Mel Kiper 2011 NFL Mock Draft: Packers Can Do Better Than Derek Sherrod
Mel Kiper 2011 NFL Mock Draft Has the Packers Ignoring a Big Need
The Green Bay Packers are a very deep team.
This is a point that has been stressed pretty often in the months following Green Bay's Super Bowl win, but that's because it's obvious. They had to deal with more than their fair share of injuries in 2010, and they still had the necessary pieces to complete a championship run. Very impressive.
Still, the Packers do have needs. The offensive line could use an upgrade or two, and they could also stand to add an outside linebacker to act as a partner in crime to Clay Matthews.
If you were to ask Mel Kiper, the first need is more of an issue. He has the Packers taking Mississippi State offensive tackle Derek Sherrod with the No. 32 pick in his most recent 2011 NFL Mock Draft (must have ESPN Insider).
As far as Kiper is concerned, when it comes to the Packers, it's all about keeping Aaron Rodgers on the field:
Sherrod has been a consistent player, and could be the answer to replace Chad Clifton. When you have a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, you're going to win a lot of games. Priority No. 1 has to be to keep him upright.
This is undeniably true. It's bad enough that Rodgers suffered two concussions last season, so the Packers can't afford to take any chances if they want to get back to the Super Bowl in 2011.
However, I hate how Kiper calls Sherrod "consistent." I tend to translate that word to mean that a given player is just south of "good," and even good players have no business being in the first round (great players do).
Instead, I think Kiper was right in his March Mock Draft, in which he had the Packers taking Arizona outside linebacker/defensive end Brooks Reed. Kiper has recently gone on record in saying that he thinks Reed is overrated, but I think this is one area where he is just flat-out wrong.
While Reed does have a reputation of being a mere weight room prodigy, it's worth noting that he posted the fastest 10-yard split of any defensive lineman at the NFL scouting combine. That tells me he can survive as an OLB at the next level, and having both him and Matthews doing work in the front seven could make Green Bay's defense absolutely unbeatable.
Reed is a gamble, no doubt about that. But in my opinion, so is Sherrod. I'd go with Reed.
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