NEW YORK - he 2013 NFL Draft is in the books for the Green Bay Packers. Ted Thompson and his staff went with some expected picks early on, but went on to make some more unconventional project players in the later rounds of the draft. We'll spend some time evaluating what Thompson did in the coming needs, but it looks like he did a good job of filling needs without reaching.
Datone Jones should compete for a starting job at 3-4 end right away, while the running back position has been completely overhauled. The current backs on the roster have been put on notice with the selections of power back Eddie Lacy and shifty pass-catcher Johnathan Franklin. Thompson also filled needs on the o-line in the 4th round, picking tackle David Bakhtiari and J.C. Tretter, who can play any of the five positions on the line.
A number of the players picked later have yet to have their positions defined, or will change positions at the next level. Micah Hyde played corner in college, but could potentially play safety in the pros. Josh Boyd could be a nose tackle or a three-technique in packages that call for one. Nate Palmer is a college DE that will play OLB, while college OLB Sam Barrington will almost certainly move inside.
The two wide receivers picked are very different players. Charles Johnson is a small-school workout warrior who played at three different colleges, while Kevin Dorsey saw his stock fall thanks to the decreased production that came with Maryland's disastrous QB situation.
FOREST COUNTY - Forest Count and Wisconsin Off-Road Vehicle Park Inc. (WORVPI) have found a 10,000 acre plot of land they would like to buy for an off-road park, according to WORVPI President John Schnorr.
Schnorr wouldn't discuss the exact location in Forest County, but said they would hope to buy the parcels by June 2014. Right now they’re contracting an engineering firm to evaluate the land.
"That's so environmental concerns can be met," Schnorr said. "We'll look at that as well as a pleasurable experience for an off-road visitor who is going to come up and spend hopefully a weeks vacation in Forest County."
Forest County leaders believe an off-road park could help bring more tourists to the area, and with that more money. The county has the fifth worst unemployment rate, 7.9 percent, in Wisconsin.
WORVPI used Ripon College to perform a feasibility study on the off-road park. It says the average off-roader will travel 300 miles to visit an off-road park. It also projected an off-road park could bring in nearly $28 million per year for Forest County businesses.
"It will take us some time to operate and open it up and develop the trails, the camp sites, the amenities inside," Schnorr said. "Realistically we could see an opening date of Memorial Day of 2015."
The park would host ATVs, motorcycles and other vehicles on off-road trails.
People can help fund the park by purchasing $150 charter membership passes. More than 30 have already been purchased. Schnorr says only 100 will be available.
"The pass will entitle the holder to a park pass, an annual park pass, for the first year when the park opens," Schnorr said. "It will give us some capital up front and afford them a discounted price down the road."
Even with the progress, Schnorr says the project is still in the early stages.
"If you are an optimist, you think a huge amount of progress has been made," Schnorr said. "But if you are a pessimist, not enough progress has been made."
MEDFORD - You know curling from the Olympics. This week, master curlers from across the country are throwing their rocks in Medford. But this kind of curling you won’t see in Sochi, Mixed Doubles.
"Mixed doubles is fun. I really like it. It's really quick, everything happens quick and you're making a lot of precision shots because you don't have sweepers. I like that a lot and I like getting to play with Brady," said Cristin Clark.
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