Apr 26, 2012; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell introduces Nick Perry (Southern California) as the number twenty-eight overall pick to the Green Bay Packers in the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE
The grades are in. Yes already.
Of course a draft grade means nothing until the players which are drafted play games and make actual contributions, so check back in about two to three years for an accurate evaluation.
In the meantime, let's throw caution to the wind and take a look at some of the general reactions to the Packers defense-centric 2012 draft class.
As you can see, six of the eight players selected play on the defensive side of the ball.
Round Pick Position Player College
(1) 28 DE Nick Perry USC
(2) 51 DT Jerel Worthy Michigan State
(2) 62 CB Casey Hayward Vanderbilt
(4) 132 DT Mike Daniels Iowa
(4) 133 S Jeron McMillian Maine
(5) 163 LB Terrell Manning North Carolina State
(7) 241 T Andrew Datko Florida State
(7) 243 QB B.J. Coleman Chattanooga
Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN rates the Packers draft as a B, stating that Perry was drafted about right at No. 28 but that Worthy could be a steal at the 51st pick in the draft and rates Manning the biggest steal at No. 163 overall as a potential pass-rushing linebacker who could see the field at outside linebacker.
CBSSports.com's James Carlton gives the Packers an A. He writes in part, "We can't know until they step on the field, but the knee-jerk reaction in Packer nation is that Green Bay had a fantastic draft. It traded up three times and addressed all of its glaring defensive needs. Perry and Worthy both could be 2012 starters. Grade: A."
Sports Illustrated gives the Packers a B+ "The Packers had eight picks and used them all on defense. I love the picks of Worthy and CB Casey Heyward (62) in Round 2, though I’m not sold that Nick Perry (29) will fit Green Bay’s scheme that well. But this is a franchise that deserves the benefit of the doubt. Grade: B-plus"
FoxSports.com gives the Packers a B "There was more positive talk about the Packers' second- and third-round picks than their No. 1 selection, Nick Perry, a pure edge rusher from USC. Green Bay has its fingers crossed that Perry can bookend their magnificent outside linebacker Clay Matthews, also a former Trojan. It will be up to linebackers coach Kevin Greene to make Perry a dominant performer. However, Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy can be a dominant five-technique player and really help B.J. Raji. The Packers may never care if Mike Neal comes back from his four-game suspension. Vanderbilt cornerback Casey Hayward is an ideal Cover Two player..."
Rob Rang of NFL Draft Scout gives the Packers a B, "Like most Thompson-led drafts, this group isn't flashy... but the type that keeps a club fortified."
Vinny Iyler of The Sporting News gives the Packers an A "They needed defensive energy and focused all but their last two picks on that intention. More specifically, they turned to boosting the front against the pass to help their secondary.
GM Ted Thompson believes at least a few of the draftees can come in right away and compete for playing time. Via the Journal Sentinel Thompson said, "“I don’t want to discount and make light of NFL experience and having gone through it. These are grown men. They (the veterans) are going to come in and compete against (them), but I do think these people, these young men that we drafted over the last few days, are going to be able to come in and hold their own.”
Thompson added via Madison.com "Well we hope we helped all aspects of defense. Certainly pass rush is a very vital thing in the National Football League because of the proliferation of the passing game. And we’ll see. We hope so. These guys have never played in the NFL. They’ve never competed at the level they’re going to have to compete at. So they’re going to have to show us. But we feel good about them right now.”
Mike McCarthy said via the Journal Sentinel "You really have to trust your board and that that's what we did....We didn't play very well on defense. We need to coach better, we need to play better. We're going to make some changes on offense. "Competition in training camp last two years has been outstanding and that's the goal again this year."
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