The Post-Super Bowl Edition of the FanSided 2013 NFL Mock Draft has been released.
FanSided.com does a new mock draft every week right up until the actual draft in April. We at LombardiAve.com have plenty of off-season news and information to pass along to our readers. Draft season is in full swing with the Scouting Combine beginning on February 23rd. Many of the players we’ve mentioned in previous mock draft posts will be working out and we’ll get a good opportunity to eyeball them and see how they’ll perform.
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.
The Packers are locked into the 26th position in the 2013 draft. There is no more mystery about that. The only unknowns left are which player the Packers will draft at 26 overall and what moves Ted Thompson might make to trade up or down.
According to FanSided, with the 26th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select Barrett Jones, C/Alabama
FanSided Analysis: Aaron Rodgers was abused last season and that’s one of the reasons the Packers struggled. Go back to the Seattle Screw game and you’ll see why the Packers didn’t pull away from the Seahawks. Usually Green Bay runs as many receivers as they can, but they had to pull them off the field at numerous times in 2012 so they could add extra blockers for Rodgers. Jones plugs up a huge hole in the middle and becomes Rodgers new right hand man on a powerful offensive unit.
I still cannot argue with this pick Packer Nation. I’m not alone. Other LombardiAve.com staffers as well as you the fans have agreed with Jones as the Packers’ dream first-round pick. The collective man-love for Jones from Packer Nation was reflected in our poll a couple of weeks ago. Jones led the voting with a 65% share.
I put Jones out there as the Packers first round pick several weeks ago and I think I’ve mentioned him in every mock draft piece since then. My respected colleague Jason Hirschhorn has as well. Jones has the mix of experience, skills, and potential the Packers need. He plays, and plays award-winningly well, each offensive line position. Perhaps more importantly, if he’s still there he will likely be the best player available when the Packers pick 26th in the first round. Knowing how TT rolls I think he drafts Jones and puts another #1 draft pick on the Packers offensive line- a line that needs talent badly.
As I said a couple of weeks ago, I think Packer Nation, and I know I, would like to hear the analysts describe the Packers offensive line as “dominating”, or “scary”, or a “team strength”, instead of a “concern” or a “weakness”. I think all one has to do is look at the teams that played in Super Bowl XLVII to realize that a team can never have enough good offensive linemen. Barrett Jones could probably step in at LT and immediately improve that critical position. He could take over the center position too. He could fill in at any other position with little or no drop-off. Let’s be honest though. Jones wouldn’t make the Packers offensive line a “team strength” all by himself. But the bottom line is that he would probably give the line an instant boost in the respectability department. A much needed boost.
Let’s say that Jones is available at 26 and TT agrees with us. On April 25th, The Commish himself takes the card, strides to the podium, and announces that “with the 26th pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select Barrett Jones, Offensive Lineman, Alabama”. Joyful pandemonium ensues. Jones is all smiles as he hangs up his cell phone call with his agent, hugs his parents, puts on his Packers Draft Day cap, and holds up the #1 Packers jersey for the photos. Inevitably Aaron Rodgers magically appears and photobombs the picture of his center of the future with Goodell. A warm fuzzy descends over all who wear the green and the gold. We’ve got our man. Another #1 pick for the Packers O line.
What then? What other moves does TT have up his sleeve? Who else will be riding kids’ bikes to practice wearing Packers uniforms this summer?
In previous posts we’ve praised USC S T.J. McDonald, Stanford TE Zach Ertz, North Carolina ILB Kevin Reddick, Alabama ILB Nico Johnson, Oregon ILB Kiko Alonso, Alabama DT Jess Williams, LSU S Eric Reid, Alabama S Robert Lester, Mississippi State CB Jonathan Banks, FSU CB Xavier Rhodes, NC State CB David Amerson, Wisconsin RB Montee Ball, and several other players we believe would be good additions to the Packers- either in the first round or soon thereafter.
Let’s look at OLBs. While I don’t think the Packers need to address a need at OLB in the first round, there will be several solid players available in rounds 2 through 4.
Oregon’s Dion Jordan is an interesting prospect. At 6-7 and 243 he’s not your typical 3-4 OLB body type, but he has shown ability to cover TEs, he hits, and he tackles. I for one don’t want to see another OLB hit a ball carrier without tacklingthat ball carrier. Jordan also had ten-plus sacks in 2012 and he forces fumbles. Jordan probably won’t make it out of the second round.
Chase Thomas from Stanford is another OLB who has a nose for the ball and he pressures quarterbacks well. He goes 6-3 and 245. When I’ve seen him play I’ve noticed his intensity and passion. Thomas has also played ILB but many believe he’s a more natural OLB. Flexibility is a big upside for LBs in the Packers defense. Thomas might be more of a third rounder than a second, but either he or Jordan would seem to be good gets for OLB coach Kevin Greene to develop.
Another glaring need for the Packers is OT. If we assume Jones comes in and becomes primarily a center, then the Packers sure could use another quality O tackle. Jones has the ability to play all offensive line positions. I think somewhere in the 2013 draft the Packers need to grab a pure tackle though- even if he’s a development project.
Kyle Long from Oregon has shown some talent and if heredity is any indicator he has a potential NFL future ahead of him. Brother Chris Long of the Rams and father Howie Long of the Raiders and Fox TV are his predecessors. Long is a former defensive player turned O lineman. At 6-7 and 311 Long can add some weight for duty as a NFL tackle. His form is described as athletic and that would serve him well against the kind of athletes the Packers have to routinely block in the NFC North. I see Long as a potential third or even fourth rounder with a good bloodline and lots of potential.
A couple of previous mentions from past mock drafts are Oday Aboushi (6-6 310) from Virginia and Ricky Wagner (6-6 320) from Wisconsin. Both deserve consideration as third rounders if they’re available, but I don’t think given the Packers needs either grades out as higher than a third round pick. Also mentioned several times in previous mocks was Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews. Matthews will stay for his senior year at Texas A&M and will likely end up being a top 10 pick in the 2014 draft.
So based on what we know today about the players coming out in 2013 here is what I’d like to see the Packers do in the first four rounds of the 2013 NFL draft:
1. (26) Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama. Heir apparent to whatever O line position needs attention.
2. (55) Eric Reid, S, LSU. A big, tough, fast guy who can help fill Nick Collins’ big shoes.
3. (88) Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin. All he does is score touchdowns. Sounds good to me.
4. (119) Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford. Lots of good OLBs in this draft. Thomas can play ILB too.
What do you think Packer Nation?
There will be many twists and turns on the road to the NFL draft. The Scouting Combine will definitely make or break some players, and we’ll be watching closely how things develop. After the Combine there will be scores of Pro Days and individual workouts. We’ll just have to see how things shake out over the months ahead. We’re going to go through the prospects every week for a long time leading up to the actual draft in April. Each week we’ll break down the Packers needs from a Packers-centric perspective. Since the Packers draft position is now set at 26 we’ll be able to narrow things down more effectively. It should be fun. Watch LombardiAve.com for weekly polls this offseason. Many of them will be draft-related.
Go Pack GO!
Don’t forget to check out the entire mock at FanSided NFL 2013 Mock Draft