The Green Bay Packers used their first round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft to focus on their defense, just like last year. The Packers would then use their remaining picks to add some more depth to the defense, attempt to improve their offensive line and try to finally find a running back capable of giving the Packers that running game in their offense they have been missing for the past couple of seasons. Here is a breakdown of all the Packers picks from rounds two through seven.
Round 2, pick #61 – Eddie Lacy, RB-Alabama
Lacy, a fourth-year junior, had a very productive season last year. He was Alabama’s featured running back on a team that won a national championship game and playing in the SEC gives him big-game experience. He is a big, bruising back who likes to run over defenders and will take multiple tacklers to bring him down. He also has good hands, giving Rodgers yet another target to throw to and does well with pass blocking. Lacy’s best game last season came against Missouri when he ran for 177 yards on only 18 attempts, he also had three touchdowns that game. In the SEC championship game, Lacy racked up 181 yards and two touchdowns on 20 attempts and against Notre Dame in the National Championship game, Lacy ran for 140 yards and one touchdown, again on only 20 carries. He will fit in great with the Packers and will give them a solid running back that can finally provide the Packers with that running offense they have been missing.
Round 4, pick #109 – David Bakhtiari, T – Colorado
It’s tough to judge a linemen because you can’t throw out stats like you can a skill position player but Bakhtiari appears to be a good one. Bakhtiari was redshirted in 2009, but in 2010 he started 11 out of 12 games at right tackle. In 2011 he switched to left tackle and started 11 games and earned second team all Pac-12 honors. In 2012, still at the left tackle spot, Bakhtiari started every game for Colorado and decided to forgo his senior season to enter the draft. Bakhtiari can provide some depth for a Packers offensive line that was pretty bad last year. He can be moved around the line like he was in college but pro scouts believe he will be moved to the guard position because of his lack of size. He will need to bulk up so he can stop the bigger defenders in the league but he should provide the Packers with some solid protection to make sure that Rodgers stays on his feet.
Round 4, pick #122 – J.C. Tretter, T – Cornell
Tretter started his first two years at Cornell playing tight end but made the switch to left tackle his junior year and saw immediate success. He started each of his final 20 games and earned All-Ivy League first team, the first linemen to do that since 2005. After the switch to tackle, Cornell’s sack numbers were cut in half and Cornell’s passing game set new school and Ivy League records for passing yards in a season. Tretter gives the Packers a very athletic option on the offensive line. He has quick feet and has decent speed, his time at tight end helped with that but like Bakhtiari, pro scouts believe that he will be too small and will move to guard. But he does provide more competition to that offensive line which is something the Packers need.
Round 4, pick #125 – Johnathan Franklin, RB – UCLA
The Packers looked to add to their running back depth with this pick. Franklin is a much different type of running back than Lacy. Lacy prefers to run into guys while Franklin prefers to run pass them. Franklin played well his first couple years, he ran for over 1,000 yards his sophomore year to go along with eight touchdowns, but he really broke out in his senior year under new UCLA coach Jim Mora. Franklin had 1,734 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns as UCLA won the PAC-12 south division. Franklin also received second team All-Pac-12 honors. Franklin struggled with ball security his junior year but appeared to fix that in his senior year. Pro scouts are also worried about his pass blocking but that is something that can be worked on with the Packers coaching staff. Franklin gives the Packers a new look at running back. If Lacy is out there a majority of the plays running into guys than Franklin can come in and hopefully out run the tired defense. The Packers picked up two great running backs this draft as they are taking a real focus on fixing that part of their offense.
Round 5, pick #159 – Micah Hyde, CB – Iowa
The Packers returned to defense with this pick and they snagged a good one. Hyde was a one man wrecking crew on his high school team but in college he was all defense. He produced in every year but his sophomore year he had 82 tackles, four picks and two touchdowns. He received all Big-Ten honors in his sophomore and junior season but he really broke out in his senior year. He had 78 tackles, 14 pass breakups, one interception, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries, which earned him All-Big-Ten honors. He has good upper body strength and in addition to his skills at knocking down passes, he is also a solid run defender. With the Packers struggling against elite running backs and mobile quarterbacks last season, Hyde can hopefully provide a solid defender against those types of players. He is a play maker and should provide some excitement out there with his ability to knock down passes and picking off opposing quarterbacks. Another solid pick for the Packers.
Round 5, pick #167 – Josh Boyd, DE – Mississippi State
Boyd is an ideal candidate to back up B.J. Raji. Boyd played nose tackle every year at Mississippi State with his best season being his junior year. In that year he racked up 51 tackles, eight of them for a loss and 5.5 sacks. His numbers dropped his senior year but he still turned in a good season, 33 tackles, two and a half for a loss and one and a half sacks. Pro scouts like his ability to burst off the line and keep his pads low. He constantly keeps his legs moving and has a nice swim move to get pass defenders. Like stated before, Boyd will most likely back up Raji during the season but with Boyd’s skill set he will provide excellent support for the Packers defensive line while they attempt to stop those premier running backs.
Round 6, pick #193 – Nate Palmer, LB – Illinois State
Not much information is out there for Palmer but he did finish second on the team with seven and a half sacks his senior year. He also recored 71 tackles and three forced fumbles his senior year and was named to the All-Missouri Valley second team. Palmer played defensive end during his time at Illinois State but was listed as a linebacker when the Packers picked him. Palmer will most likely be a “project” that the team will work with over the next couple of years. The Packers are good at developing the players they pick and hopefully the plan they have for Palmer will pay off and we will see him on the field in the next couple of years.
Round 7, pick #216 – Charles Johnson, WR – Grand Valley State
The Packers saw the departure of Donald Driver (retirement) and Greg Jennings (free agency) this offseason so the Packers looked to the draft to fill those holes. Johnson played in division two but on his pro day he really turned some heads. He ran a 4.38 40-yard dash and has a 39 and a half inch vertical. Johnson gets high praise from his division two opponents and his size and speed could really make him an effective weapon for the Packers offense. I would say that we might not see him for a while but the Packers have shown that if you can play well at the wide receiver position, you will see game time action. We will have to wait and see.
Round 7, pick #224 – Kevin Dorsey, WR – Maryland
Dorsey had his best year in his junior season where he lead the team in receptions (45), receiving yards (573) and receiving touchdowns (3.) His didn’t match those numbers his senior year but was still productive. Like Johnson, you expect Dorsey to get some work with the practice squad and be a key player in a couple years but if he impresses the coaches enough he could see some action on Sundays.
Round 7, pick #232 – Sam Barrington, LB – South Florida
In his last two seasons of college, Barrington recorded 152 tackles, 13 for a loss, six sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception. After his senior season he was named to the All-Big-East second team. Barrington will provide even more depth for the Packers linebackers and has the skill set to develop into a good player.
The Packers once again turned in a good draft. They went after the defensive players they still needed but looked to fill the holes in their running game and try to find future replacements for Driver and Jennings. Not all the picks will make impacts right away but the Packers once again build up their foundation to make sure this team will be successful for years to come.
The Green Bay Packers made sure that they wouldn’t need to worry about drafting a quarterback for quite some while. The Packers extended Aaron Rodgers contract for five years and $110 million dollars, $40 million of that coming in the first year. This keeps Rodgers on the Packers until 2019. After giving Clay Matthews a big contract earlier this winter, the Packers have set up the core players they wish to further build the team around. Keeping Matthews on the defensive side and Rodgers at quarterback leading the offense not only gives management two great players to build around, it also gives fans players to connect with. It is nice knowing that both these guys will be wearing green and gold for several more years.