Another week gone by means that another slate of mock drafts has hit the internet, and with that comes another round of different projections. However, this week's mocks are the first to take free agency signings into account, which means that they may see the most changes of any week other than after the Scouting Combine. This doesn't really change much for the Green Bay Packers' needs, but it certainly will affect the teams drafting before them.
Oh, and there's one other big change: with the Percy Harvin trade taking place, the Vikings now have two first-round picks. That will be a major factor in changing the mock drafts; with that in mind, we have decided to take a closer look at the projected picks for the other teams around the NFC North as well.
Mocking the Draft: Packers select Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State
SBNation's draft gurus are high on the senior linebacker, and project him to be drafted by the Packers at 26th overall despite the fact that A.J. Hawk will remain in Green Bay for the foreseeable future. Here's their analysis of Brown:
Arthur Brown is the draft's best linebacker. After blowing up his pro day, proving he was healthy and putting his athleticism on display despite adding 10 pounds, Brown won't last too long on draft day.
As for the other NFC North selections, MTD projects the following:
The NFL pundits have very different opinions this week. Matt Smith is projecting Green Bay taking Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert, while Bucky Brooks has Florida safety Matt Elam as the pick at 26. Eifert makes more sense to me here in terms of value, as I think the Packers could likely find another safety of comparable quality later on.
Lions: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama (Smith); Ansah (Brooks)
Bears: ILB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame (Smith); CB Desmond Trufant, Washington (Brooks)
Vikings: WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia and DT Sylvester Williams (Smith); WR Keenan Allen, California and WR Robert Woods, USC (Brooks)
Walter Football: Another Tyler Eifert projection
I'll dig a little deeper on the Eifert pick here. With Jermichael Finley having one year left on his contract and potentially being split out more as a wide receiver this year, I'm not necessarily opposed to this; however, there are a lot of defensive players still on the board in this mock that I'd like to see in Green and Gold. Walter appears to be working with some old information too, thinking that Finley won't be around this season. Here's his rationale for this pick:
Jermichael Finley recently said that his chances of staying with the Packers is 50/50. Jason La Canfora reported that Finley won't return. If that's the case, the Packers will be searching for a tight end early in the 2013 NFL Draft. Tyler Eifert distanced himself from Zach Ertz at the Combine.
Lions: T Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
Bears: LB Arthur Brown
Vikings: WR Keenan Allen and DT Sylvester Williams
DraftTek: Packers select ILB Kevin Minter
Instead of picking Brown, DraftTek projects that the Packers will go with another inside linebacker, Kevin Minter of LSU. Here's their rationale:
Desmond Bishop is coming off a severe injury and DJ Smith is coming off an ACL. Their replacement, Brad Jones, is a Free Agent and probably leaving. Minter can be the solid inside tackler that AJ Hawk never was and help the struggling Packers' run defense. A trade-down also very possible here.
I do agree with their trade down scenario, but at this point I'd be more comfortable with the more athletic Brown than Minter.
Lions: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
Bears: WR Keenan Allen
Vikings: CB Desmond Trufant and DT Sylvester Williams