2011 NFL Draft: Packers Receive A- Following Round One

"Another offensive tackle? Gee, how boring".

I admit, I wasn't all that surprised by the Packers first round pick on Thursday. Most of us have become accustom to Ted Thompson's love affair with offensive lineman, however, when Derek Sherrod's name was announced by Roger Goodell, I couldn't help but ponder the future.

Obviously, keeping Aaron Rodgers on his toes is priority number one. Sherrod is likely to work alongside 2010 draft pick Bryan Bulaga sometime in the future, a move which should keep the Packers offensive line functioning as a well oiled machine.

Overall, I give the Packers an A- following the first round, and here's why:

The Good

The NFC North as a whole cleaned up nicely on Thursday. Jay Cutler can no longer complain of "poor blocking" after the Bears selected offensive tackle Gabe Carimi, while the Vikings have officially bid farewell to Brett Favre after selecting Christian Ponder with the 12th pick.

But here's the scariest part -- the Detroit Lions added another defender.

Auburn's Nick Fairley was selected with the 13th pick, meaning Jim Schwartz's 16th rank pass defense in 2010 will be that much better. Protecting Rodgers is one thing, but having a suitable amount of big men to clog up the trenches is another.

Ted Thompson was right in saying "You can never have enough big men". Turns out Lions general manager Martin Mayhew was thinking the same.


The Bad

I loved the pick, don't get me wrong. But I couldn't help but feel the Packers slightly ignored another obvious problem on the defensive side of the ball.

Although the second round is to follow tomorrow, Green Bay were in an ideal spot to snag a defensive lineman with the 32nd pick. Fellow Super Bowl opponent the Pittsburgh Steelers walked away with Cameron Heyward on Thursday, along with the New York Jets who also drafted Muhammad Wilkerson from Temple.

Currently Georgia's Justin Houston remains one of the top prospects left untouched. Clemson's DeQuan Bowers is also a bright prospect should the Packers choose to draft a defensive end on Friday, with many more names available.


Thanks, Ted

Some mightn't like it, but it was a solid pick from Ted Thompson that keeps the Packers on pace with the rest of the league. JSOnline reports that Sherrod will wear number 78 next season, even though the coaching staff is unsure of what position Sherrod will be playing just yet.

Round two starts tomorrow at 6pm EDT.


Follow Ryan Cook on Twitter or send him an email: ryan.cook392@gmail.com.

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