Friday, April 27, 2012

2012 NFL Draft Day 2 Packers Preview

It took a ton of patience to wait until the end of the first round for the Packers to finally make a pick but it was well worth the wait since the Packers added USC outside linebacker Nick Perry.  As I said in my mock draft, Perry is one of my draft crushes from the 2012 NFL Draft.  Although I targeted Perry as one of the guys I wanted the Packers to draft, I thought he would have been off the board by 28. The only real knock on Perry is that he occasionally takes plays off but as all the draft pundits said, do you think Claymaker will let Perry take plays off?

With the first round in the books it's time to turn our sights to the second and third rounds.  There are some guys leftover from the first round that I had my eye on for the Packers so it goes without saying that I would fully support the Packers taking Courtney Upshaw (OLB, Alabama), Jerel Worthy (DL, Michigan State), Vinny Curry (DL, Marshall), Andre Branch (DL/LB, Clemson), Devon Still (DL, Penn State), and Kendall Reyes (DL, UConn) in the second round.  Besides the guys just mentioned, here are five other targets for the Packers in the second round: 

Peter Konz (C, Wisconsin, 6'5", 315 lbs): The only way the Packers get Konz is if they trade up in the second round.  Since the Packers have 11 picks left in the 2012 NFL Draft, they have plenty of ammunition.  A few picks later in the draft seems like a small price to pay to move up and get Konz as their versatile center/guard of the future. 

Linebacker that falls: Despite taking Perry in the first round, I would actually support the Packers taking a versatile linebacker at the end of the second round if another one falls to them.  So yes, I am fine with the Packers taking Zach Brown (OLB, UNC, 6'1", 244 lbs), Ronnell Lewis (OLB, Oklahoma, 6'1", 253 lbs), or Lavonte David (LB, Nebraska, 6'0, 233 lbs) in the second round despite the fact that they took outside linebacker Nick Perry in the first round.  All three guys just mentioned seem like situational pass rusher but as Mike Mayock and Michael Lombardi pointed out as they dissected the Bruce Irivin overdraft by the Seattle Seahawks, the NFL is a passing league so situational pass rushers will be on the field even more than in years past. 

Short cornerbacks: Janoris Jenkins (CB, Northern Alabama, 5'10", 193 lbs) has four kids with three moms so that is scaring teams but Green Bay would be the perfect small town to ground Jenkins.  Although Jenkins is more physically gifted (not talking about his tallywacker) than Josh Robinson (CB, Central Florida, 5'10", 199 lbs), I look at Robinson as Jenkins sans baggage. 

Tall cornerbacks: The Packers will face big wide receivers like Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall in the NFC North so all things being equal I would rather the Packers take Josh Norman (CB, Costal Carolina, 6'2", 190 lbs) or Trumaine Johnson (CB, Montana, 6'2", 204 lbs) than Jenkins or Robinson simply because you can't teach height. 

Defensive Tackle: With Mike Neal looking like Justin Harrell reincarnated, Derek Wolfe (DL, Cincinnati, 6'5", 300 lbs), Alameda Ta'Amu (DL, Washington, 6'2", 348 lbs), or Brandon Thompson (DL, Clemson, 6'2", 314 lbs) are perfect 3-4 defensive lineman but odds are that none will be available at the end of the second round unless the Packers trade up.

Much like I said about the guys that I targeted in the first round for the Packers, it goes without saying that any of the guys mentioned above would be great picks for the Packers in the third round.  Here are some other guys that I hope the Packers target in the third round: 

Cam Johnson (DE, UVA, 6'3", 268 lbs): Unfortunately you don't get Cam Jordan when you draft Cam Johnson but adding a guy like Johnson at the end of the 3rd round feels like a quality pick for the Packers. 

Jared Crick (DE/DT, Nebraska, 6'4", 279 lbs): At one point he was a first round prospect but lack of strength and injuries hurt Crick's draft stock.  Crick may be weak, damaged goods but he has a huge upside as well so it seems worth the risk in the 3rd round. 

Boise State Defensive Lineman: Boise State had a huge first day of the draft with Shea McClellin and Doug Martin getting drafted in the first round.  Whether it be Billy Winn (DL, Boise State, 6'3", 294 lbs) or Tyrone Crawford (DL, Boise State, 6'4", 275 lbs), the Packers should keep the Boise State training rolling.

Mike Martin (DT, Michigan, 6'1" 306 lbs): The Packers love effort guys that max out their talent and Martin is the personification of that type of player. 

Brandon Boykin (CB, Georgia, 5'9", 182 lbs): Watch out Sam Shields because Boykin played in the SEC, which prepared him to step in and play meaningful snaps as a nickel cornerback right away for the Packers in 2012. 

Alfonzo Dennard (CB, Nebraska, 5'10" 204 lbs): Much like his teammate Crick, Dennard was a potential first round pick earlier in the season so getting him in the third round feels like a steal. 

Casey Hayward (CB, Vanderbilt, 5'11", 192 lbs): Odd are that Hayward will be long gone by now but a man can dream. 

George Iloka (S, Boise State, 6'3", 225 lbs): I talked about Boise State defensive lineman above but my favorite Boise State player not named Shea McClellin is George Iloka mostly because there are very few, if any, safeties so tall and agile.

Brandon Brooks (G, Miami of Ohio, 6'5", 343 lbs): Speaking of tall and agile, I would be shocked if the former Cheesehead resident was still on the board at the end of the third round.  If Brooks is still available at that point take him, especially with T.J. Lang set to become a free agent after 2012.  Mark my words, you can plug Brooks in at left guard in 2013 at worst and he might even push Lang to start there in 2012. 

Russell Wilson (QB, Wisconsin, 5'10", 204 lbs): Why not finish the list with my favorite one-year-wonder in Cheesehead sports history.  I included Wilson mostly because I am not ready for him to leave Cheesehead country.  This would obviosuly be a complete luxury pick.  Wilson feels like the new school Aaron Brooks at worst.

I am attending an event tonight with Cheesehead Chick so I will not preview Day 3 of the 2012 NFL Draft for the Green Bay Packers but I will try to give my thought on Twitter, follow me @CheeseheadSN.  Also check back Sunday for my annual review of each pick Ted Thompson made in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Related Posts:
- Quick Thoughts - 2012 NFL Draft Day 1 Packers Preview
- Cheesehead Sports Nut's 2012 First Round NFL Mock Draft

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