A Look Back at the Packers Draft

By PFC Packers Writer Jonathon Zenk

The Green Bay Packers had a very good draft. They addressed their three major needs of nose tackle, outside linebacker, and offensive tackle, with their first three picks, although T.J. Lang is more suited for offensive guard than tackle. According to numerous experts, the Packers had one of, if not the best draft out of every team in the NFL. I will give you my pick-by-pick analysis of every one of the Packers selections during the draft.
Round 1, Pick 9: B.J. Raji, NT, Boston College

Raji was a great selection for the Packers, as they are switching to the 3-4 defense and Raji was by far the best 3-4 nose tackle in the draft, and one of the best defenders in the draft. Green Bay passed on talented Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree. Some Packer fans questioned the passing of Crabtree, but the Packers are already stacked at the position and the offense didn’t cause them to have a miserable 6-10 season a year ago. Raji is a space-eater and is good at taking on double-teams, which the Packers will need him to do to let the linebackers roam free.

Round 1, Pick 26: Clay Matthews, OLB USC

Green Bay traded back into the first round for the USC linebacker. With the move to the new defense, the Packers had to draft a pass-rushing linebacker. Matthews is the son of former Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons linebacker Clay Matthews. Matthews was also a very good pick for Green Bay. He was the second USC linebacker chosen in the draft. He is also very good in coverage and has tremendous hands for a linebacker.

Round 4, Pick 109: T.J. Lang, OT/OG, Eastern Michigan

After not picking in either the second or third rounds, the Packers finally made a selection again at pick 109. This pick was also a very good one. He is a hard worker, as well as very tough. The Packers needed offensive line in the worst way after a terrible season for Chad Clifton last year and not re-signing for Wisconsin Badger Mark Tauscher. Lang will probably move to guard for the Packers and may even push for a starting job, if not this year, then he will down the road.

Round 5, Pick 145: Quinn Johnson, FB, Lousiana State

The Packers do not have a true fullback on their roster….until now. Johnson is a monster at run blocking. Nobody is a happier person in the league than Ryan Grant after this selection, as Grant did not have much room to run last season. I expect Johnson to make the team and give current starting fullback Korey Hall a run for his money for the starting spot. He is also a great special teams player, which will only help his chances of making the team.

Round 5, Pick 162: Jamon Meredith, OT, South Carolina

Meredith is one of the biggest steals in the draft. He could have gone as early as the second or third round. He has character problems, which probably caused the slide down to the fifth round. But he tons of talent, so he is hard to pass up at this point in the draft. Meredith is ready to play right away, so he may start opening week against Chicago, along with Clifton, at offensive tackle.

Round 6, Pick 182: Jarius Wynn, DE, Georgia

Wynn has a shot at making the team. He only weighs 275 pounds, so unless he gains some weight before training camp, my guess is that he will try out at outside linebacker in the new 3-4 defense. I think it may come down to what he can do on special teams to see whether Wynn makes the team or not.

Round 6, Pick 187: Brandon Underwood, DB, Cincinnatti

Underwood will have some stiff competition this year. The Packers are pretty set at cornerback with perennial All-Pro’s Al Harris and Charles Woodson, up-and-comer Tramon Williams, punt return demon Will Blackmon, and last year’s second round pick Patrick Lee. However, he could fight newly signed safety Anthony Smith for the last safety spot. He is very fast and is also pretty good in man-to-man coverage. He has a real shot at making the roster.

Round 7, Pick 218: Brad Jones, OLB, Colorado

Jones has a marginal shot at making the roster, but if he doesn’t make it there, he will make the practice squad for sure. With the Packers now starting four linebackers, they need to keep more, so maybe Jones makes the team. Only time will tell.

This draft for the Packers was very good, especially the first two picks. Both Raji and Matthews have the potential to be Pro Bowlers. They addressed their needs early in the draft and I can’t wait for August for training camp. I will grade the draft at an A-.