Green Bay Packers 2013 Draft Class & Aaron Rodgers Signs Record Contract Extension
It’s been quite the exciting week for the Green Bay Packers! Not only did they add 11 new players in the 2013 draft, but they’ve agreed upon a new five-year, $110 million contract extension with their star quarterback, Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers is guaranteed an NFL-record $62.5 million, sources say, in a deal that will also set the highest salary per season in NFL history, eclipsing the $120.6 million over six years the Baltimore Ravens gave quarterback Joe Flacco in March. Good news for Rodgers’ fans – this extension will keep him in Green Bay through the 2019 season. The Packers are 53-27 in Rodgers’ five years as a starter, and he led them to the Super Bowl title following the 2010 season.
“Big thanks to the Organization, our coaching staff, my teammates, and packer nation for the last 8 years! Excited about 7 more!” Rodgers tweeted Friday. No sour grapes about the cash amongst Rodgers’ teammates, “Congratulations 2 my man @AaronRodgers12. Frankly, he deserves more, but thank you 4 saving some 4 the rest. Every dinner on u sir! Let’s Go,” Packers tight end Jermichael Finley @JermichaelF88 tweeted, following the release of the news.
Now that the 2013 draft has come and gone, let’s take a look back and reflect on the Packer’s draft picks:
Round 1 Pick 26 Datone Jones(at top of page), DE, UCLA: It’s no surprise to Green Bay’s fans that the Packers needed to work on their defense after last season. Jones is a great addition to the team, with his height and speed. In his final season with the Bruins, Jones had 5.5 sacks and 19 other tackles. Jones will join the Packers proudly wearing a number 95 jersey.
Round 2 Pick 29 Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama: I haven’t been able to see too much of what Lacy can do - la problem with his hamstring prevented him from participating in the NFL pre-draft combine in February, and also kept him from working out for scouts until a couple of weeks ago on the Alabama campus. However, he is a strong, large, and powerful runner, which should complement Aaron Rodgers well. Lacy was also the MVP in each of his last two college games: the SEC Championship Game and the BCS Championship Game.
Round 4 Pick 12 David Bahktiari, T, Colorado: Bahktiari is a good strong pick. We need a better offensive line with bigger stronger guys and he certainly fills the spot. He’s a fast, versatile player that will be strong competition for starting position.
Round 4 Pick 25 J.C. Tretter, G/T, Cornell: By picking Tretter, Green Bay acknowledged what we fans already knew – the offensive line needs help! Tretter is a strong pick – he’s made 20 straight starts and was named All-Ivy League in each of his final two seasons at Cornell. I would venture to guess that we’ll see Tretter in the guard position once the season starts.
Round 4 Pick 28 Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA: Franklin is fast and should work well with Eddie Lacy. He set UCLA’s single-season rushing record with 1,700 yards in 2012, and also set the school’s career rushing record with 4,403 yards, giving him the title as UCLA’s “All-Time Leading Rusher.” I was surprised that it took as long as it did for Franklin to be picked up. This could be a terrific steal for Green Bay.
Round 5 Pick 26 Micah Hyde, DB, Iowa: Hyde had 240 tackles and eight interceptions in his four seasons with the Hawkeyes. In 2012 he was fourth in the Big Ten and 22nd in the nation with 1.22 pass break-ups per game. The question remains – how long before Green Bay moves Hyde from defensive back to the safety position? In my opinion, though versatile, he seems to be more of a reactive player, who will need time to come into his own this season.
Round 5 Pick 34 Josh Boyd, DT, Mississippi State: The selection of Boyd is the Packers’ fourth selection of a defensive lineman in the last two drafts. He is a very large and strong player, which should fill the hole in the Packers defense.
Round 6 Pick 25 Nate Palmer, OLB, Illinois State: Palmer started all 24 of Illinois State’s games over the past two seasons at defensive end. However, the Packers list Palmer as a linebacker. He’s registered 117 tackles, 17 sacks and 25 ½ tackles for loss in his final two seasons and was named all-Missouri Valley Football Conference second-team selection both years. He will have competition for a starting position, but we should be able to watch what Palmer can do for the Packers early in the season.
Round 7 Pick 10 Charles Johnson, WR, Grand Valley State: Former All-American wide receiver, Johnson looks promising and should be a huge playmaker for the Packers. He is coming off of two strong seasons as a Laker – in 2011 he caught 56 passes for 1,080 yards and 15 touchdowns and just this past season, he recorded 72 receptions for 1,199 yards and hauled in 16 touchdowns at Grand Valley State. Standing at 6’2″ and weighing 215 pounds, Johnson proved his athletic prowess at his pro day when he ran two sub 4.4-second times in the 40-yard dash and posted a vertical leap of 39.5 inches. While Johnson will be competing for time on the field with another draft pick Kevin Dorsey, he’s shown an athletic ability the Packers really need going into this season.
Round 7 Pick 18 Kevin Dorsey, WR, Maryland: The Packers clearly made adding strong and fast receivers into a priority in this year’s draft. Standing at 6’2″ and weighing over 200 pounds, it is understandable that Dorsey was added to the roster. Dorsey was a stand-out on his pro-day, running the 40 yard dash in only 4.47 seconds. After a less than impressive senior year, I am looking to Dorsey as more of a developmental player, that should receive more field time as he learns more about how to fit in with the Packers organization.
Round 7 Pick 26 Sam Barrington, LB, South Florida: With their 11th and final pick in the 2013 draft, the Packers selected LB Sam Barrington from South Florida. Following a sudden opening at the LB position following D.J. Smith’s release, the Packers were able to pick up Barrington, who we could end up seeing playing both the inside and outside linebacker position. I believe he will end up being a developmental steal – he’s got great size but isn’t overly fast. Speed can easily be learned and worked on, versatility will be what sets Barrington apart on field.
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