With the 16th selection of the 2nd round, the Green Bay Packers select CB Tanard Jackson from Syracuse.
The Packers filled their biggest need in the 1st round when I selected RB Marshawn Lynch. Although they could use depth at wide receiver they should be comfortable starting WRs Donald Driver and Greg Jennings in 2007. If Arizona State's TE Zach Miller was still available, then he would be a real option with this pick. A defensive end like Texas' DE Tim Crowder could be taken here and DE Cullen Jenkins could become the full-time starter at tackle. However the weakest starter on the defense last season was S Marquand Manuel so adding depth or a true challenger to Manuel's job is a priority. Plus Draft Tek agrees with me that cornerback and safety have the 2nd and 3rd highest need rating.
With five safeties drafted in the first 55 picks of our SB Nation mock draft, that position is becoming thin. Virginia Tech's S Aaron Rouse might be the best safety available at this point, but he is best known for his run defense and Manuel was actually pretty good in run support last season. It was his constant torching in pass defense that is the problem.
At this point, the best solution probably is to select a cornerback to fill the safety position. There are a lot of talented cornerbacks still available at this point in the draft. With CB Charles Woodson's history of injury problems (How many people were shocked when Woodson managed to start in all 16 games last season?) it is possible that he has to move to safety to prolong his career, like Rod Woodson and Troy Vincent did. He still is the starting cornerback, alongside CB Al Harris (who at age 32 might be a possible convert to safety in the next couple seasons too), and the Packers have a solid 3rd CB in Patrick Dendy plus promising 2006 4th round selection CB Will Blackmon. A rookie cornerback would be very valuable if Harris or Woodson move to safety and would at least add some depth behind two young players and the Packers' big free agent signing this offseason.
Why select Tanard Jackson? His name has come up in a lot of rumors and he is considered one of the top cornerbacks that might be converted to safety. There are a number of other cornerbacks still available in our mock draft like UNLV's Eric Wright, California's Daymeion Hughes, Tennessee's Jonathan Wade, or South Carolina's Fred Bennett that all could be legitimate picks here. Maybe GM Ted Thompson likes all of these guys and is willing to trade down in the round to select whoever falls to him. Thompson plays his cards close to the vest so it is anyone's guess who he really likes or dislikes, but the most likely scenario is that he drafts somebody for the secondary with his 2nd round pick. At this point he is just as likely to select Tanard Jackson as anyone else.