Over the past several years I have always looked forward to the various Mock Drafts that I can read prior to the NFL draft, knowing that outside the top five picks, very few really agree with each other for various reasons. I have always avoided publishing my own draft because each year, what I expect to happen does not and I usually manage to select 20 of the individuals actually drafted in the first round (20 out of 32 is a failing grade in school), and I usually do not pick more than 8-10 players that actually end up on the team I selected, which again, in any school would be a a BIG FAT “F”.
Other problems of a Mock Draft is that we, as fans, do not get privy information as to how a potential draft pick did in interviews with various teams. Did they come across as a team first person and was very forthright is his answers, or did he struggle when it came to remembering his home address? Other items we do not know is problems the player had with former teammates, family and friends? Did he have problems in school and did he run with the wrong crowd? We also do not know how the various teams grade the players on their board. All of these items can and do affect the selection of players, which does handicap us in our mock drafts, but they are still fun to do and it is fun to speculate what will happen....so this year I will throw my selections into the ring to see what happens. I hope I do not end up with a “F” from the rest of you Packer fans.
Before I give my selections of the Mock Draft for the Packers, I want to state that I believe the Packers will go defense this year, especially since they have resigned Tauscher and Clifton to eliminate the absolute need of drafting a OT in the first round. Secondly, I believe that the Packers secondary is much stronger then many people believe and the late season drop-off last year was more due to the fact of injuries and not being able to put pressure on the opposing quarterback as opposed to the lack of talent. If the Packers had a stronger pass rush last year, I believe the secondary would have held up better, but with no pass rush, the opposing quarterbacks were able to sit in the pocket much longer and were able to tear apart a secondary that may not be as bad is it showed. Even though I believe the secondary is stronger than a lot of people believe, I also believe they still need to draft a CD and Safety for depth and future starters. And now, my Mock Packer draft.
ROUND ONE AND TWO
I believe the first two rounds are interchangeable as the Packers need a strong pass rush and a good corner back, the question is, which need is greater according to the Packer’s management. While the Packers need a pass rusher at OLB opposite of Clay Matthews, they also need to draft a corner. So I believe this selection is going to be based on how management feels about Brad Jones as the OLB opposite of Matthews. If they feel he demonstrated at the end of the season that he could fill that role, then I believe the Packers will select a CB with the first round pick, with that pick being Devin McCourty or Kyle Wilson. Devin McCourty will be the pick here as I believe Wilson will be gone at this point, but if Wilson should drop down to this pick, then the Packers will take him. In the second round, the Packers will strengthen their pass rush with OLB Eric Norwood.
If the Packers feels that the pass rush is priority and that Brad Jones is not the answer at OLB, then they will draft Sergio Kindle in the first round and in the second round they will hope that CB Devin McCourty falls down to them (I really do not believe he will be available to the Packers in the second round, but I saw a couple of Mock Drafts where he did fall). If not available, then the Packers will draft CB Brandon McGhee in the second round.
ROUND THREE AND FOUR
Just like the first two rounds, I believe round three and four are interchangeable depending on the Packers draft board. In these two rounds, the Packers will draft a Safety and OT, the only question is which is the greatest need. I have read in a couple of articles that some individuals believe that Lang can and will develop into a good OT and if this is the case, then the Packers will draft a Safety in the third round to push Atari Bigby. The question is, does an OT that the Packers have high on the board drop down to the Packers in the third round or is it a Safety. I believe that unless a Safety that the Packers have rated high on the board drops down to them here, the Packers will draft a OT, probably Jason Fox of Miami or Rodgers Saffold of Indiana in the third round and draft a safety in the fourth, maybe T.J. Ward of Oregon or Larry Asante of Nebraska.
In Round Five, I believe the Packers will look for running back depth to spell Ryan Grant and also offer a third down capabilities. I feel Stephen Jackson is not the answer, and we do need a stronger backup running back. I believe the selection here will be Ben Tate of Auburn or LeGarrette Blount of Oregon. Tate will offer a good change of pace with his pounding style of running, but Blount is interesting and if he did not get into so much trouble at Oregon and have character issues, would probably be projected to go higher in the draft. I hope that Mario Hardesty of Tennessee drops to the Packers in the fifth round, but I do not believe there is much chance.
In this round, I believe the Packers will go one of two ways. They will draft a G or OT, such as Brandon Carter of Texas Tech or John Jerry of Mississippi. I believe the only way they do not draft one of these players in this round is if a good DT or End drops into their lap.
With Round Seven, the Packers will go for a special team help to help in coverage or returns.
A lot of the above is based on players who are projected to be in these rounds by various Mock Drafts, but there are other possibilities that I will now throw out. I like Toby Gerhart of Stanford. I believe he could be a good running back on the right team and if he drops down to the third round or even the fourth round, I feel the Packers will take him. Also, in the first round, if one of the better OT drops to the Packers, the Packers may just decide to go that route and draft an OT instead of a CB or OLB, but it would have to be a OT that dropped on the Board as Aaron Rodgers did a few years ago.
Overall, I believe this draft is going to be very interesting as I believe some of this years Quarterbacks are going to drop further then projected (Clauson/Tebow/McCoy) and that Bradford will be the only Quarterback drafted in the First Round. I also think we will see a few OT drop down the Board some as the Board is so heavy with large number of good OTs this year.
So, hopefully my first Packer Mock Draft is accurate and out of 7 selections, I will see what my grade is after the draft.
Note. I did not include in Compensation picks as after the third round, it is confusing enough for me.