Green Bay Packers: 2014 NFL Draft

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The best answer to how the Green Bay Packers did in the draft is this: Ask me in three years.

But there's a place for instant analysis to be taken with a giant block of salt.

With that in mind, it's still interesting to see what the analysts' initial thoughts were on a team's draft class. Following his marathon TV duties, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. broke down how each team did during the three-day selection processInsider.

Let's start with the fact that Kiper clearly liked the Packers' draft. He gave it a grade of a straight "B." Only eight teams earned higher marks.

Now let's back up and let Kiper explain his grading process.

He wrote:

The story of the draft is the acquisition of talent, but the story of NFL success is talent development. I know I can't grade a draft class regarding performance for at least a few years, which is a reason why I audit old drafts. But what I do here is assess three main things:

" How much overall talent did a team add based on board position?

" How effectively did they address key personnel needs?

" How efficient were they in maneuvering on the draft board?

And remember: I have to use my player grades as the prism. I'm well aware all NFL teams see players differently -- I have many debates with GMs throughout the year about players. I might have a high grade on a linebacker many teams see as a late-round pick. That's the reality of player evaluations.

Kiper further broke down his grades into two parts: needs and value.

Here's how he graded the Packers on both:

Need: B-minus

Value: B-plus

Now, let's dig further into what Kiper thought of the some of the Packers' nine selections.

On first-round pick safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: "An easy call at No. 21. I thought he'd be off the board by then, potentially to Dallas or Baltimore, so Green Bay got a good value there, and he addresses a need at free safety, where the Packers didn't have much."

On drafting three receivers: "Davante Adams isn't explosive, but he catches everything and will flourish with Aaron Rodgers (This tends to happen with good receivers catching passes in Green Bay lately.) I really thought they needed a WR or two in this draft, and I loved the additions of Jeff Janis and Jared Abbrederis. If you saw Abbrederis simply steal Bradley Roby's lunch money in Columbus, you know he can battle NFL-level athletes, and Janis is a major physical talent for a seventh-rounder. He dropped on hand size and competition level coming out of D-II."

On outside linebacker Carl Bradford: "Carl Bradford is a player I really like, and I'll be interested to see if they move him around a little bit. I thought inside linebacker was a big need even though that's typically something you can address later, but they didn't touch it."

On the Packers' draft overall: "There's not a point where you feel like the Packers flat out got a steal, but aside from the question at ILB, there's not much not to like."


 

Packers' Day 3 draft roundup

May, 11, 2014
May 11
7:00
AM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Here is a look of what the Green Bay Packers did on the third and final day of the NFL draft:

Fourth round

Carl Bradford, OLB, Arizona State (No. 121 overall): A pass-rusher who played mostly with his hand on the ground in college but will stand up in defensive coordinator Dom Capers' scheme. Had 21.5 sacks in three seasons, including 20 in his final two years. Ran a 4.76 40-yard dash and had a 37.5-inch vertical jump at the combine.

Fifth round

Corey Linsley, C, Ohio State (No. 161): Will get the chance to compete with second-year pro JC Tretter for the starting center job, which will be the fourth different starter for Aaron Rodgers in as many seasons. Strong player who did 36 reps on the bench press, tied for second most among the 12 centers at the combine.

Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin (No. 176): The first UW player drafted by the Packers since guard Bill Ferrario in 2001 (fourth round), the former walk-on will also get the chance to return kicks and punts. Played almost exclusively on the outside in college, but likely will move inside and play in the slot for the Packers.

Sixth round

Demetri Goodson, CB, Baylor (No. 197): Played three years of basketball at Gonzaga (2008-11), where he started 68 of 69 games at point guard in his final two seasons. As a freshman, he hit the game-winning shot to beat Western Kentucky in an NCAA tournament gme. Played three years of football at Baylor, where he had four interceptions. Also has some kick return experience.

