Sunday, April 28, 2013

2013 NFL Draft: Rounds 4-7 Packer Selections on Offense

After trading down in the 2nd round, and still getting RB Eddie Lacy, and trading out of the 3rd round all together, the Green Bay Packers had 10 selection in the final four rounds on Saturday. They did surrender a couple picks to trade up in the 4th round which gave them one more polished prospect to go along with the projects they acquired in the later rounds.

What I love every year about GM Ted Thompson's selections is that he picks a lot of players at different positions, so he keeps his depth deep at every position. The players drafted late aren't likely to become stars, but there should be some future starters and key backups here. With so many picks, I'm splitting my analysis into two posts, the first one is on the offense.

4th round, Colorado LT David Bakhtiari. There's been a lot written recently about how LT Marshall Newhouse shouldn't be viewed as the starter of the future. While he did improve in 2012, he also showed his size limitations (he's short for a LT) and doesn't have quite enough strength and/or size. The team probably views Sherrod and Bulaga as the future at tackle, but they do need to improve their depth so they're not forced to rely on the poor tandem of Newhouse and RT Don Barclay as Plan B. There's a lot to like about Bakhtiari, he was a starter after his redshirt freshman season and he ended up with 33 career starts before leaving school early. He's got the big frame of a left tackle and he could still put some more bulk on it. He was told by the NFL advisory board that he was a likely 2nd or 3rd round selection, but I think he fell to the 4th round because not a lot of people saw Colorado's awful team last season. I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the mix at left tackle soon but he could play on the right side too.

4th round, Cornell OT J.C. Tretter. I'd been hoping the Packers would select one of the top centers available, but instead they'll convert an Ivy League tackle. It hasn't been announced that Tretter will switch to center, but it seems pretty obvious. The knock on him is that he doesn't have the size or length to play at tackle and he was going to have to move inside in the NFL. He's a former tight end who's quick and flexible and he has better size (6-4 height, 33 3/8" arm length) than many college centers.

4th round, UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin. They traded up to grab the player that was viewed as the No. 2 RB pre-draft. Obviously NFL teams thought otherwise, but the Packers made the move up because they did see his value. He's got the speed and quickness while Lacy has the size and strength, but the Packers haven't used a rotation at back in recent years. Maybe they would have if injuries and ineffectiveness hadn't gotten in the way. Franklin had some big question marks (6 fumbles in 2011) that he seemed to have overcome in 2012, but he doesn't look like an every down back due to his smaller size which is maybe why he fell in the draft. The Packers ended the 2012 season with former practice squad RB DeJuan Harris as arguably their best back, so more talent in the backfield can't hurt.

7th round wide receivers, Grand Valley St.'s Charles Johnson and Maryland's Kevin Dorsey. While the Packers haven't shied away from undrafted wide receivers, they usually draft wide receivers in the early rounds, so Johnson and Dorsey are some new ground for Ted Thompson. The two receivers were almost drafted back-to-back which is appropriate because they look very similar (6-2 height with good hands). The Packers lost two receivers this offseason so depth at the position was necessary, but Johnson and Dorsey were selected based on potential, not college performance.

It's an unknown whether these's players will succeed in the NFL, but the Packers addressed the positions where they lost depth (wide receiver) and where they needed better depth (offensive line, running back). I see the potential in all three players they selected in the 4th round, and they all could become involved in the offense as soon as this season.

No comments: