The NFL 2014 Draft for the Green Bay Packers has once again begun to dominate our offseason fun. Sure there has been plenty of talk about the possibility that the Packers will spend some money and make some noise in free agency, but we’ll believe that when we see it.
Packers GM Ted Thompson has surprised us in the past and will surely do the same this offseason. We all know most of those surprises will come in the Draft come April – and that’s why we’re looking at all these college prospects and will continue to do so right up until that draft bell rings.
From now until the middle of May we will be trying to put together mock NFL Draft after mock draft – taking our shots in the dark. It’s difficult enough to think we can project how other teams will select, but it gets all the more difficult when we try to project and predict Ted Thompson’s thought process in putting together his Green Bay Packers board … yes, it’s kind of like trying to get a perfect NCAA Final 4 bracket correct from beginning to end. The likelihood that it will happen is about as rare as a Sasquatch sighting, or being abducted by aliens.
We all love to give it a shot. Bouncing from mock draft to mock draft to see who might land with your team is like Christmas morning as you shake those gifts to try to figure out what might be inside.
Today we focus on these three separate mocks: Matt Miller” href=”http://bleacherreport.com/users/396992-matt-miller”>Matt Miller, Bleacher Report’s NFL Draft Lead Writer; Charles Davis of NFL.com; and nfldraftgeek.com
So get your arguments ready and your ammunition loaded – tell us what you think of today’s Big 3 … leave us a comment below with your own picks, like us on our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter. We would love to hear from you.
Here we go …
Matt Miller of Bleacher Report: With the 21st pick of the NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select … ILB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
Here’s how Miller justifies his selection:
Trying to predict what general manager Ted Thompson will do in the draft is about as easy as predicting lottery numbers, but there is some evidence to go off at least.
Thompson and his scouts must be looking at the defensive side of the ball. That’s where the team has failed them in the last two postseasons against the San Francisco 49ers. And while they’ve drafted heavily on defense in recent years, they are also holding on to guys like A.J. Hawk and B.J. Raji who haven’t lived up to their draft positions.
Adding new legs and better athletes on defense has to be a focus for Thompson, and he can do that while staying true to his best-player-available mentality. All he has to do is draft C.J. Mosley.
The senior from Alabama is ranked higher than his draft position, but finding a team in the top 20 picks that has an inside linebacker as its biggest need is tough. That pushes Mosley down the board, where the Packers will gladly pick him up to play next to Brad Jones. This duo gives the team the athletes on the inside to have a fighting chance against running teams like San Francisco and Philadelphia in the postseason.
Lombardiave: I have to agree with Miller that the Packers’ defensive mantra over the past couple of years shouldn’t affect this year’s draft selection. Again, the Packers biggest need is on that side of the ball … and if Mosley is still on the board at 21, the Packers will almost have to select him if they do indeed stick with the “best player available” credo. This is an excellent choice and one that would certainly go a long way in improving the Packers on the defensive side of the ball.
C.J. Mosley highlight film
With the 21st pick of the NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select … Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio St.
Here is NFL.com’s analysis:
Thin ankles. Plays bigger than his size. Feisty, aggressive tackler — does not hesitate to throw his weight around. Terrific balance. Quick feet and loose hips. Easy change of direction. Flips his hips and has ample speed to run vertically. Can mirror off the line and shadow slot receivers. Sudden athlete. Plants and drives in a blink. Shows recovery speed. Quick-handed to play the pocket. Has springs. Displays good zone awareness and has experience in off-man. Dangerous as a blitzer and kick-block rusher. Has experience working as a gunner. Confident and competitive. Excellent production on the ball — 35 passes defended in last two seasons.
Lombardiave: Defense may be the biggest target for the Green Bay Packers, but in my mind, unless Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert somehow falls to the Packers at #21, they would be better off landing a DL, ILB, or safety with their first round pick. Roby is one of the best, no doubt, but the Packers – if they are healthy – are already pretty deep at CB. I can’t see Ted Thompson making this pick. Roby is considered a late first round and most likely one that will go in the second round. I see him going #21 as a stretch. There are too many other players who would qualify as the “best player available.”
Bradley Roby Highlights
the 21st pick of the NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select … Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
Here is the website’s rationalization:
Tight ends seems like a perfect way for the Packers to go when you consider Jermichael Finely has likely played his last game for the team and when you look at the tight end class for this 2014 draft. Eric Ebron, Jace Amaro and Austin Seferian-Jenkins are all legitimate first round prospects, so the Packers will have their pick of the litter. Our favorite of the group is Ebron. Not only is Ebron an outstanding receiver with a size/speed combo to be a true matchup nightmare, he also an exceptional blocker. Drafting Ebron would give Aaron Rodgers another weapon for his disposal, and also improve the Packers blocking unit. Tight end makes a lot of sense, but the don’t be surprised to see the Packers go defensive with a safety or linebacker.
Lombardiave: Just this morning I posted a story about the Packers team needs heading into the draft and how Steve Shoup of fanspeak.com listed tight end as the team’s number one need. I question that perspective, but should the Packers draft clock start running with Ebron still on the board, it might be difficult for Ted Thompson not to select him. Certainly, he would be a sexy first round pick for the Packers, but would he be the “best player” available given the team’s needs on defense? Good question. My hope is that Thompson is faced with a question like this. Ebron would be a good choice and one from which the Packers and Aaron Rodgers would likely benefit. If it happens, I certainly won’t complain.