Tag Archives: NFL Draft

2016 Green Bay Packers Draft Prospects: Top Tight Ends

Austin Hooper NFL Draft

One of the highest priorities for the Green Bay Packers this off-season, was improving the lack of production from the Tight End position. However, General Manager Ted Thompson has never drafted a Tight End higher than the 3rd round. In 2008 Thompson took Jermichael Finley in the 3rd and in 2014 grabbed Richard Rodgers in the same round. Rodgers, Justin Perillo, and Andrew Quarless failed to provide a reliable receiving option for Aaron Rodgers throughout the 2015 season.

Would the Packers be willing to take a TE in the 1st or 2nd round pick to help turn around the offense? New position coach Brian Angelichio has demonstrated an ability to coach up lower round players (see: Jordan Cameron and Gary Barnidge), and Thompson could shock the world and sign a free agent to bolster the position (Barnidge was a free agent, but signed a 3 year contract extension in December). If the Packers decide to draft a tight end in the first three rounds, there are currently several targets that should appeal to Packer fans.

Arkansas’ Hunter Henry tops the list. Henry showed an ability to stretch the field with 51 receptions for 739 yards this season as a Junior. At 6-6 and 255, Henry not only has the size to impact the run game, but more importantly has demonstrated the willingness and ability to be an above average blocker. If Henry runs well at the combine he could work his way into late 1st round consideration.

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Prospecting Potential Pass-catchers: Sterling Shepard

Prospect Profile Sterling Shepard

Peaking at the right time. It’s usually a really lame narrative about teams heading into the NFL playoffs but in terms of draft stock, it absolutely applies to the former Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Sterling Shepard.

Shepard drew many eyeballs at the Senior Bowl, where he earned Practice Player of the Week and made some highlight reel catches.

Labeled primarily as a slot receiver, the fit for Shepard in the Packers offense is arguable, given the presence of Randall Cobb. But there are elements to Shepard’s game that are still incredibly intriguing, regardless of the current makeup of the Packers roster, where you almost wonder if another slot weapon, and arguably a receiver who can play at any position, would be worth the investment of a second to third round draft pick, as Shepard’s current projections indicate.

At 5’10 191 lbs., he’s already been labeled a slot receiver and the greatest knock on him is size, strength, and ability to win in contested ball situations. These are legitimate concerns, to some degree. But there are also some “little things” that Shepard does that make you feel that he can get away with playing at a less than ideal height and weight for a receiver, regardless of slot or perimeter.

There are numbers other than his standard stats to prove that his production is right up there with some of the top receivers in the 2016 class as well.

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Prospecting Potential Pass-catchers: Josh Doctson

Prospect Profile Wide Receiver Josh Doctson

Big plays in the passing game were almost entirely absent from the Packers offensive unit in the 2015 season. In fact, Green Bay only had four passing plays of over 40 yards in the regular season, which is two less than the six that Jordy Nelson accounted for on his own a year prior.

Obviously, losing Nelson to an ACL tear in August was a major part in that, but the fact that there is no other “big play” receiver on the Packers roster is pretty hard to dispute at this point.

So, should Ted Thompson choose to address that – or should TCU’s Josh Doctson be the best player available on the board when the Packers pick towards the end of the first round (Is that “best player available” disclaimer needed every single time?) – serious consideration should be given as to whether or not to take him, which would be the first time Thompson would have selected a receiver in the first round in his entire tenure. In fact, trading down to the early second round for Nelson in 2006 is the closest the Packers have come to investing big in a receiver in the draft under Thompson’s reign.

STANDARD STATS:

Freshman (Wyoming): 35 rec, 393 yds, 11.2 ypc, 5 TD

Sophomore: 36 rec, 440 yds, 12.2 ypc, 4 TD

Junior: 65 rec, 1018 yds, 15.7 ypc, 11 TD

Senior: 78 rec, 1326 yds, 17 ypc, 14 TD

TAPE:

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Prospecting Potential Pass-catchers: Tyler Boyd

WR Tyler Boyd Prospect Profile

If Ted Thompson does truly draft the best player available this coming April, guessing the position, let alone the player that they would take with their first few selections in the NFL Draft, is almost a useless exercise.

