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NFC North draft analysis: Rounds 3-4
By Nic St. Marie
Special to gzl-football.com

The Packers scooped up a trio of the last really talented players in the 5th round. But in the 3rd and 4th rounds, those and other good players were available, and the other teams in the division had 5 picks to GB's one. Well, the Vikings had three, while each of the other teams had one. Let's see how these teams did in their attempts catch up to the Packers six 1st-2nd round players.

3.3 -
DT Terry Bailey 6'4" 318 lbs, 74 SPD, 88 STR, 60 AWR, 70 AGI, 78 ACC, 73 TAK, 80 INJ

Terry Bailey. Mr. Laurenson is very proud of this pick. And he gets to be, as you'll be able to tell from the comparisons. Not included are the rookies from 1.12 and 1.15, who are arguably not as good. The skew helped, with +1 in SPD, SR, and ACC (and -1 in AGI and TAK) but not that much. Bailey is a full-grown DT with DE footspeed and quickness. He's not a pass rushing specialist at DE, but at DT he certainly qualifies. 70 agility is not that common for a DT and just as speed is overrated for a DT, agility is underrated.

The switch from DE to DT turns Bailey from an overly strong and a little slow DE to an overly quick DT that's a little weak. And that's where this pick gets to be less of a slam dunk. In a 4-3, if you are starting a DT with under 90 strength, you often have to compensate elsewhere in your front 7. The DT next to him, the DEs, MLB especially, you want your front 7 to not be able to be split in half by great blocking. If Bailey is next to a pass rushing specialist LE and one is pushed back two steps, the other pancaked, the counter right leaves a MLB completely out of the play as he tries to navigate traffic and fails, opening up the play for a big gain. If the Bears are able to be a good enough offensive team to force other teams to pass, Bailey will fit perfectly.

Long term, the Bears will probably range from giddy to happy his whole career. They have already added strength to him, indicating they may be committed to pushing him up, maybe all the way to 91 where he's a bit more of a complete DT. Short term, with 89 STR and 60 AWR Bailey might be more one-dimensional. But in that dimension, few rookies are ever as ready to get a QB as him. And at 3.3, that makes this one of the steals of the draft.

Grade: A+
Best comparison(s):
Fletcher Cox, Nick Fairley

3.8 - P Brenden Graham 6'3" 224 lbs, 79 SPD, 61 AWR, 63 AGI, 72 ACC, 8 TAK, 95 KPW, 86 KAC, 81 INJ

Count me among those who think this was too early. Considering how good the players were in this draft, no kickers were drafted until 4.15, and the other three kickers went in the 7th round. Graham was the only punter drafted. The argument becomes, when was the latest the Vikings could grab him?

Looking at Graham's skills, his leg is comperable to about 11 other elite punters, and only two of those are 35 and older. So while he's good, it'll take bumping his leg up to surpass the field, so he's not a trancendant leg talent. What sets Graham apart is that he has the booming leg and real good athleticism. Only two other punters have wheels and they are weak-legged at this point so aren't ideal kick-off specialists. Graham as a punter because the ideal kickoff specialist, with the touchback leg and wheels to make the KR game an 11 on 11 game. He doesn't have very good tackling ability, and his injury rating isn't the best. But...if you lose a punter it's better than losing a kicker.

Ultimately, I like the player and wonder about the slot. Which means the ding being given is light.

Grade: B+
Best comparison(s):
Brian Moorman, Pat McAfee

3.22 -
OLB Kiko Alonso 6'3" 238 lbs, 80 SPD, 73 STR, 71 AWR, 81 AGI, 82 ACC, 60 CTH, 82 JMP, 77 TAK, 88 INJ

Kiko Alonso, the LB picked directly before Jerry Ellis. Alonso can be a good OLB starter, and starting with 71 AWR he'll reach his best more quickly. Overall he's not a terribly special athlete though, barely meeting positional baselines in all athletic catagories. He does have good size, skills, and of course the awareness.