Seventh round

Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley State (No. 236): The third receiver among the Packers' nine picks, following second-round choice Davante Adams and Abbrederis. Like Adams, he had a 100-catch season. Janis’ came in 2012 with 106 receptions for 1,635 yards and 17 touchdowns. At the combine, only three receivers ran the 40-yard dash faster than his 4.42 seconds.
NFC wrap-ups: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South


GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A wrap-up of the Green Bay Packers' draft. Click here for a full list of Packers draftees.

[+] EnlargeJared Abbrederis
Andrew Weber/USA TODAY SportsReceiver Jared Abbrederis is the first Wisconsin player drafted by the Packers since guard Bill Ferrario (fourth round) in 2001.
Best move: Even though much of the pre-draft focus was on improving the defense -- something general manager Ted Thompson did by taking Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round (No. 21 overall) -- he did not ignore the other side of the ball. He wisely added depth to the receiving core with the highly productive Davante Adams of Fresno State in the second round (No. 53) and later local product Jared Abbrederis of Wisconsin in the fifth round (No. 176), and the small-school Jeff Janis from Saginaw Valley State in the seventh (No. 236). He then took a shot with developmental tight end Richard Rodgers of Cal in the third round (No. 98) and brought in competition for the starting center job with Corey Linsley of Ohio State in the fifth round (No. 161).

Riskiest move: Defensive tackle Khyri Thornton. Taking him in the third round (No. 85 overall) seemed too high. Even he didn't think he would be drafted on Day 2. "Khyri was an interesting one, kind of came up later in the process," said Packers director of college scouting Brian Gutekunst. "But he had so much twitch, so much upside, it was something we couldn't pass on. The way he's able to run, a 4.9 guy for a 312-pound man, the kid can run. He's got a lot of upside. We felt fortunate to get him." You could also call Baylor cornerback Demetri Goodson a risk, although it's less of one in the sixth round (No. 197). Goodson will turn 25 years old next month and was out of football for five years. He played three seasons of basketball at Gonzaga before he transferred to Baylor in 2011 and played three years of football.

Most surprising move: For the first time in 10 drafts as the Packers general manager, Thompson did not make a single trade. He picked at his spot all nine times. By the time the draft reached the fifth round, it became clear this was going to be a different draft strategy for Thompson. He had never before made it that far into a draft without making a trade. Perhaps equally surprising was the fact that he picked a player from the University of Wisconsin -- and it wasn't linebacker Chris Borland, a player many thought might interest the Packers. Instead, he took Abbrederis, making him the first UW player drafted by the Packers since guard Bill Ferrario (fourth round) in 2001.

File it away: Next year, when Thompson tells you he doesn't draft for need, remember this: Among his first six picks were a safety (Clinton-Dix), a receiver (Adams), a tight end (Rodgers) and a center (Linsley). Not coincidentally, the Packers had an opening for a starting free safety, lost a receiver (James Jones) and a center (Evan Dietrich-Smith) in free agency, and have not re-signed last year’s starting tight end (Jermichael Finley).
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Some final thoughts from Day 2 of the draft:

Standing Pat: Once known as Trader Ted, Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson has not made a single trade in the first two days of the draft. Said Thompson: "There were phone calls like there always are. There were offers made by us a few teams, by the opposing teams a few times and it was more 'we'll see when it gets to our pick or we'll see when it gets to their pick,' and it just never worked out."

Third-round reaches: While there should have been little to quibble with when it came to Thompson's first two picks -- safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round and receiver Davante Adams in the second -- his third-round picks appeared to be reaches based on general evaluations and even where they expected to be picked. Southern Miss defensive tackle Khyri Thornton was ranked as the 17th-best defensive tackle yet he was the ninth one taken. Said Thorton, who went 85th overall: "To be honest with you I really didn't have high expectations of going high in the draft." Cal tight end Richard Rodgers, who went to the Packers at No. 98, appears to be a bit of a project, having switched from tight end to receiver at Cal before leaving school early.

