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Rounding Up Mock Draft Selections for Packers at No. 26 Overall

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Rounding Up Mock Draft Selections for Packers at No. 26 Overall

The 2013 NFL draft is still 77 days away, but draft analysts from across the media platform are weighing in on the process via their own mock drafts. To help survey the current landscape, we rounded up the many picks and opinions of the top draft analysts.

Here are the trendy players being mocked to the Green Bay Packers at No. 26 overall:

RB Eddie Lacy, Alabama
Mel Kiper, ESPN: "...for a franchise that has lacked dynamic play at the position for way too long, Lacy could fill a need, allowing them to do more than simply "show" the run, but to gain some legitimate value out of it."
Comment:  The Packers haven't had a physical, move-the-pile running back like the 220-pound Lacy in some time. Combined with DuJuan Harris, Lacy could give Green Bay's ability to run the football a real punch in 2013. But would general manager Ted Thompson really pull the trigger on a running back in the first round? He hasn't found big hits with second-rounder Brandon Jackson or third-rounder Alex Green, so there may be a hesitancy to draft the position so early.

DL Johnathan Jenkins, Georgia
Todd McShay, ESPN:  "...it's tough to find massive pluggers with some mobility like Jenkins. He and B.J. Raji would give Green Bay versatility along its defensive front, and Jenkins could bolster a run defense that ranked in the bottom third of the NFL in yards per carry allowed at 4.5."
Comment: Ryan Pickett isn't going to be around forever, so Jenkins makes some sense here. The 358-pounder is big, strong and quicker than his size would suggest. However, Jenkins would provide very little in terms of interior pass rush, and his size would likely limit his snap count from game-to-game. Jenkins was also suspended for the 2012 Capital One Bowl for academic reasons.

C Travis Frederick, Wisconsin
Gil Brandt, NFL.com: "With Jeff Saturday likely on his way out, Frederick, who can play center and guard, could step in and help the Packers right away."
Comment: Few consider Frederick a first-round talent, and even less have him as the top overall center in the 2013 class. Maybe the Packers brass feels differently. That said, you get the feeling that Green Bay feels comfortable going into next season with Evan Dietrich-Smith as the team's starting center.

S Johnathan Cyprien, FIU
Josh Norris, Rotoworld: 
"Cyprien is an interchangeable, physical safety with range and aggression. I have a feeling the NFL has been high on him for quite some time, with those on the outside now starting to catch up."
Comment:  Cyprien's stock is on the rise. He wowed scouts and media alike at the Senior Bowl, and the consensus is his tape at FIU matches the performance he put together in Mobile. The Packers may not want to give up on Jerron McMillian or M.D. Jennings, but Cyprien has the kind of rangy skill set that better mirrors what Green Bay lost in Nick Collins (neck).

LB Alec Ogletree, Georgia
Dane Brugler, CBS Sports: 
"For most of the season, it seemed evident that the Packers needed to add more speed on defense and that was never more true than Green Bay's loss in the playoffs to San Francisco. Ogletree isn't the most natural fit in a 3-4 defense, but his rangy athleticism allows him to be used in a variety of ways."
Comment: Dom Capers would have to get creative to use Ogletree in the 3-4 defense. While possessing tremendous athleticism, Ogletree is just 234 pounds and lacking the frame needed to play every down in the Packers' front seven. He was also suspended four games for violating the school's substance abuse policy.

T D.J. Fluker, Alabama
Rob Rang, CBS Sports: 
"There is no simpler way to put it: the Packers offensive line lacks toughness and physicality - two of Fluker's most impressive traits."
Comment: If the Packers are willing to move Bryan Bulaga to left tackle, Fluker becomes an interesting selection. A starting five (left to right) of Bulaga, T.J. Lang, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Josh Sitton and Fluker in 2013 could be a very good group. How the Packers view Marshall Newhouse's hold at left tackle and Derek Sherrod's recovery will decide how important offensive tackle is in this draft.

WR Keenan Allen, Cal
Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: "In the Packers' wide-open passing game, Allen would be a dangerous asset and would fill a big need at wide receiver."
Comment: A "big" need at receiver is probably a stretch, but I'd say it's more likely that the Packers take a receiver in the first round than a running back. Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and James Jones are a strong trio, but injuries devastated this group in 2012. Losing Greg Jennings and Donald Driver will sap the Packers of their depth at a very important position.

RB Montee Ball, Wiscosnsin
Don Banks, Sports Illustrated: "...The Packers know what Ball has done down in Madison the past three years, and let's face it, all the guy does is score touchdowns. Believe it or not, there's still a place for that in the NFL."
Comment:  Is Ball a first-round talent? That's hard to say, but giving Ball to the Packers in the first round seems lazy. I'd be shocked if Thompson writes Ball's name on a first-round card in April.

