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Cheese Curds, 4/6: Packers must — and should — find day-one contributor with 14th pick

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It is imperative that the Packers land a player who can have an immediate impact with their top pick, and based on the players available that shouldn’t be too hard.

It probably should go without saying, but when you are selecting in the top half of the first round of the NFL Draft, your first selection needs to be a player that can contribute immediately as a rookie.

The Packers haven’t been in this high of a draft position since 2009, when the team picked nose tackle B.J. Raji with the 9th selection and traded back into round one to land Clay Matthews at 26. Neither player started in week one of that season — Raji ended up rotating into the lineup and making just one start all season while Matthews started the final 13 games — but both were critical contributors to a defensive turnaround that landed the Packers seventh in the NFL in points allowed and second in yards.

In 2018, they hold pick number 14, and it looks clear that the priorities are on the edge or in the secondary. Thankfully, any of the players to whom they are connected appear to be able to pitch in on day one, on a rotational basis at the bare minimum. Take any of the defensive backs in the conversation: Denzel Ward, Minkah Fitzpatrick, or Derwin James can play in the slot immediately, while Josh Jackson would be a candidate to play outside early on. The pass-rushers, like Harold Landry or Marcus Davenport, could rotate in and provide crucial depth behind Matthews and Nick Perry. Even a linebacker like Tremaine Edmunds or Roquan Smith would likely be a day-one starter next to Blake Martinez, particularly given the Packers’ reported plans to keep Josh Jones at a more conventional safety position this spring.

All told, there should be plenty of good options who can immediately help the defense at 14, particularly if four or five quarterbacks go off the board in the first 13 picks. It’s now a question of how the Packers’ board will set up.

The Best of Wolf & Thompson's Draft Picks | Packers.com
Here's a look at the best picks for each of the two legendary GMs by round.

Harold Landry, Isaiah Oliver could be dream draft pairing for Packers | Packers Wire
These are two of my favorite prospects at their positions in this year's draft, particularly at the values they appear to hold. If the Packers come away from picks 14 and 45 with these two players, this writer will be a very happy camper.

Packers hoping ‘impact player’ emerges at safety position | Packersnews.com
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was the definition of an impact player in 2016, when he earned a Pro Bowl nod. Last year’s group, which included second-round pick Josh Jones, had a few plays here and there but none of the players would have been remotely worthy of that label. Meanwhile, reports indicate that Josh Jones will primarily play safety during spring practices instead of focusing on inside linebacker, presumably in an effort to get him to focus in on developing his responsibilities on the back end.

NFL Draft 2018: Why Quinton Flowers is QB (or RB) your team should want - SBNation.com
The Packers reportedly had showed some interest in the 5-foot-10 Flowers, and they could give him some opportunities to stick at quarterback but would likely end up using him as a running back instead.