Thornton's journey: In Thornton's final two years at Southern Miss, the team won only one game -- and he missed that lone victory because of an injury. And that's only part of Thornton's collegiate story. He first committed to Florida State but did not qualify academically. Then, he enrolled at South Florida, which also denied him eligibility. "It was frustrating," the 24-year-old Thornton said. "Learned about college football."

"The Play": Rodgers' father took part in one of the most famous plays in college football history -- the five-lateral kickoff return for a touchdown at the end of the 1982 Cal-Stanford game -- and he has seen it countless times. But never in the company of his dad, who made two of the laterals. "I actually don't think I've ever watched 'The Play' with my dad sitting next to me," the younger Rodgers said.

Finley's future: Thompson insisted the decision to draft Rodgers was not an indication that team has moved on from free agent Jermichael Finley, who still hasn't been cleared to return from his neck injury. "I don't necessarily think the two are tied at all," Thompson said. "We were just trying to pick a good player."

Looking ahead: The Packers still haven't addressed two of their bigger needs entering the draft -- inside linebacker and center. Thompson watched the top center, Colorado State's Weston Richburg, come off the board nine picks before the Packers' second-round selection. In the third round, he saw Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland go eight before the Packers picked Thornton. Even with five picks in rounds 4-7 on Saturday, the chances of finding someone who could compete for a starting job at either spot are minimal.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Pick: Richard Rodgers, TE, California

My take: The Packers missed out on the top-five tight ends in the draft, including four who went Friday. Three of those four went before the Packers made their first pick of the day. After passing on Iowa's C.J. Fiedorowicz (who went in early in the third round), the Packers took the 6-foot-4, 257-pound Rodgers with the first of their two compensatory picks. Rodgers is not a dynamic athlete like Jermichael Finley, who ran a 4.67 40-yard dash coming out. Rodgers ran the 40 in 4.87 seconds at the combine in February, but he got down to 245 pounds last season and played receiver as a true junior. That could help him play a role similar to Finley, who often lined up in the slot.

Historic connection: Rodgers' father, Richard Sr., is the special teams coach for the Carolina Panthers, but he's better known for his role in one of the most famous college football plays in history. In what is known as "The Play," Rodgers made two of the five laterals on Cal's kickoff return for a touchdown against Stanford in 1982.

What’s next: The Packers have five picks on Saturday -- one in each of the four rounds plus an additional fifth-round, compensatory pick.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The pick: Khyri Thornton, DT, Southern Miss

My take: This seems like it could be a reach, although Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. raved about Thornton during the ESPN draft broadcast. However, according to the ESPN Insider player rankings, the 6-foot-2, 304-pound Thornton was the 17th-best defensive tackle in the draft, yet only eight were taken before the Packers picked him at No. 85 overall. Several pre-draft predictions had Thornton as a third-day pick.

Strengthening a weakness: The Packers' run defense faded in the second half of last season, allowing 5.5 yards per rush over the final seven games. That was the second-highest average allowed in the NFL over that stretch, according to data from ESPN Stats & Information, so the addition of another defensive lineman was not a surprise.

What’s next: The Packers will make one more selection on the second day of the draft at No. 98 overall. It’s one of two compensatory picks they were awarded. Those picks cannot be traded.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The pick: Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State

My take: Over the last two years, the Green Bay Packers have lost their career receiving leader (Donald Driver) to retirement, a Pro Bowler (Greg Jennings) to the Minnesota Vikings in free agency and an underappreciated veteran (James Jones) to the Oakland Raiders in free agency. They needed to fortify their receiving corps even though they still have a pair of standouts in Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson. They also are high on Jarrett Boykin, who had a breakout season last year with 49 catches. Cobb and Nelson are entering the final years of their contracts, but this pick should not change the fact that they both will be extended. The Packers' strength is their passing game, so why not give Aaron Rodgers more help?

