Legendary senior writer jclombardi--reviews & grades for Packers draft.
Photo credit: Evan Siegle AP GBPG.
Coach Mike McCarthy: "We didn't play very well on defense, so we need to coach better, we need to play better and we'll do better. The ability to get more athletic and the ability to have the pass rush from inside and outside was a focus, and I think that was reflected in the people we acquired in free agency and the draft."
GM Ted Thompson: "It's horrible. I'm not my father's son anymore because my father's very frugal. It's pathetic. But in this case, I felt like it was appropriate. I felt like we had a good, solid team, and I felt like if we knew we were getting quality, we should try to do it. So we made three trades up."
REVIEWS & GRADES:
- Sporting News (Vinnie Iyer)--grade A. "They needed defensive energy and focused all but their last two picks on that intention. More specifically, they turned to boosting the front against the pass to help their secondary."
- CBS.com (James Carlton)--grade A. "The good: They used their first six picks on defensive players. Green Bay upgraded at OLB in the first round with Perry and at DL and CB in the second round with Worthy and Hayward. The bad: Speedy S McMillian seems like a reach in the fourth round. The Packers also didn't draft a center to back up Saturday. The bottom line: We can't know until they step on the field, but the knee-jerk reaction in Packer nation is that Green Bay had a fantastic draft. It adressed all of its glaring defensive needs. Perry and Worthy could be 2012 starters."
- Sports Exchange/CBS Sports.com (Rob Rang)--grade B. "GM Thompson focused on defense. Perry has the athleticism to complement Matthews coming off the edge. DT Worthy could prove a steal as a run-stuffing presence to replace Jenkins. The Packers loved corner Hayward's size, physicality and ball skills. The Packers added another highly productive interior defensive lineman in Daniels and intriguing developmental prospects in linebacker Manning and quarterback Coleman. Like most Thompson-led drafts, this group isn't flashy, but the type that keeps a club fortified."
- CBSSports.com (Pete Prisco)--grade B. "Best pick: Second-round defensive tackle Jerel Worthy should have been a first-round pick. He was a force at times at MSU. He will be the same for the Packers. Questionable move: I don't think the Packers are getting a great player in first-round pick Perry. Some scouts think he's soft. We'll see. Third-day gem: Manning, an outside linebacker, has a chance at a position of need. He has some toughness about him. Analysis: I didn't like the pick of Perry, but it's hard to argue with Thompson's track record. I love their two second-round picks. They get Worthy first and then land corner Heyward. Thompson traded up to get both when he saw value. He gets it."
- CBSSports.com (Will Brinson)--Packers are draft winners. "Ted Thompson crushed this draft, going defense with his first six picks. Nick Perry will help limit the number of double teams Matthews sees and moving up to snag Worthy was superb. Thompson then proceeded to pile on the depth all over the defense with good value picks like Manning and Hayward. I love the pick of Coleman. He's going to be their next Flynn type guy, watch."
- ESPN.com (Mel Kiper/Kevin Seifert)--grade B. "Kiper snippet: The Packers simply had to add to the pass rush. Seifert comment: There will be plenty of talk moving forward about linebacker Perry and some about linebacker Manning, whom Kiper loves as a situational pass-rusher. But you wonder if they'll both be eclipsed by defensive lineman Worthy. He's got the ability to become a dominant force on the line, whether it's as a 3-4 end or as a tackle in the nickel. Worthy could turn this into a proverbial A draft. Packers made the best move in the NFC North by targeting defense."
- SI.com (Don Banks)--Packers has one of the two most improved defenses for 2012. "I'm making an early call on two of the most improved defenses in the [coming] NFL this season--Packers & Eagles. The Packers know they let a shot at back-to-back Super Bowl trips slip due to their defensive deficiencies. So they responded by taking defenders with first six picks. Green Bay is confident [Perry] can add impact as an outside linebacker. Also, from a value standpoint, defensive tackle Worthy and cornerback Hayward were nice finds in the second round. Both should contribute as rookies on a deeper Packers defense."
- Austin American-Statesman (Kevin Lytle)--grade B+. "Best/worst move: DT Jerel Worthy a disruptive force inside and real bargain at No. 51....Safe to say, S Jerron McMillian flying far below the radar. Bottom line: Terrific season by Packers undermined by defensive lapses, so team went DE, DT, CB, DT and SS with top 5 picks."
- FoxSports.com (John Czarnecki)--grade B. "Green Bay has its fingers crossed that Perry can bookend their magnificent outside linebacker Matthews. Defensive tackle Worthy can be a dominant five-technique player and help Raji. Hayward is an ideal Cover Two player and is smart and knows when to make a play. Outside linebacker Manning has a chance to be more than a special teams contributor. Packers took one player in the late rounds that has a chance in offensive tackle Datko. Coleman was taken to replace the departed Flynn."
- SI.com (Chris Bruke)--grade B+. "The Packers had eight picks and used [six]...on defense. I love the picks of Worthy and CB Casey Heyward (62) in Round 2, though I’m not sold that Nick Perry (29) will fit Green Bay’s scheme that well. But this is a franchise that deserves the benefit of the doubt."
- USA Today--"GM Ted Thompson patched a defense that allowed the most yards in the NFL last season with a pass rusher (Round 1 OLB Perry), base end (Round 2 DL Worthy), and a cover man (Round 2 CB Hayward), who could pave the way for Woodson to move to safety. No reason to think Green Bay won't be in the Super Bowl mix again in 2012."
- FoxWisconsin (Paul Imig)--No. 1 in NFC North. "Best value: Jerel Worthy, DE. Talentwise, Worthy could easily be a Week 1 starter along Green Bay's defensive line. Overall: Packers certainly improved in [defensive] area by using their first six selections on defensive players. Plus, they hit every level of their defense. Thompson started with outside linebacker Perry, moved to the defensive line with Worthy, then went to the secondary with cornerback Hayward. Green Bay then added a defensive tackle, a safety and an inside linebacker. Even if only a few of those six end up being difference-makers, the Packers will clearly be a better defensive team this year than they were last year."