Repeat after me: you can never have too many defensive linemen.
This was a mantra I learned from Patty over at Packerchatters, something that I've had to tell myself anytime I perceive that the Packers have stretched for a defensive lineman in the draft.
The Packers may have compensated for their high-value pickup of Bryan Bulaga in the first by making a slight stretch for Mike Neal, a defensive tackle from Purdue that many draft pundits had as a third-rounder. Like many young defensive tackles, he seems to have many of the tools, but lacks consistency and/or motivation.
Naturally, when you take a player like this at #56, you wonder if he might still have been available at #86. But, I'm not going to throw too many darts for a couple of reasons:
1) I've learned from past experience that if I criticize a pick, there's a vocal fan base that labels me a Thompson Hater Who Doesn't Have the Job Qualifications To Be An NFL GM, which I can live with. Sure, I may have been right all along on Justin Harrell, but I have also been proven wrong on enough occasions when I thought Thompson had reached for a pick (Collins, Finley, Matthews) that I am willing to wait and see.
2) I think there were positions of greater need than the defensive line, but a lot of the guys we had been pining for (Mays at safety, Kindle at OLB) had already been snagged. And, looking at the best available players, very few names jumped out at me. In fact, most of the names that were still available were offensive tackles (Campbell, Brown, Veldheer), a position the Packers already addressed. One name that was intriguing me was corner Alterraun Verner, but again, he's a guy who might also make it to pick #86.
3) You can never have too many defensive linemen.
So, the jury will be out on Mr. Neal, but we'll give him every opportunity to prove he belongs as one of our beloved Green Bay Packers. On to the third round.