I am not a big fan of Mock Drafts. I always feel like they are a lot more work than they are worth. With trades and so many front office changes every year the process of putting together an accurate sample Mock Draft seems not only daunting, but highly speculative. And since I do not have inside team contacts it stacks the odds even more against my being able to project with any degree of certainty.
So as a compromise between my own needs and those of my readers/followers I will herein present a PACKERS Mock Draft for all 7 Rounds. But this is a very simplistic effort. I am going to take the Draft concept of taking the best available athlete at the pick to the extreme. Without consideration of any variable the effort below is based upon the team taking the player who falls at exactly their pick number based on my Regardless of Position prospect rankings as of March 28th.
So away we go:
Pick 21 DEE FORD/DE/OLB/AUBURN/6’2/252 If FORD is as athletic as most of us feel he is, then one would think that DOM CAPERS would be able to find multiple roles and places to move FORD around. And to the delight of many PACKERS fans the team could potentially have a superior pass-rush compliment to CLAY MATTHEWS.
Pick 53 MORGAN MOSES/OT/VIRGINIA/6’6/315 This long, lean athlete could be the answer to their long term OT quality issues because of constant injuries to BULAGA & SHERROD. Ideally this pick would be at OG, but that’s the way best available works out some times. MOSES should become a solid starter in the NFL in a year or two.
Pick 85 CRAIG LOSTON/S/LSU/6’1/215 I think LOSTON is a lot closer in talent and potential to ERIC REID, 49‘ers first rounder last year, than many people give him credit for. He’s a big hitter and if you look at his Combine numbers you realize he’s an NFL caliber athlete. He would immediately upgrade the Packers S corps.
Pick 98 JEREMY HILL/RB/LSU/6’1/235 This pick doesn’t make much sense at all since the team added young depth to its backfield in the last Draft. But when at his best he’s very similar of EDDIE LACY in running style. So much for “best available athlete” in its strictest terms.
Pick 121 CARL BRADFORD/OLB/ARIZONA STATE/6’1/250 Another pass-rush specialist deluxe who would rank higher just based on talent and skill, but is a bit of a tweener. Perhaps the Pack could convert him to an ILB slot like the PATS did with TEDY BRUSCHI well over a decade ago.
Pick 161 HOWARD JONES/LB/SHEPHERD/6’3/235 Once again a pass-rush talent and superior athlete who wowed them at the Combine. The kind of small-school player that TED THOMPSON always finds a few of each year. It might take a while, but he could be developed as an athlete to be moved all over the field in the myriad of sub-packages DOM CAPERS employs. Possesses speed the PACKERS D needs more of.
Pick 176 RYAN HEWITT/H-B/FB/STANFORD/6’4/245 This would be a fascinating Pick with the potential loss of JOHN KUHN as their FB. HEWITT isn’t the bull blocker that KUHN has been, but he’s much more athletic and in the mold of today’s NFL H-B. He’s versatile and a hard worker with better than average athleticism. In recent drafts a guy of his talent level would never have been available late in Round 5.
Pick 197 AVERY WILLIAMSON/ILB/KENTUCKY/6’1/245 Chances are this guy will be ranked higher when the actual Draft rolls around. But for now he’s a steal this late. He was a very good player on a bad team for his entire college career. He demonstrated at the Combine that he’s a better athlete than was previously believed in the scouting community. I could see him eventually starting in the PACK’s 3-4 scheme.
Pick 236 JOSH STEWART/WR/RS/OKLAHOMA STATE/5’10/180 You see, even in a blind draft like this, needs do get addressed. Again this player would have likely been a Round 5 guy in the 2013 Draft. He’s a quick, slot type receiver and an explosive returner, both of which fit the team’s needs with JENNINGS & JONES leaving Green Bay in the past two VFA periods. He’s a COBB-like player without the elite quickness. But he’d make a solid No. 4 WR and RS for the PACK.
So that is how it all pans out using a pure formula. No doubt at each and every pick of the 2014 Draft THOMPSON and his staff would have 4-6 players of fairly close talent rankings to choose from when each pick rolled around. That should be specially true this year with the quality depth that most of us perceive to be available. But for now here’s something for you to chew on for a while.
By the way, let me also add that many of these names would probably change if I did this again in 6 weeks. There will not doubt be multiple tweaks to my player rankings during that time period.
Editor’s Note: Our friend Pigskin Paul, born and raised in Wisconsin, has a long history of “DraftNikism” and studying the ways of Packers’ GMs. You can read more from Paul at his website, Pigskin Paul’s Place.