We're just days away from the National Football League's annual April draft where all of football fans will get a glimpse at the building blocks for their franchise for years to come.
It was in those successful picks where they helped build towards their Super Bowl victory.
But not just the Packers, but all the elite teams in the NFL usually get to the top through the draft—not free agency or trades.
The New England Patriots drafted Tom Brady, Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Ben Roethlisberger and the Atlanta Falcons drafted Matt Ryan. All picks that at the time didn't seem like a big deal, but ended up being success stories later down the road.
Looking over my mock draft over and over, I know there's no chance it'll be 100% perfect.
There will be trades that nobody will see coming, reaches that'll make NFL fans everywhere cringe and of course, Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders will make that pick that leaves everyone scratching their heads.
There are character concerns as well as injury worries, but all 32 teams have needs this offseason. Without a clear picture of what free agency will look like, they'll look to solve some problems in the draft.
Cam Newton may be in the right place and time to become the #1 overall pick
Although I'm not a fan of just scraping the Jimmy Clausen project, it looks like coach Ron Rivera is.
The Panthers are in a quarterback-driven league in a division that's dominated by the upper-tier of NFL quarterbacks.
Cam Newton is not a finished project, so Panther fans shouldn't pencil in a 10-win season quite yet. But he's the first ingredient of the recipe for success.
The Panthers have a good backfield, a veteran wide receiver and a offensive line that'll give Newton a chance to make a play.
This seems like the perfect situation for Newton and the Panthers.
Sorry Steve Smith, another young quarterback means you probably won't make a trip to Hawaii in February, but you can at least look forward to a promising 2012 or 2013 season.
Jon Fox will opt to win in the trenches
Remember Jon Fox and the Carolina Panthers that went to the Super Bowl in 2003? They didn't do it with a flashy offense like the New England Patriots, or a hard-nosed secondary.
He won games in the trenches and had a great old-school feel to his gameplans.
The sexy pick here at number two is Patrick Peterson, someone who can learn under veteran Champ Bailey. But I don't think the Panthers will go that route.
Instead, they'll opt to sure up the defensive line, where Fox has had success in the past.
That's where Marcell Dareus comes in. The 300-pound defensive tackle will help win games in the trenches, and Fox hopes that will lead to wins much-like his '03 Panthers did.
The Detroit Lions proved last year that taking a defensive tackle with the second pick can be worth it for a franchise that is falling fast.
Dareus has the chance to help the Broncos make the same type of turn around.
The Buffalo Bills might just be the best losing team in the NFL and although they technically are the third-worst team, an impact player on defense can quickly turn this team around.
Von Miller can be considered the best player in this draft.
He reminds me a lot like DeMarcus Ware when he is given the chance to rush the passer. His explosiveness and ability to shed blocks will be key for his success in Chan Gailey's defense.
The only knock on Miller is his size (246lbs, 6'3") and the ability to take on offensive tackles in run support, but that's something he'll be able to work on in the years to come.
If you give me a chance to sack Tom Brady but let Danny Woodhead run a toss--I'll take my chances and sack Tom Brady.
Some think that the Bills will go with Blaine Gabbert in this spot, but Ryan Fitzpatrick did throw 23 touchdowns last season for a bad team.
Just an educated guess—but I don't think quarterback is the Bills' problem.
This might be the biggest no-brainer of the draft.
But if anyone can screw up a no-brainer, it may be the Bengals.
Some think Carson Palmer's threat of retirement is just a bluff, but can you take the chances on not having a backup plan?
Blaine Gabbert has to be your plan B in this situation, because if Palmer does indeed retire, you can't afford to Jordan Palmer's hands.
Gabbert is ready to play in a NFL game tomorrow if asked (albeit, he probably won't win it). He's the most finished quarterback in the draft and will benefit from Jay Gruden's style of offense.
Gruden, the Bengals' new offensive coordinator, will look to run the ball more with Cedric Benson and the backfield. This gives Gabbert a chance to learn and not be thrown to the wolves on every play.
If the Bengals are going to call Palmer's bluff of retirement, we'll know at this pick.
But if my job is on the line, I won't take the risk of not having a franchise quarterback, and consequently keeping my team in the basement of the NFL.
With the fifth pick the Arizona Cardinals will go defense with Patrick Peterson.
The Cardinals will be tempted to trade down from this pick as teams will try to reach up for A.J. Green and knowing the Cardinals don't have any interest in the wide receiver.
Not to mention that if the Cardinals are looking for their next quarterback, then they can trade down and possibly pick up Jake Locker or another quarterback later in the round.
But unless there's a trade, Peterson is the best pick for the Cardinals at this selection.
Peterson is a top-five player no matter who you ask. He has game-changing ability and can double as a kick returner as well.
The Cardinals will hope to either sign a veteran quarterback in free agency (Marc Bulger anyone?) or draft one in the second round.
Already equipped with a good running back in Peyton Hillis, adding a versatile weapon on the outside makes the most sense.
A.J. Green is that weapon.
The Browns hasn't had a consistent performer at wideout since their return to Cleveland in 1999.
