Friday, April 27, 2007

Here's What I Want

As I said before, I want the Packers to draft Reggie Nelson at 16, and I want to see him patrolling the middle of the defensive backfield with Nick Collins for the next eight seasons. If some other team (like the Panthers) takes Nelson, or we pass on him, I'd still be relatively happy with taking some other sort of (potential) impact player on defense. If Jamaal Anderson, the defensive end from Arkansas falls to us, I wouldn't be upset. Anderson projects well, put on an impressive performance in the Capital One Bowl against the Badgers (our offense looked terrible in the second half) and pass rushing defensive ends who also can play the run decently are very valuable commodities. Or if Darrelle Revis, the explosive cornerback from Pitt, were our pick, I also would feel ok. Revis could take the nickel back slot from the semi-adequate Patrick Dendy, and could operate as a punt/kick returner, so he would see the field a fair amount. Also, if he pans out, he'd ease everyone's worries about the simultaneous ossification of Woodson and Al Harris.

For those of you who think I'm crazy for wanting to spend a first round pick on the defense, as I explained before, I have a multifaceted rationale--I believe the defense is an elite player away from being a dominant unit, a dominant defense could keep us decent even after Brett retires and the offense goes through a serious "transition period", drafting offense right now is predictable, and at the sixteenth pick we're only going to be picking among second tier offensive talents--having missed out on the super-studs like Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson--but could get a top of the line defender like Revis or Nelson. (I think Nelson may be better than LaRon Landry because he makes more big plays, and Revis has got to be better than Leon Hall; I mean, did you watch Ohio State/Michigan or the Rose Bowl?).

And here's how I'd like things to breakdown otherwise. First, I'd like us to spend at least one, if not both, of our remaining first day draft picks taking risks on offensive skill position guys. Take a flier on Michael Bush, who is being downgraded because of his slow recovery from a broken leg. He led the NCAA in touchdowns at Louisville the season before last, and the Packers red zone offense has been terrible. I think Michael Bush could easily be a Jerome Bettis-like short-distance/goal-line runner. He may need to time to recover further, but I bet he gets back to form or close enough to it. Or take a flier on a big wide receiver with a knack for scoring. Like Dwayne Jarrett, if he's there. (We'll see how much his slow-ish 40-yard dash time affects his status.) Or Sidney Rice, South Carolina's main offensive threat the past few seasons. We need red zone help, and these guys could bring it. They may not develop into all around superstars, but they have repeatedly made plays against other top-level talent, and have each shown a knack for scoring. I also think, besides Robert Meacham, who I think has a lot of potential, they'd have almost as much chance of developing into top-notch offensive players as anyone else we'd be picking from at 16.

Second, if we just use one of our second and third round picks on an offensive skill position guy, use the remaining one to grab a safety or a corner, whichever position we didn't pick in the first round. Those positions are either dangerously thin or already understaffed.

Third, on the second day I hope we pick up a developmental offensive tackle, a situational pass rusher (though I'm hoping Jason Hunter turns into a legitimate one this season), and maybe a quarterback with a bit more potential than our current third-stringer.

Also, I'd love to see us pick up a Wisconsin guy or two, for semi-emotional, semi-legitimate reasons. For example, I think Roderick Rodgers is getting overlooked. (ESPN's Todd McShay did a 7 round mock draft and didn't even have him getting picked.) I think he's a pretty talented athlete and a good player, certainly with as much potential as Marviel Underwood. But I'd be psyched to see us pick up him or Zalewski. Maybe they'd just be special teamers, but it'd be fun to have some Wisconsin guys on the team besides Tauscher.

To review, here's what I'd like to see:

1st Reggie Nelson, S, Florida
2nd Dwayne Jarrett, WR, USC or Sidney Rice, WR, South Carolina
3rd Michael Bush, RB, L'ville or Garret Wolfe, RB, N. Ill.
4th Offensive Tackle prospect
5th Corner prospect
6th Defensive Line/Situational Pass Rusher prospect
7th (3 picks) Whoever has potential, mixed in with a UW guy

That would be a great draft from my perspective. Remove the glaring weakness from our defense and replace it with a super-talented rookie and proven winner. Give Favre some offensive help with big name guys who've produced at high levels and have fallen for one reason or another. Invest in the long run in important positional replacements (OT, CB, DE). Give the in-state homers, like me, someone to root for. All-round, that would rule.

Of course, not being a GM or a talent evaluator, what the hell do I really know? I hope Thompson takes the guy he thinks and all of his scouts agree has the most talent and potential at each pick. If that means we move up to snare a big star, like Adrian Peterson, great. If we stay where we are, I hope that equates to spending our highest pick on defense for all the reasons I've stated but if not, well, I have my favorite potentially-available offensive player picked out already--Robert Meacham, WR, Tennesse.

Anyhow, what do you think the Packers should do with their first round pick? How about a choice between Meacham, Lynch, Nelson, Revis and Ted Ginn, Jr? What say ye? And why do you say what you do when you say it?

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