5 Best-Case Scenarios for the Packers in 2014 NFL Draft
Since Ted Thompson took over the front office of the Green Bay Packers in 2005, the team has been pretty fortunate over the years with the players that fell to them in the first round of the NFL draft.
It all started in Thompson's first draft with the Packers in 2005, when quarterback Aaron Rodgers went from a possible first pick in the draft, all the way down to selection No. 24 of the first round to the Packers when Thompson gladly selected him.
It happened again in 2010, when many thought that offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga might be a top-10 pick in the draft, but he, too, fell to pick No. 23 where the Packers selected him.
Since Thompson arrived, he has presided over nine drafts, and in six of those drafts, the Packers have had their first-round picks in the latter stages (pick No. 23 or later) of the initial round.
With pick No. 21 in the 2014 NFL draft, Thompson and the Packers would sure like to see fortune smile on them again when it is their time to pick.
In this slideshow, I'm going to name five players who I believe the Packers would love to be able to select if they are still on the board.
Linebacker C.J. Mosley (Alabama)
Weight: 234 pounds
Just like with his former teammate Eddie Lacy, linebacker C.J. Mosley may fall a bit in the draft due to injury concerns (knee). But also just like Lacy, the tape doesn't lie if you watch his production on the field.
In his four-year career at Alabama, Mosley had 319 tackles, 23 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, five interceptions (three for touchdowns), 24 passes defended, one fumble recovery and two forced fumbles.
Mosley is the type of linebacker who can play on all three downs because of his pass-coverage ability.
The former member of the Crimson Tide also plays fast and furious near the line of scrimmage in defending the run and in causing overall havoc.
Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Alabama)
Weight: 208 pounds
There was no position on the Packers last season which was more disappointing than safety. The safeties of the Packers did not have one interception, blew a number of coverages and missed several tackles.
That's why the Packers would be thrilled if a safety like Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was still on the board when they select at pick No. 21 of the first round.
In his last two years at Alabama, Clinton-Dix had 88 tackles, four tackles for a loss, seven interceptions and 13 passes defended.
Clinton-Dix is very good in deep coverage and breaks on the ball very effectively. He is a natural ball hawk.
Scout Chris Landry told me that Clinton-Dix is the top safety on his board in this draft.
Safety Calvin Pryor (Louisville)
Weight: 207 pounds
Calvin Pryor is a safety who can not only play the pass well but is also a physical presence when it comes to delivering a hit.
In his three-year career at Louisville, Pryor had 218 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, two sacks, seven interceptions, one fumble recovery and nine forced fumbles.
Pryor is the type of player who can be a turnover machine for the defense, both in defending the run and the pass.
That is exactly what the Packers need at the safety position right now.
NFL media analyst Mike Mayock has Pryor rated as the second-best safety on his board, behind only Clinton-Dix.
Linebacker Ryan Shazier (Ohio State)
Weight: 237 pounds
The Packers are looking to get faster on defense, and Shazier would certainly provide that. The former Buckeye was also very productive in college.
In his three-year career at Ohio State, Shazier had 317 tackles, 45.5 tackles for a loss, 15 sacks, one interception for a touchdown, 16 passes defended and nine forced fumbles.
Shazier is another linebacker who can stay on the field for all three downs, as he is equally effective versus the run and the pass.
Tight End Eric Ebron (North Carolina)
Weight: 250 pounds
I expect the Packers to draft a defensive player in the first round this year, but if somehow Eric Ebron is still available at pick No. 21, I would think that the Packers would have to seriously consider taking the talented tight end.
Ebron also helped his draft stock at the combine when he ran a 4.6 40.
With tight end Jermichael Finley's future with the Packers in doubt, both because of free agency and his neck injury from last season, getting a weapon like Ebron for Rodgers would be awfully tempting.
Mayock has Ebron rated as the top tight end on his board.
Stats via Sports-Reference unless otherwise noted.
Combine results via NFL.com.