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2008 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft

Over at Mocking The Draft I have made the selection for the Packers 1st round pick.

With the 30th overall selection in the 2008 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft, the Green Bay Packers have selected offensive tackle Sam Baker from the Univeristy of Southern California.

Most mock drafts think the Packers are going to take a cornerback because of the advanced age and decline in play by CBs Al Harris and Charles Woodson. But GM Ted Thompson has only drafted one cornerback, 4th rounder CB Will Blackmon was taken in 2005, in the past three years since he's run the team. Nickel CB Jarrett Bush and starting S Atari Bigby were both undrafted free agents. His preference appears to be build the team from the inside-out, and the secondary is something you address after you take care of the quarterback, offensive line, and defensive front seven.

That said, Thompson has never used his top pick on an offensive lineman either. But just as Harris and Woodson are advancing in age, LT Chad Clifton and RT Mark Tauscher are both getting up there too. Plus Tauscher is the Packers only significant free agent scheduled after the 2008 season, although few people probably expect the lifelong Wisconsin Badger and Green Bay Packer to actually leave the team. But Tauscher is finishing up a bargain basement 7 year, $19 million (yes, in total) contract, although the team did renegotiate his sixth and seventh years to make his base pay resemble what starting right tackles are paid today, and maybe he'll look elsewhere for one last big contract.

Baker doesn't make my heart swoon, but he can probably play guard as well as tackle, making him an ideal insurance policy at tackle while throwing him into the mix at right guard where there is no established starter and the starting job will be decided next preseason. He's injury prone, but the players at the bottom of the 1st round usually have some blemishes. He doesn't have great size, but the Packers play a zone blocking scheme that doesn't favor giants so he should fit right in. He reminds me of OL Daryn Colledge, who the Packers selected in the 2nd round from Boise State in 2006, so Thompson might have a soft spot for smaller tackles from the western states.