As the Packers’ draft analyst for DraftTek.com, I’ve been involved with more than 20 mock drafts since the 2013 season ended. 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, when the Packers are up at #21, 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:
1 Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
2. Deone Bucannon, SS Washington St.
3. Dion Bailey, FS, USC
3b) Andrew Jackson, ILB, Western Kentucky
4) Taylor Hart, DE Oregon
5) Corey Linsley, C Ohio State
5b) Daniel McCullers, DT Tennessee
6) Jake Murphy, TE, Utah
7) Matt Hazel, WR, Coastal Carolina
Picks 1,2,4 and 7 were mine. I highly doubt Bucannon lasts past the early second and last few days have been full of speculation on Shazier being taken before the Packers pick. In all, this has been one of the toughest drafts for me to get a handle on. The #1 pick is still unknown and never have the QBs been such a complete question mark. How they come off the board will have a lot to say what the first two rounds end up looking like.
Here’s what I’ve come up with for an “all-mine” mock draft, taking into account needs, value and trying to predict who might be available at each pick:
My One and Only 2014 Packers Mock Draft
1) Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State – Shazier has been by pick here for the last few months, starting with my work for the CHTV Draft Guide. Two years straight I correctly predicted the Packers’ first pick in that guide, but changed my mind at the last minute for my Mock Draft here. I’m not going to do that again, even though over the last few days there has been rampant speculation that Shazier won’t make it to the Packers. I happen to be one of the few who like Shazier as an OLB for Green Bay. This would allow Dom Capers to return to some of his early-career 3-4 principles he had much success with. Alternate Choices: SS Deone Bucannon (yeah, I’d actually go this high on him, but perhaps a small trade back – not too much, NE has their eyes on him), LB C.J. Mosely.
2) Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss – For months, Deone Bucannon has been my choice here, but with so many teams looking for safeties, he will get overdrafted and possibly even make the late first round. Moncrief is my favorite of the “big” receivers in this draft. 4.4 speed with a 39″ vertical, large catching radius and fluid route running. Aced my eyeball tests in the combine receiver drills. Only 21 years old, a future #1 or #2 X receiver at worst. Alternate Choices: TE Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (red zone beast), WR Cody Latimer (James Jones clone – fast riser, probably gone).
3) C.J. Fedorowicz, TE, Iowa – My second favorite TE for the Packers after Austin Sefarian-Jenkins. Fedorowicz has excellent size, enough speed, big hands, a willing blocker.Though not the best in any category, he might be the most well-rounded TE in the draft. Alternate Choices: FS Terrence Brooks, DT Ego Ferguson.
3b) Taylor Hart, DE, Oregon – Has the 5-technique body type, tall and stout, but could stand to add a few pounds. Hart is ready and willing to doing the thankless tasks often asked of 3-4DEs. Has also played DT in college. Alternate Choices: DE Trent Murphy, DE Will Clarke.
4) Brock Vereen, SS, Minnesota – Opened plenty of eyes at the combine after having been flying way under the radar. One reason was he never had a set position for the Gophers. He was asked to play all four secondary positions and showed a great team-first attitude by doing so. Alternate Choices: FS Dezman Southward, DT Caraun Reid.
5) Charles Leno G/T, Boise State – Looking for an OL “Mr. Versatility” in this spot. A tackle in College, Leno has the perfect body type for a move inside, which he asked to do at the Senior Bowl. He was also seen taking snaps at center in practices during the week. Alternate Choices: OG Brandon Linder, OG Brandon Thomas (injured).
5b) Kenny Ladler, FS Vanderbilt – Quicker than he is fast, but great footwork and fantastic instincts easily make up for that. A hard-working student of the game, Ladler was his team’s leading tackler two years in a row – no small feat. Alternate Choices: QB Brett Smith, C Corey Linsley.
6) Prince Shembo, OLB, Notre Dame – Seems like every year I over value a late round OLB prospect, thinking he’s too good to last past round four and he ends up in round six. So, I’m trying to outsmart myself and picking my fourth round OLB here in the sixth. Shembo is one of the hardest workers on the field, plays with a passion for contact and is a sure tackler. Alternate Choices: LB Carl Bradford, LB Trevor Reilly.
7) Matt Hazel, WR, Coastal Carolina – Ted loves his small school wide receivers, and Hazel might have what it takes to be a good #3 possession receiver in the NFL. 4.46 speed, good hands, good route runner – needs to get stronger to fight off press coverage. Alternate Choices: WR Jeff Janis (unlikely he’s here after his 4.37 40 on his Pro Day), WR Marcus Lucas.
Note: Coming up late this afternoon will be my annual. “Last Minute Prediction, Opinions & Whispers.”——————
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.