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Peter Konz pulling in Wisconsin's top-tier offense.
Stand Pat at Selection No. 28: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Fans in the Badger state would rejoice as their favorite pro team gets their first ever in-state first-round selection in Konz.
Konz is the unanimous choice as best center in this class and the Packers could start him day-one if Wells is gone and they can't sign an experienced veteran center.
Since the Packers management has had a rough history handling Wells (McCarthy tried to bench him for Jason Spitz even after a great camp from the Wells at one point, not to mention these recent contract negotiation disparities), I expect to see a new face at center.
I know it's not an earth-shattering or surprising pick, but sometimes the logical path proves true even with the unpredictability of General Manager Ted Thompson.
Check out this video of Konz to see what a team-first, classy competitor he is after an emotional Rose Bowl loss this past season.
Trade Up: Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis; Fletcher Cox, DE, Miss. St.; Nick Perry, USC OLB/DE
These three are the best at their respective positions in a 3-4 for this draft class. In Poe's case, he's extremely athletic and the strongest guy at the combine, two talents that are rarely found in combination on a guy who is nearly 350 pounds. For the Packers 3-4, never overlook the importance of the massive nose tackles. With Ryan Pickett getting older and Howard Green entering free agency, the Packers will be extremely thin without some injections of mass, muscle and athleticism into their defensive line.
Get to know Poe in this interview.
Similar to Poe, Cox displayed incredible athletic abilities at the combine, and when you combine that with his play on the football field, he's suddenly the top 3-4 defensive end available.
In these Cox highlights here, the big fella showed some wheels on the fumble recovery, then runs out of gas.
Perry is a talent most mocks have noted as being ideal for the 3-4 OLB role. The problems I see in this are: the transition won't be as smooth for Perry as it was for Clay Mathews and, in connection, the Packers need someone who can actually cover in the linebacking corps.
Perry spent nearly all his time as a DE in USC. The team has a different coach now, which affects NFL projections of talent.
This highlight reel makes Perry look even more impressive, probably due to the heavy metal music. I kid.
Note: Keep in mind, the trading system for draft picks would likely mean the Packers would move up a maximum of 10 picks (3-8 may be most realistic), so the idea is if any of these three fall to 18-25, the Packers would try to jump ahead.
Trade Down: Vinny Curry, OLB Marshall
Another guy who would have to transition from hand-in-the-ground defensive end to 3-4 outside backer. My take is Curry's small-school status puts some risk factor on him being a bona fide first-rounder, and Ted Thompson could take advantage of the value found throughout the second and third rounds by trading down.
Curry's top attribute is pass-rushing ability that the Packers sorely lack currently. Curry would project as a pass-rushing specialist in his first year with the possibility of spending some time in the base defense, depending on his progress in coverage.
No one will like trading down; it just doesn't make a big splash or seem fitting for a 15-1 squad. But I don't see the end of the first round as having a lot of "can't miss" talent that can't be found later.
Here's a Senior Bowl video highlight of Curry getting to the quarterback against NFL-level linemen.
Thompson has a track record of drafting for the long haul, although we have to assume he's also aware of the short window all general managers must recognize for being able to hoist the Lombardi trophy multiple times in a 2-4 year window.