Hello Hello. As some of you may have heard the annual 7 round mock draft w/ trades for the whole of SBNation is coming up on April 20-21. Here's the original post with information about the SBNation/Mocking The Draft event. I have decided I would really like to participate in the event and so far two wonderful contributors from APC have also started their own preparations, Shoes31 and Wiedmann, I highly recommend that anyone else interested and willing to put some effort in should join up with us, the more the mockier.
So I have a few ideas and thoughts personally about what the Packers should do in this draft, who they should target, what their strategy should be, etc. This thread is where I will put down my initial thoughts. I have been doing a bit of research, but not necessarily in preparation for a mock draft so I have a lot of room to improve and I am certainly open to others opinions if you think I could do something better, if you like what I did or if you would do something different, if you think I've made any mistakes in my evaluations, and if you just think I am crazy- feel free to let me know!
The Packers have 8 selections in the 2013 draft. Starting with the 26th overall pick and alternating between 25/26 in each subsequent round. They also have a 5th round compensatory draft pick 34th in the round and 167 overall.
One question I have is should we stay put or do we look to move around? If we look to trade what is the strategy- up or down? Do we look to acquire picks in the 2014 draft or are we open to trading our future picks away? Are we drafting for strictly 2013 needs or do we look to the long term future of the team? If so, how far ahead- 2014...2015? Do we assume the best case scenario for all players coming back from IR or do we assume the worse or somewhere in the middle? The answers to these (and other) questions will help form the core of my draft philosophy and will help be a guiding presence throughout my decision making process. So just how DO I feel about these questions?
I think we should look to trade back in the early part of this draft. I do not see a huge difference in the talent at the end of the first and the start of the 2nd round. If by trading back we can get a similar quality talent than I think it is certainly worth picking up an extra mid round pick. I feel the draft is deep in the first 4 rounds and an extra player or two from those rounds could make a huge positive difference on the outcome of the overall draft. The packers need to sign at least 4 rookies since we only have 49 players under contract, but I am more inclined to think we will be adding more players than that.
I think we do look to the long terms needs in this draft and since we are able to trade 2014 picks I say we take into consideration any free agent losses next year in trying to formulate our draft strategy. We have 20 free agents and so I think it will be a good idea to pick up extra 2014 picks if given the chance, especially since it will be at a discount. It may not be the most fun for mock drafts, but while a 2014 4th round pick might not look like much, if you can add a couple without moving too much than it could end up looking very nice. I think the trick will be targeting teams that are drafting low this year, but look like they might have a down year next year- giving us an even better deal on the picks. I won't be factoring anything 2015 into my mock.
I think you have to have positive opinions about most players coming back from IR, now if it's a player who is set to become a FA after the year then I think you certainly have to temper those expectations, but overall I feel comfortable assuming a positive outlook on returning players and projecting a positive image of growth for young players as well.
With all of that in mind here are my area's that need to be improved most through this draft:
DL: I think we need a DE and a NT. I don't think they necessarily need to be 1st round picks, but I would like to address one or both of the positions with at least one of our early-mid round picks. I think we need to add two players because of the massive losses we are set to experience next season. Raji, Neal, Wilson, Pickett are all going to be free agents and I can realistically only see us retaining one or two guys given all the other free agents we will have. A big question is Raji and just where will he play. If he becomes a DE then we are looking weak at NT if he can play NT than we look better at DE assuming Worthy can come back and we re- sign Neal. Otherwise we are looking weak at DE. I believe our defense needs impact guys at DE and OLB so I would target those as my top positions.
OL: Interior offensive line is an area I think we need to address, specifically C, whether we do that with a C/G is undecided in my mind. I think this is a position that is important to address, but the talent should be available through the mid rounds to get a top 5 C. I have a positive outlook on our OT situation.
RB: I think it is important we add at least one running back, possibly two. I feel this is one of the deepest skill positions in the draft and there will be impact players available throughout the whole draft. Personally I think the top guys will start running out between round 3 and 4, but there will be plenty of more specialized players all the way to round 7. I would like to add a RB who could be our #1 guy and possibly a speedier back as well.
