The Packers entered the draft with few holes on their roster and left the event with eleven new players to fill the void. Green Bay flooded several positions with their picks hoping to come away with early production, depth and future starters.
Datone Jones/DL/UCLA (Round 1, pick #26): Defensive line was one of the Packers needs entering the draft and when Jones fell to the 26th spot he was a no brainer. Jones played well as a senior then performed well in the pre-draft process. He’s a high character prospect and sources tell me he’s a willing worker who wants to be great. It may take a while for the 283-pund Jones to transition to the two-gap end slot for the Packers, but we’re confident Jones will have a positive impact at the next level.
Eddie Lacy/RB/Alabama (Round 2, pick #61): Like their pick it round one, it was an easy decision for Green Bay when Lacy fell to them in the second frame. Many, including myself, felt Lacy could end up as the Packers pick in round one early in the process. Teams were concerned, to the point of being fed up, when Lacy set a late workout date and were not impressed when he finally tested. The bottom line on Lacy; he’s the powerful, downhill grinder the Packers offense desperately requires.
David Bakhtiari/OL/Colorado (Round 4, pick #109): With the Packers offensive line in a bit of flux, Bakhtiari made sense in round four. He’s an athletic prospect who can line up at guard or the all important left tackle spot. In the early years Bakhtiari should serve as a versatile back-up and could eventually develop into a starter.
J.C. Tretter/OL/Cornell (Round 4, pick #122): Tretter is another versatile swing blocker who can line up at guard and offers possibilities at center. I think round four was a bit early for his talents but Tretter is smart, tough and a lineman with a future in the NFL.
Jonathan Franklin/RB/UCLA (Round 4, pick #125): Prior to the draft we reported several teams ranked Franklin as a top forty choice and graded him ahead of Eddie Lacy. Sources told me the Packers were set to take Franklin in the second round. That was until Lacy fell in their laps. If Lacy is the number one back in Green Bay than Franklin is 1A. He’ll be a complimentary back for Lacy and Franklin will also add competition to the position.
Micah Hyde/CB/Iowa (Round 5, pick #159): Not many had Hyde rated as highly as we did and we’re probably in the minority who agree with this choice. Hyde is an underrated cover corner who’ll be able to line-up in dime packages, play over the slot receiver and be used in several capacities on special teams.
Josh Boyd/DL/Mississippi State (Round 5, pick #167): While we like the pick of Josh Boyd in round five it was a strange choice when looking at the Packers roster. We pegged Boyd as a three technique lineman but also feel he has the athleticism and skill to line-up as a two-gap end. Looking at Green Bay’s depth chart, the defensive end position seems loaded right now and unless Boyd can play on the nose he may struggle to make the final roster.
Nate Palmer/LB/Illinois State (Round 6, pick #193): Palmer, the small school defensive end who started his career at Illinois, was a surprise choice in round six. He definitely has the athleticism to transition to outside linebacker and Palmer could end up as the pass rush specialist Green Bay wanted from this draft. Still, we would’ve never expected Palmer to be drafted prior to the seventh round.
Charles Johnson/WR/Grand Valley State (Round 7, pick #216): Johnson was a late riser and a player we did not provide a report on. The joke could be on us. He’s a tremendous athlete with sensational size and big time, small school production. He’s a lethal red zone threat and has the tendency to pick up big chunks of yardage when the ball’s in his hands. There’s room on the depth chart at receiver in Green Bay and we expect Johnson to occupy one of the available spots.
Kevin Dorsey/WR/Maryland (Round 7, pick #224): Were this the 2012 draft the selection of Dorsey was justified but based off his senior film we are surprised he was drafted. He offers solid size and dependable hands but comes with minimal speed and Dorsey’s game is on the decline. The physical skills are there if he gets back on track.
Sam Barrington/LB/South Florida (Round 7, pick #232): Barrington was worth the expenditure of a late seventh round pick. He’s solid in all areas of the game and comes with a special teams mentality. Barrington plays bigger and faster than his computer numbers and could be a nice addition as an inexpensive eighth/ninth linebacker.
Grade: B+. The Packers did not come away with any franchise players from the draft but they did fill needs and acquire depth. Jones and Lacy should be first year starters, Bakhtiari brings depth and competition to the offensive line as does Franklin at running back. The rest of the Packers choices will compete for final spots on the depth chart. I could see all these players, except Dorsey, wearing a Green Bay jersey next year, either on the active roster or the practice squad.