Tag Archives: Packers trade

2013 Draft – TT Just Can’t Help Himself

Heading into day 2, the Packers were in good position to add a couple players that would help fill areas of need. Armed with 7 picks, the Packers had the resources to trade up to get a player they coveted, or sit back and let the value fall to them. Instead, TT reverted to his old self, trading back three times to amass a whopping 10 overall selections tomorrow. We’ll get to that later. Let’s deal with the good news first.

Lacy hoisting both arms in the air. An image Packers fans will hopefully get used to seeing!

Lacy hoisting both arms in the air. An image Packers fans will hopefully get used to seeing!

At the bottom of the second round, the Packers may have struck gold in getting the running back they have been so sorely missing since Ahman Green left town. Heading into the draft, most pundits had Eddie Lacy as the top overall running back – and for good reason.¬†Lacy has great size at 5’11” and 230-pounds, but also has deceptive speed, capable of housing it when he breaks through.

For the very reasons I coveted Steven Jackson in free agency, Eddie Lacy will be a great fit for the Packers offense. He’s a tough runner that breaks through arm tackles and will finish runs hard. He’s a capable receiver out of the backfield and he’ll stick his nose in their in pass protection. And despite the tough and physical nature in which he runs it, he’s nimble on his feet, evidenced by his trademark spin-move that is video-game worthy. You know Rodgers is smiling with this selection (or maybe it’s the $40M he just pocketed today. Probably a draw.)

An area Lacy will immediately upgrade is short-yardage situations. For the past several years, the Packers have been pathetic in short-yardage situations. The result is that they will often spread the field out. Or, the alternative play-call, is the predictable, and less-and-less successful, quick draw to Kuhn – easily, my least favorite play. Now, with Lacy, the Packers have a power runner that’s talented enough to move laterally to find the hole, fast enough to get there, and tough enough to get the yardage – basically, all of which John Kuhn isn’t. This will be a welcome sight for Packers fans.

Lacy is also a running back that can wear defenses down in the fourth-quarter. Instead of relying upon Rodgers to pick up first-down after first-down through the air, the Packers have a back they can hammer an opponent to ice the game.

So, with all these attributes, what the heck caused him to fall? It’s a great question and certainly one that can give you cause for concern. The rumors during draft coverage were that many thought he was damaged goods, likely a byproduct of his inability to fully test out at the combine and the ‘Bama pro day because of a bum hammy. But, Lacy played through any injury he may have had.

What makes this injury concern more curious is that Lacy was always in a time-share at Alabama, which led to only 390 combined rushes and receptions in three years. This fact cannot be overlooked. Most running backs have short shelf lives. Getting a talented back like Lacy with such little wear and tear is a coup for the Packers. And this is part of the Alabama system, who recruits its back on this premise – namely, they will have reduced workloads in college by sharing carries so they can preserve their legs for the pros. Packers are the beneficiaries.

Finally, for those Sconnie alumnus clamoring for Monte Ball – Lacy was a great pick by the Packers. Lacy was the unanimous top back in pre-draft rankings by most scouts and pundits. He is a bigger and, frankly, more talented back than Ball. He has 390 combined touches to Ball’s 1,000+ combined touches. This fact cannot be overlooked. And they are different backs in that Ball is the shifty, elusive back, whereas Lacy is the powerful, yet still nimble back. The latter is a better fit for what this team needs. We have shifty, elusive backs in DuJuan Harris and Alex Green.

Now, to the bad news. Last year’s Evil-TT where he traded up twice in the second round was apparently a one-hit wonder. In typical TT fashion, he traded back three times, collecting four more picks, leaving the Packers with 10 selections in rounds 4-7 – specifically 2 fourth-rounders, 3 fifth-rounders, 2 sixths, and 3 sevenths. As Vince Lombardi said – what the hell is going on out there?!

The Packers are a deep team with young talent. The last thing we need are ten more late round picks to battle for the last roster spots. We need players to fill areas of need that can compete now. By continually trading down, the talent likewise goes down. This was already a shallow draft to begin with, so trading down to amass extra late round selections makes little sense. And the fact the Packers traded out of the 3rd round immediately after Stedman Bailey (a WR often linked to the Packers) went, you have to wonder if TT got burned. I guess TT just can’t help himself come draft weekend. SMH.

Day 3 Preview –

So, now we have 10, count them, TEN, picks tomorrow. What the hell he does with them is anyone’s guess. I’m hoping the Packers trade up in the fourth to get a guy they covet and somehow trade some of these picks for picks in next year’s draft so we then have the assets to move up in next year’s draft – in the event Evil-TT wants to reappear.

There are several players leftover that would fill areas of need and offer good value. The best value in the fourth round appears to be on the offensive side of the ball. Barrett Jones is the guy I would love to see the Packers target. He’s a guy that started at every position on the line for three national championships at Alabama. He’d immediately challenge EDS for the starting C gig, and offer flexibility in the event of injury that Packers seem to like for their linemen.

If not Jones, then guys like Khaled Holmes (C – USC), David Quessenberry (OT – San Jose St.), Quinton Patton (WR – La. Tech), and Da’Rick Rogers (WR – Tenn. Tech) are players that could be targeted.

