The latest With the First Pick mock draft has the Green Bay Packers selecting defensive tackle Vita Vea in the first round.
Vea is one of the best defensive prospects in the entire class. If he falls to the Packers’ pick, he’ll be a candidate for Brian Gutekunst’s first selection as general manager.
That’s how Jon Dove of With the First Pick sees it playing out. He has the 6-foot-4, 347-pound d-lineman joining the Packers in his latest mock draft.
In the mock, names such as Denzel Ward, Tremaine Edmunds, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Derwin James were all off the board when the Packers made their pick.
The Packers met with Vea on Friday.
The argument against using the 14th overall pick on Vea is certainly an understandable one. It’s the team’s highest selection since 2009, and could be used at a position of greater need. Depending on how the board falls, Green Bay could have the opportunity to select a potential starter at cornerback, linebacker or safety.
Vea would be joining a defensive line that is already loaded with talent. Green Bay’s line featured a strong partnership of Pro Bowler Mike Daniels and rising star Kenny Clark last season. The team has since added Muhammad Wilkerson, twice a second-team All-Pro and a Pro Bowler in 2015.
Despite all of Vea’s talents and potential, an edge rusher like Harold Landry or Marcus Davenport could have a bigger impact in Mike Pettine’s defense right away.
That said, if Vea is clearly the top-rated player on Gutekunst’s board and he has no interest in trading down, it would make sense to pick him. Depth at any position is important, and a dominant defensive line would help the defense shut down the run and provide additional pressure on quarterbacks.
What are your thoughts on Vea? Should the Packers consider taking him with the 14th overall pick?