The Green Bay Packers need to determine how good Jordan Reed can be. He had an impressive training camp, but he is not ready to start the season. Many fans have a hard time seeing why the Packers would choose to take a quarterback in the first round, and then wait until the fifth round to groom a runner and a receiver. There are a number of reasons for this, but all of them have to do with the Packers needing to take care of business first.
In reality, it might make more sense for the Packers to wait and see what happens at the Combine. It’s very possible that one or both quarterbacks go in the first two rounds, but no matter what, no one is guaranteed a job. If no one is chosen at the Combine, many prospects become lost in the noise of college life. This means that they might have to attend a smaller college and play the role of the more experienced players at their new positions.
By making a big move at the Combine, the Packers will be able to give themselves a much better chance to land a player who fits their mold. It’s been well documented that Ivy League talent evaluators love Jordan Reed. He has the physical tools to be a good blocker and a very solid pass catcher. He has speed, but he needs to learn to use it to his advantage. He also needs to improve his catching skills, which could lead to him being selected in the first round.
Of course, there is also one concern that must be addressed here. The fact is that the NFL is more balanced now than ever. offenses are more spread out, and skill positions are no longer the absolute cream of the NFL crop. The best way for the Packers to retain any kind of control they might have is to ensure that no matter where they choose to select Jordan Reed, he gets a good opportunity to show off his skills on the field. If the Packers do select him at one of their safety or tight-end positions, he’ll have to grow into the position quickly in order to make an impact for the team.
There is no reason why the Packers should not take the best possible player available at any position in this year’s draft. If they can’t get a true No. 1 tight end like Suh, they should strongly consider taking one of the offensive lineman prospects such as Taylor Lewan at No. 8 overall. By doing so, they would offer the NFL something they haven’t had for some time – a legitimate starting line right tackle.
At the same time, the Packers need to realize that they will need to spend the first three years of Clayfield’s career recovering from major knee surgery. They should feel confident enough in their selection of Jordan Reed to take a chance on him being ready to start on the right day. That’s going to be a huge gamble, but it may prove to be the best possible one out of all of them.
Of course, no evaluation of Reed should leave him without considering the fact that he played college ball at Ole Miss. He was one of the top SEC players as a senior, and he could very well turn into one of the top SEC players at the next level. All of this is assuming, of course, that he is even capable of playing guard at the pro level. If he has never been able to put on proper offensive line makeup, he will have a very difficult time making it as a guard at the next level.
The bottom line is that the Packers absolutely need to make a move at guard. If they don’t, they risk having trouble filling the holes left behind by Clayfield, whether it’s through the draft or via free agency. The more that they attempt to develop Clayfield, the more likely it is that he’ll become a big-time player for the Packers down the line in a few years. Right now, he’s more likely to end up in Green Bay’s practice squad.