Legendary senior writer, Packers lead blogger & NFC featured columnist jclombardi reviews Packers 2014 NFL Draft.
As fans know, the 2014 NFL Draft is over. The Packers made good and blaffing interesting choices to address both offensive and defensive needs. We list these players according the order of the picks:
- Ha Ha Clinton Dix Safety Alabama
- Davante Adamss WR Fresno State
- Khyri Thronton DT Southern Miss
- Richard Rodgers TE California
- Carl Bradford LB Arizona State
- Corey Linsley Center Ohio State
- Jared Abbrederis WR Wisconsin
- Demetri Goodson CB Baylor
- Jeff Janis WR Saginaw Valley State
On the offensive side of the ball, we agree with the addition of three underrated receivers, productive Fresno State’s Davante Adams, Wisconsin slot receiver Jared Abbrederis, and standout Saginaw Valley State’s Jeff Janis, to the offense after losing WR Jones, WR Jennings, and WR Driver. WR Adams will successfully compete with WR Boykin for the 3rd receiver position. Meanwhile, the Packers reached with risky and slow pick TE Richard Rodgers. He is a potential development project with his catching abilities, but he simply reminded some analysts of former Packers bust TE Williams who had better physical attributes. Finally, strong man and mauler center Corey Linsley may be good enough with development in training camp to compete for the starting center position, since veteran center EDS gone to free agency.
The blaffing moves were on the defense side of the ball. Now, we agree with the home run pick of safety Nix. Nix will upgrade the free safety defensive position. However, the Packers defense has a serious middle zone weakness requiring upgrades to improve it. The defense must improve dramatically for the Packers to make deep runs in the playoffs facing the NFL elite like the 49ers and Super Bowl champions Seahawks. After the second round, the Packers had their picks of the best inside linebackers still available in the third round: Carl Bradford, Shayne Skov, Lamin Barrow, Max Bullough and Jordan Zumwalt. Instead the Packers picked up under-the-radar and low profile development project defensive tackle Khyri Thornton.
Fortunately, for the Packers, hybrid linebacker Carl Bradford fell to them in the 4th round, although he may simply add depth to the OLB & ILB positions, but he must play in space and have coverage skills. We hope some analysts that Bradford are right implying he may fit the thumper mold of former Packer ILB Bishop. Finally, the Packers picked up risky 25 years old CB Demetri Goodson. Yet, these defensive choices are not elite potential starting rookies, excluding hopefully Bradford. Finally, the Packers were very lucky to get Bradford considering they were reviewing their boards mixed with hunches & reaches, not the NFL ranking boards to choose picks. Again, with Nix and Bradford, it's always better to be lucky than good in these crap shoots.
SI.com A: Few teams addressed obvious needs as aggressively and intelligently in this draft as the Packers, starting with first-round safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. The Alabama product can cover deep, and he’s a great hitter from linebacker depth up. Three underrated receivers, Fesno State’s Davante Adams, Wisconsin slot man Jared Abbrederis, and Saginaw Valley State’s Jeff Janis, should make Aaron Rodgers very happy.
CBS Sports (PP) B: Getting safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was a must to upgrade the speed and range on the back end. They followed that up with some solid choices, including second-round receiver Davonte Adams.
ESPN (MK) B: On drafting three receivers: Davante Adams isn't explosive, but he catches everything and will flourish with Aaron Rodgers. I loved the additions of Jeff Janis and Jared Abbrederis. Janis is a major physical talent for a seventh-rounder. He dropped on hand size and competition level coming out of D-II. On outside linebacker Carl Bradford: "Carl Bradford is a player I really like, and I'll be interested to see if they move him around a little bit. I thought inside linebacker was a big need even though that's typically something you can address later, but they didn't touch it. On the Packers' draft overall: There's not a point where you feel like the Packers flat out got a steal, but aside from the question at ILB, there's not much not to like.
NFL.com Passing With Flying Colors: Bradford is an instinctive linebacker who adds depth and can play a number of spots. All-Big Ten selection Linsley is about a good of a fit as you can find at center. The Packers also get one of the most reliable wideouts in the draft with Abbrederis. Good story in former college hoops player Goodson getting drafted as a corner.
COMMENTARY: For the 2014 NFL draft, the Packers met some needs, but they failed to get upgrades at the inside middle linebacker position beyond starters Hawk and Jones with the immediate backups Barrington and Lattimore. Apparently, the Packers did not consider risky Shayne Skov and Max Bullough, but they got Bradford who will first start in the OLB position and special teams. For now, the philosophy will continue to beat teams with the solid West Coast offense and hope that the defense will get better to make a deep 2014 NFL playoffs run. We shall see how it plays out!
Finally, yes, we were gone for an extended vacation due to health issues. For the Packers nation and fans, jclombardi is back to bring insider news and reviews about the Packers.