I've always been a fan of former Green Bay Packer safety Matt Bowen, who's just wrote a good article on where another former Packer safety, Darren Sharper, might land. And why Taylor Mays slipped in the draft. I also got to ask him a couple questions about how the Packers did in the 2010 NFL draft.
APC: You wrote that the selection of Bryan Bulaga was a standout move. On one hand I can believe that he slid out of the top 10 because the teams in front of the Packers either didn't need an offensive tackle or preferred someone else, but maybe there is a good reason teams passed on a perceived top 10 talent. Is there a good reason why he may have slid, or maybe some teams were still weary of his thyroid condition?
Matt Bowen: I still say that the Packers got great value for Bulaga at No.23. From the people in the league that I talked to, Bulaga slid because some teams view him as a right tackle in the NFL. But, this is where the value comes in. I do see Bulaga as a projected left tackle and that is worth a top 15 pick on draft day. Talking to my coaches from Iowa there is plenty of excitement to what he can do as a pro.
APC: You liked the selection of Morgan Burnett in the 3rd round. I've also read that while Burnett was a ball hawk but sometimes he takes too many chances and can get burned deep. Do you think that he may have to be coached to rein in his aggressive tactics to play in the NFL?
MB: The reason you trade up for a player like Burnett is because of his ball skills. You can teach a player to have better technique and show them how to watch film at the NFL level--so they are fundamentally sound in the defense--but you can't teach someone to be a playmaker. Those guys are at a premium and what the NFL looks for now in the free safety position.
APC: I was disappointed the Packers didn't add an outside linebacker to replace Aaron Kampman as a pass rusher. But Ted Thompson seems to like the linebackers he's already got, and instead added two pass rushing college defensive tackles (Mike Neal and C.J. Wilson) who'll be asked to play defensive end in their 3-4 defense. It appears that the plan is to improve their inside pass rush. Is this a good strategy or will the Packers have problems putting pressure on the opposing quarterback next season?
MB: You have to solidify the defensive line at all costs, whether through the draft or free agency. If the Packers have an issue getting to the passer, then expect Dom Capers to dial up more pressure. You would like to see the DL get a push, but there is always ways to generate pressure. Bottom line: you can never have too many DTs and DEs--regardless of the scheme.