Let's chill out Packers fans!

PackerReport.com correspondent Bob Fox explains how Ted Thompson used the NFL draft to hit on areas that need improvement

A lot of Green Bay Packer fans were upset about the way Ted Thompson handled the 2007 NFL draft. Not I, even with the Randy Moss trade not being made.

Packer fans have to a look at the 2006 Packers, before they make an estimate on the draft. Especially when the Packers were 4-8, not the 8-8 overall record. So, let's take a look at the 2007 draft...

1) DT Justin Harrell (Tennessee)
Harrell would have been a top 10 pick had he not been injured his senior year. As a Packer fan, remember that he wore No. 92 at Tennessee. That is Reggie White's number at Tennessee before it was retired. There is a reason for that. I see a lot of SEC ballgames living in Florida. Harrell is a bonafide run stuffer that wreaks havoc in a backfield.

Don't people remember that the Packers were giving up 4.0 yards a carry in 2006? How about the Seattle Seahawks game on Monday night when the Packers couldn't stop the run when they were controlling the game in the second half? Harrell was a great choice, plus it will help free up the talented linebacking corp to make more big plays. Harrell, along with Ryan Pickett and Corey Williams gives the Packers a great rotation at DT.

2) RB Brandon Jackson (Nebraska)
Jackson comes from a program that utilizes the zone blocking scheme at Nebraska. Jackson had a great season in 2006 and he should help be part of a RB rotation in Green Bay, along with Vernand Morency and Noah Herron.

There is also a chance that Thompson may sign someone like Chris Brown in free agency. Bottom line is that Jackson has the ability to be good running the ball in the zone blocking scheme, plus he catches the ball well and can pick up blitzes.

There were other picks like these as well...

3) WR James Jones (San Jose State)

3) S Aaron Rouse (Virginia Tech)

4) T Allen Barbre (Missouri Southern St.)

5) WR David Clowney (Virginia Tech)

6) LB/FB Korey Hall (Boise State)

6) LB Desmond Bishop (California)

6) K Mason Crosby (Colorado)

7) RB DeShawn Wynn (Florida)

7) TE Clark Harris (Rutgers)

Jones and Clowney will help the receiver corps. Jones had a very solid senior year and has exceptional hands, if not breathtaking speed. Clowney does have great speed, and now has a QB that can get him the ball. Yes, Moss would have been nice, but Randy obviously wanted to be in New England.

Rouse will have a chance to beat out Marquand Manuel, if Rouse can be more consistent. Rouse has great size and can lay the lumber. Also, don't forget about Marviel Underwood at this position as well.

Barbre is a good athlete that looks to be the LT of the future. The Packers need to start adding depth at the offensive tackle position as the Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher get older.

Hall is a special teams demon that will also get a chance to play fullback. The special teams need to be upgraded and Thompson and done that with this pick and others.

Bishop will probably get a chance out strong-side linebacker after being inside in college. Bishop can find the ball, although the knock on him is his lack of speed. Another special teams demon.

Crosby will compete for the kicking job along with incumbent Dave Raynor. Crosby has a great leg that can hit from almost any distance and he keeps the ball deep on kickoffs as well.

Wynn is a very talented player that should have been drafted higher if not for some issues on and off the field. Wynn can also play fullback, but can also be effective from the tailback position.

Harris is a very talented tight end that doesn't stretch the field much, but is a good target. Harris is an OK blocker, but needs to get better.

Overall, Thompson did pretty well in this draft just like he did in his two previous drafts with the Packers. We won't know how well for a while, but if it's anything like the production Thompson got from the 2006 rookies, than all the Packers fans with frowns will be smiling come December.

Also, look for Thompson to add players via free agency like last year, when he brought in guys like Pickett and Charles Woodson. The Packers still have a lot of room under the cap. The 2007 roster still has some growing to do and weapons will be added. It is early May and not early September after all.

Bob Fox is a frequent contributor to PackerReport.com. E-mail him at greenbaybob@hotmail.com.


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