Best and Worst-Case Scenarios for the Packers' Top 3 Picks
Here is the breakdown of those picks:
- Round 1: 21
- Round 2: 53
- Round 3: 85, 98 (compensatory)
Now there is a chance that general manager Ted Thompson will trade up or down at some point during the first three rounds. Thompson has done that six times in the last five drafts.
But if there is not any type of trade, I'm putting together the best and worst scenarios for the the first three picks that the Packers have in the draft.
In the case of the worst-case scenarios, I'm not saying the players I mention are bad, just that they wouldn't fit in well with the Packers for a number of reasons.
Best-Case Scenario in Round 1: Linebacker C.J. Mosley (Alabama)
Weight: 234 pounds
Yes, I know the Packers need to focus on selecting a safety early in the draft, but to me, the selection of linebacker C.J. Mosley would be the best possible scenario if the Packers were able to select him at pick No. 21.
Mosley is a complete linebacker who plays the run and pass equally well. He also can stay on the field for all three downs.
No. 32's career at Alabama illustrates that. 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.
Scout Chris Landry believes Mosley is the real deal:
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.
Worst-Case Scenario in Round 1: Nose Tackle Louis Nix III (Notre Dame)
Weight: 331 pounds
Louis Nix III has the size and the ability to play effectively at the nose tackle position in the NFL. The Packers might be tempted to take him as well, as they only re-signed B.J. Raji to a one-year deal while he was an unrestricted free agent.
Depending on how the board shakes down in Round 1, the Packers might consider Nix. I have a two-word warning for Ted Thompson about why he shouldn't select Nix. Justin Harrell.
Harrell was injury-prone at Tennessee, just like Nix has been with Notre Dame. That injury situation followed Harrell to Green Bay, as he turned out to to be the biggest first-round bust in the Thompson-era.
In his three-year career with the Fighting Irish, Nix had 122 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, eight passes deflected and one forced fumble.
Chris Landry is also not that enamored with Nix:
"Nix is a guy who doesn't have much pass-rush ability. He's got some stamina issues. Coming off the knee tendinitis and the knee injury concerns me a little bit."
Best-Case Scenario in Round 2: Safety Deone Bucannon (Washington State)
Weight: 211 pounds
Trust me, I really like safeties Ha Ha Clinton-Dix from Alabama and Calvin Pryor from Louisville. It would not bother me one bit if the Packers selected either one of those players in the first round. That being said, I believe safety Deone Bucannon from Washington State is a combination of those two talented safeties.
Bucannon can do it all, as his career stat line illustrates. Bucannon had 384 tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss, one sack, 15 interceptions, 23 passes defended, one fumble recovery and seven forced fumbles as a member of the Cougars.
He led the Pac-12 in tackles in 2013, and he was a four-year starter and a three-time team captain.
Bucannon also had a very nice performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, where he ran a better 40 than either Clinton-Dix or Pryor and also had more reps in the bench-press drill.
In addition to all that, Bucannon is very good in covering kicks, and that is an area upon which the Packers definitely have to improve.
Worst-Case Scenario in Round 2: Defensive Back Lamarcus Joyner (Florida State)
Weight: 184 pounds
Lamarcus Joyner had a fine career at Florida State, where he played safety for two years and also one year at cornerback. Joyner had 197 tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, eight interceptions, 21 passes defended and three forced fumbles.
Not a bad career at all, plus he finished his career as a national champion.
But he has a number of things going against him in terms of being selected by the Packers.
For one, the Packers drafted another small defensive back out of Florida State named Terrell Buckley in 1992. Although his career overall in the NFL was OK, he didn't live up to the hype of being the fifth overall pick of the draft and was constantly being out-muscled by taller and bigger receivers in getting to the football.
Then there is also the case that Ted Thompson has never drafted a defensive back shorter than 5'11" in his tenure with the Packers.
Finally, the Packers play in the NFC North, which boasts a number of big wide receivers, which includes Calvin Johnson of the Lions, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery of the Bears and Cordarrelle Patterson of the Vikings.
Best-Case Scenario in Round 3: Wide Receiver Jared Abbrederis (Wisconsin)
Weight: 195 pounds
With the loss of James Jones in free agency, the Packers will most likely be looking to add a wide receiver in this year's draft. The wide receiver class is also exceptionally deep this year.
Jared Abbrederis would be an excellent addition to the Packers for a number of reasons.
One, he is probably the best route-runner among all of the wide receivers in this draft.
Two, he has an excellent track record, if one looks back on his career as a Badger. Abbrederis had 202 receptions for 3,140 yards and 23 touchdowns. He should had even better stats, as he was wide open on a number of occasions last season, only to see quarterback Joel Stave miss him on the throw.
His best moment came when Wisconsin played Ohio State, and Abbrederis was matched up against cornerback Bradley Roby, who is considered one of the better corners in this year's draft. Abbrederis had 10 catches for 207 yards and a touchdown against Roby.
Abbrederis was also a good return man for the Badgers.
Chris Landry also likes what he has seen of the former walk-on at Wisconsin:
Jared Abbrederis. I like him. I think he's a really good X-receiver. Can be a three or a four in the league. He's smart, and he runs good routes. He's got good quickness.
He's sneaky vertical. Listen, he's one of the many guys, maybe as many as 16, 17 or 18 wide receivers that I think can be starters eventually in this league out of this draft class.
Worst-Case Scenario in Round 3: Nose Tackle Justin Ellis (Louisiana Tech)
Weight: 334 pounds
CBSSports.com has defensive tackle Justin Ellis ranked as a third-round prospect. That may be true, but I see much better options out there for the Packers in the third round, which would include a defensive lineman like DaQuan Jones from Penn State, for instance.
Again, I could see why the Packers might be interested in a player like Ellis, with nose tackle B.J. Raji only getting a one-year deal to return to the Packers.
Ellis did not have an exceptional career with Louisiana Tech, as he had 102 tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, three passes deflected and two forced fumbles.
Ellis was also just average at the combine.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.