We are now closing in on a little over two weeks to go before the 2013 NFL Draft, which begins April 25th and runs through the 27th. I have done three mock drafts up to this point, and will do one more, before I do one final mock draft just before the draft.
In each of my mock drafts, I have selected different players for all seven rounds. I try to use the same reasoning in every one of them as to why the Green Bay Packers might be interested in a particular player. That would obviously include the three players I had the Packers selecting in the first round in each mock draft.
I'm going to give a brief rundown of each of my first-round selections again, and then I'm going to open the polls for you to vote on who you would like to be drafted by the Packers in the first round.
In my first mock draft, I had the Packers first selecting defensive end Margus Hunt of SMU. The former Mustang really opened some eyes at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. The 6'8", 280-pound Hunt ran a 4.6 40-yard dash and led all defensive linemen with 38 reps in the bench press.
Hunt is somewhat new to the game of football. He came to the United States in 2007 from Estonia, and initially was going to run track at SMU, as he had been dominant in that field. In fact, he won the gold medals in both the shot put and discus events at the 2006 World Junior Track and Field Championships in Beijing.
But he quickly showed the coaching staff that he could be dominant on the football field as well. As a freshman, Hunt mostly played special teams and blocked seven kicks. As a sophomore, Hunt had 6.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and three more blocked kicks.
Hunt only started two games as a junior, but had a very fantastic game in the BBVA Compass Bowl, when he had three sacks in SMU's win over the Pitt Panthers. Hunt also blocked four more kicks that year.
As a senior, Hunt had 31 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, one interception and three more blocked kicks.
Then, in the Hawaii Bowl, Hunt had a sack and also forced two fumbles against Fresno State.
Hunt has the size (height) the Packers are looking for at the defensive end position and has the frame to add weight. He would also be a special teams dynamo with his ability to block kicks.
The negatives for Hunt are his age (25 years old) and the fact that he is somewhat raw in his football development.
In my second mock draft, I had the Packers taking running back Eddie Lacy of Alabama in the first round. The main reason? Lacy's productivity at running back and his ability to excel in big games. The tape doesn't lie when you watch Lacy.
Over his career at Alabama, Lacy has rushed for 2,402 yards and 30 touchdowns. But as a senior, the 5'11", 231-pound Lacy really came on strong. In 2012, Lacy rushed for 1,322 yards and had 17 touchdowns. Lacy also caught 22 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns.
Plus, in the big games, Lacy was dominant. In the SEC Championship Game against Georgia, Lacy rushed for 181 yards. In the BCS National Championship Game against Notre Dame, Lacy rushed for 140 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown. He also caught two passes for 17 yards and had another score, as the Crimson Tide won handily that night.
The biggest problem with Lacy right now is the fact that he hasn't been able to work out for scouts due to a lingering hamstring injury. Because of that, Lacy was not able to work out at the combine or at Alabama's pro day. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Lacy will work out for scouts on April 11th.
That will be a big test for Lacy, who has to prove to teams that he is over his hamstring issues. The work out will include a 40-yard dash.
In my most recent mock draft, I had the Packers selecting defensive end Datone Jones of UCLA. Jones is very familiar with the 3-4 scheme that the Packers, under Dom Capers, use. Jones played in that defense as a Bruin. He was also versatile, as he played both inside and outside on the defensive line.
The 6'4", 283-pound Jones has had 12.5 sacks and 36.5 tackles for loss over three years playing at UCLA. Jones is very good against the run, and his pass-rushing ability is also improving.
Jones had a very good week at the Senior Bowl, as he constantly was able to beat offensive linemen in the various drills.
At the combine, Jones ran a 4.8-second 40-yard dash and had 29 reps in the bench press. Like Hunt, he has the frame to add weight for the defensive end position in the NFL.
And now it's up to you. Please select the scenario that you would like to see happen in the first round at the upcoming NFL draft for the Packers.
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