The March 25th Edition of the FanSided 2013 NFL Mock Draft has been released.
FanSided.com will post 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 complete and Pro Days nearly done. Many of the players we’ve mentioned in previous mock draft posts have worked out for the NFL scouts, some multiple times, and opinions are being formed that will determine the draft –day fates of hundreds of football players.
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 26thposition 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 to improve the Packers’ draft fortunes.
According to FanSided, with the 26th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select Alec Ogletree, Linebacker, Georgia
Fansided Analysis: There are multiple directions the Packers could go with this pick — tight end, secondary, running back, linebacker — but you should fully expect them to go with the best available player. In this scenario, Ogletree is that man.
I guess I can’t shoot too many holes in the logic here. But what bothers me is that in this particular mock there are some really high quality players going to other teams after the Packers pick at 26. I’m not entirely convinced that Ogletree, while admittedly a rare talent, would do the Packers more good than WR Justin Hunter of Tennessee, DE Damontre Moore of Texas A&M, CB Jonathan Banks of Mississippi, DE Tank Carradine of FSU, S Eric Reid of LSU, or LB Kevin Minter of LSU- all of whom are listed in the mock as first round picks the Packers take a pass on to get to Ogletree. I’m also doubtful that Ogletree will even last until 26.
I’m not going to pick this one apart any more than that. Let’s just say that if all of these guys are still available when the Packers are on the clock, this might be prime trade time for Ted Thompson. Are you having any of it?
In the last mock draft I posted a couple of weeks ago I ran through some O line, D line, and RB options the Packers might consider. This time around let’s revisit a full 7 round draft with options for each selection.
1. (26) Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama. Jones would seem to be the heir apparent to whatever O line position needs immediate attention just because he plays them all. Extremely well. Because of his recovery from his off-season foot surgery Jones’ draft stock is either falling or holding steady depending on which site you’re looking at so maybe TT goes D with the first pick, but I still think Jones is meant to be a Packer. If Thompson does go D then I think the pick is DT Jesse Williams from Alabama.
2. (55) Jonathan Cyprien, SS, Florida International. I’m starting to come around to the hype about Cyprien. He would definitely be a welcome addition to a run-soft defensive backfield and he’s somewhat raw but physically gifted. Sounds a little like Nick Collins when he came to the Packers. If Cyprien is gone and the Packers didn’t get Jones, I still think C Travis Frederick from Wisconsin, CB Xavier Rhodes from Florida State, or S T.J. McDonald from USC might come into play in round two.
3. (88) Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin. Ball might be gone by the time the Packers pick in the third round. If TT doesn’t trade up to get him, then he might stand pat at 88 and consider taking a back like Joseph Randle from Oklahoma State or Mike Gillislee from Florida. He could also look at somebody like OT Kyle Long from Oregon or OT Ricky Wagner from Wisconsin. Lots of mocks have had the Packers taking RB Eddie Lacy from Alabama in the first round. I can’t see it happening…unless there are some serious trades going on. Of course Marcus Lattimore from South Carolina might be available here too, but unfortunately the risk associated with his horrendous knee injuries is too great to draft him this high.
4. (122) Xavier Nixon, RT, Florida. Nixon has good size, had an outstanding combine, and might be the answer to how the Packers can move current RT Bryan Bulaga to LT. If Nixon isn’t there then I think the Packers might look hard at ILB Kiko Alonso from Oregon, ILB Kevin Reddick from North Carolina, OLB Dion Jordan from Oregon, or maybe ILB Nico Johnson from Alabama. If Long or Wagner (above) last this long then I think TT would consider either of them too.
5. (159) Kenny Stills, WR, Oklahoma. This still seems to me like the right place to take a WR. The Packers still have the best 3 receiver rotation in the NFL, but with the departure of Donald Driver and the defection of Greg Jennings the Packers will have to strengthen their WR corps to remain the top overall receiving group in the NFL. I also think TT might look at WR Marcus Davis from Virginia Tech or maybe Marquess Wilson from Washington State. If not then perhaps a big run-blocking TE like Michael Williams from Alabama.
5. (167- compensatory) Braden Brown, LT, BYU. The Packers need O linemen. Brown is a versatile guy who can play more than one O line position and we all know how many times that has come in handy over the last few seasons. If the Packers have already gotten Jones and Nixon and they feel they don’t need another tackle (like that’ll happen!), then other prospective picks here include TE Dion Sims from Michigan State, or FS Josh Evans from Florida. This pick is also prime trade bait. For TT compensatory picks always seem to be.
6. (193) Kwame Geathers, DT, Georgia. Geathers is a load and would help shore up the Packers porous run defense. It’s impossible to have too many quality big men. Will Johnny Jolly be the NFL Comeback Player of the Year for 2013? If not, and even if so, a big body like Geathers would help to improve the quality of the D line rotation. TT might also look at somebody like DE Joe Kruger from Utah, or even LT Jordan Mills from Louisiana Tech.
7. (232) I still figure this one’s probably been traded or turned into several picks by shrewd draft-day dealer Thompson. However, if the Packers are still on the board here I think they look at another CB. Woodson’s departure, even with the influx of talent from last year’s draft, will leave a hole. I think they might take steps to fill it with a CB like Brandon Lee from Miami, Marc Anthony from USC, or even a safety like DeVonte Holloman from South Carolina.
That’s my mock. Let me know what you think! I’d like to see TT stick to tough, fast, mean guys with size in the defensive secondary. I’d also like to see some competition for backup QB, but that may have to come via undrafted FA or even a waiver wire pickup. I don’t see enough talented QBs after the fourth round who would command a draft pick that wouldn’t be better used to help improve other areas of need. The same goes for kickers. Mason Crosby may be out of his slump, but is he really ready for steady prime time performances in the kicking department from here on out?
We all know there will be many twists and turns on the road to the NFL draft. The Scouting Combine has made and broken some players. Pro Days have redeemed and confirmed the limitations of some more. The Packers, predictably enough, haven’t done anything in free agency yet. Will they? I happen to think they won’t but we’ve all been surprised by the estimable Mr. Thompson before! We’ll just have to see how things shake out over the next month.
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. It should be good, clean, wholesome fun. Besides…as I keep saying- what else is there for a football-starved scribe like me to do this time of year? We’ve only got a month left until the start of the real draft. What do you think Packer Nation? Tell us!
Keep watching 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