2014 Green Bay Packers Mock Draft: The Green Bay Packers select…
It’s been a while since I did a full 7-round mock for LombardiAve.com. Now that we’re only 14 days and change away from the 2014 NFL Draft, I think it’s time to take a shot at a full nine-pick (seven plus two compensatory pick) draft Packers-style. Here’s a look at what I think the Green Bay Packers might do with their nine picks in the 2014 NFL Draft.
First, some overall thoughts on what will be a roller coaster ride with Packers GM Ted Thompson wheeling and dealing picks. It’s what he does.
– I’d like to see the Packers go after tough, fast, mean guys with size in the defensive secondary. They need to pick up at least two impact players in this draft. Every time I see a mock with a 5’8” DB going to the Packers (in any round!) it makes me want to do very bad things. I think the trend in the NFL is bigger DBs. Look no further than Seattle’s defensive secondary as an example. No small-but-quick DBs but those guys can flat-out ball. With the Packers playing in the NFC North against the Marshalls and Megatrons of the world it stands to reason that taller is better in the defensive backfield. Doesn’t it?
– I think the same about WRs. We have a couple of small quick WR (Randall “Cobbernicus” Cobb in particular). I’d like to see larger, more durable players at the WR positions. Please TT…no more “shifty” types!
– 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.
– Don’t put it past Ted to work his magic. He takes nine picks and turns them into twelve picks. He’s completely unpredictable, which is why it’s fun to try and see if you can figure out what he’ll do during the draft. Combine the Packers first round, second round, and compensatory third round picks in order to move up and draft OT Jake Matthews from Texas A&M? Not entirely out of the realm of possibility. Take the best player available? Well that’s the normal hyperbole associated with Packers drafts, but look no further than last year to see that sometimes it’s about plain and simple need. I tried to combine both best player available with some of the Packers needs…and came up with these picks:
Round 1 (21st overall pick): Calvin Pryor, Safety, Louisville (5-11, 207, 4.58). Pryor is a hitter. He forces turnovers and is a solid tackler. With the glaring need for players like him in the Packers secondary, this seems like a sure thing. But with Packers GM Ted Thompson calling the shots, all bets are off. In the unlikely event that Alabama S Haha Clinton-Dix or Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert fall to 21 I think TT would take either of them here but Pryor would be a good get for the Pack regardless.
Alternate: Louis Nix, Defensive Tackle / Nose Tackle, Notre Dame (6-2, 331, Molasses). Aging defensive line personnel plus some performance issues last season equal a potential pick like this one.
Round 2 (53rd overall pick): Keith McGill, Cornerback, Utah (6-3, 211, 4.51). McGill has the size to be an effective defender against WRs like Megatron, Marshall, and the other big-body guys catching tall balls in the NFC North. He moves well for a larger defender and with the proliferation of package defenses I can see him being one of those buys who are on the field just because he’s one of the best available defenders. You can’t have too many good guys in coverage folks.
Alternate: Stephon Tuitt, Defensive End, Notre Dame (6-5, 304, 5.00). The Packers need to rush the quarterback more effectively. Tuitt could and should help do that. (See Louis Nix)
Round 3 (85th overall pick): Travis Swanson, Center, Arkansas (6-5, 312, 5.26). Swanson is a larger guy who is nasty at the point of attack and an effective pass blocker as well. He is widely reputed to have a “mean streak”. I see nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think the more mean and nasty offensive linemen the Packers have, the better. The Packers need a center. Swanson fits in this pick well.
Alternate: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Cornerback, Nebraska (6-3, 218, 4.61). Another defensive back? You bet…if he’s 6-3, quick, moves well, and has a nose for the ball. If he’s still available at 98 overall take him over Dontae Johnson. Or along with Dontae Johnson!
Round 3 (98th overall pick- compensatory for Greg Jennings): Dontae Johnson, Cornerback, North Carolina State (6-2, 200, 4.45). A “bonus” pick, Johnson is the third of a group of second and third round-rated CBs with size, quickness, and good tackling and ball skills. If the Packers could find a way to get two out of the three of them I think their defense improves immediately.