WR: I think we definitely need to look to add one guy this draft who could develop and provide good depth at the very least. The way it looks we seem likely to lose Jermicheal Finley after this year and I think James Jones could be a cap casualty as well. That's why it's important to me to find one guy who could step into the #3 role next year (unless Boykin can in which case we still need a solid #4). I actually think we need to add a WR this year and possibly next as well. I'm not looking ahead much to 2015, but Jordy Nelson is a free agent then as well. If anything I think we retain him (and that is why I think Jones will walk after this season). We all know the Packers passing attack has been so prolific because we have a QB who can and will spread the ball around so it's important to have guys who can make the plays all the way down the depth chart.
OLB: I would love to find another good OLB in the middle rounds of this draft because right now we are thin at depth and I think it is one of the most important positions on our defense. This draft is rich with OLB and so I think some impact guys will slide down fairly far and we could get a solid #3 guy somewhere in rounds 4-5. I am not a fan of the idea that we will slide Brad Jones or Jamari Lattimore to OLB (or that either would be effective) so I think it's important we address the position.
TE: I understand that many people aren't very high on our current TE corps, but I am one of the few who doesn't think the position is in need of an overhaul. I actually don't feel the position is as important as WR and I feel we have enough guys to man the position. I don't think we will suddenly start running 2 TE sets, so I am not looking to grab a top TE. I think it could be a decent late round pick, but even then I would probably pass. I don't see a guy on the depth chart I want to cut and I don't want to carry another either.
S: Again, I don't feel there's a huge need for a S this year. I think we are set with Morgan Burnett and I feel good about the competition between Jennings and McMillian. I DO think there is a lot of S talent in this class though and with Burnett being a FA after the season (I anticipate he will be back for a decent price) and Sean Richardson being our #4 guy. I certainly think there is room to grab a safety, but I'm not targeting one. I think someone could fall to us, but again.. It's not a position I would want to take with our 1st round pick.
K: No one was happy with Crosby's performance last year. You hear a lot about how tricky kicking in Lambeau can be and it seems the top kickers are all from the south so the climate is a lot different. I really don't know how to project a K in the draft, but it might not be a bad pick if there's a guy who we think is as good as Blair Walsh or Greg Zeurlein. Both those guys helped carry my fantasy team last year to the championship believe it or not lol. It's just hard to take K evaluation seriously, sorry.
So there are my top team needs in more or less the order of important I place on the need. I certainly think we have room to take other positions especially if a good talent falls to us (CB), but since I am feeling like going for an aggressive draft style this year (similar to 2012) I'm not specifically targeting other positions at this time.
So that's all easy to say, but what's really hard, almost impossible, is to predict with reasonable accuracy who will be available at what spots in the draft. That is what I have had the hardest time with... I want to try and use a realistic big board of talent, but it seems to vary wildly this year. Truth be told, it's been a MAJOR hang up in me finishing this Fanpost. I have decided to use the big boards of the two sites I respect the most: NationalFootballPost and CBS Sports. They have both just released updated big boards so that's good, but the both disagree-sometimes quite radically. That is to be expected and I'm sure is the case from real GM to real GM, but it sure doesn't help ME! For instance NFP has Ryan Nassib at #1 overall... CBS Sports/NFLDraftScout have him at 45 in their prospects rankings and Rob Rang (their senior analyst) has him at 65 on their big board. Oh. The. Horror. Now in the defense of both of these excellent sites, the writers have real experience as scouts at the NFL level and/or years of scouting for the media. Anyways I'll just use my best judgement in who I think will likely be available and try to explain myself clearly.
