Washington State Cougars linebacker Travis Long (89) locks up with Colorado Buffaloes offensive lineman David Bakhtiari (59) during the first half at Martin Stadium. James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Packers graded out with the best draft class of 2013

Just about every draft expert this week has been high on the work that Green Bay Packers Ted Thompson and his draft room crew did last weekend in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Starting with eight picks at the beginning of the draft, Thompson’s savvy trading and gut instincts helped him land a total of 11 picks, all while choosing two running backs, a couple of offensive linemen, five defensive players, and a couple of wide receivers. Clearly the Packers improved with this draft – one that might become Thompson’s legacy.

What he selected were not just players but players who will determine the future of the franchise for years to come.

And Thompson’s work hasn’t gone unnoticed.

From walterfootball.com, here is one of the highest recognitions I’ve found from the tens of thousands of grades being distributed across the Internet.

Here’s what they had to say:

Best Draft Class: Green Bay Packers 
This wasn’t an easy choice. I liked what the Rams, Cardinals, Chargers, Vikings and Bears were able to do. Two under-the-radar teams that did really well were the Saints and Redskins. However, Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson played the 2013 NFL Draft like the expert that he is. The Packers were able to address their needs and build up their depth. Green Bay’s draft class should provide an immediate impact and yield good results in the long term.

The organization increased its physicality on both sides of the ball with Datone Jones and Eddie Lacy. Jones is a powerful force on the defensive line and gives the Packers a sorely needed element of violence at the point of attack.

Lacy can be the lead back that Green Bay has been missing. He will be excellent to close out wins late in games as he runs over tired defenders who have been chasing the Packers’ passing attack for three quarters. Fourth-round running back Johnathan Franklin will be a nice change of pace and be an asset in the passing game. The duo should provide an immediate upgrade for the team.

Green Bay needed to upgrade its offensive line depth, too, and did so with David Bakhtiari and J.C. Tretter. Both were college tackles who could play guard, center or tackle in the NFL. If injuries hit the Packers’ line in 2013 like they did last year, Bakhtiari and Tretter will provide more talent off the bench.

Corner/safety Micah Hyde is a nice fit in the Green Bay secondary. He was an underrated prospect and could become a contributor. The team added some more talent in the late rounds. Defensive tackle Josh Boyd and South Florida linebacker Sam Barrington were nice value picks.

The Packers could be primed for another championship run in 2013, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Green Bay’s rookies played an integral role in it.

I simply couldn’t have said it better.

On paper, the Packers seem poised for another run at a Super Bowl.

We hope they’re right.

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