Green Bay Packers 2013 Mock Draft: Best Case Scenarios for All 7 Rounds
The Green Bay Packers enter the NFL draft after remaining mostly inactive during free agency. With only a couple big holes, the Packers are in a position to get extreme value in the draft by having multiple options with each selection.
With notable players such as Greg Jennings, Charles Woodson and Donald Driver off the team, the Packers certainly have some work to do. The draft gives the team a great opportunity to fill some holes and become younger overall.
Here is a look at the best-case scenario mock draft for Green Bay.
Round 1: Matt Elam, S, Florida
If Matt Elam falls to the Packers at the 26th pick, they could finally have the missing piece for their secondary. Since Nick Collins' career-ending neck injury, the Packers haven't been able to find a player to pair with Morgan Burnett. They've tried young guns Jerron McMillian and M.D. Jennings, but neither have stuck and the Packers could use a big-time playmaker.
Elam is a hitting machine and his physical style of play would be welcomed in a Packers defense that has lacked an edge. Despite sometimes playing over-aggressive, Elam has a great understanding of the game and uses his athleticism well.
While the Packers may have more pressing needs, Elam would be great value in the first round.
Round 2: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
The Packers haven't gotten enough out of their defensive line the last two seasons. The bright spots have been B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett, but Green Bay doesn't have another big-bodied lineman. Pickett is getting up there in age (30) and it's probably a good idea for the Packers to grab a player that can collapse the pocket and make a difference.
In the second round, the best option is selecting Kawann Short. The big man out of Purdue has good size and agility that make him a strong pass-rusher and a decent run defender. Short has potential to be a real force on the defensive line. His skill set would allow the Packers' defensive coaching staff to get creative in using him.
Round 3: Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia
With Greg Jennings in purple and Donald Driver enjoying retirement, the Packers are definitely in the market for a new wide receiver. James Jones entering the final year of his contract could also impact whether the Packers decide to take a wide receiver.
General manager Ted Thompson hasn't had trouble selecting talented wide receivers in the middle rounds with Jennings, Jones, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb all being selected after the first round in recent years. Adding Stedman Bailey to that list could be next for Thompson and the Packers.
The former West Virginia wide receiver was incredibly productive during his college career. He's a great all-around prospect that would add another young weapon to the Packers' offense. Bailey is very smart and shows a great ability to find open spaces on the field.
Round 4: William Gholston, DE, Michigan State
The Packers' other big hole is on their defensive line. B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett have been the anchors, but the team hasn't been able to successfully find a player to be an edge rusher.
They've used free agency and the draft, but nothing has panned out. Mike Daniels and Jerel Worthy showed some potential, but the latter's status with a knee injury remains uncertain.
William Gholston has good length at 6'6", 281 pounds and the power to match. He has some character concerns after being suspended for a few incidents last season. While there are question marks, Gholston's potential as a strong pass-rusher could be too good for the Packers to pass up.
Round 5a: Kerwynn Williams, RB, Utah State
The Packers finally got their running game going last year, but weren't able to consistently put all the pieces together at one time. Cedric Benson started out the year strongly against good run defenses before his season ended with a foot injury. DuJuan Harris splashed onto the scene late in the year, averaging 4.1 yards per carry while providing a threat out of the backfield.
If the Packers don't like their options early in the draft, they could add a speed guy in Utah State's Kerwynn Williams and bring back Benson for cheap. Williams isn't going to be an every-down, up-the-middle kind of player, but he would be great to get in space and use in the passing game. He can also be used in the return game.
Round 5b: Reid Fragel, OT, Ohio State
The Packers enter the draft with some question marks on the offensive line. They seem to be set at the guard spots with Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang. Evan Dietrich-Smith seems to be the center of the future so his job is relatively safe.
However, the Packers need improvement from their tackles. Marshall Newhouse had some strong moments, but also some very questionable performances in 2012. Bryan Bulaga is coming off a hip injury, while Derek Sherrod hasn't played since 2011.
Grabbing Reid Fragel late in the draft gives the Packers a prospect to groom as a potential tackle of the future. A former tight end, Fragel is incredibly athletic, but needs to work more on his technique to be a consistent player. At 6'7", 308 pounds, Fragel certainly has the size needed to play the position.
Round 6: Jake Stoneburner, TE, Ohio State
The Packers' tight end situation remains somewhat in flux behind Jermichael Finley. Andrew Quarless hasn't played since 2011 with a knee injury while Ryan Taylor and D.J. Williams have failed to take advantage of their opportunities. Newcomer Matthew Mulligan seems to fit the Tom Crabtree mold as a mostly blocking tight end.
Jake Stoneburner offers good value late in the draft as a potential-filled tight end. He has good size, solid speed and decent route-running ability. Stoneburner isn't the type of player that is going to stretch the field like Finley does, but he can be a reliable possession guy for the Packers.
Round 7: Michael Clay, OLB, Oregon
The Packers have a solid outlook at the outside linebacker position with Clay Matthews, Nick Perry and Dezman Moses. The latter two should improve next season in their second years in the league. The Packers still need to fill holes left by Frank Zombo and Erik Walden.
With the Packers getting value in other rounds, they can afford to wait to grab an outside linebacker. Getting Michael Clay in the last round would make up for the wait. Clay doesn't have elite size, but he's fast and strong enough to be a competent depth guy or special teams player.