OK, let's get started. You're dead right about Father Time. At this point it looks like Brice could be that guy. He's really athletic -- his 40, vertical, etc., showed great athleticism, and we saw glimpses of it with a few of teh big, explosive hits he had last season. The question will be how instinctive he is and becomes over time. He figures to get a fair amount of playing time this year, because Burnett is going to play a lot of linebacker in nickel. So we'll get a better sense of Brice's abilities and growth curve as this season goes on.
Thompson has only two years left on his contract, and that very well could be it for him. I just don't see Murphy making a change in that time unless something really unusual happens. Rodgers does cover up a lot of deficiencies, but you can say the same thing about Brady, Luck (when healthy), Brees. You're right that Thompson hasn't drafted nearly as well lately as he did early in his time with the Packers -- Ryan Wood's stories on PackersNews.com over the past few days document that very well. And I agree, he needs to hit big on a pick this year. They need help on that side of the ball in a big way.
Yeah, that's how I see it. Now, he's only traded back from his first pick once, so the best bet remains that he'll sit there and pick. But with the depth at CB, pass rusher and RB make the possibility of trading back better this year than in the last few, IMHO.
I've been thinking about that. I'd think they first would want someone a little different than Montgomery, though the guy still has to be able to function in the passing game. So I'd say more likely the former but with some proven ability to pass protect. If they draft another one or sign an undrafted back (which is a given) after that, they could go for someone more like Montgomery, so they can keep running that package if Montgomery gets hurt. I'd guess they'll use Ripkowski as a two- to five-carry guy a game.
No, Bob McGinn does that, though only for the first round. Mocking past that is insane in my opinion, and even doing that is really tough. But it's an exercise I'll do on my own to get a feel for who might be there when they pick. I'll weigh in on that in the middle of next week.
That's a big question. A lot depends on what the Packers' research into Mixon reveals. Maybe they think he has anger-management issues he's showing no signs of overcoming. Maybe they're convinced he's a good teammate and dealing head on with whatever issues caused him to punch that girl. It's pretty ghastly if you've seen the video. In the end, Thompson simply might not want to invite the kind of public/media scrutiny into his locker room that drafting Mixon would invite. That's my guess, but I don't know that.
This is for the previous question: I wondered that at too and suspect it's a factor but not a huge one. Hawk and Colledge were high picks in their rounds in '06, and yet Jennings (second round, No. 62 overall) was a late-two acquired in a trade, and he was by far the best player in that draft. Matthews was No. 26 in the first round, Nelson was a trade back into the early second, Sitton a compensatory pick at the end of the round. So while drafting high definitely helps and certainly improves the odds in the first couple rounds, after that I'm not sure it matters that much. And as Ryan Wood's research showed, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and NE have done better over the last seven years, and they're usually drafting late also.
OK, not sure what happened there but posted the answer for the previous question twice, having some technical issues here, so I apologize in advance if I can't get this figured out. As for Jeff's question, I think the story was basically told. Sounds like Cook was asking for more than the Packers were willing to pay, so they contacted Bennett, who was willing to take about what they were offering to Cook. Bennett is the better all-around TE, so they ended up upgrading, kind of a no-brainer. They preferred signing Cook because he'd been here for a year, but when those talks stalled they went to Bennett and got a deal they liked.
Yesterday at the first media availability of the offseason program Rodgers said Murphy is working at guard, so the Packers definitely have moved him. So he's going to get a good, long look in the competition for that starting job. That doesn't mean he'll be able to do it, but it means the Packers think he can make the transition. We'll get a look at Davis on the field in May during OTAs, so we'll see then what the offseason has done for him. Agreed he could add outside speed that this offense lacks.
