Who could the Green Bay Packers select in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft? Here’s the latest roundup.
Draft day is a little over a week away, and the mock drafts are being fine tuned by the top analysts from around the internet. Let’s dive into their latest mocks and break down their projections for the Green Bay Packers.
As you can expect the emphasis is almost primarily on defense, particularly in the trenches. Getting better up front should be a priority for GM Ted Thompson in this year’s class. Let’s begin.
The link above actually leads to Dane Brugler’s full seven-round mock draft, but for now we’ll focus on his pick in the first. I like Jarran Reed a lot and would love to see him added to the Packers’ defensive line. Stopping the run is his biggest strength, and this is an area the defense has to get better at.
Some analysts have concerns with his ability to rush the quarterback, but this is something he can work on. As a rookie, Reed would help shut down rushing attacks.
From one Alabama defensive tackle to another. Like Reed, A’Shawn Robinson can give an instant upgrade to the run defense. If Robinson can improve his pass rush, he has All-Pro potential at the next level. It would be a lot of fun to see him get to work next to Mike Daniels in the trenches for Green Bay.
Another defensive tackle taken here, but this time it’s the man who has drawn some Muhammad Wilkerson comparisons, Vernon Butler. Butler can help against the run and there’s also a lot to like about his interior rushing potential. Lining Butler up at 5-technique opposite Daniels could be a match made in heaven, and one I would like to see in Green Bay. Of all of the defensive line prospects, Butler is near the top of my list.
Daniel Jeremiah: NT Andrew Billings, Baylor
Charley Casserly: DT Jarran Reed, Alabama
Bucky Brooks: ILB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
Charles Davis: TE Hunter Henry, Arkansas
Lance Zierlein: TE Hunter Henry, Arkansas
Chad Reuter: ILB Reggie Ragland, Alabama
There are some interesting selections here. Andrew Billings has All-Pro potential as a run-stuffing nose tackle, which is exactly what the Packers need. He would fill an immediate need as a rookie.
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Inside linebacker Reggie Ragland is a popular choice for the No. 27 pick. I recently wrote why the Packers should avoid the Alabama product, but I can see why they would call his name. Ragland is a true run-stuffing linebacker with great instincts and toughness.
There’s a good chance Ragland will be a two-down linebacker at the next level, but maybe Thompson doesn’t care. If he can help the football team then it’s worth the pick, you could argue. For that reason, this pick wouldn’t be an awful option, but it would be tough to pass up those defensive linemen.
Tight end Hunter Henry is another interesting selection. Some view him as a first-rounder, while others believe he could fall to the Packers’ second pick at #57. Jared Cook offers the short-term solution at tight end, while Henry can be the future. Definitely not a move to turn your nose up at.
Rob Rang: DT Andrew Billings, Baylor
Pete Prisco: DT Andrew Billings, Baylor
Will Brinson: DT Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
Jared Dubin: DT Kenny Clark, UCLA
There’s some more love for Billings here, but also two new faces at defensive tackle. Sheldon Rankins has star potential, but I would be amazed if he fell all the way to No. 27. Rankins is undersized, but there’s no denying his ability to dominate in the trenches. This would be a great pickup for the Pack.
Kenny Clark is another good option for Green Bay: Clark can line up at multiple positions on the defensive line and highlights the depth at the position in this year’s class.
What are your thoughts on these picks, Packers fans?