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)
- C.J. Mosley – LB – Alabama
- Analysis: The Packers could address the defensive end, linebacker or safety position at No. 21. Of those positions, C.J. Mosley is the best player available despite Charlie Campbell’s report in the draft rumor mill that says Mosley is expected to go much later than most think. Green Bay just needs more speed in the middle of its defense to combat the scrambling quarterbacks it hasn’t been able to stop.
- Ra’Shede Hageman – DE/DT – Minnesota
- Analysis: The Packers could move on from B.J. Raji soon. Ted Thompson‘s actions spoke volumes when the Packers locked up Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and others but decided to let Raji test free agency.
The 6-foot-6, 318-pound Hageman has speed and explosivity, yet still has the size to hold up at the point of attack. He had an impressive 2012 season and was one of the better interior defensive linemen in the Big Ten. The junior totaled 35 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, two passes broken up, one forced fumble and six sacks. He had 13 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in 2011.
In 2013, Hageman recorded 38 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, seven passes broken up, one interception and two sacks. He saw his share of double-teams, but he needs to become more consistent. There were times where Hageman looked unblockable with power and explosion. He has great closing speed when he gets free of blockers. Hageman could fit a 3-4 or 4-3 defense.
Hageman had a solid week at the Senior Bowl and showed off a great combination of size, power and speed at the Combine. The only thing really lacking from his game is consistency.
CBSSports.com (five mock drafts)
- Jimmie Ward – SS – Northern Illinois (predicted by Will Brinson)
- Analysis: Versatile enough to play in the box and work in coverage, Ward would be a welcome addition to the back end of a secondary that needs help, particularly in today’s NFL where defenses benefit from big-time safeties.
- C.J. Mosley – LB – Alabama (predicted by Pat Kirwan)
- Analysis: A couple of good linebackers to choose from at this point in the draft. Mosley can line up at a number of spots in Dom Capers’ scheme and be effective. Last week it was Ryan Shazier at this spot and it might very well be him again before May.
- Ryan Shazier – LB – Ohio State (predicted by Pete Prisco)
- Analysis: Speed is a must if the defense is to improve. He has it.
- C.J. Mosley – LB -Alabama (predicted by Dane Brugler)
- Analysis: The Packers need help on defense and could benefit from Mosley slipping down draft boards due to injury issues.
- Ryan Shazier – LB – Ohio State (predicted by Rob Rang)
- Analysis: Given how the Packers’ lack of speed was exposed by San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick to end each of the past two seasons, GM Ted Thompson is likely to target a back-seven defender. Shazier is an explosive, instinctive athlete who would prove an upgrade over Brad Jones alongside former Buckeye AJ Hawk.
NFL.com (two mock drafts)
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins – TE – Washington (predicted by Brian Baldinger)
- Analysis: Jermichael Finley is in doubt of ever returning. Aaron Rodgers needs a monster target to work the middle of field.
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins – TE – Washington (predicted by Charles Davis)
- Analysis: Packers buy into getting the 2012 ASJ model — a dynamic, physical, fast player with big-time hands.
- Calvin Pryor – FS – Louisville
- Calvin Pryor – S – Louisville
- Calvin Pryor – S – Louisville (predicted by Dan Kadar)
- Analysis: Safety play has doomed the Packers for some time. If Mosley is off the board and Pryor is on it, this shouldn’t be a difficult choice. Pryor could come in and start immediately and be a tone-setting force in the back half.
- Darqueze Denard – CB – Michigan STate
- Analysis: Darqueze is a plugin and play man-to-man defender. He is a physical corner in coverage and on run support. Reroutes receivers and keeps position on them. Has a closing burst when called on to blitz. An aggressive wrap tackler who is smart and instinctive.