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OT/G at #32

Discussion in '2011 Draft Archive' started by GBPack2010, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. GBPack2010
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    GBPack2010 Cheesehead

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    Benjamin Ijalana played both OT and OG in college and measures at 6'4" 320 lbs so he has the versatility to either replace LG Daryn Colledge or take over Right Tackle if Chad Clifton gets hurt and we put Bulaga at LT. Should we take him at #32 instead of someone like OT Anthony Castonzo? I don't think it's too much of a reach for him since he's projected as a top 2nd round pick anyway.
  2. ARodsBelt12
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    I do like his versitility but with Lang who can also play both G and RT I think you have to go with the better player regardless of his versitility and I think that would be the Boston College kid in this situation. I think Bulaga can play LT but there are those that doubt him there in the NFL which is why I'd like to see the Pack pick more of a pure OT like the one you suggested or Carimi.
  3. NelsonsLongCatch
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    NelsonsLongCatch Cheesehead

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    Costanzo will more than likely be gone by #32, but Carimi and Ijalana would both be very good draft picks. I would love to see Pouncey fall, but I doubt it.

    The Packers have the luxery of being able to take the best player available.
  4. Pack88
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    Pack88 Cheesehead

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    Ijalana has become a sexy O-line pick at 32 for GB. I would not be dissapointed to see him but to me he looks like a LG not a LT. Could he be the next Steve Hutchinson? It would be awesome if he was but depending on how the situation sorts put with Colledge I am more hoping for a OLB at 32.

    Should GB draft a tackle I would hope they get Camini or Costanzo!

    Most of the NFC North has pressing issues on the O-line so I suspect those guys will be long gone so he may be GB's only option!
    Pack88
  5. ivo610
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    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    I think we will draft a WR but hope for an O lineman.
  6. ivo610
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    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    TT likes WRs early in the draft (JJ, JN,GJ). If not in the 1st round I think the 2nd.
  7. brett2520
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    brett2520 Cheesehead

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    I will keep saying it - WR with returning abilities would make me shout Hallelujah! But OLB and OT are my thoughts for "needs".
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  8. Jordyruns
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    Not really sure what I would prefere an OG or OT, this is obviosly a future pick so I'm going to assume in a couple years Clifton is gone but Wells is still kicking around.
    So in a couple years would I prefere a left side with Bulaga and a first round guard (Ijalana or Pouncey) which has the potential to be elite and would hopefully protect rodgers blind side as well as provide huge holes for our runningbacks. This would also require Lang to be RT more than likely.
    ------Or--------
    Two first round OTs in Bulaga and either Camini or Costanzo with Lang being the LG.

    Assuming both the Guard and Tackle possibilities are all equally good I would prefere the guard option. I feel Lang could be a good RT in the future he did a pretty good job (not great but not terrible) against Peppers (one of the top 5 DEs in the league) when Clifton went down which gives gives me hope he could play well at RT and an elite left side duo in Bulaga and whoever would do wonders for our running game.
    This also assumes that all the prospects are equal which is very doubtable so if TT sees an avalible OT is miles better than an avalible OG then I would prefere that option.
    Either way I trust TT and his team way more than myself.
  9. DevilDon
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    I'm all for the O line pick. I'd prefer to see a tackle since I think the Pack has their LG waiting in the wings. I am wondering why everyone keeps seeing a WR picked. I think with Finley and Quarless both healthy you already have too many to defend. I think the Packers will look to use both TEs as receivers more like NE is doing. Also, we haven't seen it yet, but Starks is a very good pass catcher.
    I wouldn't be disappointed at all if they took a stud OLB first and looked at tackle in the 2nd round. NO question it would be nice to see a good returner. I don't think speed is enough though, Shields is blazing fast and he didn't get it done.
  10. JJP41
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    JJP41 Cheesehead

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    Castonzo will be gone. Hopefully, Carimi will be there and the Packers get him.
  11. PackersRS
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    The pipedream player of this years' draft for me is Patrick Peterson. But it's nearly impossible we'll pick him. I think his body type and skills, he's the perfect replacement for Charles Woodson when he retires.

