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Annual Pre-Combine Mock Draft Survey Has Packers Taking DL Louis Nix in Round One

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Annual Pre-Combine Mock Draft Survey Has Packers Taking DL Louis Nix in Round One

In Cheesehead TV's fifth annual pre-NFL Combine survey of internet mock drafts, Notre Dame defensive lineman Louis Nix III appeared more times than any other player as being selected by the Green Bay Packers with the 21st pick of the first round, being listed in 18 of 119 such predictions.

Nix is a junior entry for the NFL Draft and a 6-3, 340 lb. nose tackle that was a key piece on the Fighting Irish's 2012 team that played in the national championship game. His 2013 season was ended by a torn meniscus that ended his year after eight games.

In his breakout 2012 campaign, Nix made 50 tackles, 7.5 for a loss, two sacks, broke up five passes and forced a fumble on his way to being named a third-team All-American by CBSSports.com.

Despite missing five games in 2013, including Notre Dame's bowl game, Nix was still named first-team All-Independent selection by the media on the defensive line after making 27 tackles, two for a loss and broke up two passes.

Over at NFLDraftScout.com, Nix is compared to Packers defensive lineman B.J. Raji as the NFL player he most closely resembles, which probably plays into why he's so frequently projected as being taken by Green Bay in the draft. Raji is currently set to become a free agent in March and his return to Green Bay is iffy at best.

Nix definitely has a body and mass on par with Raji, but it's questionable whether his play-making ability is worthy of a first-round draft choice. Raji had 29 tackles for a loss and 12 sacks in three years in college, whereas Nix had just 14 for a loss and 2.5 sacks over the same time frame.

The selection of Nix would seem to fly in the face of the recent report from Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, who suggested the Packers are aimed at "getting more athletic and versatile along the defensive line."

It almost goes without saying, but take this exercise with a grain of salt. In four previous years of surveying mock drafts, not once has the player linked to the Packers most often been selected.

Just last year, center Barrett Jones was projected as being drafted by the Packers more than anyone else, and he wasn't selected until the fourth round. For what it's worth, running back Eddie Lacy tied for second in our 2013 mock draft survey and was picked by the Packers, but not until the second round after trading down twice.

More often than not, mock drafts have players taken at one of the biggest positions of need, and that's obviously an influence here, as many prognosticators see Raji, Ryan Pickett, Johnny Jolly and C.J. Wilson headed for free agency and the Packers potentially needing to fill the void.

All 119 mock drafts were listed among the database at WalterFootball.com, which included a range of mocks from well-regarded analysts such as Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, Daniel Jeremiah and Rob Rang to amateur fan bloggers.

Results of the survey:

  • Notre Dame defensive lineman Louis Nix III (18)
  • Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro (15)
  • Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley, Louisville safety Calvin Pryor (10)
  • Alabama safety Ha'Sean "Ha Ha" Clinton-Dix (nine)
  • North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron (eight)
  • Minnesota defensive lineman Ra'Shede Hageman (seven)
  • Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert, Missouri defensive lineman Kony Ealy, Florida State defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan (four)
  • Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan, Pittsburgh defensive lineman Aaron Donald, Washington tight end Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby, Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier, Stanford linebacker Trent Murphy (three)
  • Alabama tackle Cyrus Kouandijo (two)
  • Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard, Oregon State defensive lineman Scott Crichton, Notre Dame tackle Zack Martin, TCU cornerback Jason Verrett, Florida cornerback Louchiez Purifoy, Tennessee tackle Antonio Richardson, Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack, Notre Dame defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt, Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland, Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward (one)

Previous mock draft survey leaders

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (57) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Interesting. Thanks Brian for providing this.

I wouldn't think the Packers would go for Nix in the first. I think they are going to look for guys who can rush the passer more then stop the run.

I also think they are looking for guys with very good speed. One guy who IMO is a sleeper in the first round is Ryan Shazier. He has the speed and he is a big hitter. Would be a good addition next to Hawk.

ben's picture

Shazier is an incredible 4-3 OLB prospect. The best in the entire draft. Better there than mack, barr, or vanNoy. But he just isn't a 3-4 ILB. Like AJ he doesn't excel at beating blocks and making tackles. Too light for the middle.

RC Packer Fan's picture

He is more made to fit the 4-3 then 3-4. I'm not denying that. That's why I said he is a sleeper pick because not many are talking about him as a 3-4 ILB.

Shazier is on the lighter side, But he could add some weight. What he brings is explosiveness, speed and big hitting. I really think he would compliment Hawk nicely.
If you watch Hawk a lot he tends to take on blockers which allows the other ILB to make the tackle. With Shazier's speed that should work great.