Round 1 strategy (Pick 26): I think there are a number of players we could select at 26. The guys I anticipate being there that I would target would be Datone Jones and Jonathan Hankins along the DL. The other guys I would give thought to would be Keenan Allen and De'Andre Hopkins at WR. I see DL as a much bigger need than WR, but I feel really good about Allen and Hopkins as players. I suspect that 2 or more of these players will be available, should I take them? I'm not sure. Given that our 1st round pick is the best ammunition we have, I think it is the best chance we will get to trade back and still get a top player. For instance I think if we targeted a team like Buffalo or New York we could move down 14-16 spots and pick up a high 3rd rounder in addition. It's questionable whether either team would go for that trade, but I think the Jets should be interested in at least trying to land a guy and not go another year with Sanchez as the starter. I am going to assume we can make the deal with the Jets since if they pick a guy like Warmack that's not a very exciting pick and they could certainly find a splashier player at 26. The trade value works out 30 points in our favor so it's well within the 100 pt. acceptable range (30 pts equates to our 5th round pick, but I don't want to give that up :P) While a trade with Buffalo would equal out exactly. So we do not select any player in the 1st. boohoo. Notables picks via NFP/CBS Mocks:
NFP has us taking Eddie Lacy with Arthur Brown and Datone Jones picked soon after (Hopkins, Hankins, Elam both not mocked to 1st round).
CBS (4 Mocks) has us taking #1. Matt Elam... #2. Tyler Eifert... #3. Eddie Lacy... #4. Jonathan Hankins with some notable following picks of: Keenan Allen picked 23-27 (only available once), Datone Jones went 20-28 (only available once). Hopkins was always available at our pick (chosen 27th in #3/4 not picked in first two mocks), Hankins was always available at our pick, but gone by 28. The mock of Elam to us was the highest pick of him #4 had him at 31 and others he went out of 1st rd.).
So again, not a TON of consensus, but I feel pretty comfortable in saying that if we want Allen, Hopkins, Jones, or Hankins we will need to stay put although NFP didn't list Hankins as a 1st round prospect in their mock (he's 45 on big board).
Round 2 strategy (Picks: 8/25 and 39/55th overall): I think there is a ton of talent in the second round so having 2 picks is ideal. With the first of the picks I am going to target a player who I think it the best value. So in my mind, my favorite targets of Allen, Hopkins, Jones and Hankins are all gone. I do think there will still be a ton of talent available (Top 5 guys at most positions) and we can certainly find a guy to improve our team.
RB: There's a chance we might still see Lacy and the rest of the field still available. They are certainly going to start going fast if they haven't already though.
OL: Might be able to grab a decent OT like Pugh or Armstead, Warford or Long at G. Anyone at C.
WR: I still really like the WR prospects that should be available. You could see a guy like Justin Hunter, Robert Woods, Da'Rick Rodgers, Quinton Patton.
DE: I think Kawaan Short might be available, Jesse Williams, Sylvester Williams, Margus Hunt, maybe even John Jenkins.
S: Get's interesting.. Would Elam or Cyprien slide and still be available? Otherwise I like Eric Reid a lot.
CB: Realllly looks promising. I'm not gonna lie.. I would pick Jonhthan Banks for the name alone. I mean... did his parents accidently forget the a in Johnathan and instead of admitting the mistake just decided he would have to live with the name Johnthan or what? But.. geeze, our CB position is just so deep. I'm thinking Johnthan might be my pick if he was still available although there's a good chance he jumps another CB and is gone before 39, which is why I'm going with....
Oh I feel dirty picking a safety after going around APC talking about how good I think we are at the position, but upon further review (intertouchdown???) I'm thinking Reid is the pick. I still like Burnett (Let's stay friends....) and McMillian/Jennings (It's not you, it's me...) but I think Reid is the kind of talent that could finally replace what we had in would-be-future HoF Nick Collins (still missed tremendously). With Burnett's contract up after this season I made the hard choice and admitted that he might not be back, because if he wants Dashon Goldson money.. I just can't see it.
