It’s time to start previewing the NFL Draft. Much like last year, we’ll be taking a week by week look at who the “experts” say the Packers are going to pick. The team is clearly in need of a few upgrades, but where those upgrades happen is still a mystery. Let’s find out what the prognosticators think!
WalterFootball.com (three mock drafts)
- Ra’Shede Hageman – DE/DT – Minnesota
- Analysis: The Packers spent last year’s first-round pick on a defensive lineman, but that doesn’t mean that Ted Thompson won’t double dip there. B.J. Raji happens to be a free agent, and his price tag is simply too high for Green Bay.
- Calvin Pryor – S – Louisville
- Analysis: The Packers need safety help, and Ted Thompson was scouting the position hard at the East-West Shrine. In speaking with league contacts, Green Bay is focused on improving its team speed on defense on this offseason. improving the safety position could help the Packers cover a lot of ground in the middle of the field.The 6-foot-2, 208-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.
- Jace Amaro – TE – Texas Tech
- Analysis: The Packers could move on from Jermichael Finley and Amaro would be a good replacement. His receiving ability would be a nice weapon for Aaron Rodgers.
CBSSports.com (two mock drafts)
- Ra’Shede Hageman – DT – Minnesota (predicted by Rob Rang)
- Analysis: Few general managers rebuild along the lines with the consistency of Ted Thompson. Hageman’s incredible combination of size and explosiveness is exciting, though he hasn’t been the dominant force his talents would indicate. Surrounded by greater talent, however, and he could prove a steal.
- Louis Nix – DT – Notre Dame (predicted by Dane Brugler)
- Analysis: Green Bay loses a lot of their beef up front on the defensive side of the ball to free agency this year, but Nix could give the Packers a replacement for BJ Raji if the nose tackle chooses big money over returning to Green Bay.
NFL.com (four mock drafts)
- Austin Seffarian-Jenkins – TE – Washington (predicted by Matt Smith)
- Analysis: Green Bay always manages to come up with a steal in the draft. In the case of ASJ, Ted Thompson will be called out for “reaching.” By Week 8 the rest of the league will know why Aaron Rodgers has a new best friend.
- Stephon Tuitt – DE – Notre Dame (predicted by Charles Davis)
- Analysis: Tuitt can play the run and rush the passer.
- Louis Nix – DT – Notre Dame (predicted by Bucky Brooks)
- Analysis: A safety could be in play at this pick, but a stout anchor in the middle would alleviate the pressure on the linebackers in the running game.
- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – S – Alabama (predicted by Daniel Jeremiah)
- Mike Evans – WR – Texas A&M
- Analysis: A mild shakeup in the wide receiver ranks drops the 6’5″ Evans in the Packers’ laps. While the Packers might seem to have greater needs, when you have a top-3 NFL QB, you can’t go wrong by handing him more weapons. With James Jones a free agent (and probably leaving) and Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb on the final years of their contracts, you have to look ahead. Evans gives the Packers the match-up nightmare that division opponents Detroit and Chicago are sporting.
- Calvin Pryor – S – Lousiville
- Analysis: Clinton-Dix would be the ideal choice here. Since he’s headed elsewhere in the NFC North in this mock, the Packers turn to door No. 2. Or possibly door No. 3, depending on where you stand on Florida State’s 5-8 product, Lamarcus Joyner.There’s no question that Green Bay has to improve at the safety position. Pryor, who recently announced he was entering the draft, will be a player you’ll hear more and more about as May approaches. He brings the hammer from the defensive backfield.