After going defense with each of the Packers’ first three picks in #MockFour, Green Bay decided to fill a hole on the offensive side of the ball in the fourth round.
With the 123 overall pick and No. 28 in the fourth round, the Packers selected Baylor center Philip Blake.
Both Brian Carriveau and I agreed that taking one of the three centers available was the best route to go with the first of the Packers’ three fourth-rounders.
The choice ultimately came down to Blake, Michigan’s David Molk and Mississippi State’s Quentin Saulsberry. In the end, we agreed to take Blake (6-3, 311 lbs.), a 38-game starter at Baylor.
The 2011 first-team All-Big 12 selection enters the NFL as a more accomplished run and pass blocker than the other two options, and despite being 26 years old old at the time of the draft, also carries no worrisome character concerns.
Blake’s stock has risen during the pre-draft process after strong performances at the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine. The value and need matched well, as center remains an identifiable hole for the Packers despite signing veteran Jeff Saturday this offseason.
Yet with Saturday on board, Green Bay can allow Blake the opportunity to can sit and learn behind an established veteran for the first year or two. Once Saturday retires or moves on, Blake can then take over as the Packers’ starting center. Blake can also provide depth at both guard positions.
The Packers #MockFour draft so far…
1.28––Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower
2.28––Clemson defensive lineman Brandon Thompson
3.28––Cincinnati defensive lineman Derek Wolfe
4.28––Baylor center Philip Blake