So I look to the future of the position and take a guy with tremendous physical tools who might need another year of seasoning before he is fully ready to take the reins although I could just as easily see him winning a competition with McMillian and Jennings by week 6. I love his range and physicality in the pass and run game. He actually might be a little too physical looking for the big hit rather than playing the ball in the deep game, but I think our DB coaches are excellent teachers of ball-hawking technique and having a guy who already likes playing physical could add another element to the secondary which many thought looked soft outside of Sam Shields (who looked like the softest player out there just the year before). Next up...
With the 55th selection in the 2013 NFL Draft The Green Bay Packers select... John Jenkins NT Georgia!
Whaaaaat? Well, I guess this isn't surprising for many of you, but up until this second I was ADAMANT I wasn't going to be picking Jenkins. I read his scouting report from NFP and then his scouting report from CBSS and I really didn't want to be that guy who picks him, BUT... I just saw and read this new article from CBSS about how Jenkins has shed 40lbs so far in the off-season after getting as high as 370lbs in the SEC Championship Game. One of the concerns I had about Jenkins was his weight because it seems he was having more success playing lighter. Losing that much weight really speaks to the dedication he's put in and I can't imagine it has been easy. He could have simply stayed where he was at or cut down a little bit of weight and still been drafted highly, but the fact he is continuing to improve his conditioning says a lot. Now this news might even bump his draft stock up out of the 55 range. Some people have been talking him up as a late 1st round pick and I think that his potential could justify it, he compares favorably to our own BJ Raji, but I do think he's much more likely to go in the 2nd round range, especially when he was in the 350-370lbs range.Now he might indeed find himself closer to the first round. To be honest though I think Eric Reid could just as easily slide to 55 as Jenkins could move to 39 so I am going to keep my mock the way it is.
Round 3 (FIGHT!) strategy (picks 10 and 26, 72 and 88 overall): This is where I think we can really make our money in the draft. By trading back in the 1st we picked up an extra early 3rd. I'm very happy with the prospect we got in the 1st (Reid or Jenkins) but we want to get the most out of that trade. I had seriously considered looking for another trade for our 55th pick and was possibly targeting the 49ers (61 and 74 for our 55 and 88 which is 518 points to our 500 points) or Jags (64 and 98 for 55 is 378 vs 250 points, we could add in our 5th for 28 or 6th for 14 more points. I wouldn't want to trade our 5th though, again, :P) or something similar. In the end I decided to keep it a little simpler for this mock, but again I think round 3 is where we can really get some amazing value and if we could get 3 picks in it I'd be psyched. Anyways, without further ado...
With the 72nd pick in the 2013 NFL Draft The Green Bay Packers select... Travis Frederick C/G Wisconsin
Oooh, who didn't see that one coming? At first I was a little skeptical Frederick would still be available, but I think it's a possibility. NFP has him ranked 70th with the same grade as 69-74 and with Mayock updating his rankings putting Frederick 3rd behind Schwenke and Jones I'm thinking we might just be able to snag him. If we made the trade with the Bills we would have given up 2 spots in the 2nd round but gained 1 here in the 3rd. It's a possibility to think about. Anyways I predict Jones will be picked ahead of Frederick and possibly Schwenke will as well. If so then I will be overly joyed to get Frederick.
Not only do I perceive him as the best all around Center prospect, it would be great having a Wisconsin player on the team. I would love Montee Ball too, but alas, I don't think it will be possible unless Ball really slides. I will take the guy who Ball ran at the MAJORITY of the time I saw him run inside though. Whenever there was a hole it was Frederick holding someone back, wherever there was a seam it was Frederick locking a guy down, and so on. I also like what I've seen from him in pass protection and I feel like our coaching staff can only refine that part of his game.
