Offensive Prospects the Packers Could Target in Each Round of the NFL Draft
The Green Bay Packers have a handful of needs to address in the NFL draft but few of them are on the offensive side of the ball. However, that hasn't stopped Green Bay from using its draft picks on offensive players in the past.
This year could be no different thanks to the inability of anyone to read the mind of general manager Ted Thompson. He's one of the savviest general managers in the league when it comes to drafting, and he rarely does what the masses think he'll do when the draft rolls around.
While it's unknown who the Packers will select in May, there are some offensive positions we can cross off the list. For example, there is no need for Green Bay to draft a running back due to Eddie Lacy, James Starks and Johnathan Franklin already being on the roster.
Today, however, we are going to take a look at offensive prospects the Packers could draft in each round. This isn't a standard mock draft of who they will take in each round but rather a look at potential offensive candidates that would be available in rounds one through seven.
Round 1: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
It's possible that tight end Jace Amaro could last to the second round, but it's less likely after Amaro had a stellar pro day. The Packers were at Amaro's pro day, where he improved his stock to a late-first-round prospect, according to Gil Brandt of NFL.com.
Amaro has all the traits that the Packers could ever want in a tight end. He's got great hands, is a fantastic athlete and a willing blocker. After recording 106 receptions, 1,352 yards and seven touchdowns his final year in college, Green Bay can be confident that he'd be ready to produce from day one.
While tight end isn't the biggest need the Packers have heading into the draft, passing on a player like Amaro may simply be too hard.
Round 2: Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame
The only offensive position that the Packers should be considering in the first two rounds is tight end. It's really their only offensive need worth an early-round pick.
If they pass on a tight end in the first round, they could land a talented player in Notre Dame's Troy Niklas in Round 2. Niklas doesn't have the athleticism that Amaro has, but he's a more polished blocker and has just as solid hands.
He's also more physical than Amaro is in the open field. His ability to get open in all types of coverage is another desirable trait.
What could ultimately deter the Packers from drafting Niklas is the fact that his ceiling isn't very high. However, he'd be ready to play right away for Green Bay, which is more important to this year.
Round 3: Dri Archer, WR/KR/PR, Kent State
After posting stellar numbers at the NFL Scouting Combine, Dri Archer has seen his stock rise in a major way. This might seem like too high a round to draft a specialty player like Archer, but that simply isn't the case.
Yes, Archer's greatest quality for the Packers would be his ability as a return man. Special teams is an area where Green Bay struggled last year and adding a weapon like Archer would be a huge boost.
However, this isn't the only area where the Packers would be able to use Archer. He's talented enough to make an impact on offense as either a running back or wide receiver, too.
Simply put, drafting Archer in the third round would instantly improve the return game from Green Bay and have a positive effect on the offense.
Round 4: James Hurst, OT, North Carolina
The Packers are pretty set at offensive tackle for the 2014 season. They'll be getting Bryan Bulaga back from injury, and he'll combine with David Bakhtiari, Don Barclay and Derek Sherrod to form a solid group of tackles.
However, that might not deter the Packers from using a mid-round pick on an offensive tackle with a good amount of upside. One player that fits that description is North Carolina's James Hurst.
Hurst is an experienced tackle who is physical, aggressive and solid in both pass protection and run blocking. He also has the ability to move inside and play guard if that's what his team needs.
The biggest issue surrounding Hurst is the leg he broke in last year's bowl game. That's what ultimately has him falling down draft boards. If Hurst checks out medically, he could be quite the steal in the fourth round for Green Bay.
Round 5: Bryan Stork, C, Florida State
With center Evan Dietrich-Smith now a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Packers have a hole in the middle of their offensive line. They could look to fill that position with their current roster, but they'll still need to draft a center for depth purposes.
If they wait until the later rounds to do that, their best option would be Bryan Stork from Florida State. While Stork isn't the most athletic center available in the draft, he does have a number of other qualities that make him a solid option.
For starters, Stork has 40 career starts for a top university like Florida State. He's also a technically-sound center who can help in both the pass and ground game.
Stork may not jump off the screen when you watch him, but he's a fundamentally sound player who would give the Packers insurance at one of the most important positions on the offensive line.
Round 6: Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers
In the later rounds of the draft, the Packers should really be looking for players with high upsides that they can develop. One player who fits that description is Rutgers' wide receiver Brandon Coleman.
At 6'6", Coleman has the size to be an intimidating threat down the field or in the red zone. He does a good job getting down field and consistently wins jump balls against smaller cornerbacks.
However, Coleman lacks great speed and needs to add some strength before he will truly be able to make an impact. With great depth at the receiver position, the Packers can afford to wait a few years to develop a player like Coleman so he can reach his full potential.
Round 7: Brock Jensen, QB, North Dakota State
The most likely position for the Packers to address in the final round of this year's draft is quarterback. The last thing they need is another breakdown at the quarterback position like they had last year when Aaron Rodgers got injured.
The good news for the Packers is that they already have a solid backup quarterback in Scott Tolzien. So, all they need now is a player with high upside that they can train and develop. That player could be Brock Jensen from North Dakota State.
Jensen already has a visit scheduled with the Packers, according to Wes Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press Gazette. At 6'3" and 223 pounds, Jensen has the ideal size to go along with good arm strength.
He'll definitely need time to adapt to the NFL game, but he definitely has the potential of becoming a fantastic backup within a few years for Green Bay.