Every Tuesday between now and the NFL Draft, we’ll take a look around the Internet at what some of the experts are saying about the Packers’ first round prospects. Here’s what they’re saying this week.
WalterFootball.com (two mock drafts)
- Calvin Pryor – S – Louisville
- Analysis: Everybody knows the Packers need safety help. With the play-making receivers in Chicago, Detroit and Minnesota, Green Bay has to fix this need.
The 5-foot-11, 207-pound Pryor is big, physical and has some ball skills. He made some big plays for Louisville in 2013 with 75 tackles, three interceptions, four passes broken up and two forced fumbles. Pryor has speed to go along with his size and can cover a lot of ground in the middle of the field.
Pryor notched 100 tackles and five forced fumbles in 2012. He was a Second-Team All-Big East selection for that performance. Pryor broke into the lineup as a freshman in 2011 with 43 tackles, two forced fumbles and two interceptions.
- C.J. Mosley – LB – Alabama
- Analysis: The Packers could address the defensive end, linebacker or safety position at No. 21. Of those positions, C.J. Mosley is the best player available despite Charlie Campbell’s report in the draft rumor mill that says Mosley is expected to go much later than most think. Green Bay just needs more speed in the middle of its defense to combat the scrambling quarterbacks it hasn’t been able to stop.
CBSSports.com (four mock drafts)
- C.J. Mosley – LB – Alabama (predicted by Pat Kirwan)
- Analysis: A couple of good linebackers to choose from at this point in the draft. Mosley can line up at a number of spots in Dom Capers’ package and be effective. Last week it was Ryan Shazier at this spot and it might very well be him again before May.
- Ryan Shazier – OLB – Ohio State (predicted by Pete Prisco)
- Analysis: Where is the speed on that defense? Shazier has it.
- Jimmie Ward – SS – Northern Illinois (predicted by Dane Brugler)
- Analysis: Green Bay has a need at free safety and although it would be somewhat uncharacteristic for Ted Thompson to go safety in the first round, Ward gives the Packers an instant upgrade in the secondary.
- Calvin Pryor – FS – Louisville (predicted by Rob Rang)
- Analysis: Given how the Packers’ lack of speed was exposed by San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick to end each of the past two seasons, GM Ted Thompson is likely to target a back-seven defender here. Pryor has excellent read and react skills which allow him to close quickly and deliver thunderous hits.
- Ryan Shazier – OLB – Ohio State
- Analysis: In this week’s DRAFTSIM, the Packers are faced with a “Sophie’s Choice” dilemma. Shazier, Pryor or Beckham, Jr. Yes, I’m including a WR because I firmly believe if the right one is there, the Packers would pull the trigger. Having said that, Shazier, who had 144 tackles, seven sacks, and 23.5 TFL in 2013, is the perfect antidote to the Packers’ defensive playmaking woes. Whether he would play outside or inside in the Packers’ 3-4 is up for debate. One thing that can’t be argued, however, is that having a guy like Shazier who can make plays from sideline to sideline would be a huge boost to the Packers’ Defense.
FFToolbox.com (two mock drafts)
- Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix – S – Alabama (predicted by Mark Niemi)
- Analysis: The lack of a playmaker at S was a huge problem for Green Bay last season. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix of Alabama would give the Packers some much needed range and ball-skills in the back end of their defense.
- Eric Ebron – TE – North Carolina (consensus)
- C.J. Mosley – LB – Alabama
- Analysis: The Green Bay defense needs help, whether it’s linebacker, safety or even cornerback. Mosley could be the much-needed partner for A.J. Hawk in the middle of the defense. He can drop in coverage, get upfield, and has the athleticism and instincts to stop the run sideline-to-sideline.
- C.J. Mosley – LB -Alabama
- Analysis: Mosley’s spending most of his public time these days trying to convince NFL minds that he is fully healthy. Green Bay would be fine if the perception that Mosley is fragile lasts right up until draft day. Capable of attacking the football or dropping in coverage, Mosley has the type of game the Packers are badly missing in their linebacking corps.