One reason I like Frederick over Jones/Schwenke is his powerful base. I think he can stand up to the inside rush of Suh, Melton, Williams, etc. much better than Schwenke would, and we all know the fastest way to the QB is right up the middle. Also Frederick by far looked like the best prospect when it came to getting to the second level AND making an impactful block. Also a strong point of his game is pulling, the biggest knock on Frederick was his terrible 40 time, but anyone who has seen his game tape knows he excels at pulling as a lead blocker, despite what NFP says. They grade him out a lot higher than both Jones and Schwenke and I like that Frederick is still young, he was only starting his first year at C as a Junior. He is also extremely intelligent on and off the field and I personally have always known him to be a great guy and a really hard worker. He was consistently one of, if not the, last person to leave the building. Whether it was working out, watching tape or even just studying (majored in computer engineering which is a very selective program at UW). I just don't see any downside to Frederick as a player. His predecessor Konz was picked #55 overall by the Falcons, so I think there is a chance we might take Frederick with our 2nd round pick although with his lackluster combine numbers and no clear cut consensus as the #1 Center I think it's safe to mock him in the early 70's.
With the 88th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft The Green Bay Packers select... *TRADE ALERT* (C'mon, you know it was getting boring!) The Packers trade their 3rd round selection, 88th overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their 4th round selections 112 and 126 and their 5th round selection 147 = 150pts vs 148.6 due to the number of picks involved the Packers also trade their 6th round selection (can't touch this 5th oh-oh oh oh oh-oh-oh) to make the deal work, even though they technically lose by 45.6 points. With that, we move onto the 4th round
4th round strategy (Picks: 15, 25, 29 are 112,122,126th overall). Alright, forget what I said about round 3 being where we make our money-forget about ALL of that, cause I decided it's really round 4! Let's face it, 4 is an all around better number than 3. I mean, c'mon, it's just obvious. So while the Packers gave up their original 3rd round pick and moved back a huge 24 spots they managed to pick up an extra 4th and 5th. Don't worry, this round will go fast and I'm hoping everyone will be happy with it!
With the 112th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft The Green Bay Packers select... Le'Veon Bell RB Michigan State!
And the crowd goes wild! It's the pick almost everyone was waiting for. The Packers score a talented every down RB to pair up with Alex Green. The guy has athleticism, he has college production, he has the size and speed combination everybody wants. Here's what NFP has to say about him quite a few positives along with some negatives and really a rather mixed outlook on his future, but he is still called a great value in the 4th. They have him rated 155 overall, but they have Christine Micheal pretty much looking for work in the CFL so I'm going to take the outlook with a grain of salt.
I'm a big Wisconsin and BIG10 fan and I can tell you I have always had a good impression of Bell. I think he can do it all and he was always a guy you were nervous about when he got the ball. I personally really like his hands and pass catching ability. I think it's a really underrated skill and could definitely surprise some people. There's really not too much I have to say about him except he's awesome and adding a back like Bell and solidifying our line with a C like Frederick should go a crazy way towards improving our run game. I mean, we do still have Aaron freaking Rodgers at QB. That's going to help any RB and with all the tools Bell has I think he will be able to get his pass protection skills down and be given every chance to succeed in Green and Gold.
With the 122nd pick in the 2013 NFL Draft The Green Bay Packers select... Cornelius Washington OLB Georgia!
Ah yes very good Cornelius Washington is a bully old chap I do say. Now this is where trading back and picking up extra picks really comes into play: luxury. Cornelius is a guy who wasn't a full time starter at Georgia and has had some character concerns, but has all the athleticism and size and natural talent you could want. If we only had one 4th round pick I would have a very hard time picking Washington, but with multiple picks it's easy to see how with some time working with Kevin Greene Washington could really turn into a solid #3 OLB and provide a lot more than Erik Walden ever could if pressed into starting duty.
I'm disappointing that NFP doesn't have a scouting write up on Washington, but they grade him at a 5.9. A grade of 5.5-5.9 says the player is a "Very good backup and very good special teams player. Fourth round selection." while 6.0-6.4 is "Solid starter/very productive backup. Third round selection." I think that is a good assessment of what I am hoping we would get. A guy who could contribute on special teams and as a rotational pass rusher right away, but be groomed into a bigger role with time. Overall, I would be psyched to get this guy!