I'm not saying they will take him, I'm just calling him a sleeper pick right now.

Stroh's picture

There's a reason Shazier isn't talked about as a 34 ILB. Simply too small for it. If you look at his frame he has a pretty thin frame and putting mass on that body is going to be very difficult. I wouldn't touch him as an ILB. Striclty a 43 OLB...

RC Packer Fan's picture

I have heard a few saying he could fit that scheme.

He kind of reminds me of Jonathon Vilma coming out. He was smaller also.

I am not saying they will draft him or are considering him. I just am saying he could be a sleeper pick.

shlizzy's picture

We are one LaMichael James away from winning it all!

ben's picture

Without a doubt would have been 1 game closer this past year.

You must have been watching tape on Lamichael, one of the most underrated RB/KR in the game.

Evan's picture

haha...so much faster and quicker than Franklin, right?

ben's picture

significantly faster, more explosive/quicker, seems to be more reliable health-wise, can return kicks very well, and doesn't have a fumbling problem.

But Franklin did show great patients in running the ball in that Bengal game.

Nick Perry's picture

Franklin didn't have health issues at UCLA, but he did have the fumbling issues, at least until his senior season. He had the crap knocked out of him on that kick return, and had a concussion/neck injury that landed him on IR. MM said after the game he had a whole bunch of plays devised just for Franklins talents, he was just getting ready to use them. I could have guessed McCarthy would say that after the injury, but I have a strong feeling this year will be much better and a bigger part of the offense. The kid can ball, he just has to hang onto the damn thing!

ben's picture

Hey! I'm not the only 1 who's got a thing for Lamichael. TT doesn't move up in the draft for just anybody.

Stroh's picture

I haven't seen anyone else pining for LaMichael James. Guess that DOES make you the only one! Give it a rest... Good KR not much more and doubtful he ever will be more in the NFL!

WKUPackFan's picture

Brian, do you believe Rapoport has some insider knowledge on GB? If not, I think mentioning him in two straight articles is probably giving more credence than deserved.

packsmack25's picture

Now we know who we aren't picking, thanks.

Al Katraz's picture

If the Pack seriously go for DE in the first round it tells me what I suspected: Datone Jones can't get it done and Worthy is the worthless pick I predicted he would be. Both of these guys should have been late 4th or 5th round picks at best.
Ted screwed up big time.
Hey before the draft analyst were saying Worthy took a lot of plays off and would go missing in games. He always shined in the Michigan game and then you never heard from him again.

jmac34's picture

You do realize that Nix plays a different spot than Jones, right?

mark in montana's picture

That must be the reason. Nobody has been worried about the potential turnover of having a bunch of DL free agents or anything.

Ted Thompson's picture

Datone is a bust after one year? Man you are handicapped, I hope you end being the GM of the Vikings.

RC Packer Fan's picture

'Both of these guys should have been late 4th or 5th round picks at best.'

Who knows, maybe in a few years down the road we can say that.
But during the draft Worthy was rated from late first to early 2nd round pick. Packers got him in the middle of round 2.

Jones most thought he would go around 20-25.

Neither was considered a 4th-5th round pick.

Also it generally takes d-lineman 2-3 years to adjust to the NFL. Worthy missed basically his entire 2nd year.

There is a reason why they say you can't grade a draft class or player until after 3 years, because most players by their 3rd year you know what kind of player they will be. This time next year come back and talk about Worthy, and this time in 2 years come back and talk about Jones.
Give the guys a fair chance.

Nick Perry's picture

I think it's a little early to call Jones a bust don't you? Who was TT supposed to pick? Jones was the best choice at that position that Packers could have taken. Worthy, we'll have to see. I was hoping for Devon Still who went to the Bengals over Worthy, but he's not lighting it up either. Give Worthy a bit more time to come back before putting him out to pasture.

number1pack's picture

i would luv for the packers to pick TE Austin Sefarian-Jenkins

T Pain's picture

I'm loving Christian Jones in round 2. Has played inside and outside also great in coverage. Also like Nikolas and maybe Lyerla later on at TE. Also Brandon Coleman from Rutgers to add some more height to our wide receiving corps.

Stroh's picture

I like Christian Jones a lot too, but I think 2nd is too high for him. Love to get him in the 3rd tho. Very similar to CJ Mosley in athleticism and size, but his instincts aren't as good (Mosley's intincts are off the charts). I've mentioned him quite a few times as an ILB that could become a playmaker.

ben's picture

Nix is a poor man's BJ Raji. He only thing he has to offer is the weight requirement to play nose. HaHa & Mosley are incredibly overrated. I've watched a lot of tape of these 2 and are still looking for why these guys are considered 1st rounders. I seriously wouldn't take either if they were available in the 2nd. Pryor is not a 1st rounder. He is a little slow, not very good in coverage, and takes a lot of bad angles.

