clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Casey Matthews Is Drafted By The Eagles, While The Packers Draft Smith and Elmore Instead

If there was any allure to seeing Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews play alongside his brother, the dream ended when the Eagles drafted ILB Casey Matthews in the fourth round. More on Casey over at Bleeding Green Nation.

I saw the occasional inquiry about him here at APC over the past couple months, but there wasn't a huge interest him. From comments he made in the past, it sounded like Casey wouldn't mind staying out of his big brother's shadow, and maybe Green Bay wasn't his first choice.

To acquire him, the Packers would have had to draft him in the third round, or trade up in the fourth. But the Packers did want to add a couple linebackers, and did draft two players projected as outside linebackers, but at least one of them could be moved inside. Did the Packers make the right choice to draft them instead of Casey Matthews?

Round 6, No. 186 overall. Appalachian State LB D.J. Smith. His ranking at NFL Draft Scout indicated he wouldn't be drafted, but the Packers obviously liked him. 5-11 is really short for an NFL linebacker, but Casey Matthews is only two inches taller. GM Ted Thompson had some high praise for his late round pick, and explained why Smith's height isn't a problem. From the Press-Gazette:

D.J. Smith is shorter, but not smaller. He’s got good arm length and very good football player. He might be most productive tackler in history of college football.

I could see him being moved inside, that's where I would expect a productive tackler to play. However, his true value might be on special teams. They might envision him as the guy to run right down the middle of the field and disrupt kick returns.

Round 6, No. 197 overall. Arizona DE Ricky Elmore. This is part of the thing I don't understand about scouting. Brooks Reed was a first round talent from Arizona despite being out played by Elmore for the past couple years. Elmore's 40 time sucked, but he was getting to the quarterback despite being "slow". He led the Pac-10 in sacks in each of the past two seasons. That might be explained by his great time in the 20 yard shuttle. He's not going to have to chase a quarterback 40 yards to record a sack. I expect he'll be an outside linebacker, and the more I read about him, the more I like him.