Other common names:

DL Jesse Williams, Alabama: Few players in this class will be stronger than Williams. His ability to anchor at the point and collapse the pocket from the interior should make Williams a very attractive addition at the five-technique.

OL Barrett Jones, Alabama: Jones' experience and talent at tackle, guard and center could make him a versatile addition up front. But is Jones a first-round talent at any one position? Or his value inflated because of that versatility? That's an important question to ask when mocking him in the first 32 picks.

LB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame: Te'o's bizarre catfishing story might hurt his draft stock. He's a tough sell for me in Green Bay, especially after watching Alabama's offense maul him up and down the field in the National Championship game.

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 zachkruse2@gmail.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: on Comments (54) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

KennyPayne's picture

Great post Zach, and I agree with almost every point you make.

I will say that TT has not hit on SECOND rounder Brandon Jackson, third rounder Alex Green, 6th rounder James Starks (except for a brief burst in 2010) or on any of the undrafted free agents he has picked up for cheap -- other than I hope DuJuan Harris.

Perhaps RB is the one position he might take a leap on a veteran rather than trying to draft one again without success.

Zach Kruse's picture

Thanks for that edit on BJ, Kenny. Changed now.

Idiot Fan's picture

Two years ago the Saints seemed to have the same logic - that they needed a bruising back to really make their offense go. They took Ingram in the first round that year. I don't watch a ton of Saints football, but I don't think that has really helped them all that much. So even taking a first rounder isn't a given to be helpful. Personally I'd rather go to another position first.

Evan's picture

As a Mark Ingram fantasy football owner, I can confirm that he hasn't helped that much.

Speaking of the Saints and free agent running backs, Chris Ivory might be a nice complement to Harris.

Tony's picture

I'd like Ivory... good call there.

THEMichaelRose's picture

I'm pretty sure Ivory is better than Harris FWIW.
Harris is like 5'8". He was good for us for a while. But our team loved Cedric Benson too. Pretty sure Packers fans think anyone who can run for 3.5 ypc is awesome just because we dont ever want to see John Kuhn as our lead back ever again. Harris is not one of the top 32 backs in the league though. Not sure Ivory necessarily is either.
In the end, Thompson will not give free agency money to a RB ever, nor will he draft one in the first round.

Evan's picture

Harris is 5'9". Maurice Jones Drew is 5'7"...what's your point?

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

As a fantasy football player myself... The damn Saints backfield is uber frustrating. Sproles, Ivory, Ingram... There's a 4th they play too, his name escapes me.

Yeah, Ingram hasn't earned his high draft 'pickness' as of yet. That's for sure.

ted, of bill and ted's picture

i believe pierre thomas is the fourth

Jamie's picture

Pierre Thomas...and yes very farstrating

edit: beat me to it

Evan's picture

Great post, Zach. This will save me hours of googling.

I also think a RB in round 1 is highly unlikely. Every GM seems to have their one position of weakness (like Belichick with DBs or every Bears GM ever with WRs). Since I do think Harris has/should have the inside track for starting coming into 2013, I could see TT going the free agency route to find a bigger veteran back to complement him. Hell, maybe Cedric Benson comes back?

As for 1st round, I'd bet heavily on o-line or defensive front 7.

Walty's picture

Every Bears GM in recent memory has had a lot of trouble drafting QBs as well.

IowaPackFan's picture

Drafting QBs in general are difficult for most franchises.

Derek's picture

We don't need a WR in round 1, that's for sure. I'd go DL or ILB. Ogletree, Jenkins, or even Kevin Minter from LSU. Not Teo. If they're all gone, I'd consider Lacy.

Idiot Fan's picture

I hope we get that one guy who is super awesome at that position where we have a need...

Walty's picture

John Jenkins wouldn't provide any pass rush, but his ability to eat up 2 offensive linemen might help clear some space for others.

Pickett has maybe another 2 seasons left. He's going to be sorely missed. Jenkins could be his replacement.

And in the mean time, imagine Raji - Jenkins - Pickett as your front 3 on run plays.

Stroh's picture

You don't draft run stuffing DL in the 1st round. Generally thats where you draft pass rushing DL. Run stuffers you can find pretty easily in the 2nd - 4th round. WHat I wouldn't give for Johnny Jolly right now, and he was a 5th by the way. I would love a big rugged run stuffing 34 DE, but I don't like taking one in the 1st. You need playmakers in the 1st round. Go for an ILB or even a Safety in the 1st IMO.

CSS's picture

I don't view any of the ILB's as legitimate 1st round selections. None appear to be three-down linebackers, and I wouldn't select a linebacker in the 1st round that only stays on the field for 2 downs.

