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Packers 2014 Mock Draft, Final Edition

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Packers 2014 Mock Draft, Final Edition

Final 2014 mock draft for the Green Bay Packers:



I get the feeling the Packers may not have a chance at either Mosley or Ryan Shazier come Thursday night. But if one of the two will make it to No. 21, it's probably Mosley. Some team will fall in love with Shazier's speed in the top 20 picks, while Mosley's injury history may scare off just enough clubs. The Packers would then take him as a plug-and-play starter alongside A.J. Hawk. Without the medical red flags, he's a borderline top-10 talent in this class. And just for kicks, I'll put it in writing that Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller remains my first-round surprise pick for the Packers (if he makes it to 21). I rate him as the No. 1 cornerback in this class, and he may just have the range and anticipation needed to project as a Pro Bowl-caliber free safety.



Have the Packers not locked themselves into taking a safety somewhat early in this draft? Unless Micah Hyde is making a full-time transition to play the backend with Morgan Burnett, no position on the Packers roster needs more attention. And with the position continuing to rise in importance, and the relative top-heaviness of this safety class, the Packers can't afford to wait too long to get one. Brooks isn't Nick Collins, but he's athletic, rangy and unafraid to support against the run. Given the choice, I'd much rather have Brooks in the second than Calvin Pryor in the first.



The Packers give up one of their third-round picks (3.85), plus a fourth (4.121) and a fifth (5.161), to move up and take Niklas, Green Bay's next starting tight end. It's an aggressive move up the board, but Niklas is worth the lost draft capital in the middle rounds. He's huge, standing 6'6" and weighing 270 pounds, but he's athletic for his size—capable of winning down the seam, underneath and in the red zone. He gained experience working in-line (excellent potential as a blocker) and out wide at Notre Dame, a tight end factory. Big upside considering he worked just two years at the position after moving over from the defensive side. Also, his uncle is Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews. What's not to like? Watch him become a poor man's Rob Gronkowski in the Packers offense.      



I'd be shocked if the Packers don't use one of their first four picks on a receiver. This class has too many difference-making receivers in the top-100 and the Packers still need to replace James Jones on the depth chart. Jarrett Boykin is a fine No. 3, but Green Bay's offense requires the receiver position to be four-deep, especially if the Packers lose the receiving ability of Jermichael Finley at tight end. No one talks about Norwood, but he's 6'2" with 4.48-speed and reliable hands. His change of direction skills are vastly underrated; at 6.68 seconds in the three-cone drill, Norwood blew away Randall Cobb's 7.08 seconds from back in 2011. I think he'll be a better pro than college receiver, especially with Aaron Rodgers pulling the trigger. 



Ted Thompson won't like waiting 78 picks between selections, but that's the tradeoff for moving up and taking a potential impact player early. His wait is rewarded when Urban, a 6'7" behemoth with ideal body specifications for a 3-4 base end, is still available in the fifth round. Picture a very poor man's version of J.J. Watt, and that's Urban. A broken foot suffered this offseason required surgery, giving him a real chance to fall. The Packers could use his wingspan (34 1/4" arm length) and power along the defensive line. They lack a little of both, especially at the five-technique. 



I remain unconvinced that Thompson will deviate from his standard operating procedure and take a pure center. The safer bet remains that he'll find a college tackle and move him inside. Groy has actually already made that transition. Helping his cause is a versatility to play all three interior linemen positions, including center. The Packers could use more depth at guard, and competition at center—a still unresolved position—can't hurt. Don't forget, Thompson has taken at least one offensive lineman in each of his first nine drafts. And his nine picks along the line lead the NFL since 2009. He'll take one at some point. 



Experienced (four-year starter) and smart (40 on the Wonderlic), with professional size (6'4") and arm strength, Mathews has the profile of an ideal late-round project quarterback. While a limited athlete who played against poor college competition, he'd be great in the quarterback room and helpful on the Sunday sidelines. His intangibles are through the roof. Mike McCarthy could work with his existing tools and make him into a quality, long-term backup. I'm thinking Mathews could be Aaron Rodgers' version of Doug Peterson. 


Zach Kruse is a 25-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV and is the Lead Writer for the NFC North at Bleacher Report. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at [email protected].

Photo: Florida State safety Terrence Brooks by Brian Carriveau.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (23) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Evan's picture

Not bad at all - I'd be pretty happy with that from top to bottom.

I've been on this idea of using one of the 3rd round picks to move up in the 2nd for a while now - I think it makes sense. Adding the 4th and 5th does seem like a steep price, though.

As for QB - I personally think Rodgers already has his Doug Pederson (with a D, btw) in Matt Flynn, but at that point in the draft I have no argument against taking someone. And you paint a very intriguing picture of him.

Klattu Barada's picture

With the depth in this draft I would rather move down in the 1st and pick up more picks if there is a reasonable offer.

DrealynWilliams's picture

Would I be banned if I agreed with one of COW's post?

lmills's picture

Agreed. Unless one of the ILB or Safety's drop, I'd be happy seeing them drop several spots and get an extra mid rounder or 2. More ammo for Ted to move around and get the guys he wants.

