Editor’s note: Please welcome Owen Riese to the writing team here at Acme Packing Company. Owen joins us from Bucky’s 5th Quarter, the SB Nation blog covering the Wisconsin Badgers, where he will continue to contribute as well. Owen will primarily be focusing on analyzing the NFL Draft and college football prospects.
As we approach a holiday based on gluttony, let us fantasize about all of the players that the Green Bay Packers could potentially target as we struggle through this season of adversity for the Green and Gold and come into the best season of all:
So, when you’re all stuffing your faces with food that you swear you’ll work off before Christmas, you can watch the one college football game on this Thursday night. The game matches up two extremely talented football teams, although the quarterback play is likely to be less than ideal. You’ve got a backup, and a guy who lost his job to a guy at Purdue (now at Florida), who in turn lost his job at Purdue to another guy who’s at Purdue who, unfortunately, plays at Purdue. However, a few of these guys are must watch football players, regardless of where they’ll get drafted.
LSU Tigers at Texas A&M Aggies
6:30 PM CT
College Station, TX
Kevin Sumlin has recruited as well as any coach in the county over the past few seasons other than Nick Saban, and it shows on the field. Here are a few guys to watch on the Aggies:
Myles Garrett, DE, 6’5” 270, JR - Garrett is the best player in this draft, regardless of position. He is an elite force on the outside, and is likely the #1 overall pick in May. There’s no way the Packers get a chance at him, but do yourself a favor and watch him pick apart LSU’s less than stellar offensive tackles. He’s scheme transcendent and should have one of the shortest learning curves of any recent rookie classes.
Ricky Seals-Jones, WR, 6’5” 240 - Seals-Jones was a 5* recruit coming out of HS, and reportedly his father turned down quite a bit of money during his recruitment process. Seals-Jones has all of the physical tools needed to succeed at the next level, and his draft stock will likely hinge on his combine numbers. While nothing is set in stone yet, I would be a bit surprised if Seals-Jones returned to College Station for a fourth season.
Josh Reynolds, WR, 6’4” 193 - I don’t know if someone of you guys have heard or not, but some fans believe that the Packers need some help at wide receiver. Reynolds is the second part of a dynamic receiving trio for the Aggies, and has some nice size but with a bit more finesse than Seals-Jones. Reynolds is likely a late round pick.
De’Vante “Speedy” Noil, WR, 5’11” 200 - Noil is another 5* recruit, however he’s had a less than squeaky clean record with the Aggies. When he’s on the field, he’s more than productive, and is also a dangerous return man. However, his checkered past will likely keep him from being drafted to his talent level. It’s unknown if he’ll declare, but he’s another case where I wouldn’t be surprised if he left A&M.
LSU is as talented of a team as any in the country, if you don’t count the quarterback spot. NFL-ready talent is littered across their roster, and they will have multiple first round picks out of this class. A few of them could satisfy some major needs on the Packers’ roster.
Leonard Fournette, RB, 6’1” 235 - Fournette is a large human being who is #good at football, despite what some of the Pro Football Focus numbers would suggest. The #1 overall recruit in 2014, he’s a special talent who has impressive speed in respect to his physical stature, and possesses the ability to be a difference making runner. I’m not ready to say that he’s better than Ezekiel Elliott was coming out of Ohio State, but Fournette is in the conversation. He’d look awful nice in the Green and Gold, but I don’t know if he’ll make it to the Packers’ slot.
Malachi Dupre, WR, 6’4” 195 - While Dupre is suffering the same fate that Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry went through while at LSU, he’s a good prospect. A 5* recruit out of HS, Dupre has been burdened with poor quarterbacking during his time in Baton Rouge. While he doesn’t always play up to his size, Dupre has excellent potential. I don’t think he’ll run a great 40, but anything below 4.6 is good for the lanky Dupre.
Kendall Beckwith, LB, 6’3” 247 - Beckwith is a tough dude. For anyone who has played Halo: I compared him to a Spartan Laser before the Wisconsin game. He doesn’t always get to the back he’s chasing, but if he connects, you’re going down. Beckwith is an impressive athlete, but doesn’t always possess the elite lateral ability you see out of a first round pick. Beckwith could fall to the 3rd round, and he’d be a nice addition to the defense. He’s also a scary lookin’ dude in a helmet, a good quality to have for a linebacker.
Duke Riley, LB, 6’1” 230 - Riley is a prospect who hasn’t garnered a ton of attention yet, as draft szn is yet to hit full stride, but from what I’ve seen, he’s improved as the year has gone on under Dave Aranda’s guidance. He’s a run and hit linebacker who could have a similar role to Joe Thomas. While this isn’t a sexy type of prospect (although he does have dope hair), he’s the type of guy that championship teams are built with. He’s also got a winning pedigree, coming from LSU, which I really believe has some merit to it.
Ethan Pocic, OL, 6’7” 302 - Pocic is a stud, simply put. He’s likely the best center prospect in this class, and he’s been rock solid in the middle of the LSU line for years now. He’s played left tackle in a pinch for the Tigers, but his future is at center or guard in the NFL. The Illinois native shouldn’t take too long to re-acclimate to the colder climate from down in the bayou. Thompson likes drafting left tackles and moving them around, but Pocic playing center isn’t indicative of his athleticism. He’d be a fine Packer.