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)
- Cordarelle Patterson – WR – Tennessee
- Analysis: Greg Jennings is gone, while James Jones will be a free agent next spring. The Packers don’t have to draft a receiver this year, but they’ll definitely consider one if a talented wideout is available at No. 26. Cordarrelle Patterson is one of the top prospects on the board. Ted Thompson could be interested, as he has a habit of catching falling prospects like the other smart NFL general managers.
- Menelik Watson – OT – Florida 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 (five 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.
- Menelik Watson – OT – Florida State (predicted by Dane Brugler)
- Analysis: The Packers offensive line hasn’t been their strength in recent years and could target one here. Watson doesn’t have the impressive resume of most first round picks, but his upside will get him drafted much earlier than many expect.
- Matt Elam – SS – Florida (predicted by Pat Kirwan)
- Analysis: Green Bay needs a safety that has a presence with Charles Woodson gone. Elam is a physical player that may be able to handle some of Woodson’s slot pressure package.
- Damontre Moore – DE – Texas A&M (predicted by Clark Judge)
- Analysis: The Packers open with San Francisco, and someone, anyone, is needed to seal the edge.
- Sylvester Williams – DT – North Carolina (predicted by Will Brinson)
- Analysis: Williams is malleable enough to play in either a 3-4 or a 4-3 and improving the defensive line to free up their pass rushers is a key for Ted Thompson.
NFL.com (four mock drafts)
- Tyler Eifert – TE – Notre Dame (predicted by Josh Norris)
- Analysis: The Packers obviously could trade down with a team needing a quarterback, but some consider Eifert the top skill-position player in this class. His ability to catch the ball at its highest point is outstanding.
- Matt Elam – SS – Florida (predicted by Charlie Casserly)
- Analysis: Elam is a playmaker who can man a lot of positions in a nickel defense.
- Zach Ertz – TE – Stanford (predicted by Matt Smith)
- Analysis: I’m moving Ertz up. The more I look at it, the more I like Ertz as the first tight end off the board, especially for Green Bay, a no-nonsense team. It’s not a dig against Tyler Eifert; it’s just that Ertz does more. Sure, the Packers brought back Finley, but that was on a one-year deal.
- Justin Pugh – OT – Clemson (predicted by Charles Davis)
- Analysis: The Packers are looking to upgrade both lines, and the versatile Pugh can play both OT and OG.
FFToolbox.com (three mock drafts)
- Matt Elam – SS – Florida (predicted by Forrest N. Long)
- Cordarrelle Patterson – WR – Tennessee (predicted by Ricky Dimon)
- Analysis: Patterson was once the No. 1 receiver on the board, but he appears to have been surpassed by Austin. It’s time for Aaron Rodgers to start enjoying a new era of pass-catchers in Green Bay.
- Matt Elam – SS – Florida (predicted by Ben Standig)
- Analysis: Running back remains the Packers top need, again, but isn’t everyone down on taking one in the first? Unless Green Bay reaches a bit for an offensive tackle, tacking on a free safety here is the bets combo of need and talent.
- Damontre Moore – DE – Texas A&M
- Tyler Eifert – TE – Notre Dame
- Analysis: Jermichael Finley has never become the premier tight end that many though he would and Eifert has the athleticism, size and receiving skills to be an impact player right away.
- Star Lotulelei – DT – Utah
- Analysis: A classic example of Packers G.M. Ted Thompson’s taking the best player on the board. Patience is a virtue this year. And Star will be a star.