Sitting at No. 27 in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers have a copious amount of options. They can target an offensive weapon like Arkansas tight end Hunter Henry or shore up a depleted linebacker unit. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. favors the latter.
The draft guru has the Packers taking Boise State outside linebacker/defensive end Kamalei Correa with their first pick in the draft in his latest mock (Insider subscription only). Correa is relatively new to the first-round draft buzz, but is already generating positive comparisons to a current Packers linebacker.
"Is the next Clay Matthews available in the 2016 NFL Draft?" asks nfl.com's Chase Goodbread. "Comparisons between NFL players and draft prospects commonly are made only because of like styles, but according to DraftInsiders.net's Tony Pauline, NFL executives believe Boise State pass rusher Kamalei Correa is similar to the Green Bay Packers star in both 'style and substance'."
Correa registered a team-high 12 sacks as a sophomore in 2014, but regressed in 2015. In two fewer games, the junior only had 36 tackles and 6.0 sacks, per sports-reference.com.
At the Combine, Correa finished third among defensive linemen in the 40-yard dash, clocking in at 4.69 seconds. However, he did not stand out in the bench press, vertical jump or the broad jump. He'll have to sell teams on his burst off the edge, with which his 40-time helped.
Correa certainly fits as more of a 3-4 outside linebacker than a 5-technique defensive end due to his 6-3, 243-pound frame. The Boise State product would be an option as a pass rushing linebacker, but in the first round, he'd arguably be a reach if higher ranked talent is still on the board who fill Green Bay's other needs.
Nonetheless, Correa can additionally boost his stock at Boise State's Pro Day on March 31. With a motor that could play on any team, Correa is arguably a safe pick near the end of the first round or in the second round.