Pro Football weekly

Comment | Print |

Packers have high hopes for Lang, Underwood

About the Author

Dan Arkush
Executive editor

Recent posts by Dan Arkush

Baylor WR Williams in first-round conversation

Posted Feb. 22, 2013 @ 2:26 p.m.

Thompson: Packers not worried about leadership void

Posted Feb. 22, 2013 @ 12:26 p.m.

Seahawks GM likes 'win-win' QB situation

Posted Feb. 21, 2013 @ 6:53 p.m.

Old-school Arians feeling young at heart

Posted Feb. 21, 2013 @ 4:51 p.m.

Packers RB Harris looks like a real keeper

Posted Jan. 11, 2013 @ 1:32 p.m.

Related Stories

Green Bay Packers: 2013 team needs

Posted March 07, 2013 @ 4:32 p.m.

Thompson: Packers not worried about leadership void

Posted Feb. 22, 2013 @ 12:26 p.m.

Packers release C Jeff Saturday

Posted Feb. 18, 2013 @ 7:34 p.m.

Packers announce release of DB Woodson

Posted Feb. 15, 2013 @ 4:06 p.m.

Vikings should keep Harvin ... for now

Posted Feb. 07, 2013 @ 5:42 p.m.

Packers WR Donald Driver calls it a career

Posted Feb. 06, 2013 @ 8:01 p.m.

Packers WR Driver retires after 14 seasons

Posted Jan. 31, 2013 @ 9:54 a.m.

Vikings will explore free-agent WR possibilities

Posted Jan. 25, 2013 @ 9:54 p.m.

14-year veteran C Saturday to retire

Posted Jan. 25, 2013 @ 2:56 p.m.
Posted Feb. 27, 2010 @ 12:24 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

All things considered, the Packers have to be very satisfied with a 2009 draft crop from which all but one selection — fifth-round OT Jamon Meredith, who was signed to the practice squad and picked up by the Bills — made their presence felt in varying degrees.

In a sense, though, the evaluation process has only just begun for the '09 group, with the Packers placing major emphasis on the strides and setbacks their players make in their second season.

Last year, the sophomore strides made by TE Jermichael Finley, who became a primary target for Aaron Rodgers in the quarterback's second year as a starter, and ORG Josh Sitton, who turned out to be the team's most consistent offensive lineman, were instrumental in the Packers' push to the playoffs the second half of the season.

"I think one of the biggest things in a player's development is that window from Year One to Year Two," Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said at the Combine. "And this year there are two players from our rookie class last year that I really think can make an eventual impact — (OL) T.J. Lang and (CB) Brandon Underwood."

Of the two, Lang, a fourth-round pick out of Eastern Michigan who made two starts at left tackle and one start at right tackle in his rookie campaign, appears to have a bigger initial upside as either a potential starter at right tackle in case free agent Mark Tauscher signs elsewhere or left guard in place of Daryn Colledge, who had a very uneven '09 season.

"We like T.J. a lot," said Packers GM Ted Thompson. "He has great versatility and the game's not too big for him. He thinks he can play, and we're glad to have him as part of our group. How he factors into the starting lineup, we'll just have to wait and see." 

As for Underwood, he could be an under-the-radar Packer really worth watching.

"He definitely has the size and athletic ability to play bump-and-run, and he really started to come into his own on special teams," McCarthy said. "We probably didn't want to play him as early as we had to on defense, but I thought he did some really good things when he started to get his feet underneath him. He showed he has the ability to play in our scheme and has tremendous upside."

For the most authoritative NFL draft news and free-agency analysis, visit

Comments ()