The NFL Draft: Who do the experts have the Green Bay Packers taking?

6 of 7

Virginia Cavaliers defensive end Eli Harold (7) is shown during a play against Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets offensive lineman Eason Fromayan (79). Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

RD 1 – Eli Harold, OLB, Virginia

“A team can never have enough pass rushers and while outside linebacker may not appear to be a pressing need right now that could change in a hurry. Mike Neal is only signed for one more season and while the 35-year-old Julius Peppers has seemingly been rejuvenated there is no telling how much he has left in the tank. Eli Harold of Virginia has quietly been one of the most productive pass rushers in the country, registering 29.5 tackles for a loss and 15.5 sacks the past two seasons”–Draft Countdown.

I love Harold as a darkhorse pick in round one. While many believe he is more of a round two or three guy, he could sneak into the end of the first round with some good numbers at the combine.

On tape, Harold’s athleticism and burst off the edge really jump out. He has a quick first step, uses his hands well to get around blockers, and has a nice dip move to get under the tackle’s shoulder and free himself to the quarterback.

Harold also moves well in space when he’s asked to drop in coverage, which is a huge plus for team’s looking to draft the 6-4, 250-pound defensive end with a transition to outside linebacker in mind.

I’m a big fan of Harold’s game and would in no way complain if the Packers took him in the first round, despite outside linebacker not being a major need on the team as of yet.

A talent like Harold would be nice to have on the roster in the near future when Neal and Nick Perry‘s contracts expire after the 2015 season and Peppers looks to retire.