We have a busy week ahead of us, as the draft is only three days away. Green Bay has about as many options as possible with the 14th pick in the draft, as potential franchise changing quarterbacks should still be available when they’re on the clock. The possibility of a game changing defensive player falling to them is very possible, as well as a much needed compliment to Davante Adams, Randall Cobb, and Jimmy Graham in the passing game. Offensive Lineman aren’t getting the hype they do in a lot of drafts, but the Packers certainly could use a little help on that front. The options are limitless, maybe they’ll even steal Lamar Jackson from the Patriots. HUGE maybe.
Round 1: Derwin James, S, Florida St.
James could very well be gone by the time the Packers pick in the first round. But if one more QB goes before 14 than expected, or one or two teams surprise, James could fall – or Green Bay could open up the first post-Ted Thompson draft by (gasp!) trading up! Whatever the case, if James ends up in green and gold there will be reason to celebrate the first round. The Florida St. product could actually fill multiple holes in the Packers defense. At 6’3″, 212 lbs., he’s the prototype for whatever the new hybrid safety/linebacker position in football has become. From Day 1, James could start for Mike Pettine and offer Packer fans a high-level replica of Charles Woodson.
Round 1: Denzel Ward (CB-Ohio St.)
All bias aside (I am a HUGE Buckeyes fan) Denzel Ward is the best possible pick for the Packers here at 14 and it will be a long shot as well. He’s got the speed to cover down the field, the length to cover 50/50 balls, and the toughness to attack at the line of scrimmage. Pairing his skill set along with Kevin King’s is what will make the biggest difference in this years defense. With only a rookie contract, the Packers can then explore the possibility of bringing another veteran DB. Can’t have too many, right?
Round 1 – Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa The only position that should be addressed with this pick is the Cornerback position. Any other pick would have to be if a top-5 talent drops to our draft slot. At his pro-day, Jackson ran an official 4.42 and improved on rather disappointing combine numbers. Jackson should fit Pettine’s defensive scheme, and adding depth to an ever eroding core of secondary defenders seems imperative with Green Bay’s first selection.
Round 1: Offensive Line
Scouring the internet, I’ve seen mocks where the Packers go almost exclusively with a defensive player in the first round. I think that’s a very likely thing as everyone else, but I still get the suspicion that Packers new GM Brian Gutekunst will go with an offensive lineman with the 14th pick. The reasoning is pretty obvious, Aaron Rodgers has broken his collarbone twice in the past five seasons. The Packers signed Corey Linsley to a contract extension last offseason, and Bryan Bulaga went down with a torn ACL last season, making me think their target could be Tackle, Mike McGlinchey of Notre Dame. Another possibility is the gigantic Tackle, Kolton Miller from UCLA. Remember, Aaron Rodgers asked for more depth on the offensive line six weeks before heading to Minneapolis last season. The organization is gearing up to pay Rodgers at a minority NBA owner level, and he’s turning 35 in December. They will absolutely add some talent to the offensive line in this draft, it’s just a matter of when. I, for one, hope they trade down and gain more assets. The Packers are good at getting players in the later rounds, and they have a ton of potential holes as the roster stands today.
Come back tomorrow for our predictions on what the new Packers regime will do with their second round pick.