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Interesting article

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by DePack, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. DePack

    DePack Cheesehead

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    From the Sporting News

    The Packers can't go wrong, right?
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    Posted: March 16, 2006

    I am Ted Thompson.

    I am tortured.

    I have the fifth pick in the draft.

    I need a defensive end.

    I need a linebacker.

    Mario Williams or A.J. Hawk?

    A.J. Hawk or Mario Williams?

    I can't go wrong.

    But how can I go most right?

    I dim the lights and turn on the N.C. State tape of Williams for the 200th time.I am awed. I see a beast who swats away 320-pound blockers as if they were flies. He can pass rush through offensive tackles or go around them. I see a huge, explosive end who will pose matchup problems for many offensive tackles. I see a powerful tackler-a player who can shed a blocker and make a play against the run. I see rare athleticism for a guy who is 6-7, 295. I see a bigger Julius Peppers.

    But I don't like everything I see. I don't see the kind of instincts I look for. I see a lineman who doesn't always read the play correctly. I see a player who needs to develop an inside rush and learn to split double-teams. I see a player who doesn't go the same speed on every down. I see a player who performed unevenly last year and subsequently was pulled from the starting lineup for a game.

    I see the physique of an alien and 14 1/2 sacks last season, but I also see a player who, according to a vote by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association, was the fourth-best defender in the ACC. Williams received four votes for defensive player of the year, compared with 31 for Maryland linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, 17 for Boston College end Mathias Kiwanuka and 14 for Virginia Tech end Darryl Tapp.

    I see quite a contrast in Hawk. He led Ohio State three seasons in tackles, was named an All-American and the team MVP twice and, as a senior, won the Big Ten defensive player of the year award and the Lombardi Trophy.

    But back to Williams for a moment. Ultimately, I see a player so gifted that no flaws should dissuade me. I see a freak who plays a critical position. Super Mario is what I see.

    I should write his name on the card now.

    But I owe it to myself to look at Hawk again, so I pop in the Ohio State tape. I see a player who is all over the field. I see someone athletic enough, fast enough and stout enough to play any linebacker position. I see a linebacker who has an uncanny feel for the game, who almost always reads plays as if he had designed them for the offense. I see a defender who can take on offensive linemen and disengage about as well as anyone I can remember-and then make tackles surely and violently.

    I see a blitzer who is so skilled, he had only five fewer sacks than Williams put up last season. I see a linebacker who can make plays from hot dog vendor to beer stand. I see an intimidator, a leader. I see a player who is as safe a pick as any in the draft-and a finished product.

    I see greatness. I don't think there is any doubt Hawk is the better player. It's the values of the positions that hang me up.

    I know I should adhere to the old tried-and-true philosophies: You win games with your lines; the player who is closest to the ball is most valuable; you can't find special pass rushers; a great end creates opportunities for everyone else on defense. I know 90 percent of the teams probably would draft Williams.

    I ask myself this question: Is it easier to neutralize a great end or a great middle linebacker? You can double-team a great end and control him most of the time if you are determined to do so. It's more difficult to account for a linebacker in the middle of the field.

    I figure you can create a pass rush. The Steelers and Seahawks are proof of that. You can't create a physical force in the middle of the field who gives your defense identity.

    I think about the great inside linebackers. Dick Butkus. Jack Lambert. Ray Nitschke. Ray Lewis. Mike Singletary. Bill George. Joe Schmidt. Sam Huff. Nick Buoniconti. Harry Carson. What do they have in common? Well, with the exception of Butkus, they've all won championships. It seems like great middle linebackers have that effect on teams.

    I make up my mind. Hawk is my guy.

    With the fifth pick in the draft, the Green Bay Packers select A.J. Hawk, linebacker, Ohio State.

    I wake up.

    I have been dreaming.

    I am no longer Ted Thompson.

    Never was.

    Of course. Taking A.J. Hawk, it's a dream.

    Senior writer Dan Pompei covers the NFL for Sporting News. E-mail him at pompei@sportingnews.com.





