I have to hand it to good old Teddy.  He managed to not screw this one up.  All kidding aside, he managed to put together a draft class that both filled some needs, but also took some risks that could pay off in the future for the Pack.  To the picks we go:

Round 4 (Pick 1): Jeremy Thompson, DE, Wake Forest.  This sounds like a pretty good pick for a 4th rounder.  A lot of places list him as a solid player that doesn’t make mistakes, isn’t overly fast/strong, and has room for improvement.  If I’m not mistaken, those types of phrases were thrown around about a certain current DE for the Packers, You know, one from Iowa….Mr. Kampman.  DE will need to be addressed down the road a bit, so I think picking up a player halfway between a contributor and a project is a good fit here.  Grade: B+

Round 4 (Pick 2): Josh Sitton, OT, UCF.  Here’s my OL pick (actually it’s the first of two).  Sitton is an interesting pick as far as our offensive line goes.  He moved around a lot at UCF, playing at right tackle (his natural position) and both guard positions.  Most scouts do not slot him for a future at LT, but the fact that he has the versatility to play at both guards and is a natural right tackle can only add to the Packer’s overall line depth.  It sounds like this kid has picked up his work ethic and could be a good run blocker wherever he is inserted into the line.  Grade: B

Round 5 (Pick 1): Breno Giacomini, OT, Louisville.  Ah, there is nothing better than back-to-back OL picks.  Giacomini played both T and TE for Louisville and has great speed for a guy of his size.  Most scouts and coaches label this guy a “project” and that is perfect for our line.  We have a couple of years before major holes will start to pop up, so that should give Breno plenty of time to add some size to his frame or to improve his blocking skill.  His speed/agility seems to fit in well in the zone blocking scheme and I could see him make a move to a guard position depending on the pulling tendencies of the Pack’s offensive scheme.  Aaron Rogers may be looking at the pick of Louisville lineman and might be feeling a bit uncomfortable up at the top of the depth chart.  Grade: B+

Round 7 (Pick 1): Matt Flynn, QB, LSU.  I managed to catch quite a few LSU games this past year and I liked what I saw with Flynn.  He is not going to absolutely wow you with any of his skills, but he could have the potential to contribute to the team down the road.  He is pretty accurate over the short and intermediate routes, but his long ball is questionable, both in terms of accuracy and power.  He sounds like a good fit in the West Coast style offense with a good ability to hit the slant and other 5-10 yard routes.  The Pack could always use some solid QB depth, especially this year with Roger’s and Brohm’s injury problems.  Grade: B

Round 7 (Pick 2): Brett Swain, WR, San Diego State.  Again with the WR?  Ted realizes that you can only have so many wideouts on the field at one time right?  This, along with the first pick of this draft for the Pack, are the only two questionable picks for Teddy this year.  Swain had a pretty decent year last year for the Aztecs, almost reaching 1000 yds receiving.  I just don’t think that he will work his way onto this team and there were needs left to fill for this team.  Grade: C+

This year is summed up much like last year’s Packer’s draft.  Questionable first round pick that seems to add a player to a position of strength.  A player picked that only had 2 years of playing time.  WRs a plenty.  Really, the main thing that differentiates this class from last years class is Brohm.  There are still some needs for this team (DB first and foremost), but, overall, this class seems to be pretty solid.  Hopefully this class will have the same knack for producing some surprising contributors as Thompson’s last few draft classes have had.  Overall Grade: B+


I was going to post more “Live” yesterday, but I got tasked with being the chef for my friends student org alumni event, so I’ll have to make do with a day after review of the Packer’s first day (and first pick of Day 2).  Let’s get to the picks:

Round 2 (Pick 1): Jordy Nelson, WR, Kansas State.  First, let me say I loved the trade Ted Thompson made here.  There was a lack of any marquee players at the end of the first round.  Couple that with a lack of a trading partner to move up and you have a perfect situation to stockpile some more picks.  That being said, Teddy missed on his first pick again this year.  I have nothing bad, per se, to say about Nelson, but the Packers had more pressing needs than WR right now.  There had to be some offensive line help out there somewhere.  Nelson is a solid player without any real standout attributes.  Nelson will, at best, be a 3rd option (until Driver decides to hang it up).  Grade: B-

Round 2 (Pick 2): Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville.  This is the pick of the draft for the Packers.  It is a win-win, in my opinion.  Many teams had Brohm either 1 or 2 on their QB board, so to get him late in the 2nd round was a bargain.  Rogers only has one more year left on his current deal, so if Rogers does well, we can resign him and then keep Brohm around or use him for trade bait.  If Rogers falters, then Brohm could quickly step in.  Brohm was the best pro QB coming out in this draft with skills that fit well into the Packer’s offense.  The only knock on this guy is injury problems, so keep an eye out for that.  Grade: A-

