The Green Bay Packers used the extra picks they had amassed to trade up and draft Jason Spriggs with the 48th pick of the second round on day two of the NFL Draft held in Chicago Friday night. Spriggs (6-7, 305), a tackle from Indiana in the Big Ten, brings depth and size to an offensive line that has seen its share of injuries the last few years.
The Packers swapped second round picks (No. 57) and gave the Indianapolis Colts their fourth and seventh round selections in order to move up those crucial nine spaces. For GM Ted Thompson, it he hadn’t made the deal it would be like “dancing with the devil” and Spriggs would’ve slipped through their fingers. He did not want that to happen so he sacrificed the extra picks he usually covets. In addition, Josh Sitton, TJ Lang and David Bakhtiari are all free agents after next season. Spriggs may get the starting nod sooner than he might think.
The idea here is to build as big a fortress as possible around his two-time MVP quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. A-Rod was treated like a ragdoll by opposing defenses when one or the other of his linemen were stuck on the sidelines. The dropoff was dramatic, at times, and the offense suffered when Rodgers ran out of time going through his checkdowns.
The Pack went back to the defensive side of the ball in the third round taking Kyler Fackrell (6-5, 245), an outside linebacker from Utah State who led the nation in fumble recoveries with five last season. Fackrell was the 88th pick overall in the third round. Rounds 4-7 will take place on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m., CDT.
Many Packer fans thought Thompson would take a linebacker or two in this year’s draft. But they expected him to turn his attention to the ILB. But TT must have confidence that Sam Barrington (ankle) and Jake Ryan (hamstring) will be able to hold their own at that position when they return to the field from the injuries that plagued them for a modicum of games last season.
During Thompson’s tenure at the helm in Green Bay, he has built a reputation for finding diamonds in the rough in the later rounds and other gems gleaned from the pile of undrafted players. As with any draft, it is difficult go give them a grade ’til a couple of years has passed. This will be no exception. So far it seems as if they tabbed a couple of players whose impact will be more immediate.