In this fourth mock draft of mine, I'm going to do what so many of you have clamored for. That would be trading out of the first round.
However, this needs to be said first. The new NFL collective bargaining agreement (2011) stipulates that all first-round draft selections can be given five-year contracts. All other rounds allow only a four-year deal maximum.
A lot of teams welcome the extra year. That is why the Tampa Bay Bucs traded back into the first round last year after first selecting safety Mark Barron at pick No. 7, and then picked running back Doug Martin at pick No. 31 of the first round.
Head coach Joe Philbin of the Dolphins was the offensive coordinator for the Packers (2007-2011) under Mike McCarthy (Thompson was general manager), while his offensive coordinator in Miami, Mike Sherman, was head coach under Thompson in 2005 in Green Bay.
Philbin was actually hired by Sherman in Green Bay in 2003, where he coached the offensive line predominantly for four years before McCarthy moved him to offensive coordinator.
Thompson has known John Dorsey of the Chiefs for over two decades. They both got opportunities to work for the Packers under Ron Wolf in the early 1990s in the scouting department. When Thompson took over the front office in 2005, he kept Dorsey on as his director of college scouting, before making him director of football operations in 2012.
In this mock I have used the trade value chart from Drafttek. In the first trade, I have the Packers trading the 26th pick in the first round to the Dolphins for four picks. The Fins would give the Packers the 42nd pick (Round 2), the 82nd pick (Round 3), the 146th pick (Round 5) and the 224th pick (Round 7).
The Packers then would trade picks No. 122 (Round 4), 146 (Round 5), 159 (Round 5), 224 (Round 7) to Kansas City for picks No. 99 (Round 4) and 207 (Round 7).
This scenario would give Green Bay five picks in the top 100, plus the Packers would have two picks each in round's two and three. In all, the Packers would have nine draft selections.
Like my earlier mock drafts...here, here and here, I will be selecting completely different players in this draft. I still will use the same reasoning though, as I'm trying to select players who fit a need with the Packers.
In my final mock draft, I will pick and choose among those players for my ultimate mock draft.
Let's take a look at this particular mock now.
Weight: 346 pounds
John Jenkins is what scouts in the NFL call a "load." In other words, Jenkins is a big man who eats up space and blockers. But he is also surprisingly quick.
In two years at Georgia, Jenkins played 19 games at nose tackle and one at defensive end. He had 78 tackles, eight tackles for losses and four sacks for the Bulldogs. His sheer mass draws double teams and allows linebackers to make plays.
I had an opportunity to talk to Chris Landry, who is one of the best scouts in the business, about Jenkins on the Steve Dueming show last Friday. Landry likes Jenkins better than other players of his ilk like Johnathan Hankins of Ohio State and Jesse Williams of Alabama, when I asked him to compare and contrast those three players.
"Jenkins to me is an ideal player on the nose", Landry said. "I think he's a big-time talent. He reminds me a bit of Gabe Watson and Terrence Cody, and he's got a little bit of B.J. Raji in him. He's a run-stuffer. He's a massive guy."
I see Jenkins as the possible future replacement for veteran Ryan Pickett, and his presence would allow B.J. Raji to play more defensive end in the Green Bay 3-4 scheme. Raji technically will not be a free agent after the 2014 season (that season is voidable however), and while it is expected that he will sign back with the Packers, drafting Jenkins would give the Packers some leverage.
Raji is represented by David Dunn, who is currently working on new extensions for both quarterback Aaron Rodgers and outside linebacker Clay Matthews.
Bottom line, the addition of Jenkins would certainly help the Green Bay run defense. On early downs, running backs would expect to see Pickett, Jenkins and Raji across the defensive line for the Pack. Talk about an immovable force.
Weight: 312 pounds
Travis Frederick is a versatile offensive lineman, who started 31 games for the Wisconsin Badgers in his college career. Most of those starts were at center (like all 14 games in 2012), but has also has started 13 games at guard.
Frederick has been part of an offensive line that has led the way for an outstanding running attack (led by Montee Ball), as well as a great passing attack, at least when quarterback Russell Wilson was there at quarterback in 2011.
The Badgers have won three straight Big Ten championships and have gone to three straight Rose Bowls. The offensive line, led by players like Frederick have played a large part in that success.
I also had the chance to talk to Chris Landry about Frederick on the Steve Duemig show last Friday.
"I think he's (Frederick) the best center in this draft", Landry said. "Unless you want to play Jonathan Cooper, who I think can play center, who is a guard from North Carolina. I think Travis is a quick guy. He's very cerebral. I think he's someone who can make all the line calls.
"I think he is strong enough to be a base-guy and an anchor-guy. He's got a strong punch. I think he relies a little too much on his upper body. He lunges a little too much. But he's a strong, physical, anchor-guy with enough foot quickness to get out on the second-level. I think he's going to be a real good value for somebody, probably in the second round."
