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Mike Woods column: Harrell doesn't help Packers address need

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by IronMan, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. IronMan

    IronMan Cheesehead

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    http://www.packersnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070428/PKR01/70428060/1989

    By Mike Woods

    In 2003, The Future underwent surgery on his right leg for an undisclosed injury, then broke his ankle, then re-injured the same ankle.

    In 2004, The Future did not play the final two games because of a right ankle sprain.
    In 2006, The Future suffered a torn biceps tendon that limited him to 2½ games for the season.

    The Future is not a favorite of HMOs.

    On the plus side, The Future has been compared favorably to Johnny Jolly. Says it right here on the bio. That’s right, Johnny Jolly. You remember him … the Packers’ sixth-round pick a year ago. He was inactive for 10 games and finished with four tackles last season. That Johnny Jolly.

    Is your spine tingling yet?

    Packers fans, let’s meet and greet your No. 1 draft choice for 2007 — Justin Harrell, University of Tennessee defensive tackle.

    “BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

    That, at least, was the reception Packers General Manager Ted Thompson received when he met with fans who attended the team’s draft party inside the atrium at Lambeau Field, and no doubt in living rooms and bars across the state.

    In our microwave world, Harrell presents a problem. He can’t run the ball out of the backfield, can’t split out wide and catch a pass from Brett Favre, can’t play center field in the secondary and may not be able to cover a cough, much less a receiver.

    In other words, he can’t help the Packers address any of their immediate or obvious needs. So, one wonders, how does one improve on an 8-8 season when one fails to upgrade an area of need with the most valuable draft choice you own?
    Ted?

    “We don’t draft based on need,’’ said Thompson, quoting from Page 2 of the General Manager’s Handbook.

    In general terms, you can’t argue with that philosophy. It makes sense. Reaching for a player based on need more often than not ends badly. See Mike Sherman and Ahmad Carroll. But it’s hard to imagine that if Harrell is the guy Thompson had pegged, why couldn’t he have worked a deal to backpedal a few spots, pick up an extra pick on two, and still snag Harrell?

    Thompson said there were a few offers on the table, but none to his liking, and he made it clear he didn’t want to risk losing Harrell. But the bigger risk with this kid is whether or not he will continue to be bitten by the injury bug.

    If Harrell’s history keeps repeating itself, this will come back to haunt Thompson, and it will be a missed opportunity for the organization. If he turns out to be a stud, we all can remember the importance of having a strong defensive line leading a defense that operates largely in cold weather.

    If you can’t remember, turn your Way Back Machine to 1996 through 1998, when Reggie White, Santana Dotson, Gilbert Brown and either Sean Jones, Gabe Wilkins or Vonnie Holliday played up front. Those guys were players, and helped the Packers win 37 games and earn two Super Bowl berths in three seasons.

    We all understand what’s behind much of the resentment of this pick. The love for the modern-day Golden Boy runs deep. Real deep. Almost every fan aligned to the Packers would prefer to see Favre go out on top. Harrell isn’t likely going to help make that happen, at least in the time Favre has left.

    Well, there’s that and the expectation — however unreal it may be — that the Packers will be able to vastly improve on last year’s 8-8 mark (courtesy of a last-place schedule, please remember) with a solid draft that fills some of their obvious holes.

    That could happen, of course.

    But today, the view from the top doesn’t look so appealing. The Future isn’t looking as bright as hoped. Instant gratification no longer looks to be an option. Welcoming in the next Johnny Jolly is, well, laughable.

    That’s the one thing about The Future, though. You have to give it time. For it offers you the opportunity to change your mind.

    Mike Woods writes for The Post-Crescent of Appleton. E-mail him at mwoods@postcrescent.com
     
  2. TNPackerFan

    TNPackerFan Cheesehead

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    wow, thats a brutal overview. Let's hope the injuries are a thing of the past.
     
  3. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    Re: Mike Woods column: Harrell doesn't help Packers address

    This is the thing that bothers me most. Our team has holes. I was really hoping we'd either draft someone or trade for a good veteran to fill them in the 1st round. Our DTs are solid, and it's the last thing I thought we'd draft (besides QB, unless we plan to trade Aaron Rodgers).

    The injury thing scares me too.

