Excerpt from day 1 at the Shrine Game practices, from draft watcher Tony Pauline:

– Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson spent a lot of time scouting the linebackers during the first Shrine practice today. And while he’s not in attendance at the Shrine Game, sources tell me the team really likes Mississippi State junior Beniquez Brown, whom I grade as a third round choice.

http://www.draftinsider.net/blog/?p=11203

That's what makes this mock draft a nice pipe dream. He would pick Jaylon Smith in the 1st, then be able to grab Henry in the second since he would be available for the picking.

And the chances of this are right up there with me winning the Powerball.

 

My draft from Fanspeak. 

27: R1P27
DT A'SHAWN ROBINSON
ALABAMA
57: R2P26
OLB SCOOBY WRIGHT
ARIZONA
88: R3P25
TE HUNTER HENRY
ARKANSAS
122: R4P27
RB C.J. PROSISE
NOTRE DAME
151: R5P24
OT JOE HAEG
NORTH DAKOTA STATE
182: R6P25
WR KEYARRIS GARRETT
TULSA
216: R7P27
OT WILLIE BEAVERS
WESTERN MICHIGAN
I could live with this. 
Are we getting one or two comp picks for House and Williams? 

I have an odd feeling the Packers may grab Shilique Calhoun to replace Perry and Peppers snaps in the first, depending on what they do with Datone. Matthews, Neal, Calhoun, Elliott, Datone would give them an interesting combo to work with, especially if Peppers is back for part-time duty. Neal, Datone, Peppers and Calhoun could all put their hand down in certain sets.   

 

 

Blocking out the pipedreams.......I like Hunter Henry in the first.  That seems about where he is slotted to go.  TE's don't usually shoot up draft boards due to workouts, so hopefully stays late first.  

I would consider Jaylen Smith, knowing he'd sit out 2016.  He's that good that he'd be worth the wait.  

And not sure why so many boards have DL as such a priority.  They actually played very well this year and have Daniels, Pennel and Jones coming back.  Yes Guion and Raji are free agents but doesn't mean both are gone for sure - TT is actually really good at retaining his own free agents.  I'd expect at least 1 to come back. Not saying you ignore it, but I consider LB a way bigger priority than DL.  

Right now I'm liking Michigan St DE Shilique Calhoun in round 1. Great size, showed some real potential as an edge rusher, and showed a lot of discipline in the run game setting the edge. He's not really polished in any area though and Michigan St defenders haven't faired well in the NFL recently (I'm looking at you Jerel Worthy). He's a very interesting prospect though.

Raw athlete, not a great LB right now. I like him as a WLB in a 43 or maybe as an OLB in a 34 if he improved taking on blockers. I don't think he has the bulk right to play consistently inside in any scheme and he doesn't seem to have that attacking ILB mentality. To me he's almost like a big Safety out there. 

Here is my first using Fanspeak big board

 

27: R1P27
ILB REGGIE RAGLAND
ALABAMA
 
57: R2P26
TE HUNTER HENRY
ARKANSAS
 
88: R3P25
OLB DEION JONES
LSU
 
122: R4P27
RB AARON GREEN
TCU
 
151: R5P24
DT WILLIE HENRY
MICHIGAN
 
182: R6P25
OT JOE DAHL
WASHINGTON STATE
 
216: R7P27
ILB LUKE RHODES
WILLIAM & MARY

This is my FanSpeak effort. I'm okay with it:

 

27: R1P27
DE JONATHAN BULLARD FLORIDA
 
57: R2P26
ILB BENIQUEZ BROWN MISSISSIPPI STATE
 
88: R3P25
TE HUNTER HENRY ARKANSAS
 
122: R4P27
OT CALEB BENENOCH UCLA
 
151: R5P24
RB JOSH FERGUSON ILLINOIS
 
182: R6P25
CB HARLAN MILLER SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA
 
216: R7P27
OLB STEVE LONGA RUTGERS

ROUND 1

Austin Johnson/NT/Penn St.

6’3”/325 lbs.

True NT…stout run defender…holds the LOS better than any player in the draft

 

ROUND 2

Joe Schobert/LB/Wisconsin

6’1”/235 lbs.

High energy, high effort…strong edge rush and blitz skills…versatility as ILB or OLB

 

ROUND 3

Nick Vannett/TE/Ohio St.

6’6”/260 lbs.

Great size with experience in-line or split out…tough, experienced blocker…wasn’t used enough at OSU

 

ROUND 4

Joe Haeg/OT/North Dakota St.

6’5”/300 lbs.

Good developmental LT…all around game is solid, needs to bulk up…real nasty streak

 

ROUND 5

Kelvin Taylor/RB/Florida

5’10”/205 lbs.

Quick, decisive runner…surprising power and toughness…good receiving skills…reminds of Jonathan Franklin

 

ROUND 6

Luther Maddy/DL/Virginia Tech

6’/295 lbs.

Short but stout and strong…really good interior pass rusher…high motor


ROUND 7

Thor Jozwiak/OG/South Florida

6’4”/321 lbs.

