Sunday, May 18, 2014

Packers 2014 Draft Picks | Green Bay Takes Clinton Dix In First Round

Ha Ha Clinton Dix
The 2014 draft added nine rookies straight out of college to the Green Packers spring roster. Among them, Wisconsin alum Jared Abbrederis and fellow former Big Ten athlete Corey Linsley of Ohio State. The pick that garnered the most headline coverage, however, was Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who was selected 21 overall as the Packers first round choice.

At just 21 years old, Clinton-Dix applied for draft eligibility following his junior year in the Crimson Tide program. He entered the school in 2011 as part of the most highly touted class in the country, joining ten other true-freshman who saw playing time that year for Alabama. Clinton-Dix was promoted to starting safety prior to his sophomore season, earning starts in every game in 2012. He led the team in interceptions that year with five during the regular season, and managed a whopping seven tackles against the Fighting Irish in the 2012 national championship game. In 11 games in 2013, Clinton-Dix improved his tackling stats, putting up 51 total tackles.

Analysts are praising the choice by general manager Ted Thompson as a first round pick well-spent. The Packers safety corp recorded no interceptions last season, barely aiding an already lackluster defense. Clinton-Dix's 4.59 forty-yard dash should give him the speed needed to keep up with the league's best wide receivers.

32 picks later, Fresno State wide receiver Davante Adams was called-up in the second round. The first of three receivers chosen by the Packers over the weekend, Adams also applied for the draft after posting high marks in his junior year. A California native, Adams led the country in receptions last year with 131, capping his collegiate tenure with 364 total receptions for over 3,000 yards and 38 touchdowns. He joins fellow wide receivers Abbrederis and Saginaw Valley State's Jeff Janis as selections at the position by Green Bay in 2014.

After a pair of picks in the third round and one more in the fourth, Thompson cracked the Big Ten at the 161 overall pick with Ohio State center Linsley. At over 300 pounds, Linsley started every game his last two seasons as a Buckeye. He is expected to compete primarily as a run blocker for second-year back Eddie Lacy. 

Badgers' Abbrederis Makes The Cut

Abbrederis was taken in the fifth round, along with Linsley. Despite a fairly poor showing at his pro day and the combine, Packers wide receiver coach Edgar Bennett told reporters that the pick was based on the Wisconsin native's accomplishments as a Badger between 2009 and 2013. Bennett highlighted Abbrederis 202 receptions at Wisconsin and his versatility as an all-over player. Though, Bennett admitted, he is far from a complete player.

2014 Green Bay Packers Draft Picks

Round 1:

-        Ha Ha Clinton-Dix; Safety, Alabama

Round 2:

-        Davante Adams; Wide Receiver, Fresno State

Round 3:

-        Khyri Thornton; Tackle, Southern Mississippi

-        Richard Rogers; Tight End, California

Round 4:

-        Carl Bradford; Linebacker, Arizona State

Round 5:

-        Corey Linsley; Center, Ohio State

-        Jared Abbrederis; Wide Receiver, Wisconsin

Round 6:

-        Demetri Goodson; Cornerback, Baylor

Round 7:

-        Jeff Janis; Wide Receiver, Saginaw Valley State

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Packers Preseason Games 2014 | Green Bay's Opponents Look To Improve

The Packers preseason schedule was announced recently, and it goes as follows. On the road against Tennessee in week one, on the road against St. Louis in week two, at home against Oakland in week three, and at home against Kansas City in week four. The games againsr Kansas City and St. Louis were expected, as they happen every year, and of course the Packers connections to Oakland are well known these days.

First and foremost, I am interested in seeing how the backup quarterback situation is going to look when the preseason rolls around. The Packers already have Scott Tolzien under contract and the recently re-signed Matt Flynn to provide stability. Also look for them to draft someone as well. I have been pinging Georgia’s Aaron Murray as a possibility all off season, and Murray would most certainly make this situation even more interesting. In reality, I don’t think the Packers want Flynn to be the backup quarterback this season, but they will be fine if he is. I think they would rather that Scott Tolzien, who is far more talented than Flynn, beat him out, or possibly a rookie such as Murray to beat him out. However, they would like Tolzien or a rookie to beat him out easily, and not have a situation unfold like they had last season where nobody beat anyone and they ended up with Seneca Wallace as the backup quarterback.

 I am also interested to see who is going to be lining up as the starting safety. The Packers chose not to sign a safety during the main free agency period, so they are looking to draft one. How high they draft one depends on what they think of second year defensive back Micah Hyde. There has been a lot of talk about switching Hyde to safety by many amongst the Packers brass. Hyde definitely played well during his rookie season, and he will merit more playing time in season two. If the Packers chose not to switch Hyde to safety look for them to draft a safety really high, as high as in the first round. I have done several mock drafts of the Packers this offseason and in each case I have put Louisville safety Calvin Pryor to the Packers in round one.

Also who will be playing center? The Packers chose not to re-sign EDS, and instead have placed a lot of faith in second year interior lineman J.C Tretter. The coaches think Tretter has the tools to succeed long term in the NFL as a center. Look for the Packers to draft an interior lineman for depth in this draft .