The Green Bay Packers entered the 2012 NFL draft with only a few major needs, so it was to be expected that Ted Thompson and company were basically going to have a field day with so many options to choose from.
Now, while TT didn’t really disappoint, he also didn’t exactly set the world on fire either. I personally would’ve liked to have seen the Packers grab a RB considering Ryan Grant’s free agency and the durability issues surrounding James Starks, but that’s just me.
Let’s take a look at how the Packers graded out in this year’s 2012 NFL draft.
First Round Selection: Nick Perry, DE, USC:
One thing the Packers wanted to address was their defense that was ranked dead last in the league a year ago. The first order of business was to upgrade a pass rush that accumulated only 29 sacks in 2011 (27th overall).
Nick Perry was an end who was seemingly coveted by many teams despite falling into the Packers lap. Perry competed against some of the most elite passing offenses the PAC-12 had to offer, so there is plenty of experience to suggest Perry is “pro-ready”.
The Packers are hoping that Perry can sort of tie down the end which would certainly improve the run defense, but they are also expecting Perry to use his ability as an edge rusher to improve the front four attack.
From a fantasy standpoint, I think Perry may wind up being a nice late-round selection if he can show more consistency in camp. I also think he could give the Packers the defensive bolster they are hoping to find which could make the Packers D a nice sleeper candidate in Yahoo! and other leagues utilizing team defense.
Second Round Selections:
Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
The Packers continued to address their defensive line by trading up to grab Jerel Worthy, and while he may not immediately start for Green Bay this year, he will certainly add some much needed depth for the Packers.
Worthy is more of a power 4-3 tackle, but his athleticism could help him learn the hybrid 3-4 scheme that is deployed by Dom Capers and company, perhaps as a nose tackle. Worthy is a guy you wanna keep on your watch list in standard IDP leagues.
Casey Hayward, DB, Vanderbuilt
Grade: B plus
I freaking love this pick for so many reasons. First and foremost, don’t expect Hayward to contribute much to the fantasy landscape now, as he is sure to take a lot of time learning under Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams.
The Packers were flirting with the notion of moving Charles Woodson to safety if they were able to find another corner who could take over for the veteran, and they believe that Hayward could be that guy. Hayward will have to work on learning the art of becoming a press corner if he is to have an impact in the various blitz packages the Packers offer, but he should have no trouble playing as a zone-corner.
Again, Hayward will probably not have an immediate impact in fantasy, but his ceiling is so high it’s really difficult to ignore him.
Fourth Round Selections:
Mike Daniels, DT, Iowa
Grade: C minus
The Packers ultimately went for more depth here. Coming from Iowa does help, but Daniels will simply have to compete and compete well if he is to land a job in Green Bay.
I wasn’t entirely excited with this pick considering Daniels was only a two year starter at Iowa, and is technically undersized at 6’0″, 290 pounds. I think the Packers could have done themselves a service by targeting a RB here, but that just didn’t happen.
Jerron McMillian, SS, Maine
This was the only pick I didn’t understand. I can get drafting a short-side safety, but McMillian really doesn’t offer much in the way of potential at the position.
McMillian wasn’t the greatest transitional coverage safety and wasn’t all that great at floating to the ball. His one upside is that he does posses a good amount of speed, and at 5′ 11″, 203 pounds, the Packers could entertain working him into a possible return role, but I don’t expect much else.
The Final Selections:
Terrell Manning, OLB, N.C. State
Grade: C plus
I like this selection because of Manning’s upside, but not necessarily at the outside position. Many scouts believe Manning has an uphill battle to succeed as an edge rusher, but I believe the Packers could try and convert Manning to play more ILB thanks to that sizable frame he’s equipped with. He’s better as an inside backer than an edge backer anyway.
Andrew Datko, Tackle, Florida State
I think the Packers got extremely lucky here with Datko who was once considered a top selection before suffering a terrible knee injury, which is really the only concern. Datko was taught by Rick Tricket who is one of the best O-Line coaches in the country, and he deployed a zone blocking scheme that is similar to the scheme that Green Bay utilizes, so the transition should be seamless. Datko is a true diamond in the rough and an incredible steal, and if he stays healthy. He should fit right in for years to come.
B.J. Coleman, QB, Tennessee-Chattanooga
Grade: C minus
I like Coleman’s 6’3 “, 233 pound frame but I don’t like the fact he was basically a one-receiver QB—not by design. Coleman will have to improve on his reads and progressions if he is to make it at the pro level. Playing primarily as a backup behind Aaron Rodgers is probably the best scenario this kid could ever get.
Overall Team Grade 80.25 (B minus)