It’s possible- would shore up return game, but other than that, WR not a real need. We’ll see. (It’s more likely TT will pick some rather obscure DE nobody’s heard of who will turn out to be money).
Archive for the ‘2008 Draft’ Category
Brother Steve just texted indicating his desire to move up and snag Mendenhall. I couldn’t agree more. I’d give up our 1st round pick and a 3rd round pick or even one of the second round picks. I think he’ll be that good. I’ll say it again, one of the markers of a great team is one that can not only add need players but also make already decent positions into great ones. Picking up Mendenhall would do this.
I think the Packers will draft Steve Slaton somewhere. I don’t have any evidence for this. I find it interesting that the draft “experts”, for whatever reason, don’t think he’s worth much. I reviewed some of his profile and can’t quite understand why he’s essentially become villified by the draft community. This is a guy who a few years ago finished 4th in Heisman voting.
Here is my very basic thought on the guy. He’d be worth probably a 3rd rounder (though I wouldn’t even mind if we picked him up with one of the 2nd round picks). Here’s why. Think about the last 2-3 years of watching college football. Every single Sat, in highlight shows, you would hear first that West Virginia probably won, then you’d hear Pat White’s name and Steve Slaton’s name and then they’d show some ridiculous run featuring some ridiculous athleticism. He’s played for a very successful program and his supposedly “down” junior year still had him gaining 1400+ yards on the ground with 18 TDs. One article here, indicates that part of the reason his stats may have declined is simply the presence of Pat White who took plays and carries from Slaton. During his monster season a few years ago, Slaton averaged nearly 7 yards per carry. Last year, it was down to 5, which is still really really good. I would argue he probably hasn’t lost a whole lot of his ability, he was just forced to share the workload a bit more when Pat White came onto the scene.
The main reason I believe I have this hunch is that he seems to be one of those players who very simply just plays football effectively and seems to have a good attitude – both characteristics TT and MM look for. I can’t pretend to know anything more about his character, but I would love to pick up a high quality 3rd down back with game-breaking speed and jukability, as it were (the spell check didn’t underline that - perhaps jukability is actually a word?). Plus, he would add some excitment to our team instantly (and possibly even do some kick returning).
Please help spread the rumor that the Packers are going to pick him until it spreads to TT and MM and they realize “wow, how could we not have thought of taking him – let’s take him”. That’s my delusional goal in writing this post.
Bedard essentially points to one case of a tight end (who was really hyped) not working out completely (though I think Davis may still be a good player in the NFL). I also disagree with Bedard implying that tight end blocking is somehow an unimportant part of the offense. Blocking is a very important of a tight end’s contribution to the offense – and if the TE happens to have good receiving hands, then that’s a huge bonus. Imagine if Martelles Bennett or Dustin Keller were the next Jay Novacek (who was the real MVP during the 90s for the Cowboys.)
Not only do I think a tight end can be a valuable (1st round worthy) pick to make, but I think in the Packers case, it could be an especially smart one. I’ve begun to think McCarthy may be somewhat of an offensive genius. There is a lot going on up in that rather large melon offensively. I think pairing Donald Lee with a quality TE partner could have an especially huge impact on the overall offensive production because it would enable McCarthy to open things up even more for Rodgers. Think of all the combinations we could have with 2 quality receiving TEs and the 5 receivers we already have. Endless. Imagine a 2nd and goal from the 3 with the mobile Rodgers at QB, TE Martellus Bennett lined up in the backfield in front of our drafted RB Steve Slaton, with Donald Lee on the line, Jennings, Driver, and Jones wide. No defense could account for the all of the play options that would be possible.
Check Brother Steve’s pre-draft analysis below. Very well done and I have to say, despite disagreeing somewhat on what the Packers’ needs are, I think you’re pretty much dead on assessing these players.
I agree very much on Rashard Mendenhall. See this February post saying the same. I know he’s become a reach at this point which is a shame because he would have been a steal. I’m confident he’ll become a fairly dominant runner in the NFL. I also agree on Keith Rivers, Harvey, Otah, Mayo and Felix Jones. I would be excited to have any of these players on our roster. Brother Steve made a good point about possibly picking up another back later in the draft. I think Steve Slaton could be a better back than is presently projected. He is a game-changer and I think he’ll be pumped to try to prove people wrong (because he’s been chewed up in pre-draft speculation).
I do still disagree on tight ends. Sure, there have been some later round picks who have succeeded at tight end (go Wisconsin, Owen Daniels), but that’s true of QBs, RBs, and every position (see Donald Driver). I guess I just believe that with the right guy, the right fit, there’s a better chance that a quality tight end can be had toward the front of the draft and that he’d be more likely to have an impact on our offense and game-planning. I think it’s worth a first round pick.
But perhaps the most interesting part of Steve’s pre-draft analysis was this line referring to Philip Merling: “He sounds like a character from Masterpiece Theater.”
Would it be absurd for me to conclude from this reference that Brother Steve does indeed watch Masterpiece theater, the very same program that a recent Jane Austen series was played on?