmer in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the team saw something.  Palmer was not projected by many to even be drafted but the Packers thought highly enough of him to make him a sixth round selection this spring. Illinois State is not exactly known as a football powerhouse, but Packers GM Ted Thompson hoped he found a diamond in the rough in Palmer.  The defense Palmer played in had similarities to what the Packers run under Dom Capers and that must have played a role in Green Bay selecting him.

2) Profile: Nate Palmer

  • Age: 24
  • Born: 09/23/1989 in Chicago, IL
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 248
  • College: Illinois State
  • Rookie Year: 2013
  • NFL Experience: 1 years
  • Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season: Not was expected out of Palmer in 2013.  He was expected to sit, watch and learn from Clay Matthews and at some point perhaps evolve over the next few seasons into a decent pass rusher for the Packers. Kevin Greene picked out Palmer when he visited Northern Illinois along with coaches from other teams and Greene was going to try to shape Palmer in the image of Matthews.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Palmer only saw minimal action, seeing the field in only eight of the team’s 16 regular season games. He failed to record a sack, which is a definite low-light for a player trying to be more like Matthews. On a positive note, Palmer recorded six tackles in both the loss to the Bears as well as the home win over the Cleveland Browns.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Palmer provided much needed depth for a team that was decimated by injuries at the linebacker position. For a player that very little was expected from in 2013, Palmer did the best with what he could being thrown into the fire as suddenly as he was.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Non-existent. Palmer did not register a tackle in the playoff loss to the 49ers.

Season Report Card:

(B) Level of expectations met during the season

(C) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(N/A) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: C

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The 2013 Class is Packers’ Best Draft Yet Under Thompson

Packers RB Eddie Lacy leads a ridiculously strong 2013 rookie class for the Green Bay Packers

Ted Thompson has made a lot of brilliant draft picks since taking over as Green Bay Packers general manager in 2005.

He drafted some guy named Aaron Rodgers in the first round in 2005, Greg Jennings (current issues aside) in the second round in 2006,  Jordy Nelson in the second round in 2008 and both Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji in the first round in 2009. Don’t forget Randall Cobb in the second round of 2011 either.

The middle rounds have seen success too. James Jones was a third rounder in 2007 and Josh Sitton was selected in the fourth round in 2008.  Sitton’s partner-in-crime, T.J. Lang, was a fourth rounder as well in 2009.

This is just a partial list of great picks Thompson has made during his tenure with the Packers.  He’s hit more than he’s missed and has Green Bay poised to be in Super Bowl contention for the next several years.    We could go on and on about how deft Thompson has been at drafting over the years and that doesn’t even include undrafted free agents.

That being said, no draft class of Thompson’s has made quite the impact, especially right out of the gate, as the 2013 class of rookies.  Some of it may not have been planned on due to yet another injury epidemic on the Packers’ roster, but this group of youngsters has come to play and very well could down as Thompson’s finest draft class to date.

To review, here is the 2013 Green Bay Packers draft class:

1. Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

2. Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama

4a. David Bakhtiari, T, Colorado

4b. J.C. Tretter, T, Cornell

4c. Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA

5a. Micah Hyde, CB, Iowa

5b. Josh Boyd, DE, Mississippi State

6. Nate Palmer, LB, Illinois State

7a. Charles Johnson, WR, Grand Valley State

7b. Kevin Dorsey, WR, Maryland

7c. Sam Barrington, LB, South Florida

Go down that list and you will see many reasons why the Packers are still in control of the NFC North despite Lambeau Field once again doubling as an infirmary.



Green Bay’s Health Woes: Who Is The Next Man Up?

Brandon Bostick

Bostick’s time is here with several injuries to key offensive players

This has surely been an interesting week for the Green Bay Packers, as far as player-personnel goes.  Entering Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens, there was already some concern over how well the team’s defense would play without the services of linebacker Clay Matthews, who is expected to miss about a month with a broken thumb.

Missing their top defensive playmaker was enough to create some doubt about how the team would respond and created an outpouring of concern.  Surely things couldn’t get worse, could they?  But the Packers and their fans should know better by now.  The injury bug keeps on biting.

