Saturday, April 26, 2008


A few things I didn't see coming last August, as I prepared for the college football season.

I never thought Louisville would miss a bowl game. They looked like a legitimate BCS contender, and they flopped badly.

I also didn't think QB Brian Brohm's stock would plummet through the basement. Had he come out in last April's draft, he would have been a top ten pick at the worst. I see him as being a better overall prospect than Matt Ryan, who was picked third this year. However, Brohm paid for an extra year in school, falling all the way to the 56th spot in the draft (second round).

That the Green Bay Packers selected Brohm is also a surprise, but it shouldn't be. After all, Ted Thompson is the man making the decisions.

Thompson is the kind of guy who just has to drive the Mel Kipers of the world nuts. You can't predict what he's going to do, or when he'll do it. Packer fans will be okay with his style as long as the team is successful, but there's no doubt Thompson doesn't like to take a lot of risks in the draft.

When in doubt, find a partner and trade down. He did it again in the first round this year, dealing out of the 30th overall selection and picking up selections in the second and fourth rounds from the Jets. He used that second rounder to make another unpredictable move, taking Kansas State wide receiver Jordy Nelson. Nelson wasn't terribly high on many boards, but the Packers like his combination of size, hands, and character. He has a chance to contribute immediately as a kick returner, and he projects as having the potential to be the big outside target this offense needs.

Then came the Brohm pick. Surely, you've tired of coaches and personnel guys crowing about their draft picks with lines like "We never would have guessed he'd be available" or "We had him at the top of our board". For once, such lines were justified. What the hell was Brian Brohm doing available at 56th overall?

It's the kind of thing that makes me wonder if there's too much time between the end of the season and the NFL Draft. You give these people three months to think about their draft board, and you get them thinking that maybe, just maybe, Adrian Peterson isn't that good.

(By the way, Brad Childress says "Thank you for that".)

I'm not saying Brohm is going to the Pro Bowl as a rookie. I'm not even saying he will walk in and take the job.

(Actually, it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out that the Packers don't expect him to start right away. My first clue to that? "Aaron's the guy." I'm smart.)

The Packers will say all the right things here. Aaron Rodgers is a fantastic kid, and this job is his to lose. I do feel badly for him, however. You have the team drafting a young prospect. You have your former mentor playing games with the media over the chance he'll return, even though that chance is barely - if at all - measurable.

Overall, a good first day for the Packers, capped with the selection of Auburn CB Patrick Lee. The Packers addressed an immediate need (CB), a probable need (WR), and created at least the potential for competition at the most important position on the field.

And if the past is to be any guide, Thompson's best work is to come Sunday.

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