Thursday, April 3, 2014
Analyzing Kiper Grade A draft: Packers
By Rob Demovsky
The Green Bay Packers have four picks in the first 100 selections of the upcoming NFL draft -- something they haven't had since 2008, when they drafted receiver Jordy Nelson (36th), quarterback Brian Brohm (56th), cornerback Pat Lee (60th) and tight end Jermichael Finley (91st).
If draft analyst Mel Kiper were in charge of the Packers' draft room, he'd find plenty of defensive help along with an intriguing tight end prospect. In an ESPN Insider exclusive, Kiper put a different twist on the mock draft. Rather than predicting who he thinks the Packers will pick, he detailed who he would pick if he were in charge.
With those four picks -- No. 21 (first round), No. 53 (second round), No. 85 (third round) and No. 98 (third round, compensatory pick -- Kiper went heavy on defensive players.
First up was Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley, a player who early in the pre-draft process looked unlikely to be available for the Packers at No. 21. In his Mock Draft 3.0, which was released last month, Kiper also had Mosley going to the Packers. At that time, he wrote:
"While I know depth on the defensive line is a concern, Mosley is a great value at this point and is a player who can step in right away at inside linebacker and improve the unit. His ability in coverage from the linebacker position surpasses that of anybody in this draft, and if he can stay healthy he's going to be an impact player early on."
The Packers solved some of their defensive line issues by re-signing B.J. Raji plus signing Julius Peppers and Letroy Guion.
With the rest of their top-100 picks, Kiper would add Florida State safety Terrence Brooks, Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz and South Carolina defensive end Kelcy Quarles.
Brooks would have a chance to start immediately at free safety, where the Packers have moved on from last year's starter M.D. Jennings, while Fiedorowicz could help fill the void left by Finley, a free agent who still has not been cleared to resume his career following last season's neck injury.