Get to Know the Packers: Interview with Al Bracco of Jerseyal and Drafttek


Al Bracco interviewed with me about the Packers and the upcoming draft. Al runs the Packers website jerseysals and also is the Green Bay Packers analyst at

1). How sweet is it for Packers fans that this year Brett Favre’s body broke down on him, and to top it of he had to watch Divsion rival Packers win the superbowl?

I can only speak for myself, and I wouldn’t say I found it “sweet.” The whole Favre saga saddened me a bit, and I certainly lost a lot of respect for the man, but personally I didn’t take pleasure in watching him break down. I surely enjoyed watching the Vikings Packers stomp on the Vikings, I just wish Favre had stayed home.

2) Is there a better Drafter out there than Ted Thompson? Could you tell us out the Packers front office works on draft day?

Well, I’ve always been a fan of what the Patriots do and how they are able to continually rebuild, but there is a good amount of turnover there. Thompson’s approach is a bit more conservative, and his goal is to develop good players and keep them. He’s always thinking long term. By the time draft day comes around, he has his value board and sticks to it 95% of the time. A perfect example was Aaron Rodgers. Despite what Favre conspiracy theorists think, Thompson was NOT looking to push Brett Favre out the door. But when Rodgers fell, and there were no trade offers (which Thompson admits he was hoping for) he stuck to his system and took Rodgers. How has that worked out?

3). What are the Packers biggest needs?

This comes down to Aaron Rodgers, who is most probably the next great NFL quarterback. When you have a guy like that, priority one should be keeping him healthy. So I’m expecting for the Packers to be  looking very hard for the Chad Clifton’s future replacement and some help at guard, as the likely scenario is that free agent Daryn Colledge does not return. In addition,With Donald Driver aging and James Jones possibly not returning, this smells like the perfect year for Thompson to take a wide receiver.

4). What does Aaron Rodgers rank on the list of current Quarterbacks?

I would place him third.  Brady, Manning and then Rodgers. I think he’ll pass Manning next year.

5). How are the last two draft classes coming along?

Those last two drafts put the Packers over the top and got them to the Super Bowl.

2010: Bryan Bulaga, Mike Neal, Morgan Burnett, Andrew Quarless, Marshall Newhouse, James Starks, CJ Wilson

2009: B.J. Raji, Clay Matthews III, T.J. Lang, Quinn Johnson, Jamon Meredith, Jarius Wynn, Brandon Underwood, Brad Jones

A total of seven starters (although a few had their season ended by injuries) all of them made the team (2 on the practice squad) and all but two have been contributors. And let’s not forget Thompson’s success with UDFAs (kudos to the Packers scouting department). This year’s crop produced Sam Shields, their starting nickle cornerback and Frank Zombo, a part-time starter at OLB.

6)I’ve noticed a lot of players from smaller schools on the packers roster…is there a certain kind of player the Packers look for on draft day?

That’s a pretty broad question. The Packers’ scouting department does spend more time than most on small school players, always looking for that diamond in the rough that others have missed. Thompson has said that while measurables are one aspect, it always comes back to what they see on tape and what they think of the player as a person.

8). Is there a player fans want at the end of the first round?

Seems the one name that comes up the most is Brooks Reed. Some of that is due to the fact he looks like Clay Matthews and has a similar motor. But he’s not nearly the athlete that Matthews is, and I’m not convinced he can learn to play in coverage as a 3-4OLB. That’s not to say I wouldn’t take him as a pass rush specialist.
9). What visits have the Packers had already or have scheduled?

The Packers have been very active, attending over 40 Pro Days already. Plus they’ve conducted interviews at the Senior Bowl and the Combine. Looking at the list of players they have talked to, it seems like WR, OLB and OL are the most popular, in that order.

10) Is there a player the Packers seem to be keying in on?
Good luck figuring that out. While all GMs are evasive this time of year, that’s Ted Thompson’s mantra every day of his existence. And it’s what he demands of his staff. The Packers do as good a job of not showing their cards as anyone. If you want to take anything from this, both Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson were keeping a close eye on J.J. Watt at Wisconsin’s Pro Day.
11). Tell us about your site(s) and why our readers come visit. is a truly unique draft site. Combining in-house player rankings, a computer model and expert analysts that prioritize needs for each team, the result is a very realistic simulation of what will happen on draft day. There are some extremely knowledgeable people on board and I’m very happy to be a part of it. I also have my own site, “Jersey Al’s” The title and our slogan (All Packers All the Time) pretty much say it all. On a daily basis, myself and five other writers are analyzing and commenting on everything Packers, and we’ve built a passionate community of knowledgeable Packers fans.

12) Anything else to add about the Packers and the draft?
One thing we’ve learned is that it’s fruitless to try to predict what Ted Thompson is going to do. He’s going to look at his board and totally make his decisions based on who are his highest rated players and where he thinks he can get them. Having stated that disclaimer, I fully expect another receiving weapon for Aaron Rodgers, some OL help to protect him and another option for the OLB spot opposite Clay Matthews. Actually, it probably more accurate to say that’s what I want – LOL

Thanks a million. Let us know what you want to see happen in the draft Packers fans.

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