Archive for the ‘2008 Draft’ Category

What happened to Illinois LB Jeremy Leman?

March 4, 2009

This morning after reading through a few mock drafts and seeing the name Vontae Davis (from Illinois – quality CB), for some reason, it made me think about a LB I remember being dominant during his college days at Illinois. I couldn’t remember his name and I had no idea if he was still on the team or if he graduated. After some research, I learned that the guy’s name is Jeremy Leman. He went undrafted in the 2008 draft, but was picked up by MN as a free agent only to be cut during final cuts. Most recently he was signed by the Carolina Panthers after sitting out all of 2008.

The reason I bring him up is that I watched several Illinois games that year and remember him being one of the better college LBs I’d seen play in a while.  He was positively dominant – all over the field. I can’t imagine why he would go undrafted unless he got injured somewhere along the line or had a horrendous combine. After watching him play during the 2007 Illini Rose Bowl campaign, I just assumed Leman would be a quality NFL player.  Anyone know what happened or why he’s become an NFL afterthought?

Ryan Grant re Favre/Rodgers on Mike and Mike

July 21, 2008

This morning on Mike and Mike in the morning, ESPN radio, Ryan Grant spoke a bit re the QB issue in Green Bay. While he appropriately steered clear of taking shots at anyone, one theme I sensed from his comments was that teammates appear to have some sympathy for Rodgers here and that Grant (and he implied others) believe Rodgers has handled all of this very well. If Rodgers can maintain his cool re all of this (though certainly his comments before the Favre comeback story took over were a little concerning), I think it will bode well for team chemistry if he indeed ends up being the starter in 2008. While there are likely some players (likely veterans) who may identify with Favre here and feel like he’s been poorly treated (former Packer Leroy Butler is one), my guess is that ultimately, if Rodgers steps in as the guy, the team will pick up where it left off prior to all of this, by rallying around him.

Because I didn’t catch the whole Ryan Grant interview though, I’m not sure if they talked about his contract situation. If not, it’s probably because we all know what he would have said anyway “they are working on it and I’m confident we can reach an agreement. I want to play for the Packers and I’m letting my agent work on that”. Anyway, there is one week before training camp and Grant and 9 draftees have not signed yet. Let’s get this done Grant/team…

Favre was pressured into decision (Greta says)

July 14, 2008

Read here from jsonline’s Don Walker re how Favre tells Greta in tonight’s interview that he felt pressure to make the decision on retirement. Several interesting things from this blip:

  • why did he choose to share his side through Greta, non-sports-journalist Van eorthshf;aweth;, instead of say, Packergeeks? (Because she is a huge Packer fan, a national journalist and knew she might conduct the interview in a favorable way?)
  • if Favre felt pressured because the team wanted a decision before the draft, I’m not sure I can fault the team there. That would make sense, especially considering there was obviously a real possibility we’d be without him for 2008.
  • sounds like the guy just wants to play (and I believe this – I think he’s smart enough that he wouldn’t go through all of this trouble unless he was determined to make this happen).

We’ll be watching this interview tonight and bringing analysis to you asap.

Jermichael Finley’s name – theory

April 28, 2008

There were many more interesting names in the 2008 Draft. But I thought I might share my theory on how Finley was named Jermichael. (And I should add, a scenario I’m not unfamiliar with…)

Setting – hospital in Texas, March 26, 1987:

Mother talking to father moments after mother delivers. “What should we call him. We’re so indecisive. We’ve narrowed it down to two, I love Jeremy and and you love Michael. We have to decide. I also am not sure if I should have the lasagna or the chop suey”.

Mom: “Let’s go with Jeremy”.

Father, “No, should be Michael.”

Mom: “Jeremy”

Father: “Michael”.

Nurse: “um, we need a name”.

Mom: “Fine, how about Micheremy?”

Father, “No, but Jermichael would work”.

Jermichael.

Jokes aside – I’m excited to welcome Jermichael to the Packers. Exciting player.