    The OTs I like are Carimi and Castonzo. Don't like Solder and Smith. One looks soft and not very sound in his technique, got consistantly beat, and badly, at the Senior Bowl. The other never played over 300 lbs. Teams passed on Charles Brown because of that, though I think Smith is more physical, and if he's able to translate with bigger weight, he could be very good. But anything a tackle does above 300 lbs just doesn't count. It's like a QB that played in the spread. You can't translate properly what you see on film to the nfl.

    Really like JJ Watt for DE, would love to have a guy like him to replace Jenkins. Though Dom Capers' scheme calls for 1 gap penetration, and Watt's heigh is a disadvantage in his scheme, as opposed to the system Parcells run (and the Patriots run) that emphasises taller DEs to hold the point of attack as a two gap DE. But I think he has enough talent to play either.

    The receiver I like, but not for first round, is Terrance Toliver. He's really big, and is athletic. But he didn't run many routes in college, so that's a problem. But he performed really well in the gauntlet IMHO today, he looked fluid, catched the ball easily, and had great breaks.

    As for pass rushers, I have no idea right now. Von Miller is obviously a beast, but he'll be long gone.
  12. Ausnadian
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    Ausnadian Cheesehead

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    Patrick Petersen would fill in the gap of kick off/punt returner for us, while he is being mentored for the corner. He has amazing speed and good hands, plus has returning experience. He is only coming to GB if we move way up I fear.
  13. ivo610
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    Watt is all over the boards. I have seen 2nd round to top 10. I would be happy with a player like that
  14. Ausnadian
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    If he is there at #32, I would be shocked if TT didn't take him
  15. GBPack2010
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    No chance we move up into top 5 to grab Peterson. We'd have to give a lot up for that and we have the CBs we need to compete this year. We might go CB Aaron Williams in the 1st though in case Woodson gets hurt. Other choices are WR Jon Baldwin or OG Danny Watkins. Most of the top OTs rocketed up boards thanks to great workouts.
  16. Mel-MinAlum
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    This year is more of a "best player available" draft, than a "position need" draft than we've had in a while, especially with #32. Obviously all the F/As on our team and all the others will have some impact on the decision making process between now and then. I think the wild card that will have the biggest impact is where the top free agent corner backs end up. And let's not forget the position runs that seem to happen every year that end up seeing better talent/upside falling while teams grab lower value players at another position. It's pretty easy to envision (and likely)that a run on DE,DT,QB,CB or OT early in this draft will really change how teams toward the end of round 1 pick. I really believe a top tier RB, WR, or CB will be available when we pick and we will take him. Of course the same goes if a too good to pass up O or D lineman is there. Of one thing I have no doubt because it happens every year, there will be a player or players available when we pick that none of us are thinking will ever fall that far and we are going to be screaming at the TV like TT can hear us to pick him, and we'll be posting things the next day like "I can't believe we got him at 32" and "I can't believe we took him at 32 instead of......" God I love this time of year, don't you?
  17. ThxJackVainisi
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    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    The Press Gazette has a story by Dougherty about a Rob Rang story on CBSsports.com discussing the possibility of some underrated talent at OT in this draft.

    After the top five (Tyron Smith, Anthony Castonzo, Gabe Carimi, Nate Solder and Derek Sherrod), he says Rang also likes Alabama’s James Carpenter, Miami’s Orlando Franklin, TCU’s Marcus Cannon, Florida’s Marcus Gilbert and Indiana’s Nate Brewer. He rates them as 2nd to 3rd rounders.

    Just behind them, Rang lists Villanova’s Ben Ijalana, Derek Newton (Arkansas State), Jah Reid (Central Florida), Willie Smith (East Carolina), Byron Stingily (Louisville) and Byron Bell (New Mexico).

    Since the top 5 will almost certainly be gone by pick 32, do any of you who follow the draft closely have any insight or opinion on the rest of the group? I’ve seen Ijalana picked for the Packers in a couple of mock drafts. Has anyone seen more than a game from any in the group?

