The 2008 NFL Draft approaches and I have some thoughts and predictions that I’d like to share.
Before I get to that however, I should get the whole welcome-to-our-blog-we-hope you-enjoy-it thing out of the way. So here goes. Welcome to Total Packers. We hope you enjoy our commentary this season and we hope that you appreciate the type of insight and observations that only Green Bay Packers fans living in California can provide. What that is exactly, we don’t know yet. We’re not insiders or journalists, just fans. In case you haven’t heard, Brett Favre retired. A new era of Packers football begins. What better time to start this blog?
Onto the endurance-challenging spectacle that is better known as the NFL Draft. No professional sport has anything close to this. Kudos to NFL and ESPN for developing and fine tuning an event that should be, and usually is, mind blowingly boring into something that draftniks and NFL junkies look forward to with geeked-out anticipation. Hell, I can’t wait, and I know better.
The experts say this every year, but this is a critical draft for Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy. Arguably a play or player away from the Super Bowl last year, a team like Green Bay could reach the next level by adding key players and depth in this year’s draft. With Favre gone, a good draft may also be required to just stay at the level they are now, instead of slipping back into mediocrity.
Aaron Rodgers knows he has been dropped into a good situation. Sure, he’s stepping into some big shoes, but he has a solid supporting cast. Plus, he’s been given a couple years to learn the system and grow into a NFL quarterback. All luxuries not given to his rival Alex Smith.
To help ensure long-term success for Rodgers, the Pack will have to develop younger talent. We don’t have a No. 2 tight end. Donald Lee had a breakout year in 2007 and he can stretch the field, but a solid No. 2 that can block and provide a big target will make Rodgers’ life easier. Look at the impact Kevin Boss had with the Giants last year. I like Fred Davis from USC and the 6-7 Martellus Bennett from Texas A&M.
While offensive depth will have to be addressed in this draft, the general consensus is that Green Bay will select a cornerback in the first round. As much as I enjoyed everyone calling the Al Harris/Charles Woodson duo the best in the league last year, I always knew in my heart of hearts they were vulnerable.
Apparently Plaxico Burress knew it as well. After the shellacking they took in the playoffs, there is no denying there is a glaring need. A lot of names have been thrown around, but I like Mike Jenkins. He has the size and speed we need. It’s a draft deep with talent at CB and I think the Packers can get great value with their pick. So, while I am not certain Thompson will draft a corner, it’s looking more and more like it.