Well kids it is over, the draft has finished. Ted Thompson has done something he has never done before in the draft, he didn’t make a trade. I am a bit shocked by that. From all my research and reading in the post draft hullabaloo, I see the usual bitching, the fan GM’s crying that I would have taken this or that player, this one was rated higher, could have got that player later. And my favorite, the post draft “grade”, which has about as much NFL relevance as what I had for dinner last night.
But overall I like this draft, and the players taken. I don’t really care where a player was drafted or signed. I look at the tools the player has, how they fit the Packers and how they might project into the future for the Packers, that is really what the draft is all about.
I really have got to laugh at what I have read about the first pick from the fan GM’s and some of the Draftniks. Not exceptional at anything, not fast enough, not a big hitter well you know the drill.
HaHa Clinton-Dix was rated the #1 safety in the draft. And no position got more play by fans leading up to the draft. Clinton-Dix is the most complete and ready to play in the NFL safety in the draft. He does every thing well, coverage deep, can play quarters, thirds, half of the field along with at the line, yes he can cover in the slot. What I like most is his size at 6’1 and change 208#, He had a 1.60 ten yard time, better then Pryor and just a tic slower then Jimmy Ward at 1.58 who is 5–10 and 198# and which the 49er’s are going to use as a slot corner.
Clinton-Dix had a 4.58 40 time, far from blazing but not slow by any means either.
Clinton-Dix also had a better short shuttle then Pryor and Ward, Pryor and Ward both had better 3 cone drill.
Clinton-dix also had a longer arms and a wider wing span then the other two. As I stated IMO the best all around safety in the draft and the most NFL ready. The following video shows both good and bad.
The next defensive pick has had a lot wrote about it. And when you look at the so called rankings it deserves discussion, but after I did some research, this pick is making a lot more sense to me. And when I watched what video was available I liked the pick even more.
He can play all the spots along the defensive line and has done that. When you watch video you see what the Packers liked. And I premise that with what I think they are going to do on defense. Gone are Pickett and Jolly, Raji is being moved back to NT and is going to used as more of a penetrator/one gap player there. And when you read this Bottom line on Thorton it makes sense.
Has the size, brute strength and enough agility to warrant interest as a developmental, rotational five-technique in an aggressive, zone-blitzing scheme such as the Jets, Ravens or Steelers. Versatility is a plus.
When you compare him to this type Defensive linemen taken before and after he offers more flexibility along the Defensive line and physically he matches up very well with any of the picks n the DT group.
Thorton is 6-3 304# ran a 5.0 40, That is fast for a big man, but I liked his 1.77 ten yard, with 28 reps at 225# he has strength. I think he can play a one gap NT, 3 Technique and two gap 3-4 DE. The video I have been able to find shows Excellent quickness off the ball, VERY quick feet and change of direction with nice closing speed in tight areas and in pursuit.
Lets look at the 4th round Linebacker from Arizona Carl Bradford. Now this pick might have caused more bitching then any I have read. But that comes from the they should have taken a ILB crowd. I think he is going to be looked at inside and outside. Can get on the field right away outside, slide inside in different packages and even put his hand on the ground. Very productive player, 20.5 sacks and 20 TKL in the last two years, add eight batted passes, an two interceptions with one returned for TD and 6 forced fumbles over that time and you have a very interesting player. Ended up in the 4th round because of his size at 6’ and change at 250#. He has great instincts, reads and reacts well.
At 6’ and 250# he ran a 4.71 forty, had a 1.68 ten yard with 4.30 short shuttle and a 7.25 three cone drill with a very explosive 37.5” vertical jump.
What I found interesting is his Bottom line, when you read the last line and see the same as Thorton, it makes you think good thoughts about the Packer defense in 2014, specially with the addition of Peppers. I will add Mike Mayock thought Bradfords best use would be as a 3-4 ILB.
An undersized college defensive end, Bradford projects to outside linebacker in a 3-4 front in the pros, where his physical dimensions and rush ability are best suited. Would profile best in an aggressive, one-gapping odd front such as the Colts, Jets, Ravens or Steelers.
You would think at 6’ and 250 he would not be a very fluid athlete, but he moves very well.
Just for fun
Last but not least the 6th round pick Demetri Goodson CB Baylor. 5-11 197#. 4.45 40 time at the combine with a 1.59 ten yard. Not the greatest 20 yard shuttle at 4.30 but a very good 6.80 three cone drill. Can play press coverage and off. Excellent back petal and fluid hips to turn and run. Quick feet. He can play both sides at CB.
Combine video, you see the quick feet, good change of direction and fluid hips in transition.
The biggest jump in the Packers defense is going to come from players like Jones, Worthy, Perry all injured and will be healthy going into 2014, the question is can they stay healthy. You add Hayward coming back, Hyde in his second year. Boyd in his second year and I think a different style of 3-4 defense for this year with the addition of Peppers and I like what the Packers can do.