2013 NFL Mock Draft: The Green Bay Packers Select...

Apr 28, 2011; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell introduces the 32nd overall pick of the Green Bay Packers during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

The Week 14 FanSided 2013 NFL Mock Draft has been released.

The folks over at FanSided.com do a new mock draft every week right up until the actual draft in April, and we here at LombardiAve.com know it’s never too early for some draft conjecture of our own. We Packer fans have our own opinions about what needs the Packers should try to fill using the 2013 draft. In this article we’ll explore some possibilities for the Packers first pick.

Draft positions will shuffle some during the remainder of the season, so the Packers position in round 1 will probably move around a bit. Here’s hoping that it ends up being the 32nd pick in round 1!

According to Fansided, with the 26th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select:

“Lane Johnson – Offensive Tackle Oklahoma”

Analysis: “Aaron Rodgers is one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the NFL over the past two seasons, and in 2012 he was just brutalized on a regular basis. Packers lineman complained about the refs after the Seattle Screw but they should have been more angry at the fact the Packers have had to take receivers off the field to add extra blockers. Green Bay doesn’t need too much but a glaring need is apparent on the offensive line.”

I have my doubts about Mr. Johnson. He has decent size at 6-7 and 303. He hasn’t played OT for his whole college career, having worked as a TE and a DE. A two-year starter only at OT, most draftniks think he’s a natural RT if he plays O line at all. Yet I hear nobody saying he’ll be able to transition to LT, which is where the Packers really need help on the O line. Bulaga is, at least as far as I’m concerned, the Packers RT for the next decade if he can stay healthy. The Packers don’t have anybody that fits a similar description on the left side. Johnson also projects as a second or even third round pick on many boards. Not a good get with the first round pick for the Packers.

If the Packers go OL with the first pick I would rather it be a lineman who either projects as a natural LT or a guy who has shown ability, and proven that ability, to play multiple O line positions well.

I still think the Packers should mortgage something to get into position to draft Jake Matthews from Texas A&M as their next-decade LT, or the versatile Barrett Jones from Alabama. Both would be excellent gets for TT and MM.

This week we’re going to take a look at some other prospects. We’ve mocked the O line to death already. Let’s look at some other positions the Packers might fill with their first round pick.

Running Back

Everybody knows you don’t need or necessarily want to draft a RB in the first round. Unless of course you have an opportunity to draft somebody like Adrian Peterson.

There are plenty of talented RBs in college but I see no prospects like Peterson out there. Giovani Bernard (North Carolina), Stefan Taylor (Stanford), Eddie Lacey (Alabama), Joseph Randle (OSU), Mike Gillislee (Florida), Le’Veon Bell (Michigan State), Monte Ball (Wisconsin), and a whole bunch more will be getting drafted by some NFL team, but where should they go?

Randle and Bell are over six feet tall. Everybody else is under six feet. Bell also weighs in at 235, which is a load at RB. I’m not convinced any of these guys are worthy of a first round selection, but Bernard and Randle show up in the first round on many mock drafts.

Sentimentality dictates Monte Ball as my choice, but I’m afraid he’s not elusive enough to avoid the career-depleting hits that RBs sometimes take in the NFL. But he sure would be fun to watch in Packers green and gold on Sundays. If he makes it out of the first round maybe TT grabs him in the second round? Can you get behind it?

Safety

The Packers have some talented young DBs. But I think TT and MM might be thinking about getting somebody who is bigger and faster than what they have on their roster today. Somebody more suited to blitzing and actually getting to the QB. Somebody tall enough and tough enough to make opposing WRs and TEs think about when they venture across the middle.

The Packers clearly miss Nick Collins and it shows on Sundays. I think maybe the Packers go after a safety in the first round.

There are a variety of safeties out there, but I’m going to stick with guys who are over 6-1. Eric Reid (LSU), Kenny Vaccaro (Texas), T.J. McDonald (USC), and Robert Lester (Alabama) all fit the criteria.

I really can’t make a strong case for anybody but T.J. McDonald. He’s got more tackles and more experience than the rest of the group, and he’s been playing in a Kiffen defensive secondary, which requires a bit more headwork than most other college defenses.

Tight End

I was a big believer in J-Mike Finley’s ability and updsides. Unfortunately he’s proven to be way too inconsistent for my taste. The Packers other TEs have shown flashes of true brilliance, but I think secretly TT and MM want a reliable, consistent, and above all sure-handed TE. Do they go after one in round 1? What’s out there?

I think the Packers could really use a guy like Jason Witten in Dallas, Jimmy Graham in New Orleans, or Gronk in New England. A big TALL quick guy who can move and catch and make defenses adjust every time they’re on the field.

There are a few guys like that in college now. Tyler Eifert (Notre Dame), Zach Ertz (Stanford), Joseph Fauria (UCLA), Ryan Otten (San Jose State), and Michael Williams (Alabama) all come to mind.  All are 6-6 or better and all have caught over 40 passes this season except Williams.

My pick for the Packers in the 2013 draft would be Zach Ertz. He’s 6-6 and 249. He runs the 40 in about 4.6. He can jump, he has good hands, and even his blocking ability is an asset. I could see him dunking TD catches over the Lambeau goal posts before Lambeau Leaping into the fourth row of seats. Can you dig it?

How about it? Do the Packers go after a quick running back like Monte Ball, a big safety like T.J. McDonald, or do they do what I think they should do…go after Gronk-like TE Zach Ertz from Stanford? Or should they still sell some more stock to find a way to get Jake Matthews or make Barrett Jones their first pick? Let me know which way you think the Packers should go!

Don’t forget to check out the whole mock at FanSided 2013 NFL Mock Draft.

Tags: Green Bay Packers National Football League NFL 2013 Mock Draft

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