Thoughts on the Packer Draft? Immediate grade: B

April 28, 2008

Packergeeks invites your comments/thoughts on this past weekend’s draft. Just to recap for reference sake, our 9 picks:

  1. Jordy Nelson – WR
  2. Brian Brohm – QB
  3. Patrick Lee – CB
  4. Jermichael Finley – TE
  5. Jeremy Thompson – DE
  6. Josh Sitton – G/T
  7. Breno Giacomini – T
  8. Matt Flynn – QB
  9. Brett Swain -WR

Some of the reaction to the draft has been interesting. Some are ticked that we took 7 offensive players. Some are ticked we took 2 WR and 2 QBs. Some don’t like the attitude of Giacomini. Some think Patrick Lee is very mediocre. One guy (“Sparky” on WSSP) really didn’t like the draft and believes TT really blew this one. Doug Russell on WSSP earlier in the morning loves the draft. One of the guys at ESPN Milwaukee Radio is ticked at anyone who grades drafts saying you have to wait 3 years to know the true grade of a draft in the NFL. Yet, they then dissected the positive and negative points about the draft. It’s really the same thing fellas, you just didn’t assign a letter to it.

If I had a leaning at this point, overall I would fall in favor of his selections this past weekend. While I did not classify WR as a need position prior to the draft, our #4 (Robinson) and #5 (Martin) receivers are really only OK and could possibly be upgraded. Obtaining Jordy may not be a bad pick if he indeed has the upside TT and the staff believe he has. To be consistent, I have to support picking a bigger/possession-type WR as I have been asking for one for years. The Brett Swain pick is a bit more mysterious unless they have special teams thoughts for him or perhaps think he may be a Wes Welker-type slot receiver. Patrick Lee was a need pick, regardless of TT’s claim that he only picks the best player – TT knew we needed at least another corner to compete behind Harris and Woodson. I’m fine picking the 2 QBs, especially Brohm. He is a really good player – you gotta wonder how the draft would have turned out had Petrino stayed at Atlanta – would he have taken Brohm #3 – probably. (I do wonder if TT has a notion to develop Flynn and Brohm and try to deal one of them down the road, especially if one of them sees some back-up action and plays well – like Matt Schaub). I really like the TE pick-up: a young guy who is coachable, has tremendous athleticism, is a great receiver and at the same time someone who can be developed. And, some fresh blood at DE in Jeremy Thompson might help out what became a worn down pass rush by year’s end lasts year. And, we need bodies to compete on the O-Line – and importantly, once we decide who will play, we need to coach them hard and give them a chance to succeed. I don’t want this back-and-forth crap like last year.

I do wish TT had angled harder to pick up a viable RB (and/or a FB). Grant is very good and I am fairly confident he’ll continue to play well. But I don’t like the guys behind him. I heard Homer on ESPN radio over the weekend reminding us to not forget about Noah Herron. Listen, I like Herron because he’s from Milwaukee, but I don’t like him on the Packers and I really don’t like his hair. But I fear the Packers’ brass likes him because he’s solid, doesn’t make mistakes and works hard. I’m sorry, sometimes there’s more to football than working hard. It’s interesting really, with the RB position, we have Herron who works too hard with limited results, Jackson who works pretty hard with OK results, Morency who works sort of hard with nothing-nothing-nothing-big run-nothing, and then Wynn who doesn’t work hard at all and has decent results. I still believe we should have pulled something to pick up Rashard Mendenhall when he was in that brief, inexplicable free-fall in the first round. Or, Steve Slaton. We need some excitement back there and I want a viable 1-2 punch. That said, I will allow for the possibility that TT and MM have seen something from these other RB guys in the off-season I haven’t and that perhaps we may be more stable there than most of us presently think.

What are your thoughts on the overall draft by the Pack?

UPDATE: Forgot to add that I think we should have picked up a linebacker – even a 7th round guy to be a competitive body in camp. With 9 picks, TT should have been able to find one RB and LB who could contribute.

