The second post-Super Bowl edition of the FanSided 2013 NFL Mock Draft has been released.
The fine folks over at FanSided.com do a new mock draft every week right up until the actual draft in April, and we at LombardiAve.com are preparing for the full chaos of the offseason to commence. As Packer fans, we 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 are set save for the Super Bowl participants. Barring a trade, the Green Bay Packers will make their first selection with the 26th pick.
According to FanSided, with the 26th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select Barrett Jones, Offensive Line, Alabama
Analysis: Jeff Saturday called it a career and the Packers will need to look for a new body to plug into the center of their offensive line. For what the Packers need, there is no better “bang for their buck” than a guy like Barrett Jones that can play any position along the offensive line, but his strength is in the interior.
Does this sound familiar to you? Well it should, because this is the second straight week Fansided has mocked Barrett Jones to the Packers at 26. We’ve said just about everything we can say about Barrett Jones prior to Combine/Pro Day season. If his leg is healthy, he’s a versatile player who can help the Packers immediately. If you want to read our previous analysis of Jones, you can find it here and here.
Another option that hasn’t had as much discussion is the idea of drafting T.J. Fluker. Fluker is an enormous, mauling right tackle who would team well with Josh Sitton in the run game while providing above average pass protection. Where does that leave Bryan Bulaga? As we documented a few weeks ago, Bulaga could be on his way to left tackle, a position he played most of his college career and one that better utilizes his pass blocking ability. Drafting Fluker could potentially be like drafting both a franchise left and right tackle. This would also afford the Packers the chance to be more patient with Derek Sherrod who suffered yet another setback with his leg injury midway through the 2012 season. While Fluker was drafted just before the Packers in the Fansided mock draft, I find that selection unlikely as they already have 3 offensive tackles they’re comfortable starting.
I continue to believe targeting a wide receiver early is a necessity for the Packers with the pending loss of Greg Jennings. Two weeks ago I waxed poetic about Louisiana Tech’s Quinton Patton. Since then, his star has risen considerably, including a top 15 overall grade from Russ Lunde of the National Football Post. At this time I think it’s unlikely that Patton is taken in the first round, but he might very well be gone by the Packers’ second pick. If that’s the case, there should still be talented options like USC’s Robert Woods or either of Tennessee’s wideouts Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson.
Safety could be another way to go. Eric Reid, with his combination of speed and tenacity, has long been a favorite of mine. A player we haven’t written much about is Florida International’s Johnathan Cyprien. Like Reid, he is speedy can deliver a bit hit. As with any small school player, there are questions surrounding Cyprien’s ability to play against elite competition. A great showing at the Senior Bowl has begun to silence the doubt, but it will remain a question until he proves it on an NFL field.
Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Lombardi Ave. He has previously written for Hail to the Orange, College Hoops Net, Mocking the Draft, LiveBall Sports, and the List Universe. He is currently a senior writer for Beats Per Minute, an indie-music webzine. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JBHirschhorn.