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NFL Nation mock draft: Explaining the Jalen Collins pick to Packers

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NFL Nation mock draft: Packers select CB Jalen Collins

Packers reporter Rob Demovsky breaks down his first-round selection.

BRISTOL, Conn. -- If the NFL draft breaks the way it did on Monday's NFL Nation mock draft, then the Green Bay Packers probably won't be able to address their top need.

The lone inside linebacker worthy of a first-round pick, UCLA's Eric Kendricks, came off the board at No. 27 to the Dallas Cowboys. But even if Kendricks is available for Packers general manager Ted Thompson, it still might be a reach pick that Thompson would avoid.

In our NFL Nation mock, the reporters made the selection for the teams they cover.

With no trades allowed, it left three realistic choices for the Packers at No. 30 – LSU cornerback Jalen Collins, Texas defensive tackle Malcolm Brown and Florida State defensive tackle Eddie Goldman.

The pick was Collins.

Here's why: While Brown and Goldman could have provided help to a defense that ranked dead last in the NFL against the run midway through last season (and rallied to finish 23rd), both are essentially two-down players. Also, the return of defensive tackle B.J. Raji, who missed all of last season because of a biceps injury, could lessen the need for a defensive tackle.

Collins could give the Packers an eventual starter (and three-down player) on the outside, where they lost starting left cornerback Tramon Williams in free agency. At 6-foot-1, he would be the tallest corner on the roster.

It was something of a high-risk pick given that he only started for one season at LSU and then late last week the news broke that he had multiple failed drug tests in college.

Maybe Thompson would try to trade back if presented with that scenario like he did in 2008, when they also were picking 30th. The New York Jets wanted to move into that slot to take tight end Dustin Keller, so Thompson moved back into the second round and picked receiver Jordy Nelson.