Every week I’ll rank the Top 5 to Top 10 prospects for the Packers first round pick, the ninth overall, in the 2009 NFL Draft. Also, there are no offensive players in here. Some more will probably work their way in when free agency sorts out some of the defensive question marks, but right now because of the 3-4 switch,
1. B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College – Raji is a big space-filling defensive tackle that the Packers need to anchor their 3-4 defense for years to come. Raji can move (5.13 40) for a big man and showed talent while in college. The 6-1, 337-pound defensive lineman also said he hoped he was on the Packers radar for the draft.
2. Brian Orakpo, DE/OLB, Texas – With the Packers looking for a hybrid DE/OLB, Orakpo could join a great linebacking corps. He is a menace to opposing tackles and his only goal is to get to the quarterback and take him down. This is the type of aggression the Packers need on their defense, a gamer that can team with Nick Barnett, A.J. Hawk, and Aaron Kampman.
3. Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State – I’m not too fond of the Packers drafting Jenkins at No. 9 as I feel there is enough depth in the defensive backfield and the Packers can probably pick up an additional corner later in the draft, much like what they did with Pat Lee last year. Also, Jenkins’ combine performance was disappointing, which raises some questions about him.
4. Everette Brown, DE/OLB, Florida State – Some say that Brown is a little too small for a 3-4 scheme, but he has shown he is smart enough to play in it. He is raw athletically and can make plays wherever he is lined up on the field and has been forecasted by some as a Top 5 talent.
5. Michael Johnson, DE/OLB, Georgia Tech – The first word that comes to mind when Johnson is mentioned is freak. At 6-7, 266, he has intimidating size that could definitely come in to play when playing in the 3-4. He is freakishly athletic, as I saw him make some amazing plays in college at Tech. He was the juggernaut of that defense, rushing the quarterback, stopping the run, and even dropping into coverage. His versatility could make him very desirable for the Packers at No. 9, even though I have seen some mock drafts without him in the first round.
Tune in next week for the revised top five, based on happenings, as free agency starts tomorrow!