Packers select Jermichael Finley in 3rd round

April 27, 2008

Intriguing prospect. This guy made a surprising decision to enter the draft after having a solid year at Texas (as only a 3rd year sophomore). He indicates that he entered the draft primarily because he has a young family to take care of.

Read up here on this guy’s talents. I like drafting for a tight end – especially a 6’5″ guy who is 243lbs now, but with the capacity to add a good amount of weight without affecting his quickness. This guy’s athleticism is thought to be exceptional and I think this is a strong draft choice. He also apparently has great hands and is not afraid to contend for jump balls (could be valuable to Packers in the end zone). His blocking sounds like it needs improvement, but one comment made was that he’s very coachable (of course he is, most TT/MM draft picks are), so blocking can always be improved. Good pick.

I’ll leave you with this quote from the analysis:

“Finley will bring instant value in a double-tight end package, as he can line up in the slot, wide or in motion.”

Brian Brohm with 2nd pick, Patrick Lee with 3rd pick

April 26, 2008

What do we all think of that? Let Packergeeks know.

Brohm  – I like it. He was one of the players who would have been picked really high in last year’s draft had he come out. He can play and if you really analyze his 2007 year, he did little to hurt his stock. He is a very good quarterback and I really like Rodgers having some competition. Rodgers has shown some ability here and there but the truth is he’s still a bit of a question mark (especially with the injury concerns).

I think because most Packer fans are nice people, we are all rooting for Rodgers because he had to wait a few years patiently to get the chance to play – so we may feel a bit badly for him personally. In fact, I’ve already heard some out there (on radio broadcasts of the draft) not liking this pick because they feel Rodgers should just be given the starting job no question. I disagree. If Brohm comes in there and dominates, he should start. I like getting someone like this deep in the second round. Nice.

Lee – I heard one of the talk radio guys pulling for Patrick Lee – so he must be happy. I confess I know little about him. For those of you who also don’t know much about him – read up here. At least we drafted in more of a need area with this pick. I think it will be helpful to have another talented athlete back there. I do think that one thing TT has in mind when he makes picks is the confidence he has in the coaching staff and their ability to bring players along. From what I’ve read about Lee, sounds like he has some raw talent and speed, some quality return ability, but may also have to work some to be competitive at the next level.

 

Welcome to Wisconsin Jordy Nelson, from Packergeeks

April 26, 2008

Remember, the last time TT took a 2nd round WR who was relatively unheralded, he picked Greg Jennings – a guy most Packer fans are certainly glad we have. 

 

Who is Jordy Nelson, the Packers 2nd round pick?

April 26, 2008

Leave to TT to draft some seemingly obscure guy that was not high on other draft boards. Upon hearing this, my response was probably similar to other Packer fans “who the hell is this guy and why would we draft a receiver (who’s not also a return guy)”???

Well, I did some quick research and did comfort myself. He is a big player whom I suspect the Pack thinks can get bigger with proper weight training. Sounds incredibly coordinated and was an All-American WR last year. He only weighs 217, so I would doubt that they drafted him with the hope he could assume a TE role eventually, but I suppose that’s always possible. Read here for more information on him – this write-up on NFL.com is pretty complimentary.

I know TT probably had him ranked a certain way so that’s why they picked him here, but I’m not crazy about the choice (here in the immediate aftermath). I just don’t know as that is a need position, but it is possible McCarthy may have said he wanted a bigger possession-type receiver in there and Nelson may fit that role. I’m going to hold off on slamming the pick for now (likely Steve will do that) because there is something about his first name that makes me think – maybe this guy will be a good Packer.

I’ll leave you with the last line from the analysis part of his write-up on nfl.com:

“You just get the feeling that he is on the verge of being a special player.”

I like the trade

April 26, 2008

The trade was a good idea. We only dropped back a few spots (#36 overall) and picked up a 4th round pick for doing it. Smart.


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