....and that's a wrap. The 75th annual NFL and Green Bay Packers draft covered three days, 7 rounds and 255 players. It was a long weekend but the Packers hope they hit on a lucky 7 and here they are:
Brian Bulaga OT Iowa Round 1 (pick 23)
The first rounder may not make an immediate impact but General Manager Ted Thompson hopes he has an impact that lasts a decade at left tackle as the heir apparent for Chad Clifton, a former 2nd rounder who protected both Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers' blind side very well. Sure, he's missed some games and a lot of practice time with mounting injuries, the most severe was when Warren Sapp blew out his pelvis in 2002. But since Clifton's first start in 2000, only the Indianapolis Colts have allowed fewer sacks, despite the 56 suffered by the offense last year. At 6-5 and 312 pounds, Bulaga has the size and the skill to handle the torch passing with ease. It may come sooner than you think.
Mike Neal DE Purdue Round 2 (56)
I thought this might be a bit of a reach for late in the second round but this kid just keeps getting bigger and stronger. He entered Purdueat 245 pounds and is leaving as a 295 pounder who started his final two years and 11 sacks and 21 tackles for losses in those two seasons. He can also lift a house, bench pressing 510 pounds and squatting 615. He played defensive tackle and end for the Boilermakers and the Packers like his ability to thump blockers in the run game and his quickness to apply pressure from the edge. He should immediately get into the rotation with Johnny Jolly and Cullen Jenkins, two players with contracts coming due after 2010 and Jolly has that little law and order episode to deal with in Houston next month.
Morgan Burnett S Georgia Tech Round 3 (71)
Thompson thought so highly of this kid he moved up 15 spots to get him, giving the Eagles his 4th round pick in the process. At 6-1 and 209 pounds he has very good size and Burnett was extremely productive for the Yellow Jackets. He left after his junior season but still finished his career with 235 tackles as a two year starter and 14 interceptions. The Packers love his ball skills and believe he will push Atari Bigby for the starting job and certainly supplant the likes of Derrick Martin and Jarrett Bush in the nickel and dime packages.
Andrew Quarless TE Penn State Round 5 (154)
Quarless is a fluid, 6-4 target who caught 87 passes at Penn State, 8 for touchdowns but he was surrounded by red flags. An underage drinking citation as a sophomore, a DUI the next spring which directed him into a rehab program and then a house party raid by police where marijuana was found. Quarless was one of many Nitnay Lions who got into trouble off the field under Joe Paterno's declining vision watch over the past few years. 2 suspensions and nearly getting kicked off the team scared him straight according to Andrew. He said he made mistakes and paid the price and is now ready to become a professional. If he does, he could add another downfield threat in the passing game and make the two tight end formation with Jermichael Finley hard to stop.
Marshall Newhouse OL TCU Round 5 (169)
This is a very thick lineman at 6-4 and 320 pounds who manned the left tackle position for the resurgent Horned Frogs program over the past three years, missing only one start during that time. He was a first team All Mountain West performer who knows how to handle speed rushers, practicing every day against Jerry Hughes, a linebacker the Packers loved, but passed on in the first round. Newhouse has a football blood line, his father John played at the University of Houston and his cousin, Robert Newhouse was a Dallas Cowboys fullback in the 1970's. He could move to guard for the Packers.
James Starks RB Buffalo Round 6 (193)
An interesting pick because he disappeared in his senior season. After piling up a school record 3140 yards with 34 touchdowns and 222 points in his three seasons for the Bulls, Starks was dealing with a sore shoulder in the spring of 2009. Doctors found a labral tear that eventually needed surgery and he missed his final year of eligibility. As a junior, he had back to back 200 plus yard games and he proved very adept at running routes, catching 127 passes out of the backfield. He's 6-2, tall for a running back, and 218 pounds. Aside from the injury, one of the knocks against him is that he runs high and takes shots. With Ahman Green's future in doubt, Starks could find himself the number three running back behind Ryan Grant and Brandon Jackson fairly easily.
CJ Wilson DE East Carolina Round 7 (230)
Clifford James Wilson was a model player and team leader for the Pirates. He's 6-2 and 290 pounds, starting 44 games in his 54 game career, including all 28 in his junior and senior seasons. He put up very impressive numbers, 192 tackles, 45 tackles for losses, 27 sacks and 35 pressures. He also blocked three kicks. So how did he fall to the 7th round? Even Wilson has no idea. This could be a solid insurance policy at defensive end if Justin Harrell can't shake off his chronic back problems and becomes a disappointing bust as a former number one.
I'll get asked a lot over the next several weeks, what do you think of these guys? I wish I could answer it, you just never know. They all were outstanding players in college stadiums over the past few years, now they move to the professional arena and there are no guarantees. We'll get our first look at the draft picks at the Pack's rookie orientation camp this weekend. So what did Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy think of the draft? Here's the highlights of their post-draft news conferences.