However, the lack of weapons surrounding Aaron Rodgers is an overwhelmingly obvious weakness and in turn, the focus of this series which will simply highlight receivers and tight ends that (to date) seem like they have some chance of being on the board when the Packers are on the clock and might make sense given their skill set.

We’ll start with Pittsburgh’s junior wide receiver Tyler Boyd.

Listed at 6’2, 200 lbs., Boyd checks out well in the size category, though at his height he could likely add some bulk. As you’ll see, even with the measurables of a somewhat ideal perimeter receiver, a good amount of his production came in the slot. There was also a fair amount of usage of Boyd as a ball carrier – which highlights versatility and how important it was for Pittsburgh to get the ball in his hands – and sparingly as a punt and kick returner.

It seems that so far, Boyd has not been talked about amongst the likes of Laquon Treadwell, Josh Doctson, and Corey Coleman as first-round talents that should make an instant impact. But there are a lot of skills in his game that should translate well to the next level and a consistent level of production that would leave one to believe Boyd could be productive as a rookie in an NFL offense.

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What Caused the 1970-1991 Green Bay Packers Drought?

Former Packers quarterback Bart Starr, now a television commentator, interviews current Packers quarterback John Hadl. Dated 1974

The Green Bay Packers of the 1960’s were one of the most dominating NFL teams of all time. During those “Glory Years” the Green Bay Packers won five league championships over a seven year span culminating with victories over the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders in the first two Super Bowls respectively.

Then in 1970 the unthinkable began to happen.  The Green Bay Packers started to lose.  The losing would continue for nearly a quarter of a century, with the exception of a few bright spots and a few exceptional players.

What caused the “Green Bay Packers Drought” from 1970 through 1991?  In a pistachio nutshell, three key mistakes occurred.  Mistake # 1-The Green Bay Packers drafted lousy college players in the 1st round of the NFL Draft.  Mistake # 2-The Packers were guilty of clinging to a former Green Bay player-turned-head-coach for far too long and Mistake # 3-The Green Bay Packers traded away valuable future draft picks for an aging veteran past the prime of his career.  A far cry from Ted Thompson’s philosophy of draft, develop and retain quality players and coaches in order to create stability and a playoff contending team year after year.

Mistake # 1 – The Packers drafted lousy players in the 1st round of the NFL Draft.

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From The Benches: The Dog Days of Summer

From the Benches Podcast - Packers Talk Radio Network

Ryan and Ross head to the Cheeseystudio to break down the Packers offseason approaches as they prepare for Favrepalooza and…finally…the start of training camp!

From The Benches is a part of Packers Talk, serving up enough weekly podcasts to satisfy the most fervent of Packer fans. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe over at iTunes.

Check Out Football Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Packers Talk Radio Network on BlogTalkRadio

From The Benches is one of the family of podcasts from the Packers Talk Radio Network, featuring hosts Ross Uglem and Ryan Hillesland. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe over at iTunes.

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Pulse of the Pack: We’re Back!!!!

Pulse of the Pack Podcast on Packers Talk Radio Network

Pulse of the Pack is back with a slightly new look.  Long time co-host Jacob Westendorf is back with Jason Perone from ALLGBP.com to revive this long-standing podcast and dive into the latest and greatest with the Green Bay Packers.  The duo discusses the team’s recent OTA’s as well as the incoming rookie class and their expected impact on the 2015 Packers.

Pulse of the Pack is a part of Packers Talk, serving up enough weekly podcasts to satisfy the most fervent of Packer fans. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe over at iTunes.

Check Out Football Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Packers Talk Radio Network on BlogTalkRadio

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Pulse of the Pack is your weekly stop for what’s new with the Green Bay Packers.  Jacob Westendorf and Jason Perone of ALLGBP.com bring “Pulse” to the Packers Talk Network.  Be sure to follow the guys on Twitter at @JacobWestendorf and @JasonPerone.

 

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