On Monday morning, SB Nation's Dan Kadar released a three round mock of this month's upcoming NFL Draft. Here, we will examine it more closely and see if his picks for the Green Bay Packers were the right ones for the team. In this mock draft, Dan had the Packers addressing three major needs: inside linebacker, tight end, and interior defensive line. Let's start off with the 1st round pick:
1st Round (27) - Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama
Inside linebacker is of course a big need for Green Bay. Clay Matthews has been forced to play the position for the better part of two seasons now due to depth issues at the position. Matthews functions much better as an outside linebacker who is able to consistently rush the passer. Ragland is arguably the best inside linebacker prospect in this draft and for Green Bay to be able to grab him at the end of the first would be the ideal scenario for them. Ragland is very strong against the run and would be an instant boost to the team's run defense.
He is still decent against the pass but has much more questions about his play in coverage than against the run. Ragland is a very sound tackler and is a very physical player, whose physical style play would be welcome in Green Bay's defense. If he can improve his vision and focus in coverage, he could be a very good player in the league. He'd be a great fit at an area of need for the Packers. The big question at this point is whether he will still be on the board at 27.
2nd Round (57) - Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas
For Green Bay's second round pick, Dan had the Packers selecting Hunter Henry. Arguably the best tight end prospect in this draft, this has been one of the Packers biggest needs for years now and Henry could a solid player at the position for years to come. After losing Jermichael Finley to a neck injury years ago, the team has been seriously lacking at the position and Henry could very well be the solution. He finished 1st team All-American and 1st team All-SEC this past season. He also won the John Mackey Award in 2015 as the nation's top collegiate tight end. Even with Richard Rodgers and recently signed Jared Cook at the position, Henry would boost the depth at the position by a good amount.
Henry is a terrific pass-catching tight end who is dangerous after the catch while being able to adjust to throws. He was a heavily relied on 3rd down target for the Razorbacks and rarely has drops. He needs work on his pass-blocking along with his size, but with the Packers' steady offensive line, it gives Henry relief in order to focus on improving. At a position of such high need and arguably being the best prospect at the position, Dan gave the Packers a near-dream scenario so far for Green Bay.
3rd Round (88) - Sheldon Day, DT, Notre Dame
With the team's third round pick, Dan went with Sheldon Day from Notre Dame. Going after another big need for the Packers, Day could end up being a potential steal in the draft. Day was talked about as a top senior prospect this time last year and coming off a terrific season season. He had a great college career which was filled with great production, finishing with 32 tackles for a loss and 7.5 sacks. Pro Football Focus ranked Day as their top defensive tackle for this past season. With the Packers losing B.J. Raji and still having a need at the position before his hiatus, Day could come in and make a big impact from day one.
Day has a great first step along with a terrific motor and plays very hard. He has fought some injuries during his college career, leading to some being worried about his durability. Also, at 6'1" and 293 lbs, he is small for the position. But, he was a two year captain and described as a "terrific teammate", which will go well in a locker room that usually always has great leadership. If Day can get a little larger and improve in the run game perhaps, he could be a great long-term player for the Pack. This has the makings of a steal at the end of round three.
Overall, this is a great haul for the Packers when you consider the players and what needs are addressed. I don't think the Packers or their fans would be at all disappointed with this draft class if it were to come true later this month. Thanks for looking out for good ol' Green Bay, Dan. You get an A+ in my book.