Eric Reid, safety, LSU
With their first pick, the Packers address the biggest need at the safety position. By taking Reid, they get a player who will be a starter from Day 1 and will improve the tackling in the secondary two-fold. At 6-1, he’ll also match up well with the tight ends he’ll be asked to cover. There might be a few coverage headaches along the way, but Reid has the athleticism to become a long-time starter with Pro Bowl potential.
Margus Hunt, defensive end, SMU
By giving up their natural picks in both the second and third rounds, the Packers move up in the second to take Hunt and get the length they desire out of a defensive lineman. Hunt might be a project, but if the Packers can just start by getting him comfortable playing the five-technique position, that will be a good enough start. The Packers have done their homework on Hunt by interviewing him at the Senior Bowl and attending his pro day workout. As former NFL executive Phil Savage pointed out in his interview with Bob McGinn, ”There are 20 people on this earth that can do what he did at the combine.” Hunt ran the 40 in 4.60 seconds, put up a Combine-high 38 reps on the bench press, had a vertical jump of 34.5 inches and a broad jump of 121 inches, all absolutely stunning numbers for a guy who’s 6-8 and 277 lbs.
Cobi Hamilton, wide receiver, Arkansas
For someone that carries 212 lbs. on his 6-2 frame, Hamilton’s 4.56 speed in the 40 is good, and he’s probably even faster than he tests. More than anything, Hamilton has big-play ability with yards per catch averages of 18.3 in 2009, 19.7 in 2010, 15.9 in 2011 and 14.8 in 2012. He had 21 career games with at least one catch that went for 30 yards or longer. His statistics may seem modest prior to his senior season, but consider that Arkansas had three wide receivers that were drafted in 2012 alone. As the top target in 2012, however, he had 90 receptions for 1,335 yards and five touchdowns.
Fifth Round A
Michael Buchanan, outside linebacker, Illinois
Not unlike former Illini defensive lineman Whitney Mercilus, Buchanan has the size and athleticism to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. His statistics as a senior might have been underwhelming (57 tackles, seven for a loss, 4.5 sacks) but consider that A) Illinois was really bad and B) he was involved in an offseason altercation that caused him to have his jaw wired shut and lost 20 lbs. He was more impressive as a junior when he had 64 tackles, 13.5 for a loss and 7.5 sacks.
Fifth Round B
Vinston Painter, offensive lineman, Virginia Tech
Painter has less than ideal height for a tackle at fractions over 6-4 and 306 lbs., but he’s incredibly athletic. His 40 time of 4.96 seconds and vertical jump of 30.5 inches were in the top five among offensive linemen at the Combine. Painter played right tackle as a senior, but also has played right guard, left tackle and even on the defensive line during his time at Virginia Tech. He didn’t start until his senior season in college, which might raise some eyebrows about his dedication.
Zac Stacy, running back, Vanderbilt
A bowling ball of a runner, Stacy is 5-8 and 216 lbs. He ranked among the top running backs at the Combine by bench pressing 225 lbs. 27 times and had a three-cone drill time of 6.70 seconds. Stacy had back-to-back seasons rushing for over 1,000 yards as a junior and senior and became the first player ever at Vanderbilt to rush for more than 3,000 over the course of his college career. He’s had several nagging injuries over the course of his career, but played in all 13 games in both 2011 and 2012.
Lucas Reed, tight end, New Mexico
The brother of Houston Texans linebacker Brooks Reed, Lucas is flying under the radar after catching only five passes his senior season. The reasons for such little production are logical, however, after New Mexico became one of the top rushing teams in the nation under new head coach Bob Davie. In 2010 Reed caught 33 passes for 459 yards and five touchdowns. He blew up his pro day workout with a reported 27 reps on the bench press, 37 inch vertical jump, 4.08 seconds in the short shuttle, 6.97 seconds in the three-cone drill, a 40 time between 4.65 and 4.72 seconds and arms measuring over 35 inches long.