Good size…experienced and productive…good developmental prospect

FLPACKER posted:

What do you think of Darron Lee, LBer from OSU?

I live close to Columbus and I have the misfortune of seeing most O$U games.  Lee is an OL and probably is a little to light to play ILB in the NFL.  He is extremely fast and could be a nice compliment to Clay if he goes back outside.

I understand that teams play their defenses differently which dictates what they want from each position but Carolina's LBers, Kuechly & Davis are only listed at 235, Lee is listed at 228. Cards play Bucannon as essentially a LBer at 218 lbs. I think players like Lee & Cravens from USC would be coveted by Dom, since they have a varied skill set & can be moved around the field. 

He doesn't play like he's 230 though, he plays like he's 215. He's closer to Deone Buchanan than he is Luke Keuchly. Would you put Deone Buchanan at ILB full time? Arizona doesn't do that, he plays more of a Rover that doesn't fill gaps and take on OL. Lee's not aggressive like an ILB either, he reminds me of Julian Peterson really. Exceptional athlete, but not a thumper. More of an athlete than football player right now.

Why would Dom covet a small LB/big Safety? He has two Safeties that tackle REALLY well and support the run as well as any Safety tandem in the league.

YATittle posted:

Packerboi, I saw that TE Henry went at 61. How could Ted resist giving Arod such a weapon....

 

Considering this is all mythical how do you know mythical Uncle Teddy doesn't take him?

I imagine mythical TT like this, toying with our emotions.

 

 

I think getting more speed on the field has been the goal for the last few years. That's why Brad Jones was moved to ILB and it's why Nate Palmer moved to ILB. Those guys are on the more athletic end of the ILB spectrum, what they lack are instincts and vision to put their athleticism to any good use. The great ILBs in this league are fast (most are 4.6/4.7 range), but above all they have to have the instincts and the vision. If you can shed OLinemen and locate the football in a split second then it doesn't matter if you run a 4.4 or a 4.8, you will get there on time. Luke Kuechly isn't great because of his 4.6 speed, he's a natural ILB who lives near the ball. Thinking you can bring in athletes and teach them to play ILB is why we don't have any legit ILBs right now although I have some hope for Ryan.

I agree that instincts to the ball are most important. However this is exactly why players should not be discounted as being "too small" to play ILBer if they are only in the 225 range. How much does 10 more pounds matter when you are being blocked by a 300+ olineman? If you are 230 or 240, you are still at a great disadvantage. The key is to not get blocked. You are correct, we don't know if Lee & Cravens have those great instincts(or maybe you do?) , but I think we've dismissed too many guys in the past because the concern was that they weren't big enough. Guys like Shaq Thompson, Ryan Shazier, & Eric Kendricks were feared to be too light to be LBers but have all played pretty well. 

I definitely agree with you, discounting guys because of their size is a big mistake in a lot of cases. Guys can bulk up to 230 or 240 and be effective, that's not an issue in my mind. It can be a problem when you're 220 and have to constantly battle 300 lb linemen and hit 220+ RBs. There's a reason many true ILBs or MLBs are in that 240/250 range, that 20 lbs of muscle can help you withstand the pounding. 

In the case of Lee and Cravens, although they are very different players, I don't see them posses those great ILB instincts. A better position for Cravens would be an "in the box" Safety or as a SLB in a 43. Lee belongs in the 43 as an OLB, again in the same vein as Julian Peterson. I think he could play ILB in a 34, but I don't think we would see him fare much better than Brad Jones (i.e. Very miscast and not as effective as he could be). I don't think he's the same as Shazier or Thompson, those guys are very natural LBs.

Anyone have an armchair scouting report on Jake McGee, TE from Florida? At 6-6, 252 with a projected 4.69, he's likely to be among the biggest and fastest TEs in the class. Decent production in the SEC, too.

But I'm seeing him "graded" anywhere from a 3rd to a 6th/7th. What gives?

He's a little bit older at 24 and he suffered a pretty brutal leg injury in 2015. He seemed to rebound well, but those are his big knocks. We will see how his Senior Bowl goes, I don't think he goes lower than round 5, but round 3 is more realistic based on his skillset.

IL_Pack_Fan posted:

Anyone have an armchair scouting report on Jake McGee, TE from Florida? At 6-6, 252 with a projected 4.69, he's likely to be among the biggest and fastest TEs in the class. Decent production in the SEC, too.

But I'm seeing him "graded" anywhere from a 3rd to a 6th/7th. What gives?

I think one thing may be the problem and that is how horrible at times the Florida offense was last year.  It could be a tough sell to get a UF offensive player ranked high but I think if he is talented the scouts will figure that out quickly.

Starting to think that GB will be taking OLB with one of their first 2 picks. Have more shallow positions that need help(ILB and TE specifically) but there's a reason why edge rushers get paid a ton. Peppers is old, Clay is entering his age 30 season, and Perry or Neal or perhaps even both won't be back(and both are average players as it is). They need to find another young high upside option for that group.

