As the embers burn down from the fire that is NFL free agency, speculation gains a little more value when compiling your latest NFL mock draft. From the Denver Broncos losing a quarterback, Philadelphia and Miami swapping selections and the Green Bay Packers doing almost nothing, the picture becomes more clear as to where each prospect will fall in this years NFL Draft.
Like usual, the Packers elected to stay put for the most part during free agency. As names such as Ladarius Green, Matt Forte and Danny Trevathan signed deals else where, many have speculated on how general manager Ted Thompson views this roster heading into the 2016 season and what we may see during the 2016 NFL Draft.
With free agency dying down, SB Nation delivered their latest mock draft, with the Packers selecting a standout prospect from the Pac-12 conference.
With the 27th overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, SB Nation mocks UCLA defensive tackle Kenny Clark to the Green Bay Packers, making him the fifth defensive tackle taken in the first round.
A two-year starter at UCLA, Clark enjoyed a successful tenure with the Bruins, recording 159 total tackles and 20 tackles for a loss. His 2015 campaign put him on the map as a first round candidate as he tallied 73 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, and 5 1/2 sacks.
At 6-foot-3, 314 pounds, Clark lined up at nose tackle in UCLA's 3-4 scheme, meaning his transition to the Packers defense would have fewer hurdles than it might for other prospects. His versatility to fit into any defensive scheme has been noted by multiple NFL scouts as well, raising his value as a prospect.
A high-school wrestler, Clark handled his weight and leverage against opponents in college, coming off the ball low and quick. He possesses a balance of both speed and power, while his versatility to fit into any defensive scheme is intriguing. Although average for his size, his effort has rarely, if ever, been in question, and he provides a pop off the ball that seemingly would transition well into the NFL. He does need to clean up his foot work and block shedding, but overall from a prospect standpoint, Clark would be an ideal pick for the Packers at 27th overall.
From a fit standpoint, the Packers should be looking to add some depth to the defensive tackle position in the draft, especially with the news of B.J. Raji's "hiatus" on Monday, and the structure of Letroy Guion's recent contract renewal. Defensive tackle is becoming a must address position heading into training camp from a depth perspective. Clark would add that much needed depth to the position along side Guion in 2016, solidifying the Packers ability to stop the run.
With the plethora of first-round defensive tackle talent this draft class has to offer, the departure of Raji for 2016 and the structure of Guion's contract, it seems as if SB Nation got it right, and the writing is on the wall for the Packers to select a defensive tackle in the first round.
But then again, with Ted Thompson calling the shots... You never know.