Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Jack Mewhort Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Green Bay Packers draft needs and answers for 2014

Apr 26, 2012; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell introduces defensive end Nick Perry (Southern Cal) as the 28th overall pick by the Green Bay Packers in the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 26, 2012; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell introduces defensive end Nick Perry (Southern Cal) as the 28th overall pick by the Green Bay Packers in the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

After an abrupt end to a promising season, the Green Bay Packers must dig deep into the draft to fix some immediate needs. Four positions stand out far more than others that could easily be fixed by one or two players.

A talented OL, safety, LB, or DL could easily turn the recent postseason failures around for a brighter future.

OL – A few names pop up early in the first round that could help protect the franchise, Aaron Rodgers, better.

  1. Taylor Lewah - This monstrous 6-7 tackle from Michigan has the size and frame to be a great pass blocker. Add in his quickness and mean streak, he is a future all pro. If he is available in the first round, the Packers should pounce on him right away.
  2. Jack Mewhort – The powerful 6-6 Mewhort from Ohio State could be a steal if the Packers get him in the second round. He possesses the size and strength needed to take on elite pass rushers of the NFL. He is also known as a tough player.

Safety – This is probably the Packers‘ greatest need. Luckily, for them, this draft is loaded with talented safeties.

  1. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – Easily this draft’s best safety. Very good ball-hawking skills. Could make an immediate impact in the secondary. Better value would be found in an OL or DL in first round, however.
  2. Deone Bucannon – If the Former Washington State player is around in the second round, the Packers should scoop him up right away. Talented enough to start right away and have a great impact due to his excellent range and cover skills.
  3. Amhad Dixon – If Bucannon is gone, Dixon should be around for the Packers in the second round. He has excellent size and speed. Strength is in run support but has good enough range to be a good help in pass coverage as well.

DL – The Packers struggled greatly with stopping the run. Also, with B.J. Raji testing free agency, the Packers should target a DT in the first round. Good ones are very hard to come by.

  1. Louis Nix – Very dominant interior lineman from Notre Dame. Would immediately shore up the running problems with great explosiveness and quick feet. Question marks could be that he is coming off a knee surgery. If he’s had a good recovery, he would be a steal.
  2. Ra’Shede Hageman – If Nix and Lewah are gone, then the Packers should snag Hageman in the first round from Minnesota. With his 6-6 frame, he uses his rare upfield burst to anchor the interior line. Would help out the run defense dramatically.

Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Chris Borland tackles Brigham Young Cougars running back Adam Hine (28) during the first quarter at Camp Randall Stadium. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

LB – Injures seemed to haunt the Packers’ linebacking corps. In a 3-4 defense, the are supposed to be the stars of your defense. Look at the 49ers.

  1. Ryan Shazier – Superb tackler from Ohio State, something the Packers have been lacking on the outside. Also a good coverage player. He would sharpen the edge with Clay Matthews if taken in the first round.
  2. Chris Borland – The MLB from Wisconsin had an outstanding year. He was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. He is very instinctive and always around the ball making plays. Unbelievable range sideline to sideline. Would be a good second round pick. Could fall to third round and would be a steal if the Packers got him there.
  3. Carl Bradford - Very instinctive, strong, and quick player from Arizona State. Had 18 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. If taken in the second round, he would provide a great complement to Matthews.

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