Packers Begin Signing Draft Picks
The first three signees of the Packers’ 2009 draft class are defensive end Jarius Wynn (6th round), safety/cornerback Brandon Underwood (6th), and linebacker Brad Jones (7th).
While this isn’t a major development, it’s about time the Packers made some movement on this front. The Chicago Bears, for instance, have signed all of their draft picks.
On the other hand, the Minnesota Vikings have signed zero, but the Vikings suck, so we shouldn’t be looking at them as a standard anyway.
So, let’s take a closer look at these guys (all of whom face an uphill battle to make the team).
Jones was a three-year starter at Colorado, an All Big 12 selection as a senior, and is described as both fast (which is in evidence in the video below) and intelligent. He’ll line up at outside linebacker for the Packers.
Detractors say he gets controlled too often at the point of attack, and that he needs to add bulk and fill out his game to play at the NFL level.
Jones, however, could be a solid special teams player in his first season.
Underwood was a one-year starter at Cincinnati after transferring from Ohio State, but earned All Big East honors. He started the season as a safety, but showed the versatility to play cornerback after injuries took their toll on the Cincinnati secondary. Underwood has shown range, instincts and the ability to blitz. He was projected as high as a third-round pick by some.
Detractors will note a lack of cornerback speed, wiry frame and lack of physicality.
Underwood will need to work on his body and game to be an NFL player, but has the athleticism to be a special teamer, particularly a gunner right away.
- SI.com analysis of Brandon Underwood
- NFL.com analysis of Brandon Underwood
- Brandon Underwood NFL Combine video
Wynn is a project. The Packers currently have the Georgia product at defensive end, but he lacks the traditional weight to fit the 3-4 mold (6-3, 275). If he can add 25 pounds of muscle, Wynn may figure in the Packers defensive line mix. Wynn wasn’t a force at Georgia, but finished his career strong, which gets you the “potential” tag in some NFL circles.
Detractors will note, and rightfully so, that Wynn never established himself as a playmaker in college. No one has ever called him a smart player, either.
Wynn looks like a practice squad player, but with a little more bulk could be a future factor at defensive end for the Packers.
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