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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.
February 6, 2011 – Cowboys Stadium – Arlington, Texas
So here it was. The 6th seeded Packers from the NFC for All the marbles on the line vs. the vaunted Pittsburgh Steelers & their #1 defense. This is the stuff hollywood stories are made of & Super Bowl XLV was a microcosm of the Packers entire season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers were looking for their seventh Lombardi Trophy against the younger Green Bay Packers. The Green Bay Packers have clawed their way to the Super Bowl amid a plethora of injuries and two concussions to their quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
No matter which team wins, they will have 10 Super Bowl titles between them. After the hoopla and the not-so-good rendition of the Nation Anthem was completed, the kickoff began and Mason Crosby kicked it deep. Both teams were tentative early but Rodgers heated up quickly by throwing a 29-yard strike to Jordy Nelson for an early 7-0 lead in the 1st quarter.
January 23, 2011 – Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
In some corner of their minds, the Green Bay players probably knew it would come down to this. Through everything they had dealt with–the inconsistency, the injuries and the uncertainty–the Packers held firm to the belief that they were good enough to play for the NFC Championship.
They had won 4 straight games they were required to win, including the last 2 on the road against teams geared to stop them.
They were on one of the surreal magic rides they had seen other teams latch onto & while they didn’t quite understand it, they had no intention of getting off anytime soon. This was epic, once-in-a-career stuff.
Now it was laid out for them: The Packers would travel back to Chicago to take on the Bears. A win meant a trip to the Super Bowl. A loss and all that hard work meant nothing.
The hype during the week leading up to the game was unprecedented for the NFL’s oldest and sometimes most-heated rivalry. Green Bay & Chicago had not met in a playoff game since 1941. This was the biggest Packers-Bears game of all-time!
January 15, 2011 – Georgia Dome – Atlanta, Georgia
What’s the phrase? A mile wide and an inch deep? Perhaps that was the best way to describe the Atlanta Falcons’ confidence as they prepared for their divisional playoff game against the now-very-dangerous Green Bay Packers.
The Falcons had constructed a very nice regular season. Behind QB Matt “Matty Ice” Ryan, dynamic wide receiver Roddy White, and a solid if unspectacular defense, the Falcons had claimed the NFC’s top seed with an impressive 13-3 record, including a 7-1 home record in the Georgia Dome.
They had already beaten the Packers once, an entertaining 20-17 November victory in Atlanta at which time White had proclaimed, “We don’t want to go to Lambeau in January. We want them to come here.” What’s the old saying? Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it.
The Falcons were confident and rested and talking about how ready they were to take the next step forward. They talked with a swagger that was not earned–at least not yet. This was, after all, still a franchise that didn’t have the history, the pedigree to build on. There were no Super Bowl titles just yet.
The Packers, on the other hand, had been in crisis mode for a month. They won 3 straight games they had to win, including a mugging on the road of the always-dangerous Eagles the previous week. Green Bay knew it would have no more home games, so the team hunkered down & prepared to do what it needed to do.
January 9, 2011 – Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia Pennsylvania
It was a mixture of relief, satisfaction and joy that accompanied the Green Bay Packers as they prepared for their NFC wild card playoff game against the Eagles. In truth, these Packers had been in playoff mode for the better part of a month anyway. After back-to-back losses to the Detroit Lions & New England Patriots in mid-December, the Packers knew what they had to do–win or go home, which sounds an awful lot like a playoff game scenario.
So it was into that pressure-packed cauldron the Packers entered the final 2 weeks of the regular season. They responded with a blowout win over the NY Giants & a tough, grind it out, win over the Bears. The Bears played their starters the entire game when they didn’t have to. If any team was playoff tested, it was the Packers & no team wanted to face them, especially in the playoffs.
Their first-round foe would be a familiar one. The Packers and Eagles had faced off in the season’s opening week, but a lot had changed for both teams since that early September afternoon.
Green Bay had, of course, absorbed a ton of key injuries, ultimately putting 16 players on injured reserve. The offense had found its stride and the defense, which had seemed so confounded by the entrance of Michael Vick in that first game, was playing with confidence and speed.
The Eagles had committed to Vick & he had responded with an MVP-type season.
While Vick had ran through, over & past the Packers the first time they met, Packers’ defensive coordinator Dom Capers this time had a week to prepare & a season’s worth of tape to watch in anticipation. It would make a huge difference.