You know it’s getting closer to the draft when the mock drafts circulating around cyberspace start to expand from just one round and into the two or three round variety. This week Mocking The Draft, the SB Nation site dedicated to all things of the NFL Draft, has released a three round mock draft. If you have not read it yet I’m going to warn you now, many around here are probably not going to like the way this particular mock shakes out for the Packers.
Round 1 (26th Overall) Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
I can't think of a better fit for Manti Te'o. He needs to play in a 3-4 defense, and he needs to go to a place where the media won't be all over his every move. This move makes sense for the Packers as well. Just go back and watch the team's playoff loss to the 49ers. Linebacker is a big need for them, and Te'o would be a nice fit.
I can appreciate where Matthew Fairburn is coming from here, Green Bay would be a nice place for Te’o to rebuild his image and show he can play. The problem most Packer fans are going to question is whether Te’o can play, or more specifically, how much more he brings to the table than A.J. Hawk. Right now I think it's fair to say there would be a healthy amount of skepticism that he can upgrade from Hawk, which combined with the high number of bodies already at the position, would make this an unpopular pick.
Round 2 (55th Overall) Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin
The Packers need to address the interior of the offensive line, and Travis Frederick has the versatility to play guard or center. He's the best interior offensive lineman in this class.
This pick seems about right. Frederick in the second round appears to be great value and addresses the largest need on offense and perhaps the largest need on the team right now. Being a Wisconsin kid who played for the Badgers doesn’t hurt either.
Round 3 (86th overall) J.J. Wilcox, S, Georgia Southern
Unfortunately there is no analysis given by MTD for Wilcox, but for me this is a surprising pick given that Montee Ball and Johnathan Hankins are both still on the board and would each fit a more pressing need for the Packers. Heck, get Hankins in the third and Frederick in the second and the draft still looks pretty good even with Te’o in the first round. Alas it was not meant to be according to this mock.
Overall there are no real surprises here from this draft. The run defense gets lots of attention, the interior offensive line is addressed, and people are still desperately trying to replace Charles Woodson for the Packers even though there is some interesting young talent at the safety position already on the roster.
An interesting comparison to this three round mock draft comes from NFL.com with a three round mock draft coming from both Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah. Brooks had the Packers select Matt Elam (S, Florida), Le’Veon Bell (RB, MSU), and Jordan Reed (TE, Florida). Jeremiah had them select Justin Pugh (G/T Syracuse), Phillip Thomas (S, Fresno State), and Michael Buchanan (DE, Illinois). Some analysis of this pick can be found here starting at the 3:36 mark. .
What are your reactions to these three round mocks? Would you be happy if the Packers were able to get a guy like Pugh or Frederick? Do you think the Packers need a safety as desperately as these three mockers seem to think? How many of you would be screaming at the TV if Te’o is announced?