It's Monday but we're still in the afterglow of the 2014 NFL Draft. Rosters are still changing with teams trying out players and finding the best 90 guys for their training camp. That said, most of the roster changes have occurred, and we can now start looking at how teams stack up.
The "BIG letters" proclamation refers to head coach Mike McCarthy declaring that the Packers defense will perform better in 2014 than a year ago. He's not wrong, but such was likely the case anyway prior to the draft. So much of Green Bay's defensive struggles last season developed as a result of injury. Certainly, the Packers could miss many of their key players on that side of the ball again. However, health shouldn't be an issue nearly to the same degree, and if that happens Dom Capers' defense will play considerably better football.
While this is a useful guide for those looking for rookie jersey information, the real reason for its inclusion is this bit about Donald Driver's old uniform number, "[I]t appears the Packers have issued the No. 80. It likely has been given to one of the undrafted rookies, although those players have not yet been added to the official roster."
I find it strange that so many are repulsed by the idea that the Packers issued number 80. While Driver remains one of the most beloved players from his era, he never reached the echelon of the truly remarkable Green Bay players. Personally, I think it's great that the Packers choose not to retire numbers very often. The converse of that practice is Chicago, which has seemingly retired half of the numbers between 1 and 99.
It's not that Bob McGinn hates the players Ted Thompson selected, but he sure doesn't love a lot of them. He states 40 times as the rationale for his stance, but given McGinn league connections he's likely relying more on what scouts tell him. Clearly, his favorite of Ted Thompson's nine selections is Fresno State wideout Davante Adams while Khyri Thornton lives in McGinn's doghouse.
There are few NFL writers I trust more implicitly than Bill Barnwell of Grantland. He argues that while Michael Sam's memorable draft moment was an important milestone, landing in St. Louis may not be the best career move. Others have argued this as well. Given that he's a situational pass rusher with one move at this juncture, landing on a team that already has perhaps the league's best pass rush could limit his opportunities.
NFL.com writer Michael Silver spent the draft as a fly on the wall in the Rams' war room. It just so happens that league history was made when Michael Sam became the first openly gay player to enter the league. But Sam isn't the only story here.