NFL Draft 2011: 5 Players the Green Bay Packers Absolutely Can't Pass On

Matt Stein@MatthewJSteinCorrespondent IIApril 13, 2011

NFL Draft 2011: 5 Players the Green Bay Packers Absolutely Can't Pass On

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    DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 07:  Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers speaks to the media during a press conference at Super Bowl XLV Media Center on February 7, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    The draft is only 15 days away.  I know it seems like a long time, but be patient, it will come soon enough. 

    The Green Bay Packers enter this year's draft looking to improve an already impressive team.  They boast one of the best defenses in the NFL and an extremely efficient and high-powered offense.

    Here is a look at five players who the Packers should draft if available at the 32nd overall pick.

5. Mark Ingram or Da'Quan Bowers

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    ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 01: Mark Ingram #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide scores a touchdown during the Capitol One Bowl against the Michigan State Spartans at the Florida Citrus Bowl on January 1, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Image
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Fifth place is a tie because it is highly unlikely that either of these players will be available when the Packers make their first selection.  However, Da'Quan Bowers has been falling down draft boards as fast as he initially rose.  Teams are also become a little weary of Mark Ingram, and he appears to be slipping as well.  Both players have the potential to be elite players for years to come.

    The chances that either Bowers or Ingram is available with the 32nd pick are slim, but we've seen crazier things happen in the first round.  If either player is available, the Packers would absolutely have to draft him.

4. Brandon Harris

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    FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - SEPTEMBER 17:  Defensive back Brandon Harris #1 of the Miami Hurricanes breaks up a pass intended for wide receiver Kevin Cone #82 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Land Shark Stadium on September 17, 2009 in Fort Lauderdale, Flo
    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    Brandon Harris comes in at the fourth spot because cornerback isn't the biggest need for the Packers to address.  Harris has the potential to be a starting cover corner, and his presence on the field could help Dom Capers be even more creative with Charles Woodson.

    Harris is the third-best cornerback in the draft, and it looks like there is a 50-50 chance that he will be available for the Packers in the first round.  If the Packers can snatch up Harris, their pass defense will be hands down the best in the league.

3. Derek Sherrod

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    TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 15:  J.C. Brignone #70 and Derek Sherrod #79of the Mississippi State Bulldogs get ready on the line of scrimmage during the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 15, 2008 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Derek Sherrod is a big offensive lineman who looks to have the ability to play to either tackle or guard in the NFL.  That type of versatility could be very helpful to the Packers, as they have had some issues with protecting Aaron Rodgers the past two seasons.  The only negative quality about Sherrod's game is that he is a "gentle giant" at times.

    With Chad Clifton getting older, the Packers will need to address the offensive line early in the draft.  If Sherrod is available, the Packers would be hard pressed to find a more versatile lineman who has the tools to be a starter for a long time.

2. Justin Houston

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    ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 21:  Justin Houston #42 of the Georgia Bulldogs against the Kentucky Wildcats at Sanford Stadium on November 21, 2009 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The Packers' biggest need in this draft is to add another player who can get pressure on the quarterback.  Houston is the ideal fit for the Packers 3-4 defense with his size, power and speed.  He had an impressive Combine performance and is oozing with potential.  However, Houston does have issues concerning his lack of effort at times.

    Adding a player like Justin Houston to the Packers' linebacker group would give the Packers another potentially dominate pass rusher like Clay Matthews.  If Houston were to live up to his potential, he could be a perennial Pro Bowler.

1. Muhammad Wilkerson

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    STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 19: Running back Evan Royster #22 of the Penn State Nittany Lions carries the ball during a game against the Temple Owls on September 19, 2009 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Im
    Hunter Martin/Getty Images

    Muhammad Wilkerson is a raw player with an exceptional set of size and athletic ability.  He played for Temple in college and didn't get a ton of exposure, but had an impressive combine workout.  He played both defensive tackle and defensive end at Temple, but would best be suited as an end in a 3-4 system.  The ceiling for Wilkerson is extremely high if he can continue to learn to utilize his amazing potential.

    If he is available at the 32nd pick, Wilkerson could join B.J. Raji to form one of the best young defensive fronts in the game.