Many of us felt this pick was coming at #30 during the NFL Draft. But that got traded to the New York Jets. Then we thought it was coming at #36. Jordy Nelson came instead. #56? Sounds good to me. Wait, nevermind. Then it finally came at #60, 30 picks later than we thought: the Packers drafted a cornerback. Al Harris is going to be 34 this season. Charles Woodson is going to be 32. Harris was absolutely destroyed by Plaxico Burress of the New York Giants during the NFC Championship Game (which prompted me to push for the drafting of James Hardy). It was the general feeling that the Packers were drafting a cornerback at #30, whether Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Aqib Talib, Mike Jenkins, or Antoine Cason dropped to the Packers or the Packers picked Brandon Flowers. None of the happened. The Packers went with Nelson at #36. Packers fans and analysts were left waiting until #56 to see which cornerback the Packers were going to choose. The Packers threw a curveball by selecting Brian Brohm (I’m still scratching my head). This left #60, where the inevitable happened: the Packers picked a cornerback, the tenth defensive back taken in the draft, Patrick Lee, from Auburn University.
From what has been said about Lee, he seems to be the perfect pick for the Packers system. At 6’0″, 200 pounds, he has decent size for a corner and is big enough to imitate the physical style played by Packer starters Woodson and Harris. There is a lot of youth in the secondary currently, with Will Blackmon, Jarrett Bush, and Tramon Williams all with three or less years of experience competing for the nickel back slot next to Woodson and Harris. Williams played there the last few games of 2007 and did a decent job.
In his senior season at Auburn, Lee had 55 tackles (40 solo), four interceptions, and 10 passes broken up. Lee can also throw his name into the kick return competition if he so pleases, as he averaged 25.8-yards per kickoff return as a senior. GM Ted Thompson said Lee was a “real good value pick” for #60. I agree with that sentiment as this draft was saturated with cornerbacks, and we definitely do not want an Ahmad Carroll repeat. Thompson also said:
“He’s a tough guy. He likes to play bump-and-run. We think he’s going to fit well with what we do on defense in terms of putting these guys in lockdown situations.”
I think I’ll pick Lee to win the competition for the third cornerback slot. If he doesn’t win it, I expect him to have it sometime during the season.
Topics: Ahmad Carroll, Al Harris, Antoine Cason, Aqib Talib, Brandon Flowers, Brian Brohm, Charles Woodson, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, James Hardy, Jarrett Bush, Jordy Nelson, Mike Jenkins, New York Giants, Patrick Lee, Plaxico Burress, Ted Thompson, Tramon Williams, Will Blackmon