Second-round success: General manager Ted Thompson has done well with second-round receivers. He picked Jennings in 2006, Nelson in 2008 and Cobb in 2011 -- all in Round 2. Also, he drafted receiver Terrence Murphy in 2005's second round, but Murphy's career came to an abrupt end because of a neck injury.

What's next: The Packers have two picks in the third round, Nos. 85 and 98. The 98th pick is a compensatory selection that cannot be traded.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Here's what two of ESPN's resident analysts had to say about the Green Bay Packers' pick of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at No. 21 in the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday.

Bill Polian, former Indianapolis Colts general manager

“He will fit perfectly into Dom Capers’ defense. He’s the perfect free safety in the sense that he has great instincts, great tackling ability, sure tackling ability, very good ball skills, great recognition skills in reading and reacting to offensive patterns. A little bit short in the speed department, but he makes up for that with instinct. This is a position that the Packers needed to upgrade, and he’s right from central casting according to Dom Capers."

Mel Kiper Jr., NFL draft expert

“Clinton-Dix fills a huge need for this team, and I consider him a great value at this slot. I don't even know what else to say about it, except for the fact that I thought Dallas could go with Clinton-Dix, and he also could have been in play for the Jets. So to have your No. 1 need filled by what I consider the safety they had rated as the best guy to fill that need makes for a pretty good night.”
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Armed with three selections on Day 2 of the NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers are spending the day plotting their strategy for picks Nos. 53 (second round), 85 and 98 (both in the third round).

After taking Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round -- a move that ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. called one of the winners of Day 1 Insider -- the Packers reset their draft board to reflect the best players still available.

If their grades on the players still available at 53, 85 and 98 fit their needs, here is who they might consider:

Linebackers: Notes: Borland, Brown and Skov would all project as inside linebackers in the Packers’ 3-4 scheme. Kiper Jr. ranked Van Noy, an outside linebacker, as the fifth-best player still available Insider, and Borland as the 12th. In his second-round mock draft Insider, Kiper Jr. predicted Borland to the Packers at No. 53. He wrote: “This would be a steal. He's not a physical freak, but Borland is a football freak. Slots in next to A.J. Hawk.”

Tight ends:
Amaro
Notes: If the Packers are going to get an impact tight end, they probably need to do it on Friday, because the drop off after these four is significant. Seferian-Jenkins and Amaro are receiving tight ends in the mold of Jermichael Finley, while Fiedorowicz and Niklas are more traditional players. Scouts Inc. has the Packers taking Amaro in its updated second-round mock draft Insider.

Receivers:
Lee
Notes: Lee could be one of the first players off the board when the draft resumes, so it's unlikely the Packers would be in position to take him unless they traded up. Keep in mind that they cannot trade No. 98 because it is a compensatory pick at the end of the third round. Lee and Landry are smaller receivers in the 5-foot-11 range, and Ellington is even smaller at 5-9 3/8. The Packers might want to go bigger at this spot, because they already have a dynamic slot receiver in Randall Cobb.

Centers:
Notes: The Packers are high on second-year pro JC Tretter as their possible next starting center, but the former collegiate tackle has yet to play an NFL snap at any position. There is a good chance all of these centers will be available at No. 53, with Martin and Richburg as likely late second-round picks who also could slip into the third round.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Ted Thompson did not come right out and say it, and Ray Farmer was not asked about it.

But it's safe to say that the general managers of the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns discussed a trade for the 21st overall pick in Thursday's first round.

"Um," Thompson said with a smile. "We talked to a number of teams."

A few minutes after Thompson picked Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, the Browns traded up to No. 22 to take quarterback Johnny Manziel.

If Farmer offered Thompson the same deal he swung with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Packers would have received the 26th overall pick in the first round plus Cleveland's third-round pick (No. 83 overall).

That still would have allowed the Packers to still make a pick in the first round, and it would have given them four selections on Day 2 (rounds 2 and 3).

However, it would have put them at risk of losing Clinton-Dix.