I can't agree with you on that. Thompson did offer Lang a little more than $7 million per year. I might have gone a little higher but understand why he drew the line even though Lang is a really good player and a guy you want in your locker room. If they didn't have the tackles and center they have, I definitely would have offered him more. But they still have the pillars for a good line, and guard just isn't a primary position. It could backfire if they don't find at least an adequate replacement, but finding adequate will be good enough. They cut Sitton at the end of camp last year and were just fine with Lane Taylor. I get it, they don't have a guy that you'd feel as good about as Taylor on the roster right now, but as mentioned earlier, maybe Murphy will be able to play there. There's also the draft, where a third, fourth or maybe even fifth-rounder (think Linsley as a rookie center) has a decent shot of being able to start at that position and holding up OK. Don't get me wrong, you'd rather have Lang than not, but I understand that they drew the line. Age and injury history were probably a factor there too.
There's not. I don't know if Baalke has any connection to Thompson. McCloughan was Thompson's right-hand man in the draft in Seattle, and I know they were very close, and that Thompson relied heavily on him. I don't know if Thompson is considering bringing him in, though. McCloughan has been available before and Thompson hasn't done it.
Yeah, I think the signings of Bennett and Kendricks make for a strong possibility that this offense will be better than last year even though it lost Lang. The dual run-pass threat because of Bennett's blocking, plus the same thing with Bennett and Kendricks playing together in two tight end personnel, could be a real problem for defenses. They have to honor the run because of the blocking of those two guys, but both guys are fast enough to be threats vertically and over the middle.
Sorry again, something's going haywire here with the way the answers are posting, bear with me. I'd think Flores will have to be able to play guard in a pinch, but i'd think his primary way of making the roster will be as a backup center. I don't think he's in the running for the guard job. For now that's Barclay, Murphy and Patrick.
Couple things. Montgomery did add a nice dimension to the offense, but I'm not sure you want him getting 18 to 20 carries a game, he hasn't played that much running back, not sure he'll hold up physically. So they really need a guy to split time with him. Michel isn't that guy. He has some explosiveness but is erratic as can be as far as finding holes, functioning in the pass game, etc. There's also injuries. Running backs get hurt, a lot, so you need several of them.
I think it's more because he's never been a full-time back -- he was primarily a receiver in college. He had that foot injury as a rookie that cost him most of that season. So it's more track record than anything, he just doesn't have one as a full-time running back. Maybe he could do it, but I wouldn't want to count on it if I'm the Packers.
There was some of that Spriggs talk when Lang left initially, but it was clear early on that the Packers don't want to move Bulaga. He's coming off his best season at right tackle, and that's such an important position. They didn't want to weaken themselves there (very doubtful Spriggs would play at Bulaga's level this year) by moving him. They must feel OK about finding a good enough guard also, either from what they have already or the draft. With how well Bulaga played last year, I probably wouldn't move him either. Maybe if RG ends up being a disaster, they'd reconsider during the season.
It's something they're probably looking into. With the way salaries are going up, you could be right, he might be in for a huge pay day next offseason if he hits free agency. I'm not fully convinced, teams know he also benefits from playing with Rodgers, but he did have a good season last year. The best guess is that they'll approach him this summer about an extension.
I'm not a draft expert, I leave that to the scouts who spend their days watching film of all these guys and comparing them to one another. So I don't have much of an opinion here. I did talk to several scouts about him last week. That's a very small sample, but the read I got from these guys is that he's a very viable pick at that spot. He's fairly new to defense but has all the physical stuff (length, testing athleticism) to have some upside as an OLB in the Packers' 3-4. I have to think he's on their short list for No. 29, though maybe Thompson sees something that makes him agree with you and doesn't see a late first-round pick there. To me, though, he has Ted Thompson written all over him.
You're right, that will be a factor. Randall and Rollins are big ones, the Packers need real improvement at CB from somebody, and those are their two best bets. Kenny Clark is a big one, came on late last season, as did Lowry. Those are the best bets in my mind, though you don't always know who will make the big jump (if anyone).
I would not. I'd think CB ranks higher. Both are needs, though.
Just giving Chris his say.
If I had to guess right now, I'd say yeah, Day 3. But it all depends on how the board falls. A guy they really like and rated higher than anyone on their board could be available earlier. I'd assume they'd take him.