They've had stints with some receivers like Joe Jurevivius and Braylon Edwards, but no franchise players have occupied that position.
Green is the best receiver to come out of the draft in a long time. His length and speed will make him McCoy's best friend when they take the field together this fall.
Much like the Cardinals, the 49ers would've loved for one of the top two quarterbacks to fall to them here at the seventh pick, but unfortunately that won't happen.
Instead, they'll sure up the defensive line with Nick Fairley.
Robert Quinn is another option here, but Fairley fits the 3-4 defense better than Quinn.
Fairley's arsenal of moves in the trenches means he can play any of the three downed positions on the defensive line.
He can get to the ball using his bull rush, shooting gaps and other moves that you usually only see when playing a game of Madden.
Character issues aside, the 9ers will get a solid player in Fairley.
Robert Quinn is another pass rusher that can change a game with one play.
Quinn isn't ideal as a 3-4 outside linebacker since he's a liability in run support. But as a 4-3 defensive end, the Titans can hide that liability in running downs.
The Titans will be tempted to take a quarterback with the eighth pick, but the safer pick is with Quinn rather than reaching.
Reaching for Jake Locker would be a huge mistake this early in the draft. Titan fans who want to see that happen should proceed to get their heads examined.
Usually this is where Jerry Jones selects a big name on the draft board and make headlines for weeks to come.
America's Team has holes at offensive tackle, defensive end, and secondary that all need to be addressed sooner or later.
But the only hole that's completely vacant is at defensive end.
The Cowboys have players at the other needs, regardless of age or how horrible they played in 2010. What they don't have is more than one starting defensive end on the roster.
In Rob Ryan's 3-4 defense, the defensive end isn't necessarily just a person that takes on double teams. The defensive end will also be put in position to rush the passer, something that Wade Phillips never asked of his ends.
Watt can fill this hole immediately on day one—maybe not a sexy pick, but a smart one for the 'Boys
At the tenth pick, the Redskins will make the reach that the other teams wouldn't—they’ll draft Jake Locker to be their franchise quarterback.
After the Donovan McNabb debacle last season, the 'Skins can't afford another year of blunder at signal caller. Locker is a reach, but one that can be done.
Mike Shanahan has had a high grade on Locker ever since he thought he was coming out of college last year.
Locker was thought to be the first overall pick if he came out in 2010, but instead he'll be picked tenth by Washington.
The Houston Texans will be ecstatic that Prince Amukamara drops to 11th for them.
Not only that, but I'm sure that Matt Schaub will be the biggest fan of getting some help on the defensive side of the ball.
The Texans' pass defense was atrocious last season, and the Texans can't lean on Schaub and the offense to bail them out every Sunday.
Amukamara isn't a huge drop off from Patrick Peterson.
Although there were initial questions about his speed, Amukamara proved doubters wrong after running the 40-yard dash at the combine in 4.43 seconds.
Once free agency starts, Sidney Rice will officially expire. Add to that Percy Harvin's migraine problems, and the Vikings have a problem at wideout.
Julio Jones is an all-around wide receiver with the ability to stretch the field as well as make shorter catches like screens and slants.
Whomever starts at quarterback for the Vikings will benefit from having Jones' versatility on the field.
And if nothing else, he'll win a flex-off with any other receiver in the draft.
The Lions will stop Tyron Smith from falling anymore to help sure up their offensive line.
Smith has played right tackle in college, but some believe that he has the ability to play left tackle as well.
The best example of the Lions' need for offensive line would be all the injuries that happened to their quarterbacks last season.
Smith is one of those picks that won't sell jerseys, but will win games.
If you want the young Matthew Stafford to succeed, drafting Smith will help him in that.
The Rams would love to draft a playmaker at this position, but with the top two receivers off of the board, they'll go defensive.
Corey Liuget is the perfect compliment to Chris Long and James Hall.
Liuget's bull rush makes him a good defender against the rush.
His size and strength makes him the smart pick for a team that looks like they're on the rise from the mediocre NFC West.
Both Ricky Williams' and Ronnie Brown's futures in Miami are both cloudy.
And for an offense that relies heavily on the running game, Mark Ingram is the smart pick here.
The hard-nosed runner won't blaze anyone away with his speed, but his skill as a runner has prevailed thus far in his football career.
Ingram will be the back that can carry the load in Miami, regardless if they keep either Williams or Brown, or neither.
In a division that hosts both Peyton Manning and Matt Schaub, Jack Del Rio will make a move to attack the passer for years to come.
Ryan Kerrigan has motor that's second-to-none.
Jacksonville rarely makes the risky pick when it comes in comes to the first round of the draft (See: 2010 pick Tyson Alualu).
Look for Jax to make a move for a future quarterback in this draft as well.
The age of the Patriots defense is becoming a concern and drafting Cameron Jordan will prevent walking canes from being available at future practices.
Jordan is a player that can end up going anywhere in the draft--as high as ninth to Dallas, or as low as 17th to New England. That shows you the type of talent he has.
New England can use another edge rusher since they lacked one last year.
