Dear Mr. Korth,
I was reading the comments from some scouts from different teams concerning the Packers Draft. In particular I was impressed with comments from two scouts from an AFC and NFC team. Both of them indicated that the Packers got very little for Javon Walker. Unfortunately, I must agree with both comments. When you give up a Pro Bowl player of Walker's caliber you should at least get either a number-one or two number twos in return. We got neither for Walker. Here again is where Ted Thompson does not understand the necessity of value.
Also, trading down for additional picks is not always the correct thing to do. Chad Jackson was still available on the board. You lost a potential Pro Bowl player so you should try and replace him with a player of his type. Greg Jennings is not that player at the current time.
The value you receive in return should be weighed against the type of player you want. In each case the Packers lost value by trading down. The most urgent problem was not really addressed. The need for two guards and a center. Scott Wells is too short to handle the big nose tackles in the NFC North Division. Why is it every year that coaches and GM's say we got what we wanted, or we did not expect the player to be there at that round. People who follow football are not stupid. We know what the problems are and what the team should have addressed in the draft. The Vikings got the number two center in the draft. The Tampa Bay Bucs got the best guard prospect in the draft. Sometimes spending six months evaluating people for the draft is not always correct. You should look at athletic players who have some smarts. You can teach technique but you cannot teach athleticism or knowledge.
Let's hope next year is better for all of us. My concern is for Brett Favre. I do not want him to get hurt because someone did not do their job properly.
Tom Schroeder, email@example.com, New Berlin, WI
A lot of picks, but are the 11 after Hawk any good?
Well, I'm happy about Hawk. I think the man's an animal and should help us out a lot. If we grade them on the number of picks they certainly get an A+. If we grade them on wheeling and dealing they'd also get an A+. If we grade them on quality of their picks, I'd give them a B-. On paper a lot of their picks look good, but if they really are remains to be seen.
Ingrid Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org, Jefferson, WI
Thompson deserves an A for 2006 draft
I must say that I am pleasantly surprised by the work that Ted Thompson did with this weekend's draft. All of the draft-day trades showed that he really knows what he's doing. I think that the Packers are very high on the list of teams who had the best draft. The trade of Javon Walker to the Denver Broncos (which I predicted) was the key trade that really got things moving. Ted Thompson and the Packers, in my opinion, did a great job in addressing their team needs in this year's draft. My draft analysis goes as follows:
A.J. Hawk – OLB – Ohio State (5th overall)
Hawk was born to wear a Packers uniform. He is a special player who will have an impact similar to that of Seattle's Lofa Tatupu in 2005. Sure, the Packers could have gone in the direction of TE/WR Vernon Davis, but Hawk really was the "safest" pick in this year's draft. He is the next great NFL linebacker.
Daryn Colledge – OG/OT – Boise State (47th overall)
Very fast for a lineman, and a great pass-protector. Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers have both got to like this pick. He's consistent, durable, and versatile--he started 51 straight games in college! He is another "safe" pick which means that somewhere Brett and Aaron have got to be smiling. Great pick for the Packers!
Greg Jennings – WR/KR/CB – Western Michigan (52nd overall)
The Packers needed a good return-man, and they got him with Jennings. Perhaps the most over-looked player at his position, Jennings is a versatile player who, in addition to WR and KR, can play CB as well. He is a big-play guy that the Packers desperately needed after trading away Javon Walker. He is an adequate replacement and will only get better with time. Another good pick by Ted Thompson.
Abdul Hodge – MLB – Iowa (67th overall)
This was a TREMENDOUS pick by Ted Thompson. By far and away the best LB available at this point in the draft, Hodge will add some much needed depth to the MLB position behind Nick Barnett. If my theory that Ted Thompson is building up his defense so that an Aaron Rodgers-led offense can stay in games and work out the kinks is correct, this pick coupled with the selection of A.J. Hawk and the big defensive Free Agency signings that the Packers have made, proves that that theory. The Packers' Defense will be a force to be reconded with for a long time to come with these moves. Given the opportunity, Hodge is the next Ray Lewis.
Jason Spitz – C/OG – Louisville (75th overall)
Another excellent pick by Ted Thompson at this point in the draft. Spitz is a versatile player who can play both C and OG--both positions that the Packers obviously needed to address. He has great field awareness and is very strong. He will fit in very nicely in Green Bay--again, Brett and Aaron have got to be smiling somewhere.
Cory Rodgers – WR/KR – Texas Christian University (104th overall)
My guess is that he will make a big impact on special teams initially, similar to that of Dante Hall in Kansas City a few years back. But, down the road and with some work, we could be talking about an effective Rodgers to Rodgers combination.
Will Blackmon – WR/CB/KR/QB – Boston College (115th overall)
He is very fast. He has already established himself at the CB position, and can also play the WR, KR, and QB positions. This versatility will be really nice to have in the event that something were to happen to either Favre or Rodgers. Perhaps some trick plays are in the works? A little fun on offense can't hurt--it's just what the Packers need.
Ingle Martin – QB/P – Furman (148th overall)
From what I've heard, he has good arm strength, he is very accurate, he is very efficient, and he set a bunch of school records at Furman after transferring from Florida after Ron Zook left. I've also heard that he has some experience as a punter. It will be nice to have some quality competition for Aaron Rodgers once Brett retires, and the Packers have found it with this pick.
Tony Moll – OT/TE – Nevada (165th overall)
He has experience at both OT and TE - versatility that is always a plus. He will add some much needed depth to the offensive line. He could probably put on some weight if he plays primarily OT. Overall, not a bad pick.
