NFL mock drafts are usually pretty monochrome this time of year, with very few surprises possible for placing certain names with certain teams. But there’s always exceptions, and I think I found one Wednesday night.
Patriots.com put together a mock draft in which a local beat writer makes the first-round selection for the team he or she covers. In the Packers case, Bill Huber from Packer Report made the call for Green Bay.
In a surprising scenario I’ve yet to see in a mock draft, Huber picked Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler for the Packers at No. 28 overall. Peter Konz, the Badgers’ starting center, went one pick later to Baltimore.
“With Mercilus and Perry off the board, the pass rush will have to wait,” Huber wrote. “Zeitler, a dominant guard, will be groomed to be the center of the future.”
I certainly won’t be one to say a scenario is impossible, because no one really knows what’s going to happen during that unmastered three-day stretch. Huber is also one of the most draft-connected writers on the Packers’ beat.
But common sense points to GM Ted Thompson drafting a natural center if he’s dead-set on taking a first-round, long-term option. And overall, there appears to be several other developmental centers available in the middle rounds, which makes “reaching” on a player who would be making a position change over the long-term seem a little far-fetched.
That isn’t just my lone opinion, either.
Tyler Dunne over at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote Wednesday that it’s “more likely” that the Packers wait for a mid-round center like Mike Brewster or Quentin Saulsberry. Ben Jones, Phillip Blake and David Molk also look like viable options.
So while I certainly praise Huber for thinking outside the box on a pick that will be made by one of the more unpredictable general managers, it’s hard for me to envision Thompson going this way.
If nothing else, Huber’s pick here gives fans another option to chew on as the draft draws closer.