Terrell Manning

Terrell Manning “on the fence” to make Packers roster

Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel broke down each position on the Green Bay Packers roster based on who he believes will survive the final roster cuts. One of the interesting names in his “on the fence” category is rookie linebacker Terrell Manning.

Manning was a personal favorite of mine entering the draft, and many were shocked when he fell to the 5th round. He could have benefited from another year at N.C. State, but his raw athleticism is difficult to ignore. He was a big play waiting to happen in college, but reportedly hasn’t shown that playmaking ability so far in Green Bay.

While he remains an intriguing developmental prospect, the Packers obviously aren’t in a position to keep him around if they believe he will be a liability in the immediate future. The fact that Desmond Bishop appears to be out for the year increases Manning’s chances slightly, but he still needs to hold off former undrafted free agents Rob Francois and Jamari Lattimore.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Packers Leave a comment

Draft Grades: Green Bay Packers

As good as the Green Bay Packers looked at times in 2011, they had some significant holes to fill this offeason. Ted Thompson elected to stay quiet through most of free agency, but came up big with another strong draft class which should help in their quest for another Super Bowl title.

I was somewhat surprised to see Nick Perry still on the board at No. 28. While he would have benefited from returning to USC for another year, his raw talent is undeniable. Green Bay is the perfect place for Perry, who won’t feel the pressure to perform immediately. He will likely start from day one, but he won’t be the center of attention on a defense featuring Clay Matthews and A.J. Hawk. It’s a great place for him to learn and develop, while also providing some immediate help.

Jerel Worthy could be a steal in the 2nd round, but we’ll have to see how the Packers use him. The Packers like oversized, space-eating defensive ends in their 3-4 defense, and Worthy is capable of filling that role. But he’ll need to stay in shape, because he’s just a few big meals away from looking more like a nose tackle.

I also like the selection of Casey Hayward, who could step into a starting role at some point this year. The 2nd round may have been early for Hayward, but the Packers needed to add an instant-impact player in the secondary.

Mike Daniels is more of a traditional 3-4 end, at least compared to Worthy. His upside may be somewhat limited, but he has the potential to provide some depth in the front seven.

Jerron McMillian was a reach in the 4th round. There was very little talent at the strong safety position in this draft and it felt like the Packers reached to add depth at a position of need. It’s an acceptable strategy in some situations, but the Packers got carried away with this one. Due to the lack of depth at the position he should make the final roster, but he’s a purely developmental prospect who offers little immediate value.

Terrell Manning could prove to be one of the great steals of this draft. He’s an explosive sideline-to-sideline linebacker who should excel at inside linebacker in Green Bay. The depth chart is crowded, so he may not see the field much early, but he definitely has a future in the league.

Andrew Datko has battled injuries which contributed to his fall the 7th round, but he’s well worth the risk at this point in the draft. The Packers will likely groom him behind Bryan Bulaga at right tackle.

I’m not as high on B.J. Coleman as some, but I can’t argue with the selection in the 7th round. He clearly has the measurables of an NFL quarterback and will have the opportunity to be brought along slowly in Green Bay. It’s a good situation for Coleman, and a nice opportunity for Green Bay to develop a prospect behind Rodgers.

Overall, this was one of the better draft classes in the league, something which is becoming common for Ted Thompson. Few GMs in the league understand the importance of finding value in the late rounds better than Thompson, who consistently plucks future starters from the scrap heap late in the draft.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Draft Grades - 2012, Packers 1 Comment

Terrell Manning scouting report

Terrell Manning LB N.C. State #35
Ht: 6’3″Wt: 233  
Strengths:
An explosive athlete. Excellent closing speed, and gets up to full speed quickly. Good instincts; quick to diagnose run/pass and adjust accordingly. A true playmaker who is all over the field. Strong edge rusher; has the speed to line up off line of scrimmage and disguise his blitzes; too quick for most offensive tackles to step out and block. Does a really nice job avoiding blocks from running backs/fullbacks with quick footwork in tight spaces. Start-and-stop ability is impressive. Has the skills to play middle or weak-side linebacker in a 4-3 scheme; could play inside in a 3-4. Smart player; involved in getting the defense set.
Weaknesses:
Plays a little too reckless at times; his athleticism is an asset, but he needs to tone it down just a bit and become more disciplined. Doesn’t always takes the best angle in pursuit; trusts his speed a little more than he should. Won’t be able to make up for mistakes with speed/athleticism as often at next level. Tackling is sloppy at times; needs to do a better job squaring up the ball carrier and wrapping him up. Missed two games due to left knee surgery in 2011.
Comments:
Manning is slightly undersized, but his athleticism more than makes up for what he lacks in pure strength. What stands out most about Manning, aside from his speed, is his ability to use his athleticism to shed blocks at an impressive rate for a guy his size. He may not be a great fit for every scheme, but he should be high on the draft boards of those teams which favor athleticism at the linebacker position.
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Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Leave a comment