Alternate: Dion Bailey, Safety, USC (6-0, 201, 4.66). Bailey would be another safety to strengthen what many regard as neediest part of the Packers roster. If the Packers didn’t get Clinton-Dix or Pryor then Bailey has the size and speed to develop into the safety they need.
Round 4 (121st overall pick): Jared Abbrederis, Wide Receiver, Wisconsin (6-1, 195, 4.5). A bit of a sentimental pick, Abbrederis is not the biggest, fastest, or highest rated WR in the draft. However, he has shown that he’s a rabid competitor, a great route-runner, and that he has sure hands and deceptive speed. Sort of like Jordy Nelson. He went a long way toward carrying Wisconsin’s passing game last season. I’d take as many of those guys as I could get.
Alternate: Cody Latimer, Wide Receiver, Indiana (6-2, 215, 4.58). Latimer has good size, speed, and sure hands. If TT absolutely wants a WR at this pick and Abbrederis isn’t there then Latimer is a good alternative.
Round 5 (161st overall pick): Will Clarke, Defensive End, West Virginia (6-6, 271, 4.77) Clarke is a quick and relentless defender who could fit into several places along the Packers defensive front seven. His combination of size and speed is rare. I see him as a depth-adder at first while he develops, but given the Packers draft-and-develop philosophy is would seem Clarke is a potential steal.
Alternate: Andrew Norwell, Offensive Guard / Tackle, Ohio State (6-6, 319, 5.15). Norwell is one of those versatile O linemen that the Packers like to draft and develop. Sound familiar? It should. With his body type he can play guard or tackle.
Round 5 (176th overall pick- compensatory for Eric Walden): Tom Savage, Quarterback, Pittsburgh (6-4, 228, 4.97). Everybody seems to think TT will draft a quarterback as competition for Flynn and Tolzien. I tend to agree, but I don’t think they’ll take one higher than this. Savage played in a pro-style offense at Pitt, he’s got good size and he can move around a bit. He throws TDs instead of picks too. If he’s still available here I think TT takes him and cracks a big smile.
Alternate: Walt Aikens, Cornerback, Liberty (6-0, 205, 4.49). With a good combination of size and speed, if the Packers haven’t snapped up at least one CB by this point and Aikens is still out there, he could be a Packer.
Round 6 (197th overall pick): Jacob Pedersen, Tight End, Wisconsin (6-3, 238, 4.89). Pedersen is not one of those first or second-round graded TEs. I’m projecting him here because he’s more Jason Witten than Tony Gonzalez. Pedersen has good hands, blocks well, and he might even project as an H back in the Packers offense. There are bigger and faster TEs out there, and the Packers have a glaring question mark at TE in the person of Jermichael Finley. Pedersen can help.
Alternate: Marcel Jensen, Tight End, Fresno State (6-6, 259, 4.85). Though larger than Pederson, Jensen is a similar talent and could be just a good an addition should he be available here.
Round 7 (236th overall pick): C.J. Barnett, Safety, Ohio State (6-1, 202, 4.55). Competition for current Packers safety Morgan Burnett, Barnett tackles, has a nose for the ball along with good ball skills, and if there is any truth to competition bringing out the best in football players, he should push Burnett closer to his potential. Plus, there’s only one letter to change on the jersey should he beat Burnett in said competition. OK…that last part isn’t really a parameter for drafting somebody but I couldn’t resist. Burnett must play to his potential in 2014. If he doesn’t the Packers might have a replacement ready in Barnett.
Alternate: Ryan Hewitt, Fullback, Stanford (6-4, 246, 4.76). I loves me some John Kuuuuuuhn but competition at all positions is what the Packers are all about. Hewitt could be Kuhn’s competition for camp 2014.
That’s about it for this week Packer Nation. Let me know what you think. We do mock drafts, prospect interviews, and all kinds of draft coverage here on LombardiAve.com. Check us every day for fresh, insightful, and timely updates on your favorite team and ours…the Green Bay Packers!
As always…Go Pack GO!