April 27, 2008

Trade obsession persists on Day 2; depth added

Category: Packers — Patrick Stumpf @ 11:13 pm

Before I get to all my Day 2 analysis, I figured I should provide a link to this excellent chart outlining all the Packers moves over the course of this weekend (it’s on the very bottom of the page). Whew, now that’s a lot of movement. Here’s my quick analysis of the second day picks, six in all, as well as my predictions on these players’ chances of making the team:

Jermichael Finley, TE, Texas- It’s ironic he ends up with the same team he was raving about at the NFL Combine. I love this pick. Finley finally gives the Packers an athletic tight end (Bubba was not athletic) that can stretch the field. He’ll provide Aaron Rodgers with a valuable check-down. He needs to improve his blocking, but he’s got plenty of time. Finley’s chances of making the team: Extremely good.

Jeremy Thompson, DE, Wake Forest- Ted Thompson fools all with a trade up, marking the first time he’s ever done so as the Packers’ GM. And I think it was the perfect time to do it. Thompson was a projected 2nd-3rd round pick, dropping because of injury concerns. As long as he can stay healthy, he’s got a great shot to make fans forgot Corey Williams quickly–great pick. Thompson’s chances of making the team: Very good.

Josh Sitton, OL, Central Florida- A little surprised they chose this guy with higher rated offensive-lineman on the board, but it’s a typical TT move. Underrated guy who was a major reason Kevin Smith rushed for 4,800 yards last year. The reason I think he’ll make the team is because he’s versatile (TT mentioned his ability to play both guard and tackle spots). Sitton’s chances of making the team: Good.

Breno Giaconimi, OT, Louisville- I had done a lot of research before this year’s draft, and this guy’s name was connected to the Pack in numerous draft circles. He’s a monster, (6’7+, 300 lbs.) that gets bonus points for having the most commonly mispronounced name on Wisconsin TV stations tonight. Giacomini’s chances of making the team: Good.

Matt Flynn, QB, LSU- Another quarterback? I can’t imagine Packer nation’s reaction to this pick after it flashed on the screen, but please remember everyone, this is in the 7th round. Flynn is the perfect #3 (as long as no veteran is signed) guy behind Rodgers and now Brohm. He doesn’t have a great arm, but it won’t hurt him because the West Coast Offense predominantly consists of slants and shorter routes. Solid pick given the circumstances. Flynn’s chances of making the team: Average if veteran QB is signed, good if not.

Brett Swain, WR, San Diego State- Ted said in his post-draft press conference that Swain caught his eye while scouting SDSU’s quarterback Kevin O’Connell. There’s absolutely no way this guy makes the active roster, but worst case scenario he creates good camp competition and makes the practice squad. Swain’s chances of making the team: Little to none (may make practice squad).

My final thoughts on the draft: Ted did a great job, although I’m not big on grades, so I won’t give one. But I feel eight of these nine have a good chance of making the final 53 man roster. The competition should be fierce in camp, and I’ll be especially interested to see how the quarterback’s perform in the preseason. Even after Mr. Irrelevant was chosen, the madness didn’t stop. Undrafted free agents began to sign, and the Packers have already inked multiple names. Here’s that list thus far:

TE Michael Peterson (Northwest Missouri State)
LB Danny Lansanah (UConn)
RB Kregg Lumpkin (Georgia)
WR Taj Smith (Syracuse)
LS J.J. Jansen (Notre Dame)
P Ken Debauche (Wisconsin)

Some intriguing names here. Of those, I think Jansen and Lansanah (left) have legitimate shots to make the team. Peterson, Smith, Lumpkin, and Debauche should all create healthy competition, with Lumpkin and Smith good practice squad candidates (along with Swain). Remember everyone, in Thompson’s blueprint, this is the year where depth isn’t just added, it’s significantly improved. They did a great job accomplishing that this weekend.

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