Sunday Apr 17

2011 Dream Draftees for the Packers

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Brooks Reed the next Clay Matthews?After months of draft research, I've come up with several prospects that stand out as my favorites - mainly because of how well they would fit in Green Bay. Some of these prospects fit the current needs of the Packers' roster and others would simply present great value. Here are some of my favorites for the 2011 draft. 

Brooks Reed 

Who wouldn't want - not one - but two Clay Matthewses lining up on defense? That's what the Packers could get if they decide to draft this high-intensity pass rusher out of Arizona. Reed features the same motor and knack for always being around the ball as Matthews, with the only drawback being his lack of experience dropping into coverage. Reed happens to be my favorite prospect in the draft and is projected to come off the board right around the Packers' first round pick.


Davon House 

This small-school coverage specialist has flown under the radar and could be a target for the Packers in the second round. House hails from New Mexico State, but covers receivers just as well as the major conference defensive backs. Standing 6'1", House has the size that the Packers covet in their cornerbacks and draws eerie resemblance to former Packers great Al Harris. Only one potential downside stands out to me: House may not provide instant help on special teams. 

Ben Ijalana 

Ijalana's name has been tied with the Packers more times than I've said the word "draft" this offseason (so, you get an idea of how much experts like that pick for the Packers at the end of round one). I have to agree with the norm in saying that Ijalana makes perfect sense for the Pack. The Villanova product has the ability to fit in at either guard or right tackle and could provide immediate help to an offensive line that may see Daryn Colledge, Jason Spitz and Mark Tauscher depart this offseason. 

Niles Paul 

Any team that selects this former Cornhusker gets the full package, with Paul being equally capable at return man and receiver. It's unclear where exactly Paul is projected to be taken in the draft, but one thing is for sure: his draft stock has risen and he may not make it to the Packers' third round pick. Paul would satisfy the Packers' need for a long-term slot receiver (pending James Jones' departure and Donald Driver's retirement) and would also provide some burst to the return game. 

Jake Locker 

What? Okay, don't bank on Locker wearing green and gold next season, but if he makes it to the Packers' third round pick (which is indeed highly unlikely), you can expect Locker to be on the Packers' radar. There is no doubt in my mind that Mike McCarthy would jump on the opportunity to iron out Locker's mechanical flaws and help him develop into a legitimate professional signal caller. In the very near future, Matt Flynn will be on his way out of Green Bay and this selection could fill that gap. 

Christian Ballard 

In terms of athletic ability, Christian Ballard is a freak of nature. His football prowess? Not quite as highly regarded. However, that's nothing that defensive line coach Mike Trgovac can't fix. Thanks to fellow Hawkeye Adrian Clayborn's high profile, Ballard's contributions to a talented Iowa defensive line may have gone somewhat overlooked. The Packers can land substantial value in selecting Ballard with their third round pick.

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+1 # BubbaOne 2011-04-11 08:20
Except for Paul all of these players will most likely be taken before pick 64; so we could only get one of them. Re Paul, short arms, small hands, a lot of drops...yuk.

Any later round picks you like? I like Cecil Shorts III in the 4th round. We have CM3, now we can have CS3. Cedric Thorton or Alex Green in the 6th.
At pick 64: I like what Kendrick Ellis at 6'5" 345lbs could do next to BJ in the 2-4-5.
BTW-I think it should be mandated which ever team picks Cameron Jordan has to take Jordan Cameron just so us fans can chuckle every time an announcer makes a mistake.
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0 # Mike Davidsen 2011-04-11 13:16
Ballard may fall past 64 - but I understand that the others (save Paul) are very likely to go before that point.

There are a number of late round picks that I think would be good fits for the Packers. As far as pass rushers go, I like Cliff Matthews (South Carolina) and Ricky Elmore (Arizona). Elmore was vastly overshadowed in AZ due to Reed's high profile - however, Elmore posted arguably better nunbers than Reed. Elmore is actually more likely to be a third rounder, but I wanted to mention him.

I'm a fan of both Cedric Thorton and Alex Green. I like Shane Vereen a lot, although, like Elmore, he's a mid round guy. Bilal Powell and Taiwan Jones are intriguing running back prospects. Jones' draft stock has skyrocketed thanks to blazing speed, but I'm not sure he's a "TT guy".

Some 7th round/high priority free agents I like include: Antareis Bryan (CB - Baylor), Anthony Allen (RB - Georgia Tech) and Marc Schiecl (OLB - Colorado School of Mines). I think Bryan could develop into a Tramon Williams / Sam Shields due to outstanding natural athleticism.

Thanks for reading!
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