So much talk of Shade Tree McCullers. For God's sakes, what has he really done with that 6-8 365? If he can't somehow get more that 1.5 sacks in 2 full seasons... 6 hurries over 2 seasons... I would expect more. And, that's against college talent. What will his #s translate to at the NFL level?
I appreciate his raw size Wade as a NT. But, without the speed needed to make more tackles, sacks and hurries, I don't see how he would be any better than Harrell was for us.
He is without a doubt, one big dude. Can our DL staff coach him up?
First, I admit to being of the "Function #1 of a NT is to occupy two or more blockers per play and clog up the middle" persuasion. So, for me, numbers of sacks, hurries, and tackles don't mean all that much. Raji likely will get a lot more sacks over the rest of his career than McCullers will, just as he was able to get more sacks than Pickett. But he was never as good as Pickett was pre-2013, and IMO he'll never be as good as McCullers either.
What I want to know is how many people it takes to keep him controlled. That, not the sacks, has been my biggest gripe against BJ Raji for most of his GB career -- save for two brief periods at the end of 2010 and the very beginning of last year, he has consistently been handled by a single blocker. This is to be contrasted with Pickett, who, until last year, consistently and regularly required at least two. And in the prime of his career, often three.
Shade Tree will be pre-2013-Pickett, version II. Or better.
Second, Harrell's big issue was injuries. He really never got to show us what he might have been.
Third, the biggest criticism I have seen of McCullers is that of "attitude". And I just don't see that criticism. I swear, every time someone sees a fat guy standing there instead of jumping down rah-rah waving his arms, they say he needs someone to motivate him. I don't even buy that argument with Raji.
Fourth, I don't think he needs as much coaching up as you think. All he needs to be told is "never move backward" and "keep two guys busy on every play you're in the game." Like I said, that's what I want in a nose tackle.
Once you pass 310 or so, it's not size that matters most at NT, and its not speed that matters at NT, its power-per-pound. And I think what you're going to see from McCullers, hopefully on the Packer nose, is really big power-per-pound.
Pickett-level power-per-pound, not Raji-level power-per-pound.
Of course, 365 pounds at Pickett power levels is better than 335 pounds at Pickett power levels. But McCullers is the Shade Tree not because he is 365 pounds, but because he has the power.
Because he has the power to stop movement that a big ol' shade tree has. Cutting down a shade tree takes two people on a crosscut saw, or one honking powerful chain saw. And there ain't many OL chain saws that will be able to take this one down with help.
Hell, you don't need a position coach. Just make the 53rd roster spot Pickett's and have the Ol' Greasy show him the ropes.
But if you disagree, don't worry. I don't expect Ted Thompson to actually pick McCullers. He never picks who I hope he'll pick.
And I'll admit that, most of the time, his failure to do so a really good thing -- though I think I was right when I said he should "reach" for Ngata rather than make the safe pick with Hawk.
But you watch. Don't be surprised if he ends up a day one starter somewhere regardless of where he is drafted. And don't be surprised if he goes a lot earlier than people think (as in *early* second). And really don't be surprised when he makes pro bowl/all pro before anyone the Packers draft after the first round this year. And, unless that first rounder is, say, someone like Clinton-Dix or Pryor, or the result of a major trade-up, before anyone the Packers draft at all.
Just hope it isn't someone in the NFC North.
If I could be the agent for one NFL rookie, this is the guy I'd want it to be. Barring injury, this dude is going to make some agent a crapload of money before he's done.
Because he's going to frustrate the hell out of a lot of guards and centers, annoy a lot of quarterbacks who get sacked by the other guys, and ensure sleepless nights for a lot of offensive coordinators.