Ok, so it’s another new day and another beautiful day at that here in northern Wisconsin – home of so many fans of the Green Bay Packers. Blue skies, dazzling white snow, beautifully groomed snowmobile and ski trails. Yes, life is good.
It’s also a great day to look once more at the NFL Draft and what others are saying about whom the Packers should take with their first round pick. At number 26, the Packers select at the back end of the draft once again, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of talent left on the board. The real question is whether the Packers go with offense or defense. There are glaring needs on both sides of the ball.
A few days ago, we here at Lombardiave.com began ramping up our draft coverage with a daily piece highlighting random mock drafts and their Packers picks. Check out our site for these daily posts – here is yesterday’s.
As always, we search for mocksters who have different views and differing selections for the Packers to give all our readers here at Lombardiave.com as large of a field from which to view as possible.
Where does Ted Thompson stand on the draft? We won’t know until number 26 rolls around.
But in the meantime, here is what today’s mocksters have to say. Enjoy …
With the number 26 pick, Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com projects the Packers will select …
Justin Pugh, offensive tackle, Syracuse
Pugh is a very interesting player. His lack of length is a concern, but it wasn’t an issue on tape. He has the potential to play every position on the offense line. Green Bay needs to do a better job of protecting Aaron Rodgers and Pugh would do just that.
Lombardiave: Jeremiah hits the nail on the head about protecting Aaron Rodgers – something we here in Packers Nation know all too well. While many are projecting that the Packers will go with an offensive lineman in the first round, most are pointing toward Alabama’s Barrett Jones, North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper, or Jones’s teammate, Alabama’s D.J. Fluker. All of these players offer their own strengths and all of them show the versatility that would allow them to play different positions along the line – something that Ted Thompson values. And if you saw my post yesterday about the Packers and their need to get the most value out of their players, you will understand how important a factor this will be in TT’s selection.
But to get back to Pugh, this is the first mock where I’ve seen him named as a selection for the Packers. There may be some reasons for it – number one, I question him as a first-rounder. He didn’t really rip it up at the Combine and in considering his designated strengths and weaknesses, it’s the weakness category that outweighs the strengths. However, he may also be the type of blue collar player who makes it in the league through sheer determination – that’s an intangible that can’t be measured. Jeremiah sees something in him that moves him to project him as a first-rounder. I’m not sure in TT will agree with him or not.
Here’s a video of Justin Pugh …
For most of the season, it seemed evident that the Packers needed to add more speed on defense and that was never more true than Green Bay’s loss in the playoffs to San Francisco. Brown has a nose for the ball with the position versatility to play inside or outside in the Packers scheme.
Lombardiave: OK, I really like the fact that Brugler takes a look at the Packers’ defense and projects a linebacker with speed and a nose for the ball … that’s a good thing. Yes, the Packers need help with the linebacking corps, I’m just not so sure the Packers go with an outside linebacker. Remember, they drafted Nick Perry last April as the projected complement to Clay Matthews and though Perry went down early in the season with injury, I’m thinking the Packers are still thinking that Perry is the answer.
Unless Brown can be moved inside or is being seen as a project with a learning curve, I’m not sure the Packers go this route. I like to think that the number one pick on a team’s draft board is one that can hit the field running … an impact player who can contribute immediately. I’m not sure the Packers are looking to draft a player who rides the bench. That’s happened way too often … consider Derek Sherrod.
But let’s take a look at Brown, for good measure. He’s 6-foot, 241 pounds – considered by some to be “undersized.” I don’t think so, not at the OLB position. In 2012, he recorded 100 tackles, seven of them for loss. He also had two interceptions and a sack. Because of his perceived lack of size, there are those who are projecting him as a second-rounder. That may be where he ends up, but there are some who feel that if he goes in the late first round he might be a steal. He is known for his drive and physicality, factors that could make up for his lack of size.
Will TT think Brown could be a steal? Time will tell. Either way, an interesting selection here and one that might come to fruition if TT feels the same way that Brugler does.
Here’s a video of Arthur Brown …
Here’s what our friend, Al Bracco over at Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com had to say about Jones:
Much has been written this offseason already about the Packers lack of “length” on the defensive line (even DL coach Mike Trgovac has commented on it). Datone Jones not only brings the Packers some length, but also some much needed explosiveness currently missing from that spot. At UCLA, Jones played both Defensive Tackle and Defensive End, but wherever he lined up, he was a problem for offensive lines. Jones could be a dynamic five-technique for the Packers (with some added weight), which shouldn’t be a problem on his still-developing frame. Jones established himself as a top NFL prospect with a breakout Senior season, where he racked up 62 tackles, including 19 TFL while also adding 6.5 sacks. Jones is not your edge pass-rusher type, which is fine for a 3-4DE in the Packers’ system, but he does have the right combination of power and speed to force double teams and collapse the pocket against the pass.
Lombardiave: Well, I think Al does a great job of not only explaining what Jones would bring to the Packers defensive line, but WHY he would be such a valuable addition to the line. The Packers need someone who not only has the ability to move around on the line of scrimmage, but to disrupt the flow of the offense instead of simply taking on and holding blocks.
At 6-4, 280 pounds, he may seem light for a lineman, but it’s his speed and quickness that make him such an intriguing player.
Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com had this to say about Jones: “Jones, who posted 19 tackles for loss for the Bruins but “just” 6.5 sacks is used to being moved around, as he saw time at virtually every position along the Bruins’ defensive line throughout his career. His combination of quickness and strength results in an explosiveness that has been tough for the North defensive linemen to handle.”
Considering that the Packers have the bulk they need already on the line, what they lack is the speed and quickness that would add a new dimension.
I think that this selection might raise some eyebrows, but Jones seems to be the type of player that TT might take a chance on.
Here’s a video of Jones in action …