Washington Huskies linebacker Shaq Thompson (7) against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the 2015 Cactus Bowl. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
RD 1 – Shaq Thompson, LB, Washington
“There was utter outrage from Packer fans when I didn’t mock an inside linebacker to them in a recent update. The position will have to be addressed, as Clay Matthews playing there is just a temporary solution.”
RD 2 – Danielle Hunter, DE/LB, LSU
“Julius Peppers has been a natural fit for the Packers, but he’s just a short-term rental. Green Bay may want to add another pass-rusher for the future.”
RD 3 – Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State
“The Packers envisioned utilizing a dual backfield when they drafted Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin. The latter didn’t work out, so Green Bay could spend a day-two choice on another running back to complement Lacy.”
I thought I’d throw a three-round mock draft in here for the heck of it. This one comes from Walter Football, and they do a decent job addressing the Packers’ needs.
It would be shocking if Thompson falls to the Packers at the end of the first round, but if he does, he’d be tough to pass up.
Thompson is an elite athlete at the linebacker position who can use his 4.5 speed to cover receivers over the slot or blitz the passer off the edge. Thompson would be exactly what the Packers need at linebacker in their nickel defense.
I’m not as high on Hunter as many others seem to be. The Packers could add another pass rusher, but I’d take other edge rushers over Hunter, like Louisville’s Lorenzo Mauldin, Washington’s Hau’oli Kikaha, or Harvard’s Zach Hodges, who were all available at the end of the second round in this mock draft.
Many seem excited about Hunter’s upside, but his production on the field has never matched his physical traits. The second round still seems too high for the former LSU defensive end.
The Ajayi pick in round three makes a lot of sense and is really good value here. It would be smart for the Packers to take a running back in this draft.
DuJuan Harris is set to become a free agent this spring, and James Starks has one year left on his contract and hasn’t nearly had the production he did in 2013. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to find another talented back to create a one-two punch with Eddie Lacy.
Ajayi’s game would complement Lacy well. His eye-popping rushing numbers (3,248 yards and 46 touchdowns the past two season) at Boise State are nice, but he’s also a great receiver out of the backfield and would be a good addition to the Packers offense.