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)
- Datone Jones – DE/DT – UCLA
- Analysis: The Packers don’t have a consistent pass-rusher on their defensive line. Ryan Pickett, who will be 34 in October, is just a run-stuffer. The same can be said about Jerel Worthy and C.J. Wilson. Mike Neal is good in situations, but he’s not a starting-caliber player.Datone Jones would offer a different element to Green Bay’s defensive line. He’d be a big upgrade over Wilson at right defensive end.
- Menelik Williams – OT – Flordia State (predicted by Charlie Campbell)
- Analysis: The Packers have to improve their offensive line. Watson could move inside to guard if Derek Sherrod and Bryan Bulaga lock down the tackle positions.Scouts have told WalterFootball.com that Watson is a really smart kid and good on the chalk board. Considering he is from the United Kingdom, he wowed teams at the Combine.Watson is a tremendous athlete who also has a lot of power to his game. He had an impressive 2012 season and was one the Seminoles’ best run-blockers. The 6-foot-5, 310-pounder is a former basketball player. That can be seen in his excellent feet and agility. He was a JUCO star and is originally from Manchester, England. Watson could require a little more development, but he has huge upside.
CBSSports.com (four mock drafts)
- Matt Elam – SS – Florida (predicted by Rob Rang)
- Analysis: The Packers saved money by releasing Charles Woodson but could miss his leadership and playmaking ability. These are two of the traits scouts like most about Elam, a highly physical defender with a knack for making big plays in big games.
- Tyler Eifert – TE – Notre Dame (predicted by Dane Brugler)
- Analysis: Tight end isn’t a primary need, but if a talent like Eifert is available, the Packers shouldn’t pass on him. Jermichael Finley is entering the final year of his contract and could even be a draft-day deal option with Andrew Quarless and D.J. Williams on the Green Bay roster but better suited in backup roles.
- Eddie Lacy – RB – Alabama (predicted by Pat Kirwan)
- Analysis: The Packers could take a defensive lineman like Kawann Short here but the chance to put a power back behind Aaron Rogers is too tempting. Lacy will be an instant 1,000 back, something the Packers have been lacking for years.
- Johnathan Hankins – DT – Ohio State (predicted by Pete Prisco)
- Analysis: Their line has been a trouble spot. They have to get better.
NFL.com (three mock drafts)
- Eddie Lacy – RB – Alabama (predicted by Akbar Gbaja-Biamila)
- Analysis: The Packers haven’t drafted a running back in the first round since 1990, when they drafted Minnesota’s Darrell Thompson. Lacy would be the perfect addition to the Packers’ RB crew.
- Montee Ball – RB – Wisconsin (predicted by Gil Brandt)
- Analysis: Here’s the thing about Ball: He played for four years at Wisconsin, carrying the ball a lot, and had no serious injuries at all. That’s a real plus. Many dismiss him as a straight-line guy, but while he’s no Tony Dorsett, he has better moves than you think. He’s also quick, running well at Wisconsin’s Pro Day. Ultimately, Ball is a big back who will block and can catch the football.
- Matt Elam – FS – Florida (predicted by Charlie Casserly)
- Analysis: The Packers decide to take a running back later.
FFToolbox.com (two mock drafts)
- Sam Montgomery – DE/LB – LSU (predicted by Rob Warner)
- Analysis: An upgrade from rush linebacker Eric Walden is sorely needed. The leader of a stout LSU defense has 32 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, and seven sacks in 2012.
- Eddie Lacy – RB – Alabama (predicted by Matt Binstock)
- Analysis: This has been my pick to the Packers the past couple drafts of mine. It just makes too much sense if he is on the board. Lacy is a major upgrade from Alex Green & DuJuan Harris. He runs hard, low to the ground, and shows the ability to make one guy miss in a hole and then run someone else over. This should improve the balance on this offense.
- Damontre Moore – OLB – Texas A&M
- Analysis: GM Ted Thompson has always maintained that “Underwear Olympics” results have little effect on final player evaluations; he relies predominantly on game tape. So Moore’s missteps at the NFL Combine drops him to a team that is more interested in his on-field play that netted him 12.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss as a senior.