Alonso looks like the sort of "immediate starter" that people sometimes pick but again at 3.23 he's not overdrafted. If the Vikings do lose a guy to injury, they could do a lot worse behind Preston Winkenwerder than to start a guy with the skills Kiko brings to the table.

Grade: B
Best comparison(s):
Shayne Skov

3.26 -
DT TJ Barnes 6'6" 369 lbs, 63 SPD, 92 STR, 57 AWR, 48 AGI, 58 ACC, 85 TAK, 87 INJ

TJ Barnes kind of resembles the Hulk in this league. A giant at 6'6" 369 lbs, he comes out surprisingly fast and takes guys out. But he really doesn't move laterally all that well, and takes a few steps to get to full speed. A full speed TJ Barnes is a pretty scary thought, although he's really not as strong as his body structure suggests.

The skew was good for him, as he earned +3 SPD, +1 TAK, and +2 INJ without losing anything that could affect him. He even got +3 JMP. Barnes seems to be an ideal candidate for +1 STR every year, but it appears the Lions are more interested in saving his athleticim. A little hint, with three points the agility abyss can't be filled, but the good strength could move towards great, and support his size tremendously.

In the end, I hope Barnes looks like a man-mountain on the field because in my imagination, he dwarfs almost everyone in the league.

Grade: A-
Best comparison(s):
BJ Raji

4.8 -
OLB Greg Carroll 6'1" 248 lbs, 79 SPD, 71 STR, 64 AWR, 78 AGI, 81 ACC, 61 CTH, 76 JMP, 82 TAK, 71 INJ

Carroll got a bad skew, he was a good backup before that. -2 SPD, -2 ACC on the bad side, +1 STR, +2 CTH, +1 JMP on the good side. He's still a good tackler, has decent athleticism, and doesn't make a ton of money, but he was a pretty good prospect that fell because he has a bad injury rating.

Now he's just a backup. With a bad injury rating.

Grade: C+
Roster Prognosis: Backup for a year, cut for a rookie next year

4.11 -
WR Jermaine Garrett 5'8" 176 lbs, 98 SPD, 48 STR, 54 AWR, 95 AGI, 96 ACC, 75 CTH, 68 CAR, 89 JMP, 39 BTK, 69 INJ, 68 KR

Garrett has two very easy comparisons, both young 3rd WRs and this evaluation will discuss those in depth. The skew gave him +1 SPD, but -3 STR, -1 AWR, and -2 KR. Kind of a wash. But what do you do with Garrett?

Jock Sanders has played three years in Seattle. At 5'6" isn't shorter, but the different isn't much. Sanders was drafted in almost the same spot, but was close enough to reach 99/99/99 this past offseason. He's been the #3 WR each year, averaging over 550 yards on one of the highest volume rushing teams in the league. His second season Chaz Schilens was out for the year, and Sanders was able to start in place of Holland a few times, while last season Sanders started the last four games. Despite the low volume of passing in Seattle, Sanders put up decent numbers for his usage, and of course his YPC are very good.

Tavon Austin was drafted 2.4 last season, and played last year as the 3rd WR for the Cowboys, one of the highest volume passing teams in the league. At 5'9" he's only an inch taller, and his athletic and skills development are a lot closer now to Garrett's. 48 catches, 767 yards, and 7 TDs are what he earned as a 3rd WR.

The Packers are expected to start taller WRs on the outside, so Garrett becomes a slot guy, where he will be expected to get 450-650 yards and a good YPC. Looking at these other two players, it's probably too much to expect Jermaine to be a 4th round star, but he will contribute if he plays that role.

He may be a KR guy, but doesn't project to be an elite returner. Seattle put some work into Sanders that separates him a bit from Garrett in 3 years, but expect Kevin to evaluate Jock Sanders' starting role this year before putting similar resources into Garrett.

Grade: B+
Best comparison(s):
Tavon Austin, Jock Sanders
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