2012 NFL Mock Draft: Green Bay Packers 7-Round Predictions
For many NFL teams, the season is over and the scouting process gets further underway.
Not for the Packers, though, who hope to capture a second straight Super Bowl title.
However, after the post-season, Green Bay boasts one of the best scouting GMs in the league in Ted Thompson.
Thompson finds value even in the late rounds, something that sets him apart and feeds his build-through-the-draft policy.
First Round: Fletcher Cox, DE/DT, Mississippi State
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Cox opened the season on a sour note, getting suspended in his first game for team violating team policies.
Since then, he's had a solid season and has moved up on draft boards.
The Packers are short on defensive lineman and Cox has the skill set and athleticism to become a dominant 3-4 defensive end.
Only a junior, Cox has already declared for the NFL draft.
Second Round: Bobby Massie, OT, Mississippi State
If the Packers make this selection, they'll have spent three high picks in three seasons on O-linemen.
The first one, Bryan Bulaga worked out well. Derek Sherrod had some rookie struggles and broke his leg.
Chad Clifton, while still an upgrade over Marshall Newhouse, will likely retire in a few seasons.
Massie is a well-rounded tackle with a strength in run-blocking and upside. He would likely kick Bulaga over to left tackle after a season or two of development, if Sherrod doesn't work out.
Third Round: Bruce Irvin, DE/OLB, West Virginia
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It's no secret that Clay Matthews needs someone else to put pressure on the quarterback if Green Bay's defense wants to succeed.
For that reason, the Packers could choose a pass-rushing OLB earlier than this, and Vinny Curry is a candidate in rounds one and two.
Irvin's sacks decreased in 2011, but he's starting to heat up with 6.5 sacks in the last four games.
The West Virginia star can increase his stock with a nice showing against Clemson, but must get stronger in order to avoid being a third-down specialist.
Fourth Round: Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana
One thing Thompson always does is draft one successful small-school player each year—D.J. Smith, James Starks, T.J. Lang, Josh Sitton, James Jones, Greg Jennings and Nick Collins are all from schools without many players in the NFL.
The small-school standout is an athletic playmaker who thrives with the ball in his hands but takes gambles.
Johnson's raw, and combined with Green Bay's plethora of corners, he may not see much, if any, playing time during his rookie season.
Still, this FCS All-American is one to watch out for as teams get a closer look at what he can do.
Fifth Round: Chris Rainey, RB, Florida
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It's a bit of a reach for Rainey, who could go a round or two later, but it could be the type of pick Ted Thompson needs to put the Packers offense up to a level of being completely unstoppable.
Rainey, as well as committee back Jeff Demps at the University of Florida, is a lightning-fast running back who can be utilized as a returner, slot receiver and change-of-pace back.
Rainey could be a lot like Darren Sproles. He could become a similar and special player for the Packers if utilized correctly.
Sixth Round: Dominique Davis, QB, East Carolina
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Dominique Davis is an intriguing developmental prospect.
As we know, Matt Flynn will likely leave during free agency or possibly get slapped with the franchise tag for a trade, leaving Graham Harrell as the Packers back-up quarterback.
Davis has physical tools and has had dominant games as a passer, but he is inconsistent. It's time for the Packers to take a late-round flier and develop another QB.
Seventh Round: Donte Paige-Moss, OLB, UNC
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A pre-season top 10 pick, look how the mighty have fallen.
Paige-Moss had one of the most disappointing seasons in all of college football. He followed a dud of a season with a bowl game in which he tore his ACL, making it highly unlikely for teams to look at him further.
It wouldn't be a surprise to see Paige-Moss go undrafted. But, if he can return from his knee injury ok, he has upside as a pass rusher.
To be honest, it was a terrible decision by the former UNC star to make the decision to leave early in the first place.