Mock draft roundup: Green Bay Packers get defensive with first pick

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Feb 20, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers tight end Maxx Williams jumps up to loosen his legs before running the 40 yard dash during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Lombardiave staff: Dan Dahlke, Freddie Boston and Marcus Whitman

Several of our own staff members have offered their thoughts on the upcoming draft, as well.

Let’s take a look at a few of their selections and how they justify them.

Dan Dahlke: Nose Tackle Eddie Goldman, Florida State

Here’s how Dahlke justified the selection of the 6-4, 336-pound junior out of Florida State:

"“Goldman would be a great fit in the Packers scheme. He uses his big 6-foot-4, 336-pound frame to take on double teams, clog running lanes, and generate interior pressure as a rusher. Even if the Packers bring back either Raji or Guion, I would still be all for this pick because they need more talented big men to anchor their defense. Having two stout run defenders would really improve their front seven.”"

Dahlke goes for help along the defensive line, selecting a player in Goldman who could be a centerpiece for years to come. Given the Packers re-signing both Guion and Raji (after Dahlke made his pick), Goldman would be able to grow in the system without being forced into duty early and often as a starter.

Freddie Boston: Tight End Maxx Williams, Minnesota

In his mock draft a few weeks ago, Boston sends a powerful offensive weapon to the Packers with the 30th pick in the draft. Here’s Boston’s reasoning for the selection:

"“Since Jermichael Finley suffered a potentially career-ending injury in the 2013 season, the Packers have lacked a pass-catching threat like him at tight end. While they have pressing needs on the defensive side of the football, Williams is a classic case of taking the best player available while also fulfilling a need. The Packers will be able to focus on defense in the following rounds, and they may have finally found a replacement for Finley. Williams is the prototypical size of a tight end and has tremendous pass-catching potential.”"

Williams’ highlight reel is impressive, and he would certainly be a receiving weapons the like of which the Packers haven’t seen since Finley’s injury.

Marcus Whitman: Inside linebacker Eric Kendricks, UCLA

Whitman has the Packers choosing UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks late in the first round, and here’s his justification:

"“Kendricks is the instinctive and versatile player that the Packers desperately need in the heart of their defense. Sam Barrington showed that he is capable of being a run-centric linebacker who can hunt down the ball carrier and bring him down consistently. What Capers needs is a versatile backer next to Barrington who can be moved around in coverage as well as stop the run. Kendricks is an excellent athlete, a playmaker and an above average tackler.”"

As has been discussed, the Packers need an inside linebacker” badly. Kendricks has shown a versatility on defense, and would bring playmaking ability to the Packers linebacking corps.

Next: Q&A with Harvard DE Zachary Hodges