The Green Bay Packers managed to have quite an amazing season last year without two major impact players for most or all of the season. Ryan Grant was lost in Week 1 and Jermichael Finley was lost before mid-season. The Grant injury proved to be the most significant as the running game was non-existent until the last few weeks when the rookie James Starks got some playing time. Brandon Jackson was hoping finally get his chance to shine but that never happened as at one point in the season John Kuhn the fullback was the most reliable rusher. The Packers could use some more talent in the backfield to avoid relying on a fullback to be the main ball carrier.
The wide receivers remain one of the best units in the league. Greg Jennings is a reliable Top 10 receiver while Donald Driver is probably on his last legs. James Jones flashed some potential but became to inconsistent with his hands to be relied on which allowed Jordy Nelson to shine late in the season and in the playoffs. Another weapon to groom at the receiver position is always a plus but having Finley back will help greatly as he is a match-up nightmare. The offensive line could use some more improvement considering the concerns about any more concussions for Rodgers. Rodgers is a magician in his ability to feel pressure and escape pressure but a few less hits would always be a good thing. I will breakdown the Green Bay Packers 2011 NFL Draft in this fantasy recap breakdown.
Round 1 (32rd Overall) - Derek Sherrod - OL
Sherrod was a very solid pick by the Packers. He has the skills to be a quality starter in the NFL. Sherrod needs to add some strength and size to be more effective but does a solid just in pass and run blocking with nice instincts. Sherrod will be a decent back-up option next season and will add some more depth to the line while he improves his skills.
Round 2 (64th Overall) - Randall Cobb - WR
Cobb is a talented play maker with the ball in his hands. He could play some running back if needed but should do a nice job in the slot position. The Packers like their play makers at the receiver position and with James Jones likely to be gone Cobb could have an instant impact. Cobb played his best in big games at Kentucky but needs to focus more on being consistent with his hands.
Round 3 (96th Overall) - Alex Green - RB
Green has a good chance to get early playing time as a third down back. He has great hands and decent size compared to many third down backs in the league. Green will need to work on ball security and keep his pad level lower when hitting the hole. If he proves he can block, he has a good chance of replacing Brandon Jackson.
Round 5 (141th Overall) - D.J. Williams - TE
Williams is a combo fullback and tight end. He does not have the ideal height to play tight end but has nice hands and does a decent job while run blocking. Williams knows how to find the opening in zones with his decent athleticism. He is not likely to be highly productive from a fantasy standpoint with Finley ahead of him but adds another match-up problem for defenses.
Round 6 (179th Overall) - Caleb Schlauderaff - OL
Schaluderaff is a hard worker and has the toughness to make the team. He can do a decent job as a run blocker but his lack of quickness will make him a liabiltity in the passing game. Schlauderaff has succeeded at every level despite his lack of physical skills but will just be depth at this point and will help maybe push teammates with his attitude.
The Green Bay Packers did a great job of filling in some of their holes considering they had the last pick in each round. Sherrod will be a welcome addition to the offensive line as GM Ted Thompson took the best player available instead of worrying about a specific need. Cobb will fill-in in nicely for the aging Driver and the departing Jones with his after the catch ability. Green will be a nice replacement for Jackson who never lived up to what the team had expected. Williams was an added play maker at the tight end position which give the Packers two receiving threats at the tight end position. Rodgers will continue to be a top flight quarterback with all of his weapons back and some new ones to play with. Green Bay remains a top flight fantasy team with what is likely to be one of the top offenses once again in the league. The organization has done a terrific job on adding talent every year in the draft since the departure of Brett Favre. When a team can continually add talent, it can survive injuries like last season and still be a Super Bowl Contender with fantasy stars.
Grade = A-
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