And for the defensive side of the ball, keep an eye out for the following players that may be one of the TEN selections the Packers have left: Joe Kruger (DE – Utah (brother of Paul Kruger)), Josh Boyd (DT – Miss. St.), Nico Johnson (ILB – Bama), Chase Thomas (OLB – Stanford), A.J. Klein (ILB – Ia. St.), Cornelius Washington (OLB – Georgia), Tony Jefferson (S – Oklahoma), and Earl Wolff (S – NC St.). Out of this group of players, I lean towards adding Boyd, Johnson, Thomas or Washington, and Wolff. They are good rotational players that would bring some good competition at all levels of the defense.

Finally, I’d be remiss not to mention that I would not be the least bit surprised if TT uses one of his TEN (still shaking my head) selections on a kicker. I don’t think I need to rehash the calamities of Crosby’s season. But, needless to say, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to bring in legitimate competition. Remember, the Vikes nailed a Pro Bowl kicker last year in the sixth round.

The top two kickers are from the state of Florida: Caleb Sturgis (Fla.) and Dustin Hopkins (FSU). Sturgis is compared to Phil Dawson – a longtime Cleveland Brown – whereas Hopkins is compared to Billy Cundiff. So we have a guy compared to someone from Cleveland – a sports town that God literally hates – or a guy that may have had the biggest choke job in recent kicking history. Give me the choker. Cleveland sucks. (You’re welcome for this sterling analysis.)

Packers fans will have lots to watch tomorrow thanks to those TEN selections. Enjoy and make sure to check back here after the draft for our recap.

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Should the Packers Pursue Revis Island?

Could Revis don the Green-and-Gold next season? Though possible, it's a luxury the Packers cannot afford.

Could Revis don the Green-and-Gold next season? Though possible, it’s a luxury the Packers cannot afford.

Because the J-E-T-S cannot yield the spotlight, Woody Johnson made it know this week that Darrelle Revis – the undisputed best corner in the league – is available via trade. The 27-year-old CB is coming off an ACL injury, which may be allowing this type of player to hit the market. But, even with an ACL injury, there are sure to be many suitors for his services. So, are the Packers one of those teams?

Given the Packers recent struggles on defense (especially with Tramon’s end of season disappearance), it should be of little surprise the Packers are being linked to these rumors.

Trading for Revis would improve one of the deeper set of defensive backs in the league. Starting Revis, Williams, Shields, and Hayward, with House as the 5th back, would be the envy of all teams. And in a division with Megatron, Brandon Marshall, and (deep breath) Jennings (if he dons the Purple), housing Revis would go a long ways in controlling opposing passing offenses.

And with a secondary that can go five-deep, it should allow the front-seven more time to get after the QB. You can be sure Matthews would greatly appreciate the extra split second to close on another sack.

So, yes, it makes sense on the surface. But, there are several issues with making this type of move that cannot be ignored.

First, Revis is coming off an ACL injury. It’s impossible to predict how he’ll play upon his return. AP’s dominance less than a year removed from a similar injury gives hope. But, it’s not hard to think of players that never regained their prior form following the same injury. It’s a risky proposition, even for a player of Revis’ caliber.

Second, to state it nicely, pulling off this trade isn’t exactly TT’s modus operandi. But recall, TT traded UP in last year’s draft on three occasions. Could TT’s evil step-brother strike again?

In order to swing this deal, multiple picks and potentially a player or two would have to be traded away. Daunting, maybe. But, not impossible. A deal including our first-round selection, a later pick or pick in next year’s draft, and Jennings (after franchising him) might get it done. You could include Tramon instead of Jennings. Or, frankly, offer up a collection of players for them to choose: Jennings, Tramon, Finley, Hawk, etc. The Packers have the assets to pull off the deal. It’s the effect of the deal that raises two issues that simply cannot be overlooked.

Revis will demand a “max” contract – borrowing language from the NBA – when his current contract expires in 2014. In order to sign Revis, you will not be able to retain all three of Rodgers, Clay, and Raji. Obviously, the odd-man out will be Raji. But even still, having three “max” contracts completed so close together will further impact the Packers ability to retain other core cogs of the team: Shields, Jordy, James Jones, Bulaga, etc. The toughest aspect for fans to appreciate is how mega-contracts for Rodgers, Matthews, and Revis impact the teams ability to keep the core together.

Without Raji, the Packers would be unable to stop any running game.

Without Raji, the Packers would be unable to stop any running game.

Assuming Raji would be the odd man out in this situation, losing him would be too costly for this team. There is simply no one on the team like Raji. You lose Raji, you lose any ability to stop the run. Pickett is a good run stuffer, but he’d be the only load up front for opposing offenses to contend with. And he’s advancing in age. So, without the young legs of Raji up-front, a secondary that can blanket anyone might not matter when teams run it down our throat all game long.

The easy solution would be building the line through the draft. But, as we’ve witnessed, it’s not always that easy. Worthy, Neal, and Daniels are all draft picks that define players that can occasionally flash, but are absent for long stretches of the game.

It seems ridiculous to say that Raji is a deciding factor in not making this move. I mean, it’s a no-brainer who’d you rather have on the team when considering them alone. But, given the depth at CB, lack of depth on the D-line, and cap space to pull of this deal, trading for Revis is a luxury the Packers simply cannot afford.