2014 NFL Draft Recap: Analyzing Day 2 of the Packers' Draft

William Mancebo

After the Packers made an "obvious" selection with their second round pick, they pulled two stunners in the third.

Most expected the Packers to add a receiver early in this year's draft to offset the departure of James Jones and hedge against losing any of the three soon-to-be free agent receivers next offseason. Ted Thompson landed his guy, Fresno State's Davante Adams, in the second round at a tremendous value.

In most years, a receiver who led all of college football in catches (131) and touchdowns (24) and is among the youngest entrees in the draft would expect to go in the first round. Because of the nearly unprecedented depth at the position, however, Adams lasted all the way to the Packers at pick 53.

Where as most highly drafted wide receivers are forced into duty immediately, Green Bay has the luxury of easing Adams into the NFL. He can perform in a limited role befitting his more rudimentary route running skills (his ran mostly fades and hitches at Fresno) while learning the route tree and the nuance of the professional game.

The Packers' third round picks won't be nearly as well received. Khyri Thornton, a defensive tackle out of Southern Miss, wasn't considered a high-level prospect entering the offseason. However, a strong showing at the NFLPA Bowl gave Thornton's draft stock momentum, leading to a combine invite and eventually a Day 2 selection. He joins a crowded and talented defensive line which hopes to make use of his athleticism.

The bigger puzzler was Richard Rodgers' selection. After the perceived top tight ends all came off the board, it seemed that Green Bay would stand pat with its Andrew Quarless and Brandon Bostick led tight end group. Instead, Thompson pulled out Rodgers, a 6-4, 257 lbs. converted receiver out of Cal. Rodgers' tape shows a pass catcher with a willingness to attack the football (and defenders), but he shouldn't be expected to block much early on. After hearing about Green Bay's desire for more well rounded tight ends, the Rodgers pick seems a significant departure.

Regardless, Thompson has fitted his offense with weapons that should make life easier for Aaron Rodgers. As he's the meal ticket, so it's hard to argue with the strategy.

Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Company. He also serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Hook'em Headlines. His work has previously appeared on Beats Per Minute, Lombardi Ave, and College Hoops Net.
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