BDvM Ed Note: In what I hope may become an occasionally recurring column here on Pocket Doppler, welcome to The Backdeck vs The Mayor! In this post I asked Tom ‘Backdeck’ Knigge & Kyle ‘The Mayor’ Cousineau to give me their thoughts on the first three picks the Packers will make in the NFL Draft which starts tonight.  For two guys who often agree on a lot, on this topic they each had very different thoughts on what could happen in the following days.

The Backdeck

Jerel Worthy will be lucky to see the field at all in 2013.  CJ Wilson is Average at best.  Mike Daniels is a high effort but slightly undersized DL.  Can Mike Neal play an entire year?  Johnny Jolly!  2014 Free agents: Jolly, Neal, Pickett, Raji, Morgan Burnett, MD Jennings, BD (Finley) and James Jones.  I expect the first 3 picks to be DL, S and WR.  I would think out of all the years this is the one year where TT really wants to trade back but will he be able to find a partner?

Here we go.

Round 1 Pick 26 :

Datone Jones DE UCLA – The Packers do not have a prototypical 3-4 DE on their roster.  Jones is 6-4 and has long arms.  He can also kick inside on 3 rd downs if needed to play DT.  I am not a fan of Margus Hunt.

1B –  I asked the Safety guru Brian Carriveau from CheeseheadTV this question.  What Safety in this draft reminds you the most of Nick Collins?  His answer was Jonathan Cyprien from Florida International . Some may say he hasn’t faced big time competition being from a small school.  Last time I checked Bethune Cookman isn’t cranking out All Americans. Out of all the players that the Packers have lost, no player has been missed more than Nick Collins.  People want to point fingers at Dom Capers for his play calling or at TT for the loss of Cullen Jenkins.  But it’s the loss of Nick Collins which has sent this Packers D into a free fall since the Collins injury versus the Carolina Panthers.  He was the Leader, Field general and was the playmaker for that Defense.  If they can shore up that spot it might just make everything up front a tad better including the way that Dom Capers can call a game.

1C – Robert Woods  WR USC – Caught 111 balls and 15 TD’s in 2011 and then went on to have a “disappointing” year in 2012 with 76 catches and 11 TD’s.  Ultra productive and can also help on special teams with punt and kickoff return duties.  Many people have him going somewhere around the middle of round 2 but he is the kind of player that I could see helping out the pack immediately and take over for James Jones next year.

Round 2

John Jenkins DT Georgia – Mammoth DT who stands in at 6-4 350 lbs.  Even though Coach MM won’t admit it.  The packers need to get bigger and more physical up front.  Getting Dez Bishop and Nick Perry will help that but the Pack don’t have any DL bigger than 6’3.  Facing 3 Read/Option teams this year and the likes of AP and Forte twice a year, S Jax, Ray Rice, Lesean Mccoy, Trent Richardson and the Giants, the Pack need to get bigger up front.

2B – DJ Swearinger – A Leader, Quarterback of the Secondary and  plays with a mean streak who is also a heavy hitter.  Was suspended for a game because of vicious hit!  Exactly what the Packers need on that side of the ball.

Round 3

Stedman Bailey WR West Virginia – All he did his Senior Season was catch 114 passes for 1,622 yards and 25 touchdowns.  Yes 25.

3B – Ryan Swope WR Texas A&M – Turned heads at Combine by running a surprising 4.34 40.  Plays the slot and was very productive catching 89 balls in 2011 and 72 in 2012.  Greg Jennings is gone

No lineman so far! No problem.  Bulaga is back.  EDS will be more than effective at center.  Barclay played surprisingly well.  Newhouse has one more year of experience under his belt.  Former 1 st round pick Sherrod is coming back from his broken leg and Andrew Datko and his shoulder are finally healthy and could make huge strides this year.

Regardless of what happens in this draft all I can say is I completely agree with every pick.  In Ted I Trust!

