While Packers GM Ted Thompson has been lauded for his draft success in the second round, and deservedly so, one would be remiss if they did not also credit him for his great success in round 4. Since 2008, the Green Bay Packers have selected 9 players in the 4th round of the draft. Among those players selected in the 4th round are David Bakhtiari, T.J. Lang, Josh Sitton, and Mike Daniels. In recent years 4th round picks Bakhtiari, Sitton, and Jerron McMillian have been asked to take major starting roles during their rookie season. Based on that recent history Packer fans should expect a lot out of 4th round pick Carl Bradford.
Bradford, however, does not need draft history to prove his worth to the Packers. Bradford was completely dominant at Arizona State recording 143 tackles, 21.5 sacks, and 43 tackles for a loss during a 28 game career at Arizona State. Not too bad for a guy that was recruited as a fullback. Although Bradford drew criticism for his short 30 inch wingspan, he proved to be a physical specimen in many other categories running a 4.72 40 yard dash and 23 reps at 225 lbs. He is also reported to squat 545 lbs and power clean 400 lbs. Perhaps most exciting is Bradford’s versatility. Many considered Bradford to be capable of playing both the outside and inside linebacker positions. Ted Thompson has said that he considers Bradford to be an outside linebacker and pass rusher. Whether he is outside or inside Bradford will most certainly be a fixture on special teams, where he should be an immediate starter.
With the exception of first round selection Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Carl Bradford is the Packer rookie with the best opportunity to get playing time for Green Bay. He will be a player for Packer fans to keep their eyes on during training camp and preseason as he looks to stake his claim to the Packer’s linebacking group and special teams.