Pro Football weekly

Comment | Print |

Packers' second-round pick a bit puzzling

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.

Position change gets LSU's Eric Reid on NFL track

Posted Feb. 19, 2013 @ 6:33 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 April 23, 2010 @ 11:23 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

I will be very anxious to hear how Packers GM Ted Thompson will attempt to justify the second-round selection (56th overall) of Purdue DE Mike Neal.

My best guess is that Thompson is looking at the 6-3, 294-pounder as an insurance policy for DLE Johnny Jolly, a restricted free agent who hasn't signed his tender and whose status is clouded by his pending trial for felonious possession of codeine from a 2008 arrest in Houston.

But based on everything I've heard and read about this well-built Boilermaker, Neal is better-suited as a three-technique tackle.

Beyond that, while he does pass the eyeball test with flying colors, has excellent strength and has good initial quickness that enables him to penetrate gaps pretty effectively, the word from the scouting community is that his motor runs hot and cold, and he too often gets blown off the ball by double-teams.

Obviously, Thompson and Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers, who did a masterful job in his first season with personnel that many observebelieved have real problems converting to his 3-4 scheme, see something in Neal that they must really like to have taken him in the second round.

But this is a defender that PFW projected as a third-round pick at best, and possibly a fourth-rounder.

Granted, Neal made a very positive impression in the East-West Shrine Game, looking dominant at times.

But while Green Bay's first-round selection of OT Bryan Bulaga was as safe and solid as can be, the selection of Neal must be considered a bit of a head scratcher until further notice.


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

Comments ()