2012 NFL Draft: Green Bay Packers' Full 7-Round Mock
The Packers have struggled on defense all year, and could use a little help at the linebacker position to take some pressure off Clay Matthews. They could also use some help on their defensive line, as the departure of Cullen Jenkins has certainly left a void the Packers have yet to successfully fill.
The Packers could even look at improving their offense, drafting a running back who could make their offense even more potent, or another offensive lineman to add some depth.
Here is an early prediction of who the Packers might select in the 2012 NFL draft to help improve a team that seems to be getting better and better by the year.
Round 1: Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina
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Since they didn't go after an outside linebacker last year in the draft, and considering the position is a big need on defense, the Packers will likely go with Zach Brown, who is projected to go in the late first round.
Brown's biggest strength appears to be speed, as he is one of the fastest outside linebackers in the draft.
He would be an excellent complement to Clay Matthews on the other side of the field, as one of the biggest problems for the Packers defense this year has been the struggle to effectively pressure opposing quarterbacks, due to all the attention opponents pay to Matthews.
If another talent like Brown takes over on the other side, the Packers' linebacking corps and pass-rush becomes much more formidable (as it was in 2010).
Round 2: Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State
Brandon Jenkins is a very versatile defensive end who has the speed to play linebacker as well.
Jenkins would help fill the void of Cullen Jenkins, who was an aging but very talented defensive end who is now with Philadelphia.
The Packers will need to seriously revamp their defensive line to give their opponents less time to throw and more time on the ground.
Spending a couple of high picks on a couple promising defensive linemen will certainly help and add depth to the position.
Round 3: Kevin Zietler, OG, Wisconsin
The Packers could use a little depth on their offensive line, and what better place to go than in their own backyard.
Kevin Zietler is one of the more talented offensive guards in the draft, and he even hails from Wisconsin, a college known for its sturdy offensive line.
At this point in time, the Packers have five solid starting linemen on their roster, but certainly lack the depth in case of injury, especially in the interior, where Evan Dietrich-Smith is their best option.
Even if Zietler doesn't pan out as a full-time starter, he could certainly be a solid backup to rely upon.
Round 3, Compensatory Pick: Antonio Allen, S, South Carolina
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The Packers will likely be getting at least one compensatory pick this year, and it could be as early as the third round if they aren't able to franchise upcoming free agent QB Matt Flynn.
This is where the Packers will draft their insurance option at safety, with the instinctive Antonio Allen out of South Carolina.
If veteran safety Nick Collins decides to hang up the cleats due to a neck injury sustained earlier in the year, the Packers are going to have to spend a high-round pick on a safety.
Even if they are unsure of Collins' status, it would be wise to spend a pick on the position at this point.
Round 4: Cliff Harris, CB, Oregon
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The 2012 draft has plenty of talented cornerbacks, and Cliff Harris is one of them.
A highly instinctive player with great recognition skills, Harris could be Ted Thompson's plan for the future when it comes to the cornerback position.
With Charles Woodson only getting older, the Packers will likely have to draft a few young corners to replace him; or, at the very least, add some depth, which is lacking as backup corners Jarrett Bush and Pat Lee are simply not reliable.
The Packers have three talented corners in Woodson, Tramon Williams and Sam Shields, but they could certainly use more depth and consider planning for the future at the position.
Round 5: Rhett Ellison, TE, USC
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Mike McCarthy loves to utilize tight ends in his offense, and Ted Thompson likes to draft tight ends around here, picking up Andrew Quarless in the fifth round in 2009, and D.J. Williams in the same round the draft after.
The Packers could be without Jermichael Finley next year, and if this is the case, they may spend an earlier pick on a tight end.
However, they may decide to try out Quarless, Williams and Tom Crabtree at TE, with the addition of a new mid-to-late round end like Ellison.
Either way, the Packers will have plenty of weapons next year.
Round 6: Vic Ballard, RB, Mississippi
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The Packers have two promising running backs in James Starks and Alex Green, and a veteran back in Ryan Grant who can still make some big plays.
Their running game still could use improvement, however, and a late-round pickup might be what Green Bay needs.
Ballard is more of a thick-framed, power running back; a back who would be a nice complement to James Starks' more speedy, finesse running style.
The Packers may not run the ball too often, but they still like to have a variety of differing talents on offense, and Ballard can certainly bring something new to the table.
Round 7: Michael Brewster, C, Ohio State
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The Packers' backup center is technically Evan Dietrich-Smith, who is actually a guard.
While Scott Wells has proven to be one of the best yet also one of the most underrated centers in the league, the Packers could certainly use more depth at center, and Brewster could be the answer.
Late-round picks are commonly used to fill depth, and Brewster, one of the top centers in the draft, would be a fine pick.
He may even be worth an earlier pick if he begins climbing draft boards as the day approaches.