Frederick is a player who could serve as the key backup to Evan Dietrich-Smith at center initially, as well as at both guard positions. Based on what I have seen of Frederick, I don't see him in a reserve role for too long.
Weight: 214 pounds
Stepfan Taylor is the type of back that coaches can trust, especially on third down. Taylor is a physical runner who can get tough yardage when it counts, plus he can catch the ball out of the backfield very well. In addition to that he picks up the blitz very effectively.
What's a coach not to like?
Taylor topped his career off in fine fashion, as he rushed for 88 yards and scored a touchdown in Stanford's 20-14 win against the Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl.
In his four-year career as a Cardinal, Taylor rushed for 4,300 yards, had 40 rushing touchdowns, had 97 receptions and scored five more touchdowns via the pass.
Taylor seems like a natural fit in Green Bay, where he could team with DuJuan Harris to give the Green Bay running attack a look of thunder and lightening.
I still expect the Packers to also bring back James Starks and Alex Green as well, but a player like Taylor will push all the backs to get more consistent and productive.
Weight: 219 pounds
When USC has their pro day, one person who is always in attendance is Ted Thompson of the Packers. In the last four NFL drafts, Thompson has selected two Trojans (Clay Matthews and Nick Perry) in the first round. He might be picking another Trojan this year, albeit not in the first round.
That player could be safety T.J. McDonald.
McDonald has quite the lineage, both at USC and in the NFL. His father Tim was an All-American safety at USC and played in the NFL for 13 years.
T.J. was a three-year starter for the Trojans, as he had 268 tackles, 12 tackles for for a loss, eight interceptions, three blocked kicks and two sacks.
McDonald was a team captain his senior year and has great leadership skills. He also had a good week at the Senior Bowl.
The former Trojan has the size and speed to play effectively in the box and also when playing deep.
Weight: 205 pounds
Wide receiver Ryan Swope had a very productive career at Texas A&M, as he hauled in 252 catches for 3,117 yards and 24 touchdowns.
Swope opened some eyes at the NFL Scouting Combine as he was timed in 4.34 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
Some scouts see Swope as another Wes Welker in terms of being a very productive slot receiver, although he has been used a deep threat, plus has excellent leaping ability (37 inch vertical).
Swope is also a good blocker, which is a must in Green Bay. He is also very dangerous after the catch, which is another plus.
The former Aggie does have some issues, however. He has had a history of concussions in college.
After the losses of Donald Driver (retirement) and Greg Jennings (free agency) and free agency looming for James Jones after the 2013 season, the Packers need to fortify their receiving corps.
Weight: 197 pounds
In the pass-happy NFL, one can never have enough good cornerbacks. That is why the Packers would be happy to select one like Micah Hyde.
Hyde had a very productive career at Iowa, as he had 232 tackles, 29 pass breakups and eight interceptions as a three-year starter.
Hyde was also the 2010 Insight Bowl Defensive Player of the Game when he returned a pick 72 yards for a touchdown against Oklahoma.
In addition, Hyde was also named the Defensive Back of the Year in the Big Ten in 2012, as he had a stellar year (78 tackles, 14 pass breakups and one pick), which also included four tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles.
Hyde also has the ability to be a key performer on special teams, which is a huge factor in selecting player further down in the draft.
Weight: 262 pounds
David Bass was a Division II standout at defensive end for Missouri Western State, but looks to be an outside linebacker in the NFL.
Bass was a very productive four-year starter in college, as he had 210 tackles, 56 tackles for a loss, 39.5 sacks and 22 batted passes.
He also showed his coverage skills, when he dropped into a zone, as he had three interceptions, including one for a touchdown.
Bass also looks to be a special teams dynamo as intensity is a big part of his game.
Weight: 247 pounds
Tight end Lucas Reed only caught five passes his senior year at New Mexico. But that was more the fault of the offensive scheme of the Lobos, and not Reed's ability.
In the previous three years at New Mexico, Reed had 72 receptions and six scores.
Reed was invited to the East-West Shrine where he looked very good.
He is the younger brother of Brooks Reed, the outside linebacker of the Houston Texans.
Lucas Reed would be very good on special teams for the Packers, plus has the athletic ability to help out in the passing game as well.
Weight: 212 pounds
If the Packers do indeed end up with two seventh-round picks like they did in 2012, expect the Packers to consider drafting a quarterback, just like last year.
The depth chart below Aaron Rodgers is murky at best, with Graham Harrell as the main backup and last year's seventh-round pick B.J. Coleman at third string. Coleman spent the 2012 season on the practice squad.
A quarterback that the Packers should consider drafting late is Colby Cameron of Louisiana Tech.
Cameron had a great senior year, as he threw 31 touchdown passes for 4,147 yards, and had just five interceptions. He also won the Sammy Baugh Award (the nation's top passer).
Cameron was 14-7 in 21 career starts.as he had 46 career touchdown passes. He also set the NCAA record for most pass attempts without an interception in a season (428) and in a career (444).
Cameron has good agility in the pocket and can run when the need arises. He needs to improve his arm strength however.