Although the Packers will have the option to trade up in the first round, the talent pool is so deep, I don't expect that to happen.
Likewise, the Packers could trade down to get even more ammunition than the nine picks the team currently has. To me, that possibility is plausible, although I wouldn't see the Packers moving too far down if they did trade away the 21st pick to move down a few slots.
The 2014 NFL draft is very deep. Here is how scout Chris Landry described it when he talked to me recently:
It's really deep in the second and third rounds. Maybe even a little bit above that. So, there is really good value. And what that means is that when you are picking in the fifth or sixth round, you will be getting in a lot of cases third-round-value players. Because how you grade a player is how you see them and how they fit in a certain category. And that grade is corresponding to a round. But if you have more than 32 players with second-round grades, which you are definitely going to have this year, just do the numbers. If you have 42, you have 10 players who are going to bleed into the third round with second-round grades. If you do the numbers going forward, I think there is going to be tremendous value here (in this draft).
That's why the Packers may trade down slightly in the first round if the players that they want to select are not available. That way, the Packers could get an additional third-round pick perhaps, to go with the two picks (No. 85 and No. 98) that they already have in that round.
In fact, if the Packers traded down to pick No. 28, which is currently the pick of the New England Patriots, the Packers would be in line to receive New England's third-round pick (No. 93) and their fourth-round pick (No. 130).
That scenario would give the Packers seven selections among the first 130 players taken in the draft.
However, if a player that the Packers really like is available in Round 1, I see general manager Ted Thompson making that selection.
Landry also talked to me about that situation last week when he discussed the possibility of having either linebacker C.J. Mosley from Alabama or linebacker Ryan Shazier from Ohio State available at pick No. 21:
It would represent good value for either one. We have talked about safety, and if (Calvin) Pryor is there. I would expect that Ha'Sean, better known as Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, will be gone. I think those are some ideas for the Packers at No. 21. But I think it represents good value for Mosley and Shazier if they were there.
If Mosley is available, the Packers should not hesitate to make that selection. The only scenario which would make the Packers think twice about selecting the former Alabama star is if either of the two top safeties (Clinton-Dix or Pryor) are still available.
Landry thinks Mosley is very talented:
C.J. Mosley is even more versatile. To me, he's kind of the new-age of linebackers, in that he can stay on the field for three downs. He's outstanding in coverage. He's got great pursuit speed. He's got really good instincts. He's a good tackler.
I mean, he can play the run and he can play the pass with equal effectiveness. Not any issues there. Doesn't play over a tight end as well. More of a weak-side guy. But he is someone who when you go up against spread offenses and some uptempo stuff, he's a guy who you don't have to worry about substituting for because he can run like a deer.
Mosley has the track record at Alabama to back up the words of Landry. He was a big contributor on the defense for two teams which won the BCS National Championship Game.
He had a great career as a member of the Crimson Tide, where he 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.
The Packers have lost two consecutive postseason games to quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers. Why? Mostly because the Packers have not been able to contain the speed of Kaepernick when he gets out into the open field.
Having a player like Mosley on the defense of the Packers would certainly help in addressing that particular issue.
Bottom line, the Packers need to become faster and quicker on defense in general.
No. 32 can add those attributes to the defense. Plus he can make big plays, which is also something that the defense sorely needs.
Mosley also knows how to win at the championship level. That is something that can not be discounted by the Packers, based on their recent track record in the postseason.
Stats via Sports-Reference unless otherwise noted.