Shortly after the Green Bay Packers selected Wisconsin linebacker Vince Biegel with the 108th pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, the front office addressed the pick in front of the media. Executive Alonzo Highsmith spoke about Biegel, as he was one of the key individuals who scouted and worked out Biegel at Wisconsin’s Pro Day. Highsmith addressed the selection, breaking down Biegel as a player and discussing his likely role on the Packers’ defense.
What stood out to you about Biegel?
“I’ve been watching him for a while and I’m very excited for the way he plays because he’s a tenacious player. I think he’s a real guy in the aspect of he checks all the boxes as a football player. His makeup, his personality, how he goes about being a professional. You can tell (a player is) a professional by the way they play and you can tell (with him) ... Everybody knows who he is and what he represents.
What did you see from him playing with T.J. Watt?
“I think he played next to T.J. Watt who’s an excellent football player but I think he had his own identity. He made a name for himself. He’s a very durable football player. He’s played as many football games as anyone in the past 10 years at Wisconsin.”
What does Biegel bring to the Packers’ defense?
“I think he’s a very versatile player. I think he can play a whole bunch of spots for you on the defense. And I think he makes us better as a defense ... I think it’s very important to bring in players who are self-starters ... I think he’s a good pass-rusher. I think he has a knack for getting to the quarterback. There’s no single defined trait aside from speed and tenacity and I think he’s got a little bit of both.”
Any thoughts on why he had good but not great sack numbers?
“The way the (college) game is played now, 2-step drops, option football, you don’t see too many pure dropback offenses, that can dictate a lot.”
What impressed you at Biegel’s Pro Day?
“When I visited Wisconsin for their Pro Day I was very impressed with his overall makeup, what he was able to to. Quick, athletic, he’s a very flexible athlete. The one striking thing when I watched him was how he approached it ... I’ve always watched how they approach the game ... you watch how they approach the workouts and I was very impressed in the way he approached his workout and they way he went about doing things.”
Biegel tested similarly to Clay Matthews, is there a comparison there?
“Clay Matthews is Clay Matthews, you can’t compare anyone to Clay Matthews. He’ll have a role, he’ll help out on special teams. He’ll have a role on day 1 and we’ll find a role for him. I think you start him at outside linebacker and his ability will take over from there.”
On the relationships you build with players while scouting:
“The thing about that’s unique about this business, when you get up close and personal to people, football players have a certain mentality about themselves ... there’s something about them that makes them who they are. Sometimes you feel that in players. you go to a school and watch ... when you put all that together, you go ‘there’s something about this guy’. That’s for the whole process in this (whole) business.”
You found Donald Driver, now Biegel. How do you find these players?
“I don’t find anybody! The Packers tell me to go to a school and I go and he’s there. When you work out a kid like Biegel whose intensity is up here, who plays hard, who does all the things, and then you measure him and he runs well and does all the things, you end up here.”
Were you worried Biegel would go in the third round?
“I did. I thought he would go a little higher but I’m glad he was here for us.”
How much value do the Packers put on day-three picks?
“Those rounds are the meat of your team and I think why the Packers have been successful is that we’ve had players from those rounds that have been very successful.”
How is Dom Capers feeling about these defensive draft picks?
“Pretty sure when he saw the 4.40s and the 4.39s he was like ‘I’m fired up!’”