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.
- Keenan Allen – WR – California
- Greg Jennings will be a free agent in March. He’s proven to be unreliable in terms of staying healthy, so he won’t be back. The Packers consequently may target a receiver early in the 2013 NFL Draft. Keenan Allen is the top player available in this situation, so I doubt Ted Thompson would hesitate to pluck him off the board.
- Last week: Keenan Allen – WR – California
CBSSports.com (two mock drafts)
- D.J. Fluker – OT – Alabama (predicted by Rob Rang) (Last week – D.J. Fluker – OT – Alabama)
- Analysis – The depth of Green Bay’s offensive line has been sorely tested in 2012 with injuries to former first-round picks Bryan Bulaga and Derek Sherrod. The interior was steadier, especially since Evan Dietrich-Smith took over at center but the Packers’ inability to protect Aaron Rodgers played a critical role in their loss to San Francisco. There is no simpler way to put it: the Packers offensive line lacks toughness and physicality – two of Fluker’s most impressive traits.
- Arthur Brown – OLB – Kansas State (predicted by Dane Brugler) (last week – Arthur Brown – OLB – Kansas State)
- Analysis: For most of the season, it seemed evident that the Packers needed to add more speed on defense and that was never more true than Green Bay’s loss in the playoffs to San Francisco. Brown has a nose for the ball with the position versatility to play inside or outside in the Packers scheme.
NFL.com (compiled by Bucky Brooks)
- Manti Te’o’ – ILB – Notre Dame
- Analysis: For all of the jokes and snickers Te’o has endured since the girlfriend hoax came to light, the Packers would love to add an inside linebacker of his caliber to a defense that has slipped in recent years.
- Arthur Brown – OLB – Kansas State
- Analysis: If Arthur Brown is available, the Green Bay Packers should run to the podium. The playoff loss to the 49ers exposed the team’s weakness in its linebacker core. Brown has put on some size and should be able to play in the 3-4.
FFToolbox.com (compiled by Ricky Dimon)
- D.J. Fluker – OT – Alabama
- Analysis: Fluker is yet another solid ‘Bama offensive lineman. Green Bay’s offense is still very dangerous but it can be improves, especially at running back or on the line.
- Datone Jones – DE – UCLA
- Analysis: In last year’s draft, Packers’ GM Ted Thompson recognized the need for depth on the Packers’ defensive line. Problem was, the value board did not present him with a true 3-4DE body type, so he ended up with Jerel Worthy and Mike Daniels. Since the 2012 season ended, there has been some lamenting (some from Packers’ DL coach Mike Trgovac) about the Packers’ lack of “length” at the DE position. Jones provides the necessary length, power and versatility to become that 3-4DE force (with some added weight), which shouldn’t be a problem on his still-developing frame. Jones established himself as a top NFL prospect with a breakout Senior season, where he racked up 62 tackles, including 19 TFL while also adding 6.5 sacks. Jones is not your edge pass-rusher type, which is fine for a 3-4DE in the Packers’ system, but he does have the right combination of power and speed to hold the line against the run and collapse the pocket against the pass.