Kiper gives Packers' draft high marks

May, 11, 2014
May 11
1:00
PM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The best answer to how the Green Bay Packers did in the draft is this: Ask me in three years.

But there's a place for instant analysis to be taken with a giant block of salt.

With that in mind, it's still interesting to see what the analysts' initial thoughts were on a team's draft class. Following his marathon TV duties, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. broke down how each team did during the three-day selection processInsider.

Let's start with the fact that Kiper clearly liked the Packers' draft. He gave it a grade of a straight "B." Only eight teams earned higher marks.

Now let's back up and let Kiper explain his grading process.

He wrote:

The story of the draft is the acquisition of talent, but the story of NFL success is talent development. I know I can't grade a draft class regarding performance for at least a few years, which is a reason why I audit old drafts. But what I do here is assess three main things:

" How much overall talent did a team add based on board position?

" How effectively did they address key personnel needs?

" How efficient were they in maneuvering on the draft board?

And remember: I have to use my player grades as the prism. I'm well aware all NFL teams see players differently -- I have many debates with GMs throughout the year about players. I might have a high grade on a linebacker many teams see as a late-round pick. That's the reality of player evaluations.

Kiper further broke down his grades into two parts: needs and value.

Here's how he graded the Packers on both:

Need: B-minus

Value: B-plus

Now, let's dig further into what Kiper thought of the some of the Packers' nine selections.

On first-round pick safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: "An easy call at No. 21. I thought he'd be off the board by then, potentially to Dallas or Baltimore, so Green Bay got a good value there, and he addresses a need at free safety, where the Packers didn't have much."

On drafting three receivers: "Davante Adams isn't explosive, but he catches everything and will flourish with Aaron Rodgers (This tends to happen with good receivers catching passes in Green Bay lately.) I really thought they needed a WR or two in this draft, and I loved the additions of Jeff Janis and Jared Abbrederis. If you saw Abbrederis simply steal Bradley Roby's lunch money in Columbus, you know he can battle NFL-level athletes, and Janis is a major physical talent for a seventh-rounder. He dropped on hand size and competition level coming out of D-II."

On outside linebacker Carl Bradford: "Carl Bradford is a player I really like, and I'll be interested to see if they move him around a little bit. I thought inside linebacker was a big need even though that's typically something you can address later, but they didn't touch it."

On the Packers' draft overall: "There's not a point where you feel like the Packers flat out got a steal, but aside from the question at ILB, there's not much not to like."


 

Rob Demovsky

ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter

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