In a couple of sarcastic shockers this Spring, the Milwaukee Bucks did not make the playoffs and Ted Thompson did not pull the trigger on any top tier unrestricted free agents. Packer fans want to believe Jared Cook is the next Rob Gronkowski, but we’ll be lucky if he turns out to be Aaron Hernandez (well, except for the murder thing). Speaking of positions of need…
Create a seam here - X's & O's about the game or a scheme
Here’s what we actually need…
WTF - The Coach's take on a bad ref call or a bad play call or the like
The Bears Still Suck - the Coach has proof
As predicted, the best Bears player, Matt Forte – a gentleman and true professional of the grid iron, was released by da Bears in a self-depriving move away from becoming a respectable football team. The only other Chicago player with talent, Alshon Jeffery, was reportedly “fit to be tied” when he learned that the Bears slapped the franchise tag on him – meaning that he is guaranteed a top 5 WR salary, but he will have to play in Chicago for at least 1 more year. When stopped for comment on this designation, Jeffery said “Those mutha fahkerz!”
Does it stop there? Oh, no, Packers fans. New Bears LB Danny Trevathan lamented “I wish the Packers would've called me.” His decision to leave the Broncos was based on getting paid, but also he plays middle linebacker which is a position the Bears needed to fill. It certainly seemed like the right fit. Right up until Trevathan revealed the day after he signed his new contract that he was hoping to receive a call from the Packers so he could sign with them. "I wish they would have, but they didn't," Trevathan told NFL Network. "My guy Randall Cobb is over there, but they didn't so I'm here with Chicago." Oh, man, the undeniable suck of the Bears (and potentially Ted during free agency – unless he knows something negative about Trevathan that we don’t, like ‘Trevathan’ is Swahili for ‘unbound delegate’).
In an unrelated story, the Packers announced that they will be hosting 2 NFL draft pep rally events, one in Green Bay at 1919 Kitchen & Tap at Lambeau Field Atrium and one at Will’s Northwoods Inn in – wait for it … Chicago! Will’s was famously exploited by Team Coach CH immediately following the 2010 NFC Championship victory over the Bears, with escapades like singing “da Bears still suck” amongst a couple hundred of our closest drunk friends, sprinting out the cardoor in an effort to stiff “Yasir” the Pakistani taxi cab driver, and secretly holding a Miss America-type MILF competition without the contestants knowing that they were being evaluated on both their looks and responses to our carefully concocted questions (amidst a bad bout of the hiccups) … although I suspect some of them knew it anyway, yet didn’t really mind.
But I digress… The real purpose of holding a Packers draft party in Shitcago is a brilliant gesture by Mark Murphy to stick Green Bay’s collective middle finger up da yoompa of Papa Bear’s posterior (sorta like Jim Harbaugh holding a Michigan football camp in the south during Spring Break). The event is free to the public and space will be available on a first-come, first-served basis on April 28 (program begins at 7:30 p.m.). Hide your daughters, as Packers alumni Mark Chmura, Mark Tauscher and Frank Winters will be present at the rally to sign autographs and titties. Not surprisingly, zero former Bears players will be in Green Bay to celebrate the draft.
Udder Stuff – commentary from the Badger Underground
The University of Wisconsin football team was in Green Bay recently to practice at Clarke Hinkle field and get familiar with the site of its 2016 season opener. The Badgers will take on the Louisiana State Tigers on Saturday, September 3 in the Lambeau Field College Classic – maybe.
Might want to hold off until the LSU team lands at Austin Straubel before you buy your tickets. Too bad the state of Louisiana is run by a bunch of graduates from SEC schools.
We're gonna kick your a$$ - predictions for the next game (or draft)
Ted, er, Elliot, has 9 selections this year, 2 of which are compensatory picks in the 4th round (which cannot be traded).
Round 1: #27 overall. The best player available near the bottom of the 1st round is likely to be indiscernible between a few different guys (there will be no Aaron Rodgers’ left at #27). As noted above there are quite a few needs, so if you take one of the few top tier talents still available then there’s a good chance he’ll fill a need. It’s sort of a tossup between a DT and an ILB this year, so addressing either of these positions of need is ok as long as the choice is not anything resembling a reach. Really good D tackles are typically hard to find - especially in later rounds, so Coach guesses Ted might take one in round one. Noting Ted’s penchant for players from Alabama, it would be likely that he takes Jarran Reed or A'Shawn Robinson if either of them are still on the board. If not, Sheldon Rankins from Louisville is just as talented. However, there is bigger need and lesser talent this year at ILB, so look for Raji’s replacement via Andrew Billings from Baylor in the 2nd round. So who will Ted take as Green Bay’s #1 in 2016? Reggie Ragland from Alabama – IF he’s there. Coach would not be surprised to see Ted trade up a few spots to get Ragland in exchange for the 27th pick and #125 in the 4rd round. It sure would be cool to hear the chants of “Reggie, Reggie” again, wouldn’t it?
