Packers 2013 Mock Draft: Full 7 Round Predictions, 1 Week Ahead of the Draft
After remaining quiet during free agency, the Green Bay Packers will look to the NFL draft in order to improve their team. After two seasons with disappointing postseason exits, the Packers are in a position of needing to add reinforcements to solidify their position among the NFL elite.
The Packers will look fairly different next season as familiar faces Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Tom Crabtree and Charles Woodson won't be back with the team. The team will look to the draft to replace some of these players.
Here is a full mock draft for the Packers.
Round 1. Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
The Packers need help in the secondary as neither M.D. Jennings or Jerron McMillian have stuck. Both players have gotten opportunities and made players, but neither has been able to do so consistently enough to stay on the field. With Morgan Burnett becoming one of the best young safeties in the league, the Packers need to maximize his potential by putting a playmaker alongside him.
The best option in the first round is likely to be Jonathan Cyprien. The hard-hitting safety out of Florida International has big-play ability with solid range. His physical style of play would also help to change the attitude on the Packers defense. Too often last season they were the less physical team.
With the talented young cornerbacks that the Packers have, Cyprien could take the group to the next level.
Round 2. Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State
With Greg Jennings and Donald Driver off the team, the Packers could be looking to add another young receiver to their offense. With James Jones' contract ending after this coming season, the Packers could look to add security.
In the second round, the Packers could get great value and a player that could contribute immediately in Markus Wheaton. The Oregon State product is one of the more polished receivers in the draft class. He has good size, runs solid routes and has dependable hands.
Adding Wheaton to the Packers offense would make them that much more dangerous. The pairing of Wheaton and Cobb would be dangerous throughout the rest of Aaron Rodgers' career.
Round 3. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State
DuJuan Harris provided the Packers running game with a spark at the end of last season. He averaged 4.1 yards per game in his six appearances including the postseason. While Harris seems to be a big part of the Packers rushing attack going forward, the Packers could be looking for a bigger, more balanced back.
Le'Veon Bell could be the guy for Green Bay if he's available in the third round. The Packers may have to trade up for Bell, and it could certainly be worth it. The powerful back has great balance and skills that would translate well to the Packers offense.
Bell has great experience working in a passing offense. He is a talented receiver out of the backfield and does decently in pass protection.
Round 4. William Gholston, DE, Michigan State
The Packers need something different on the defensive line. They've struggled to replace Cullen Jenkins since 2010 as various players have played and failed. Jerel Worthy and Mike Daniels were the latest to get playing time. With Worthy's status in question, Daniels could be a pick to come in and make a big jump in year two.
Regardless of how they feel about Daniels and Worthy, the Packers should draft William Gholston in the fourth round. The Michigan State product has great length and athleticism. At 6'6", 281 pounds, Gholston provides that something different for the Packers defense.
His quickness off the edge, paired with his length, give them a chance to come in and contribute. He may not be a full-time starter, but he can definitely be part of the rotation.
Round 5a. Montori Hughes, DT, Tennessee-Martin
The Packers need to beef up their defensive line, especially with Ryan Pickett, 33, getting up there in age. Adding a large player in the middle could also allow the Packers to get more creative with how they use B.J. Raji and the rest of the their defensive linemen.
In the fifth round, Montori Hughes is a great option. At 6'4", 329 pounds, Hughes has the size needed to clog up the middle and open things up for the rest of the defense. Some character issues could see Hughes drop to the end of the draft.
If he's available, the Packers need to jump at the chance of grabbing the big man.
Round 5b. Etienne Sabino, OLB, Ohio State
Clay Matthews and either Nick Perry or Dezman Moses will be the starters at inside linebacker with one of those latter guys adding depth. Despite those three solid players, the Packers will need to replace Erik Walden and Frank Zombo.
Adding Etienne Sabino in the fifth round is a low-risk, high-reward selection for the Packers. Sabino is a true athlete that needs to work on his discipline and understanding of the game. Put in pass-rushing situations, Sabino could add something to the rotation.
If he can't contribute right away as an outside linebacker, Sabino has the frame and skill set to be a great special teams player.
Round 6. Reid Fragel, OT, Ohio State
The Packers have a decent outlook at the offensive tackle positions. Bryan Bulaga has shown the ability to hold it down at the right tackle position, while Marshall Newhouse is the left tackle for now. He has room for big improvements next season and could be challenged by Derek Sherrod. Whether Sherrod is able to compete following his broken leg in 2011 remains to be seen.
Don Barclay played well in limited time last season. The Packers could look to add some late depth in order to strengthen their line. Reid Fragel should be available late in the draft.
At 6'8", 308 pounds, Fragel is a big-bodied player with tremendous size. The big knock on Fragel is his lack of technique. In grabbing a late-round offensive linemen, you want a player with raw athleticism who is raw, rather than a strong-technique player who lacks size or athleticism.
Round 7: Will Compton, LB, Nebraska
The Packers have a crowded group at inside linebacker with A.J. Hawk, Desmond Bishop, D.J. Smith, Brad Jones and Terrell Manning competing for playing time. Even with a seemingly solid unit, the Packers could look to add another body via the draft.
Will Compton presents a low-risk option late in the draft. Compton was successful at Nebraska, but his potential at the next level is questionable. He doesn't have great athleticism, but he's a smart football player that can lead a defense. If nothing else, he's the type of player you want during training camp.