Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 4/29/12
As far as regular season records are concerned, nobody did it better than the Packers last season.

Unfortunately, that ended up translating into the title of "most prestigious loser."  The Packers' secondary got torched early and often throughout the season and the Giants made them pay the ultimate seasonal price for not addressing it. They also had a running game that settled near the bottom of the league.

The quarterback play of Aaron Rogers was enough to make up for the lack of a running game. But the passing defense was a sore spot for the team. So the Green Bay Packers entered the Draft needing to address both of these issues.

1) Nick Perry - DE: The Packers' first pick is decribed by scouts as being explosive, and strong with good leverage and technique. There are some concerns about consistent effort and appropriate conditioning. Many teams considered him to be a risky pick as a result. But Green Bay is an ideal place for him to land. There is a strong core of veteran players that can help him to stay focused and develop the proper work ethic. With his natural pass rushing abilities, he should have an immediate effect on the Packers' pass rush.
Grade: A

2) Jerel Worthy - DT: Similar to Perry, Worthy has explosiveness and pressures well. Has some difficulty with cuts from running backs and tends to stay blocked when blocked. Has room for even more strength and conditioning. Will need work on technique. But he doesn't get pushed around and has the ability to drive linemen back into the quarterback. His current skill and physical attributes will get exposed at the NFL level without improvement. But if his conditioning, strength and technique improve, he can be dominant.
Grade: A

3) Casey Hayward - CB: Boom or bust pick. This is a savvy corner. He doesn't have elite size or speed. But he knows how to read offenses and is a risk taker. As a result, he is often in position to make the key interception. Also has a tendency to be aggressive and arrive early making him susceptible to interference penalties. So he will have some moments where he will be the fan favorite and others when they will be cursing the day he was drafted. As long as there are more of the former that the latter, this is another solid pick.
Grade: A

4) Mike Daniels - DT: Small for a defensive tackle. Doesn't really have the size or the strength to be a regular player at the NFL level. Really the only things in his favor are the facts that he is lightning quick off the snap and has natural explosion. Likely to be a situational player only. Typically you like to have players you can develop into permanent talent at this spot, but if his explosion is that good and that fast, the Packers may be content just to use him as a situational pass rusher.
Grade: B

5) Jeron McMillin - SS: The first real reach for the Packers. Rather average skills, McMillin sometimes seems to be lost. Will misread plays and take bad angles. Is ferocious but not necessarily smart. Has risky off-the-field issues as well. The Packers do need help in the secondary but better players could have gone here, or attention could have been given to the running game.
Grade: D

6) Terrell Manning - OLB: Strong pass rusher. Has good burst and knows how to get to the quarterback. But he also has demonstrated poor linebacker instincts. His speed will get him near most plays, but doesn't necessarilty know what's going on when he gets there. Also is coming back from injury. At this point in the Draft, everything is a gamble. Anything that will help the pass rush can help the secondary. 
Grade: B

7) Andrew Datko - OT: What was considered to be one of the better tackles in the country, Datko suddenly had his career derailed by a severe shoulder injury that caused him to miss most of his senior season. He is a risky pick in that he may never fully recover. But if he does he has the strength and build to be a quality tackle in the NFL. At this point in the draft, this can only be considered a solid pickup.
Grade: A

8) B. J. Coleman - QB: New project quarterback. He is big and strong, able to make all of the throws with ease. Needs some work on touch passes and has shown some inconsistency. But he is highly teachable. He also had injury issues his last season. As long as Aaron Rogers is upright, he will be the starter in Green Bay but they need to start grooming someone else behind him. This is a nice project.
Grade: A

Overall: The Packers decided that the pass defense needed some work. They then went out and dedicated the first six picks to it. None of the picks were overwhelmingly stunning, but most of them have potential to improve the Packers' secondary this season. Aside from a couple of questionable moves with the mid-round picks and the fact that they did not address the running game this is a strong draft.

Grade: A-/B+



 



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