by Ghost of Lambeau
I have been doing this since 2005. I enjoy putting this together. It allows me to do the things I like to do – think and analyze. Just so everyone understands, I am not a professional scout. In fact, I am limited to the same media most of you have access to. I don’t get to talk with any player. And, the goal is to find players that would benefit the Packers. Not any other team. Last year, 4 players from my list made the Packer roster. That is about par for the course.
This year GB will have some draft needs due to; the possible career ending injury to S Nick Collins, replacing free agents who signed with other teams like Scott Wells and QB Matt Flynn, and will need to address injury situations such as S Nick Collins. OT Derek Sherrod and RB Alex Green are also coming back from serious injuries. OT Chad Clifton and WR Donald Driver are still in GB. And RB Ryan Grant is still unsigned. Then there are those defensive improvements the Packers need to make. This all makes for an interesting draft. I think that the Pack will focus on ROLB first, followed by the DL and safety. That is my prediction and I’m sticking to it – until I get surprised in round one that is.
At this point it looks like Finley, Clifton, & Driver will all be back. Flynn & Wells are gone. and Alex Green & Sherrod due to injury, the needs on the offensive side of the ball could be small. The bet is that Green and Sherrod come back healthy. At least on the surface a backup QB, OC, and maybe a RB should do it. But we usually find out that there are deeper things going on in the Packer pre‐draft meetings.
Flynn won’t be a Packer next year. Assuming Graham Harrell takes over as the number two guy, GB will need one. They have
signed Nick Hill as a QB replacement candidate who was on my 2008 draft list. The appropriate candidate will have to be willing to wait & develop. Luck and Robert Griffin won’t be available for GB. Ryan Tannehill was a WR before playing QB and he has started only 19 games. He will be a project no matter where he is taken. There is a good chance he won’t be there in the first and GB won’t be looking at QB in the first even if he was there. So who’s left?
1) Kirk Cousins, MI St, 6‐3, 202 – Key stats – 151.3 eff. Rating, 65.1% comp, 24 TD’s, 7 Int. He is a 2nd or 3rd round pick. He is mobile, smart, accurate, and careful with the ball. That is this year’s mantra for available QBs. He is a 3 year team captain and the is the QB with the most wins in Michigan State history.
2) Russell Wilson, WI, 5‐11, 21 – Key stats – 201.6 eff. Rating, 72.5% comp, 31 TD’s, 3 Int. He is a 2nd or 3rd round pick. Had only one offseason to learn the Badger offense and lead it. He was also voted a team captain. He is a student of the game. He is very mobile, smart, accurate, and careful with the ball. Like Moore, he lacks ideal height. But he does everything well.
3) Kellen Moore, Boise State, 6‐0, 191 – Key stats – 176.7 eff. Rating, 74.1% comp, 41 TD’s, 7 Int. He is a 5th or 6th round pick. He is also the all time QB win leader with a 50‐3 record. He is very mobile, smart, accurate, and careful with the ball. He knows his offense and football in general – considered a coach on the field. He is a very high character guy. Height is his only major problem.
4) Case Keenum, Houston, 6‐2, 210 – Key stats – 177.8 eff. Rating, 71.7% comp, 45 TD’s, 5 Int. He is a 7th round pick. He is the QB with the most wins in Houston history. And he is the most productive passer in NCAA history. He is very mobile, smart, accurate, and careful with the ball.
5) Jarrett Lee, LSU, 6‐4, 210 – Key stats – 152.0 eff. Rating, 62.3% comp, 14 TD’s, 3 Int. He is an UDFA. He started some games early for LSU. I thought he looked good. I would take a chance on him – especially since he won’t have to play right away. He has enough tools to work with and develop.
6) Alex Thiry, St. Scholastica, 6‐4, 190 – Key State – 218.14 eff. Rating, 70.48% comp, 37 TD’s, 3 Int. He is an UDFA. When he talks in a press conference, he sounds like Rodgers. Carful with the ball, needs more arm strength, but that can be fixed. He studies film. He reads defenses at the LOS. Very high character guy. The play book will be a bit thicker in the pros, but I think he can pick it up.
