Packers Take OT Bulaga with First Pick
April 22, 2010 ~ By Brian E Murphy
~ After ignoring free agency for the first two months of the free agency period, Ted Thompson has addressed his team’s weakness stopping the pass by using his first round pick on offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga from Iowa.
Considered by some scouts to be a legitimate top-15 pick, the Packers appear to have gotten a nice value at #23.
However, other scouts view Bulaga as strictly a right tackle prospect, and yet other scouts believe he’s never going to be better than decent in the NFL.
On the other hand, Thompson had a rare opportunity to select a special talent at WR in Dez Bryant from Oklahoma State. He also had a chance to take a pass rush demon in Jerry Hughes out of TCU. Football Outsiders in depth study predicted him to be the best pass rusher out of the whole 2010 class. He was later selected by Indianapolis, who knows a thing or two about sacking QBs with Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis there.
Bryant was rated higher than Michael Crabtree as a talent, but he had some off the field issues as a Cowboy. Ironically, it was the NFL’s Cowboys who were delighted the Packers passed at 23, so they traded up to 24 to take him.
Jerry Jones (and Ron Wolf ironically) had said his biggest regret was the 1998 draft passing on Randy Moss due to worries about off-field issues. He said he learned his lesson and could not wait til his pick at 27 and hope Bryant would be there. He felt he was a top-5 player in this draft and a future Pro Bowl WR.
With Donald Driver being into his mid-30’s, Bryant could have been a good guy to learn from Driver for a year or two, while immediately sparking this team’s horrible special teams return units. In addition, the Denver Broncos selected a different WR with the immediate pick before, #22 with Demaryius Thomas. You think that might light a fire under Bryant like 21 teams passing on Moss did in 1998?
The best case scenario now seems to be Bulaga turning into an AJ Hawk type player: a guy who’s solid, decent, if not spectacular.
Other scenario’s would be looking back at the 1998 draft, the 1989 draft, and the 2006 draft. Only time will tell.