Round 2 (Pick 3): Patrick Lee, CB, Auburn.  I wish they would have addressed the future needs of the CB position earlier in the draft, but better now than any later.  Lee is widely said to “beatable” on 10+ yd routes, so therefore a better fit for the Cover 2 scheme with safety help over the top.  Hopefully our safeties continue to improve to help this guy out.  He fits in well as a nickel back, but I don’t think he will be the future of the CB position if Woodson or Harris go down with injuries or quits after this year or next.  Grade: B-

Round 3 (Pick 1): Jermichael Finley, TE, Texas.  This pick follows the Ted Thompson pattern of picking guys that only had 1 or 2 full seasons of playing time.  Finely only played 2 seasons at Texas, but, from what I’ve seen, he could be a solid pick in the 3rd round.  Finley is described as a player who is a pass-first TE with improving blocking skill.  He didn’t run well at the combine (4.82 in the 40) but his pass catching skills were above average.  Not looking at the speed factor, he reminds me a bit of Travis Beckum.  I think he’ll be a good compliment to Donald Lee and could grow into a solid contributor in the future.  Grade: B

So far so good for Mr. Thompson.  He hopefully will not have to garner the ire of the likes that I gave him last year.  I’ll be back this evening to cover the rest of the Pack’s selections.  There better be one or two OL picks in there or my optimism may change rather quickly.

Posted by: Opey | April 25, 2008

Opey’s Mini Mock Draft

Do you feel that rumbling?  That, my friends, is the sounds of people rushing to the nearest Walmart or grocery store to stock up on chips, dip, and beer.  No, this has nothing to do with soaring food prices (that’s a post for another time, though).  Those people are the die-hard fans and fanatics of the NFL.  For that group, tonight is the football equivalent to Christmas Eve, the night before the NFL draft.  It really is amazing how much the NFL draft has grown in popularity over the past 5 years.  They have had nearly wall-to-wall pre-draft coverage on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN8 (The Ocho) for more than a week now.  There have been more mock drafts released, revised, and then re-released in the past month that it makes a person’s head spin.  Well, I thought I would throw in my two cents regarding the first 5 picks of the draft, as well as the Packer’s pick.  Now, I may not have a tremendous hairstyle like Kiper, Jr. or a bevy of inside sources like Glazer, but I think that I can make some fairly accurate picks.  Here they are:

1st pick (Dolphins): Jake Long, T, University of Michigan.   I think I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the ‘fins will pick Jake Long, T, Michigan.  Long is a solid LT and should be able to protect whomever the fish send out to throw the ball.  Long is good, but he’s no Joe Thomas.

2nd pick (Rams): Glen Dorsey, DT, LSU.  Now, here’s where the predictions begin.  A lot of people think it will be a back-to-back Longfest at the top two picks, but I’m not one of them.  Watching Dorsey last year and seeing some of his workouts, I have to say that Dorsey is the best defensive player available with the most upside.  The Rams need defensive help and will go with Dorsey.

3rd pick (Falcons): Chris Long, DE, Virginia.  The Falcons have more needs than they can handle right now, but they have to take the best player available.  A month or so ago, I would have said that this would have been Ryan, but things are pointing to the defensive side of the ball for the Falcons.  Chris Long reminds me a lot of Aaron Kampman, a guy who will just plain out work the other players on the field.

4th pick (Raiders): Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas.  Al Davis is known the world over for being the crazy, old guy, but his team will do the right thing and take the best player available.  The Raider’s backfield last year was mediocre at best and McFadden could be nice addition to give Russel some options.

5th pick (Chiefs): Brandon Albert, T/G, Virginia.  This is the pick where something interesting will happen one way or another.  There have been talk of trades and experts can’t seem to settle on who will go here if Kansas City keeps the pick.  I think the Chiefs will hold on to this pick and pick someone to protect Brody Croyle.  Another possible player to go here could be Ryan Clady, T, Boise State.

30th Pick (Packers): Gosder Cherilus, T, Boston College.  Most experts have the Packers taking Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona.  Though the defensive secondary could always use help, especially with Harris and Woodson aging, I think the offensive line is the more immediate need.  This is especially the case with Aaron Rogers taking over under center.  Cherilus has a tremendous upside with great size, a big frame, and long arms.

There you have it, my selections.  Make sure to check out the blog tomorrow for my post-Packer pick posts.  Until then, enjoy NFL Draft Eve and make sure to leave out a plate full of hair care products for old St. Kiper Jr..