    I just hope my gut feeling is wrong and the guy turns out to be a mean run stuffer.
     
  4. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    I enjoyed that article.

    I laughed heartily.

    I enjoy laughing heartily.
     
  5. HatestheEagles084

    HatestheEagles084 Cheesehead

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    i hated the pick of harrell at first, still not exactly jumping for joy...but drafting aaron rouse in the 3rd round made up for it in sorts, mainly because i wanted reggie nelson...i wish we would've addressed the tight end position with greg olsen, but who am i

    harrell is coming out of college at 305-310, that's pretty big, he might develop into the 340lb. lunker we've been missing since grady's departure...
     
  6. pack_in_black

    pack_in_black Cheesehead

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    Here's something else to chew on regarding that pick. The Bears ended up with Olsen, right? By no means is TE an anchor position for the offense. Maybe Chicago was looking at Harrell as thier guy, making a stout defense even sturdier. Now, they're done with day 1 and still haven't adressed thier hole at DT. (Cause Tank Johnson is guaranteed to face a big suspension from Goodell)

    IDK, maybe I'm reaching for more positives.....
     
  7. HatestheEagles084

    HatestheEagles084 Cheesehead

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    the biggest positive i foudn was the fact that after minnesota's running game got good all of a sudden, about ten picks later we add some mass to the d-line, that's the biggest positive i can find
     
  8. MassPackersFan

    MassPackersFan Cheesehead

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    DT upgrade was a need, whether we like Cole and Williams or not (and I happen to like both).
    All in all, day 1, just a bunch of smart picks. Not flashy, but smart.
     
  9. pack_in_black

    pack_in_black Cheesehead

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    Great way of putting it, Mass. I think that's something that Sherman wanted to do, bring in some 'flash' or 'pizazz', if I may. Not a cheap shot, just a difference in styles.

    TT is all about low-key, blue collar (though I hate that phrase), lunchpail-type guys.

    And I as a Packers fan couldn't be more proud.
     
  10. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    definitely not flashy


    and hey, camps start soon, so we'll see how smart these moves are!

    exciting times!
     
  11. MassPackersFan

    MassPackersFan Cheesehead

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    Making smart picks and going after football players leads to having guys on your team like Kampman and Hawk.
    So far my grades are as follows, with a range for low to high expectations.

    Justin Harrell: B- to A-
    Brandon Jackson: B+ to A
    James Jones: C- to B
    Aaron Rouse: B to A
     
  12. nathaniel

    nathaniel Cheesehead

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    I whole-heartedly agree with the article. People kept saying TT was going to make up for not picking up any free agents by having a really good draft, and that obviously didn't happen. What a shame. I'm thoroughly disappointed. I don't even know what to say. I, personally, feel like TT is saying "We're preparing for another mediocre season, at best." I stuck by TT all through free ageny, thinking he knew what he was doing, but I've lost all faith in him. We needed a DT who was hurt nearly his entire college career? I don't care what he was projected at before he was hurt.
     
  13. TOPHAT

    TOPHAT Cheesehead

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    PACK FANS STILL HOPING FOR MOSS TRADE.
     
  14. OregonPackFan

    OregonPackFan Cheesehead

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    Ted Thompson doesn't go for the sexy pick. However how smart his picks are we'll see in the next couple of seasons.
     
  15. net

    net Cheesehead

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    On another thread I posed this question: Why not Olsen, the tight end?

    Harrell was a reach, by the standards of 31 of the 32 teams out there. Why not trade back, pick him up later, get another pick? I don't think there were too many other teams rating him anywhere near as high as the Packers. So we draft a tackle, a strength position on the team, leaving tight end flapping in the wind.

    Olsen wasn't much of a blocker, but he would have become the threat so lacking in last year's offense. So my question is: if you're reaching, why not draft someone who can pay some benefits now? Harrell has to start this year, given his draft position. He has to dominate, like Hawk did last year.

    The Bears picked up Olsen. So we get to see him twice a year. Even with Grossman, the Bears offense just got better(didn't they play in the Super Bowl?) and the question is, 'did the Packers defense get that much better?'

    You answer that.
     
  16. Tiger

    Tiger Cheesehead

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    Aaron Rouse destroyed Greg Olsen this year, he'll do just fine for the Packers.
     

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