When it comes to the NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers are a tough team to figure out. General manager Ted Thompson usually keeps his draft plans very close to the chest. That said, it's important to take any Packers' rumor with a grain of salt.
What's certain is that after an offseason of departures, the Packers need to improve during the draft in order to compete in the talented NFC. Thompson has had much success in the past, but he needs a strong class this year.
Here is a look at the latest buzz surrounding the Packers as the draft approaches.
If the Packers don't see good defensive line value in the first couple of rounds of the draft or find better value at other options, Kwame Geathers seems to be an option for the Packers. According to Ty Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Geathers is a mid-round possibility.
According to that same report, Geathers felt strongly about his meeting with the Packers.
Geathers has great size at 6'5", 342 pounds with impressive arm length (35.5") that make him a tremendous fit for the Packers defensive line. While the Packers could be looking to add an end, Geathers fills a similar need at defensive tackle.
Putting Geathers on the line would allow the Packers to get more creative with how they use personnel. The Packers could slide over B.J. Raji, who has proven athletic enough to get into the backfield and make plays. Late in the draft, Geathers could be a steal for Green Bay.
While this draft class lacks elite talent, there is a ton of depth. The Packers could look to capitalize on this by trading back into the second round and getting an extra pick. This plan is contingent on another team being willing to trade up into the Packers draft selection.
According to Packer Report, the Packers might be open to the possibility.
If the Packers can find a willing trade partner, it would be a great move to trade back to the second round and grab an extra third round. The Packers don't have enough glaring holes that necessitate a first-round pick for any certain position.
With two second-round picks, the Packers could look to grab a wide receiver and a defensive lineman while getting good value.
According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, the Packers have done a lot of work on Georgia Southern safety J.J. Wilcox. The strong safety prospect is expected to be taken in the third round of the NFL draft. La Canfora mentions the Arizona Cardinals being interested, so the Packers may need to trade up in order to get their guy.
Wilcox comes in an athletic package with good playmaking ability because of his strong instincts. The biggest knock on Wilcox is his quickness. He needs to improve his technique in order to become a significant player on defense, but the physical and mental gifts are there.
The Packers are likely in the market for a safety to pair with Morgan Burnett. They have tried to use M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillian with little success. Neither player was consistent enough to warrant full-time minutes.
According to the Green Bay Press Gazette, the Packers have been in consistent contact with offensive lineman David Quessenberry. The Packers could be looking to beef up on the offensive line after injuries were a huge problem last season.
The Packers have some solid starters on the line, but the depth is a question. That should mean the Packers look to add an offensive lineman toward the middle or end of the draft. Quessenberry should be available in the third or fourth round.
Quessenberry is extremely versatile with good size and decent athleticism. He showed good technique throughout his college career and the pre-draft process. The best thing about Quessenberry is that he always plays with strong effort and shows a willingness to learn.
Over the last few seasons, many of the Packers' losses have been because they were the less physical team. According to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the head brass has openly discussed this weakness and is "bound and determined" to improve in that area.
This impacts the Packers' draft plans in a number of ways. The Packers should definitely be expected to grab players who will make them more physical overall. In the first round, they could look to grab Jonathan Cyprien or Matt Elam should either of those safeties fall. Both players would make the Packers more physical with their hard-hitting styles of play.
That could also point to the Packers looking to get very big, very physical players in the trenches, especially the defensive line.