    I gotta agree with this guy. For some reason I think we will regret it if we pass on Hawk. Mario is a physical freak. The last time we took a "physical freak" it was Mandarich......right ahead of Barry Sanders(sorry to bring that up)!
     
  2. GakkofNorway

    GakkofNorway Cheesehead

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    It's so wrong to compare anyone that have great athletic abillity to Mandarich, they are two completely different persons, is Vernon Davis also like Mandarich?
     
  3. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    Good read. This is a raging debate, in which only time will prove the clear winner. While I still prefer Hawk, I have grown by leaps and bounds on Mario. All I can say is if both these players are available when the Packers are on the clock, it will be an intense 15 minutes for the fans and Packer scouting department.
     
  4. NCPackFan

    NCPackFan Cheesehead

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    I have to agree with you DePack. I have been saying this since about middle of last season. It would be hard to turn down Mario. I just see too many other great things in Hawk that Mario is too big a risk on. Hawk would be a safe pick. Mario just seems like a "chance" to me.

    Hawk would be my pick too.

    Just my opinion.
     
  5. digsthepack

    digsthepack Cheesehead

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    Personally, I would be ecstatic with either pick. But the thing that stands out to me is that Hawk "will give the defense an identity", and "hits violently", and "diagnoses plays as if he wrote them up".

    When is the last time we had a true badass (in the best sense of the word) on our defense?

    For that alone, I gravitate toward Hawk.

    Kampmann is signed, as is KGB. Mike Montgomery (last years' 6th rounder) did nothing but impress every time he hit the field. Probably our run down end to rotate with KGB. Plus, you have Jenkins, and Williams who can play either end or interior...and do both well.

    You can still pull a Daryl Trapp in the 2nd or 3rd if another end is needed,.

    Again, I go with Hawk.
     
  6. porky88

    porky88 Cheesehead

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    When he called AJ Hawk a middle LB is when this article goes down hill. Hawk is an OLB. Anthony Scheigal played MLB. Hawk could maybe play MLB in the 3-4 but probably not a good fit for the 4-3..

    Williams should be the pick if he's on the board. If not then Hawk would probably be the next best thing.
     
  7. yooperfan

    yooperfan Cheesehead

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    Everything I have read lists Hawk as an inside linebacker.

    Barnett is truely an outside linebacker.
     
  8. digsthepack

    digsthepack Cheesehead

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    Hawk played outside in college, but clearly has the size, speed, ruggedness and instincts to play ANY LB spot.

    Him inside and Barnett outside sounds kinda ...well, awesome!
     
  9. chibiabos

    chibiabos Cheesehead

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    Think Hawk has the most upside for thr Pack at this time. As I posted elsewhere he would give the defensive co-ordinator so much more flexibility in calling alignments that it would not make sense to pass him by. Realize Mario has the necessaries but, so did Mandrich. Although Mandrich was an offensive tackle. I still go with Hawk primarily for his on-field abilities, attitude, and ball hawking skills. GB's Defense desperately needs that kind of play making. Point may be moot though as it's quite possible either of them may be gone by the time GB picks. I've got my fingers and toes crossed that if one of them has to be gone before GB picks it is Mario.
     
  10. Toronto_Cheesehead

    Toronto_Cheesehead Cheesehead

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    That's what makes this decision so hard. I, like most of you guys here that follow college football, have seen Hawk play a lot at OSU. We know what the guy can do, have seen him dominate games, and are pretty sure he'll be one hell of a player at the next level. Williams is more like the unknown. We see his measureables, what he did at the combine, and the position he plays and gravitate towards him being the pick. As good as I think Hawk will be, it's awfully hard to leave a defensive end who can excel in all aspects of the game on the board.

    My gut says the team should pick Hawk, but it'll be too hard to pass on a freak like Williams.
     
  11. Lare

    Lare Cheesehead

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    All you need to do is look at TT's offseason actions.

    We needed DL, he has signed three so far. We need LB's, he hasn't signed any so far, in fact, when contacted by the agents for some of the top FA LB's he's told them to schedule visits when he gets around to it.