Deep, deep defensive tackle draft and the Packers will be looking at a very talented DT with the 26th pick. But he's going to be built more like an interior nickle rusher, not the long 5-tech fans are clamoring for. And I'm fine with that.

Also, interesting Kiper uses the word 'dynamic' when describing the RB position need for the Packers. Too bad there's not a dynamic three down back worth taking in round 1. Lacy is an all-day thumper, but 'dynamic' out of the backfield isn't a description I would use. Unless he shows great hands in private workouts I just don't see it.

Captain Lou's picture

Lacy also looks super-tight. Watch some clips of him on Youtube, and his upper body never moves. It's weird. Watch Ball by comparison, and he looks much more fluid and athletic. At RB, I'll take the instinct and fluidity over size and speed.

lmills's picture

Does anyone else think that Safety is a big need? I'm not writing off McMillian yet but if he's not the answer, this to me is a huge need. Matt Elam in the 1st? This guy is a missle!! I'd be ok with the Jenkins pick. We could use a really good lineman on the offensive and defensive line.

Derek's picture

I'd personally like a bit taller safety, I think I read Elam is only 5'10".

Evan's picture

I think safety is a need, but not a big one. If a stud falls to 26, I'd have zero problem with TT grabbing him.

I rank the Packers needs as follows:

1a. DL
1b. LB
2. OL
3. S
4. WR
5. RB
6. TE
7. K

California Cheesehead's picture

I think I'd like to see OL switched with LB, and WR over S. We have Bishop, Smith, and Perry coming back from injury. We also have promising safeties. Newhouse is not the answer at LT and who knows what's going to happen with Sherrod. I know Rodgers is partly to blame for holding it a bit too long, but our line needs help if we are to compete for a Super Bowl. The LB and S positions can have depth added later.

Lou's picture

You nailed it based on need. Only thing that would change is if Ted gets indication that Sherrod and Bulaga will not be ready day one, then OL moves to the top of your needs list. It will be interesting to see what Ted does, who would have thought he would change from best available player and concentrate on the defense last year - no body.

Captain Lou's picture

I think it's one of those positions where there isn't a "need" per se, but a clear upgrade is possible is the picks fall just right. You gotta assume McMillion make the typical 2nd-year jump, so we should only grab somebody if they can surpass that projected player (not the rookie player).

Jake's picture

I'm all for taking a safety, and I agree, Elam would be awesome. Our defense sorely misses Collins range and playmaking back there, he held everything together. I realize we have some young safeties developing, but how high are their ceilings?

A stud safety would improve the pass defense and the run defense.

MarkinMadison's picture

I think if you look at the fact that the Packers have had real problems with running QBs and dynamic TEs, getting a dynamic safety could be a real solution. I love Kenny Vaccaro's production and his size. The size says to me that he will be more durable in the NFL than other physical safeties have been able to be. If he falls I'll be pissed if TT does not take him. If he does not fall I'd think the best spot to find an impact player at #26 this year would be either DL or OL G/C. I don't think there is an ILB or RB worth taking in the first round.

Captain Lou's picture

Jenkins is big and strong, but he plays soft. Frederick, Cyprien, Ball, and Jones aren't 1st-round talents. We already have Te'o, and his name is AJ Hawk. Ogletree is a 1st-rounder, but not in a 3-4. Allen and Fluker won't get to 26th (if Fluker does, hop all over him). Which leaves us with Lacy, Williams, and maybe somebody like ILB Kevin Minter. Of those guys, I like Williams in the 1st and Ball in the 2nd. Sign a lower-cost FA like Canty or Vickerson or Idonije to buttress the DL, and we're all set! Your thoughts?

cow42's picture

i agree with all of this except...

stop with the free agent thing - not gonna happen.

&

another reason i don't like the 3-4. playmaking studs like ogletree have no position in the defense so you can't pick him as high as he deserves to be picked.

more guys i love but have no place in this D...

mingo - LSU
ansah - BYU
hunt - SMU
Richardson - MIZZOU
Floyd - FLA
Jordan - Oregon
Williams - UNC
Brown KSU

add Ogletree and there's 9 playmaking front 7 guys that just don't fit 3-4 measurables.

i mean - if studs like JPP, Peppers, Allen, etc. wouldn't fit in your system... why the hell would you use that system?

ted, of bill and ted's picture

why can't williams play in this d? not arguing, just curious as to your reasons...

i had him pegged as someone who could play end in our 3-4, his size is adequate and he has experience at multiple d-line positions...a trait that seems to appeal to ted and co.

cow42's picture

too short.

that position calls for 6'5" 290ish.

