The 2014 NFL draft has come to a close and the Green Bay Packers did something they have never done in the Ted Thompson era. Thompson did not trade any of the Packers’ nine draft picks. The Packers filled their biggest need in round one, and helped made some nice offensive additions in the later rounds. Here are my pick by pick grades for the Packers 2014 draft class.
Round 1, Pick 21—Ha Ha Clinton Dix, S, Alabama, A
Last season, the Packers were the only team to not have an interception from their safeties. Not only did the safeties not have any picks, they also were blowing coverage too many times. Clinton-Dix has a nose for the football, picking off seven passes while at Alabama. The Packers struck gold last year by selecting Eddie Lacy, a former member of the Crimson Tide. Clinton-Dix should help an already improving secondary.
Round 2, Pick 53—Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State, A-
While Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr got a lot of the publicity, Davante Adams helped make Carr a potential first round pick. Adams was the Fresno State career leader in receptions and touchdowns, and caught at least one touchdown in 22 games. James Jones left for the Oakland Raiders, and with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb entering contract years, Adams has the potential to become a threat in the Packers offense.
Round 3, Pick 85—Khyri Thornton, DT, Southern Miss, C
Probably the most surprising pick of the entire draft for the Packers was the selection of Khyri Thornton. In many mock drafts, Thornton wasn’t supposed to be taken until the final day of the draft. But, with B.J. Raji only signing a one year deal, the Packers needed more defensive line help. Thornton has a quick first burst off the line and could help the Packers get more pressure on the quarterback.
Round 3, Pick 98—Richard Rodgers, TE, California, B
A possible Rodgers to Rodgers combo in the works? The last time the Packers took a Rodgers from California, it turned out pretty well. Even though Andrew Quarless showed some promise at the end of last season, the Packers still need another tight end that can stretch the field. Rodgers only caught two touchdowns in his two years at Cal, but does have some potential as a pass catching tight end.
Round 4, Pick 121—Carl Bradford, OLB, Arizona State, B+
The Packers needed linebacker help and Bradford has shown that he could add to the linebacker depth. In his last two years at Arizona State, Bradford had 20 sacks, and can play either outside or inside linebacker. Bradford fills another big need, which was a trend for Ted Thompson in this draft.
Round 5, Pick 161—Corey Linsley, C, Ohio State, B
The Packers needed a center after Evan Dietrich-Smith left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the off season. Linsley started all 26 games the last two seasons at Ohio State, and was named to the All-Big Ten first team in his senior season. Considering most of the Packers starting offensive line was taken in the later rounds of previous drafts, Linsley could be the next center in line to start.
Round 5, Pick 176—Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin, A-
Abbrederis was the one player I got right in my mock draft. He might end up being one the steals of the draft, considering he was expected to be taken on day two instead of the day three. Abbrederis could be that fifth wide out the Packers and Aaron Rodgers are looking for.
Round 6, Pick 197—Demetri Goodson, CB, Baylor, C+
While Goodson might not have the overpowering size at five-foot-eleven, he does provide even more depth to an already deep secondary for the Packers. But, with Tramon Williams and Davon House entering the final year of their contracts, Goodson could be called on in the near future.
Round 7, Pick 236—Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley, B
Even though the Packers had already drafted two wide receivers and a tight end, the little known Janis out of Division II Saginaw Valley was too good not to draft. Janis ran a 4.42 40-yard dash, and led the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. Considering all of the injuries the Packers suffered last year, more receiving depth does not hurt one bit.
For the most part, the Packers and Ted Thompson addressed their needs that will help them contend with the powerhouses of the NFC. The only thing keeping this grade from an A is that they didn’t address the need for middle linebacker. Bradford is more of an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, but could be moved around with defensive coordinator Dom Capers. Head Coach Mike McCarthy should be licking his lips with all of the new offensive targets. The 2014 Green Bay Packers have a lot of potential.