On 30th April 2015 it was the NFL Draft day, no longer would we hear about who might go where and why, but it was actually done and dusted. I’m sure we all woke up on draft day like Alfonso Ribeiro (pictured), for some teams it would be a very exciting time to get that QB or WR they need for the team and for other teams it will be a pretty standard position filling exercise, but what did the Packers need?
Our General Manager Ted Thompson is no stranger to the NFL Draft or getting what the team needs, known amongst the fans for being damn good at what he does, there were no fears he would pick incorrectly. There was likely to be some unexpected choices, yes, but not a QB in Round 1 for example.
I have always thought that the Packers are particularly good at finding the hidden gems in the Draft classes and polishing them up to a high shine. A lot of players that are drafted by the Packers stay with the Packers for many years (or as many as they can) sometimes even foregoing more money at other teams (e.g. Randall Cobb this year in Free Agency), this is due to how the Packers Coaching Staff train and grow their players.
So, let’s have a look at a few of the positions that I think we needed to fill from the 2015 Draft.
Last year, the Packers only had two receivers that other teams respected in Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, it was swiftly recognised that Nelson was Rodgers favourite target, which led to other teams increasingly putting double coverage on him. While this led to Randall Cobb getting more receptions and hence more receiving yards, the Packers needed more options on their roster.
Although we already have 3 TE’s on the roster, none of these are standout players we have Andrew Quarless, with Richard Rodgers backing him up and Justin Perillo. Quarless, well, I have discussed my thoughts on him before here and R. Rodgers is okay but both are more like second-string TEs than what the Packers need and would do well to get a good player in this spot.
With the loss of Tramon Williams and Davon House in Free Agency this is definitely an area we need to use a pick for, with only Sam Shields a notable player in this area he will need some help on that sometimes iffy defense. The defense was my biggest worry after the uneven 2014 Season and I would certainly have used the first round pick on a Defense position.
As the time drew closer and with baited breath all NFL fans turned on their TVs and Packers fans began the long wait for pick 30 in the first round, that was the Packers first pick and we were eager to see what Ted Thompson’s strategy would be for the 2015 NFL Draft.
Unfortunately for me in the UK the draft did not start until 1am, I tried to stay awake… I did, but soon:
By the time they got to the 30th pick it was 6:30am and I was long asleep, but come 7:30am I was awake and I had to get up for work, but even that wasn’t going to stop me checking on what we had drafted. The draft continued over the next few days and every morning I would wake up and read just what Ted Thompson and his team had been up to. For those that don’t know, and if you don’t – how?? Here are our 2015 Draft Picks:
Round 1 (30) – Damarious Randall – FS
A good start to improving our defense, Randall will be a great addition and hopefully become a play maker in our sometimes lacklustre defense, in his last season he achieved 106 tackles, a sack, 3 interceptions, and forced 2 fumbles. Those are some numbers I look forward to seeing in the games!
Round 2 (62) – Quinten Rollins – CB
I am so glad this position got filled and with one of the higher draft picks, it is something we definitely needed and Rollins is known for his athleticism and speed, which will hopefully keep our opponents on their toes! His numbers already show that he has previously managed to get 7 interceptions, 72 tackles and a forced fumble, not bad for someone who was originally a Basketball player! Hopefully his lack of experience is something he can grow out of and learn from quickly, if he keeps up what he has managed so far, I am sure we will be hearing his name a lot more.
Round 3 (94) – Ty Montgomery – WR
Another good position to fill, however this will be someone to keep an eye o as he can be prone to dropping the ball, hopefully the coaching staff can work on this with him and hone his skills. One good point that has come out of scouting reports is that he is the Eddie Lacy of WRs, once he is going the defenders have difficulty stopping him and bringing him down, this is due to his great strength, something I think has helped him get further in his career already.
Round 4 (129) – Jake Ryan – ILB
Interestingly, rather than filling the Outside Linebacker position by the Clay Matthews move, the Packers drafted another Inside Linebacker, whether this means they will move Clay back again or they are just giving him some back up for the snaps he doesn’t lay we shall have to wait and see.
Round 5 (147) – Brett Hundley – QB
With Matt Flynn released in Free Agency the Packers needed another QB, and what better way to learn his craft than under Rodgers whilst Rodgers is still in his prime, much like Rodgers had to do from the bench under Brett Favre. This is not an NFL ready QB by any means, his biggest issue is that when under pressure he will panic, hopefully given time with the Training staff they can work this our of him and he will become one of the cool, collected Packers QBs we have come to love.
Round 6 (206) – Aaron Ripowski – FB
If John Kuhn and Eddie Lacy had a child…….
Round 6 (210) – Christian Ringo – DE
Small for his position, but with some added weight could do well, I think the training staff may help develop him further into some other positions where he is more needed.
Round 6 (213) – Kennard Backman – TE
A good pass catcher, but other areas are lacking, more noticeably blocking and pass protection, will he fit in at the Packers? Maybe.
What do you think of the Packers Draft Picks choices?
Fordith aka Packers Princess