That very bug had already reared its ugly head in Green Bay all the way back in August,  taking down several players during training camp.  Rookie offensive lineman J.C. Tretter was injured on the first day of training camp in a non-contact drill and he was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.  It turned out that was just the beginning for the Packers.

Since then, the team has lost a few key starters to season-ending injured reserve in that of offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga, running back DuJuan Harris, and linebacker Robert Francois.  Along with Tretter, defensive lineman Jerel Worthy and safety Sean Richardson are also on PUP.  Their statuses are unknown as they recover from their injuries.

Then came Sunday’s game against the Ravens and if you went by your Twitter timeline during the game, you could have sworn that Armageddon was here.  One by one, Packers fell to the turf and limped off the field.  Receivers James Jones and Randall Cobb and linebacker Nick Perry were done for the day by halftime.  It was announced during the week that tight end Ryan Taylor needed knee surgery and will likely miss a few weeks.

How bad is Green Bay’s luck with health?  Perry was injured on the great sack play that caused a fumble that was recovered by the Packers and led to three crucial points late in the first half.  Matthews suffered his injury just one week prior, also after a big sack play.  Even when it’s good, it’s bad.  But we should have been reminded of that when the Packers finally got a blocked punt only to lose possession and great field position because of a gaffe by fullback John Kuhn, who also recently returned from an injury of his own (did anyone bother to check his head before clearing him to play last week?).



Green Bay Defense Relying On Young Depth

Nate Palmer Green Bay Packers

Nate Palmer is one of the young guys who may be called upon to step in and help.

The Green Bay Packers will be without two of their defensive starters for at least this week’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.  Outside linebacker Clay Matthews reportedly had successful surgery on his broken thumb and will be out at least a month, probably longer.  Inside linebacker Brad Jones suffered a hamstring injury and was ruled out of this week’s game on Wednesday.

Losing Matthews is a huge blow to the Packers and their pass rush.  Replacing him is impossible and I need not break down the many reasons why.  He is the team’s best defensive player and the heartbeat of that side of the ball.

In Jones, the Packers are losing yet another solid contributor to their defense.  Jones stepped last season amidst a few injuries and has maintained his starting role along side of AJ Hawk.  According to Pro Football Focus, Jones ended up with a +7.3 overall rating in 2012 and scored equally well in both pass and run defense with a +4.6.  So far in 2013, Jones has a +3.9 rating.  While not stellar, Jones has been OK in pass coverage, an area that Packers linebackers have lacked in.  Now Green Bay is faced with trying to plug these two holes.

Mike Neal will assume one of the outside linebacker spots opposite Nick Perry.  ESPN Milwaukee’s Jason Wilde ran an interesting piece on Neal’s transformation to OLB.  Perry had success coming off of the right side and so Neal could line up left.  Both had a decent showing against Detroit and any similar production would come in very handy at Baltimore.

At middle linebacker, the Packers went from thin to thinner on Sunday.  After Jones was lost, Robert Francois filled in.  Francois then suffered a torn Achilles and has already been placed on season-ending injured reserve.  Francois was replaced by Jamari Lattimore.  Lattimore will likely remain with the first unit in the team’s base 3-4 defense.

Behind these incumbents, the Packers will rely on their young and unproven depth to step in and contribute, where needed.  Sixth round draft pick Nate Palmer, seventh rounder Sam Barrington and undrafted free agent Andy Mulumba will all be asked to support the current starting cast.



2013 Green Bay Packers: An Early Look At The Depth Chart

Green Bay Packers huddle

Who are your 2013 Green Bay Packers?

With the off-season activities now officially over with, we now turn our attention to the upcoming training camp and preseason.  The big question is:  What will the 2013 Green Bay Packers look like?

I’m taking a look at each position and listing who I think are the likely starters, as of today.  Training camp always tends to change that list quite a bit so this is obviously as of today, as it stands, and without having really seen many of these guys play.


