Green Bay Packers Draft: Just who will be the next son of Lombardi?
By Luke Hanish
Great defensive talent, such as Datone Jones, should be available at the Packers #26 pick. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
The majority of NFL and Green Bay Packers mock drafts this time of year are (for the most part) relatively spot on (Insert sarcasm … here). The further along into the first round we get, the more vague experts’ selections become.
Sure there’s always a surprise here or there especially in the top 10, (see Tyson Alualu). And trying to think back to last year’s mocks, I do believe a few had Nick Perry to the Packers, so we can only assume a few mocks out there have it right.
This year’s draft seems to have a bit of a different feeling than we’ve been accustomed in recent years. It’s probably safe to say we became a little spoiled with last year’s draft having so many future star players being taken in the first round. Everyone around the league seems to agree that “superstar” really isn’t there this year. Depth runs rampant this year while both the offensive and defensive line hold a plethora of prospects.
So just who exactly will be around when pick 26 comes along?
Oct 20, 2012; Durham, NC, USA; Bernard would provide great value in the Third round. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports
While a few mocks have Ted Thompson taking Eddie Lacy at 26, this is one pick I, for one, just don’t see happening. Sure Lacy is a fine running back, but injury concerns and the organization’s philosophy overall just don’t have me buying into drafting a running back this early.
Conventional wisdom, in addition to Thompson’s tendencies, would say he could find much more value with a Giovani Bernard in the third round. I’d like to say Montee Ball here, but I see him as a second-rounder that would more than likely require a trade-up.
Both sides of the line will seem to offer a quality selection at 26 one way or another. A few mocks have Tyler Eifert as the next Packer. Eifert seems to be the one biggest wild card in the first draft because some have him as high as 6 to the Browns while others don’t even have him in the first round. With another year of Jermichael Finley, I’m not sure tight end is quite yet a priority in Thompson’s eyes.
Nov 24, 2012; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Could Matt Elam supplant Charles Woodson? Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
An interesting trend caught my eye is an early run at offensive linemen. Mocks this year seem to have an emphasis on the offensive side of the ball early, and the defensive side of the ball late.
True to his word as we all know, Thompson will certainly take the best player available, but I believe at 26, the best player available will also fill a need.
I could see a Menelik Watson or Barrett Jones there at 26, but do they really grade out better than a Datone Jones or Matt Elam?
One thing I’ve taken from all the mocks I’ve seen is deductive reasoning leading me to believe our first selection will be on the defensive side of the ball for starters.
A Matt Elam could certainly help shore up a Charles Woodson-less secondary while a Datone Jones would provide instant depth along the D-line and offer as a nice bookend to Matthews coming off the edge.
As with any other draft, none of us really knows just exactly what will happen. So on draft day eve, tell us Packers Nation, just who … will be the next … son of Lombardi?
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