Jordan will be the first step in rebuilding this defense before it gets exposed.
This is where I can see Da'Quan Bowers to finally land after free-falling down the draft board.
The Chargers will take a chance on Bowers and his knee concerns if that means that they can get a player that will threaten the quarterback at any given play.
Some will consider this a steal for the Chargers as Bowers is considered a top-notch pass rusher.
Others will question the move because of his injuries, but I have a feeling that the risk is worth it for an 18th pick.
This will be the move that the G-Men will make to help future rosters.
Will Kareem McKenzie not getting any younger and William Beatty not performing consistently at left tackle, Anthony Castonzo will be waiting in the wings whenever the Giants are ready to make a move.
Castonzo can play either side of the line, which makes him the smart backup plan for any offensive line.
The Giants were a game away from competing in the post-season last year, and hope to return in 2011. Castonzo may not play a down this season, but look for him to be on the top of the depth chart soon enough.
After Jimmy Smith shakes the hands of the Tampa Bay Bucs' executives for picking him at the 20th pick, he needs to call Aqib Talib and thank him immediately afterwards.
Talib may be suspended for parts of this season, and some want him off of the team entirely.
Regardless of which outcome, Jimmy Smith will benefit.
The Bucs will select him as an insurance policy with hopes that they can keep both him and Talib for years to come.
The worst case scenario is that they have to play Smith as their first-string cornerback.
And there's nothing wrong with that.
Akeem Ayers' ability to quickly shed blockers makes him a great pick for the Chiefs.
The Chiefs had a pass rush solely based on the talents of Tamba Hali.
Adding Ayers gives the Chiefs a second threat that could take them to the next level.
Priority number one for the Colts is, and always has been to keep Peyton Manning upright.
Mike Pouncey can play either left or right guard, and has been even practicing the center position since leaving Florida.
Pouncey is also a great run blocker as well. Which means the no matter who's the running back, they'll appreciate the upgrade in the offensive line.
Nate Solder can help make that happen for the Eagles.
Worst case scenario, if Vick gets hurt then the Eagles need to be able to protect Kevin Kolb or whomever starts for the Eagles.
There's a good chance Solder is the best left tackle in the draft.
And the Eagles would be stealing him at the 23rd pick.
The Saints would rather not get into a shootout with a 7-9 team to end their season again.
To help avoid that, the Saints will look at Muhammad Wilkerson to help the defense.
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams likes a player like Wilkerson who can play any position on the defensive line.
Williams can place Wilkerson in any situation and Wilkerson will be able to get to the passer, ball carrier or even the kicker if asked.
Look for Wilkerson to be in the Saints' defensive rotation once (if) the season starts.
The Ravens would much rather grab some speed at the wide receiver, but unfortunately there won't be a speedy receiver available for them at the 26th pick.
Instead they'll go for the defensive line and big Cameron Heyward.
Heyward has a relentless motor that and is versatile enough to play anywhere on the 3-4 defensive line.
Combine him with Haloti Ngata, and AFC North teams will lose sleep over these two mastodons.
News Flash: Tony Gonzalez is getting old.
Ok, maybe that's not exactly late-breaking news.
So It'll be no surprise when the Falcons are on the clock and decide to draft Kyle Rudolph out of Notre Dame.
The 6'6" tight end has great hands as well as a solid run-blocking technique which makes him a fit in the Falcons' offense.
Although Gonzalez isn't out the door yet, when he leaves his replacement will be ready to step up.
Needing a running back, the Patriots will be forced to reach here with the 28th pick to Mikel Leshoure.
With the aging Fred Taylor ready to retire at any moment, this is a perfect time for the Pats to bring in a young running back that can play for the next five years.
Leshoure can be an every-down back in the NFL. His athleticism, competitiveness, and size will give the Patriots a perfect weapon to play with Danny Woodhead and BenJarvis Green-Ellis.
Many would argue that any of the receivers on the Bears roster would be a slot receiver (at best) and any of the other playoff teams from 2010.
Hopefully drafting Torrey Smith can help the receiving core get to the next level and hopefully return to the NFC Championship game.
Smith's 4.43 40-yard dash makes him a speedy receiver that can stretch the field.
With some work on his route-running, he may be a staple in the Bears' offense for years to come.
With Kris Jenkins no long in the Jets' plans, Phil Taylor would be the perfect replacement at nose tackle.
The 334-pounder from Baylor can play in week one to help against the run.
Taylor may have to come off the field during passing downs, but will still demand double teams from offensive linemen in any other situation.
Bryant McFadden gave up the most receptions in the NFL and Ike Taylor may not return to the Steel City in 2011.
That being said, Aaron Williams from Texas will be asked to play immediately to solve the Steelers' need in the secondary.
There's questions on whether Williams will play safety or corner, but the Steelers will ask him to play corner.
The four-year starter from North Carolina will be the perfect compliment to Clay Matthews.
Packer opponents will have to pick their poison on which side outside linebacker they want to slide extra protection towards.
The Packers will get a lot of their injured players back, and adding Carter only strengthens the team even more.