    IMO, if TT stays at #5 he'll take the surer, steadier player. AJ Hawk.
     
  12. tabojc03

    tabojc03 Cheesehead

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    DL is alot harder to fill than lb, it was obvious what TT was doing, he played the postion, he knows u can hide the position, with good tacklers....The question is how does he rate Howard and Ryan, who will slip do to alot of DB going in the middle to late rounds......I still a combo of Mario and (Howard/Ryan) is a better combo than Hawk and (any of the rest DE)...atleast IMO.....I tend to look at the overall production than individual....
     
  13. fvre4mvp

    fvre4mvp Cheesehead

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    Bob Sanders should provide input that TT should listen to. He knows what we got on the d-line and he knows first hand what talent we have there. Now TT should ask Sanders what do you feel would make a bigger impact for our defense. I love everything about Williams but a guy like Hawk that can no pun intended fly all over the field and bring a mean streak is very valuable. Its a win win either way. Whatever happened to Donnell Washington??
     
  14. digsthepack

    digsthepack Cheesehead

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    Washington is a dark horse. The new regime has him working with instructors to improve his flexibility so that he can get low on guys. His big knock is that he does not bend his knees well to get leverage. Sounds like he has made some nice strides. If this kid can contribute, he could be a monster.
     
  15. Lare

    Lare Cheesehead

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    Donnell Washington is another one of Sherman's reaches that never have and never will perform in the NFL. He's just like a Farrarri without a motor, looks like it should be able to go 200 mph but never moves.
     
  16. porky88

    porky88 Cheesehead

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    http://www.nfldraftcountdown.com/scouti ... jhawk.html

    http://www.collegefootballnews.com/Big_ ... hchart.htm

    He plays outside LB and I think that's where he'll play in the pros. Maybe in the 3-4 he could move to an inside LB though but I don't think he makes sense there in a 4-3.
     
  17. Aytumious

    Aytumious Cheesehead

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    Dick Corrick, an NFL scout for 30 years, reports on A.J. Hawk, a 6-2, 245-pound linebacker from Ohio State:

    "He can change direction in the open field to tackle. He plays hard every down. He's all over the field. He showed great range on the goal line. He has a great heart. He's highly competitive. I compare him to (Brian) Urlacher, only in the sense of his recklessness and his passion. I'm sure he can't run like Urlacher. But playing the game, he reminds me of Urlacher. He's going to be an inside guy."

    Gil Brandt, vice president of player personnel for the Cowboys from 1960-89 says this about Hawk:

    The best way to describe Hawk (6-1, 248) is he will most likely be the next Mike Singletary. He has great traits and leadership qualities.


    Hawk played both inside and outside at OSU. He's plenty big enough to play inside in the NFL. The only Pro Bowl MLB this year bigger than Hawk was Urlacher.
     
  18. figtab

    figtab Cheesehead

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    Actually Barnett is truly a Safety.
     
  19. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    Actually Barnett is truly a lineman.
     
  20. HatestheEagles084

    HatestheEagles084 Cheesehead

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    Actually, Barnett is truly, simply, a holographic image. No 'Nick Barnett' actually exists, we just think he exists
     
  21. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    :lol: Good one.
     
  22. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    That would explain the missed tackles. HAHAHA>..sorry.
     
  23. gopackgo4

    gopackgo4 Cheesehead

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    How is barnett a lineman or a saftey
     
  24. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    lol, indeed it would Trom., that was a good one.

    gopackgo4, I believe them saying Barnett is a Lineman or a safety was all in good fun.
     
  25. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    I've been more of a Hawk guy than a Mario guy all along. But in the past couple weeks, Mario has caught up because of all the good press. This article makes me think that my gut feeling is correct, and Hawk is the better pick.

    In the end, I don't quite buy the argument that DE is a much more valuable position than LB. A great player is a great player. In recent years, there have been a couple safeties drafted as high as #5 (Roy Williams and Sean Taylor) and both have been worth it, even though safety is considered the least valuable position on the defense.

    Let's just hope that both of these players aren't gone before the Packers pick. That would stink.
     

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