A View From the... Cheap Seats|
April 24, 2013
By Laura Harvey
The Green Bay Packers enter the 78th annual NFL Draft with a total of eight selections — one in each of the draft’s seven rounds with an additional compensatory selection in the fifth round (167th overall).
With the departures of veteran wide receivers Donald Driver (retirement) and Greg Jennings (Vikings), and cornerback/strong safety Charles Woodson (too be determined), there is definitely going to be a different feel to the 2013 Packers roster.
Other departures include tightend Tom Crabtree (Buccaneers), linebackers Erik Walden (Colts) and Frank Zombo (Chiefs).
General Manager Ted Thompson has alluded to the importance of securing his star players on both sides of the ball, quarterback Aaron Rodgers and LB Clay Matthews. Matthews recently signed a 5-year contract extension through the 2018 season worth up to $66 million with $20.5 million guaranteed.
Thompson and Rodgers’ agent have been working on a contract extension of the quarterback’s own that would likely make him the league’s highest paid player. Rodgers is scheduled to be a free agent following the 2014 season.
Currently there are a lot of questions going into this year’s draft. What are the Packers going to do at RB? What about the offensive line? Is it strong enough to protect a potential $25 million dollar man in Aaron Rodgers?
So let’s have some fun in predicting this year’s 2013 NFL Draft for the Green Bay Packers.
First Round, 26th Pick
(Needs: RB, TE, & DL)
TE and RB can both be considered a “need” position for the Packers. TE Tyler Eifert (Notre Dame) will most likely be gone but Zach Ertz (Stanford) could be a good fit for the Packers. Other potential picks: RB Eddie Lacy (Alabama), RB Montee Ball (Wisconsin) or DE Bjoern Werner (FSU).
Second Round, 55th Pick
(Needs: LB & DL)
The Packers’ defense was much improved this past season from a year ago. However, there are some uncertainties at LB and DL. How will Nick Perry, Desmond Bishop, and D.J. Smith return from their injuries? Jerel Worthy was also sidelined for several games with an injury. DT Johnathon Hankins (Ohio State) would be a nice fit, or DT Kawann Short (Purdue).
Third Round, 88th Pick
(Needs: OL & LB)
Perhaps the most depth at any position in the 2013 NFL Draft is at the offensive line position. Some questions surround the Packers O-Line going into 2013, specifically at both tackle positions and at center.
Hopefully Bulaga can return from his injury at 100 percent but what about Dietrich-Smith at center? Is he going to be the Packers franchise center?
C Travis Frederick (Wisconsin) would be a good fit in between guards Josh Sitton and T.J. Lang. Packers may also want to look at the LB position in the third round and if they do, OLB Jamie Collins (Southern Miss) would be a great compliment to Clay Matthews.
Fourth Round, 122nd Pick
(Needs: RB, & S)
As of right now there are only four runningbacks on the Packers’ roster. Based on how the season ended last year, it appears that DuJuan Harris is the No. 1 back. James Starks and Alex Green are two and three respectfully and of course FB John “kuuuuuhn” Kuhn.
If the Packers choose not to select a RB in the first three rounds, the fourth round could be a great opportunity to snag an every-down back. Although his career has been driven by injuries, RB Marcus Lattimore (South Carolina) would be a good Day 3 pick-up for the Pack. RB Andre Ellington (Clemson) is a smaller back, but very fast and powerful for his size.
159th Pick & 167th Pick (Needs: S & OL)
Morgan Burnett is the only sure starter at safety for the Packers going into 2013 with a number of candidates vying to start alongside him. Jeron Mcmillian, M.D. Jennings, and Sean Richardson will all be competing for that spot. Should the Packers draft a safety, Josh Evans (Florida) is extremely athletic. Duke Williams (Nevada) is a former sprinter who does not mind getting physical either. With a compensatory selection in the 5th round (167th pick), look for the Packers to add depth to their offensive line. OT Jordan Mills (Louisiana Tech) is a versatile lineman who could fit well up front for the Packers.
Sixth Round, 193rd Pick
(Needs: DL, LB, & DB)
Heading into the sixth round of the draft, look for the Packers to add some depth to the defensive side of the ball. Day 3 at the draft can be a great opportunity to find some sleepers working their way onto the 53-man roster come September.
CB Josh Johnson (Purdue), DE Quinton Dial (Alabama), and OLB Keith Pough (Howard) could all be viable options for the Packers to add depth to their defense.
In the final round of the draft the Packers could go in any direction to improve depth at any and all positions to their football team. FB Kyle Juszczyk (Harvard) could take over John Kuhn’s position when he becomes a free agent and RB Miguel Maysonet (Stony Brook) could very well be the sleeper of the draft.
Whoever Ted Thompson choices to select with his eight picks in this year’s NFL draft, there is no doubt that each prospect will be welcomed with open arms in Green Bay.
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