Sunday, May 04, 2014

Packers 2014 Draft Musings - Part 1

At long last, we're finally getting around to addressing the 2014 NFL Draft and what the Green Bay Packers might do during the draft. It's about time, don't you think? After all, it's just four days away.

We've never done mock drafts here at for one main reason: we generally think they are a waste of time. At least, for us. Really, the odds of actually correctly making all picks in the first and second rounds would be akin to accurately picking the winner of the NCAA basketball tournament with all the bracket winners included. Possible? Sure. Probable? Not so much. And seven round projections...? C'mon. Really? Really???

Having said that, we do still appreciate all those individuals and organizations, however, that spend countless hours reviewing all the players in the draft, their stats, etc. etc. We confess to checking those out on occasion and, in fact, consider some of them as the basis for what we might wish to say about the draft or the Packers' possible picks, such as this article, for example. So, thanks to those who do the heavy lifting in this regard. You'll find yours truly on the patio, in the hammock, kicking back until things actually happen.

What will the Packers do?
As Packers GM Ted Thompson said the other day during his pre-draft press conference, if anyone says they have "inside information" about what the Packers are going to do, they don't. Thompson said that sometimes he's the only one with the inside information within the Packers organization. And he's not telling...anyone.

But, of course, as noted earlier, lots of folks have views. One of the folks we look to here for some trusted insights is the Radio Voice of the Green Bay Packers, Wayne Larrivee. He spoke with the Packers' flagship radio station, 620WTMJ in Milwaukee, a few days ago regarding his thoughts. Here's the interview. Take 10 minutes and listen to it.

Generally, we don't even discuss possible picks beyond the first round because at that point it's a crap shoot -- and, let's be honest, even in the first round that's the case. So, let's take a look at the players that seem to be emerging as somewhat consensus picks for the Packers if, in fact, they keep the 21st pick:

  • C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama -- Mosley shows up at this slot in quite a number of the mock drafts out there. He's a pick that makes sense as the Packers need to beef up their linebacking corps, especially opposite A.J. Hawk. He could line up at several spots, and provide the Packers with some speed, power and versatility that was lacking last season. We'd be quite happy if Mosley was the selection.

  • Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State -- Shazier, like Mosley, is one of the best linebackers in the draft. Many of the qualities that would make Mosley a good fit for the Packers would also make Shazier a good fit. Arguably, he might be a better cover linebacker than Mosley, an area where the Packers really need some improvement. Again, we'd be quite pleased if he wound up being the pick.

  • Eric Ebron, Tight End, North Carolina -- With TE Jermichael Finley's career likely over, at least in Green Bay if not in the league, the Packers need to replace the threat that Finley was when healthy. Ebron would be that player. He'd have to fall into the Packers' lap, as most mocks have him off the board by this point, but if he's available, we think this could be the Packers' man at number 21. This is a deep draft, with good prospects at several key defensive positions, which means the Packers could get the help they need in that area of things during the second and third rounds especially. But there are not that many great tight end prospects. If Ebron is there, the Packers would be well served in selecting him.

  • Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State -- Many mock drafts have Dennard off the board by the time the Packers will be making their pick. But if available, he could make a significant impact in helping to improve the Packers' secondary because of his speed and physicality. If Mosley and Ebron are gone by the time the Packers are on the clock, and both Dennard and Shazier are available, it will be interesting to see which area of the defense the Packers choose to address first: secondary or linebacker. Again, this is a pick we'd be happy to see the Packers make.

  • Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame -- Even though the Packers kept B.J. Raji around for another season, they need to restock. Nix is one of the best defensive tackles in the draft and would make a great addition to the Packers front line. If the other players noted above are gone, the Packers would do well to put Nix into the Green 'n' Gold.

  • Other Possibilities

  • Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville -- Safety is a definite need for the Packers in this year's draft, and Pryor would bring size and speed to the position. In many mocks, he's off the board by the time the Packers pick at 21. If he's there, and players noted above are off the board, Pryor could be a very good gift in the first round.

  • Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois -- We wouldn't say this player is a "consensus" pick for the Pack at number 21, nor even a consensus first-rounder. But his stock seems to be rising and a couple mocks have him going to the Pack. He could play either corner or safety, and is physical...something that the Packers' secondary was not last season. We could see the Packers taking Ward if he's available in a later round, or if they trade back, but would be surprised if they made this pick so early in the draft.

  • Kony Ealy, DE/DT, Missouri -- Ealy has a lot of speed and versatility. But, as with Ward, we don't see the Packers taking him in the first round, but could jump on him if he is available later.

  • What are your thoughts about the upcoming draft? Who would you like to see the Packers get at 21? Who would you be your surprise pick for the Packers at number 21? Feel free to share your thoughts.

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