The second 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 their own opinions about what they think the Packers need out of the 2013 draft. We’ll explore some possibilities for the Packers first pick.
Draft positions will certainly shuffle during the remainder of the season, but let’s see if we can take a look into the future of the Packers as they might be built in 2013.
According to Fansided, with the 25th (no lower than that?) pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select:
“Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle, Central Michigan”
Analysis: “For a team that likes to throw the ball as much as Green Bay, they would be wise to load up on offensive line talent.”
Let’s take closer look at this one. Last week I shot holes in the Fansided mock draft choice of ILB C.J. Mosley. This week I think they’re much closer to what the Packers need, but I’m not sure I agree with their selection.
Fisher is 6-8 and weighs 305. By all accounts he ranks right up there with the top 5 OTs expected to come out. But is he a reach in the first round? I think maybe so because he was dominant against the level of competition Central Michigan plays. He hasn’t shown he can compete against top-level talent yet.
I still think the Packers should mortgage something to get into position to draft Jake Matthews from Texas A&M. He is a junior though, so the point might be moot. There are several juniors who rank high on the draftniks’ lists.
Let’s take a look at some other prospects.
• Luke Joeckel, Offensive Tackle, Junior, Texas A&M. 6-6 310.
• Jake Matthews, Offensive Tackle, Junior, Texas A&M. 6-5 305.
• Taylor Lewan, Offensive Tackle, Junior, Michigan. 6-8, 302.
• D.J. Fluker, Offensive Guard / Tackle, Junior, Alabama. 6-6, 335.
• Lane Johnson, Offensive Tackle, Junior, Oklahoma. 6-7, 303
• Brennan Williams, Offensive Tackle, Senior, North Carolina. 6-7, 315.
• Ricky Wagner, Offensive Tackle, Senior, Wisconsin. 6-6, 320.
• Oday Aboushi, Offensive Tackle, Senior, Virginia. 6-6, 310.
• Alex Hurst, Offensive Tackle, Senior, LSU. 6-6, 340.
Joeckel and Matthews have been playing in front of a very mobile quarterback this year and they both rank in the top 3 of nearly every prospect ranking out there. Juniors both, and I think Joeckel goes before Matthews if both come out.
Lewan, like Joeckel and Matthews, is a junior and most experts agree he’s a work in progress. Is he a work in progress that could be coached up in the NFL? Probably, but a first round pick on a work in progress? Sounds a little un-Ted Thompson-like to me.
Fluker is a versatile lineman who can play all three positions, but his most natural position seems to be tackle. He has also struggled in pass pro this season, which rules him out as far as I’m concerned. The Packers certainly don’t need another talented LT who struggles in pass pro!
Johnson is a junior expected to return to Oklahoma for his senior season. He’s also a natural right tackle. We’re looking for the ones who play on the left.
Williams sustained a shoulder injury (similar to current Packers OT Andrew Datko) this season. He is also a natural right tackle but could be transitioned to the left side. I don’t think he is as strong a prospect as the others due to the injury.
Aboushi is a natural left tackle, is a senior, run blocks well and does well in pass pro, too. Save him for later.
Wagner has a little bit more size than the rest and preferred height for a tackle. He’s a natural left tackle and replaced Gabe Carimi on the Badgers O line. Save him for later, too.
Hurst has some additional heft to go with prototypical height. However, he’s had personal issues and as a first round pick he’s a serious stretch.
I think the most likely picks, taking the Packers most likely projected draft position, other team needs, and best value to the pick into account, look like Aboushi and Wagner. Fisher might also be a good choice. Or Matthews if they can get there.
There are plenty of other talented OTs coming out in the 2013 draft, but none of them project into round 1. Which leads me to my first round pick this week.
How about a player who can play all three O line positions and has played them at a high level for a top level team? Barrett Jones comes to mind. He’s been playing center for Alabama this season, but he did well playing LT last season. He’s 6-5 and weighs 311. The Packers like versatile linemen, and given the frequency of line changes it would be great to have not only a quality starting LT but a player who could transition to center once Jeff Saturday hangs ’em up.
The Packers could get a high-quality, but not necessarily first-round OT talent in the second or third round of the 2013 draft.
I think maybe they should think about doing that as opposed to taking a OT with the first round pick. Granted, Jake Matthews in green and gold would be a great thing, but can they make it happen? Or is it more likely they get Jones?
What do you think? Sell some more stock to find a way to get Jake Matthews, make a reach grab at Wagner, Aboushi, or Fisher, or go after a versatile, talented guy who could end up being the future at center in Jones.
Let me know which way you think the Packers should go!
Don’t forget to check out the entire mock at FanSided 2013 NFL Mock Draft.