Assigning Odds to Every Potential Green Bay Packers' First-Round Pick
The Packers do have a number of holes to fill this offseason, but none is so pressing that the Packers will be locked into one specific direction.
By having flexibility, the Packers are in a great spot to get value with their first-round pick. They can grab the best player available at almost any position.
Odds are assigned based on the Packers staying in the first round and using their pick. If the Packers can find a willing trade partner, however, there is a great chance that the team trades out of the first round to get more picks later on.
Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina–8.33 Percent
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The Packers have some definite question marks on the defensive line.
With B.J. Raji entering the final year of his contract and Ryan Pickett getting up there in age at 33, there is uncertainty for the big men upfront. While the Packers need an edge-rusher, they could also use another large body to create space and get some push.
Sylvester Williams fits the mold and should be available when the Packers get on the clock. The UNC product generates solid penetration and is able to collapse the pocket with his quickness. He plays well against both the pass and the run.
The odds of Green Bay picking Williams are fairly low, with the Packers likely finding better value at other positions. However, if they fall in love with Williams, he could definitely be the pick.
D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama–8.33 Percent
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If the Packers are going to upgrade their offensive line in the first round, it would seem to be at the tackle position.
Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang have been solid at the guard position and played even better once the Packers made the switch at center. Tackles Marshall Newhouse and Bryan Bulaga were shaky at times, but held their own at others.
D.J. Fluker isn't as highly ranked as the top-tier tackles in the draft, but he's a player capable of coming in and contributing. The powerful Fluker would add quite a bit to the Packers' running game with his physical blocking.
Fluker's percentage is low because he may not last until the Packers' selection and the team may not see great need at the position.
Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama–8.33 Percent
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Another defensive tackle, the Packers could be in the market for Jesse Williams.
He should be available to the Packers with their first pick, but could also probably be had later on should Green Bay decide to trade into selecting early in the second round.
Williams isn't the quickest tackle available and lacks explosiveness to collapse the pocket in the passing game, but he's incredibly powerful and gets good push. He's still learning the game and should be viewed somewhat as a project.
Williams would give the Packers a player to ultimately be Ryan Pickett's replacement and allow some space for their edge-rushers.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama–10.0 Percent
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After another year of lackluster performances in the running game, the Packers could break the mold and use their first-round pick on a running back.
The draft class lacks a true stand-out talent, but Eddie Lacy is definitely the best of the bunch and should be available late in the first round.
It would be an atypical move from general manager Ted Thompson and the Packers, who haven't put much focus on getting one running back to be the guy. Another reason this move is unlikely is that the Packers finally saw some improvements in their running game last season.
DuJuan Harris come on strong down the stretch, averaging 4.1 yards per carry in six games, including the playoffs. Cedric Benson, although 30 years old, ran for 248 yards in five games against some very good run-defenses such as the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears.
Datone Jones, DE, UCLA–12.5 Percent
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The Packers haven't been able to recreate the strong play of their defensive line since Cullen Jenkins left the team following their 2010 Super Bowl season.
In their attempts to fill that void, the Packers have turned to both free agency and the draft without much success. No player has been able to stick and provide the Packers with what they need on a consistent basis.
Datone Jones would be a great pick for the Packers as he fits their needs for a pass-rushing end, but still offers versatility on the line. Jones has great size at 6'4", 280 pounds, but still plays with the quickness and agility needed to outmaneuver offensive linemen.
If Jones is available, the odds of him being the Packers' selection should be very high. The reason the odds are low as of now is because Jones might not still be available. The Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings and Indianapolis Colts could all be interested ahead of the Packers.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame–15.0 Percent
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Entering the draft, the Packers are too reliant on the talented Jermichael Finley. So much so that the Packers were unable to ask to Finley for a pay-cut and will overpay the tight end with a salary of $8.25 million.
Beyond Finley, D.J. Williams and Ryan Taylor have failed to force their way onto the field and be productive players.
Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert is definitely the best receiving tight end in the draft and likely the best overall. His strong frame and size make him a nightmare matchup while his reliable hands make him lethal. He needs work on his blocking, but he showed improvement throughout college, which should indicate a willingness and ability to get better.
It's uncertain whether or not Eifert will be in play. If available, Eifert shouldn't be a lock. It truly depends on what other options are available.
Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International–17.5 Percent
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The Packers have also struggled to find a replacement for Nick Collins. Following Collins' career-ending neck injury in 2011, the Packers haven't gotten strong enough play next to Morgan Burnett.
M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian both got significant playing time, but failed to stick.
Jonathan Cyprien is definitely in play for the Packers and should be available. The small-school product offers a physical safety that would not only give them a starter, but add some much-needed physicality to the Packers' defense as well.
Cyprien doesn't have elite speed and sometimes gets over-aggressive, but has the tools to be a solid safety for the Packers.
The Packers picking Cyprien depends on what other options are available and how strongly they feel about Jennings and McMillian. It also depends on other safeties that might still be on the board.
Matt Elam, S, Florida–20.0 Percent
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Another option and possibly better choice at safety is Matt Elam out of Florida.
The hard-hitting defender is very well-rounded and showed strong play against top-tier talent in the SEC.
The big knock on Elam is that he's a little bit undersized for the position at 5'10" and just 208 pounds. The other issue is that Elam can be over-aggressive in both the passing game and running game.
He needs to adjust his style of play to avoid getting hit with 15-yard penalties and tighten up his angles against the run.
There is a good chance Elam is on the board when the Packers pick, but he could be taken earlier, depending on where Kenny Vaccaro is drafted.