Saturday, April 27, 2013

Building The 53 - 2013 NFL Draft Day 3 Preview for Ted Thomson

The first three rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft are officially in the books.  So far Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson has only selected two players (Datone Jones at 26 and Eddie Lacy at 61) and traded back three times amassing more draft picks so he has 10 picks at his disposal with at least two draft picks in each of the remaining rounds of the draft: fourth (109 and 122), fifth (146, 159, and 167), sixth (173 and 193), and seventh (216, 224, and 232).

So far I think the Packers got great value drafting Jones and Lacy but missed the mark in trading back three times mostly because roster spots are scarce for the Packers so trying to add another 12 draft picks plus a handful of undrafted free agents to the 53-man roster seems almost impossible.

As always, the Packers will continue to draft the "best player available".  In honor of the Packers having 10 picks left in the draft, here are 10 guys I would fully support the Packers drafting on Day 3 of the 2013 NFL Draft:

Jesse Williams (DT, Alabama, 6'3", 323 lbs): There are a finite number of people with such an impressive body. I wanted the Packers to consider drafting Williams in the 1st round so getting him in the fourth round would be a steal.

Brian Schwenke (C, California, 6'3", 314 lbs): Much like wanting the Packers to draft Williams in the first round, I wanted the Packers to target Schwenk in the 3rd round. Despite the Cowboys reaching for Wisconsin Badger center Travis Frederick at the end of the first round, it pains my Cheesehead sensibilities to say that I still think Schwenke is a better player than Frederick.

Matt Barkley (QB, USC, 6'2", 227 lbs): I know it sounds crazy to draft a quarterback like Barkley, especially on the heels of Aaron Rodgers signing the most lucrative contract in NFL history but there is a method to my madness.  I hate to say it, but Rodgers has been very healthy sans a couple concussions since he took over as starting quarterback of the Packers.  Add in that the Packers don't really have a legitimate backup quarterback on the roster (sorry Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman) so drafting and developing Barkley gives the Packers a valuable trade chip or worst case scenario, a guy that can play if (God forbid) Rodgers gets hurt.

Barrett Jones (C, Alabama, 6'4", 306 lbs): I have Jones rated slightly lower than Schwenke but targeted him for the Packers in the third round as well.  Whether Schwenke or Jones are better, both look like starting NFL centers to me.

Chase Thomas (OLB, Stanford, 6'3", 244 lbs): Although he posted a slow 40-yard dash in preparation for the draft, Thomas has great size and posses great leadership skills that could push Nick Perry for the starting outside linebacker spot opposite Claymaker in 2013.

Ricky Wagner (OT, Wisconsin, 6'5", 308 lbs): After missing out on Wisconsin Badgers running back Montee Ball at the end of the second round, I would totally support drafting the guy that opened a number of holes for Ball throughout his collegiate career because Wagner looks like a nice developmental tackle that, if healthy, could turn into a starting left tackle in the NFL.

Earl Wolff (S, N.C. State, 5'11", 209 lbs): Although Wolff is not the tallest guy, he posted one of the fatstet 40 times at the combine, which makes him an enticing prospect if he is available towards the end of the draft.

Emmett Cleary (OT, Boston College, 6'7", 316 lbs): I made this pick based purely on Cleary's freakish body.  If Cleary can add some muscle to his frame, just like Wagner, he could be the left tackle of the future in Green Bay.

Zeke Motta (S, Notre Dame, 6'2", 213 lbs): Based on being one of the most consistent college safeties for the last four year, I am shocked that Motta is not garnering more interest, especially beccause I could see Motta turning into a poor man's Harrison Smith.

Jordan Rodgers (QB, Vanderbilt, 6'1", 212 lbs): With 10 picks at their disposal, why not use one to let your franchise quarterback hang out with his younger brother?

I hope you enjoyed my preview of what will be the most active rounds four through seven in franchise history for the Packers.  I will try to give my thoughts as rapidly as possible so make sure to follow me on Twitter: @CheeseheadSN.  Also make sure to check back Sunday for my annual review of each pick Thompson made in the 2013 NFL Draft.

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