Yesterday the deadline for NFL teams, including the Green Bay Packers, to designate a franchise tag came and went with the Packers denying the tag for Greg Jennings – something many thought would be the case.
So, with that milestone behind us, it’s time to keep our eye on free agency (and the visit tomorrow by Chris Canty) and to continue to focus on the Draft with our daily Big 3.
We here at lombardiave.com have been scouring the Internet in search of mock drafts to include in our Big 3 – three different mocks with three different selections. As we move along each day, it gets more difficult to find mocksters who aren’t projecting the same selections … but we are still coming across those who are differing. Some of you may think these guys are crazy for their picks, but it certainly makes the comment section a lively read.
Lionsman81 projects the Packers, with their pick at 26, will select …
Kevin Minter, LB, LSU
Here’s how Minter is described on the LSU home page:
Hard-hitting linebacker who capped his career with one of the best seasons for a player at his position in school history … Earned first team All-America honors and was a finalist for the Butkus Award after recording 130 tackles, 15.0 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks as a junior in 2012 … Capped his career with 206 total tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks … Played in 38 games with 24 starts … Graduated in December of 2012 with a degree in general studies … Opted to forgo senior season at LSU and enter the 2013 NFL Draft.
Lombardiave: If there’s a player who could fit right into the Packers’ linebacking corps, this might be the guy. Looking at his credentials on paper, he is clearly a winner. The only question, again, is whether Ted Thompson would see linebacker as a position of need at this point. Yes, there are question marks with two Packers veterans, D.J. Smith and Desmond Bishop, coming back to the team off significant injuries and recovery times. Whether the Packers keep A.J. Hawk will also play into any decisions about who and what position to draft in the first round. The old company line of drafting for the best player would play to Minter’s advantage, but if Thompson factors in need, he might hope that Minter drops in the draft so he could have a shot at him later. I don’t see Minter as a first-rounder with the Packers.
Here’s a video of Minter …
Matthew Fairburn of SBNation projects the Packers, with their pick at 26, will select …
Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
The Packers’ linebacker issues were on full display in the team’s playoff loss to the 49ers. Manti Te’o fits the 3-4 scheme and would be lucky to land in such a strong locker room and small market.
Lombardiave: I heard yesterday that one NFL player said his locker room would laugh at Manti Te’o. That’s just plain mean … however, I do not see Te’o going in the first round to any team. His performance at the Combine was marginal and he is a backup for just about any team, especially if his draft stock drops and he falls to the second or third round. While there are those who feel he might be a good fit in Green Bay because they employ the 3-4 and because he could be kept out of the national limelight in small town USA, I think it would be a reach for the Packers to consider his selection. There are too many other more talented linebackers in this draft.
Here’s a video of Manti Te’o …
Rodgers projects the Packers, with their pick at 26, will select …
Margus Hunt, DE, Southern Methodist University
This according to Wikipedia: Margus Hunt (born 14 July 1987 in Karksi-Nuia) is an Estonianmulti-sport athlete who competes in the discus throw and shot put in addition to playingcollege football. He is the former world junior record holder in discus throw.
When Hunt tried out for football, his physical power, combined with a 4.7-second 40-yard dash, led head football coach June Jones to give him a scholarship, and he began attending SMU full-time in 2009. Since then, he has played for the Mustangs. On October 12, 2009, Margus Hunt was named theConference USASpecial Teams Player of the Week. On November 7 Hunt broke the school record for blocked kicks in a season when he blocked an extra point try and a field goal against Rice. In his first 14 games at SMU he blocked 8 kicks, putting him in the top 10 in blocked kicks among all NCAA players. He was named the MVP of the 2012 Hawaii Bowl.
Lombardiave: Depending on whether the Packers land a defensive lineman in free agency may directly impact their first round selection. For instance, if the Packers pick up either Chris Canty or Ricky Jean-Francois in free agency, they may go with an offensive lineman in the first round. However, Hunt would be an excellent choice. This guy is a beast and an athlete who can play football. He might be a natural for the NFL and had an incredible performance at the Combine. No doubt, he will also be a project, but he’s got the shear athletic ability. Many are projecting him as a first-rounder. He could be and may even be gone long before the Packers’ 26 pick. But if he were still on the board for the Packers, I would see him as a great long-term player who could contribute immediately. If he’s available, he would be an excellent choice to solidify a weak spot on the D-line. Again, it depends on how successful the Packers are in free agency.
Here is a video of Hunt …