With the 126th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft The Green Bay Packers select... William Gholston DE Michigan State!
The prospects were so nice, we went back twice! William Gholston is a familiar pick around here. We all know he has the ideal size and above average athleticism, but he struggled with consistency in 2012 and has some concerns because of that. He didn't test as well as hoped at the combine, but watching tape you can tell he has loads of potential. I recall seeing a lot of Gholston in 2011 against the Badgers (with arguably their best OL in years) and Gholston was a wrecking ball. He, along with Jerel Worthy, were giving the Badgers all they could handle (Ricky Wagner, Frederick, Konz, Zeitler should all be in the NFL this year) and surprisingly I thought Gholston was the one making the bigger impact. If he had followed up in 2012 with the same kind of play I think he would be talked about going much higher. Perhaps he just misses his friend Worthy and so I think we should reunite them. Gholston would undoubtedly be a developmental player right away, but I certainly think he could contribute as a rotational pass rusher if nothing else. He certainly has the size to play against the run, but I think that he might need to work on bulking up a little more before he starts getting more snaps in our base look. Here is what NFP has to say about Gholston. One thing I really like about Gholston that I've seen reported on is that he is a really good guy off the field. He had a hard upbringing, but by all accounts he is a genuinely friendly guy and hard worker off the field. I like finding a prospect with upside who's also a great guy at this spot.
5th round strategy (picks 14, 26, 34 or 147, 159, 167 overall): Whew, I'm still sweating after all that work in the 4th and here we are with another huge round! First up we have Tampa Bay's original pick that we traded for in the deal for our 3rd. Next we have the pick that I have refused to give up at every turn! Lastly we are blessed with our lone compensatory pick in the draft (COUGH BULLSHIT COUGH I MEAN F*** FLYNN JUST GOT TRADED FOR THE 138th pick!) aaaaanyways (@$#!) We have a number of picks to fill out so let's get going!
With the 147th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft The Green Bay Packers select... Kenjon Barner RB Oregon!
Oh no he di'nt! Oh yes I did my friend. Everyone wants a RB around here so I grab a pretty dang good one in Le'Veon Bell, but he has some weaknesses in his game, mostly exploiting the outside runs and attacking the edges of the field. So why not take a talent who I consider to be an absolute steal at this point (I mean I liked him almost as much as LaMichael James who went 61). Barner is a little undersized as far as weight goes, but he makes up for it with extreme quickness and agility. He has deficiencies in the pass protection game which will need to be worked on, but I am certain he can find a use in our offense as a great change of pace back to Bell and a clear homerun threat. This pick makes our backfield quite crowded, but I think that's an acceptable negative (hah).
While I like Harris, I think he should have to earn his roster spot next season in training camp and if he doesn't make it I'm not sure anyone is going to immediately scoop him up since he was a street free agent for so long and since this is such a RB deep draft I think the league will be pretty set. Even if we go with 4 running backs I wont be mad as Barner can certainly contribute on special teams.. He was a KR and PR specialist and also a coverage specialist for his first 3 seasons (very effective ST contributor as well). That stopped when he became the feature back in 2012, but since he wont be that here, I think he would make a great guy to try out at those positions.
With the 159th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft The Green Bay Packers select... omg did you guys know there is a C from Penn State called Matt Stankiewitch... Hmm... Well I find myself in an unfortunate position where I have 5-9 prospects I still really want but only 3 picks, so with great sadness I forfeit the 159th pick to the...Vikings... for their 6th round 21st pick 189th overall and 7th round 7th pick (from Cardinals originally) 213th overall. In the trade value we are losing 7 points (27.8 versus 20.8 or 25%) so I think they will do the trade to "stick it to us, since we stuck it to them in the playoffs". Oh farewell Pick 159 I held on as long as I could.
With the 167th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft The Green Bay Packers select... Marquess Wilson WR Washington State!
