The NFL Combine 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 have plenty of offseason information to pass along to our readers. 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.
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 Arthur Brown, Linebacker, Kansas State
Analysis: The Packers linebacker depth chart leaves a lot to be desired and it can immediately be improved if Green Bay decides to bring in a player like Brown, who has been turning heads during the draft process.
Here’s where things get interesting. Arthur Brown is a name we haven’t spent much time discussing, but he’s one of the more intriguing players in the draft. Measuring in at 6-0 and 241 pounds, most teams will look at Brown and determine he’s too small to spend a first round pick on. That’s not a very good reason, but he does lack an obvious position at the next level.
His speed and playmaking ability most naturally lend themselves to weakside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme, which obviously doesn’t do much for Green Bay. For the Packers, he’d probably shift to the inside where his skills balance out those of Desmond Bishop. It’s not a great fit, but Brown is much more talented than he’s given credit. His athleticism makes this a legitimate option should the Packers decide to address inside linebacker early.
However, if that’s where Ted Thompson wants to go, he will have to consider Alec Ogletree. His DUI arrest is certainly going to be a red flag for the Packers, who don’t want to spend a first round pick on a player who might end up suspended. However, chances to take a top 10 talent at the back end of the first round are few and far between. Without his character concerns, Ogletree does not make it this far. With the Packers in a win-now mode, this is the type of pick that merits consideration. As we’ve seen from players like Johnny Jolly, bad personal habits can be controlled during the season. It’s a calculated risk, but if it works out Green Bay would have its second All-Pro linebacker.
More and more, we’re hearing that teams in search of a wide receiver are valuing Cordarrelle Patterson and DeAndre Hopkins as the best wide receivers in the draft. The benefit of this is Keenan Allen – the most complete receiver in the draft – might be available when the Packers are on the clock. Wide receiver isn’t Green Bay’s biggest need, but Allen is the type of receiver the Packers haven’t had since Javon Walker’s one great season. He’s a big target with great hands, understands the complexities of route running, and will fight for the ball better than any wideout in this class. For Green Bay, he’d provide another receiver to line up wide thus opening up opportunities for slot receiver Randall Cobb.
Another option we haven’t spent much time discussing is mammoth Georgia defensive tackle John Jenkins. At 6-4 and 346 pounds, Jenkins has the look of a true 3-4 nose tackle. A few years ago, it was all but assumed the Packers had the nose tackle position locked up, but B.J. Raji has proven much better at end. At the very least, Green Bay needs another player who can provide Raji some rest. With Ryan Pickett now the graybeard of the team, it’s time to find a replacement.
Jenkins could be that player.
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.