2014 NFL Mock Draft: The Green Bay Packers Select …


Apr 25, 2013; New York, NY, USA; A general view of the NFL shield logo and main stage before the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Dec. 31 Edition of the FanSided 2014 NFL Mock Draft has been released. FanSided.com posts a new mock draft every week right up until the actual draft next April.

At LombardiAve.com we always have plenty of news and information to pass along to our readers and draft analysis is one of our favorite things. The 2014 draft is a long way off but it’s never too early to start thinking about the needs of the team and how Ted Thompson and crew will address them.

As of today, with the Packers preparing to host the San Francisco 49ers in a home playoff game, we don’t even know the position from which the Packers will draft. About the only thing we really know at this point is that TT probably won’t go nuts signing free agents. Anything else is conjecture, but it can be lots of fun! 

We Packers fans have our own opinions about what needs the Packers should try to fill using the 2014 draft. In this article we’ll explore some possibilities for the Packers’ first pick and some other players they might look at later in the draft.

The latest FanSided mock draft came out just hours ago. Here’s what they think the Packers will do:

Oklahoma State Cowboys cornerback Justin Gilbert

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports photograph

According to FanSided, with the 21st pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State.

FanSided analysis: Green Bay has an aging secondary, so they need to find a dynamic young player to add to the defensive backfield. As far as the cornerbacks go in this year’s draft, Gilbert ranks among the best and the Packers could benefit from seeing the corners slide in the first round this year.

I must respectfully disagree with the FanSided mock this week. Not because I don’t think the Packers could use a good CB, and not because Gilbert is too small at 6-foot, 195 pounds, though I would prefer he be bigger. No, it’s more because Gilbert is rated as the top CB on more draft boards than I can shake a down marker at. I just can’t see him lasting until the Packers have the chance to draft him. I also don’t think the Packers are likely to go CB in the first round anyway. There will be several taller DBs available a bit later in the draft as well.

From a big-picture standpoint here is my first pass at a 2014 NFL Draft wish list for the Green Bay Packers:

–  I’d like to see the Packers go after tough, fast, mean guys with size in the defensive secondary. 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 and RBs. We have a small quick WR (Randall “Cobbernicus” Cobb) and a couple of small-ish quick backs (DuJuan Harris and Jonathan Franklin). 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.

With these thoughts in mind, with their pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft I’d like to see the Packers take Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame. 6-6, 312, 4.80 40.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive end Stephon Tuitt

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Tuitt is a physical specimen who can take over a football game. I’ll pare the rest of my analysis down to this simple statement: He’s JJ Watt for the 2014 draft. If the Packers can get him in their draft position, I think they should and I hope they will. I have no issues whatsoever with the Packers drafting primarily for defense in 2014. No, that might not be strong enough. How’s this? The Packers should draft new players for each and every position on the defensive side of the ball. And whatever they can get for the offense, too.

These are some of the other players I’d like to see in Packers green and gold in 2014 – in no particular order:

Trent Murphy, DE/OLB, Stanford. 6-6, 261, 4.80 40. Murphy is one of the best players on one of the best defenses in college football. He makes things happen and he’s got a non-stop motor. He’s probably a 2nd round pick, but he’ll be worth it.

DeAndre Coleman, DE/DT, California. 6-5, 322, 5.35 40. Coleman is another one of those D-linemen who disrupt blocking schemes and occasionally get to make a sack or a big play. You know the type. He could be a shoe-filler if shoes need to be filled in the 3rd or 4th round.

Christian Jones, ILB/OLB, Florida State. 6-4, 234, 4.61 40. Jones is a versatile and talented LB who can play inside or outside equally well. Given the Packers LB situation he could be a fixture at one of, or even two, of the LB positions in the Packers D. Coach him up- Kevin Greene!

Antone Exum, CB/S, Virginia Tech. 6’2, 224, 4.58 40. Exum is a guy who could come in and play S or nickel DB. He’s played both positions equally well. He has the strength to be a Leroy Butler-type blitzer as well. He needs to pass some physical exams due to past injuries, but he tackles. If healthy we want him in the 4th or 5th round.

Keith McGill, CB, Utah. 63, 207, 4.48 40. McGill is a rare physical talent with great size, speed, and a nose for the ball. He tackles, too. The Packers could use him in much the same way they might use Exum. Or they could turn him into a lockdown corner. He projects in the 4th or 5th round, too.

Alex Neutz, WR, Buffalo. 63, 205, 4.54 40. Neutz is tall, fast, had good games on big stages, and he’s got good hands. He’s not a high draft pick, but a guy who might be a real steal if the Packers can nab him in the 6th or 7th round.

C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa. 6-7, 265, 4.65 40. Fiedorowicz has good size and speed, blocks exceedingly well, and would make a great mid-field weapon for the Packers. He’s a Witten-in-waiting guy who can fill TE shoes for the Packers should they need filling in rounds 4 or 5.

North Carolina Tar Heels offensive tackle James Hurst

James Hurst, OT, North Carolina. 6-7, 310, 5.25 40. Hurst is a solid pass blocker who brings potential as a road grader-type run blocker. He played well against some talented pass rushers, including Jadeveon Clowney. A potential 2nd or 3rd round pick for the Pack.

David Yankey, G, Stanford. 6-5, 311, 5.05 40. Yankey can play both G and OT, but he projects better as a G. He could be one of those best-players-available when the Packers come up in the 4th round. Versatile. Road grader as a run blocker.

Obviously the Packers won’t get all of these players. But I’d be happy to see any of them on the 2014 team, especially if TT can make 7 picks into 12!

That’s about it for this week, Packers Nation. Let me know what you think. We do mock drafts every week right up until the actual 2014 draft takes place so watch for them! And keep watching LombardiAve.com for all the latest news about your favorite team and ours … the Green Bay Packers!

Happy New Year! and Go! PACK! GO!

Don’t forget to check out the entire mock at FanSided NFL 2014 Mock Draft