Although no team between 21 and 26 selected a safety, perhaps that would have been different had Clinton-Dix still been on the board.

The Packers still would have had a chance at the two other first-round safeties == Washington State's Deone Bucannon (who went No. 27 to the Arizona Cardinals) and Northern Illinois' Jimmie Ward (No. 30 to San Francisco) -- but it's not known whether Thompson valued those players in the first round.

As things stand now, the Packers have three selections on Friday: Nos. 53 (second round), 85 (third round) and 98 (third round).
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A look at the Green Bay Packers' first-round draft pick:

Full name: Ha’Sean "Ha Ha" Clinton-Dix
Position: Safety
Height: 6-foot-1 3/8
Weight: 208 pounds
College: Alabama
Hometown: Orlando, Fla.
Packers’ uniform number: 21
*40-yard dash time: 4.58
*Vertical jump: 33 inches
*Broad jump: 9 feet, 11 inches
*Bench press: 11 reps at 225 pounds
*Arm length: 32 3/8 inches
*Wingspan: 78 1/2 inches
Twitter handle:@haha_cd6

Quotable: "I'm a great player. I play fast, I’m a great tackler. And it's like anything, once I learn the system, learn the entire defense and get comfortable, I think I'll be fine."

* NFL scouting combine measurements
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Ted Thompson ignored the safety position last year.

He did not make the same mistake again.

A year after the Green Bay Packers general manager watched 22 safeties come off the board in the draft without making a move at the position, Thompson let only one go by before he pounced on Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at No. 21 in Thursday's first round.

In all, there were four safeties taken in the first round and Thompson had his choice of all but Louisville's Calvin Pryor, who went three picks earlier to the New York Jets.

In taking Clinton-Dix, the 6-foot-1 3/8 junior entrant, Thompson passed on Washington State's Deone Bucannon (who went 27th to the Arizona Cardinals) and Northern Illinois' Jimmie Ward (who went 30th to the San Francisco 49ers).

[+] EnlargeHa Ha Clinton-Dix
AP Photo/Butch DillThe addition of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is sure to boost a Packers safety spot that didn't record an interception last season.
After watching three of their likely defensive targets -- Pryor and inside linebackers Ryan Shazier and C.J. Mosley -- get snatched up, nerves had to be high in the Packers' draft room. Had Clinton-Dix not been there, perhaps Thompson would have gone in a different direction -- another position or a trade down. Or maybe he would have taken one of the other safeties.

Instead, he did not have to change his strategy or make a reach pick.

He handed defensive coordinator Dom Capers and safeties coach Darren Perry the chance to make up for the ills of last season, when the Packers were the only NFL team that did not get a single interception from the safety position.

"We have to be better," Perry said shortly after the Packers made their pick. "We weren't good enough, and that starts right here with me. That starts with our coaching staff, and we recognize that. We don't shy away from that. It's going to be a great challenge, and we will be better, no question in my mind. I'm looking forward to it."

Clinton-Dix should make Perry's job easier. He combined to intercept seven passes in his final two seasons at Alabama, including five as a sophomore when he played more free safety. As a junior, he played a more versatile role that included some strong safety.

"I think he's a real all-purpose kind of safety," Thompson said. "He's shown an ability to cover down in the slot. He's good in [run] support, a physical player. Also can play well in the back end."

The Packers now can move Morgan Burnett, who played mostly strong safety last year, to free safety if they were so inclined. When the Packers drafted Burnett in the third round of the 2010 draft, they raved about his ball skills, having picked off 14 passes in three seasons at Georgia Tech. Burnett has six interceptions in four NFL seasons, but none of them came last year.

"Morgan, he was kind of forced into that role as a strong safety," Perry said. "But I think Morgan has the ability to play both, both of these guys [can], along with the other guys that we have back there. I think the competition is going to be great."
videoGREEN BAY, Wis. – The Pick: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama.

