BY JOE BARTEL
Here are some of my thoughts on the Packers draft picks this year:
Ha-Ha Clinton Dix – (Round 1, Safety)
This was about as obvious as it could get for the Packers. I thought Darqueze Dennard might be an option at number 21, but the Packers were able to fill a huge need with the safety from Alabama. I know a lot of scouts were critical of Dix’s performance, particularly at the combine, but I think the fact that he was a team captain and relayed the plays on a championship defense should really mean something. He is a leader and a hard-worker, something the Packers crave in their players.
Davante Adams – (Round 2, Wide Receiver)
Okay, I know all the reasons the Packers took Adams: they lost James Jones in the offseason, the draft was super deep at the receiver position and he represented good value, I just didn’t like the pick that much. I thought someone like Bruce Ellington would have fit the Packers system more than Adams. The Packers have had major success drafting receivers in the second round in previous years (Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb) so I will keep my pessimism in check, but I thought there were other options here.
Khyri Thorton – (Round 3, Defensive Tackle)
I think there was some value to this pick, but this is clearly a Raji-filler in my mind. Meaning, if Raji does awful again this year, we will at least have someone who can try and fill his role. I really would have liked the Packers to deal up a few spots to grab Chris Borland, the linebacker from Wisconsin. Unfortunately he fell right into the laps of the 49ers, who stole the show on Day 2 of the draft.
Richard Rogers – (Round 3, Tight End)
Certainly fits a need for the Packers, but Rogers doesn’t seem as athletic as Jermichael Finley. Now, that’s not to say every tight end can be like Finley, but I think part of the reason the offense was so dangerous was because of Finley’s versatility and athleticism. At the very least we can cheer for a Rodgers to Rogers connection.
Carl Bradford – (Round 4, Linebacker)
Loved this pick. I would have loved to see Borland and Bradford together on the field, but alas, I need to get over myself. Scouts and analysts alike compliment his motor and hustle, two things which I love in a player. Let’s just hope he has the talent to go along with the work ethic.
Corey Linsley – (Round 5, Center)
Once again, this seems to fit a need for the Packers. As of right now, the starting center is J.C. Tretter, the former fourth round pick who broke his ankle early in training camp and was lost for the year. Personally, I like Tretter, but there are some concerns amongst the Packers leadership that Tretter is prone to another ankle injury. Linsley is a big, intimidating center, but I’m not sure he would be ready to come in right away and perform.
Jared Abbrederis – (Round 5, Wide Receiver)
I really, really like Abbrederis as a player, but I’m concerned that he won’t find a spot on the Packers roster. He seems like an insurance policy if the Packers can’t re-sign Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb, but at the same time, that means Abbrederis is more-or-less a wasted pick this year. I sure hope he can find a way to contribute, but the Packers are already four deep at receiver before this pick was even made.
Demetri Goodson – (Round 6, Defensive Back)
I like that Thompson is transitioning more to the athletic players with multiple sport backgrounds, as seen with the Rogers and Adams pick. Goodson was a starting point guard on the Gonzaga team before transferring to Baylor, and I think he brings a tough attitude as a cornerback. However, he is very raw and will need a lot of time to develop into a capable pro.
Jeff Janis – (round 7, Wide Receiver)
I really like this kid. He didn’t receive as much hype because he came from a small school (Saginaw Valley State) but I see incredible potential for Janis. He’s big at 6’3” and really fast, running a 4.3 40 yd. dash at the Combine. This however, is one hell of a confusing pick considering the Packers are now six deep at receiver. Perhaps the Packers are preparing for an exodus of receivers next year.