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5 star possibilities

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Andy, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. Andy

    Andy Cheesehead

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    I like the players mentioned here, but I also like DE Brian Orakpo out of Texas. Overall, not a bad list though.

    5 star possibilities

    January 24, 2009
    Written by Bob Fox - PackerChatters Staff



    It's that favorite time of year for many football fans. Yes, just like MLB now has the hot stove part of their off-season, so does the NFL, as the draft gets closer and free agency is on the horizon. The Green Bay Packers are still filling out their coaching staff after several of the coaches, mostly on defensive side of the ball, faced the "firing" squad after Mike McCarthy did his year end evaluations.

    The big news that happened after that was the hiring of Dom Capers as the new defensive coordinator, and that means he will be bringing the 3-4 defense with him. It has been a defense that has brought Capers a lot of success, both as a coordinator (Pittsburgh) and as a head coach (Carolina).

    McCarthy and Capers are still working to fill out the defensive staff, although linebackers/assistant head coach Winston Moss remains in place and former Carolina Panther defensive coordinator Mike Trgovac was hired yesterday to be defensive line coach. Trgovac was an assistant with the Packers in 1999, along with McCarthy under Ray Rhodes.

    John Rushing was also reportedly hired as an offensive quality control coach for Packers. Rushing had been with Utah State as a defensive backs coach. The Packers are conducting more interviews for the other coaching positions as well, including Travis Jones reportedly, for what appears to be either the assistant defensive line job under Trgovac or what is expected to be one of two linebacker positions.

    Jones, 36, worked under Capers in Miami for two years. He was the Dolphins' assistant line coach in 2006 and defensive ends coach in '07. He spent '08 as assistant line coach in New Orleans. The Packers were also going to talk with Keith Millard, who was the Oakland Raider defensive line coach the last four years. The hiring of Trgovac as defensive line coach means that Millard will either be an assistant to Trgovac, or some other position if he is hired.

    After that is done, the onus will be on General Manager Ted Thompson to provide more talent on the 2009 Packer team, both in free agency and the 2009 NFL draft. Because of the 3-4 defense that the Packers will now be playing, Thompson has to attempt to get players through free agency or the draft that can play in that scheme.

    The Packers have other needs as well. The Packers have plenty of room under the cap right now to utilize free agency, but certainly some of it will hopefully be used to give both WR Greg Jennings and S Nick Collins contract extensions.

    In terms of the draft, this is the week of the Senior Bowl and all the scouts from each team and also coaches are there for evaluations. Plus we still have the combine next month. A LOT can change before the draft in April, as team needs can be filled through free agency in some cases.

    Thompson has been VERY thrifty in free agency historically. He did bring in LB Brandon Chillar last year, which was a good move, and he hit the jackpot in 2006 by bringing in DB Charles Woodson and DT Ryan Pickett. Some would say that based on the VERY disappointing 2008 6-10 season, especially after getting to the NFC championship game the year before, that Thompson needs another jackpot year in free agency.

    Bottom line, both Thompson and McCarthy have to be feeling the pressure.

    Let us look at the possibilities in both free agency and the draft (1st round). I am giving 5 possible acquisitions in this exercise. A lot will change at free agency really gets moving, plus there is a chance that some of the unrestricted free agents will be given the franchise or transition tag or resigned to a new contract. I will give more precise evaluations of these players as time goes on, but for now I will give a snap shot summation as to why these players make sense.

    Possible free agent acquisitions

    DE/OLB Terrell Suggs

    The Ravens can't keep everyone on the roster in free agency, as besides Suggs, they also have Ray Lewis and Bart Scott as an UFAs. Suggs, as he is proven in Baltimore, can be a force in the 3-4 defense. Suggs had 53 sacks in 6 years in Baltimore, plus showed nice versatility by intercepting 2 passes in 2008, one for a TD.

    LB Bart Scott

    Scott is another Raven LB that just makes plays on a consistent level. Like Lewis, Scott has a nose for the football and he hits like a runaway train. Scott does have the ability to get to the QB as well, as he had 9.5 sacks in 2006.

    S Jim Leonhard

    The former Wisconsin Badger and native of Wisconsin finally got a chance to start in Baltimore in 2008, after spending his first few years on the bench in Buffalo and playing special teams. Leonhard had a very solid season in 2008 and a TERRIFIC post-season for the Ravens. With the injury issues that both Atari Bigby and Aaron Rouse have had, Leonhard would make sense. Plus, the Packers would have excellent talent surrounding Leonhard, just like he had in Baltimore.

    OT Jordan Gross

    Chad Clifton won't be around forever, and he is showing signs that that day might be near. Gross is one of the best LT's in the NFL right now, and he is also very young and he has a LOT of his career in front of him.

    DT Julius Peppers

    Peppers had one of his best seasons in years in 2008 with 14.5 sacks, and has had 70.5 sacks in 7 seasons. Peppers has also said that he wants to play in a 3-4 defense. With his former defensive coordinator now in Green Bay, and supposedly they had a good relationship, the possibilities are there that Peppers might end up in Green Bay and their new 3-4 defense...if Carolina allows it.

    * I'm sure more than a few of you are asking where is DT Albert Haynesworth on my list. Even though Hayneswoth is eligible to be an UFA, I also know the Titans are trying hard to resign him, and I also think the Haynesworth will be play somewhere near his comfort zone, which would be possibly somewhere in the NFC South, if he doesn't resign with Tennessee. But IF he does consider Green Bay, I would certainly like the possibilities, as he can stuff the run AND pressure the passer pretty well.

