As the Packers draft analyst for DraftTek.com, I’ve been involved with at least 20 mock drafts leading up to today. They’re not entirely mine, however, as the actual picks are made by computer. I get to input needs information, and can try to “grab” certain players (if they are available at that spot) or “lockout” players from contention.
Analysts for the other 31 teams all do the same thing. What results is the closest thing to a real draft simulation (they don’t call it a mock) I’ve seen anywhere. It ‘s quite unique and if you are not familiar with it, you really should check them out.
What’s even cooler is that on draft day, the “simulation” is updated within minutes of when each pick is selected. So, as the Packers are up at #26, it will re-run the simulation within minutes, eliminating the 25 other players already picked from contention for the Packers pick. So at any point in the draft, you can get a quick view at what the landscape looks like for the rest of the draft. Isn’t that rather amazing? It’s a great thing to be checking as you watch the draft unfold…
Here’s how today’s today’s final DrafTek NFL Draft simulation ended up:
- Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
- Jonathan Franklin, RB, UCLA
- Stedman Bailey, WR , West Virginia
- JJ Wilcox, S, Georgia Southern
- Michael Mauti, ILB, Penn State / 5B: Nicholas Williams, DE Samford
- David Bass, OLB, Missouri Western
- Zach Sudfeld, TE, Nevada
Every one of these were guys I put in as “grabs” except for Michael Mauti. While Mauti has talent and a world of heart, he’s been a one-man M.A.S.H. unit, and would be an unlikely Packers Pick.
So that was my attempt at picking the BPA under the conditions of that particular draft simulation. Overall, I’m rather pleased with how it worked out.
However, when it comes to the real draft tonight, I don’t believe that Stedman Bailey and JJ Wilcox will last till the Packers’ picks in the third and fourth rounds, respectively. So, here’s my attempt at a mock draft, factoring in my thoughts on who might be available.
My 2013 Packers Mock Draft
- Jesse Williams, DT Alabama or Trade – I’ve pretty much been on the Datone Jones bandwagon all draft season, and would be delighted if he were available to the Packers here. However, I don’t think he makes it past Indy, so I’ve switched my pick to Williams, who the Packers probably like more than Jones anyway. I’ve very recently heard that New England and the 49ers are both hot for Williams (49ers also looking to trade with NYJ to grab Sheldon Richardson), so a trade back with one of those two teams is certainly possible. For example, the Packers could get SF’s early 2nd round pick (#34) and their third round pick (#93), giving them four picks in the top 100. If that were to happen, the Packers selection would be Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU, (if he gets by Baltimore), who they consider the best LB in the draft. Other possibilities there would be Margus Hunt (I hope not), or the best WR available (Robert Woods, Quinton Patton…)
- Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA – Been told he’s the top running back on the Packers’ board and it makes sense, because he fits. He’s an efficient one-cut runner, an excellent pass receiver, a hard worker and a student of the game. Will need to be coached up in pass protection, but that goes for almost any rookie running back. Will he last until pick # 55? That’s starting to look less likely, as he’s been one of the fastest “movers” among everyone’s draft boards the last month.
- JJ Wilcox, S Georgia Southern – This is where it gets really tough (and where I’d love to have another pick in this round). A scout I converse with truly believes Wilcox will eventually prove to be the best safety to come out of this draft (yes, you read that correctly). Watching Wilcox’s tape, I don’t particularly see it, but perhaps I’m not giving enough weight to the fact this was his first year ever playing safety. While I was able to nab him in round four of the Drafttek Mock, the scout thinks Wilcox will go somewhere in the third, so I’m hoping he lasts till pick #88. If Wilcox is gone, I’ll take Duke Williams, SS, Nevada in his place
- Dan Quessenberry, OL, San Jose St – Notice I used “OL” and not a specific position. Why? Because he can play all five OL positions. While primarily a LOT at San Jose State, he was moved to guard and center at the Senior Bowl and impressed scouts. Has been described as having impeccable technique, and fits the Packers ZBS to a T. At worst, he’s your all-purpose super sub at any position, but you hope he eventually wins the starting job at center. I think he can.
- 5A – Josh Boyce, WR, TCU – Had a down 2012, but issues at the QB spot had a lot to do with that. Doesn’t have great size, but he’s a good route runner, catches with his hands and is a real threat after the catch. Can run away from defensive backs and will give the Packers that big play threat they lacked last season. 5B – Nicholas Williams, DE, Samford - DL coach John Trgovac has bemoaned then lack of “length” on the Packers’ defensive line? Well, here you go John. Williams stands at 6’5, 309lbs with 34″ arms and a 33″ vertical leap. He had some of the best combine results among all the defensive line prospects with a 4.84 40yd dash and a 4.65 shuttle drill.
- Keith Pugh, ILB, Howard – In all honesty, I’m going strictly on need with this pick. With DJ Smith recently released, the Packers will need some help at inside linebacker. I would have hoped to pick up a better prospect somewhere earlier, but since it didn’t work out, I HAVE to draft an ILB here. Pugh is another small-school prospect who is the All-Time TFL leader in the FCS with 71. Tough, physical guy who may not have the greatest range. Worth a shot.
- Zach Sudfeld, TE Nevada – Have had this guy as a seventh round pick for the Packers since February and I’m not changing now. Although the Packers just signed blocking TE Matthew Mulligan, Sudfeld is arguably the best blocking tight end in this year’s draft (and he can catch too – 9TDs in 2013, third in the country). Sudfeld was credited with an amazing 19 TD-resulting blocks in 2012, when he finally was able to complete a season fully healthy. Super Sleeper…
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.