Yikes this was a hard one. I reeeeally wanted to get a WR and my choices were slim at this point. My ideal situation would be Cobi Hamilton sliding a little bit (NFP has him at 168, but CBS has him at 131). Another option is Josh Boyce from TCU (NFP has him at 104 but CBS has him at 169 and with his injury- just had surgery on 3/08 out 6-10 weeks I think he'll be available, but he's more of a slot receiver). Tavarres King was another option but his stock varied wildly as well (NFP has him 283 while CBS has him 112). In the end instead of picking one of those guys I decided to pick a prospect with even bigger question marks! NFP has Marquess Wilson ranked 82nd while CBS has him 223. I decided to go somewhere in the middle. As you may know Marquess was suspended from WSU mid-season and then quit the team and alleged phsyical, emotional, mental abuse against new coach Mike Leach. Many of you probably know Mike Leaches history. Wilson later recanted some of these accusations and apologized. It's worth noting there was never any problems with the previous coaching staff and Wilson is the all time receiving leader at WSU.
Now this is a really polarizing player, on one hand he has potential 1st round talent on the other he has some serious off the field concerns and he also has some on the field concerns (NFP), but as I recently said I believe that Mike McCarthy and his staff along with Ted Thompson and his staff have the locker room and facilities environment well in hand. Add in the many high character Packer players including Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews, who are set to become cornerstones of the franchise, and I think the team as a whole will keep everyone in line. Green Bay as a city lends itself to a quiet life and has been relatively free of player scandal. Outside of Finley making stupid comments from time to time (which in comparison to many other franchises is really nothing) and Johnny Jolly's unfortunate escapades (in the off-season in Houston) the Packers have kept their players in good standing. I believe that adding a talent like Wilson will be a boon to the offense in years to come and that our locker room will prevent any shenanigans from occurring. Like I said Wilson hasn't been a troublemaker all his career, there is just this one big incident that is going to knock his stock down to the 5/6/7th round range.
6th round strategy (pick 14 from Vikings 189th overall) I originally traded away our 6th round pick in the trade to the Buccaneers, even though the trade value math worked out almost even and the Bucs even came ahead by over a point I thought it seemed unlikely a team would give up 3 picks for only 1. So I added our 6th to sweeten the pot a little bit. That left me without anything in the 6th and I was jonesing bad because of it. With no other choice I handed our precious 5th round pick to the hated division rival Vikings in exchange for their 6th round selection (and the Cardinals 7th which they held). We only have 3 picks left in this draft and I still see a few prospects who I think could compete and improve our team, again, without further ado:
With the 189th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft The Green Bay Packers select... Kwame Geathers NT Georgia!
The defense so good I took all I could! By now you've heard me rant and rave and go on and on about big ol Kwame Geathers. In fact he and Gholston were the reasons why I decided I wouldn't be drafting Jenkins, well in the end I just couldn't stay away. Again, I just couldn't stay away from this big bodied lineman. He has all the size in the world (although he did weigh less than Jenkins at his heaviest) and I love what I saw from him on tape. As a wise man Shoes31 pointed out Geathers would be an ideal addition to our DL as a LDE in base 3-4. His main knock is his inexperience (Junior with only 1 partial year of starting) and his leverage (at 6'6 it's hard to get low sometimes). The leverage issue is less of an issue at DE than NT since he's more likely to be going against larger lineman and his length will also come in handy in clogging passing lanes as well as running lanes. He is a polarizing player due to the little scouts have seen from him, if you watch the Alabama SEC Championship tape you'll see how good he can potentially be, if you watch other tape you'll see some bad things. The problem is there just isn't enough tape to figure out what's really up. CBS has him rated as the 189th player (nice how that worked out) while NFP has him 393- lower than Christine Micheal's 363 ranking!) but I just don't see the same things they do. I thought he got off the snap pretty well and held his own against Barrett Jones very well (Jones may have been injured, but still) in the running game, even doing pretty well against double teams in the running game. In the passing game there were multiple times he bulled Jones back effectively crushing the pocket. His stat line for 2012: 14G/5GS: 16 Solo, 24 Assist, 40 TKL. 1 sack 6 yards, 5 TFL 15 yards, 8 QB Pressures. Not bad for a Junior NT who started for about only 1/3 of the season in his first season of major playing time. Here's what NFL.com had to say about him.