    - - -

    All of this is just my opinion:

    I’ve been thinking about what I see as the Packers greatest need in the upcoming draft – an OT - and how Thompson has addressed the OL since he arrived as GM. As brilliant as Thompson has been acquiring talent, one area where he doesn’t have a lot to brag about is the offensive line. (Before you type it: Yes, HALLELUIAH it was good enough to win Super Bowl 45!) When he arrived in 2005, he was confronted with the fact that soon-to-be pro bowler LG Mike Wahle’s contract had a time bomb that allowed him to do what he wanted: Cash in, in free agency. He knew he couldn’t overspend on Wahle and address the lack of depth throughout the roster. I think he intended to re-sign pro bowler RG Marco Rivera at a reasonable price and was very surprised - as I was - with Jones’ offer to Marco. So he correctly let Rivera go too. That set up Thompson’s first moves on the OL: He signed Adrian Klemm and Matt O’Dwyer in free agency. Then in his first draft he spent a 5th rounder on Junius Coston and a 7th rounder on Will Whitticker. Those four players, particularly the free agents, fell far short of the play of Wahle and Rivera so Thompson didn’t get off to the best of starts replenishing the talent on the OL. To his credit, he didn’t break the bank in the attempt but while Whitticker’s brief stint as a starter may have been the best of the additions, it was hardly a highlight.

    Mike Holmgren said when Thompson was with him in Seattle, Ted would frequently say, ‘I can find better in the draft’ when asked about the possible acquisition of a free agent. In 2006, Thompson took his own advice and applied it to the OL. Of course he had a new head coach and run blocking scheme in place before that draft. He used valuable picks on the OL – a 2nd rounder on Daryn Colledge and a 3rd on Jason Spitz. He also spent a 5th rounder on Tony Moll. The next year he spent just one pick on the OL - a 4th rounder on a player that teased the Packers staff for 3 years, Allen Barbre. To me he was the epitome of the ‘look like Tarzan, play like Jane’ player. From the 2005 free agency period until the 2008 draft, the best player he had added to the OL was Colledge, who is maddeningly inconsistent – even five years into his career he still forgets to stay low on a QB sneak. Once the new CBA is signed we’ll see how much Thompson values Colledge. On the other hand, during that same time period the Thompson-led Packers went from 4-12 to hosting the NFC Championship game. Regarding the OL though I think it’s fair to say, thank goodness for holdovers Clifton, Tauscher and Wells.

    Thompson made his best OL pick up to that time when he selected Josh Sitton in the 4th round of the 2008 draft. He added Breno Giacomini in the 5th, a “giant” who never looked to me like he could pass block at an NFL level. T.J. Lang and Jamon Meredith were added in the 4th and 5th rounds in 2009. Then Thompson couldn’t pass up Bryan Bulaga in the first round last year and he added Marshall Newhouse in the 5th.

    So what can we say about Thompson’s ability to acquire OL talent? His brief foray into free agency completely failed. To date he hasn’t found a player that we know is an NFL caliber OT beyond first rounder, Bulaga. He did strike gold with Sitton at OG in the middle of the draft. Those two look like the two best acquisitions Thompson has made on the OL in his 6 years as Packers GM. Colledge is probably next in line, despite his inconsistency, and that’s why I think it’s fair to say Thompson hasn’t been at his best in restocking the OL. Certainly not when compared to his fantastic success elsewhere on the roster.

    The caveat here is of course it’s not only talent acquisition that matters but also scheme and coaching. I didn’t like the zone blocking scheme (ZBS) before it came to Green Bay because I think its borderline dirty and proof of that is teams are reluctant to fully practice it against themselves. I think another mistake was made to stick with it once Jagodzinski, the only coach with experience teaching it, left after one year. I thought they should either attract another coach experienced in the ZBS – even make a play for Alex Gibbs (it’s originator) or better yet, scrap it. They have moved away from it, which I view as a good thing.

    It’s difficult to assess how well the Packers coaching staff develops O linemen because we can’t do a side-by-side comparison to other staffs. However, they have made obvious mistakes assessing OL talent. Believing Allen Barbre was an NFL starting RT was a huge mistake. I think sticking with Giacomini in an offense so dependent upon pass blocking was too. Remember for as bad as Barbre was, his backup Breno never got on the field – that was telling. Early on we kept on hearing/reading how good Junius Coston was. I remember one interview with Philbin after Coston was on the roster for a year in particular – one would have thought Coston was headed for Canton. I think the only evidence that the coaching staff and not the scouting staff was the problem would be if a player they let go becomes a quality starter elsewhere in the league. To my knowledge, that hasn’t happened yet.

