And with the 23rd pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select Bryan Bulaga, tackle, Iowa.
I can honestly say that I didn’t see that one coming. Not from the standpoint that it isn’t a great pick, but who would have thought Bulaga would have dropped this far. It was apparent that Trent Williams passed him as the #2 tackle prospect this week, but still this was a gift to the Packers. Such a gift that I couldn’t believe he was there to pick.
Unfortunately I missed 2/3 of the first round tonight because of evening grad school. I would normally skip for an event like this (I have priorities), but finals are in two weeks and I figured I would get home by the time the Packers pick. However, I wasn’t able to see how the craziness of the first round played out. Chris, being a great friend texted me the picks as they went by, so when I finally got home right before the Denver pick I couldn’t believe Kindle and Bulaga were still on the board? What?! I wanted to celebrate before the commish went up to the podium.
For fans of the hilarious comedy Eastbound and Down, in the words of Ashley Schafer, “Either way you’re winner!”
Bulaga was the first player we featured in our player profile series and we made full disclosure that he probably wouldn’t be there at #23 and a trade up might be necessary. That just makes this pick even sweeter. Not sure what happened in his first few drafts, but so far Thompson continued where he left off last year, not over thinking this pick and taking the Hawkeye and arguably the best player available.
So where does Bulaga fit in? By re-signing Clifton and Tauscher, he won’t be expected to start right away. However, he immediately becomes the top backup for both positions. I believe they will groom him at left tackle and leave him there, but if there is a Tauscher injury he should be the first one in on the right side. Bulaga does have experience at guard, but instead of hopping him around positions, they should keep him at tackle. This leaves an opening for T.J. Lang to challenge for the LG spot, where he might be a better fit. Clifton has never been a model of health, so Bulaga can make an impact this season.
I was all for the team drafting Sergio Kindle or Jerry Hughes, but this is just a great, solid pick. Tackle is the least likely position to bust (look it up) and when the season ended what did everyone say the biggest need was going into the offseason? Offensive line. The Packers were able to snag one of the ‘top-4′ tackles without trading up, a huge coup for a team in a division that features Julius Peppers, Jared Allen and Kyle Vanden Bosch. At the end of the day you need to protect your biggest asset and this pick does just that.
So what’s the next move? Do the Packers hold ground and draft a defensive back? Do they trade up to go after Kindle? Will Ricky Sapp or Daryl Washington be available? Or maybe Thompson surprises us all (I’m a big Golden Tate fan, just sayin’). Anyways, the greatest time of the spring is in full swing and so is our draft coverage. Chris and Gene will be on tomorrow giving you wall-to-wall coverage leading into Round Two.
Will Thompson be a thief yet again through the night? Here is a little inspiration video to get you through until 5 p.m. tomorrow.