Peter King of Sports Illustrated posted his annual mock draft Tuesday, and one of the nation’s most plugged-in reporters gave the Packers Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy at No. 28 overall.
“Worthy would be the long-term replacement for Cullen Jenkins, though I could see G.M. Ted Thompson going for a big-potential outside threat like Nick Perry or Shea McClellin as a bookend pass rusher for Clay Matthews,” King wrote.
A decorated college player who many consider a first-round defensive lineman, Worthy fits a need at defensive end for the Packers’ 3-4 defense.
As a junior in 2011, Worthy helped Michigan State’s defense lead the Big Ten in rushing defense, total defense and sacks. The Asssociated Press named Worthy a first-team All-American for his efforts. He then entered the 2012 NFL draft a year early after compiling 25.5 tackles for losses and 12 sacks in 37 career games in East Lansing.
King wasn’t done with his opinion on the Packers’ first-round pick, however.
As he has done for years, King also identified a player each team “should pick.” In the Packers’ case, King picked Boise State running back Doug Martin.
“Martin is the kind of versatile cold-weather back who would fit the Pack perfectly,” King wrote. “‘He’s this draft’s Ray Rice,’ one personnel man told me.”
Martin rushed for almost 3,431 yards and 43 touchdowns over four years at Boise State. He also caught 67 passes for 715 yards and four scores.
While the Packers may have a need at running back, it doesn’t appear likely that GM Ted Thompson would use such a high pick on the position. The defense simply needs too much help to use a top-30 selection on a running back.