Round 2: #57 overall. If Ragland is gone in round 1, then Ted will have taken a D tackle as noted above and will then select the other ILB with pretty good talent this year (and the coolest name on the board), Scooby Wright III from Arizona. Coach likes defensive players from AZ, most notably former Packer Chuck “Scud” Cecil.
Round 3: #88 overall. OK – time for that O-lineman. Me thinks #88 or #125 could be a sacrificial lamb to move up in the 1st round, so Ted might trade #88 or #125 down to get another draft pick later. Whatever number his 3rd pick might happen to be, I think it will be an Offensive Tackle. It’s easier to pay veteran Guard money to than to pay veteran Tackle money, so this is a good time to build Tackle talent through the draft. Jason Spriggs from Indiana seems like a good prospect to nab late in the 3rd round if he’s still available. This would even be a smart pick in round #2. Great fit to spell an oft-injured Brian Bulaga, and is versatile enough to move to the left side or even play Guard. As much as Coach hates projects, a good Plan B (especially if not getting an opportunity to pick an O-lineman until the 4th round) would be Le'Raven Clark from Texas Tech. He’s got top-tier-Tackle athleticism, but needs some coaching. Can pass protect better than run block at this point, but that’s what you default to when A-Rod is in your backfield.
Round 4: #125, #131 & #137 (2 compensatory picks) overall. Finally, a Tight End! (That’s what she said.) Similar to the ILB situation this year, there just are not that many real good TE’s available so if one is on your board that you figured would be gone by now, then you gotta take him. Because we need another guy named Adams on the team, Ted could take 4.64-forty Jerell Adams from South Carolina if he is available in the 4th – but he won’t be (and we have bad luck with guys named Jerell). So look for Ted to take Jake McGee from Florida as a value Tight End that can catch and block (not to mention run a surprisingly quick 4.69 forty) with our 1st compensatory pick. Coach actually prefers McGee over Adams, so fingers crossed on this one. Jake McGee / Jared Cook could be the next Mark Chmura / Keith Jackson combination in Green Bay! (…or at least a Jeff Thomason / Tyrone Davis combo.) What?
Expect outside linebackers and another O-lineman to be taken in the late 4th / 5th / 6th round frenzy of picks.
Round 5: #163, Round 6: #200 overall. Charles Tapper from Oklahoma is a beefy and quick OLB, sort of like a faster Mike Neal. Stephen Weatherly from Vanderbilt is tall and fast, and would be a good apprentice to Julius Peppers (although Vanderbilt is not really a team that pumps out top NFL talent). A late round O-lineman could come from anywhere, so look for Ted to tap into the coffers of Western Michigan again to get the 2nd-best named pick on the board, Willie Beavers. (click on link)
Round 7: #248 overall. Oh yeah, we need a punter. Put the top 5 prospects on a dart board, close your eyes and throw. Or, take the one who has kicked in cold weather. Wait: None of them kicked in the cold? Huh. Then take the guy with the longest average yardage. Let’s go with Drew Kaser from Texas A&M, who averaged 47.5 yards per kick. Not too shabby. There is no published stat for average hang time that Coach is aware of for these kickers, but if I had one it would influence me more than yards/kick. I think ability to pin the ball on the 5-yard line is key, too. Again, no stats available on that. Cripes, hey, I don’t have my own scouting staff dontchyano.
Post-draft free agents: Bring in 4 former Badgers – Joe Schobert (LB), Derek Watt (FB/TE), Tanner McEvoy as a Special Teams juggernaut and ambidextrous journeyman (Safety, Wildcat, etc.), and Drew Meyer (P) just for kicks (pardon the pun). Maybe even grab Tanner McEvoy in 4th/5th/6th round if we don’t trade away a pick to move up.
So there you have it. Coach probably guessed every pick wrong, but at least he invested his time wisely between the Final Four and the Draft. After the Draft, Coach will need the time before OTA’s to learn the names of the 15 new guys on the Brewers and watch some playoff hockey.
JB - Packer players you forgot about, but stories you'll remember about them
Every GM has picked a bust in the 1st round. It happens. So selecting Tony Manderich shouldn’t be criticized based on the hind-sight (and, realistically, the foresight) that The Incredible Bulk was jacked up on steroids; rather, justly due criticism should come by considering the modern-day way that Teddybear Thompson makes his drafting decisions and using that as a guide (plus, throw in my philosophies described in X’s & O’s above)…
Now here are some of really good drafts:
Enjoy a cold, tall draft while you enjoy the draft. And remember, please drink irresponsibly.
"Coach" is the insightful collective brain and funny bone of a few legendary Packer fans who provide everything you need to know (and what Packers beat writers often plagiarize) about the Green & Gold, plus a weekly guest appearance by The Badger Underground.