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.
- Tyler Eifert – TE – Notre Dame
- Analysis: Jermichael Finley recently said that his chances of staying with the Packers is 50/50. Jason La Canfora reported that Finley won’t return. If that’s the case, the Packers will be searching for a tight end early in the 2013 NFL Draft. Tyler Eifert distanced himself from Zach Ertz at the Combine.
CBSSports.com (four mock drafts)
- Alec Ogletree- OLB – Georgia (predicted by Rob Rang)
- Analysis: Ogletree’s recent arrest for DUI and prior track record of misbehavior at Georgia is certain to be red-flagged by Ted Thompson and his staff, who have rarely gambled on character concerns in the past. The most glaring area of concern for the Packers, however, is a lack of speed on defense and Ogletree, a former safety who starred at inside linebacker for the Bulldogs, has speed to burn. The geographic and cultural adjustment from Athens, Georgia to Green Bay, Wisconsin could be exactly what Ogletree needs to take advantage of a skill-set that might normally warrant top 10 consideration.
- Arthur Brown – OLB – Kansas State (predicted by Dane Brugler)
- 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.
- Jonathan Cooper – OG – North Carolina (predicted by Pat Kirwan)
- Analysis: The Packers need to protect Aaron Rodgers, who gets sacked too often. Cooper has a higher grade than this spot in the draft but as usual Ted Thompson gets a good player to fall to him.
- Kawann Short – DT – Purdue (predicted by Pete Prisco)
- Analysis: They have to get better in the middle of their defense.
NFL.com (four mock drafts)
- Tyler Eifert – TE – Notre Dame (predicted by Matt Smith)
- Analysis: The days of Aaron Rodgers sending steely glares toward Jermichael Finley after ANOTHER dropped pass come to an end. Eifert is elite. With the departure of Greg Jennings, the Packers don’t so much need a WR as they do another weapon. This is a big upgrade.
- Eric Reid – FS – LSU (predicted by Bucky Brooks)
- Analysis: The release of Charles Woodson makes safety one of the Packers’ biggest offseason needs. While Reid didn’t enjoy a stellar junior campaign, he fits the profile (big, fast and physical) that Ted Thompson prefers in his safeties.
- D.J. Swearinger – SS – South Carolina (predicted by Josh Norris)
- Analysis: The Packers are always tough to peg, but Swearinger would bring an edge to this secondary (which is losing a physical presence on the field in Charles Woodson).
- Damontre Moore – DE – Texas A&M (predicted by Charles Davis)
- Analysis: A tough combine might hurt his draft status, but the Packers are still seeking pressure opposite Clay Matthews.
SportingNews.com (compiled by Vinnie Iyer)
- Jesse Williams – DT – Alabama
- Analysis: The Packers have featured B.J. Raji at the nose, but they could use another big, strong run-stuffing body for their 3-4. Williams was hard to move for Crimson Tide opponents.
FFToolbox.com (two mock drafts)
- Sylvester Williams – DT – North Carolina (predicted by Ben Standig)
- Analysis: Running back remains the Packers top need – let’s see if Steven Jackson lands in Cheesehead land – but defensive line is a close second. If Williams, a current fave of a certain Mel Kiper Jr., falls this far Green Bay cannot let him pass.
- Jonathan Cooper – OG – North Carolina (predicted by Ricky Dimon)
- Analysis: Green Bay’s offense is still very dangerous but it can be improves, especially at running back or on the line.
- Kevin Minter – OLB – LSU
- Analysis: Desmond Bishop is coming off a severe injury and D.J. Smithi s coming off an ACL. Their replacement, Brad Jones, is a free agent and is probably leaving. Minter can be the solid inside tackler that A.J. Hawk never was and help the struggling Packers’ run defense. A trade-down is also very possible here.