    Having said all that, just as the Thompson-led Packers went from 4-12 to hosting the NFC Championship in three seasons, they have now gone all the way in his six season, fifth with his head coach in place. Even so, one of the biggest challenges he faces is filling the hole that will eventually be left by Clifton’s absence. Bulaga may be that player but that’s uncertain, as is Lang or McDonald’s being able to step in for Colledge without a hitch. Perhaps Thompson did strike gold with the pick of Newhouse and he’ll be the LT of the future. But it would be foolish to count on that.

    My greatest hope for this draft is one of the OTs listed above ends up in Green Bay and becomes the starting LT or RT for the next decade. If that player is the RT, then of course I hope Bulaga can emulate the pass protection Clifton has provided over these many years. I am optimistic about the OL because as I see it, Thompson and staff have gotten better at acquiring OL talent.
  18. DergaSmash
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    I agree with a lot of what has been said in here, but OL and DL are a bit different than most other positions when talking about translating from colledge to the NFL. Now some schools run pro style offenses or pro style defenses that make the transitions much easier, but those players are also usually drafted higher.

    All skill positions, apart from QB and by a smaller margin TE, are by far the easiest to translate. If a WR is fast, has good hands, and runs good routes, all he really has to do is learn the offense and work on perfecting his game. If a RB has good vision, ball security, can pick up the blitz, catch, and run routes, the same can be said for him. QBs have the issue of coming from offenses that don't translate well, the speed of the game, and the possibility of substandard mechanics. TEs' biggest issue is in blocking, as all NFL defensive players are usually bigger, stronger, and faster than what the TEs were used to in colledge.

    The next tier in difficulty would be positions like Saftey and LB, although I would probably put TE in here too. The fundamentals of the positions haven't changed. Tackling, shedding blocks, coverage, etc, remain pretty much unchanged. Safties and LBers have to adjust to the speed of the players and the game, learn defenses that are almost always more complex, and develop skills that may have been secondary or unimportant to them in their college days. Most Safties and LBers run defenses in college so they know how to get plays put in and sorted out. Some LBers are converted from college DEs and have to learn how to drop in coverage, or some Safties convert from strong saftey to free saftey and they too have new nuances to learn. Either way the bottom line is that this group usually has skill sets that are incomplete, and not only do they have to develop these skill sets, they have to develop them to the point to where they are competetive in the NFL.

    The last and most difficult tier would be the previously mentioned QB, plus CB, DL, and OL. I'll start with DL. It has also been said by many coaches, analysts, players, and others, that the difference in the level of competition between the college level and the pro level is the greatest at QB, CB, OL, and DL. I am inclined to agree with this.

    DL get moved around. A 6'3, 298lb player who might have been a very good college 4-3 DT, might have to switch over to a 4-3 DE, a 3-4 DE, or a 4-3 DT with a different technique and responsibilities. This changes the offensive keys they have to read and react to. This also changes how they react, and most importantly, how they play. Things for these players that for the past four years have been coached and drilled into muscle memory, are now incorrect and need to be changed immediately. They have to make this adjustment and make it well in the first or second season or they are done usually. Like every other position, they also have to be able to make the adjustmant to the level of competition. This requires some to put on weight or slim down. Yet they all have to get stronger and faster. They also have to learn skills that a lot of college DLmen do not possess. Nearly every NFL defense uses zone blitzes that drop lineman into coverage. Many college defenses do not.

    CBs who don't come from pro style defenses have a very high learning curve. Some schools don't do much man coverage, some don't do much zone, and very very few do both really well. So rookie CBs have to learn and develop both of these skills to pro levels, and I am inclined to believe that covering a receiver who is almost always bigger and faster, for a long enough period of time to where the rushers can get to the QB or the QB checks down, has got to be the hardest single thing to do in the NFL. It has to be. Yet these corners are also expected to learn how to blitz, react and help out on the run while not biting on fakes, and many other skills that are often neglegted in the college game. They too have to adjust to the difference in the level of competition. Covering a pro team's number 2 or 3 WR like Austin Collie or Jordy Nelson for 4 quarters is a great deal more difficult than covering some Sophmore number 2 WR regardless of the conference.

