While the picks from the experts we'll look at may not all be the same player, one thing that is constant between all of the experts' picks is that they address the defensive side of the football. This was easily the biggest weakness on the 2011 roster, and it absolutely needs to be addressed early and often in the first round.
Here is a look at the first-round draft projections from the top NFL draft experts around the web.
Selection: Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois
We'll start with our very own Matt Miller, who, in his latest mock draft, has the Green Bay Packers selecting Mercilus from Illinois.
While Mercilus was one of the premier sack producers in college last season, his lack of production for the rest of his college career is a little worrisome. The biggest questions surrounding Mercilus are whether or not he is a one-hit wonder.
The Packers would also have to wonder whether Mercilus is truly athletic enough to play outside linebacker in the NFL. Of course, he could also play defensive end, but his inability to play against the run wouldn't help Green Bay at all.
Final Grade Of Pick: B
Not a huge fan of this pick, but the Packers could certainly do worse. One thing that would be certain if Green Bay does draft Mercilus is that they would have a player to create pressure opposite Clay Matthews.
Selection: Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
ESPN NFL draft mastermind Mel Kiper, Jr. has Perry slotted for the Green Bay Packers in his latest mock draft.
While it is hard to imagine Perry being available this late in the draft, if he is available, the Packers would be absolute fools to not draft him. In fact, if Perry is still available in the late teens or early twenties, Green Bay might even consider trading up for him.
Perry would be the dream complement to Clay Matthews at outside linebacker. His elite athleticism plus raw desire to get after the quarterback will likely make him one of the top defensive players in this year's draft.
The only real knock on Perry is his lack of versatility, but as a pure pass-rusher, there may not be anyone better.
Final Grade Of Pick: A
This is one of the most ideal picks for Green Bay, and they can only hope that Perry falls this far to them.
Selection: Andre Branch, DE, Clemson
Taking Branch here is an interesting pick. He certainly has the athleticism and upside to develop into a decent player, but he would be making the switch to outside linebacker and could take some time to figure the position out.
The problem with this is that the Packers need to spend their first pick on a player who can make an instant impact. If Branch can't do that, then he isn't the right guy to take for the Packers.
Final Grade Of Pick: C-
Green Bay could really do quite a bit better than Branch, especially when you consider that McShay still has Perry on the board heading into the second round.
Selection: Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
Wes Bunting of National Football Post has the Green Bay Packers selecting Perry in his latest mock draft, just like Mel Kiper, Jr.
We've already discussed how great of a pick this would be for the Packers, and my opinion hasn't changed in the last 15 minutes.
Adding Perry to the roster would instantly improve the Packers defense.
Final Grade Of Pick: A
One look at Perry's impressive numbers from the NFL combine and you'll see why he'd be such a great fit for Green Bay.
Selection: Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
The group over at Draft Tek have the Green Bay Packers selecting Barron of Alabama in their latest mock draft.
With the final verdict of Nick Collins still to be decided, this pick makes sense. Barron is the best available safety prospect in the draft, and some mock drafts have him going as early as the 14th pick.
There is no doubt that this is a great value pick for the Packers, but is it their best move?
It would depend on who is still on the board, but if any of the previous pass-rushers are—Nick Perry is in Draft Tek's mock—then this pick doesn't make that much sense. Even if Collins is unable to return, the Packers could take a developmental safety later in the draft to fill his void for the future.
While it is easy to see the logic behind this pick, the only way I can see it happening is if this is the best player available to Ted Thompson with no pass-rushers worth taking in the first round.
Final Grade Of Pick: C
On one hand, it is exciting to get the best safety available. However, on the other hand, it wouldn't improve the defense as much as a pass-rusher would.
Selection: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
Russ Lande of Sporting News goes a completely different direction than every other expect by having the Green Bay Packers select Gilmore of South Carolina in his latest mock draft.
There are two main reasons why this pick is a difficult one to imagine Green Bay making. First, Gilmore is still an extremely raw player. Yes, he has a big upside due to his size, athleticism and ball skills, but he really struggles in coverage.
Secondly, the Packers already boast three talented cornerbacks in Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams and Sam Shields. This isn't a huge need for Green Bay, and especially not one that needs to be addressed in the first round.
Final Grade Of Pick: F
Considering the depth of this year's cornerback class, the Packers could find a cornerback to develop much later in the draft.
Selection: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
As one of the experts for NFL.com, Bucky Brooks has the Green Bay packers selecting Upshaw from Alabama in his latest mock draft.
After struggling at the NFL Scouting Combine and looking out of shape at Alabama's Pro Day, Upshaw has seen himself fall down some draft boards. However, when you watch Upshaw play, you have to love what you see.
This is a player who can stop the run as well as rush the passer. The only area that he needs to improve in is pass protection, and even that area of his game is relatively good.
Upshaw has the ability to step in from day one and make a major impact on defense, which is exactly what Green Bay needs.
Final Grade Of Pick: A++
Of all the experts' picks, Brooks has the best one for the Packers. Upshaw looks like a special player, and his ability to possibly move to inside linebacker in the 3-4 defense would be another added bonus.