First Round, 28th overall: OLB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama
In the time leading up to the draft, I never thought it would be possible that Upshaw would still be on the board for the Packers, and Shea McClellin would not. I asked The Sideline View specifically which of the two players is more likely to be available at 28, and I received the following response via Twitter, "Upshaw ... for sure. Either Upshaw is there or neither is there." In my final mock draft, which I'll post tomorrow, I have Shea McClellin long gone by the time the Packers are on the clock. I believe that Thompson would draft the versatile McClellin over Upshaw if given the choice between the two, but he'd gladly settle for Upshaw's value at the pick No. 28. Upshaw may only end up being a six to eight sack per year type of guy, but he'll be a tremendous upgrade over Erik Walden particularly in setting the edge in the run game.
Second Round, 59th overall: RB Chris Polk, Washington
While I don't think adding another running back will be at the top of Ted Thompson's to-do list, Chris Polk seems like a great fit for the Packers' offense. Polk was a high school wide receiver before switching to running back at Washington, and his pass-catching ability is something that James Starks simply doesn't bring to the table. I think Polk could sneak into the middle of the second round, but he'd be a great value if he lasts until the 59th pick. It wouldn't surprise me if Polk came off the board before Miami's Lamar Miller because there are less concerns about Polk above the shoulders.
Third Round, 90th overall: S Justin Bethel, Presbyterian
Nick Collins' time in Green Bay has come to an end. Green Bay needs a replacement, and Bethel is a small-school cornerback with enough range to play safety in the NFL. Bethel and Collins are similar in stature at just a hair over 5'11", and Bethel's 76.75" wingspan and 39.5" vertical which would be a huge benefit as a "center fielder" at free safety. I think Bethel is one of the real sleepers in this draft, and I think his value stands in the late third, or early fourth round.
Fourth Round, 123rd overall: C Philip Blake, Baylor
After the Packers signed Jeff Saturday, their need for a center became a little less glaring. I like Philip Blake a lot, and I think he's ready to play as a rookie; however, he won't be forced on to the field immediately in Green Bay. Blake would be a great value in the fourth round for the Packers.
Fourth Round, 132nd overall: DE Trevor Guyton, California
At 6' 3" 285 pounds, Guyton is cut out of the same mold as former Packer defensive end Cullen Jenkins. Guyton would not only provide depth to a thin unit, he'd instantly become one of the Packers' best interior pass rushers. If Guyton is selected by Green Bay, I'd assume he'd be the other down lineman next to Anthony Hargrove in the Packers' 2-4-5 nickel alignment.
Fourth Round, 133rd overall: CB Jeremy Lane, Northwestern State
I expect 2011 draftee Davon House to have a chance to see a lot more playing time in 2012; however, the Packers will likely still draft at least one cornerback this weekend. Jeremy Lane's stock has been on the rise of late, and he's been mentioned anywhere between the late third round to early fifth round. At 6' 0" 190 pounds, Lane has the size Green Bay covets in its cornerbacks.
Fifth Round, 163rd overall: OT Nate Potter, Boise State
Chad Clifton's time in Green Bay is over. Marshall Newhouse filled in admirably for Clifton last season, and right tackle Bryan Bulaga was the third best tackle in football, according to Pro Football Focus. In the fifth round, the Packers could grab a young tackle to develop in the future. Ted Thompson already grabbed a tackle from Boise State once in Daryn College, and he could do the same in Nate Potter.
Sixth Round, 197th Overall: QB Austin Davis, Southern Miss
From Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers, and from Ingle Martin to Matt Flynn, the Packers seem to have an infatuation with 6' 2" quarterbacks cut out of the same body type. Davis fits the bill, and he comes from Southern Miss, just like the guy that used to wear No. 4. Personally, I'd love to see the Packers grab Russell Wilson in Round 5, but something tells me Austin Davis is the type of quarterback they'd like to add late in the draft.
Seventh Round, 224th Overall: ILB Noah Keller, Ohio
There's a possibility that the Packers could cut ties with A.J. Hawk following the upcoming season. Hawk will be back in 2012 because Green Bay would be forced to take a huge cap hit if they release him, but the penalty wouldn't be nearly as severe if they cut him after 2012. If Hawk's days in Green Bay are coming to an end, the Packers could look for a replacement in this year's draft. Dont'a Hightower in round one is an intriguing possibility to say the least, but Keller is a good value in the seventh round.
Seventh Round, 235th Overall: RB Michael Smith, Utah State
Robert Turbin gets the most press as far as Utah State running backs in this year's draft, but Michael Smith is no slouch. Despite not being invited to the combine, Smith clocked a 4.33 40-yard dash at his pro day. He's short and compact, at 5'8" and 207 pounds, but he's an incredible athlete. If he's around this late in the draft, Ted Thompson would certainly consider adding dimension to to his offense.
Seventh Round, 241st Overall: WR Jordan White, Western Michigan
The last time the Packers went to Western Michigan for help at wide receiver, they ended up with Greg Jennings. I'm not suggesting Jordan White is going to be anything close to Jennings, but Ted Thompson usually drafts at least one receiver. In the seventh round, the Packers could afford to take a flier on another pass catcher.
Seventh Round, 243rd Overall: OLB Darius Fleming, Notre Dame
Every year, several players miraculously drop their 40 times between the Combine and their pro day. Fleming falls under this category, clocking a 4.74 at the combine and a 4.54 at his pro day. Since the primary job of a 3-4 outside linebacker is to rush the passer, Fleming could be attractive to teams since he as college experience at defensive end, as well as linebacker.
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