Green Bay Packers: 2016 NFL mock draft roundup 4.0
Who are the NFL draft experts projecting to the Green Bay Packers in the first round?
Barring any bargain signings, free agency is in the books. All the attention now turns to the 2016 NFL Draft, which is music to the ears of Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson.
The Packers have plenty of options at No. 27, but who will they take with their first round pick? Here’s a roundup from the latest mock drafts around the internet.
You’ll notice a theme here, and that’s defensive linemen. Vernon Butler would definitely be a good fit: Butler could play 5-technique for the Packers with his ability to rush the passer. With Mike Daniels on one end and Butler on the other, the defense could get some consistent interior rush. Letroy Guion would provide some solid run-stuffing ability at nose tackle.
A name commonly associated with the Packers at No. 27 is Alabama inside linebacker Reggie Ragland. The need for an inside linebacker is great, and Ragland is the top prospect at the position. Can he fill in as the coverage linebacker the Packers need? That much is unclear, but what we do know is that his old-school, thumping style would help shore up the run defense.
Cornerback isn’t a ‘need’ on defense, but that doesn’t matter. Taking the best player available is a good philosophy to adhere to in the draft, and if Eli Apple is atop the Packers’ board they shouldn’t hesitate to pick him up. You can never have too much talent at corner, and after losing Casey Hayward in free agency the Packers might look to add another talent at the position.
Bucky Brooks: NT Andrew Billings, Baylor
Daniel Jeremiah: NT Andrew Billings, Baylor
Lance Zierlein: TE Hunter Henry, Arkansas
Charles Davis: NT Andrew Billings, Baylor
Chad Reuter: TE Hunter Henry, Arkansas
Andrew Billings to the Packers would be a match made in heaven. Billings is a dominant nose tackle who would fit right in along the Green Bay defensive line, and he could dominate next to Mike Daniels. I’d love to see Billings in the green and gold — he could help shore up the run defense and give the Packers a much-needed boost in the trenches.
Hunter Henry would fix a pressing need at tight end. Henry can help as a pass-catcher, but unlike many of the prospects he can also block. The Packers need someone who can do both — Henry can.
Rob Rang: DT A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama
Dane Brugler: DT Jarran Reed, Alabama
Pete Prisco: ILB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
Will Brinson: DT Andrew Billings, Baylor
Jared Dubin: DT Kenny Clark, UCLA
The CBS Sports mocks highlight the depth at defensive tackle in this draft. Four different names appear here from Alabama’s A’Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed to UCLA’s Kenny Clark. All of these guys would be an upgrade for Green Bay, although my pick would be Billings.
What are your thoughts on these projections?
Next: Another post-free agency mock draft