Amaro would be a solid 1st round pick. Hageman has 1st round talent, but another DE is not what we need right now.

1. Deone Bucannon
2. Lamarcus Joyner
3. Jimmie Ward
4. Alden Darby
5 Marqueston Huff
6 Terrence Brooks
Are all as good if not better than Ha Ha & Pryor.

Amaro or trade back.

Brian Carriveau's picture

I couldn't disagree more on Pryor.

ben's picture

I feel very strongly about Hasean & Mosely. Hasean looks pedestrian and I seriously would rather take Telvin Smith over Mosley. Pryor does at least flash, occasionally making a play where you wonder who else could have made that play. He does appear to play, in run support anyway, faster than what is expected from him as far as measureables. But I've seen him totally miss a lot of those tackles, in run support. And a hard hitting safety isn't what it used to be.

Safety is my favorite position in football. It is also the packers greatest need. I'd love to move up and get the best safety on the board. But in 2014 the best safety on the board will go in the 2nd, or in the case of Alden Darby or Marqueston Huff the 5th or even 6th. Love'em like I love me some Colt Lyerla(TE), Zach Kerr(DL), Conner Shaw(QB), Jeff Janis(WR) & Jay Prosch(FB) all in the 4th-6th rounds.

I'm the 1st one to say move up like we did for LaMichael, but the way this draft has set up, MOVE BACK!!!

Jamie's picture

You realize that you invalidate your own opinion every time you go face first into LaMuchille's crotch, right?

You may as well be wearing tinfoil on your head and sitting with your feet in Vaseline with these idiotic/untrue/baseless theories.

Ted Thompson's picture

Holy crap, a post worth reading on here. Wait you don't think Datone is a bust after one season? Man maybe Packer aren't all animal humping rednecks after all.

jeremy's picture

Nix in the National Championship Game against Alabama.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhBLKebN_b8

Jamie's picture

Nix seems to me like a similarly stout, marginally quicker, and more active version of Raji.

jeremy's picture

I thought he started off slowly, but picked up. It appeared as if he held his ground as the DE's were getting blown off the ball.

However, I think the Packers are going in a different direction on DL, moving away from wide bodies who are only useful in base. I think they want to grab quicker disrupter types who can play in a three man front or two man, and maybe even stand up from time to time.

Stroh's picture

At DE they want more mobility but at NT they still need a stout 2gap player that takes diuble teams. Need the DE that are taller longer and more mobile.

Drealyn Williams's picture

He was in the backfield pretty much for the entire 1st QTR

Vrog's picture

That guy Lacey looks useful!

Stroh's picture

Maybe we should get that Lacey guy in the 1st rd so we have a good running game for a change... Oh wait...

jeremy's picture

I think we should wait until the second. He had his toe cut off so he can't run anymore.

al's picture

I love this time of the year dreaming best player at #21 bet !!!!!!!!

al's picture

the key here is he was injured is the injury bad can you draft someone injured I don't think so ?

al's picture

can he play pro tho ?

Bert's picture

The medical issues are big concern to me. I mean we have enough guys with medical crap as it is, no sense drafting another one. Justin Harrell?

Hank Scorpio's picture

Agreed. Especially with such a cautious medical staff.

If the Packers want to get away from a long injury list, it would make sense to heavily downgrade players with medical concerns. That goes for current players or potential acquisitions.

That is among the reasons why I've concluded they should let Mike Neal and James Starks walk away. Both can play when healthy but they are not healthy too much.

And why I hope they are considering the injury history of Nick Perry, Brad Jones and Clay Matthews when navigating this offseason.

3 of those guys played OLB for the Pack last year. Is it really a surprise they were down to zero healthy OLBs by the 4th quarter of the playoff game?

Bert's picture

Playing NT is flat out brutal. Takes a lot of punishment. With Nix already having a bad wheel I say pass, especially in the first round.

Stroh's picture

Neal was injured a lot early in his career cuz he was a hyper bulked up 300 lb's. Now at 270 and much more "normal" in size, I bet he has a lot less injury problems. When your so bulked up the muscles literally over-power the tendons which creates injuries. Its no coincidence that Neal was healthy all year in '13. I hope they're able to re-sign Neal.

Both are likely gone and getting better contracts than the Packers will give them. Wouldn't mind keeping Starks, but w/ Lacy, Harris, Franklin he's unnecessary. Neal on the other hand was getting better at OLB every week. I think he has a future at OLB if he stays in GB, but he'll have both 34 and 43 teams interested.

