Over the last week or so, I represented the Green Bay Packers during a seven-round mock draft.
The online draft, known as Mock One, pitted 32 different general managers against one another in an exercise designed to replicate the selection process.
You can check out the entire draft and its content here. Because compensatory picks have not been announced, this run-through did not include them.
Here were my picks for the Packers:
1.26 – Florida International S Jonathan Cyprien
Worked the trade wire to move down, under the assumption that I could move back, pick up an extra mid-round pick and still get Cyprien near the top of the second round. No deal worth taking presented itself, so Cyprien was the selection at No. 26. It was probably a good thing no deal came, because Cyprien wasn’t likely to get out of the first round based on discussion with other GMs.
In Cyprien, the Packers get the kind of athletic and instinctive safety that has been missing since the release of Nick Collins. He also adds toughness and speed to the backend of a defense that desperately needs more of both. My only reservation in picking Cyprien was the presence of 2012 fourth-rounder Jerron McMillian, but I feel the FIU safety provides a more complete package alongside Morgan Burnett.
2.25 – West Virginia WR Stedman Bailey
Alabama center Barrett Jones and Stanford tight end Zach Ertz remained on the board here, but Bailey was the easiest pick I made in this draft. Franchise-tagging Greg Jennings at over $10 million has never made sense for the Packers, but taking a Jennings-clone to replace him certainly does. Bailey is exactly that.
Not big (5’10″) or track-fast (4.52 40), Bailey wins because he knows how to play the position. He gets separation because of route-running, and his hands are some of this draft’s best. Even as a rookie, Bailey can be productive as the team’s fourth receiver. GM Ted Thompson has struck gold with second-round receivers, too: Jennings, Nelson and Randall Cobb have each been smart picks between picks 33 and 64.
3.26 – Florida State OLB Brandon Jenkins
Really wanted to address the defensive line with my third pick, but there wasn’t a good value on the board. Instead, I rolled the dice with Jenkins, a high-upside edge rusher who was too good to pass up at the end of the third round. A foot injury to start 2012 sapped Jenkins of the potential to be picked much higher.
Although Nick Perry (wrist) will return in 2013, and Dezman Moses flashed as an undrafted rookie, a 3-4 defense can never have enough talented pass rushers. With Perry, Moses and Jenkins, defensive coordinator Dom Capers would have no more excuses opposite Clay Matthews.
4.23 – Michigan State DE William Gholston
Moved up three spots to ensure Gholston landed in Green Bay. The Packers have an obvious need in adding length at defensive end, and the 6’7″ Gholston obviously has plenty of it. His 281-pound frame can add plenty of weight too, giving Gholston a chance to be a difference maker as a five-technique in the 3-4 defense.
He also has a nasty streak that some will call “dirty,” but maybe such an attribute is needed along an otherwise soft Green Bay defensive line. The Packers will bank on Gholston being closer to the Cardinals’ Calais Campbell than Vernon Gholston, the Jets’ infamous draft bust and William’s cousin.
5.26 – Colorado OT David Bakhtiari
The idea of a pressing need at offensive tackle is debatable, with Bryan Bulaga, Marshall Newhouse, Don Barclay and Derek Sherrod each possessing the potential to start in coming years. But the need for overall depth along the line will be agreeable by most, and taking Bakhtiari helps solve part of that problem.
He has experience at both tackle positions, and a move inside at the next level is still possible. Bahhtiari has also said that NFL teams have inquired about him playing center, too. The NFL Draft Advisory Board gave him a second- to third-round evaluation as an early entry, so this is another value pick.
7.14 – Michigan DE William Campbell
Did some needed wheeling-and-dealing at the end of the draft to acquire more picks. Campbell became the first of three eventual seventh-rounders.
A stand-out at the East-West Shrine Game, Campbell possesses the kind of length (6-5, 80-inch wingspan) and frame (318 lbs.) that is tailor-made to play the five-technique. His size, strength and quickness give him a real chance to stick, especially if Jerel Worthy (ACL) can’t make it back for the start of next season.
7.23 – Stony Brook RB Miguel Maysonet
Maysonet isn’t a flashy name in this year’s running back class, but neither was Alfred Morris last April. While he won’t be rushing for 1,600 yards in Green Bay like Morris did during his breakout rookie season in Washington, Maysonet has a comparable skill set. He’s decisive yet patient, and the first tackler rarely gets him to the ground.
In my amateur estimation, Maysonet’s game might actually have a little Cedric Benson-feel to it. A duo of DuJuan Harris and Maysonet and whatever combination of Alex Green, James Starks and Cedric Benson wins out in training camp could work at running back.
7.25 – Rutgers ILB Steve Beauharnais
Both Desmond Bishop (hamstring) and D.J. Smith (ACL) are coming back from season-ending injuries, and there’s still the possibility of A.J. Hawk getting cut to shave money from the cap.
If everyone is back and healthy for 2013, inside linebacker is a deep position; if not, adding a guy like Beauharnais towards the end of the draft makes sense. As a thumper against the run and sneaky inside blitzer, Beauharnais has reminded some of Bishop.
Zach Kruse is a 24-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covers prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.