2012 NFL Draft: The Green Bay Packers' Top Second Round Targets in 2012

Matt SmithContributor IIIJuly 31, 2011

2012 NFL Draft: The Green Bay Packers' Top Second Round Targets in 2012

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    As evidenced by both this year and previous years, the Packers intend to build through the draft and not free agency.

    That said, the Packers have had a very inactive free agency. All they have done is seemingly cut players to clear cap space.

    With the cap space, the Packers intend to sign TE Jermichael Finley, G Josh Sitton and WR Jordy Nelson to contract extensions.

    Other than that speculation, free agency has been rather lackluster.

    So if it's so lackluster, why don't we jump ahead to the 2012 NFL Draft and look at some of the players the Packers might consider not in the first round? 

Mike Brewster, C, Ohio State

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    Though he does have some fairly noticeable tattoos, Brewster wasn't one of the Tattoo Five and won't be suspended for any games.

    Brewster is the best center of the 2012 Draft class, so any team looking for a center may pick him up before the Packers do.

    However, Scott Wells is starting to get old, and the Packers could look for a new center to replace him in a few years.

    This selection would be highly unlikely, as Brewster projects as a late first round, early second round player.

    The best chance the Packers would have of not taking him in the first round would be to trade out of it.

Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin

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    Zeitler is your typical big Wisconsin lineman.

    At 6'4", 320 pounds, Zeitler certainly doesn't lack size. And like all quality Wisconsin linemen are, Zeitler is a great run blocker.

    Zeitler has been named to the 2011 Rotary Lombardi Award and 2011 Outland Trophy Preseason Watch Lists.

    Depending on what happens at the guard spot this season, the Packers could use another guard to replace Daryn Colledge.

    The Wisconsin Badger will likely be available when the Packers select in round two.

Dwight Jones, WR, UNC

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    If you follow trends in Ted Thompson's drafting patterns, you'll notice he loves taking WRs on day two of the draft.

    So far, all of those receivers have worked out great except for two.

    The first one is Terrence Murphy, who, by no fault of his own, was injured. The second is Randall Cobb because he hasn't actually played yet.

    Of the Packers' top four receivers, none of them are as big as Dwight Jones, who stands at 6'4".

    Jones caught 62 passes for 946 yards and four touchdowns, so the production is there.

    However, the difference between Jones being a second round prospect and a third round prospect is his speed, which has come into question several times.

    If Jones can improve on his 4.55 40-yard dash time, then expect him to find a home in the second round of the NFL Draft. 

LaMichael James, RB, Oregon

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    LaMichael James should be familiar to most of you.

    After all, he's the best college running back in the nation and a Heisman contender.

    Despite being the best college running back, James won't be selected in the first round of the 2012 Draft because of his size.

    Though extremely quick, James comes in at a measly 5'9", 185 pounds.

    James could form a great 1-2 punch with a stronger back, and Ted Thompson could take a look at him if Ryan Grant slows down this year.

    The Heisman contender could be around when the Packers pick in the second round if his size scares off other teams.

Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

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    A likely first round pick had he come out of school this year, Jenkins was arrested yet again and has been kicked off Florida's squad.

    With the arrests and transfer to North Alabama comes a drop in draft stock.

    Though a fair amount of college corners rely purely on athleticism, Jenkins isn't a fantastic athlete but has good cover skills.

    The former Gator will face lower level competition at North Alabama and should be able to dominate there, barring another arrest.

    If Jenkins can stay clean of trouble for a whole season, he could end up being a major steal in the second round of the NFL Draft. 

Vinny Curry, OLB, Marshall

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    One more season like Curry had last year, and he could see his stock on the rise.

    Curry had 94 tackles, 12 sacks and a forced fumble in his breakout year at Marshall.

    The Marshall standout plays DE, but since he weighs only 258 pounds, he'll have to switch to OLB in the Packers' 3-4 defense.

    The Packers are looking for a pass rusher to complement Clay Matthews, and Curry could be their guy.

    If Curry is available when the Packers are picking in the second round, they may find it hard to pass him up.