This time of year, one of the biggest non-sporting sporting events comes into focus, the Packers and the NFL draft. Indeed, the NFL draft has become one of the most popular sporting events of the year. The ratings for television coverage for the NFL draft are often comparable to that of many championship games. It's that big. Just shows how much
America is in love with football.
One of the most enjoyable parts of the NFL draft is the mock draft madness in
the months leading up to the draft. I've decided to kick off the madness with a
mock draft of my own. This will not be the only mock draft I put together. You
will see quite a handful of these in the coming months. So let’s get the
madness started, shall we?
Round 1: John Jenkins/DT/DE/Georgia- Yes I know, the Packers traded up to get Worthy last year in the 2nd round. Yes I also know that offensive line will be number one priority this off-season, specifically centers. The only offensive linemen that are slotted to be taken right now in the first round are tackles. The Packers don't need a tackle. Brian Bulaga will come back just fine next year. I don't think the Packers are ready to bail on Marshall Newhouse and Derek Sherrod, a former first round draft choice, will be healthy for the first time in his career in 2013.
Alabama's Barrett Jones
is slotted as a late first right now, but he figures to drop as it came to be
known that he played the national title game with torn ligaments in his leg.
The next best center is Wisconsin's
Travis Frederick, who is slotted as a late 2nd right now. He could
fly up the boards. But if he stands pat, this could be a spot where Thompson
trades down. If he doesn't Jenkins makes sense here. Jenkins is a massive human being who can take over for Pickett who is getting older and slower. Jenkins is
also plenty big enough to move inside and let Raji go take a breather.
Round 2: Travis Frederick/C/Wisconsin- The aforementioned Fredrick might be the best center in this draft when it comes time for teams to actually draft in April and the center position is the Packers biggest area of need this offseason. The signing of Jeff Saturday turned out to be a total disaster and Thompson is not going to play games with the center position again. This could be a perfect match.
Round 3: Cobi Hamilton/WR/Arkansas- Yes the Packers right now have perhaps the deepest collection of wide receivers in NFL history. But, I highly doubt that
returns and Driver is probably going to call it a career. This may be a good
idea and a perfect spot with which to draft a receiver. Cobi Hamilton has a
nice combination of size and speed.
Round 4: Le'Veon Bell/RB/Michigan State- Bell's stock has certainly dropped the last couple of months. Once slotted as a late first,
Bell is now slotted as a
fourth. Still, Bell
is exactly what the Packers need at running back, a big guy who can move the
pile and get tough yards.
Round 5: Nick Casa/TE/Colorado- The Packers are already on record for saying that Finley, who's off the field complaints are well documented, will not be back in a Packers uniform next season. To make a long story short, the Packers will have a need for a tight end this coming draft. Casa could be an interesting developmental project.
Round 6: Bruce Taylor/LB/Virginia Tech- Nothing much to say here other than the Packers could use some depth at linebacker.
Round 7: Rodney Smith/WR/Florida State- The Packers love developmental projects and Smith, could be an intriguing one. Smith is a big man with big hands and could turn into something good down the road.