    Possible 1st round draft choices

    LB Aaron Curry (Wake Forest) 6-3, 248 pounds

    With the Packers now running a 3-4 defense, it all starts with the front 7. Curry would be a perfect linebacker in the 3-4 defense, as he has the ability to play inside or outside. Curry is clearly the best LB in the draft, but don't be surprised to see Thompson possibly select one of the trio of linebackers available from USC at some point.

    OT Eugene Monroe (Virginia) 6-6, 320 pounds

    At some point the Packers need to get a LT for the future as Chad Clifton appears to be on his last legs. Daryn Colledge can also play LT, but he finally looks like he has found a home at LG. Monroe would be an excellent addition with his size, ability and athleticism.

    DL B.J. Raji (Boston College) 6-1, 325 pounds

    Raji is turning heads at the Senior Bowl in practice. Raji has great penetration skills and he can take on two blockers which will free the second line to make tackles more easily.


    DE/OLB Everette Brown (Florida State) 6-4, 250 pounds

    Brown would provide the same type of presence that Terrell Suggs provides for the Ravens. He has the size, speed and big motor to have his hand down or play upright.


    CB Malcolm Jenkins (Ohio State) 6-1, 201 pounds

    Jenkins is clearly the best CB in the draft, and although both Charles Woodson and Al Harris were named to the Pro Bowl, the Packers have to get younger at the position at some point. The jury is still out on Tramon Williams, Will Blackmon, Pat Lee and Jarrett Bush, although Williams has gotten better every year and Blackmon showed improvement in 2008 as well.
     
  2. NelsonsLongCatch

    NelsonsLongCatch Cheesehead

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    I like what he is saying because it is true. GB has a great shot to lock up two of their players while adding one or two impact FA's.

    I don't know so much about Jordan Gross since GB has a high second round pick and two 3rd round picks to draft tackles. I would like for GB to sign a defensive player just so that they wouldn't be forced to address a certain position in the first round.
     
  3. GJ85

    GJ85 Cheesehead

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    Leonard would be a nice pick up he did step up big for the ravens. Maybe he will take a hometown discount and we end up with him
     
  4. Ketchup

    Ketchup Cheesehead

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    I would love to see Leonard sign with GB. He had a great season and was even shining through with Ed Reed on the other side which is really saying something.
     
  5. boisenjm

    boisenjm Cheesehead

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    I like the article but have to discount anybody that looks at potential draft picks and doesn't include Brian Orakpo from Texas. There are several guys that would be perfectly fine if drafted by GB (Maybin out of PSU, Everette Brown-Florida State, Raji from BC, Mauluga-USC, etc...) but Orakpo is by far the guy that I'm pulling for. I just hope he actually falls to #9. Here is an analysis of the man that would inspire Orakpo-phobia in NFC North QB's.


    Character / Leadership Ability: Orakpo established himself as a leader in the Texas locker room before the 2008 season began. His work in the weight room over the summer was well documented in the national news. He is a leader by example, but will not be afraid to verbally lead. Orakpo is a high character person and player.

    Competitive Nature / Work Ethic: Works hard on every snap. Doesn’t take plays off. Plays hard late in games. Seems to turn it up a notch on third downs. Is a big-game player. Will not have any issues with working hard.

    Football Intelligence: Orakpo does get by on his athleticism, but you can tell he has spent time in the film room. He translates film to field well. Made great adjustments early against Texas Tech (2008) to stop screens and draw plays.

    Size: Has freakish size and strength. The ideal defensive end.

    Athletic Ability: Is very strong and athletic. He does run well, but will not clock below 4.6. Has great arm strength and an astonishing vertical jump.

    Toughness / Durability: Missed four games in 2007 with a sprained knee. Is a tough player who will stay on the field when it’s possible.

    Specific Traits - Defensive End
    Quickness: Orakpo is quick off the edge and shows great burst. He’s asked to anchor and drop a lot. Film may not show him pinning his ears back and racing to the QB. Plays good, quick, assignment football.

    Strength: Unbelievable strength. Will be able to compete day one in the NFL. Should not struggle to adjust to NFL left tackles. May need to get stronger in his lower body to hold up against the run. Can completely take over a game with his strength. Can squat 600+ lbs, power cleans 380lbs and has some room to grow.

    Instincts / Recognition: Shows natural instincts against the run. Orakpo anchors very well for a right end. Does a great job of staying at home and reading the play. Puts what he sees on film in to action on the field.

    Pass Rush: Is more of a complete end. Shows a good double move. Improved in ‘08 with a bull rush and better hand placement. Would like to see him turn the corner more consistently. His 9 sacks were good for 10th in the country. Completely dominated Oklahoma LT Phil Loadholt, a future 1st round pick. Has started to show a very good outside-in move, which he really uses well by baiting the tackle to commit outside, and then cutting back inside of them. Will hesitate off of the line intentionally at times, which may not work in the NFL.

    Pursuit: Is a chase-defender. Will run down the line in pursuit. Stays back well and anticipates the cut back. Is smart, but tenacious. Will get after the ball, but in control.

    Run Defending: Is smart enough to plant and wait for the cut back. Gets free from blockers easily with this strength and quickness. Has gotten better at stopping the run know that he is healthy.

    Tackling: A hard hitter, especially when moving to the ball. Uses his long arms to wrap up from behind. Almost reminds you of Lawrence Taylor with his high hits on the QB.

    Technique / Leverage: Might get his belly over his feet too much. Plays flat footed at times. Can line up inside or outside the tackle. Likes to use a four-point stance at times. Dips his shoulder well and gets outside the tackle. Has a very good rip move.

    Additional Comments: 2008 First Team All American, Lombardi and Hendricks Award Winner.

    Injury Concerns: None
     

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