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‘Say What?’ (05/02/2007)
By Dave DeLano


The 2007 NFL draft is over and the cheese in Titletown has turned ugly blue and moldy. The mission this year was seemingly to get Brett Favre some fresh offensive playmakers in order to score more points. On paper anyway, it appears that Ted Thompson came up short this year as Cheeseheads have a puzzled look on their faces and are quietly uttering"¦ "Say what?"¯

Saturday started out with a dull thud as both Ted Ginn Jr. and Marshawn Lynch were gone long before the Packers selected at # 16. Still on the board at that point were wide receivers Dwayne Bowe and Robert Meacham, as well as tight end Greg Olson. These guys all have immediate impact potential and could have filled pressing offensive needs for the Packers. Thompson instead elected to go with defensive tackle Justin Harrell from Tennessee who was projected to go lower than # 16.

Harrell might be a fine football player for the Pack one day, but he had an injury-plagued collegiate career and doesn't fill a current need. Furthermore, he had a torn bicep injury last season which prevented him from displaying much of anything in his senior season. Round #2 found Thompson seemingly over-reaching for a need when he selected Nebraska running back Brandon Jackson. Jackson also has a history of serious injuries during his collegiate career and reportedly doesn't have the athletic abilities to become an elite NFL feature back.

Seemingly the worst pick of the Packer's 2007 draft was their first third round selection when Thompson chose unheralded wide receiver James Jones of San Jose State. Jones holds the dubious distinction of scoring the lowest on the Wonderlic intelligence test among some 50 wide receivers tested this season and possesses only marginal speed.

Thompson's second pick in round three was safety Aaron Rouse, who has a huge body for a safety. Rouse had an underachieving senior year at Virginia Tech and was described by one scout as having a body like Tarzan but who plays football like Jane.

Thompson traded down twice and picked up extra picks in the lower rounds. The Pack ended up with 11 new players. Among the lower picks were an athletic offensive tackle, a couple of linebackers, a skinny but fast wide receiver, a kicker (who might be a good one), a character-issue running back (who was suspended) and a tight end.

Sound drafting starts with choosing players who produce during their collegiate football careers. And yes"¦ players are and should be drafted for needs contrary to what Ted Thompson says. Injury-plagued players should send up red flags. Want more trouble"¦ draft players who aren't very smart or worse yet have character issues.

Last year the Pack's top draft picks (Hawk, Colledge, and Jennings) all filled a need and had sterling collegiate careers without serious injuries. I hope I am dead wrong"¦but methinks that Ted Thompson has taken serious missteps with the collegiate draft in 2007. The good news"¦ Thompson didn't trade (as rumored) for bone-headed Randy Moss, who now is New England's problem.  


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