Johnny Jolly – DT – Texas A&M (183rd overall)
Aside from the entertaining name for a DT, this guy seems to play well in big games, which is always nice to see. That being said, consistency could be an issue, and I can't say that I really understand this pick because the Packers seem like they could have used this pick on another position. The good news is that he is a durable player and is a hard worker, which is why he will make the team. I suppose a little more depth at DT can't hurt.
Tyrone Culver – FS – Fresno State (185th overall)
This was a good pick. From what I remember of him in college, he will be a serious competitor for playing time, perhaps with everybody's favorite Packer, Ahmad Carroll, who has been rumored to be moving over to safety after the signing of Charles Woodson. Culver is quick and is a good leader. He will add some quality depth to the Packers secondary and will be this year's Nick Collins.
Dave Tollefson – DE – NW Missouri State University (253rd overall)
Two picks away from "Mr. Irrelevant," Tollefson is still a decent pick. He is quick for a DE and will be a lot like Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila … eventually. From what I understand he is a very underrated player which makes me think that he could have been a steal. I guess time will tell.
Overall, I think that Ted Thompson did an excellent job with this draft. He successfully addressed the areas that he needed to--and did so with some real quality players.
MY GRADE: A
Jaime Moore, MOOREJS@uwec.edu, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Hawk column for the tabloids
Re: "Does Hawk Provide Enough Value?" PackerReport.com, April 29, 2006
For some time you have been taking a contrarian view to much of what has been happening in Green Bay. Being objective does not require you to grab at straws with little or no basis, especially when your writing undermines Packer policy with little or no good reason.
My own view is that Leinart is like a Drew Bledsoe, soft at the core, and too brittle for Green Bay (we'll see), and in any case, would represent unconscionable overkill. I believe that Rodgers (who beat USC) is tough guy, in the Favre mold, and that Leinart is not. As for Davis vs. Hawk, who is a dominant linebacker, the "best defensive player in the draft", Hawk will clearly have a more fundamental impact on the franchise re championships as the leader of the defense then any single receiver can have (e.g., even Randy Moss).
And although I am 100% in favor of providing Brett with tools, the team comes first; and if Thompson is committed to the short-term success of Favre (as he should be, and that is what you should write about), he can find a way to bring in receivers just as Wolf did. The issue in so doing is not the Hawk draft selection.
If you were to use your professionalism and experience appropriately, you would have to conclude that the winning teams in the NFL today require well-oiled, good character, high work-ethic player-parts, so that the way Thompson is reloading is the only way (plus, we have a special added ingredient in Favre, IF properly managed by the coaching staff).
Looking at the draft in the first three rounds, Thompson has managed to acquire top-six overall ranked players for every selection. My only criticism so far is the value gotten for Walker. It seems to me, especially with Denver as the trading partner, that he should get (have gotten) a decent receiver in exchange, along with the draft pick, and the disgruntled Lelie was there for the taking.
In recent times, your commentary has taken a perspective which is unworthy because it is fundamentally unfounded. It is gossipy. It is not worthy of you, the Packer Report, or most especially the Packers; and is both boring and annoying to the reader. It is lousy journalism! Make a contribution to the Packers and to yourself by being more thoughtful and less tabloid, or your columns will become irrelevant. You should be capable of analyzing the Draft as an organic whole, but "Right now, it does not look that way...."
Benjamin C. Zitron, email@example.com, New York, N.Y. (formerly of Milwaukee, WI)
Hawk's grandmother verifies grandson's wish to be a Packer
I am so excited A.J. Hawk is coming to Green Bay. The best part is that he REALLY wants to be a Packer. His grandmother is an Avon Lady and my friend Marcha is her District Rep. She told her at their meeting last night that A.J. was hoping to go to Green Bay. She called Marcha about a minute after he was picked and said "Call your friend, he's a Packer!!!" Marcha said they were screaming in the background. Of course I already knew!!! I sat through every extremely long minute and almost fainted when his name was called.
Diane Herd, firstname.lastname@example.org, Marysville, Ohio
Mission accomplished with 12 picks
Good afternoon Todd,
Thank you for reading my e-mail. Likely you may be hearing the same from many loyal fans but I just wanted to take a quick moment to tell you how happy I am with the way the Pack conducted their mission in the 2006 draft.
To end with 12 picks was fantastic when you add reality to figure only 8 may make the team, you are still having a net effect of 8 guys on a 53-man roster (15%). I am sorry that things did not work out with Javon but in the end you have to want to carry the glorious Green and Gold on your shoulders to play in Green Bay and he simply did not want to be here.
To look at all aspects of the game quickly - we have addressed the kicking game after losing Ryan, added valued depth to the defense and managed to convince Brett and Company to return for another season plus added new faces to challenge for the O-line.
I was happy to see Mr. Green come back and also my personal favorite player, William Henderson. I like the "get it done" guys and he evokes respect for the game on and off the field.
I am anxious to see what the defense looks like with key pick ups like Pickett and Woodson, let alone drafting AJ.
Can we take some shots this year at those boat cruisin' Vikes and those pesky Bears? I would like another playoff opportunity ... and feel like we have the formula to get there.
Thumbs up Pack! I hope that you found some true gems! Go Pack Go!
John Howell, email@example.com, Downers Grove, IL
Note: E-mail your thoughts on the Packers to PackerReport.com managing editor Todd Korth. Letters to the Editor is posted each Friday. Please include your name, e-mail address, and city/state at the end of each letter.