As we inch closer to the NFL Draft that’s just more than a couple of weeks away, the mock draft frenzy continues and on this Monday morning what better way than to look at one of the more interesting mocks I’ve seen the past couple of days – especially as it pertains to the Green Bay Packers.
That would be the mock put together by Andrew Parsons over at Draft Breakdown. While this three-round endeavor is interesting from first to last pick, the first round, especially the top 10, is pretty consistent with what’s been out there. However, as one gets out of the top 10 and into the meat of the first round, things start to get intriguing – and by the time one reaches the Packers’ pick at number 26, one’s eyebrows may raise.
Parsons has the Packers selecting outside linebacker Bjoern Werner of Florida State University.
Here’s how Parsons explains this selection for the Packers:
Earlier on in the process, Werner was mocked as high as #2 overall, but his stock has settled after a somewhat disappointing combine performance. While his pad level issues don’t make him an ideal 4-3 defensive end to a 3-4 outside linebacker convert, I think he’ll transition more than adequately.
This is the first mock where I’ve seen Werner fall this far and Parsons is right – after being high on everybody’s list about three weeks ago, his stock has dropped, but whether he drops all the way to 26 seems unlikely. The German-born Werner is 6-3, 266 pounds of pure quickness. Though his explosion off the ball is well-known, his time in the 40 was 4.81, which means nothing when you’re talking about a defensive end about to become an outside linebacker if the Packers do indeed select him.
If he were to be selected by Green Bay, it would be the next chapter in the “journey” of a guy who, like all Europeans, started his athletic career on the soccer field. It wasn’t until he came to America through a high school exchange program did he get to play American football – a game with which he quickly fell in love.
“It’s been a great journey, so exciting,” Werner said is a recent interview. “This is just another step right here. Coming from Germany, dreaming about and watching the combine and just being here right now, it’s just amazing.”
Though he had limited play as a freshman, his college career took off as a sophomore when he recorded 11 tackles for loss and seven sacks. He lost about 20 pounds heading into the 2012 campaign, but that didn’t hurt his production. By the end of last season, his career numbers were impressive: 35 tackles for loss, 23.5 sacks, 18 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Again, if he falls all the way to the Packers at number 26, it might be difficult for Ted Thompson to go in another direction – but that’s a big if.
Here is a video of Werner …
Short, a defensive tackle who’s stock has risen recently despite not participating in the Combine or Purdue’s pro day, was rated fifth out of 181 DTs by nfldraftscout.com. He is 6-3, 299 pounds, and is described on windycitygridiron as “a power defensive tackle, primarily and particularly adept at stopping the run, Short is a penetrating, pass-rushing defensive tackle that can also make plays in the backfield.”
The question I have is whether Ted Thompson, if he indeed had the opportunity to select Werner with the first pick, would go for another defensive lineman in the second round of this draft – the team has glaring needs elsewhere and while Short may be an intriguing pick, I’m more inclined to think TT will go in another direction with this pick – but that’s just me.
Here is a video of Short …
In the third round, Parsons has the Packers going running back – Jonathan Franklin
Now, this is an interesting pick for a couple of reasons – Franklin has good speed and is described as “fast, tough and with an energetic running style.” Those attributes sound good on the surface, but for the Packers, catching the ball and blocking are two key elements that Ted Thompson values. It seems that Franklin does neither of these very well.
If the Packers are looking running back in the middle rounds, they could probably do better than Franklin. But better yet, the team should probably be looking at bolstering its offensive line at this point in the draft. With Aaron Rodgers set to head into the 2013 season as the league’s highest paid player, the Packers better find a way to protect him better than they did last year.
That means the team should be looking offensive line from the get-go. While defensive players are also needed, I feel Thompson will go offense in this draft like he did defense last year.
But then again, that’s why he gets the big bucks.
These are interesting selections, but I don’t think any of these players will land in Green Bay.
Here’s a video of Franklin …