Scout examines Packers' picks

With the help of a scout from a 3-4 team, we look at the players on the board in determining where general manager Ted Thompson went wrong or made the right call during the 2009 draft.

Now that we've had about a week-and-a-half to digest the NFL Draft, let's take a look back at what might have been.

We review the Packers' picks and offer some alternatives, with a scout from a 3-4 team providing his thoughts on who he would have selected.

First round: NT B.J. Raji.

Alternatives: WR Michael Crabtree, OLB Aaron Maybin, OLB Brian Orakpo, CB Malcolm Jenkins.

The scout's choice: Raji. Crabtree had to be inviting, with Donald Driver (being 34). Aaron Rodgers is the guy you're building the franchise around, and I'd do everything in my power to take care of him. But guys like Raji don't come around too often. They needed a nose tackle and he was the only one. Ron Brace didn't make it to their spot in the second round.

First round: LB Clay Matthews III.

Alternatives: For the sake of this story, we based the alternate selections on the Packers keeping the second-round and two third-round picks relinquished to move up to get Matthews.

Because of that trade, the Patriots had picks Nos. 40 and 41. They took Brace with No. 40 and cornerback Darius Butler at 41. It's impossible to say who the Patriots would have taken had they had just one of those choices. Other options were CB Jairus Byrd, OLB Everette Brown, OLB Clint Sintim, OLB Connor Barwin and OL Max Unger and Andy Levitre.

With pick No. 73, possibilities were CB Derek Cox, RB Glen Coffee, OT Robert Brewster, C Antoine Caldwell, G Louis Vasquez, G Kraig Urbik and CB Kevin Barnes. At No. 83, it was WRs Brandon Tate, Mike Wallace, Ramses Barden and Patrick Turner, CBs Asher Allen, Lardarius Webb and Christopher Owens, and TE Jared Cook.

The scout's choice: Matthews. Just looking at it on the (trade value) chart, Ted (general manager Ted Thompson) really took a beating. But Matthews is going to be a pretty good player. I can't say that about any of those guys in the third. After about 45, there was a pretty big drop-off in talent. A lot of corners went in the third, and I know Ted's not high on those short corners. A lot of receivers went in that round too, but that's a pretty flawed group there, too. If I had to look at this trade in two or three years, I'd be looking at Butler, Brown and Sintim. Is Matthews a good bit better than those guys?

Fourth round: OL T.J. Lang.

Alternatives: OLB Victor Butler, RB Mike Goodson, NT Vaughn Martin, S David Bruton, NT/DE Sammie Lee Hill, S Chip Vaughn, DE Kyle Moore, CB D.J. Moore, OLB Brandon Williams, TEs Shawn Nelson and Anthony Hill.

The scout's choice: Lang. I'd say Lang, because you need offensive linemen. Do you have a right tackle? Are you really sold on any of those guys on the inside? Now, I would have really thought hard about Sammie Lee Hill. He didn't play against anyone (at Division II Stillman), but he got double-teamed on every play and it didn't matter. I like that pick (for Detroit).

Fifth round: FB Quinn Johnson.

Alternatives: ILB Scott McKillop, CB Brandon Hughes, TE Davon Drew, ILB Jasper Brinkley, TE James Casey, TE Cornelius Ingram, OT Xavier Fulton.

The scout's choice: Johnson. I say Johnson based on what I think the Packers need. You guys like to play with a fullback, unlike most teams, and he's a better blocker than your other guys (Korey Hall and John Kuhn). If you're going to play with a fullback, you better have one that can block. Now, as far as pure best player available, I think maybe that's McKillop and Casey. But McKillop has no spot with (Nick) Barnett, (A.J.) Hawk and (Desmond) Bishop, and they took (Jermichael) Finley last year to be their tight end.

Fifth round: OT Jamon Meredith.

Alternatives: G Duke Robinson, S Chris Clemons, S Michael Hamlin, G Herman Johnson, CB Joe Burnett, RB Javon Ringer.

The scout's choice: Meredith. Duke and Johnson falling that far, that shows how teams value guards. They're good players but they don't fit what you're doing. You've heard all the (stuff) about Meredith, but when you're picking this late in the draft, nobody's perfect. If he doesn't get it, who cares? Cut him and move on. But to get a potential left tackle here? Why not? You know, Ringer makes since here. I really thought you'd draft a running back, but you wound up getting that (Tyrell) Sutton kid (as an undrafted free agent). He'll make that team, I think.

Sixth round: DE Jarius Wynn

Alternatives: CB Cary Harris, TE Bear Pascoe, RB Cedric Peerman; and the players listed after the Packers' next pick.

The scout's choice: Peerman. I don't understand this pick. If you're looking for a project D-end, why not that kid from Northern Iowa (Everette Pedescleaux)? He's already got the ideal size. To me, Wynn is someone you hope grows into what you're want. That Northern Iowa kid, he's already grown into it. ... Peerman has everything you want in a third-down back. But like I said, Sutton's going to make it.

Sixth round: CB Brandon Underwood

Alternatives: CB Brice McCain, S Kevin Ellison, CB Coye Francies, RB James Davis, DE Ra'Shon Harris, CB Jason McCourty.

The scout's choice: Underwood. He's got everything you want in a corner. You just haven't seen him do it because of his grades (at Ohio State) and that he was used as a safety last year. He's got time to learn behind Al (Harris) and Charles (Woodson). You needed a corner. I would have been tempted to get Harris. Why not Harris instead of Wynn? That kid's 6-4 and about 300. You're not waiting for him to bulk up into what you want.

Seventh round: LB Brad Jones

Alternatives: C Blake Schlueter, C A.Q. Shipley, CB Mike Mickens, OT Lydon Murtha, DE Darryl Richard, OLB Zack Follett, OLB Nick Reed, RB Rashad Jennings.

The scout's choice: Follett. I really like Jones. He's going to be a player. I think he's got a shot at making it. I really do. Maybe Jones has more upside but Follett, he'll hit you. And he's (upset) that he went so late (to Detroit). He made a lot of big plays at Cal. He'll run through a wall if you ask him. And not to harp on this, but if you wanted an end, why not Richard? He's another guy who's already grown into the role. Pittsburgh took Harris and New England took Richard. Those teams have been running a 3-4 for a while and know what they're looking for. But I could be wrong. I hate to harp so much on a low-round pick, because they got picked where they got picked for a reason. I just would have been picking corners or big guys here at the end.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Bill also is giving Facebook and Twitter a try. Find him on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook.


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