5 Potential Offensive Selections for the Packers in Round 1
The 2014 NFL draft is now less than two weeks away. When the Green Bay Packers make their selection with pick No. 21 in the first round, I fully expect the player to be from the defensive side of the ball.
To me, the Packers would like to see at least one of the following four players available when they select:
Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix of Alabama
Safety Calvin Pryor of Louisville
Linebacker C.J. Mosley of Alabama
Linebacker Ryan Shazier of Ohio State
There is a chance that all four players will be off the board when it comes time for the Packers to make their selection. If that's the case, the Packers could opt for another defensive player, perhaps lineman Ra'Shede Hageman of Minnesota, or might go another route and select an offensive player.
On offense, the positions where the Packers definitely want to add depth are center, tight end and wide receiver. There isn't a center who is classified as a first-round talent, so the Packers could pick a tight end or wide receiver.
Or the Packers could trade back a few spots in the first round. For instance, let's say one or two of the top-rated quarterbacks are still on the board when it's time for the Packers to pick.
If the Cleveland Browns, who have picks No. 4 and No. 26 in the first round, haven't selected a quarterback with their first selection, they may be interested in a trade. If the Packers did trade back with the Browns, Green Bay might be able to get an early fourth-round pick and an early sixth-round pick from Cleveland.
The Packers could later use those picks to trade up at a later point in the draft if they desired.
Time will tell what will happen on May 8. But for now, I'm going to list five offensive players who I think the Packers would be very happy to have on their roster, whether they stay at pick No. 21 or trade back a few selections.
Tight End Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Washington)
Weight: 262 pounds
Austin Seferian-Jenkins is yet another talented, big tight end, who also excelled in basketball. Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel did a nice piece on the former Washington Husky star this morning which talks about that.
Seferian-Jenkins won the John Mackey Award as the nation's outstanding tight end in 2013, as he had 36 catches for 450 yards and eight touchdowns. In his career at Washington, No. 88 had 146 catches for 1,840 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Seferian-Jenkins has the skill set to split the seam down the middle of the field, and is very physical when battling for the ball, especially in the red zone. He is not a bad run-blocker either, but that aspect of his game is still a work in progress.
NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock also has Seferian-Jenkins as the second-best tight end in his position rankings.
Wide Receiver Marqise Lee (USC)
Weight: 192 pounds
The wide receiver class in the 2014 NFL draft is very deep. Chris Landry told me that as many as 18 wide receivers in this class have the ability to become starters in the NFL.
There is a chance that as many as six or seven wide receivers could be chosen in the first round.
Marqise Lee of USC is one of those prospects. Lee had a great career as a Trojan as he had 248 receptions for 3,655 yards and 29 touchdowns.
Lee had a knee injury in 2013 that cost him three games, but he still flashed the athletic ability he showed in the previous two years.
In 2012, Lee was a first-team All-American and the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year.
Lee is exceptional after the catch, plus he can hurt you in both the short and deep passing game.
Lee also returned punts and kickoffs at USC, bringing two kickoffs back for touchdowns.
Mike Mayock has Lee rated as the third-best wide receiver on his board.
Wide Receiver Kelvin Benjamin (Florida State)
Weight: 240 pounds
Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin has the type of body which might eventually see him move to the tight end position in the NFL.
The former Seminole is very physical and consistently out-fights his opponents for the football.
In his two-year career at Florida State, Benjamin had 84 catches for 1,506 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Benjamin had 15 touchdown receptions in 2013 alone, including the game-winning touchdown catch in the 2014 BCS National Championship Game.
Benjamin doesn't have great speed: He ran a 4.61 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine. But that is still fast enough to be a very dangerous tight end, both down the seam and in the red zone.
Wide Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (LSU)
Weight: 198 pounds
Scout Chris Landry lives near the LSU campus, and he gets to see a lot of their football games. This is what he told me recently about wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. of LSU: "Odell Beckham is a little more explosive. A little faster. Great hands. Strong runner after the catch. Good returner."
A player like that could help the Packers in a couple of areas.
In his career at LSU, Beckham had 141 receptions for 1,117 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Beckham is a good route-runner who can take a quick slant to the house.
He ran a 4.43 40 at the combine.
The former Tiger was also very adept at returning punts and kickoffs, and had two punt returns for touchdowns in 2012.
Wide Receiver Brandin Cooks (Oregon State)
Weight: 189 pounds
Brandin Cooks is one of the faster wide receivers in the draft this year, as he ran a blistering 4.33 40 at the combine.
Cooks also put up some awesome stats at Oregon State. He had 226 receptions for 3,272 and 24 touchdowns in his career.
Cook was the Biletnikoff Award winner as nation's top receiver in 2013 and was a first-team All-American.
But his speed is his calling card and would make him a very dangerous slot receiver in the NFL.
This is what Chris Landry told me about Cooks recently: "Brandin Cooks is a speed merchant. He's 5'9" and three-quarters and 190. [He] is a big-time explosive playmaker."
Mike Mayock has Cooks rated as the fourth-best wide receiver in this year's draft class.