NFL Draft 2016: Could this be the Packers’ latest 1st Round SHOCKER?
From Brian E Murphy, Packers Insider senior editor
~Ted Thompson is not afraid to go against the grain when it comes to both the NFL Draft and Free Agency.
Picking late in the first round almost every year, it’s not easy to predict who he is eyeing. First, he’s pretty renowned for utilizing the Best Player Available strategy, so it could be almost any position.
Second, there are thousands of possible combinations of things that could happen in the 26 picks before Thompson is on the clock, so anything could happen. There will be guys who are taken before him that the Draftnik geniuses (Kiper, McShay, Mayock, and the CBS, and other draft sites) have going in rounds two and three.
But there will also be a handful of guys available at 27 who were usually long gone by then, in the majority of public pre-draft mocks.
Two years ago, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was gone by the Packers slot in about 99% of mock drafts.
Six years ago, Bryan Bulaga (as well as Dez Bryant) were gone by the Packers slot in 99-100% of pre-draft mocks. As we now know, they were all still on the board when the Packers pick was up. Similar story in 2009 when B.J. Raji was still sitting there at #9. He, and WR Michael Crabtree from Texas Tech, were “supposed to” have gone much earlier, but were available when the Packers pick came up.
Conversely, who had the Packers taking “safety” Damarious Randall in the first round last year? Nobody, aside from Thompson. Mike Neal in round two? Wasn’t even mentioned. James Jones in round three back in 2007? Nope, he wasn’t on anyone’s radar.
Did anyone have Thompson trading UP to select inside linebacker Terrell Manning from NC State a few years ago to solidify the Packers linebacking corps? Nope.
So here’s the thing: Nobody knows. And just because the mock professionals say this or that, it doesn’t mean anything.
With all that out of the way, I am going to try and find the possible “surprise” choices that Thompson might grab this year. I won’t feature anyone who I see as a popular mock pick to the Packers. I’m looking for the Randall, Quinten Rollins types, the Justin Harrell, James Jones, etc. picks who were seemingly “out of the blue” guys.
My first guy is outside linebacker/DE Emmanuel Ogbah from Oklahoma State.
He’s an immigrant from Nigeria, who’s pretty raw. His story reminds me a little bit of Jason Pierre-Paul (South Florida, from Haiti), as well as fellow Nigerian Christian Okoye.
I’ll take “raw” when it’s a player who has obvious talent and athletic ability. Ogbah does.
He also has “on field production“, not just combine “underwear Olympic” test numbers.
Ogbah has more sacks and big plays made than either of the Clemson guys, Shaq Lawson or Kevin Dodd. And he tested better in Indianapolis. His 40-time was faster than Khalil Mack posted two years ago, although only by .02 of a second.
At the Combine, Ogbah showed that he possesses the speed needed to get past NFL offensive tackles.
From Bucky Brooks at NFL Network:
In the wake of the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine, former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks spotlights 10 particular prospects who made big impressions, for better or worse, in Indianapolis:
Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State: Ogbah wasn’t hailed as one of the top pass rushers in the draft prior to the combine, despite an impressive résumé that featured 24 sacks over the past two seasons. But his name is flying up boards after a dazzling display in Lucas Oil Stadium that showcased his combination of size, strength, speed and explosiveness on the turf.
Ogbah posted a 4.63-second 40 time, as well as remarkable measurements in the vertical jump (35.5 inches) and broad jump (10-1). Although he is strictly a straight-line power rusher off the edge, Ogbah’s athleticism, force and production will make it hard for coaches and scouts to ignore his potential as a top prospect.
Noah Spence, DE/OLB, Eastern Kentucky: Scouts are having a hard time dubbing Spence a premier pass rusher after witnessing his so-so performance on the turf in Indianapolis. He recorded a pedestrian 40 (4.80) that pales in comparison to the times clocked by a few elite pass rushers with similar physical attributes: Von Miller (4.53) and Khalil Mack (4.65). In addition, he didn’t appear to flash the same first-step quickness and burst in bag drills that allowed him to dominate opponents at the Senior Bowl. Although Spence’s final evaluation will be based primarily off the game-tape evaluation, the fact that he failed to impress as an athlete will make it hard for some teams to consider him an elite prospect on draft day.
So according to the odds, there’s a slim chance this guy will be Thompson’s pick. But it’s possible, and based on the things we’ve seen and heard about Ogbah, it might be a good thing. Stay tuned.
See more of Ogbah here from Harris Highlights. Film doesn’t lie.