Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles defensive lineman Khyri Thornton (98). Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Green Bay Packers add depth at WR, DT and TE

Fresno State Bulldogs wide receiver Davante Adams runs up field against the Colorado State Rams. Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports photograph


The Green Bay Packers enter the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds of the NFL Draft this afternoon, but you already knew that.

Much speculation has been spewed over the past three months about who would be the best fit and which positions need to be targeted by the Packers.

Last night, on the second night of the 2014 NFL Draft, we saw the Packers address three more positions of need: wide receiver, defensive line, and tight end – three picks that followed the Packers’ selection of  safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round.

Overall, we’re looking at four solid picks by Ted Thompson – picks that not only bring fresh talent to the Packers, but fill needs.

And while the Packers always say they select the best player on the board, it’s not often that they are able to select the best player that fills an immediate need. This draft has done just that.

Here’s how Packers GM Ted Thompson described last night’s draft:

“Quite literally, we pretty much stayed with the best player available at the time. Or what we considered the best player.”

But Thompson wasn’t done. He added:

“It literally just sorta worked out that way. There are times when, if it’s close, we’re going to lean toward the place where we think we need a little more help. But here and in this day and age in NFL football, you can’t get too concerned with that in my opinion.”

The consensus on the best pick of the night was with their second-rounder, wide receiver Davante Adams out of Fresno State.

At 6-1, 212-pounds, Adams will immediately battle for the number three wide receiver position with Jarrett Boykins and adds depth to a position that has dwindled in talent over the course of the past two seasons. 

The Packers have lost Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and James Jones over the past two years and were in need of another pass-catcher or two. Adams helps them out in that regard.

Khyri Thornton, a defensive tackle from Southern Miss – a team that won just one game last season – was panned by some as a reach, but Thompson disagreed:

“Khyri kept catching our eye, and he played on a team that didn’t win many games and that sort of thing. But he’s extraordinarily quick off the ball and has ability to penetrate and get in the backfield and pursue laterally and that sort of thing. We think he gives us a chance to add a little juice.”

But you certainly can’t fault Thompson for trying. Over the course of the past two seasons, he’s added five defensive linemen to the roster – Jerel Worthy, Mike Daniels, Josh Boyd, Datone Jones and now Thornton.

And with their final pick Friday night – their first of two compensatory selections – Thompson addressed one of their most intriguing holes – that being tight end. The selection of Richard Rodgers, a 6-4, 257-pounder from Cal, will certainly add a player with great hands to the team’s tight end depth chart. With Jermichael Finley seemingly all but gone and Andrew Quarless and Brandon Bostick in camp, the Packers needed to find a player who could add another weapon at the position.

Tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot seems to like what he sees: “What I see on film is a guy that is a precise route-runner for his size (at 6-foot-4, 257 pounds). He’s got good length, he’s got decent quickness off the ball, but what he really excels at is he’s got really good hands, catching the football, and he’ a very detailed route runner. He’s a smart kid in sitting down and talking to him, very understanding of schemes and concepts. Does a really good job with the game mentally.”

So, where will the Packers go with their five selections today?

Depth at positions like offensive line, linebacker and possibly even quarterback will most likely be on the docket with today’s late draft picks.

We get started at 11 a.m. CDT on this beautiful spring morning in Wisconsin. We will be hosting a live chat once again, so we invite you to come back at 11 a.m. and stay with us throughout the afternoon, leave some comments and have some fun.

Raking the yard or cleaning out those gutters can wait …

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