The first FanSided 2013 NFL Mock Draft of the year has been released.
The folks over at FanSided.com will be releasing weekly mock drafts right up until the actual draft in April. While it may seem a little early for mock drafts, Packers fans have a pretty firm grasp on what they think the team’s needs are for the actual 2013 draft.
Draft positions are bound to change over the remainder of the season, but let’s engage in a little bit of harmless conjecture, shall we?
Here we go!
According to Fansided, with the 23rd (really?) pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Green Bay packers select:
“C.J. Mosley ILB from Alabama”
Analysis- “No matter what the Packers do it will be on defense. Currently the Packers run a defense that features four linebackers, and only two of them have been consistent. Besides A.J. Hawk and Clay Matthews, the Packers haven’t had a great linebacker and adding a third name to that mix is a must.”
I respectfully disagree. The Packers have more needs than I think they’re being given credit for by mock picking Mosley. He’s definitely a talented player, but the Packers have several quality linebackers, both on IR and available now.
I personally like the mix they have. How about you?
Of course competition at every position is a hallmark of a Ted Thompson/Mike McCarthy training camp, so a second, third, or fourth round ILB might end up competing with Hawk and company. But using the first pick on Mosley isn’t the way I think they should go.
So who else might be worthy of the first pick next year? Let’s explore some possibilities.
In my opinion the Packers have gone out of their way to illustrate three glaring needs above all others.
1. Running Back. The Packers need a quality RB folks. Everybody knows this. The only problem is how to get one. Or two. The majority of the successful RBs in the NFL did not come into the league as high draft picks. Many of them weren’t even drafted at all. Think Arian Foster of the Texans. Not drafted by anybody…including the Packers.
Adrian Paterson is the opposite of the argument, but there are alot more RBs that fit the Foster mold than Peterson’s.
RBs usually come down to effective scouting and once a talent is identified, development and enhancement of the player’s talent within the Packers system.
Do the Packers have a RB they can trust to carry the load in James Starks, Alex Green, Brandon Saine, or anyone else? I’m not convinced they do, but I’m also not convinced they should lunge at a RB in the first round of the draft either. Odds are they can find a good one lower than the first round.
2. Center. Current C Jeff Saturday is long in the tooth and many believe his line calls are part of the problem rather than part of the solution this season. Either way he’s got one, maybe two years in the tank if he can stay healthy. The center position will need to be addressed.
So do the Packers draft a center? There are plenty of them coming out of college. Barrett Jones from Alabama, Mario Benavides of Louisville, and Brandon Hansen of BYU come to mind. Jones and Hansen have the ability and experience playing both G and C, and we know how the Pack O line gets shuffled sometimes.
But…The Packers have Evan Dietrich-Smith, who is also one of those versatile multiple-position linemen the Packers like. So are they covered? Could be, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a really good G/C-type player ends up coming to Packers Camp 2013.
3. Offensive Tackle. The Packers will get Bryan Bulaga back from injury eventually. He is a steady if not stellar performer at RT. With any luck his injury does not affect him long-term.
But what about LT? The most important line position? Right now the Packers have Newhouse, Sherrod, and potential on the practice squad. Newhouse has held up well against average D lines but he’s a turnstile against quality DEs. He’s potentially a solid backup though.
Sherrod is still a variable. Can he play? Will we ever find out? He is trying to come back from a difficult injury from which to recover, but we’ll know one way or the other before the 2013 draft.
Which finally and inevitably brings me to the pick I would like to see the Packers make in round 1.
He’s part of the bloodline. He’s the son of a Hall Of Fame OL who played and played well in the NFL nearly as long as his brother did. He goes to Texas A&M, so he has some experience protecting quarterbacks who move around some. He’s 6-5 and 305, but his frame could support more bulk if needed. Long-armed and judged to be an excellent pass protector too.
He’s Jake Matthews. Son of Bruce, nephew of Clay Matthews, and cousin of the Claymaker. Could you see it? Clay going against Jake in practice, showing him all the moves and how to counter them…well, at least some of them? Would that be a beautiful thing or what?!?
OK … I know. He’s a junior. One tiny wrinkle. But if he comes out, will Jake Matthews be available when the Packers draft? Maybe. Does Thompson move up to draft another Matthews? Wouldn’t bother me a bit. What do you think?
Don’t forget to check out the whole mock at FanSided 2013 NFL Mock Draft.