The NFL Draft is Ted Thompson's favorite time of year, and a very important time of year for every Packer fan. Green Bay often stays away from the FA market, much to the dismay of Packer Backers. However, Ted Thompson has proven that he can sustain a ball club mostly through building and developing using the draft.
The Packers have a legitimate shot to contend for the Super Bowl in 2010, and with a few needs filled in April, the Lombardi Trophy may soon be coming home.
It is basically a consensus that Green Bay's top need is at OL, even after the re-signings of long-time bookends Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher. Ted Thompson may wait until the later rounds of the draft to address the problems on the offensive line as a result of these re-signings, but I think that this would be a mistake.
With that being said, here is a look at 10 draft prospects who the Packers could (or should) take with the 23rd pick.
Bryan Bulaga - OT Iowa (Jr.) Bulaga has the size that Green Bay would like out of a franchise LT (6'6",310), but there have been questions regarding his recovery speed, which might result in him moving to RT or a guard spot.
The only problem is, there a good chance that Green Bay won't even be able pick him. His familiarity in the zone blocking scheme would make him ideal for Green Bay.
Anthony Davis - OT Rutgers (Jr.) Davis has the size (6'6", 325) and strength to be a cornerstone LT for the Packers, but barring a slip, most likely won't make it to Green Bay at No. 23. He is fairly agile for a lineman of his size, and handles pass blocking and run blocking with equal power. His pre-draft stock has risen and fallen a bit, so we'll see where he stands on draft day. He may be poised to drop out of the top 15.
Trent Williams - OT Oklahoma (Sr.) Williams improved his draft stock after posting a 4.88 40 yd-dash, and has the frame (6'5", 318) to be a physical pass blocking tackle. Questions about his tenacity and run-blocking are the only things that would cause him to drop to Green Bay.
Bruce Campbell - OT Maryland (Jr.) Campbell is a moose (6'7", 310) and ran one of the best 40 times ever for an O-lineman, but I'm not sold on him yet. You know who else looked really good before he was drafted? Tony Mandarich.
Campbell's body of work throughout college was less than impressive, and people are wondering whether or not he will join Darrius Heyward-Bey in the "Failed Terrapin Workout Warriors" category.
He could use a season or two behind Tauscher and Clifton to develop, but this guy doesn't have the right Packer attitude or work ethic to fit. I'd pass on his hype. Hopefully Al Davis does the rest of the NFL a favor and takes him at number eight.
Sergio Kindle - OLB Texas (Sr.) Kindle found his way into the spotlight during the National Championship game vs. Alabama and showed that he has the skills to perform at the next level. He is a big (6'4", 255) kid who can get in and make an impact behind the line of scrimmage. His versatility will allow him to either get drafted at 3-4 OLB or at 4-3 end, but I feel like his talents would be better served working opposite Clay Matthews. Having insurance and depth in the LB core is necessary, especially to guard against the potential flash in the pan Brad Jones.
Sean Weatherspoon - OLB Mizzou (Sr.) Weatherspoon is flying up draft boards as more and more people start talking about him. His biggest question is whether or not he'd be able to be the rushing OLB in the 3-4 scheme. His frame (6'2", 245) leaves a little bit to be desired, but he has the tenacity, football IQ, and work ethic to make the transition. However, his speed and desire cannot be questioned. His skill set of dropping back into coverage also makes him more versatile than past OLB experiments (see Kampman, Aaron) He's got a fairly large amount of room for growth and upside, and he's a Packer kind of guy; he's a vocal leader and a high class individual.
Mike Iupati - OG Idaho (Sr.) This guy is the top-rated interior lineman prospect in this draft, and would certainly assist in bolstering our troubled O-Line. The guards on our line, while solid, could certainly stand to be improved. Daryn Colledge's recent comments regarding his contract status make him less and less desirable by the day; Jason Spitz needs to make a full recovery from a neck injury; and Josh Sitton isn't exactly gaining any Pro-Bowl votes. Iupati would fit in with this Packers squad (note the unkempt hair) and is a behemoth of a man (6'6", 330).
Kyle Wilson - CB Boise St. (Sr.) Barring a treacherous fall by Florida CB Joe Haden, Wilson would be the most logical CB choice by Ted Thompson. Wilson can easily play the zone coverage that the 3-4 requires, and is physical enough for Green Bay's taste. He faced underwhelming WR competition in college, and may be an inch short (5'10") for Thompson's general liking, but his speed could also be used in the return game, an area in which I think EVERY fan would like to see improved.
Charles Brown - OT USC (Senior) Brown is the most likely of all the OT candidates to still be around at number 23, but despite being rated lower than the earlier three, would still help out the O-line. He is a bit on the thin side (6'5", 290) but has lots of room to gain muscle and size. His pass-blocking skills are top notch, and with a year or two of seasoning from Clifton and Tauscher, Brown could turn into just the LT that the Packers have been searching for.
Jahvid Best - RB California (Jr.) People often complain about Ryan Grant, but I believe that all he needs is a running mate. Best would be the lightning to Grant's thunder, and would also prolong Grant's effectiveness, taking some of the carries out of his workload. Best has the potential to break off a long run on every play, but puts up little fight once he is wrapped up. There are also questions surrounding his health and prolonged durability, which makes him a bit of a reach at this pick.
Running back is also not our biggest need, but Best is a sexy pick who would give Aaron Rodgers yet another offensive weapon.
Devin McCourty - CB Rutgers (Sr.) McCourty is the kind of guy you want on your team if you are the Packers, but the talent might not be worth it at number 23. He won multiple academic awards at Rutgers and excelled on special teams as well as in coverage. He would supply a boost to the special teams unit, and let's face it, any CB who could get Jarret Bush off the roster is fine by me. His jamming skills are better than his deep ball skills, but with help from Al Harris and Charles Woodson, he could develop. The demand dictates the value, but McCourty to the Packers in the first round just doesn't seem likely to happen.