I know the NFL 2012 season is just in Week 14, and the college bowl season hasn't started yet, but it's never to early to get a gauge on the NFL draft.
To get a good assessment of the 2013 draft class, the scouts, coaches and front office-types are looking forward to the bowls, the East-West Shrine game, the Senior Bowl, the NFL Scouting Combine and the Pro Day workouts for the players.
When it comes to the Green Bay Packers, the draft is always a key component for Ted Thompson, as it is the biggest building block he uses to field his roster.
I did a number of mock drafts for the Packers before the 2012 NFL draft, including this one where I correctly projected Nick Perry and Casey Hayward to be selected by the Pack.
Sometimes a blind squirrel finds an acorn.
I'm going to do an early 2013 mock draft for the Packers, this time only doing three rounds. I'm basing this on the needs of the Packers, and how certain players would fill those needs, plus add to the offensive and defensive schemes of Green Bay.
Barrett Jones is VERY versatile as an offensive linemen, and that is a major attribute that the Packers look for in their lineman.
Jones played center his senior year at Alabama, but has played both guard and tackle earlier in his Crimson Tide career.
Jones won two very prestigious awards recently, as he won 2012 Rimington Trophy (best center in college football) and the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy (best scholar-athlete in the nation).
Was also named All-SEC by both the coaches and writers as the first-team center in 2012.
In 2011, when Jones played left tackle, Jones was named All-Ameican and All-SEC, plus won the 2011 Outland Trophy. Alabama also won the national championship.
In 2009 and 2010, Jones played right guard, including his freshman year, when Bama won yet another national title.
The Crimson Tide will be playing for another national title in 2012, as they will play Notre Dame in the BCS Championship Game in January.
Jones would fill a need at center for the Packers, as Jeff Saturday is not getting any younger. He is very smart, plus is an exceptional run blocker, and has been usually very solid in his pass protection as well.
Montee Ball is finishing his senior season strong, as he was named the Grange-Griffin Big Ten Championship Game MVP, when Ball rushed for 202 yards and three touchdowns against Nebraska.
Ball also won the Doak Walker Award (nations top running back) in 2012, plus was named first-team All-Big Ten at running back in 2012 (like he was in 2011). Also was named Big Ten Running Back of the Year this season (also in 2011).
Ball also holds the Division I FBS all-time touchdown record with 82 trips (rushing and receiving) to the end zone. Also hold the Division 1 FBS all-time record with 76 rushing touchdowns.
In 2012, Ball rushed for 1,730 yards and 21 touchdowns.
In 2011, when Ball was a Heisman finalist, the Badger running back rushed for 1,923 yards, had 33 rushing touchdowns, plus had six receiving touchdowns.
In 2010, Ball rushed for 996 yards and had 18 rushing touchdowns.
Behind Ball, the Badgers have now won three straight Big Ten championships and will have gone to three straight Rose Bowls, as the Badgers will be facing Stanford in Pasadena on New Year's Day in 2013.
Overall in his career, Ball has 5,040 yards rushing, plus had 58 receptions for 591 more yards.
Ball would fit a need for Green Bay at running back, plus he would adapt to the offensive scheme of the Packers very well.
Ball is a natural cut-back runner, who hits the hole hard. Has excellent vision, plus has a nice blend of speed and power. Is also a very good receiver and a good blocker.
Kwame Geathers is a mountain of a man who was part of a rotation on Georgia's talented defensive line in 2012, which was led by defensive tackle Jonathan Jenkins.
Geathers was named to the 2010 SEC Coaches All-SEC Freshman Team, plus was named to the preseason All-SEC Second Team by Lindy's in 2011.
In 2012, Geathers had 37 total tackles, which includes five tackles for a loss. Also had one sack and one blocked kick.
Comes from a NFL family, as his father Robert Sr. was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 1981, and his brother Robert Jr., is now playing with the Cincinnati Bengals. Robert also played at Georgia. His uncle Jumpy played in the NFL for 13 seasons.
Geathers would fill a couple of roles for the Packers, as he could play both nose tackle and defensive end. Very good run stuffer.
Defensive lineman Ryan Pickett is having a solid year for the Packers in 2012, but he is also 33 years old.