Without further ado, Acme Packing Company presents to you our final predictions for who the Green Bay Packers will draft if they stand pat with the 26th overall selection.
Evan "Tex" Western: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
The Packers need help at defensive end, and my draft board has Williams as the best option remaining when Green Bay is on the clock at 26th overall. Ken broke down film on Williams recently, and I'm loving what I'm seeing from Sly. I think he can be equally effective rushing the passer and I have overcome my concerns about him not being a great fit for the Packers' 3-4 scheme. Addressing the concerns on the defensive line early will allow Ted Thompson to focus on the safety and running back positions in the middle rounds.
Kevin McCauley: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Note: Kevin wasn't able to provide a breakdown of his pick, but I think much of his rationale would be similar to mine. The player is likely different since he has Williams projected to Minnesota with the 23rd pick.
Jason Hirschhorn: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Wide receiver isn’t the Packers’ most pressing need. In fact, it’s hardly a need at all. Even with the loss of Greg Jennings, the Packers still have a strong top three with Jarrett Boykins and Jeremy Ross right behind them. Yet, one look at the expiring contract for James Jones and the soon to be expiring deals for Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb will tell you all you need to know about the long term viability of this group. Ted Thompson has a track record of drafting receivers a year before they’re needed. Jordy Nelson was the Packers top pick in 2008 when Jennings and Driver were at the top of their game. Similarly, Randall Cobb was a luxury pick in 2011. Yet both emerged as starters shortly thereafter. DeAndre Hopkins could be another such receiver. He’s extremely strong and is already a very disciplined route runner in the mold of Roddy White. Should Jones depart after 2013, Hopkins can step right in without missing a beat.
Dan Turczynski: Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International
If safety Jonathan Cyprien is available for the Packers at pick No. 26 the Packers must jump at him. The Packers have yet to replace Nick Collins whose career was cut short by a neck injury in 2011. Although McMillian and Jennings have played well in their shared playtime, Cyprien is an upgrade at both and would be a perfect fit with FS Morgan Burnett. Cyprien has tremendous range and is solid against the running game. Cyprien is a game changer and selecting him would solidify an already steller Packers secondary. All in all, if Cyprien is there at pick No. 26, no way will the Packers pass on him.
Don't forget to check out our predictions for the first-round picks of the other NFC North teams.
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