Get To Know the Packers Rookies
Jessie Garcia Makes Her Blogging Debut!
I'm kicking Lance off his perch for a day!
No, he has graciously agreed to let me post a few thoughts now and again.
First up- Packers draftees. I spent two days getting to know them last week at rookie orientation weekend. Here are my awards:
Most physically impressive: 2nd round DL Mike Neal (Purdue). This guy could toss you and me aside like a crumpled up piece of paper. He is cut, can lift 510 pounds and looked fast and furious in what limited practice time we got to observe.
Least physically impressive: 5th round OL Marshall Newhouse (TCU). Although an inch taller and 26 pounds heavier than Neal, he actually looks smaller.
Most articulate: 7th round DE CJ Wilson (East Carolina). Well spoken and thoughtful (he is also a trained pianist).
Someone I'm a little worried about: 5th round TE Andrew Quarless. For a few reasons- the obvious being alcohol problems that almost got him kicked off Penn State's team until he begged Joe Paterno to give him another shot. The not-so-obvious: he didn't give off a very strong first impression in practice. Seemed a little hesitant. Compare him to Jermichael Finley physically and in terms of general aura and it's not even close. Not to mention- he has an uphill battle to get playing time with Spencer Hayvner and Donald Lee not about to give up their jobs.
Most Confident: 6th round RB James Starks (Buffalo). Not only told us he is the steal of the draft but also that he can do anything and everything on the field. If he can back it up even halfway the Packers will be happy.
Most likely to succeed: 1st rd. OT Bryan Bulaga (Iowa). I liked the pick the minute it happened. I say avoid the sexy, flashy pick and stick with the bread and butter. As the cliché goes "The game is won and lost in the trenches." Watching Rodgers run for his life and get sacked left, right and upside down was enough to convince me this was the most necessary pick. I've felt Chad Clifton has been held together with duct-tape for years. I'd be surprised if he makes it half the season. Bulaga seems like a solid citizen and good player and when I asked Mike McCarthy if arm length was a problem (a big knock on Bulaga) he scoffed.
Second most likely to succeed: 3rd round S Morgan Burnett (Georgia Tech). Ted Thompson traded up to get him. Burnett had 14 picks in 3 years of college. The all-time school record holder had 16, but it took him 4 years. Morgan Burnett has the feel of a playmaker.
Happiest Guy at 1265 Lombardi Ave: McCarthy. Not only did he get youth and energy for key spots, but he was "climbing the walls" to get back to practice. That will happen when you're unceremoniously dumped from the playoffs.
Now the big questions... biggest star/biggest flop...
Sorry, you'll have to wait about 3 years for that answer.