Thursday, March 13, 2014
Kiper's Mock 3.0: Packers
By Rob Demovsky
With a defense that slipped to No. 25 in the overall rankings last season, Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson will no doubt go into the draft thinking defense.
He did that in 2012, and he used his first six picks on that side of the ball.
Those picks were supposed to be the core of the defense, but last year only one of them -- fourth-round defensive tackle Mike Daniels -- made a major impact.
So where does that leave the Packers when it comes to the 21st pick in the draft?
They could conceivably address any level of their defense. They could use some run-stopping muscle on the interior of the defensive line, another pass-rusher off the edge to complement outside linebacker Clay Matthews, a playmaking inside linebacker and a ball-hawking safety.
There's a chance the top-two safeties, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix of Alabama and Calvin Pryor of Louisville, will be off the board before the Packers pick. But if either one was available, Thompson might have a hard time ignoring that spot.
On the defensive line, Louis Nix III of Notre Dame would be an option at nose tackle, while Minnesota's Ra'Shede Hageman could be a viable pick as a 3-4 end. There's a good chance both could be there at 21.
The top outside linebackers almost certainly will be gone by the time the Packers pick, but inside linebacker C.J. Mosley of Alabama could be available.
And if Thompson decides to go with an offensive player, he might strongly consider North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron, if he's still there.
Check out ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper's Mock Draft 3.0 to see which players he thinks the Packers should target with their first pick.