BREAKING: Green Bay Packers select Kyle Murphy, OT, Stanford, 200

Analysis (Taylor O’Neill): The Packers grab another PAC-12 player. Murphy was first-team all conference during his senior year, having moved over from playing right tackle his junior year, where he was second-team all conference. At 6’6″ and 305 lbs he definitely has the size to play tackle in the NFL. He also has good arm length at 33.5″.

Murphy has good lateral movement and consistently picks up blitzes. He’s a reliable player that looks relatively polished at the tackle position, especially for a late-round pick. He does lack elite strength (he put up only 23 reps at the bench press) and can struggle with stronger, bull-rushing defensive linemen, however.
While Murphy’s better in pass protection than run-blocking, he can hold his own in the run game. While strength isn’t his strong suit, he gets low and drives his opponent back. He’s not extremely athletic but can be expected to make blocks at the second level on running plays.
Scouts have him playing everywhere in the NFL from left tackle, to right tackle, to guard. That being said, if he can bulk up and add some strength to his game, many see him as capable of being a potential starter someday at the professional level.

Team Fit (Ross Uglem): Most of who produced Packers draft content these past few months indicated the need for Green Bay to take two offensive linemen because of the contract situations of Sitton, Lang, Tretter and Bakhtiari.  Murphy is the second of those players.  Murphy, like Spriggs before him, is a college tackle that Thompson will have McCarthy and Campen move around the offensive line.


BREAKING: Green Bay Packers select Trevor Davis, WR, Cal, 163

Analysis (Andrew Mertig): After a very frustrating season, the Green Bay Packers seemed likely to address the Wide Receiver position at some point in the draft. They picked Trevor Davis out of California in the 5th round. Davis finds himself in the mix with Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davonte Adams, Ty Montgomery, Jeff Janis, and Jared Abbrederris.

Davis is 6’1” and 188 lbs and ran a 4.42 40 yard dash. Davis spent two years at Hawaii before transferring to Cal. In 2015, he had 40 catches for 672 yards and 2 touchdowns. Davis also showed serious skills as both a kick and punt returner.

Davis has the kind of deep speed the Packers were sorely missing last season. He had decent hands and can use his 38.5 inch vertical to compete for deep balls. He will need work on his route running, as he tends to round off his routes, and improve his burst on routes over the middle.

Davis provides another option for the Packers on kick returns. He will need to show a major improvement in route running before Aaron Rodgers will trust him enough to be on the field on offense. The Packers will likely have a major competition for the 6th receiver during the preseason, with Davis going up against Adams, Abbrederris, Janis, and Montgomery to make the team.

Team fit (Ross Uglem): Ted Thompson is adding athleticism to the team this year, and his round 5 pick was no different.  Despite being seemingly well stocked at the wide receiver position, Trevor Davis provides track speed that none of Green Bay’s other options do (even Jordy Nelson).


BREAKING: Green Bay Packers select Dean Lowry, DL, Northwestern, 137

Analysis (Taylor O’Neill): A defensive end out of Northwestern, Dean Lowry has good size to play either 5 or 3 technique in a 3-4 defense. Lowry was a consensus second team All-Big Ten player in his senior year where he accumulated 13.5 tackles for a loss and 3 sacks.

Lowry is fairly tall at 6’6″ and 296 lbs., but with 31″ arms, he doesn’t have the typical arm length that you’d expect from a 5 technique defensive end. As such, he’s not much of a pass rush threat. He’s not a player that consistently gets loose off the edge on pass plays.
However, where Lowry really shines is in setting the edge and containing the run. He’s a high motor player who does not take snaps off. He’s a good tackler who will contain and make plays on runs toward his side of the line of scrimmage. Lowry is the sort of defensive end that allows linebackers to come up and make plays.
Team Fit (Ross Uglem): The Packers have needed length on their defensive line since the inception of the 3-4 defense.  For years, the Packers have stuck defensive tackle body types all along Dom Capers’ scheme with mixed results.  Lowry is long and very active.  The main concern for Lowry are his short 31″ arms.
His ability to consistently make plays in the backfield should afford him some snaps right away, and he is a tremendous athlete.  The Packers defensive line has been re-stocked.  Clark, Daniels, Boyd, Ringo, Lowry, Guion and Pennel provide different skill sets and depth for a once-concerning position group.
NFL Comp (Mike Wendlandt): Adam Carriker. With his extreme height and relatively short arms for it, he compares a lot to former 1st round pick Carriker. He also plays a lot like a middle career version of Carriker, especially as a high motor end who can find the ball as well as any lineman in the Big Ten. It showed during his game against Nebraska where he had 6 TFL. He also doesn’t miss tackles and had more stops than Joey Bosa. His heart and length are major strengths for a d-line that needs depth.


