Packers: Mock Draft Clock

Jclombardi picks Packers’ first round choice in 2010 Draft.

It is time to select the Packers first-round selection in the 2010 NFL Draft. As the Packers’ representative in the 2010 NFL Bloggers Mock Draft, I am making the first round choice for the Packers.

As the Packers lead blogger for lombardi.ave including guest postings at other major Packers blogs, I reviewed our 2010 draft needs and the probable choices in each round. Now, we begin with the first round of the 2010 Draft Day.  Most 2010 mock drafts have the Packers picking an OT, OLB, CB, or RB in the first round. The draft is loaded with quality tackles, but the Packers have signed veterans tackles LT Clifton and RT Tauscher into the coming seasons. Second, when the Packers pick at 23, Rutgers OT Davis will not be available. Who is kidding whom? Third, while it makes sense that the Packers will address the quality tackle opportunity in the first three rounds of the draft, I suspect they will wait into the 2nd or 3rd round to pick one from the still available solid choices.  

For the first round, the Packers will have a defensive focus. HC McCarthy and DC Capers see that the offseason evaluations point to the need for improvement by the current players, increasing pressure on the quarterback, and improving scheme adjustments as offseason plans for the Packers to achieve that defensive goal. If the Pack can solve their pass defense woes requiring more consistent pressure on the quarterback from both sides with another effective OLB pass rusher to complement OLB Matthews and a major upgrade to add need depth in the secondary with a blue-ribbon cornerback to go with CB Williams, they can advance deep into the 2010 NFL season playoffs. 

Thus, our immediate defensive needs in the draft are another pass-rushing outside linebacker and quality depth in the secondary. Excluding the choices gone, the Pack will pick from several premier pass rushers in the draft including TCU’s DE/OLB Hughes, Michigan’s DE Graham, Clemson’s OLB Sapp, or South Florida’s DE Pierre-Paul.

With the 23nd pick in the 2010 Mock Draft Among Blogs, the Packers select:

•••Jerry Hughes, DE/OLB, TCU•••

Thus, while a tough decision, I choose the undersized versatile DE/OLB Hughes. Although he may look like a second round choice, he has great potential as a first round OLB choice. Although an undersized DE who got pushed around on running plays, he will fit as a speed pass specialist OLB in the 3-4 defense.  At the combine, he ran a 4.69 seconds at the 40 yard dash and put up good numbers in bench pressing. He had a consistent season showing himself to be an athletic speed pass rusher with solid numbers (55 tackles and 11. 5 sacks).  He has enough leverage and length to disengage from blocks and get the ball carrier who bounces outside. He hustles downfield and gets through trash inside to make tackles. Overall, he needs only to improve in rush defense to develop into an overall solid linebacker for the Packers.

I welcome readers’ reactions with alternative choices, reactions, and commentaries. 

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