Monday, April 24, 2006

GM Ted Thompson won't rule out drafting a quarterback. GMs are required to mislead as much as possible before the draft. Maybe if QB Aaron Rodgers was drafted by Mike Sherman before Thompson was hired, it would be possible that Thompson would consider drafting a quarterback. But it is impossible that Thompson would throw his own choice under the wheels without even giving him a chance to start. The only concern is that Thompson has had a number of bad ideas as GM and drafting another 1st round quarterback to create competition might be another one of them.

Football Outsiders had an article posted in March and the author concluded that QBs Matt Leinert, Vince Young, and Jay Cutler should all have some success in the NFL. The reason all three would have success is that "the two most predictive college statistics are completion percentage and games started." Rodgers didn't have a huge number of starts at California (22), but that is deceiving because he only played 2 seasons at Cal and he started every game except his first game in a Bears uniform. His completion percentage in his 2 seasons was 61.6 and 66.1. It would appear that Rodgers has just as much chance to succeed as Leinert, Young, or Cutler. The biggest concerns with Rodgers is that he doesn't have the physical makeup scouts prefer for a quarterback and that he is very comparable to a former Packers bust QB Rich Campbell (1st round selection, high completion percentage, played at California). The Rich Campbell similarities alone would have made me pass on drafting him, but Thompson was playing linebacker for Houston back then and probably not paying attention to the draft decisions of Bart Starr.

The worst part of selecting a quarterback is that it appears that QB Brett Favre is waiting until after the draft to see if the Packers make any improvement to the offense, and selecting another quarterback in the 1st round would not be what Favre had in mind.

It is no surprise that LB Lavar Arrington would choose the NY Giants over the Packers. With so much unknown about the Packers at this point (Will Favre return? Will Thompson ever make the right decisions in free agency? Will the team have to completely rebuild after 2006?), it made little sense to sign Arrington. It is amazing what a difference a season makes; if Arrington was available this time last season, then signing him would have been a great move to upgrade from LB Hannibal Navies.

Pat Kirwan is one of the best football writers on the web and he has updated his mock draft. I don't think anybody gets these mock drafts right, but Kirwan has a lot of friends in the NFL that he talks to so his evaluations of players is always interesting. He thinks the Packers will draft two linebackers; LB A.J. Hawk and LB Roger McIntosh. Hawk has been talked about as a top 10 pick all offseason and nothing from his workouts has moved him down. McIntosh has all the physical abilities of a top linebacker, but he makes mistakes in the open field and can overpursue. If the Packers do address their problems at linebacker early, then the most interesting time for the Packers will be the mid-rounds (3 through 5) when the Packers will have to address the offensive line. If the Packers are serious about a shift to a zone blocking scheme with lighter and more agile offensive lineman, then the mid-rounds are when those players should be drafted. Most of the offensive lineman projected in the first 2 rounds are all big 300 lb. tackles, which shouldn't be the type of player the Packers are interested in. Any offensive lineman who is drafted in rounds 3-5 and can play guard will be immediately considered a candidate to start in 2006.

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