7th round strategy (Picks 7, 26 or 213, 232 overall) Finally down the home stretch.. We have 2 picks and just WAIT until you see what I do with them!
With the 213th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft The Green Bay Packers select... Mike Taylor ILB Wisconsin!
YEAH! Truth be told, I cannot believe how low Taylor's stock is. Seriously, this guy was a top LB in the BIG 10 for the last 3 years at Wisconsin. He did everything at a high level. I love his instincts and tackling and so does NFP. I know we don't even have a need or possibly a roster spot at ILB but this value is too good to pass up. I have no doubt he would be an immediate special teams contributor and invaluable depth. On the other hand CBSS has him ranked.. 520th! WTF? I may be a Wisconsin homer, but that's just ridiculous. Mike Taylor was a great college football player and I think he has all the tools intellectually and good physical tools to play at the next level. Again, he's a guy I spent a lot of time around Camp Randall and in the locker room and he was definitely a hard worker in the weight room and a high quality guy. This is the perfect 7th round pick.
With the 232nd pick in the 2013 NFL Draft The Green Bay Packers select... Micah Hyde CB Iowa!
Yeah, I'm a bit biased towards the BIG 10, but hey- it's what I know. Micah Hyde was a good CB for Iowa and I've always been impressed with how well Iowa players seem to translate to the pros. I have been very happy with Mike Daniels and Bryan Bulaga and if Hyde comes as well prepared to contribute as a rookie as they did then I think we can find a place for him. He also split some time at S so I'm confident that he is an upgrade from Jarrett Bush in every way. I say let him compete on special teams and see what he can do. I feel like it's much easier to find a competent gunner than CB and overall Hyde is just a solid guy.
Another guy I thought about taking was Jordan Rodgers QB Vanderbilt. I actually really like what he did at Vanderbilt just turning the program around into having more success than they ever have in terms of wins. I think he will probably go undrafted though and we can bring him in with an extra chip on his shoulder and let him battle it out with the guys we have. He has some skills that could make him an outside chance at making the roster, otherwise let him go to the practice squad and learn from the masters than molded his brother into the finest QB in the NFL. I saw him on gamechangers with Mike Glennon and Mooch and Kurt Warner, I like the GB connection there. He definitely could use some advice from his brother on proper growing of facial hair as his wispy mustache was a disgrace to the handlebars of Aaron.
Some other undrafted targets I like: James Ferentz, C Iowa: Kirk Ferentz is great at making solid offensive lineman, I'd take a chance on the 13th rated guy at C. You never know.. Same with Matt Stankiewitch C Penn State, just for his name. Definitely bring in a K.
Definitely bring in Reggie Dunn WR Utah he could be a HoF for sure! But really he could be a good special team option for KR.
To recap: I honestly think these are viable trades, at least in a SBNation Mock Draft!!
1. FS Eric Reid, LSU
2. NT/DE John Jenkins, Georgia
3. C/G Travis Frederick, Wisconsin
4. RB Le'Veon Bell, MSU
5. OLB Cornelius Washington, Georgia
6. DE William Gholston, MSU
7. RB Kenjon Barner, Oregon
8. WR Marquess Wilson, WSU
9. NT/DE Kwame Geathers
10. ILB Mike Taylor, Wisconsin
11. CB/S Micah Hyde, Iowa
QB Jordan Rodgers, Vanderbilt
WR Reggie Dunn, Utah
C James Ferentz, Iowa.
Now I know drafting 11 players seems like a lot, but looking to the huge contract Rodgers and Matthews will get and the huge number of FA we have over the next 2 seasons I feel like we need to get the top draft talent while we can!
Thanks and let me know what you all think!