Trendy, but unlikely, Green Bay Packers first round picks


Would LSU Tigers safety Eric Reid (1) be the best fit with the Green Bay Packers?Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Green Bay Packers mock drafts have been recently overwhelmed with three names: Eddie Lacy, Tyler Eifert, and Jonathan Cyprien. Sure, there is definitely a chance that one of these trending players lands in Green and Gold after the first round on Thursday, but I think there is greater reason to believe that these three do not fit the Ted Thompson bill.

I have given some reasons why these popular prospects are very intriguing, but also why I believe that they will not be the Packers’ first round addition in this year’s draft.

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Eddie Lacy – RB, Alabama
Why he makes sense: The Packers could certainly use some help at the running back position. DuJuan Harris has yet to show that he can be “the guy” in the backfield. Lacy is a proven back that played in a respected college system. He could come in and contribute on day one.
Why he doesn’t: Ted Thompson has never selected a running back in the first round. In fact, he has only selected three running backs …  ever. Lacy was not used as much of a receiving running back at Alabama – something that the Packers would surely hope to do in their offense. It has also been reported that Lacy’s workouts have been underwhelming to NFL scouts.
Summary: He doesn’t seem like a TT kind of first round pick to me. He may not be a great fit in the Packer’s offense. There may be a better fit in a later round.

Tyler Eifert – TE, Notre Dame
Why he makes sense: The packers are paying a lot of money to Mr. Finley for so-so production. Finley has great potential, but has been plagued by injury and drops. His commitment to donate to Boston for every dropped ball is commendable, but it also has the possibility of being incredibly generous if he can’t get the drops under control. It would be ideal to have someone else to replace Finley after this season. It would also be a nightmare for defenses to try to defend Eifert and Finley at the same time. Eifert is ranked in the top 15 on some boards. He could be a great value pick for the Packers at No. 26.
Why he doesn’t: The Packers have actually shown a little bit more interest in Stanford’s Zack Ertz, who is likely not a first round TE. There is also a fear that Eifert could be the second coming of Greg Olsen. Olsen is a good TE, but nothing spectacular. Eifert’s ceiling could be lower than some other players available at No. 26. With Finley in place, the TE position is not a pressing need.
Summary: The tight end position could very well be addressed in this draft, but I would guess that it does not happen in the first round.

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Jonathan Cyprien – S, Florida International
Why he makes sense: Cyprien has seemingly come out of nowhere this spring. Many analysts have him shooting up draft charts, landing somewhere in the first round. The Packers could definitely use some help at the safety position opposite of Morgan Burnett. Cyprien is certainly one of the most intriguing physical specimens in the draft and would be an asset in run support. He could bring a needed nastiness to the Green Bay defense.
Why he doesn’t: Ted Thompson is all about value. It is possible that he could fall in love with Cyprien, but it is also worth noting that Eric Reid and Matt Elam are both receiving similar grades. Reid might be the best athlete and Elam might be the most complete safety, while only lacking ideal size. Cyprien is from a smaller school that did not face the consistent competition that other schools do. Some scouts have mentioned that they are not sure that Cyprien dominated the way that he should have in his conference.

Summary: Ted Thompson is notorious for mining small schools for great value. I’m just not sure that he does it in the first round with Cyprien. Elam and Reid seem to fit the TT bill a little bit better than Cyprien. This is especially true if one of them can still be had after a trade back into the early second round, which would not be a shocking move for TT to make.

Again, any of these players could be great additions to the Packers in the first round of this year’s draft, but reason and Thompson draft experience seems to suggest that this might not be the case. Thursday will tell the whole story.