My take: How long have we been saying the Packers needed to find their next big-play safety? At least since the end of last season, if not earlier. The only NFL team that did not get a single interception from a safety in 2013, the Packers have finally made a move to replace Nick Collins, who hasn't played since his Packers career ended with his neck injury in Week 2 of the 2011 season. Clinton-Dix led Alabama with seven interceptions since the start of the 2012 season, five of which came two seasons ago. Of the four defensive prospects the Packers seemingly had their eye on, Clinton-Dix was the only one available, having watched Louisville safety Calvin Pryor of Louisville go three picks earlier to the New York Jets. Both inside linebackers the Packers might have been interested in -- Ohio State's Ryan Shazier and Alabama's C.J. Mosley -- also were gone. Shazier, who the Packers might have preferred, went No. 15 to the Pittsburgh Steelers, while Mosley went two picks later to the Baltimore Ravens. But at least they weren't left without any of their top defensive choices.

What of Micah Hyde's move to safety?: Throughout the offseason, coach Mike McCarthy has talked about getting Hyde on the field more this season. That has included the possibility that the second-year defensive back would play some safety. Last season, he played almost exclusively in a slot cornerback position in the nickel and dime packages. Casey Hayward is expected to come back from the hamstring injury that limited him to only three games last season and likely will return to his role as the nickel cornerback.

What’s next: The Packers have three picks on Friday -- Nos. 53 (second round), 85 (third round) and 98 (third round) -- and likely will be looking at inside linebacker, receiver and tight end.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Welcome to Lambeau Field, where Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson, coach Mike McCarthy and the rest of the personnel and coaching staffs are huddled for the first round of the NFL draft.

Barring an unexpected trade up in the first round, which Thompson has never done, it will be several hours before the Packers are on the clock with the 21st pick.

Here are some things to keep an eye on over the next several hours:

Live blog: We've already launched our live blog/chat, where I will be posting updates and answering questions. You can find that here.

Estimated pick time: In the first round, teams have 10 minutes to make a selection. However, not every team will use its allotted time. Last year, the first round took three hours, 33 minutes. If this year follows a similar time frame, expect the Packers to pick sometime between 9 and 9:30 p.m. CT.

History says: The Packers have drafted a defensive player in the first round in six of the past eight drafts since they took quarterback Aaron Rodgers in 2005. They have drafted 14 linebackers since 2003, tied for the second most in the NFL during that time period. They have not taken a tight end in the first round since Bubba Franks in 2000.

Draft choices in hand: Thompson begins the draft with nine picks. They are Nos. 21 (first round), 53 (second round), 85 (third round), 98 (third round), 121 (fourth round), 161 (fifth round), 176 (fifth round), 197 (sixth round) and 236 (seventh round).

More to come: Rounds 2-3 are on Friday followed by rounds 4-7 on Saturday.

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- After months and months of mock drafts and revised mock drafts and re-revised mock drafts, there is no more time to waffle.

Mosley
Shazier
So what does that mean for the Green Bay Packers if they stay at No. 21 in the first round of the NFL draft?

Let's take a look at what several local and national NFL writers and analysts see for the Packers (with links to their full first-round mock drafts):