The Mayor

If you know me at all, I’ve been a firm believer in the motto “In Ted We Trust”.  At least that is the case when it comes to the draft.  I may disagree with how Ted Thompson handles free agency, whether it’s with other team’s free agents or how he handles his own restricted free agents, I do think Packer fans should have the utmost confidence in Thompson when come draft day.  It’s not Ted’s fault that Derrick Sherrod severely broke his leg or that Nick Perry broke his wrist.  That being said, I think it may be time to go away from the “best player available” M.O. and make some selections that can have an immediate impact on this roster.  The moves made by fellow NFC contenders like the 49ers and the Seahawks have been well documented this offseason.  Not saying it’s cause for panic, but I think it’s time to select guys that can step in and start, or force competition with incumbent starters.

Round 1

Although I won’t be surprised if the Packers trade out of the 1st round, as a matter of fact I might actually prefer that, I think the Packers will take Eric Reid, Safety from LSU .  It’s well known that the Packers have tried to replace Nick Collins at Safety since he suffered a career ending injury in 2011.  They drafted Jerron McMillian last year and relied on MD Jennings to fill that role as well.  Unfortunately, neither one has been able to fill the role left open in Collins’ absence.  Reid has the size (6’1″) , speed (4.53 – 40 yard dash), physicality, and ball skills to play alongside Morgan Burnett.

1B – Eddie Lacy, RB from Alabama – This pick goes against everything I’ve said this offseason.  Let’s roll the dice with DuJuan Harris and see what happens.  But the reality is we have no idea if Harris can carry the workload for 16 games.  Eddie Lacy can do that.  Lacy would be the bruising type of running back that the Packers have not had since Ahman Green was on the roster.  Although not the speed burner that Green was, Lacy proved while at Alabama that he can shoulder the load, and did so against the best competition college football has to offer in the SEC.

Round 2

Barrett Jones, C/G/T from Alabama – How can you not like a guy that is 6’4″, 305lbs and plays all 5 positions on the offensive line?  With injury concerns like Bryan Bulaga’s hip & Derrick Sherrod’s ankle/leg, the questionable play of LT Marshall Newhouse, and the inexperience of C Evan Dietrich-Smith the pick of Jones at the 55th pick makes too much sense to pass up.  He was a 4 year starter at the premiere college football program, is a winner, and is very intelligent.  It makes sense for the Packers to bolster an offensive line that gave up 51 sacks of their franchise quarterback.

2B – Quinton Patton, WR from Louisiana Tech – I’m actually surprised I didn’t see this name on Tommy’s list, because he’s been hyping him up for month.  James Jones and Jermichael Finley are free agents after this season.  We know Jones didn’t garner too much interest in free agency after Super Bowl XLV, but that won’t be the case this go around.  Having a career year in 2012 might put him out of the Packers price range, especially considering the money being paid to Clay Matthews and the inevitable money that Aaron Rodgers will get.  Patton could fit in nicely this year as a 4th WR option and have a change to make an impact like Randall Cobb did in his 2nd year.

Round 3

Vance McDonald, TE from Rice – As I’ve said before on, I was a proponent of keeping TE Jermichael Finley this year.  That was for this year.  There are no guarantees that Finley will be back NEXT year.  His contract is up following the 2013 season, and there is no way I can see the Packers meeting his demands.  The questions behind Finley are also cause for concern.  No one is sure of how Andrew Quarless is healing.  DJ Williams is “Mr. Training Camp”.  And as much I like Ryan Taylor for being a “red ass” on special teams, he hasn’t been given much opportunity in McCarthy’s offense.  Vance McDonald could easily step into the 2nd TE position and prove to be a key piece to the Packers offense.

3B – Margus Hunt, DE from Southern Methodist – At 6’8″, Hunt would be the tallest player on the Packers roster.  And at 26 years old at the start of the 2013 season, Hunt would also be one of the oldest.  Okay not really, but I’m tired of hearing about Hunt’s age.  His story is pretty well known.  Born in Estonia.  Competed at the international level in discuss and shot put. Blah, blah, blah.  I’m intrigued by his freakish athleticism, his length, and by how raw he is.  I think Packers defensive line coach Mike Trgovac could work wonders with Hunt at refining his skills.  Hunt would also give the Packers the length at DE that they haven’t had since switching to Dom Capers’ 3-4 defensive scheme.



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