The first and second days of the draft have come and gone this past Thursday and Friday, with teams seeking to fill needs by addressing them through the draft. We have seen some picks coming for over a month, and some that still have us scratching our heads. The Packers held the 27th pick in the first round, and as most know, they addressed their defensive line hole by taking Kenny Clark, a defensive tackle out of UCLA. His pick was already addressed here, so let us move on to Friday’s picks made by the Pack. Green Bay held one pick in both the second and third rounds, the 48th and 88th picks overall, respectively. They were supposed to have the 57th instead of the 48th, but they moved up by swapping with the Indianapolis Colts, sending their 57th overall pick, as well as one of their fourth rounders and their only seventh round pick this year to Indy.
Green Bay moved up in the second round to address one of their more glaring holes on the team: offensive line depth. They implored countless different combinations in the offensive trenches last season due to injuries, and the lack of depth was very evident, especially in the Arizona game in the regular season and the beginning of the Redskins game in the playoffs. To fill the void, Ted Thompson moved up and grabbed Jason Spriggs, a senior offensive tackle from Indiana. Spriggs played left tackle in college, but analysts believe that due to his techniques and skills, either a move to right tackle or a move inside to guard would benefit him the best. His frame of 6’6″, 301 pounds speaks to the Big Ten for their consistent outpouring of massive lineman, but he is more known for his athletic talents, especially for a man his size. He was seen as one of the more underrated offensive coming out of school. For lineman, he placed in the top echelon in the 20-yard shuttle, broad jump, bench press, and 40-yard dash categories, speaking to his athleticism and workout abilities. This was a very underrated but key move for the Pack. They have four starting offensive lineman in the final years of their contracts, and Spriggs offers that option to step in to almost any spot on the line if he is called on to start next year. I give this pick a solid A- for the second round.
In the third round, Green Bay stayed characteristic to the Ted Thompson approach and did not trade up, sticking with their 88th spot. Coming into the draft, linebacker was a position most viewed as needing to be addressed, and that is just what they did. Taking Kyler Fackrell, an outside linebacker from Utah St., presented the team with an opportunity to better their pass rush and coverage abilities. Fackrell is more known for his pass rushing abilities, earning 4 sacks and 15 tackles for loss in his senior year alone. His 6’5″, 245-pound frame speaks to his style of game, as he uses his brute strength (16 reps of 225 pounds at the combine) and long arms to break off blockers. He was more of a rusher than a coverage linebacker at USU, but his coverage abilities are solid. He is what the NFL is looking for now as far as edge rushers go. His lean but stoic frame is durable, and has great versatility. This pick works in many ways I believe. If no other options come about as far as linebackers in the draft or free agency, Fackrell can move outside and keep Clay Matthews inside, or eventually replace Julius Peppers when he retires. Based on his potential, athleticism, and college stats, I give this pick a B+.
It will be interesting what direction Green Bay decides to go today in rounds four through seven, as there are plenty of top-tier prospects a normal draft would not have falling to day three. Look for the Pack to make a surprise pick or two, especially on the offensive side of the ball while still addressing defensive needs of safety, linebacker, and possibly cornerback.