Once again, a draft analyst has projected Alabama running back Eddie Lacy as the Green Bay Packers' selection with the 26th pick of the NFL Draft. It's SBNation's Dan Kadar this time, and he's just the latest in a long string of draftniks who are projecting the back to come to Wisconsin. Kadar's mock draft has a very interesting twist however; that twist is that Geno Smith is still available when the Packers select at 26, a fact which he does not ignore in his analysis of the Packers' selection:
Since trades weren't done for this mock, Green Bay was stuck with the pick. But with Geno Smith on the board, this would be a popular pick to trade into. The Packers' needs don't have a lot of first-round value. By default, a running back is the choice and Lacy is the top player at his position.
All in all, I think this logic is sound. If Geno Smith is still there at 26, I would imagine that teams like Jacksonville, Philadelphia, and others would be trying to climb back into the first round to nab him and the Packers would be an ideal trade target as they could fill multiple needs with the picks acquired in such a deal. There's one issue I have with Dan's pick, and it's entirely based on the remaining players on the draft board. For me, there are several defensive linemen that I rank comfortably above Lacy on my board, and a few of them are still available at 26 in this mock.
The first is Datone Jones from UCLA. Ken broke down tape on Jones a few days ago, but I believe that he can be a highly effective 5-technique end from day one as long as he not taking a huge percentage of the team's defensive snaps. Another candidate is Sylvester Williams out of North Carolina. The same thing goes for Williams, and though he's a bit heavier, I would love to see him in Green and Gold.
I would rank the defensive line as a greater need than running back at this point in time, and with good value available I think one of those two linemen would be a better selection for Green Bay at 26 than Lacy. Do you agree?