We just witnessed another successful Packers draft Ted Thompson style. It was slow, boring and even a bit disappointing at times, as the Packers front office once again did their best to avoid the “sexy picks” as if they were the plague.
The Packers faithful had their fingers crossed for big names like Reggie Ragland, Jarran Reed and even Jaylon Smith and Myles Jack, who dropped unexpectedly due to injury.
But Ted Thompson didn’t vary from his usual method of dodging the limelight and reaching into an obscure hat to draw out his picks.
Although it seemed to be in a mindbending, roundabout way, he managed to fill all the Packers holes and maybe even add some much needed depth.
The common thread all the way through this year’s draft seems to be athleticism, versatility and knowledge of the game.
Feel free to follow along as we discover the future players who will don the Green and Gold and run out of the tunnel at Lambeau Field.
1st Round, 27th overall
Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA
The Packers love athletic defensive lineman and Clark definitely fits that mold. He has great leverage which he partially developed as a high school wrestler and is very disruptive the instant the ball is snapped.
At 6’3″, 318 lbs, and only 20 years old, this very young student of the game has shown potential as a pass rusher but his biggest strength as of now is as a space eating run stopper.
As a Junior at UCLA last season, he had 73 total tackles, 10.5 of those going for a loss and 5.5 sacks.
This Giant of a man should fit in perfectly as either a nose tackle or a defensive end on the Packers d-line and should immediately free up the linebackers to be able to focus on rushing the passer.
2nd Round, 48th overall
Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
Ted Thompson, who is known for his conservative nature, wasn’t patient enough to wait for Spriggs to drop to the Packers at #57 overall, so he made a move with the Indianapolis Colts, to move up to #48.
The Packers love the athleticism of the four year starter who only gave up 2 sacks in 475 pass attempts last season. They also coveted his size (6’7″, 298 lbs) which should allow him the ability to protect Aaron Rodgers blindside, and the versatility for him to play almost anywhere on the line.
Three of the Packers current starters on the offensive line have contracts expiring at the end of this season. Spriggs should benefit from a year of learning as he prepares to fill one of those spot.
3rd Round, 88th overall
Kyler Fackrell, OLB, Utah State
At 25 years old, one thing the 6’5″, 245 lbs, Fackerell doesn’t lack is experience. He is an athletic linebacker who loves to smash through the line and seek out the ballcarrier on rushing plays and can also bring pressure in passing situations.
Early in his career, Fackrell was considered a potential first rounder, until a knee injury ended his season just one game into his junior year.
The Packers are counting on him getting back to the form that allowed him to amass 82 tackles, 13 of them for a loss, 5 sacks and 3 total turnovers.
It appears he is the logical choice to fill Julius Peppers spot when the Packers current star retires.
4th Round, 131st overall
Blake Martinez, ILB, Stanford
If you find yourself still feeling depressed that the Packers didn’t select one of the highlight grabbing linebackers in this year’s draft, just give it a game or two into preseason and this kid will most likely change your mind.
We all know that Ted Thompson does his best work in the mid to late rounds, when all of the other GM’s have already maxed out their genius.
It would appear that TT may have even outdone himself this time.
Blake Martinez has a linebacker’s mentality with Stanford intellect. He’s a bit crazy and very smart.
He led the Pac-12 in tackles each of the last 2 seasons, is very skilled in coverage, and will never find himself out of position.
His combine numbers are far from impressive, but his 10.1 tackles a game as a senior, are just one of the things that makes Martinez stand out.
He’s a ball carrier’s nightmare and a coaches dream.
4th Round, 137th overall
Dean Lowery, DE, Northwestern
At 6’6″, 290 lbs, this kid is a flat out monster. As far as tall d-lineman go, only Deforrest Buckner, and Chris Jones can compare to his size.
Lowery spent most of his time at Northwestern playing end in a 4-3 defense, but has the size to also play end in a 3-4.
He is a hardworking, nonstop-effort kind of player, who loves to do the dirty work to make other players around him better.
He isn’t a huge threat as a pash rusher, as his short arms and small hands don’t allow him to get immediate separation, but he rarely misses a tackle and excels at batting passes down at the line.
He had as many tackles, and more tackles for a loss than Buckeyes standout, Joey Bosa.
5th Round, 163rd overall
Trevor Davis, WR, Cal
The Packers only offensive skill position player in this draft is a burner from Aaron Rodger’s alma mater.
Davis brings Green Bay an immediate deep threat and an explosive special teams player.
In one game against Washington State Davis had back to back kickoff return TDs of 100 and 98 yards.
In his senior year, he hauled in 40 catches for 672 yards and 2 TDs.
As deep as Green Bay’s receiving group is, he could still struggle to earn a spot on the active roster.
However, one thing we learned from watching them without Jordy Nelson last year, is the Packers have an urgent need for speed.
6th Round, 200th overall
Kyle Murphy, OT, Stanford
The Packers dip into the Standford well a second time. This time they grab their 2nd offensive tackle of the draft.
Murphy is another guy who can play multiple positions on the line and should be able to contribute immediately on running downs as he excels as a run blocker.
He is extremely physical and brings great character and a true understanding of the game to a team that struggled to run the ball at times last season.
At 6’6, 305 lbs, the Packers add another big bodied player to their roster.
To sum all this up. The Packers fill all of their major holes and add depth to key positions, by getting bigger, faster, stronger and smarter.