To cap off Ted’s Defensive Extravaganza, he used his 1st fourth round pick, and 2nd pick from Cleveland to grab the hometown boy, Vince Biegel from the University of Wisconsin. Ted stayed true to the needs of the team and spent his first 4 picks on the defensive side of the ball. And no one complained. And even better, he sold the original 1st round pick and got both Kevin King and Vince Biegel out of it. Man, Ted is such an old, senile, waste of space GM. C’mon people!
And this is where the T.J Watt v. Vince Biegel debate will begin and end. Because many will say, “Yeah, but we could have had T.J!” And you are right. We could have. And who knows, he may end up being the better player. My argument for him was always that I think he was just opening up; he was at his launching pad. Whereas, most other critics claimed he had no experience. Can go either way. And honestly, I think he would have been a good player on a mediocre team, but for him to end up with the Pittsburgh Steelers, that scares me a bit.
But let’s, for just a minute, pretend that Biegel is better. Or at least let me try and convince you. Because I watch Badger football. Religiously. And I am not just some guy blowing smoke up your rear end. I can say, with great confidence, that Biegel, at this juncture is without a doubt the better player. And I think Watt’s success last year came at the heels of Biegel’s success in the years prior. You need to know, that in Biegel’s sophomore and junior season, he had 30.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks. That’s almost double the numbers Clay Matthews had in his entire career at USC (13.5 tackles for loss & 5.5 sacks) and darn close to Nick Perry’s (29.5 tackles for loss & 21.5 sacks).
To many, Biegel is a close reminder of Clay Matthews. Yeah, the tackles for loss are a bit off and so are the sacks, but Biegel has always been overshadowed. Much like Clay was at USC. In 2009, four USC linebackers were drafted in the first four rounds: Brian Cushing, Clay Matthews, Rey Maualuga and Kaluka Maiava. Matthews was the lesser of the names. Matthews talent was there. Just a bit overshadowed. Biegel has had that with Joe Schobert last year and Watt his senior year. But the skills, have always been there.
- Vince Biegel: 6’3, 246 lbs., 4.67 40 time, 6.92 3-cone
- Clay Matthews: 6’3, 240 lbs., 4.6740 time, 6.90 3-cone
Enough with the Biegel v Watt conundrum. Ted did what Ted wanted and we will just have to wait and see. Unfortunately, for both Ted and Vince, the names Biegel and Watt will always be linked. And even if Biegel has a A.J Hawk like career and T.J has more splashy sacks, it will be a loss to many. I personally think it was a steal.
So where does he fit with this team? Is he an inside guy? Does he stay outside? Though fourth-round picks rarely contribute as primary pass-rushers during their rookie year, such a role doesn’t seem unrealistic for Biegel in Green Bay. The offseason departures of Julius Peppers and Datone Jones leave plenty of snaps up for grabs.
More specifically, Biegel could see extensive action at the right outside linebacker. Clay Matthews, the team’s starting “Sam” backer could spend more of his time off the ball and see his total snap count reduced to account for his declining skill set. That should create opportunities for Biegel and others to see the field more on defense.
There will be a lot of excitement in the state of Wisconsin when Biegel is on the field. His time on the field will be interesting. His versatility will offer him those options. But he still is a fourth-round pick. Although that hasn’t seemed to be an issue in Green Bay:
2009: TJ Lang
2011: Davon House
2012: Mike Daniels / Jerron McMillian
2013: David Bahktiari / JC Tretter / Johnathan Franklin
2014: Carl Bradford
2015: Jake Ryan
2016: Blake Martinez / Dean Lowry
At this point, the only thing in my mind holding back Vince is his injuries. Biegel underwent foot surgery in early May, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky and Adam Schefter and PackersNews.com’s Ryan Wood.
Demovsky reported the injury was a Jones fracture, the same injury that forced Biegel to miss two games last season against Michigan and Ohio State.
ESPN’s report said the injury will cost Biegel “the remainder of the offseason,” with the Green Bay Packers “hopeful” the 2016 Badgers captain can return for the start of training camp in late July. Wood’s report states the linebacker “is expected to be ready” for camp, though the team may be “cautious.”
This is Biegel’s second injury within his first month of being a Packer. During the rookie orientation minicamp, he suffered a hand injury. Along with head coach Mike McCarthy, Biegel told reporters it was minor.
Later that weekend, he wore a precautionary small club/cast.
Sure do hope this is done and out of the way and he can play his career. Because I would hate for us to look back on this in a few years and see T.J playing like his brother and us asking “What if?” with Biegel. Faith my friends. Say your “Go Pack Go’s” and your “On Wisconsin’s” before bed each night and cross your fingers!
I want a fair shot of this mulleted machine! If he gets it, watch out! He will be a bull. Welcome Home!