Evan's picture

"It's no coincidence that Neal was healthy all year in ’13."

Well, he didn't miss any games, which was great. But he was battling stuff all year and was barely practicing at all the final month or so.

Hank Scorpio's picture

'Ya beat me to it, Evan.

Just to add something to the discussion....Quarless is another guy that has battled injury quite a bit. He, too, played in all 16 this year. And wasn't battling injury to the extent Neal was. But I have a hard time trusting he'd do it again.

Stroh's picture

Point taken I had kinda forgotten he didn't practice much at the end of the year. That said, I still don't think its coincidence that he dropped weight and was able to play the entire year. If he stays in GB he'll probably drop a few more pounds to make him better at OLB. He could also play a role similar to Justin Tuch who played a lot of DT in passing situations.

Really hope they can bring him back in '14 and beyond. I like his ability and think he'll stay relatively healthy from now on.

Evan's picture

Stroh - yeah, I agree. I like him and think he did quite well considering the transition. But I wouldn't break the bank for him. If someone offers him Walden money, see ya. I'd give him like 3 years, maybe $9-10 mil.

Hank - Quarless is a different story, IMO. He battled one significant injury and finally was able to come back. On the priority list, I'd put him ahead of Neal (the lack of depth at TE also contributes). If they went into 2014 with Quarless as the starter and, say, a 3rd round pick at TE plus Bostick, I'd be comfortable with that. Though I have a bit of a fascination with Scott Chandler as a FA.

Hank Scorpio's picture

Neal suited up all year. He was not healthy all year. He missed a lot of practice time and was a regular on the injury report. In the playoffs, it finally gave out on him.

I like him as a player. But I'd pass. 2 OLBs that have had problems staying healthy is enough. Too many, actually. But Matthews isn't going anywhere and I doubt they'd cut Perry to re-sign Neal.

ben's picture

Neal is a special athlete. But mainly due to his pound for pound brute strength. At one time he was really on to something special inside clay as at RDE or RDT. Per snap as productive as anybody, at a normally unproductive Dline position. I'll gladly give Neal 4.5 Million per year the next 3 years as a DE who moves inside as a nickel RDT. But he can walk as a 270lb 3-4 OLB. Perry has more upside out there with the exact same injury history. Neal is just as natural with another 10 lbs and no more unhealthy. He has been and could be special again as a 3-4 Dlineman. I'm not saying he can't be successful as a 3-4 OLB, but his value is as a defensive lineman with some versatility as an emergency or sub-package 3-4 OLB.

Drealyn Williams's picture

Damn,y'all weren't impressed with Starks this season?

Stroh's picture

Dra... I was very impressed w/ Starks last year. Always have been, when he was on the field. I would like nothing better than for him to find his way back to GB as Lacy's backup. That is a one/two running back punch anyone can be impressed and excited about. I just think the season he had last year priced him out of GB. Another team will offer him more money and a better opportunity.

Ben... Neals days as a 34 DE are done. When he was hyper bulked up 294 or 300 lbs was when he kept suffering injuries. He was literally too big and strong for his body. Being at 270+ last year suited him much better and if he re-signs he'll probably get to 270- to be better at OLB and quicker as a pass rushing DT. He was hitting his stride w/ 3 sacks in 4 games wks 11-14 before he started missing practice time. IMO he would be a great role player for the Packers. His brute strength is what would allow him to be effective as a 270 lb pass rushing DT.

Jamie's picture

I suspect this "survey" would be much more relevant if you picked your top 10-20-30 (however many you personally have high regard for) highly regarded draft analysts.

Some schmuck draftnik that threw something up on a website should be disregarded until his/her analysis has proven as meaningful.

This is clearly, as proven by how awful the pick has been in the past, a case of quality > quantity.

RC Packer Fan's picture

One of my favorites on the list is Trent Murphy. I have heard no one talking about him being a 1st round pick. Most consider him a 2nd-3rd round pick.

Walterfootball.com posted that the Packers are interested in him at the Senior Bowl and after that 3 mock drafts have the Packers taking him.

It just shows how some mocks can be mocked.

G-man's picture

As long as Murphy doesn't have to go back in coverage he's okay.......pass coverage he loses his man.

guenaj's picture

What would Brian Boitano do?

Wagszilla's picture

"But it’s questionable whether his play-making ability is worthy of a first-round draft choice"

You mean like Derek Sherrod and Nick Perry?

I'd love if they grabbed Mosley in the 1st, granted they'd likely have to trade up. Still, Ted needs to go for value not for need.

al's picture

pic best player available ..........

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