BradHTX's picture

Minor detail, Zach: you have the Packers trading their 3.98 pick, which is the untradable comp pick. I believe you meant the 3.85 pick, since you have them picking Norwood at 3.98. Just sayin'.

If you are right and they get Mosley, Brooks and Niklas, I'd be ecstatic on Saturday morning.

Zach Kruse's picture

Yep, you are correct. Thanks for the find. Corrected now!

Handsback's picture

I would love CJ to be there at 21. It all depends on the QB run. If they are selected early, CJ falls. If the QBs hold-off, no CJ or Shazier, then GB has a chance to trade down and get multiplt picks.
Kind of a win-win but rather have an impact player for sure at 21.
Mosley/Shazier clone could be had in 3rd round w/ Barrow and lots of rounds to select a FS.

DrealynWilliams's picture

I agree,Handsback.

I was watching this mock/discussion on last night and pick #21 had a lot of nice options. That was due to teams jumping on QBs and OLs though.

In that scenario,we weren't in play for the top 2 Safeties,but Evans,Beckham Jr & Cooks were still available. That will make things veeeeery interesting. A minor trade back possibility? The next 7 spots don't need LB help. Just sayin'...

Even if things don't go that way come Draft Day,I still feel late teens-mid 20's is a perfect spot for the Packers. More than a couple of players WILL fall.

Sh*t will get real once the Ravens and Jets pick. That will give us a better clue of the Pack's top 3-or-so options.

THEMichaelRose's picture

I'm probably down with adding Niklas at some point. But although Notre Dame is a tight end factory, it's been one of fairly run-of-the-mill guys. I think it's safe to say Fasano and Carlson were picked too high when they came out. Rudolph was a good choice. We'll see on Eifert.
If anything, Wisconsin's been the well to go to for value picks at tight end. Pederson's not bad this year, we'll see.

THEMichaelRose's picture

Yeah, the position needs help. But you don't spend a late 2nd round pick on just anybody because it's a position of need. You'll just wind up with Andrew Quarless and someone just like Andrew Quarless. In two years you'll be shopping for a starter again.

Evan's picture

Ignoring Cow's typical hyperbole (I think over a full-year Quarless can match and exceed any of those guys' best seasons, with the possible exception of Eifert, since it's only his 1st year), I don't think the success, or lack thereof, of past Notre Dame TEs should factor into future considerations at all. They're all their own player.

Evan's picture

Not at all - I think my opinion speaks more to the relative pedestrian nature of Carlson, Fasano and Rudolph.

If Quarless plays all 16, I think 50+ receptions, 600+ yards and 5-6 TDs is perfectly reasonable. That would put him right up there with all those guys.

(Of course a lot of that production would be thanks to Rodgers.)

Evan's picture

He got half of that last year in 10 starts (8 of which were with Flynn). 16 games with Rodgers? No problem.

(Again, that says more about Rodgers and the offense than Quarless' pure talent.)

Evan's picture

Of course there is. But I still don't think 50, 600, 5 is unreasonable.

Again, he did half of that in just about half a season last year. Double the games (plus throw in a much better QB), double the production.

I know it's not always that simple, but I don't think it's ridiculous.

FWIW, those stats would place him about 15th among TEs in 2013, among guys like Heath Miller and Scott Chandler. Seems about right.

JimTaylor31's picture

Well thought out Mock. I'm thinking Ted will just pick BPA at #21 and we may not like the pick if it's not an ILB or safety. I'm not going to shocked or disappointed if we see Fuller or maybe a WR should one of the top tier fall to us at #21.

Evan's picture

Listening to the Around the League podcast right now and they have a writer named Matt Smith on talking about Shazier (he has him mocked to the Packers, btw) but he's going on and on about how "freakishly big" he is.

Am I missing something?

THEMichaelRose's picture

Agree a lot on the risks with the defensive guys. Especially Shazier.

Don't overlook the option of taking a top WR. There are some really good ones (maybe slide back like they did when they took Jordy). And the depth chart is the leanest it's been in quite a while.

In the end, while we all want to upgrade the defense (and S is a dire need), what will really impact the team's ability to beat the top teams is protecting Aaron and keeping his gun loaded.

Evan's picture

Regarding Fuller - I've read a bit recently about the possibility of moving him to safety (at least for a year and then replacing Tramon).

But I know how you hate players swtiching positions.

EDIT: Though I guess Fuller has played some safety at VT.

lmills's picture

I agree, but wasn't Nick Collins a corner in college?

Evan's picture

Quick google search brought this: "I mean Micah's to me a multiple position player," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said last week at the NFL scouting combine. "I'd like to see Micah compete to play all three downs on defense, so if there's a personnel group that he has to play safety, yeah that's an option."

Evan's picture

Who the hell knows what MM ever really means.

But I think it means he'll compete there, yeah. Maybe play safety in base and nickle then move to CB in the dime?

lmills's picture

A la Charles Woodson?

Oppy's picture

So TROY NIKLAS is Clay Matthews' cousin?
I did not know.

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