t signings have slowed to a trickle.
However, as much as things have changed, the more they have stayed the same. With the Packers, their biggest needs really haven’t changed. They still need a safety, an inside linebacker and could use some depth at cornerback, offensive line and even wide receiver.
You see, I’m sick and tired of reading time and again the names of Ha Ha Clinton Dix, Louis Nix III, Calvin Pryor, Eric Ebron and Ra’Shede Hageman as the prospects who have been mentioned as most likely to end up as among the Packers first round draft choices.
There are other players who could rise to the top of Ted Thompson’s board. In fact, the players mentioned above could all well be off the board by the time the Packers get their pick at number 21. And while the Packers desperately need a safety, do they wait until the second round to make that selection? Or do they go after a guy like Pryor or Clinton-Dix if he’s available. He’s certainly a safe pick, but would he fit with the Packers?
So now that free agency is slowing to a crawl, it’s time to turn once again to the draft.
As in the past, to pull together my “Big 3,” I tool around the Internet looking for mock drafts that have three different prospects projected to be picked by the Packers. I try to find three players not mentioned by others.
With their first pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
Here’s what author Ryan Riddle, Featured Columnist, had to say about this pick:
The Packers have bigger needs at other positions, but they were surprised a player like Dennard would fall into their lap this late. Sometimes you have to go with the best guy on your board. Besides, in a passing league, can you really ever have a surplus of top-quality cover guys? Perhaps a surplus in this area will make up for the deficit at the safety position.
The recent acquisition of Julius Peppers and the re-signing of B.J. Raji does take some pressure off the defensive front. Inside linebacker is an area of focus, but the matching talent is not available here if the draft plays out in this way. I doubt the Packers would pass up on C.J. Mosley or Eric Ebron if either should be available at 21.
Lombardiave: I’ve read that Dennard has a lot of work to do to play at the next level. For me, he’s a reach here at #21 overall, especially given the fact that the Packers already are pretty well stocked at CB. If they were to go with a cornerback, they would be more inclined to try to get a guy like Justin Gilbert.
Film on Darqueze Dennard
With their first pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
Here is what Pete Pricsco, the author, had to say about this selection:
Yes, he has to work out better. But there is a ton of talent.
Lombardiave: Yes, you can scratch Jermichael Finley off the roster, but the Packers did go out and re-sign Andrew Quarless. Will they go after a top name like Ebron? He would be difficult to pass up if he’s still on the board. He has a huge upside and we know how important the tight end position is in Mike McCarthy’s offense. If Ebron is still on the board at 21, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ted Thompson select him.
Film on Eric Ebron
With their first pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select Marcus Martin, Center, University of Southern California
Here is what author Keith Demolder had to say about his selection:
Basically this pick fills the Packers need for a quality Center. Martin helped USC to a winning season this season considering the school’s recent fallout over NCAA sanctions.
Lombardiave: Yes, wit the loss of Evan Dietrich-Smith, the Packers have said that second-year lineman J.C. Tretter is at the top of the list to take over. Because he missed all of last season, Tretter is basically a rookie. However, I don’t see Ted Thompson using his first round selection to pick a center. There are too many other options to fill that position and too many other needs on this team. Drafting a center isn’t going to happen here … maybe in the middle rounds.
Film on Marcus Martin