The NFL Draft is scheduled to begin on Thursday and I wish I could say I was live blogging it from the Packers Draft Party. Instead I'll be blogging about it from my sofa. It's probably going to be all draft talk, all week here. And "nobody knows what the Packers will do."
I thought there isn't a better place to start then to see what the man, the legend, the hair, Mel Kiper, has to say about the Packers. Not that he's always right, but he sure is well known. He recently posted his rounds 1 through 4 projections, but they're safely behind the ESPN Insider wall. By the way, if the Lions end up with the four guys he projects for them with their top 4 picks then they might be a team to watch next season (seriously, he projects they'll have an awesome draft). As for the Packers, he projects these top 4 picks:
1st round, No. 23 overall, Idaho G Mike Iupati. I was gushing about him last month. Since then it's become known he had a low wonderlic score. This is not a sexy pick, he may not even start in 2010, but he'd be a good one.
2nd round, No. 56 overall, Virginia CB Chris Cook. While I chose Oklahoma CB Dominique Franks instead in the SB Nation mock draft, Cook was someone I took a long look at. Cook struck me as a player who has a lot of talent but it rarely shown on the college football field. I'd rather another team take a risk on a workout warrior like him.
3rd round, No. 86 overall, Stanford RB Toby Gerhart. While not a pressing need, I'm not sure I'd trust RB Brandon Jackson to take over full-time if something happened to RB Ryan Grant. Gerhart looks like someone who could start in place of Grant and could leave Jackson as the 3rd down back. According to NFL Draft Scout, Gerhart ran a 4.47 40 time and that's a fearsome combination along with his size at 6'0", 231 lbs. However If he's closer to his slowest 40 time of 4.62 then there's a lot less to get excited about. He'd be an exciting 3rd round pick no matter his likely NFL future.
4th round, No. 122 overall, Nebraska SS Larry Asante. He's 6'0", 212 lbs. according to NFL.com and "seeks out contact" but "has only average height." They make him sound like the next SS Atari Bigby which might not be a bad thing. He's probably worse than Bigby in pass coverage, but those were skills that Bigby himself has improved on over the past couple seasons. He'd be a good pick at this point.
One thing he doesn't mention is an outside pass rusher to replace DE Aaron Kampman. And that's the problem with the Packers draft position as it stands. While this is a deep draft, apparently because of all the juniors that came out in 2010, they still can't grab a great offensive line prospect, pass rushing prospect, and a secondary prospect. Due to their relatively late draft position they can only grab one. So if you have a preference then keep a close eye on the player taken in the 1st round. Everyone else after No. 50 overall (or so) is going to have some flaws to him.