Rob Demovsky, ESPN.com
  • Player: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
  • My take: With Eric Ebron, C.J. Mosley, Ryan Shazier, Odell Beckham Jr. and the top-two safeties off the board in our NFL Nation mock draft, a move back was intriguing. Even though the Packers re-signed Sam Shields, cornerback will be a need down the road with Tramon Williams getting up there in age, and Gilbert is too highly rated to pass up.
  • Note: With all due respect to my NFL Nation colleagues, I'm not sure I see the first 20 picks playing out the way it did in our draft, which was unveiled on Tuesday. I find it highly unlikely that all of those players I mentioned will be gone by the time the Packers pick. Given the opportunity to do the entire first round on my own, I believe there is a good chance at least one of those previously drafted players will be available. In that scenario, I think it would come down to Mosley or Shazier. On the contrary, I do not believe Gilbert will be available to the Packers at No. 21 as he was in our mock.
Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN Insider
  • Player: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
  • Kiper Jr.'s take: I've had Mosley in this spot before, and it makes a lot of sense both as a value -- he's a top-15 player for me -- and also from the standpoint that he fills an obvious talent void at linebacker. He can line up next to A.J. Hawk and not only help the run defense, but also give the Packers a very good cover linebacker. The question for Mosley has been whether he can stay healthy, but he has stayed on the field and could be a pretty big steal at this point.
Todd McShay, ESPN Insider
  • Player: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
  • McShay's take: I would never put Lee here, as I think safety is a much bigger need (and the No. 1 safety on our board, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, is still available in this scenario) and there are probably four or five other positions that are bigger need areas for them than wide receiver. But I've heard that Lee won't get past the No. 21 pick, and he does make some sense in that they could get QB Aaron Rodgers another weapon -- and Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb's contracts are both up after this season. Clinton-Dix is probably the more logical choice, but we'll roll the dice on Lee based on what we're hearing.
Bob McGinn, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • Player: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
  • McGinn's take: The Packers need a safety but can't pass on Mosley, who would make it this far only if teams have reservations about his injury history. GM Ted Thompson seeks a safety (does he trade up?) a bit later.
Pete Dougherty, Green Bay Press-Gazette
  • Player: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
  • Dougherty's take: Packers need dynamic every-down player for heart of ‘D’.
Bill Huber, Packer Report
  • Player: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
  • Huber's take: Is he an inside linebacker? An outside linebacker? Why, yes, he is. If he's available, Ohio State's Ryan Shazier figures to be the Packers' selection as a potential three-down, game-changing weapon. However, will Shazier be available when Green Bay is on the clock at No. 21?
Paul Imig, FoxSportsWisconsin.com
  • Player: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
  • Imig's take: There is more depth in this draft at safety than there is at inside linebacker, giving the Packers an opportunity to perhaps land a quality safety such as Jimmie Ward or Deone Bucannon with their second-round pick. If Green Bay somehow walks away with Shazier and either Ward or Bucannon in the first two rounds, it will be a draft-weekend victory for Thompson.
Don Banks, Sports Illustrated
  • Player: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
  • Banks' take: This time around we don't foresee the Packers getting the safety they covet, because the highly regarded Clinton-Dix and Pryor went in the upper half of the round. But Mosley is a talented and productive three-down linebacker that Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers could make good use of. With Mosley and Julius Peppers both joining forces with Clay Matthews, the Packers' linebacking unit would look significantly improved in 2014.
Peter King, TheMMQB
  • Player: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
  • King's take: I wanted to put Ryan Shazier here, and that could well be Ted Thompson's pick. But the Packers have to like Mosley’s nose for the ball, and Green Bay's need at inside linebacker is big. This is a logical pick, and Thompson's a logical man.
Pat Kirwin, CBS Sports
  • Player: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
  • Kirwin's take: Shazier can do it all. He's fast, can drop in coverage, he can rush the passer and his 258 tackles in 39 games speaks for itself. Nine forced fumbles is just another indicator he's around the ball.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
  • Player: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
  • Prisco's take: They have to get faster and he plays faster than C.J. Mosley.
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com
  • Player: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
  • Jeremiah's take: Seferian-Jenkins would provide Aaron Rodgers with an enormous red-zone target.
Mike Mayock, NFL.com
  • Player: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
  • Mayock's take: Shazier is a linebacker made for today's NFL. He has 4.38 speed at 237 pounds and can play inside in the base and all over the place in sub-packages. He'll be an immediate playmaker.
Ourlands’ Scouting Service
  • Player: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
  • Ourlads' take: Darqueze is a plugin and play man-to-man defender. He is a physical corner in coverage and on run support. Reroutes receivers and keeps position on them. Has a closing burst when called on to blitz. An aggressive wrap tackler who is smart and instinctive.

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