Starter:  Aaron Rodgers

Backup: BJ Coleman

Bubble: Graham Harrell, Matt Brown

Quick hits: Rodgers is the league’s highest-paid player and let’s not forget he’s pretty good at what he does.  No question there and so the biggest debate is whether Coleman can leapfrog Harrell and will the team carry three active quarterbacks?  My thought is that if Coleman wins the backup spot, they will likely cut Harrell.  Illinois State’s Matt Brown could be a good candidate to land on the practice squad, much like Coleman did last season.

Running Back/Fullback

Starter:  DuJuan Harris

Backup:  Alex Green, Eddie Lacy, Johnathan Franklin

Bubble: John Kuhn, James Starks, Angelo Pease, Jonathan Amosa

Quick hits: Harris came on and was effective late in the season for the Packers.  He didn’t participate in much of the team’s offseason due to having a cyst removed near his lung.  He is expected to be ready for training camp.  Green will get every opportunity to remain a part of the team’s plans but will face very fierce competition from rookies Lacy and Franklin.  Still, I see the team keeping all four.  James Starks is likely all but out of Green Bay after being largely ineffective during his three-season stint with the team.  And we may have seen the last of John Kuhn, which will make the team’s decisions at this position easier.

Wide Receiver

Starters: Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Randall Cobb

Backups:  Jarrett Boykin, Charles Johnson

Bubble:  Jeremy Ross, Kevin Dorsey, Alex Gillett, Terrell Sinkfield, Myles White, Tyrone Walker, Sederrick Cunningham



What Is Mike Neal Doing At Outside Linebacker?

Admittedly, the Packers can’t claim to have much depth at outside linebacker at the moment; of course they have one of the best in Clay Matthews III, another 1st round selection they are high on and hope to see marked improvement in Nick Perry and a undrafted free agent looking to make a big jump in year 2 in Dezman Moses.  But that’s pretty much it in terms of actual experience; the Packers did draft Nate Palmer, a projected outside linebacker in the 6th round from Illinois State (much to the chagrin of commenters apparently) but they also did lose Frank Zombo to Kansas City and interestingly Erik Walden to the Colts for a 4-year $16 million contract (this is after the Packers signed Walden last year to a veteran minimum contract worth $700,000).  There has been some speculation that either Brad Jones or Jamari Lattimore, both who joined the Packers as outside linebackers but where converted to inside linebacker last year, could again make the transition back to the outside.

However, one dark horse candidate making headlines in OTAs was Mike Neal.  Just from initial impressions, you have to wonder what the Packers are doing.  2012 1st round pick Nick Perry was a little bit of a “square peg” weighing in a 271 pounds at the draft, but Neal outweighs Perry by a good 25 pounds.  Add to that Neal’s inexperience in playing from a two-point stance, and the multitude of extra responsibilities outside linebackers have (most notably dropping back into coverage) and Mike Neal is probably the last guy you’d think could have a shot at playing outside linebacker. Ironically most 3-4 outside linebackers in the NFL are converted 4-3 defense ends, but this is the only occasion I can think of where a college 4-3 DT has been asked to transition to 3-4 outside linebacker.

Yes the Packers are tinkerers during the offseason; they love to mix and match offensive linemen and you’ll see players line up all over the place, but at least in my opinion, most of these were just small experiments to see how players would react to a new position; after all if getting the most out of a player is the main goal of a coaching staff, it would make sense to see how much positional versatility or even positional potential each player has.  Again, I would argue that if Neal had been a complete disaster the moment he lined up at linebacker (and I don’t think that should be a fault on him), the Packers probably would have pulled the plug on that idea in a hurry.  However, it does seem like the Packers like what they have seen and are willing to expand the experiment further.



Saturday Listen: Three Radio Interviews with Packers Draft Picks

Three recent Packers draft picks talked about their selection by the Packers, their talents and how they fit.


Nate Palmer, 6th round pick, OLB Illinois State

J.C. Tretter, 4th round pick, OL, Cornell

Datone Jones, 1st round pick, DE, UCLA


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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He is a PFWA member who can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for