    And at last the OL. Sure like all of the other positions a lot remains the same. Fundamentals are fundamentals. Yet OL have to learn new fundamentals depending on the offense of the team that drafts them. They also HAVE to get stronger and faster. They usually have to get bigger as well. Yet once again the glaring difference is in the level of competition. Gabe Carimi is a stud prospect. He was almost always lights out dominant for the Badgers. Yet that still doesn't mean squat in the end really. Even after a great training camp, perfect response to coaching, and great strides in the gym, I guarantee that he would still have trouble with Julius Peppers. I know that is slightly unfair, but their is a reason why good NFL DEs get paid in FA. Nearly all starting NFL DEs give rookie tackles fits, especially early in the season. Many OLmen can never make the transition to the pro game. Just like quarterbacks. Yet the difference is that a team only needs one quarterback to start the games.
  19. Calhoun Lambeau
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    Ben Ijalana is a guy a lot of teams are looking at. He played at a small football school so he's one of those guys who could be a shocker pick in the 12-20 pick range, or slide into the 32-40 range. Tons of teams have visited him and watched his workouts but nobody can accurately project him anywhere. He's a big wild card and I don't think anyone will be able to peg him anywhere over this last week.

    One of those small school guys that a lot of teams will be too weary to pick in round 1, he likely won't get a 1st round grade for a lot of teams, but then there could be multiple teams that view him as another small-school super-star like Jahri Evans has been.

    Tyron Smith was labeled as a 280 pound RT all year when in reality he playing in the 290-300 pound range the whole time, when the combine rolled around he was pretty much a double cheeseburger away from 310 pounds. I wouldn't put much stock in his weight. Most college tackles come out at the age of 23 (Charles Brown was 23 when he was drafted), Smith is 20 years old, I'd be willing to bet a lot of the current tackles like Costanzo, Carimi, and Solder weren't all that big when they were 19-20 either...D'Brickashaw Ferguson was under 300 pounds when he was drafted, and was two years older than Smith at draft time.

    I'd imagine scouts and managers aren't concerned with Smith's weight at all considering his age. In a couple of years Smith will be 23-24 and probably 320 pounds, the NFL will turn him into a monster.
  20. Packers80
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    Pouncy plays center, and I don't know if we need a center. I'd love to see Carimi drop to 32 but I don't know if that will happen. We'll have to see what happens in a week, and as much as I'd like to the Pack draft an OL with the first pick, more than likely, it will be the best player available.
  21. Calhoun Lambeau
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    Calhoun Lambeau Cheesehead

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    Mike Pouncey is projected to play guard, he's not just a center prospect.
  22. ThxJackVainisi
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    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    Not only more likely but preferable. IMO OT is the Packers’ number one need. I also think they need competition from this draft for Lang and/or McDonald at LG unless Thompson is planning to re-sign Colledge. I hope the draft falls, or Thompson can maneuver so he can pick an OT within the first three rounds. OGs can be found later – Sitton was a fourth rounder. But the last thing I would want Thompson to do is reach to fill either need. Luckily we Packers fans don’t have that worry as fans of some other teams do.
  23. turbo69
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    turbo69 Cheesehead

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    Instead of playing musical O-Line and putting our QB in danger, Draft a OT and a OG in the first two rounds. After that, pick the best player on the board.
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  24. ThxJackVainisi
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    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    I disagree, turbo69. That’s a prescription for reaching. If Thompson and his team of evaluators and coaches have another player rated higher than an O lineman at #32 and #64, passing up that better player doesn’t make any sense IMO. That’s not how Thompson built the team that just won a title. Also, Sitton was selected in the fourth round. There’s absolutely no reason to reach for an OG in the second.
  25. PackersRS
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    Absolutely not.
    The Colts tried to do that moving up to get Tony Ugoh. They're now left searching for another OT.

    It doesn't happen that way, TT has proven that it doesn't happen that way. You don't reach for positions EVER.

    If an OT is the best player available, the better. If not, get the best player available. The Packers WILL do it, they WILL NOT reach, the will get BPA, and in 5 years from now people will look back and say it was the right decision, much like has happened in every draft with TT except for 2007.

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