Over the past several weeks, we completed three rounds of a mock draft here at Acme Packing Company. Rounds one and two (and the very early portion of round three) were carried out by a six-person team, while round three was a two-man operation. All told, the Packers' four picks in the top 100 selections consisted of a pair of defensive players and a pair of offensive weapons.
|2||53||Stephon Tuitt||DE||Notre Dame|
|3||85||Troy Niklas||TE||Notre Dame|
Mosley would undoubtedly be a difference-maker from day one no the interior of the Packers' defense, while Tuitt would help the pass rush and depth on the defensive line. Niklas helps offset the impending loss of Jermichael Finley, while Abbrederis provides another weapon in the passing game and some punt returning skills as well.
But I know what you're thinking. There's no safety in that mix. As the person responsible for the pick of Tuitt in round two, let me explain.
Ted Thompson's best available player mantra is repeated over and over to the point that it's now a cliche. Still, he does follow that strategy, and I picked Tuitt with that in mind. I was extremely tempted to take Florida State's Terrence Brooks or Pierre Desir from Lindenwood, but I felt that Tuitt's value and pass-rushing skills were too valuable to pass up with a second round pick and I gambled that one of those two would be available with the 85th pick.
Obviously, I was wrong, as Brooks went to Philadelphia with the very next selection (54) and Desir went a few picks later at 58, with Deone Bucannon of Washington State next at 59.
Once we arrived in round three, I was stuck with a similar debate at the 85th pick: take the best player available in Niklas or reach for a safety? It's clear which way I went.
With the 98th pick, Josh asked for my input on whether the value of any remaining safeties was right, but we both felt that the value was better for a wide receiver in that spot, so Abbrederis was the pick. Once that decision was made, we both agreed that the top safety target for the Packers in round four would be Tre Boston from North Carolina.
Do either of us believe that the draft will play out this way and that the Packers will not draft a safety before day 3? I certainly don't, and I think I can speak for most of the APC staff when I say that. The odds of Ted Thompson standing pat with his four picks are pretty low as well, and I expect him to shuffle around a bit to reach a draft position where the value for a safety prospect is appropriate.
I firmly believe that the Packers will draft a safety on day 1 or day 2 of the draft. Perhaps we were a bit too blinded by the Best Player Available strategy. Certainly, the draft board will not look the way it did in our mock at any of the times the Packers are on the clock. Still, I stand by our picks as the right decisions in those situations - I just don't expect this to be the way the draft turns out.