Thursday, February 28, 2013

Packers 7 Round Mock Draft 3.0

Here it is. Mock Draft 3.0 for the Packers. I was only planning on doing two different ones before the NFL Draft, but changed my mind after seeing Mel Kiper and Todd McShay released their first two for the first round with a month to go before the draft. So, I'm going with three, which is what you're about to read right now. You can read 1.0 here and 2.0 here. This is the last mock draft I'm doing before the actual NFL Draft in April. So, here we go...

Round 1 Pick 26: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama - James Starks has yet to prove that he can stay healthy for a full season. Alex Green has done nothing with the opportunities sent his way. Cedric Benson and Ryan Grant will likely be gone after this offseason. Although DuJuan Harris was impressive down the stretch in his few games where he shined, I'm not sure if he is ready to take on a full starting workload. Still, the Packers may address the running back position early in the 2013 NFL Draft. Eddie Lacy heading into the NFL Combine has been compared to a few running backs that are in the NFL now, but the one I keep hearing is Frank Gore. Lacy values the potential of what Green Bay could offer him and his career. He was quoted saying this at the Combine:
“I feel as though they wouldn’t just be able to spread the field out,” said Lacy on the prospect of joining the Packers. “They’d have to actually have to defend the run as well. If Aaron Rodgers is the quarterback, you’re not going to put nine guys in the box. So it’ll kind of balance out.”
Eddie Lacy did not work out at the Combine due to a small hamstring tear but will partake in Alabama's Pro Day. If his injury doesn't seem to be a major concern, I wouldn't mind Green Bay drafting him as the first running back in the 2013 draft, especially if free agency isn't an option for Ted Thompson.
(Previous pick: Desmond Trufant, Washington, CB)

Round 2 Pick 55: Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor - I think we all know the reasoning for this pick. Greg Jennings putting his home in De Pere, Wisconsin up for sale, as well as showing interest in signing with the Dolphins, Vikings, and other teams. There are a few reports saying Green Bay might franchise tag Jennings, but I really hope they let him walk instead of over pay him. In addition, Donald Driver announced his retirement from the NFL last week and made it official February 6th, 2013. It looks like the Packers will need to look to add a wide receiver in the draft.
Previous pick: Kyle Long, OT/G, Oregon)

Round 3 Pick 88: David Quessenberry, G/C/OT, San Jose State
The Packers had major problems at center after letting Scott Wells walk away, so they'll have to address that area in the draft. Evan Dietrich-Smith, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, has been in talks with the Packers to sign long tern with the Packers and be the center for out future. Even if EDS signs, we will still need some sort of depth at center in case the inevitable occurs. The Packers need to beef up the tackle position this offseason as well. I'm not a big fan of Marshall Newhouse nor do I see him as a viable option at left tackle going into next season. There have been rumblings this offseason that the Packers are considering moving Brian Bulaga over to left tackle next season. Ted Thompson will like David Quessenberry's versatility, as the San Jose State product can play every position up front, including center.
(Previous pick: Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M)

Round 4 Pick 119: Cornelius Washington, DE/OLB, Georgia - Hopefully I'm not the only one who doesn't want Erik Walden back on the Packers next year. He is a free agent next year and I don't see us bringing him back in. With his departure, there would be a void at the line backer position. A.J Hawk has also been brought up in regards to not being back next year because of his rather high salary. Desmond Bishop and Nick Perry will be coming back from injury. There are a lot of questions surrounding the linebackers on the Packers and they need answers. In the fourth round, Cornelius Washington would be a steal for the Packers and he could honestly still be on the board. A month ago, Washington was projected to be an undrafted free agent. Now, he's being projected anywhere from third to fifth round. He's a great tackler. He's fast. He's an elite pass rusher. He's exactly what the Packers need. He's going to shine on passing downs, but could struggle with the run game. However, that's what the other ten guys are for.
(Previous pick: Gerald Hodges, OLB, Penn State)

Round 4 Compensatory Pick (For QB Matt Flynn): Jordan Reed, TE, Florida - There's a chance that Jermichael Finley could be cut this offseason to preserve some cap room. Finley has been quoted a lot this offseason by saying there's a "50/50 chance" he will return to Green Bay as well as him saying "the Packers haven't talked to me much this offseason." The most resent quote from Finley is "I couldn't take a pay cut" but would "maybe" restructure, something the Packers could do if they extend his deal beyond 2013. All signs put to Finley possibly being on his way out. The Packers have some depth at tight end, but no one is a stand out as the leader. Full Finley quote here. Jordan Reed would be a great pickup for Green Bay with this compensatory pick. Widely compared to New England's tight end Aaron Hernandez, Reed is a huge threat that has wide receiver speed and deadly in yards after catch. From what I've dug up on him, he needs to bulk up a bit to be a better blocker as well as learn patients to avoid false starts. Those are easy fixes.

