With the NFL Draft only two weeks away, Ted Thompson is no-doubt locked in his office at 1265 Lombardi Avenue preparing to make all of us look like fools for trying to read his mind and predict what he will do with the 26th pick. The team has some clear needs at running back and along the defensive line. With that in mind, let's rank the likelihood of who will don the Green and Gold on April 25th. I've narrowed the field down to 3 players I think are most likely to be available when Green Bay picks: Eddie Lacy, Johnathan Hankins, Damontre Moore.
Eddie Lacy, RB Alabama
Eddie Lacey is probably, with no disrespect to Wisconsin's own Montee Ball, the best RB available in this draft. At 5' 11" and 231 lbs he has a bruising frame with the potential to be a dynamic back in the NFL. Green Bay hasn't had an established RB since the days of Ahman Green (I know Ryan Grant was a multi-year starter, but he never felt like a premier back). He's a powerful runner, and displayed his play-making potential in the National Championship game when he rushed for 157 yards and 2 TDs.
The major concern for Green Bay is how well can he pick up blitzers and catch passes out of the backfield. Let's face it, in the Packer's offense, a RB needs to be able to do these things well. The consensus seems to be that Lacy can catch well enough, but his decision making in pass-protection needs some work. Still, given the chance to have a premier back for years to come may be too good to pass up. I'm putting Lacy at 3-1 odds.
Johnathan Hankins, DT Ohio State University
Johnathan Hankins would represent a nice value pick at 26. His combination of size (320 lbs) and athleticism (26 in verticle) would be a welcomed addition to the D-line. The Pack have a need for another DE and while Hankins profiles more as a NT in a 3-4, he played all over the lane at OSU. He also almost never came off the field, showing a lot of durability in his time as a Buckeye.
The biggest concern with Hankins is his attitude. He took a lot of dumb penalties in college and occasionally showed a temper that may not be welcome in the Green Bay locker room. Overall, Hankins is a nice player if TT decides to go the lineman route, or if Lacy is already off the board. We'll put him at a fair 5-1.
Damontre Moore, DE/OLB Texas A&M
Moore may be my favorite player in this draft who has the potential to become a Packer. He has the size and speed to play OLB opposite Clay Matthews and provide good edge rushing on that side in the Packers' 3-4 system. He was a pass-rushing machine at A&M recording 26 sacks in just two and a half years of playing time (he was a reserve rusher his freshman year). I know this, anyone with the nickname "DaMonster" can certainly play for me.
However, I do think this pick is a little unlikely for Ted given the fact he spent his first rounder last year on Nick Perry, who did show promise before going down with a wrist injury in week 6. Therefore, I'm putting Moore as a long shot 12-1.
Do you agree with my opinions? Think I left someone out? Do you think I'm just full of it and want to tell me why? Please leave comments in the section below and let me know!