Oct 1, 2011; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks tailback Marcus Lattimore (21) carries the ball during the second quarter against the Auburn Tigers at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

2013 NFL Mock Draft: The Green Bay Packers Select...

The April 15th Edition of the FanSided 2013 NFL Mock Draft has been released.

FanSided.com has been posting a new mock draft every week right up until the actual draft on April 25th. 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 and Pro Days complete. Interviews, visits, and private workouts are happening every day. 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.

Naturally 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.

We know that the Packers, absent trades, pick 26th in the first round. The only real 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.

The latest FanSided mock draft goes two rounds deep. Here’s what they think the Packers will do.

 Notre Dame Fighting Irish tight end Tyler Eifert (80) makes a catch in the end zone for a touchdown. Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

According to FanSided, with the 26th pick in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select Tyler Eifert, TE/Notre Dame

FanSided analysis: Green Bay needs help up front, but another way to help Aaron Rodgers would be to get him a capable tight end for the future. Jermichael Finely is sticking around for now it seems, but he’s not a long term option anymore as animosity grows. Eifert gives Rodgers his Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham, and that makes him even more dangerous than he was before. Menelik Watson and other offensive lineman will be available on the second day for the Packers to flirt with, but Eifert won’t be and if they want to help Rodgers, they’ll get him a giant tight end.

According to FanSided, with the 55th overall pick in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select Marcus Lattimore, RB/South Carolina

FanSided analysis:  This is an out of the box pick, but it’s one that could happen. The Packers need a running back badly and Lattimore is one of the most interesting wild cards in the draft this year. He’s coming off of a serious knee injury but all signs indicate that he’s way ahead of schedule in his recovery. Had he not suffered the injury, Lattimore would have likely been a first-round pick, but if he’s here he’d be a steal for the Packers. They need help on defense and Lattimore is still a risk, but Willis McGahee got taken in the first round after a devastating knee injury and Lattimore is not only much better, but further along in his recovery.

I just don’t think either of these picks will pan out that way. It’s true that Tyler Eifert is widely regarded as the best TE in this draft, but I tend to think Ted Thompson will not take him in the first round. There are several talented TEs coming out. The Packers do need a TE, but not in the first round. O line and D line help are simply greater needs, and in my opinion Eifert is simply not going to be the “best player available” at 26.

Regarding the second round pick, let me admit that I am a Marcus Lattimore fan. His potential was practically unlimited until he blew out his knee. Many experts and draftniks agree. I simply don’t think the Packers will take Lattimore this high. I like his blend of size (6’0” 221) and speed (4.4 before his latest knee injury). What scares the you-know-what out of me is that in Green Bay he could end up being a great NFL story (movie script calling) and break all the Packers rushing records, or he could be out of football entirely if he gets hurt again. Even a minor knee injury would probably sideline him for an extended period. That’s not to say I don’t think the Packers should take Lattimore. I just don’t think he’s a second round pick. Like the TE position, there are several really good RB prospects in this draft. I think TT will draft a RB, but when and whom are the questions we won’t have answered for us until the draft is done.

From a big-picture standpoint here is my 2013 NFL Draft wish list for the Green Bay Packers:

–  I’d still like to see TT stick to tough, fast, mean guys with size in the defensive secondary. Every time I see a mock with a 5’8” DB going to the Packers (in any round) it makes me want to do bad things! I think the NFL is trending toward  bigger DBs. Look no further than Seattle’s defensive secondary as an example. Those guys can play.

–  I think the same about WRs and RBs. The Packers already have a small quick WR (Randall “Cobbernicus” Cobb) and a small-ish quick back (DuJuan Harris). I’d like to see larger, more durable players at those positions. It would be great to have a stable full of APs and Megatrons, but the Packers are a TEAM and their approach works as long as they have enough of the right kind of players.

–  When it comes to O line and D line players I like versatility and coach-ability. I’m not averse to “project” players who need some instruction and reps to develop at the NFL level, but I don’t necessarily think they should be high draft picks. It’s simply impossible to have too many good big men on either side of the ball though.

–  The Packers need another QB to compete for the backup QB position. The Packers have been blessed to have really only two starters at QB for almost twenty years. Even so backup QB is a weakness on the Packers roster right now.

These are some of the players I’d like to see in Packers green and gold next season- in no particular order:

Menelik Watson, OT, FSU. “Freakish” athlete and natural RT. Good run blocker. Potentially allows Bulaga to move to LT.

Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama. A one-man wrecking crew with a great backstory. Anchored the best run defense last season. Also plays goal line FB.

Southern Methodist Mustangs defensive end Margus Hunt (92) talks to the referees during a break in the action. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Margus Hunt, 3-4 DE, SMU. Long (6’8” at 277) and quick. Second coming of the Mad Stork?

Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama. Versatility personified. Draft stock has fallen but talent has not.

David Quessenberry, OL, San Jose State. Versatile G/C could back up EDS and play G if needed.

Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin. All he does is score touchdowns. Lots of ‘em.

Luke Marquardt, OT, Azusa Pacific. Big (6’8” 315) and athletic former TE.

Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Kenny Stills (4) catches a pass during the third quarter against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Richard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports

Kenny Stills, WR, Oklahoma. Big enough (6’1” 190) Fast. Tough. Packers legacy (S Ken Stills).

Chris Gragg, TE, Arkansas. Fast (4.5) and has interesting size (6’3” 244). He’s similar to Finley as a hybrid WR / TE.

Kwame Geathers, DT, Georgia. 6’5” and 342 pounds of immovable object mayhem.

Vance McDonald, TE, Rice. Athletic 6’4” 267 pound receiver and good route runner.

Terry Hawthorne, CB, Illinois. 6 feet-plus with 4.4 speed, a nose for the ball, and he tackles.

T.J. McDonald, S, USC. Big (6’3” 219) and he tackles. Are we seeing a trend here?

Obviously the Packers won’t get all of these players. But I’d be happy to see any of them on the 2013 team.

That’s about it for this week Packer Nation. Let me know what you think. I’ll do another mock draft next Monday, so watch for it! And keep watching LombardiAve.com for weekly polls this offseason.

Go Pack GO!

Don’t forget to check out the entire mock at FanSided NFL 2013 Mock Draft

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