Ted seems to look beyond the current year with the draft. Look at the 2017 free agents: Julius Peppers, Josh Sitton, TJ Lang, Datone Jones, Eddie Lacy, Davis Bahktiari, JC Tretter, Micah Hyde, Jayrone Elliot (RFA), Mike Pennel (RFA), John Crockett, Josh Walker, etc. 

They can't wait to replace two starting Guards and their primary backups next year. Same thing for OLB with Neal and Perry being FAs this year...4 of our top 5 OLBs will be FAs over over this offseason and next. Same thing with the DL, Raji and Guion are FAs, Jones is an FA next year and Pennel is an RFA, theoretically we could also lose 4 of our 5 top DL in the coming off seasons. 

Tough road ahead for TT.

After Ragland I think Joe Schobert is the second best ILB in the draft. I know he was an OLB at Wisconsin, but I see the instincts, the aggressive/attacking mentality, and the athleticism to get the job done. I think he could easily make the conversion. I'd like to see a veteran LB signed, like one of the guys from Denver, but I would double down and bring this guy to GB. He has the versatility to slide down to OLB and pressure off the edge also. 

Grave Digger posted:

After Ragland I think Joe Schobert is the second best ILB in the draft. I know he was an OLB at Wisconsin, but I see the instincts, the aggressive/attacking mentality, and the athleticism to get the job done. I think he could easily make the conversion. I'd like to see a veteran LB signed, like one of the guys from Denver, but I would double down and bring this guy to GB. He has the versatility to slide down to OLB and pressure off the edge also. 

They were talking about Schobert on NFL Radio yesterday & also liked his athleticism. They too thought he could play on the inside. 

His premise that Ted doesn't value the ILB position as highly as some others is certainly hard to argue. He hasn’t spent an R1-3 pick on the spot in ten years. Hopefully a decade of mediocre play at what the rest of the league views as a premier position has changed his thinking some.

My favorite part of the Miller video was that “Thompson” doesn’t hang on to his players. Is there a GM in the league with a better track record at this? Doesn’t he do this to a fault according to the masses clamoring for more outside FAs?

YATittle posted:

Inside linebacker not imporant? Is that a joke? He needs to watch Carolina, where decent ILBs cover up other deficiencies....

 

I agree, but they are much more than decent. Thomas Davis is a Pro Bowl level player and Luke Kuechly is on track to be a Hall of Famer (DROY and a defensive player of the year award in his first 4 years).

pduck posted:

This guy also:

- mentions the Packers don't do a good job retaining their own.

- says they need CB help because they are likely to lose Hayward.

- says they need OLB help because Peppers is getting old - doesn't mention what they have or the young FA's (Neal & Perry) they could retain.

- mentions they need OL help specifically at G and OT.



I think this guy got some of these right.

I think if history tells us anything:

1. Thompson doesn't have patterns. He lives and dies by the board. If the board offers what he needs then he takes it, if it doesn't then he trades. If the best player available is an ILB then he will take him. 

2. Draft "gurus" outside of the big boys like Mayock are generally wrong...especially this far from the draft. We haven't finished the Senior Bowl, so I doubt the Packers board is close to finished. 

I never thought he was a stiff in the 43. I thought he had his best seasons in that role. The defense overall was suspect, especially in 2008, but he was actually one of the solid players on that D. He's a perfect example of how not all LBs are created equal...just because you're 6'2"/240 like Hawk doesn't mean you make a good ILB in a 34. Some guys are better suited for certain schemes, Hawk was brutally out of place.

Hawk was brutal.

At the end.  

He was a solid player at first and probably doesn't get the credit he deserves (at least from me) for being a good player for awhile.  It was just that he was so bad (and so damn bad) at the end, it overshadows much of his accomplishments.  He should not have been on the field.  

Hawk is a huge reason why I ignore measurables at the combine for ILBs.  Take a look at the two sets of stats below from pro day/combines.  

Size:                  6' 1" 248 lbs      6' 3" 242 lbs

40 yd dash:      4.59                    4.58

10 yd split:       1.56                    1.63

20 yd shuttle:  3.96                     4.12

3 cone:             6.82                     6.92

Broadjump:     9' 7"                   10' 3" 

Vert:                  40 in                   38.1 in

Bench:              24 reps                27 reps

First is Hawk, second is Luke Kuechly.  Yeah, measurables on an ILB mean ****.  Instincts are everything at that position.  

How important are instincts? Denzel Perryman, who I thought had the best instincts in the draft, missed 3 games this year and still would have led all Packers ILBs in Tackles and Sacks. That's not to say I'm criticising TT for not getting Perryman, but he just can't seem to find a guy who knows how to play ILB. Get a LB who knows how to play LB.

CUPackFan posted:

Hawk is a huge reason why I ignore measurables at the combine for ILBs.  Take a look at the two sets of stats below from pro day/combines.  

(SNIP)

 

First is Hawk, second is Luke Kuechly.  Yeah, measurables on an ILB mean ****.  Instincts are everything at that position.  

Neat trick.  Now pick 2 ILBers projected in the 2nd round of the upcoming draft & tell us which one will be merely adequate & which one will be a stud.

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