To sum up the draft in a word....aggressive. General Ted Thompson aggressively traded up three times to bring that type of player to the roster. It cost him four picks all told leaving Green Bay with 8 choices. They also added more than a dozen undrafted college free agents. Here's some final thoughts on the players who are just beginning their dream to play in the NFL.
Round 1 Nick Perry. The USC linebacker has an impressive combination of size (6-3, 271) and speed. He should be penciled in as the immediate starter at right outside linebacker. He will need a lot of coaching to learn how to drop and cover, but the Packers like how he runs forward much better. The team's biggest need was to find pressure on opposing quarterbacks and Perry will give them that.
Round 2 Jerel Worthy, Casey Hayward. Scouts loved Worthy's get off. So eager to penetrate the line of scrimmage at the snap cost Jerel a bunch of offsides penalties for Michigan State but as defensive line coach Mike Trgovac said, you can live with a guy going too fast versus one who can't get off the ball. He'll open at right defensive end and move inside on passing downs. In this pass-happy era of pro football, you can never have enough corners. Hayward picked off 15 passes at Vanderbilt in the tough SEC and it's not inconceivable to think he can get on the field quickly in the nickel and dime packages, utilized in a majority of snaps last year.
Round 4 Mike Daniels, Jerron McMillian. Another inside pass rushing defensive tackle from Iowa, Daniels recorded 9 sacks last year. Thompson loves Hawkeyes, he's the third Iowa player drafted (Abdul Hodge, Bryan Bulaga). He could take Howard Green's spot in short yardage work as a roookie. McMillian is an interesting prospect from FBS Maine. With Nick Collins' career over in Green Bay, he has an opportunity to get on the field early and possibly do what Collins did from small college Bethune-Cookman, start from game 1.
Round 5 Terrell Newman. Thompson obviously saw something in this kid, giving up three picks to climb back up into the 5th round to get him. The weakside linebacker at North Carolina State, Newman will move inside to backup Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk. While he might not push D.J. Smith, he could squeeze past Robert Francois for a roster spot and chase down punts and kickoffs initially.
Round 7 Andrew Datko, B.J. Coleman. Tackle insurance arrives in the 6-6, 321 Florida Stater. Not a candidate for guard so he will really have to impress to stick. Bulaga, Marshall Newhouse and Derrick Sherrod are the top three tackles, keeping a fourth is unlikely. Coleman was one of two, late round developmental quarterbacks we covered in our draft preview (Ryan Lindley, San Diego State was the other). The Tennessee transfer has the size and the arm that is worth refining. UT Chatanooga and the Southern Conference aren't exactly quarterback hotbeds but Coleman is in a terrific system that knows how to coach and develop the position. A good bet to stick and possibly supplant Graham Harrell for number 2.
Undraft Free Agents. The position got a pass in the draft but the Packers still want a running back to push James Starks and Alex Green. They signed three, Duane Bennett of Minnesota, Marc Tyler of USC and Nicholas Cooper of Winston-Salem State. Bennett gained 639 yards as a fifth year senior for the Gophers while Tyler, the son of former NFL'er Wendall Tyler picked up nearly 1500 yards in his final two seasons with the Trojans. Cooper weighs 240 and ran for 1808 yards but may be looked at as a fullback. Two wide receivers and two tight ends will get a look, including Dale Moss of South Dakota State. He was a four year basketball player for the Jackrabbitts and with one year of athletic eligibility left, went out for football. The 6-3, 213 pounder caught 61 passes for nearly a thousand yards. The other receiver is Darius Reynolds of Iowa State. 43 receptions for 695 yards and seven TD's with the Cyclones. The tight ends signed were Cameron Ford of Wake Forest and Eric Lair of Minnesota. Three offensive linemen signed were tackle Don Barclay of West Virginia, a two year starter and first team all Big East, Tommie Draheim of San Diego State, first team in the Mountain West, and James Brooks, and interior lineman from Virginia Tech. Defensive additions inlcuded Jaymar Latchison, a linebacker from New Mexico, Dezmon Moses from Tulane and safety Sean Richardson, a teammate of second round pick Casey Hayward at Vanderbilt. Finally, some local flavor as the Packers signed Drew Vanderlin to a free agent contract. Vanderlin is a 6-3, 280 pound defensive end who played collegiately at Michigan Tech and prepped at Green Bay Southwest High. All of the rookies will be in town for the orientation camp on the weekend of May 11-13.