Posted by: Opey | April 22, 2008

The (New) Master Plan

As promised, I have returned to briefly lay out my new and improved plan for my blog going into the future.  For those of you who are new or don’t remember the blog much from prior to my hiatus, I had a rather diverse set of interests that I posted on.  I covered current national and local (WI/Madison) events, sports in general, the Brewers and Packers in depth, law school and legal issues, and various other “gripes” that I came across.  A lot of that was a reflection of where I was as a college senior/graduate with a rather uncertain future and ample time on my hands.  Those characteristics afforded me the ability to reach the ends of the Internet for interesting stories and tidbits.  My life is now a bit more focused and constrained as it relates to time.  With that in mind, the focus of my blog will be a bit more narrow this time around.  For one, my posting will be just a hair less than the last iteration of my blog.  I’m going to aim to post 3-4 times a week.  I will be busy over the summer with my 1L summer job representing inmates, so 3-4 posts a week should afford me enough time to work for my clients, but still give me enough time to spew my ideas.  As for the content of the blog, I hope to have a bit of a Wisconsin focus, but still leave the door open for national/international issues.  For example, I will again be following the Brewers/Packers closely again this year and will have a weekly post similar to Crew Week in Review, but it will be on Thursday this time around to preview the weekend series.  I’ll continue to spout my views on current events, but I’m going to try and focus on WI/Madison issues a bit more.  I will also not be covering nearly as much law school stuff in the future.  I have all the law school I can handle as it is.  Lastly, I hope to have more political coverage this time around because I have been sucked in by Primary Mania ’08.  The election will be a major issue come fall, and, as always, I have plenty of opinions to shout out about the political realm.  We’ll see how this new focus and posting cycle goes and might adjust it as needed.  If there are any suggestions out there as to my focus, please feel free to comment.

All this being said, I won’t start to post on a truly regular basis until mid-May to allow for finals prep time.  I’ll be posting off and on until that time.  Make sure to “tune in” to my NFL Draft postings this weekend and I hope you’ll enjoy the new incarnation of “Opey’s Oratory”.


Quote of the day:

Things do not change, we change.” – Henry David Thoreau


NFL Draft


Howdy all you (I’m sure I’m using you in the singular) out there.  I will again be posting after each of the Packer’s draft picks this year.  Hopefully, my posts this year will feature a bit less disdain for Mr. Ted Thompson.  I actually have learned to not dislike him with a passion over the past year as I saw the results of his draft strategy and read some articles on his team composition and salary management strategies.  I’ll be commenting on each pick made by the Pack, as well as some of the other interesting picks in this year’s class (Badgers, big reaches/falls, etc.)  Tune in on Saturday for all the draft hysteria and look out for an update as to the direction of the blog this week…


Posted by: Opey | April 18, 2008

Dawn of a new day…(In a few weeks that is)

Imagine the greatest sunrise of a new day you’ve ever experienced.  Now with that image in your head, multiply it by ten and prepare for that sort of feeling.  That is what you can expect to come in the next few weeks here at Opey’s Oratory.  Time has opened up, the black abyss has a flickering of light and books and briefs are at their end.  Look for a new, and hopefully sustained, season here at Opey’s Oratory.  More details in the coming days…..

Posted by: Opey | September 16, 2007

OK, So I Lied

Yeah, so I thought I could at least keep this blog running at half speed.  Well, that was a bit of an overestimation on my part.  Doing something like writing a blog can only be done with full effort.  I just can’t afford to give the type of effort to this blog that it needs without sacrificing some other aspect of my life that has more long range important consequences.  I did manage to accomplish my goal of working on my writing over the summer, so that is a small victory.  I also hope that I was able to provide my own insights on topics ranging from sports, to madison current events, to the crazy world of law school preparation.  I encourage you to visit the blogs and other websites in my links and blogroll section for more information on those wide ranging topics.  I hope you enjoyed the few months that I was able to put my thoughts onto digital paper for the world to read.  Maybe when I have more free time (ie after 1L year) I’ll be able to start up again in the great blogosphere.  Until then, thanks for reading


Posted by: Opey | September 12, 2007

Surprise, Surprise

Well, I’d imagine that there are more than a few of you out there that will not be surprised about what I have to say next. I need to take a break from posting every day. It really comes down to simple economics of time. The supply of time that I have is simply not enough to meet the demands upon it. In addition to actually going to class, I also have an hour of working out each day, Dean’s Cup activities many nights, early attempts at volunteering in a legal clinic for undergrads, maintaining what small social life that I have, and then there is reading and some additional free time for maintaining sanity. I will continue to do all of my regular theme posts, starting after today, and I will also try to post at least one or two additional posts regarding my law school experiences, but other than that I’m going to step away for awhile. Hopefully this time will make me explore what I want to talk about in a blog, if I so decide to continue. This blog started out as a tool to help improve my writing in preparation for law school, but now I have a wonderful legal research and writing class for that. Currently the main thrust of the blog is two fold: discussion of Wisconsin sports (Packers, Brewers, and Badgers) and chronicling my law school experiences. I now have to determine how much time I’m able/willing to devote to those purposes.

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