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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Green Bay Packers: Grading Each Pick Of The 2015 NFL Draft

Going into this year’s Packers draft I had no real expectations on who the Packers should draft. There were guys I liked but unless the Packers traded up, the Packers had no realistic chance at drafting them. Plus we all know Packers GM Ted Thompson doesn’t operate like that.  There was one juicy little rumor that I think the Packers should have jumped on. The Eagles were dangling ILB Mychal Kendricks for a 2nd round pick. That is one move I think they should have jumped on, but in the end they didn’t not surprising knowing how Thompson tends to draft.

The Packers had eight picks in this draft and used those picks to fill needs and depth, and a surprising backup option at quarterback possibly. Here are my ranks of each pick.


Round  1 – Pick 30 

Damarious Randall

CB – Arizona State

Randall played FS a majority of the snaps while at Arizona State. This wasn’t for lack of skills at the CB position; it was due to his skill to play both positions and the depth at CB allowed him to be more depended on at the FS position, and that position was critical to the success of the Arizona State defense. Even at the FS position Randall lined up as slot corner that regularly played man coverage. This will allow Randall to contribute in the Packers defense in nickel and dime packages. He could push Casey Hayward for the #2 CB spot in time.  Randall has pure coverage skills and ball hawking ability, but the only real knack against him is he needs to improve on his technique on tackling. It is sure not for a lack of effort at all. I expected the Packers go ILB with their first pick because of their dire need for one first and foremost, and for that I will drop them down a half a grade, even though I do like the Randall pick.

Draft Grade:  A-


Round 2 – Pick 62

Quinten Rollins

CB – Miami (OH)

I must admit this pick puzzled me a bit. Here is a guy with ONE year of college football experience and a four year starter as a basketball player.  Even with limited reps a lot of scouts believe that Rollins has a lot of untapped potential.  Even in his one year on his football field he performed well enough to earn the MAC Defensive Player of the year award so there is something definitely there and you can bet Packers cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt get it out of him. Randall is a ball hawking type of cornerback like Randall who relishes contact with wide receiver contact who at times was burned against bigger WR last year, but that is to be somewhat expected in his first season on the gridiron. Unless, he can show some of the ball hawking ability in the preseason he is probably only going to be used in sub packages. I still think the Packers could have found better value at this spot even for a need, and my grade is more of a reflection of the when Rollins was drafted, not the player himself.

Draft Grade:  B-


Round 3 – Pick 94

Ty Montgomery

WR – Stanford

First I was thinking why another WR, then I saw Montgomery’s numbers a returner in college (27.4 yards per kickoff and 18.3 per punt). With the Montgomery's upside as a returner and the last thing the Packers need is Randall Cobb or Micah Hyde getting hurt on returns so this pick makes sense. Montgomery does possess the quickness and strength to come out of the backfield on certain packages but he is still honing his craft as a WR and until proven otherwise he is best used as a kick and punt returner. The Packers can only hope that he can duplicate the success he had in college. If so Desmond Howard 2.0.

Draft Grade:  B


Round 4 – Pick 129

Jake Ryan

ILB – Michigan

Surprisingly the Packers waited this long to fulfill this dire need, but when you see his profile you understand why. Ryan has burst to the ball. He is gap-responsible and tackles through his targets. He also possesses straight-line speed to chase from sideline to sideline, and he is good in zone coverage. Ryan seems to be the total package and should see significant time alongside ILB Sam Barrington when OLB Clay Matthews isn’t playing inside on early downs. I’ve heard some early comparison to Brian Urlacher, if he is anything close to Urlacher, the Packers might have found the second coming of Ray Nitschke.

Draft Grade: A-


Round 5 – Pick 147

Brett Hundley


The Pack traded up 20 spots in the 5th round (giving up their 7th round) to claim Hundley. We all know he is not going unseat Rodgers but he has the ability and upside to pass present backup Scott Tolzien in time. He is relatively raw even though some draft pundits had him third behind Winston and Mariota. He comes from an offense at UCLA that ran a short passing game (54% of pass attempts went 6 yards or less). He could be the next Mark Brunell, Aaron Brooks, or Kurt Warner as QB’s who the Packers drafted who found success later on. If you’re going to work on your craft who better than to learn from than Rodgers, McCarthy and the best offense in the league.

Draft Grade: B


6th Round – Pick 206

Aaron Ripkowski

FB – Oklahoma

You have to take a look at a guy who has the nickname “The Ripper” who is known to punish defenders, even for pure wonder. Ripkowski is known as a punishing blocker and ball carrier who could be the long term answer when present FB John Kuhn decides to either retire or leave Green Bay. Ripkowski can also line up as a tight end adding to his versatility when the Packers go to wishbone looks. Fullbacks tend to go undrafted but the Packers might have found something special in “The Ripper”.

Draft Grade: B


Round 6 – Pick 210

Christian Ringo

DE- Louisiana Lafayette

Ringo was a productive player at a small college, but lacks the ideal size most teams look for in a edge rusher. He could be a project to incumbent DE Mike Daniels, but could also find on field time as a long snapper. One interesting note is Ringo had the top Pass Rushing Productivity score of any lineman or edge rusher in the draft 

Draft Grade: C+


6th Round – Pick 213

Kennard Backman

TE – Alabama-Birmingham

Backman is not the biggest target, but is well built and plays bigger than listed size when catching in traffic. He has shown agility and can adjust to poorly thrown balls. Likely to begin the season as the third TE behind Quarless and Richard Rodgers. Backman has the versatility that the Packers look for in a tight end, look for him to contribute mainly on special teams in 2015

Draft Grade: C+






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