BREAKING: Green Bay Packers select Blake Martinez, ILB, Stanford, 131

Analysis (Andrew Mertig): The Packers acquired two fourth round compensatory picks for losing Tramon Williams and Davon House. They used the first of those selections on ILB Blake Martinez of Stanford. He will factor into the rotation at Inside Linebacker with Sam Barrington, Jake Ryan, and Joe Thomas.

Martinez is 6‘2” and 237 lbs. He ran a 4.71 second 40 yard dash. He was named First Team All Pac 12 selection in 2015.

Martinez is a powerful tackler with great instincts. He will maintain gap discipline and make quick, decisive moves to close running lanes. He has some ability in man coverage and will make contributions on Special Teams right away. He has below average speed for a NFL Linebacker and has struggled at times biting on play action fakes.

Blake will likely turn into one of the better kick coverage players right away and contribute on defense on first and second down.

Team Fit (Ross Uglem): Martinez is just what the doctor ordered for this draft class, a linebacker who can cover.  Martinez had Pro Football Focus’ highest coverage grade at inside linebacker, and should fit right into a defense that is desperately trying to move Clay Matthews back to the edge.

Ted Thompson continues to show his love for the Pac 12 conference, drafting his second one in this draft class and joining Rodgers, Matthews, Randall and other Packers stars from the country’s left-coast conference.  Expect Martinez to compete immediately with Sam Barrington and Jake Ryan for snaps in the Packers defense.


Winners and Losers After 2 Days of the Packers Draft

It’s been a couple of interesting days for the Packers, and Ted Thompson’s Christmas arrived Thursday night. The NFL Draft is through two of the three days in which teams pick from the best college players, and the Pack has come away with three young men who each can make an impact.

But with every draft pick comes a player who they replace. And besides, who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned “Winners and Losers” list. So here we go, who won and who has lost over the past two days.


Kenny Clark, Jason Spriggs, Kyler Fackrell

Let’s start with the obvious. For each of these three, this weekend has been a dream. It is the culmination of all their work on the field, in the film room and weight room, and they got to hear their names called by Roger Goodell, Antonio Freeman, and Sam Barrington in Chicago. Being drafted alone makes them winners, but it goes deeper still. Each of them has a chance to be an impact player fairly early on. Clark will have every chance to win the starting nose tackle job or at least be the other defensive end opposite Mike Daniels, all at age 20. Spriggs can step in and be the swing tackle as well as be groomed to be the left tackle of the future. And Fackrell can be a nickel linebacker and special teams stud early on as well. Each of them has a role here and they know that they are the select three so far that Ted Thompson has called and welcomed to Green Bay.


BREAKING: Packers take Utah State LB Kyler Fackrell, 88

Analysis (Kelly Hodgson): It was only a matter of time before the Packers pulled the trigger and chose a linebacker in this draft. While many thought  they would take an inside linebacker in the first round, they waited until the third round and chose outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell from Utah State.

As Julius Peppers is likely in the twilight of his career and Nick Perry will be heading into free agency at the end of the 2016 season, Fackrell appears to be an investment for the inevitable when the Packers could very well be looking at a paucity of OLBs heading into 2017.

At 6’5″, 245 pounds, Fackrell was a semifinalist for the Butkus Award for the nation’s top linebacker. While he sustained a season-ending ACL tear in September 2014, he returned to college ball with a vengeance with 82 tackles (15 for a loss), 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 4 fumble recoveries.

He is tall with long arms and fluid  yet explosive motion with his hips. He uses his height an long limbs to his advantage. He has made a concerted effort to increased his muscle mass and strength.

Fackrell played on special teams as an Aggie and could make an immediate impact in that capacity at the start of the season. He has a strong work ethic and has been recognized as a leader down the line. A diamond in the rough, he may be the epitome of Draft and Develop.


BREAKING: Green Bay Packers take Indiana OT Jason Spriggs, 48

Analysis (Kelly Hodgson): In classic Ted Thompson fashion, the Green Bay Packers moved up in the second round to take the 48th pick of the 2016 NFL Draft to select Indiana OT Jason Spriggs. In a trade with the Indianapolis Colts, the Packers moved up in exchange for picks 57, 125 and 248, the Packers chose to protect their franchise player quarterback Aaron Rodgers and elected to tap the 6’6′, 301 pound Hoosier brick wall. He’s taller and leaner than anyone else currently on the offensive line, and may be the insurance policy keeping Rodgers upright through the end of the season.

Thompson always seems to be on the hunt for the next tackle to shore up the offensive line and may have found that long-term investment in Spriggs, and with a fairly shallow depth chart on the OL, the Packers pulled the trigger to shore up that deficit and add both speed and strength to the line. A four-year starter, he brings a wealth of experience to the table and will be ready to get to work day one of training camp.

A second-team All-American (Pro Football Writers of America) and Associated Press third team, Spriggs can technically play both the blindside and the right. But he is known as a formidable blindside blocker that will give his all through the entire play. Pro Football Focus ranks him as having the third highest pass blocking efficiency among the Power-5 left tackles and could very well give David Bakhtiari a run for his money.