7-Round Green Bay Packers Mock Draft
For a team that went 11-5, dominated the NFC North, and is only one season removed from going 15-1, the Packers have a lot of holes to fill on their roster.
The Packers used the majority of last year's draft picks on defense, and despite all the new additions, their defense still came up short when it counted a humiliating loss to the 49ers at Candlestick Park.
With the Packers needing help on both sides of the ball, expect this year's draft to be much more balanced between defense and offense.
Although they won't be announced until later in March, my mock gives the Packers a compensatory 4th-round selection for the loss of Matt Flynn and Scott Wells, and also takes into consideration the addition of Jeff Saturday.
Round 1: Johnathan Hankins , DT , Ohio State , 6' 3" , 320
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Ryan Pickett is in the last year of his contract, and at 33 years of age, chances are he will not be back with the Packers in 2014.
Like Pickett, Hankins is an Ohio State product, who at 6'3" and 320 pounds has the versatility to play either end or tackle in the Packers scheme.
Hankins won't put up huge sack numbers, but in the Packers' 3-4 defense, he will be able to do what's important—occupy blockers, push the pocket, and stop the run.
Round 2: Phillip Thomas, Fresno State, FS , 6'1" , 208
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Unlike last year's draft class, the 2013 draft is loaded with talent at the safety position. And with the release of Charles Woodson, a play-making safety should be a priority for the Packers this draft.
Thomas missed all of his junior season after suffering a serious leg injury, but rebounded nicely his senior season with eight interceptions, three of which were returned for touchdowns, four forced fumbles, and four sacks.
Thomas would make an excellent complement to Morgan Burnett in the Packers secondary.
Round 3: David Quessenberry , OL , San Jose State , 6'5" , 302
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All indications are that the Packers will be sticking with Evan Dietrich Smith at center this coming season. But the Packers could use some depth along the interior of their offensive line, and Quessenberry would be a great fit.
Although listed as a tackle, the versatile Quessenberry was impressive at the Senior Bowl. He showed the ability to play tackle as well as guard, and many scouts think he could play center as well.
Round 4: Stepfan Taylor, RB , Stanford , 5'9" , 214
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The Packers had a revolving door at running back last season with James Starks, Cedric Benson, Alex Green, Ryan Grant and DuJuan Harris all getting looks at starting running back, so the Packers will probably look to add someone in the middle rounds to help solidify their backfield.
Taylor didn't have a great combine, but his time at Stanford was very productive, rushing for over 1,000 yards each of the last three seasons.
Taylor is a well-rounded back who does not excel in any one area when running the ball, but he is a willing pass protector and catches the ball well out of the backfield, traits the Packers covet in their running backs.
Round 4 Compensatory Pick: Tavarres King, WR , Georgia , 6' , 189
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Combine the retirement of Donald Driver, the likely loss of Greg Jennings in free agency and James Jones' impending free agency, and the Packers need to look at adding more talent at the wide receiver position.
King would give the Packers a speedy vertical threat who also has the ability to get some yards after the catch. King has had some drop issues, but as James Jones has proven, that can be corrected.
King had productive junior and senior seasons at Georgia, combining for 1655 yards, 17 touchdowns and 89 receptions.
Round 5: Cornelius Washington , OLB , Georgia , 6'4" , 265
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Eric Walden is an unrestricted free agent, and restricted free agent Frank Zombo has not been able to stay healthy the past couple seasons, so the Packers may look to add depth at the outside linebacker position.
Washington wasn't incredibly productive in college, but he had a very impressive combine performance, putting up a 40 time that was better than some running backs (4.55), and more bench-press reps than most of the offensive and defensive linemen (36).
Washington is a project for sure, but he has experience playing standing up and with his hand on the ground, and with some coaching, he could become a productive pass-rusher.
Round 6: Joseph Fauria , TE , UCLA , 6'6" , 259
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There has been a lot of discussion about the future of Jermichael Finley with the Packers. While I don't see the Packers letting Finley go this season, they might look to find his replacement sometime in this draft.
An injury suffered at an East West Shrine Game practice kept Fauria from participating in most of the drills at the combine. And if he is healthy enough to participate at the UCLA pro day, don't expect him to set any records with his 40 time, but Fauria's size and soft hands make him a great red-zone target, something he proved last year by catching 12 touchdowns for UCLA.
Round 7: Vince Williams , ILB , Florida State , 6' , 240
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The Packers have a lot of bodies at inside linebacker, but also a lot of questions. A.J. Hawk is overpaid and should either be cut or have his deal restructured, D.J. Smith and Desmond Bishop are both coming off of serious injuries, Brad Jones and Robert Francois are unrestricted and restricted free agents respectively and Jamari Lattimore and Terrell Manning have only contributed on special teams so far.
Despite a good showing at the Senior Bowl, Williams did not get an invite to the combine.
Williams started all 14 games for the Seminoles at middle linebacker last season, and was named a team captain.
Williams may not be the stud inside linebacker many Packer fans have been hoping for, but he would provide some additional depth at a position with a lot of question marks.