Who’s Next for the Packers? Looking Ahead at NFL Draft Rounds 2 and 3
The Packers used their first round selection to acquire Ha’sean Clinton Dix, a safety from Alabama (Jason must be cheering). Â By all accounts it was a very solid and logical pick; the Packers have sorely been missing a safety great range after losing Nick Collins to a career ending injury. Â But what players are left for the Packers to select in rounds 2 and 3 tomorrow?
USC WR Marqise Lee: Considered a middle to late 1st round pick, Lee was also rumored to not get past the Packers in the first round at 21. Â Obviously things have changed but Lee fits the Greg Jennings mold; while not the fastest or biggest, crisp route running, good agility and soft hands make Lee an attractive target for quarterbacks. Â It’s unlikely that the Packers will have the option of picking Lee at 53, so it might take some trading up to get there.
Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews: Sporting an impressive blend of size and athleticism, Matthews fits the mold of Jordy Nelson, which is the bigger wide receiver with an impressive catching radius that also displays a good understanding of route concepts. Â He isn’t as fast or as explosive as Nelson but would offer a similar attractive redzone option for Aaron Rodgers. Â Another plus is Rodgers has seen Matthews up close by watching his brother Jordan Rodgers play at Vanderbilt and also has cornerback Casey Hayward and safety Sean Richardson to vouch for him. Â Matthews is predicted to be selected somewhere in the middle of the 2nd round and could be available for the Packers.
Washington TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins: With the uncertainty of Jermichael Finley and the rest of the tight end core, tight end is a logical position for an upgrade. Â Seferian-Jenkins was highly touted as the best tight end prior to the 2013 season, but a DUI conviction and a foot injury discovered at the combine that required surgery have chilled his stock somewhat. Â Nevertheless, Seferian-Jenkins displays impressive size and speed with a wide catching radius. Â He lacks the top end speed to really take the top off a defense, but will still contribute as a huge safety valve and red zone threat. Â Seferian-Jenkins also is a willing blocker which means he can legitimately be on the field on all 3 downs and will likely help Eddie Lacy’s game. Â Seferian-Jenkins is predicted to be selected early in the 2nd round so the Packers will likely have to trade up to secure his services.
Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro: If the Packers are looking to replace Jermichael Finley outright, Jace Amaro is his mirror image. Â Like Finley, Amaro is essentially an over-sized wide receiver after spending most of his time in the slot at Texas Tech. Â He’s also smooth route runner who uses his body effectively to shield away defenders and is difficult to bring down after the catch. Â Amaro like Finley offers next to nothing in terms of blocking and also like Finley is prone to emotional outbursts. Â Amaro is predicted to be drafted somewhere in the mid to late parts of the 2nd round and could be in play for the Packers at 53.
Iowa TE C.J. Fiedorowicz: Perhaps the best of a dying breed, the Y tight end, Fiedorowicz is a complete tight end, with excellent blocking ability as well as good short range speed and soft hands in the endzone. Â Obviously he doesn’t have the straight line speed of Seferian-Jenkins or Amaro but offers much more in blocking. Â Arguably, with the Packers finally having a star running back, getting help for both Rodgers and Eddie Lacy at the same time would be a big benefit. Â As the Y tight end is no longer in fashion, Fiedorowicz is projected as a 3rd or 4th round pick, which would make him great value for the Packers.
BYU OLB Kyle Van Noy: While he played outside linebacker for BYU, the Packers would probably look at Van Noy as a inside linebacker. Â More of a jack of all trades, master of none type, Van Noy has excellent play recognition and instincts paired excellent fluidity and speed in coverage, often times lining up in the slot. Â Van Noy also has experience rushing the passer which would make him valuable in the Packers “joker/ameoba” defense where multiple linebackers come from strange angles to rush the quarterback. Â He’s not the biggest hitter or the most solid in run defense, but offers the size and speed to match up with the new generation of tight ends, which at this point the Packers don’t really have the answer for. Van Noy is also predicted to be selected somewhere from the middle to late part of the 2nd round and is another possibility for the Packers should the decide to sit tight.
Minnesota DT Ra’Shead Hageman: A mountain of a man, Hageman is another BJ Raji type player who fields impressive speed for a man of his size and offers a lot of flexibility, being able to line up at DE and NT in a 3-4 defense. Â Just like most players of his size, Hageman has been extremely inconsistent through out his college career, sometimes looking the next coming of Reggie White and sometimes looking like BJ Raji last year. Â Again like most players of his size, he has been accused of taking some plays off, which might be one cause of his inconsistent play. Â With the Packers still awaiting the medical results from Johnny Jolly and not resigning Ryan Pickett, a bigger defensive linemen would be a logical addition for a player many thought might make it into the 1st round.
Notre Dame DT Louis Nix III: Another defensive linemen who was projected to be selected in the first round, Nix is another hulk of a man with surprising lateral agility with a terrific motor. Â Weight has been the biggest issue for Nix after showing up overweight last year at Notre Dame that likely was partially responsible for the torn menicus and knee surgery that might have scared teams away from him in the first round. Â If his medical issues all check out, Nix will likely be selected early in the 2nd round, again meaning the Packers might have to trade up to select him.
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al\'s AllGreenBayPackers.com.