Round 5 Pick 152: Kwame Geathers, DT, Georgia - It wouldn't hurt the Packers to look for defensive line help. Jerel Worthy had knee surgery a month ago, Raji was a little banged up last year, and C.J. Wilson needs someone to compliment him better. The Packers are scheduled to meet with free agent DT Chris Canty next week in Green Bay. However, if we look to the draft for help, Kwame Geathers (right) is six-foot six, three-hundred and fifty-five pounds of absolute dominance. He made the All-SEC Freshman Team the in 2010. Geathers played in all 14 games in 2012, finishing with forty tackles, including five for losses and one sack. ESPN ranks Geathers 5 out of 5 in pass rushing, which would compliment B.J. Raji and company extremely well.  
(Previous pick: Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford) 

Round 6 Pick 182: Zeke Motta, S, Notre Dame - The Packers have had a void in the defensive back field since losing Nick Collins a few years back. They will need to address this in the draft at some point, and I don't have a problem with them doing it late. The Packers should look for a versatile player who could play either corner or safety, but preferably safety to add depth to Jennings, Burnett, and McMillian. Zeke is a guy that could mesh well right away with Green Bay, as long as our pass rush improved significantly next year. He's got great arm strength and has great back pedal ability. He's great when it comes to run defense. If he works on his tackling, he'll be a great snag late in the draft.
(Previous pick: Caleb Sturgis, K, Florida) 

Round 7 Pick 216: Caleb Sturgis, K, Florida - "Mason is our guy." I don't know about you all, but I was really sick of hearing that from Mike McCarthy last season. That fact that it was a weekly quote all season wrong shows there are questions at our kicker position, which is one of the more highly important and vital positions on the football team. In the 2012 season, Caleb Sturgis (left) was 24 for 28 in field goals (including the Sugar Bowl). In the 2011 season, Sturgis went 22 for 26 in field goals. Sturgis was named to the 2012 All-American Third Team, as well as the 2012 All-SEC First Team. The Packers could draft Sturgis as someone to get Mason Crosby focused in training camp after the forgettable season Crosby had in 2012. Ted Thompson was in attendance at the East-West Shrine game to scout Caleb. In that game, Sturgis made both field-goal attempts, including one from 48 yards out that was said to have been "good from 60 yards". Sturgis has the strength and the accuracy to give Mason Crosby a good potential battle in training camp.
(Previous pick: Marcus Davis, WR, Virginia Tech)

Round 7 Compensatory Pick (For C Scott Wells): Melvin White, CB, Louisiana-Lafayette - With the exit of Charles Woodson and looking back on what I said earlier, the Packers need some depth when it comes to our defensive backs. And, with news coming out from the Packers that Tramon Williams will have to compete for a spot on next year's depth chart at cornerback, Melvin White could give Williams a run for his money, and spot. Melvin is six-foot-three, one-hundred and ninty-three pounds, which is outstanding length for a cornerback. He had a pretty good 40-yard dash at the combine, clocking in at a 4.50. From what I found, Melvin would not work well in a zone scheme, but would excel as a press corner.

Top 5 Projected Undrafted Free Agents the Packers could/should have interest in:

1. Matt Brown, QB, Illinois State - Packers need some comfort in a back up quarter back if Rodgers were to go down ever. Brown could provide that cushion. If not, a veteran free agent signing may be in order.

2. William Campbell, DT, Michigan - Ted Thompson scouted this guy a few months back. He should be on the radar still and will likely go undrafted. Look for Green Bay to pursue.

3. Rodney Smith, WR, Florida State - The Packers have made it clear that Randall Cobb will not be returning kicks next year. Smith could be our new kick returner as he has great speed and hands.

4. Luke Marquardt, OT, Azusa Pacific - Packers need to focus on keeping Rodgers healthy and protected. Six-foot-nine, three-hundred and fifteen pound Luke Marquardt could help that cause.

5. Braden Wilson, FB, Kansas State - This won't be a popular choice, but it may be time to start looking at replacing John Kuhn. He's owed $2.3 million in the final year of his deal in 2013, so it is quite possible the Packers could start looking for his potential replacement.

Until next time, Beers, Brats, and Championships.

-Andrew Vrchota (@AndrewVrchota)

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