6'3" 315 is too squatty.

MarkinMadison's picture

But that is what the Packers have been using in this system. Pickett has been playing there. If he's not squat, what is?

Jay's picture

Cullen Jenkins: 6' 2" 305

CSS's picture

He has the equivalent wingspan and reach of a 6'6" man according to the weigh ins at the senior bowl, so yes, there's no reason he can't play the position and offer the coaching staff the 'length' they're looking for.

Stroh's picture

DIsagree about Ogletree. WOuld you take Daryl Washington in the 1st round? Ogletree is just like DWash. Needs to put on about 5-7 lbs, get a little stronger, but he's gonna be a big time playmaker as a Weak ILB in the 34 or Weak OLB in a 43. Ogletree would be a great coverage LB, who can blitz and run w/ RB. Love his upside.

Captain Lou's picture

Another thing to consider is that TT was hot for RB Ingram in the 1st a couple years ago, but the Saints moved in front of us to grab him. Maybe Lacy rekindles that old flame for a physical, one-cut Alabama runner?

cow42's picture

Lacy's stiff.

Christine Michael - that's our guy, boys!

Tony's picture

Fluker or Lacy = boner jams '13

Packattack88's picture

No Kawaan Short, Slyvester Williams or Sherrif Floyd eh? Sigh...

CSS's picture

Not that I place a ton of stock in mock drafts, but most drafts have Floyd going in the top 15, Kwaan Short tends to come off most mock boards right around the mid-to-late 20's and Sylvester Williams appears to be a unanimous early to mid 2nd round pick. I do like Short quite a bit. Stout, great hands, can play all three downs.

cow42's picture

none of them fit the 3-4... they're all to short.
6'3" ain't tall/long enough.

CSS's picture

When a coach says 'we want more length' in the position it's not an exclusive reference to height. It's also referencing arm-length or wing-span. There are a number of 6'3" players with the reach and wingspan of 6'5" - 6'7" men. They disrupt passing lanes due to reach and 'length', not height.

Stroh's picture

Short would be the best 34 DE of the group imo. He has really long arms and like Johnny Jolly is really good at knocking down passes. Would prefer a DE in the 6'4 to 6'6 range, but this draft doesn't have any really good ones.

PackerBacker's picture

Manti Te'o seems like the next coming of AJ Hawk. High pick, below average return.

Point Packer's picture

Manti Te'o may be the most over-rated nut ball in college football in awhile. That guy was total garbage against Alabama. Good luck to whatever sucker team reaches for that nut ball loser. Good thing Fat Mike from Mike and Mike in the morning ain't our GM.

MarkinMadison's picture

No need to call a guy who played DL in the NFL for about a decade "fat." Golic is well known for his shamrock shaded glasses. If he was wearing a GM hat, I'm sure he'd take them off.

Lou's picture

I agree, I'll bet he has "Alabama" tatooed on his chest after that game and we all know Notre Dame players like Dallas Cowboys are over rated. I don't like Mike & Mike either, they remind me of "Lumpy" and "Eddie Haskell" (the fat kid and jerk) from the old Leave It To Beaver TV show.

Stroh's picture

He's a "domer homer" what do you expect.

Evan2's picture

If Sheldon Richardson somehow falls into our range I say grab or trade up for him, his tape looks intense. Otherwise I'm really starting to like Margus Hunt as a boom or bust pick

Justin's picture

Biggest question for Te'o is can he stay in on 3rd down. He has the size to play the run, 6'2 245. He seemed to get better his senior year at covering. I don't care about the off field stuff or one game vs Alabama.

BubbaOne's picture

I don't care what position TT takes in the 1st round; what I do want is playmakers. One of TT's strengths is he's drafted almost every year a pro bowler.

Even though we don't need a CB at 26 if he picks one who becomes a pro bowler he's upgraded the team. Good players win games and playmakers win championships.

steven's picture

I have to agree with cow, christine michaels is the man, check out the blog with vonta leach, i kinda asked what you guys thought of him too late lol

Alan McConnell's picture

D.J. Fluker is the best option at right tackle late in the first round that almost every teams GM knows isn't a good fit on the Left Side.If the Packers were smart,they'd take the highest rated player on they're Big Board.

Tundraboy's picture

"There is no simpler way to put it: the Packers offensive line lacks toughness and physicality – two of Fluker"

Hit the nail on the head. If they do one thing and one thing only. OL help

Along with another speedy nasty Pass Rush on DL, and someone to replace Collins.

I say go for RB in early rounds too. What the hell. Why not? but only after they have solved the OL problems. And as an added perk maybe Rodgers does not have to run for his life all the time.

OL
DL
S
RB
WR

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