The Green Bay Packers defied logic again in the fifth round of the NFL Draft.
Packers’ GM Ted Thompson chose Penn State tight end Andrew Quarless with the team’s first fifth-round pick (No. 154), even though the team is solid, one-though-three, on the tight end depth chart with Jermichael Finley, Donald Lee and Spencer Havner.
Quarless is a beast, though, at 6-4, 254. While he’s a solid receiver, Quarless isn’t much of a blocker and he’s also dealt with off-field issues. He was charged with underage drinking in 2007 and got a DUI in 2008.
In other words, if he decides to work hard, Quarless could turn into a solid pro, but that’s a big if. If he turns out to be a failure, it won’t come as much of a surprise. Thompson’s record with fifth-round picks is atrocious and often nonsensical.
Perhaps Thompson is planning on going into the 2010 season with four tight ends, similar to how he went into the 2009 season with three fullbacks after drafting Quinn Johnson in the fifth round of last year’s draft.
Anyway, here is NFL.com’s analysis of Quarless.
Quarless has ideal size and bulk. Very athletic for his size with fluid hips and a second gear to stretch the field. Natural pass-catcher who can contort his body to make catches away from his chest and in traffic.
Has concerns about work ethic and attention to detail. Struggles to diagnose coverage and shed with his hands. Despite size lacks good strength and slips off a lot of blocks. Takes too many plays off. Does not have the moves needed to be elusive in the open field.
The Packers followed the Quarless pick up by choosing TCU tackle Marshall Newhouse at No. 169. Newhouse projects as a guard in the NFL.
While you can probably never have enough quality offensive linemen, the Packers appear loaded at guard, much like they are at tight end. Josh Sitton is entrenched at the starter at right guard and the team has Jason Spitz and Daryn Colledge slated to battle for the left guard spot. That’s a battle T.J. Lang could also join.
Obviously Newhouse will be a backup if he makes the team, but like Quarless his selection makes you scratch your head because of what’s already on the roster. In addition, Newhouse looks like your classic Ted Thompson project pick.
Newhouse comes from a strong football family but does not show the kind of instincts and mental awareness than you’d expect from someone with that kind of background. As long as the defensive front plays pretty vanilla in terms of stunts and twists, he shows no hesitations or indecision, but he can be late to react and adjust when he sees something for the first time.
In other words, meet the new Allen Barbre.
Here is NFL.com’s analysis of Newhouse.
Marshall is tall enough with a thick build. Has a good first step and the speed to make blocks at the second level. Maintains a wide base and uses his hands to push edge rushers past the pocket. Three-year starter at TCU.
Lacks the lateral agility to make blocks in space and struggles to get into position after counter moves. Does not consistently recognize stunts and blitzes and misses his blocking assignments too often. Lacks a mean streak and does not always finish blocks.