1st-Round Draft Prospects the Green Bay Packers Should Consider Trading Up for

Matt SteinCorrespondent IIMarch 28, 2014

1st-Round Draft Prospects the Green Bay Packers Should Consider Trading Up for

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    Wide receiver Mike Evans is a player the Packers should consider trading up for.
    Wide receiver Mike Evans is a player the Packers should consider trading up for.Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

    The Green Bay Packers rarely trade up in the first round of the NFL draft. They're usually content to stay put and draft the best player available.

    However, there are a handful of players in this year's draft who would greatly improve the Packers instantaneously. And with Green Bay getting an extremely valuable compensatory pick in the third round, they now have the ammunition to do so if they want to.

    The last time the Packers decided to make a trade in the first round was back in 2009 when they traded back into the first round in order to select outside linebacker Clay Matthews. How has that worked out for them?

    Today, we'll look at five prospects who the Packers should consider trading up for. We'll break down where the Packers would need to get to in order to draft each specific player and what they'd have to give up using this helpful trade value chart.

Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama

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    Where the Packers Need to Be: Top-16 pick

    What Will It Take to Get There: First-round pick and fourth-round pick

    The two teams that the Packers need to get ahead of in order to draft safety Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix are the Baltimore Ravens and the Dallas Cowboys. Those teams have the 16th and the 17th pick in this year's draft.

    It wouldn't take much for Green Bay to get ahead to Dallas and Baltimore, and the benefits would be felt right away. For starters, Clinton-Dix would give the Packers a playmaker in the secondary that they missed in a major way last year.

    He also has the physicality and athleticism to defend the more gifted tight ends in the NFL. Simply put, Clinton-Dix should be the No. 1 draft target for the Packers, and giving up a fourth-round pick should be a no-brainer move.

Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

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    Where the Packers Need to Be: Top-15 pick

    What Will It Take to Get There: First-round pick and third-round pick

    Let's start by saying that wide receiver isn't the biggest of needs for the Packers heading into the draft. In fact, it probably ranks on the lower end of the totem pole right now.

    However, let's also imagine a receiver like Mike Evans joining Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Jarrett Boykin in the Packers receiving corps. Adding Evans would ultimately allow Cobb to move back to primarily playing in the slot where he's most dangerous. 

    It'd also give quarterback Aaron Rodgers a legitimately scary deep-threat receiver who can consistently win jump balls.

    While adding an offensive player in the first round might seem like a stretch right now, the trio of Evans, Nelson and Cobb would be nearly unstoppable. It wouldn't matter how bad the Packers defense is because they'd be able to outscore every team in the league.

Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

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    Where the Packers Need to Be: Top-10 pick

    What Will It Take to Get There: First-round pick, second-round pick and 2014 fourth-round pick

    It's certainly possible that outside linebacker Anthony Barr could fall outside the first 10 picks when the draft rolls around, but right now it looks rather unlikely. The reason for this is the massive amount of potential that Barr brings to the field.

    While Green Bay doesn't necessarily need an outside linebacker with the signing of Julius Peppers and the re-signing of Mike Neal, but Barr brings a different skill set than both of those players. He's the type of outside linebacker that can get pressure on the quarterback just as easily as he can drop back into coverage.

    He's a truly special player who has legitimate potential to be a perennial All-Pro player. It'd certainly take a huge investment to draft him, but he's an elite player at a premium position for Green Bay, so it'd definitely be worth the high draft picks to get him.

Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

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    Where the Packers Need to Be: Top-15 pick

    What Will It Take to Get There: First-round pick and third-round pick

    The one player who saw his draft stock rise the most after the Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine was defensive tackle Aaron Donald. In fact, he's been so impressive in the offseason heading up to the draft that he's now a near lock to be a top-15 pick in May.

    What Donald would bring to the Packers defense is an elite pass-rushing defensive tackle. Yes, the Packers just re-signed B.J. Raji to a one-year deal, but Donald and Raji are about as opposite as you can get. Raji is a massive individual designed to plug up holes, while Donald is a smaller, athletic defensive lineman who can get after the quarterback on a consistent basis. 

    With Green Bay only signing Raji to a one-year deal, it could definitely be looking for its defensive tackle of the future in this draft. That ideal player would be Donald who is, without a doubt, talented enough to justify trading up to select.

Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

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    Where the Packers Need to Be: Top-11 pick

    What Will It Take to Get There: First-round pick, third-round pick, fifth-round pick and 2014 third-round pick

    The Packers would have to give up the most amount of picks in order to draft tight end Eric Ebron because the team they'd have to get ahead of is the New York Giants, who pick at No. 11. This may seem like quite a bit to give up for one player, but Ebron is absolutely worth it.

    As the video above broke down, Ebron is an extremely similar player to Julius Thomas of the Denver Broncos. Yes, that same Thomas who had 65 receptions, 788 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns last year.

    Ebron has all the tools to be one of the best all-around tight ends in the league within a few years. Adding him to an offense that features Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Eddie Lacy would give the Packers the premier offense in the league.

    There's no doubt the Packers would be giving up a lot of picks in order to draft Ebron, but becoming unstoppable on offense would make it worth it.