My recap of the 2012 draft class for the Green Bay Packers has been a long, slow process over a couple weeks, but there's not much going on until the rookie camp begins this week Friday. However, I'm wrapping up the process with a look at both of the compensatory selections taken near the end of the seventh round.
Round 7, Pick 241. Florida State T Andrew Datko. This is a bit of a departure from what GM Ted Thompson usually does in the seventh round. He's often looking for someone who he thinks has NFL ability, but for whatever reason, they have fallen through the cracks and into the seventh round. The recent selection of guys like Matt Flynn and Brad Jones come to mind. However, Datko hasn't fallen through the cracks. He could have been a much higher selection if a "serious shoulder injury" hadn't derailed his senior season. The Packers must feel comfortable with his medical situation or they wouldn't have drafted him at all, but obviously a lot of teams passed on him. The most likely scenario is that this is a lost pick because of his shoulder, but it's only a seventh round gamble. Projecting his future with the Packers is a bit speculative until we see whether he can play in 2012.
Round 7, Pick 243. Chattanooga QB B.J. Coleman. When looking at late-round quarterback prospects, I was thinking about players like Matt Flynn, Brian Brohm, and Graham Harrell. Quarterbacks who started at schools in big conferences, but they didn't quite have the measurables to be viewed as a top prospect. But this choice is more like another quarterback drafted by Ted Thompson in 2006; Ingle Martin. While Martin started out at Florida before transferring to Furman, Coleman was a top recruit at Tennessee before transferring to Chattanooga. Unfortunately, Martin never figured it out and only lasted one season in Green Bay before his release. Coleman might be doomed to suffer the same fate.
Though it's really up to Coleman whether he succeeds. He's in the perfect situation. He'll be competing for a backup spot again two undrafted quarterbacks that have never started an NFL game. He'll have three excellent teachers in Mike McCarthy, Tom Clements, and Aaron Rodgers. Reading his scouting report, it looks like he has all the ability to succeed, and he just needs a lot more coaching. Something that probably wasn't in big supply at Chattanooga. I could his selection going anywhere from bust-to-boom, but there's no denying that he's got potential.