With a win at home against the Atlanta Falcons, the Green Bay Packers are 6-6-1 and only a half game back from the division lead.
Three weeks remain in the NFL regular season, and the Packers’ playoff hopes remain alive. However, it’s never too early to take a look ahead and see what’s on the horizon for this Packers team.
Beginning last week, the Fansided network will be releasing their own 2014 NFL mock draft each week leading up to May. Each week here at Lombardiave.com we will discuss who they have the Packers selecting in the first round.
On Monday, Fansided released another mock draft, and with the Packers still at no. 16 in the first round, Fansided had Green Bay taking . . .
Drumroll please . . .
For a second week in a row Fansided believes the Packers’ greatest need heading into the 2014 season will be at tight end.
There is still no word on the future of Packers tight end Jermichael Finley, who suffered two serious head/neck injuries this year, so the team could use an upgrade at tight end to round out their passing attack.
This selection comes on the heels (no pun intended) of North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora announcing that Ebron will not return to the team for his senior season, but instead, enter the NFL.
If the Packers decide to address the tight end position in the first round, Ebron would be a great choice. He’s an athletic tight end that can split out wide and catch balls over the middle of the field. His 55 catches for 895 yards and three touchdowns in 2013 definitely stands out.
Ebron has a similar skill set as Finley coming out of college. He’s pretty much a 6-4, 245-pound receiver with 4.67 speed. And like Finley in his first few years in the NFL, Ebron struggles as a run blocker.
Blocking is clearly not one of Ebron’s strengths and something he’ll have to improve to start at tight end in the NFL. Having said that, the Packers will definitely need a receiving threat at in the middle of the field if Finley can’t return from his spinal injury.
The Packers may also consider Jace Amaro out of Texas Tech if they’re going to spend their first round pick on a tight end. According to NFLDraftScout.com, Amaro is the top tight end in the 2014 draft class.
The junior tight end is a bit bigger than Ebron and has risen up draft boards as of late with his impressive 2013 campaign (98 receptions for 1,240 receiving yards and 7 TDs).
Like Ebron, Amaro is a bit raw as a run blocker, but has a bigger frame (6-5, 260) to hold off defenders.
In Fansided’s latest mock draft, Amaro went no. 19 to the Baltimore Ravens, only three spots after the Packers pick. So if Green Bay drafts in the middle of the first round Amaro could be a real possibility.
However, the Packers may decide to go in a different direction with their first round pick.
Tight end Andrew Quarless is coming off a career game against the Atlanta Falcons. Maybe the Packers will feel comfortable enough with him starting next season if Finley doesn’t return?
The Packers could look to address other needs on the team. They could consider top safety prospect HaSean Clinton-Dix out of Alabama, but in Fansided’s mock draft, Clinton-Dix was off the board by the time the Packers picked at 16.
Inside linebacker C.J. Mosley, also out of Alabama and the no. 17 pick in Fansided’s mock draft, could be somebody Green Bay targets on draft day.
The Packers need to improve the interior of their defense and Mosley is a sideline-to-sideline player. He would be a great addition to a Packers defense that has struggled to remain consistent throughout the 2013 season.
So what do you think? Do the Packers go with a tight end, like Ebron or Amaro, or should they use their first round pick elsewhere?
Leave a comment below and look for our weekly analysis of the Packers’ first round selection in Fansided’s latest 2014 NFL mock drafts.