7) Alex Tanney, Monmouth IL, 6‐3, 216 – Key State – 182.0 eff. Rating, 71.50% comp, 38 TD’s, 8 Int. He is an UDFA. He is a very high character guy. And it doesn’t hurt he is a very good QB. He should get a chance somewhere. All he did at Monmouth was win games.
This 2009 Inside Linebacker class makes the 2008 class look soft. Ray Maualuga may be the top
overall player in the country. He’s a violent hitter with prototypical size and athleticism. He’s a lock for the top 10 regardless of how he performs in 2008.
Laurinaitis is blessed with great size and athleticism and compares favorably to Bears MLB Brian Urlacher. He does all the little things well, and should get a look from Tampa 2 teams. He’s a lock for the top half of round 1.
Ellerbe and Beckwith are athletic, aggressive LBs who will get looks on the Weak Side in the NFL.Tampa 2 teams will give both a look due to their athleticism and excellent coverage ability. Ellerbe could definitely jump up into the 1st with a big season and good workouts while Beckwith looks like a solid 2nd rounder. Mauga is a classic 2-down thumper who is a great tackler but has suspect coverage skills. Mauga should get a look from 3-4 teams as an inside man.
Ray Maualuga – Southern Cal
James Laurinaitis – Ohio St.
Dannell Ellerbe – Georgia
Darry Beckwith – LSU
Josh Mauga – Nevada
Sleeper Senior: Jason Phillips – TCU
Junior to watch: Gerald McRath – Southern Cal
The 2009 Senior DE class is full of potential and ‘tweeners. Johnson has amazing size and burst but is thin and lanky. He’ll be in the first half of round 1 with a big season but without one, he could fall a little like former Miami DE Calais Campbell did in 2008 (probably not that far though).
Orakpo and Egboh have shown flashes of talent which is enough to propel them into Day 1 but they need to show more to rise into round 1. Orakpo has great size and ability to get at the QB but he needs to prove he’s more than just a flash in the pan. Egboh will be an interesting guy to watch. Stanford switched to a 4-3 and he blossomed. With a big season, a 3-4 team will look at him early round 2 and possibly higher to play DE. Shaughnessy must overcome an injury plagued career and prove he can be an every down DE to make it into Day 1. He’s a little light and may not have a true position in the NFL but he’ll get a look from 3-4 teams as an OLB. Jackson will definitely get looked at by 3-4 teams as a DE but he has the ability to be an interior pass rusher in a 4-3. He’s not a natural pass rusher off the edge, which is why his sack numbers are low, but he’s a very versatile and talented player.
Tyson Jackson – LSU
Michael Johnson – Georgia Tech
Brian Orakpo – Texas
Matt Shaughnessy – Wisconsin
Pannel Egboh – Stanford
Sleeper Senior: Cyril Obiozor – Texas A&M
Junior to watch: George Selvie – South Florida
With the college football season only a few days away and the 2009 NFL Draft only about 240 days away, the hardcore draftniks will be watching the highly touted players closely and begin making their prospect profiles. Here’s a look at some of the top Seniors at each position in the country and how each position looks heading into the ‘08/’09 season.
Quarterback: Curtis Painter – Purdue (pictured), Cullen Harper – Clemson, Todd Boeckman – Ohio State, Chase Daniel – Missouri, Graham Harrell – Texas Tech
I look at this group as unspectacular but solid. Certainly Harrell is going to put up the big stats in the Chuck ‘n Duck (thank you Buddy Ryan) offense that Mike Leach runs but ultimately he doesn’t have the skill set for the NFL like every other QB that has come from that offense. I can’t imagine he’ll get drafted. Daniel is a gutty, tough QB who can get it done on Saturdays but he really doesn’t have the size or skills to be a pro signal caller. I would expect him to be draft in the mid/late rounds as a backup to an established QB. Boeckman, Painter, and Harper all have the skills to succeed in the NFL with Painter definitely being the most talented. Good, productive seasons from all 3 should solidify them as Day 1 picks and a big season from Painter could boost him into round 1.
Sleeper Senior: Stephen McGee – Texas A&M
Junior to watch: Matthew Stafford – Georgia
Click the link below to view breakdowns on the rest of the offensive positions.