Archive for the ‘2009 Draft’ Category

Thompson thinks Packers fine as they are

March 25, 2009

Many of you may have read Tom Silverstein’s article this morning over at jsonline. I think Silverstein wrote it to highlight one major point: that it’s interesting that TT would be so confident in a team that just finished 6-10. I think it’s interesting too. I badly want to believe TT is right about this, that it was a combination of just a few factors that led us to 7 losses by 4 points or less, that he’s right about draft first/free agency second and that he knows what he’s doing. But I’m not so sure. In the article, TT goes on to express confidence in his starting group (whoever they may be now). I disagree here. Right now, I am not necessarily scared by our starting group.  Off the top of my head, I can think of 9 starting positions (give or take) that are at least questionable : RT, LT b/c Clifton sucks, at least one guard spot, 2 of 3 D-Line positions, 3-4 of the LB positions due to Hawk’s poor play, Barnett’s injury and unknowns at the other OLB spots, and one of the safety spots.

I know he wouldn’t publicly point out positional weaknesses in an article like this and he wants his team to believe he believes in them. And I hope we can fill some holes through the draft. But a part of me does worry that he actually believes we are set with most of our starters and it’s more a matter of just playing better. I will continue to be suspect of TT’s over-reliance on the draft until we have 2-3 winning seasons in a row.

Random off-season thoughts

March 5, 2009
  • What do folks think about Percy Harvin? Though injury prone and smallish, I swear, every time I’ve watched that guy play, he’s done something electric. He is a gifted athlete. And, he was a marked man by lots of defenses. I’ll say it now, he may be one of those players who NFL teams shy away from due to size/durability, but he will be a very good NFL player.
  • I want Travis Beckhum on this team. Not in the first round or anything, but maybe with one of the extra picks TT trades down for. I’ve written this before I know and I am a clearly biased Wisconsinite. Anyway, some have doubted his ability to block etc, but his recent bench performance at the combine indicates to me that he’s at least strong enough to learn how to block (benched more than any other TE there) and we’ve all seen how good he is at the receiving piece of TE work.
  • Why is everyone (including me to some extent) leaving Desmond Bishop off the list of possible starting LBs? He seems like the aggressive kind of playmaker who might thrive as an OLB. I have a sneaking suspicion Kevin Greene will take to Bishop and help him take off.
  • I also wonder if Chillar might not be bad as an ILB (he’s being talked about mostly as an OLB) due to solid coverage skills.
  • Interesting that last year nobody (except Packergeeks and a number of PG readers) thought Poppinga should be locked in as a starter and now, whenever starting line-ups are discussed for 2009, nobody is including Poppinga as a possible starter. Perhaps Packergeek pressure simply became too much.
  • I really hope AJ Hawk blossoms with some quality coaching because I would doubt MM would have the stones to bench him in 2009 (despite playing like a scrub in 2008).
  • A few years ago, when Mike Sherman insisted on starting KGB only to have offenses run over him ever play, I remember having the fleeting thought that as bad as he was playing in the 4-3, he may have been more effective as an OLB in a 3-4 because he wouldn’t be swept in the wrong direction immediately by a huge O-Lineman. I’m not saying bring him back, because I think he’s been past his prime for a few years now – but I do think he may be one person wishing the Pack went to a 3-4 a few years earlier.
  • What is going to happen with Jeremy Thompson? Considering he’s one of TT’s draft picks, my guess is TT pushes MM to give JT a solid shot at starting OLB.
  • I was just imagining an interesting possible scenario for the Oakland Raiders considering they are rumored to have interest in both T.O. and Michael Vick. If they have the cap space (which they likely don’t after signing both Lechler and Asomouga) think about this for a moment: the Raiders could possibly field a starting offense next year with JaMarcus Russell as QB, Michael Vick as QB/RB/WR, Darren McFadden as RB and Percy Harvin and T.O. as WRs. Imagine trying to defend that crew?

What do folks think of Travis Beckum?

February 3, 2009

Many of us have watched this guy play over the last few years for the Badgers. I remember thinking to myself that he was making a mistake by not coming out after his monster 2007 season. And man, was he good that year. Double-triple teams…didn’t matter. He was thrown to on half of their offensive plays it seemed and he caught just about everything that came his way. He is incredibly athletic (assuming he recovers from his injuries OK) and a smart football player.

I wouldn’t look at him with our first few picks, but if he is around when we’re picking in the late 3rd or 4th round, I think we ought to consider him. He is not a great blocker and would probably need to bulk up to be a more productive TE in the NFL. But he is a crisp route runner, has amazing pass-catching talent (great hands, very good at adapting to poorly thrown balls), and he is quite fast for a TE (4.59 40). He is the kind of player who developed so quickly into one of the premiere college TEs that with some good coaching, could probably develop quickly into a viable NFL TE. For some reason, I just have confidence that Beckum is going to be a quality NFL player.


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