Thursday, April 26, 2012

2012 NFL Draft Day 1 Packers Preview

Happy NFL Draft Day!  The first round of the NFL Draft is one of my ten favorite days of the year.  As a result, you can only imagine that I did a mock draft.  In case you missed it, my mock draft was what GM's should do in the first round if every team just kept their current pick (or picks).

As we all know by now, Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson needs to draft defensive players, defensive players, and more defensive players.  Before I preview the players that I am targeting for the Packers with the 28th pick, keep in mind these guys will most likely be off the board:

QB: Andrew Luck (Stanford), Robert Griffin III (Baylor), and Ryan Tannehill (Texas A&M)

RB: Trent Richardson (Alabama)

WR: Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State) and Michael Floyd (Notre Dame)

OT: Matt Kalil (USC) and Riley Reiff (Iowa)

OG: David DeCastro (Stanford) and Cordy Glenn (Georgia)

DE: Quinton Coples (UNC) and Chandler Jones (Syracuse)

DT: Fletcher Cox (Mississippi), Michael Brockers (LSU), and Dontari Poe (Memphis)

MLB: Luke Kuechly (Boston College)

OLB: Melvin Ingram (South Carolina) and Courtney Upshaw (Alabama)

CB: Morris Claiborne (LSU), Stephon Gilmore (South Carolina), and Dre Kirkpatrick (Alabama)

S: Mark Barron (Alabama)

Of the group above, my biggest draft crushes for the Packers are: Kalil, Jones, Cox, and Barron.  Since there is basically no chance any of those guys will be available unless Thompson trades up, here are some guys that I would realistically like to see Thompson draft with the 28th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft:

Whitney Mercilus (DE/LB, Illinois, 6'3", 254 lbs): I am almost positive Mercilus will be off the board at 28.  If not, hand in the card TT because he might be the steal of the draft at 28.

Nick Perry (DE/LB, USC, 6'2", 271 lbs): Let's just call him Claymaker light.

Shea McClellin (LB, Boise State, 6'3", 260 lbs): If the Patriots keep the 27th pick, I fully expect them to take the Swiss Army Knife of the 2012 NFL Draft because he fits exactly what they need.  Hopefully the Patriots trade out of that spot so McClellin is still available.

Harrison Smith (S, Notre Dame, 6'2, 213 lbs): Might be a slight overdraft for the Packers but since the Packers recently cut Nick Collins, safety shot up to the top of their list of needs.

Jerel Worthy (DT/DE, Michigan State, 6'2", 308 lbs): Did not put up the greatest numbers in college but let's not forget that Worthy faces some of the best offesnive lineman in the country since he played in the Big Ten.  Hopefully Worthy will be able to build on the experience to become a real pass rushing threat in the NFL.

Vinny Curry (DE/LB, Marshall, 6'3", 266 lbs): For a while it looked like the Packers could get Curry in the second round but his stock continues to rise so if the Packers want Curry, they will need to snap him up in the first round because I would be shocked if he was still there at the end of the second round.

Dont'a Hightower (LB, Alabama, 6'2", 265 lbs): I can already hear Jon Gruden say "when you talk about Hightower, you are talking about one heck of a football player".  What Gruden should really say is that Hightower, much like McClellin, provides great scheme versatility because he projects as a three-down linebacker.

Andre Branch (DE/LB, Clemson, 6'4", 259 lbs): See a trend in who I am targeting. The Packers clearly need a rush outside linebacker opposite Claymaker.  With the influx of NFL teams switching to the 3-4 defense there are a ton of guys that project as 3-4 rush linebackers but it's hard to sort out which one can truly make the transition in the NFL.  Some other names that feel like a reach at 28 but I still support are Zach Brown, Ronnell Lewis, Bruce Irvin, and Lavonte David.

Devon Still (DT/DE, PSU, 6'5", 303 lbs): Early on in the draft process Still looked like a lock for the Top-15.  As the process went on, Still's stock started to fall.  The one thing that remained the same between the start of the process and draft day is Still's imposing body.  For that reason alone, Still is worthy of being picked at the end of the first round.

Kendall Reyes (DT/DE, UConn, 6'4", 299 lbs): Since Reyes played at UConn it is hard to compare him to the rest of the group already mentioned merely because UConn plays inferior competition.  Although it might be a slight overdraft, the Packers desperately need offensive lineman so if that means they overdraft to get them, so be it.

If the Thompson actually makes a pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, check back for my quick thoughts on the pick as well as some guys that I hope Thompson targets in the second and third round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Related Posts:
- Cheesehead Sports Nut's 2012 First Round NFL Mock Draft

No comments:

Post a Comment