Wednesday, April 21, 2010

NFL Draft 2010: The Green Bay Packers Mock Draft

For my overview of the Packer's draft board for the NFL 2010 Draft, click here.

The NFL 2010 Draft begins in less than 48 hours. Still, you will find all team scouts and front office people running around trying to fix their draft boards. It is inevitable that the draft boards of teams will change a lot from now till the time the envelope with the pick is walked across Music City Hall and handed over to the Commissioner. Add to this all the draft day trades, its a perfect recipe for mayhem.

It might be all for naught, because a lot of the players picked in the draft are probably not going to live up to the expectations / scouting predictions. Still, as football fans, we make a big deal out of it, prematurely grading teams right after the draft based on their picks.

This post, I am giving out my prediction of who the Packers should pick round by round in this year's draft.The Packers' philosophy while drafting is usually to pick the best player available at that spot, rather than need. Here, I am assuming no draft day trades involving the Packers. Realistically though, I do hope they trade down and gather more picks in this unusually deep draft class.

Pick 1 (Round 1; Overall Pick No.23): Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State

It is unlikely that the top offensive tackles will last till No.23. For some reason, if one of the top OTs, Russell Okung (OT, Oklahoma State), Bryan Bulaga (OT, Iowa), Trent Williams (OT, Oklahoma) or Anthony Davis (OT, Rutgers) slide to No.23, the Packers will love it. As that is almost impossible considering the number of teams that are desperate to find that franchise tackle, it will be smart for the Packers to take the best available player for their defensive backfield.

Kyle Wilson is the second rated CB of this draft class in most scouting reports. He is the aggressive type of CB that the Packers love to have and could turn into a solid starter under the tutelage of Al Harris and Charles Woodson. Also Wilson is fast (with a 4.43 sec 40 yard speed) and could double up as a kick returner while waiting in the wings as a Nickel or Dime back behind current CB starters on the team.

Although highly unlikely, if Sergio Kindle (OLB, Texas), Joe Haden (CB, Florida), or CJ Spiller (RB, Clemson) drop to No.23, the Packers will have go in that direction. For some reason, if Kyle Wilson is unavailable at No.23, Packers will jump at Jerry Hughes (OLB, TCU), if he is available.

Pick 2 (Round 2; Overall Pick No.56): Dexter McCluster, RB, Ole Miss

The Packers would ideally like to take Ryan Mathews (RB, Fresno State) or Jahvid Best (RB, Cal) at this spot if they do slide down this far.

If they don't, McCluster could be that explosive game-breaker the Packers lack on offense. He would be a threat anytime he touches the ball. His main position in college was at running back. But, he can play multiple positions; as a WR and has potential in the kick return game too.

Pick 3 (Round 3; Overall Pick No.86): Jared Veldheer, OT, Hillsdale

The Packers cannot forget about their biggest need in this draft, and the 3rd round would be a nice spot to pick an offensive left tackle prospect. They do not need someone who will have to start from day 1. At the same time, they do not want another OT project at hand that may take a couple years (with no guarantee that it will pan out successfully).

Jared Veldheer fits the bill perfectly. As a senior from college, with 4 years of starting experience under his belt, he has enough talent and experience in him to be eased into a starter roll by the end of the year, if necessary. Although he has short arms for a left tackle in the NFL, he has tremendous size, athleticism and a huge upside.

Pick 4 (Round 4; Overall Pick No.122): Arthur Moats, DE/OLB, James Madison

This draft class, according to general consensus of scouts, is very deep on the defensive linemen and linebacker positions. Even though we are in the 4th round of the draft, it is still a good spot to pick up some one who can complement Clay Mathews Jr. on Outside Linebacker.

Arthur Moats has never played OLB at college. But, he was a disruptive force as pass rusher in the Colonial Athletic Conference(CAA). He was named CAA Defensive Player of the Year apart from receiving All-American honors. Although he is from a small school/conference, and despite the fact that he is a little undersized for defensive lineman for the NFL, he might be a perfect fit for a 3-4 scheme OLB.

Note: If the Packers pick Jerry Hughes in Round 1, they may have to pick a defensive back here. Potential CBs at this position will be Chris Cook (CB, Virginia), Brandon Ghee (CB, Wake Forest) or Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (CB, Indiana-Pa.). Or, the Packers could hope to get that elusive WR / punt return specialist here with Jacoby Ford (WR, Clemson) or Taylor Price (WR, Ohio).

Pick 5 (Round 5; Overall Pick No.154): Selvish Capers, OT, West Virginia

As much as Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy claim in public that they are not worried about the O line, it is undeniable that it is a major concern. They are an injury or two away from having Allan Barbre and TJ Lang being the two tackles protecting Aaron Rodgers. So, it is imperative for the Packers to make more than one OT pick this draft, increasing the chances of a legit player for that position. If both picks pan out, all the better.

Selvish Capers will be a good 'project' type OT to draft. He maybe a couple years away from being a polished NFL starter, but will be a steal for a pick in the 5th round. Even if he does not pan out as a OT, he can be used as a Guard. Tony Washington (OT, Abilene Christian), Ed Wang (OT, Virginia Tech) and Kyle Calloway (OT, Iowa) are other options here. The Packers could also try pick a speedy WR/punt returner here like Jordon Shipley (WR, Texas).

Pick 6 (Round 5; Overall Pick No.169): Myron Rolle, S, Florida State

Myron Rolle had an impressive sophomore year at Florida State in 2008, but chose to pursue a degree at Oxford University in 2009. In terms of his physical ability and talent, he should be an early round pick. But because of questions about his wavering commitment to football, plus his one year hiatus from the game, he will drop down to later rounds. He will be a nice pick up for the Packers at this spot.

Other options here will be O'Brien Schoefield (OLB, Wisconsin), Terrell Hudgins (WR, Elon), Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (CB, Indiana-Pa.) or Chris DeGeare (G, Wake Forest)

Pick 7 (Round 6; Overall Pick No.193): Trindon Holliday, WR, LSU

Trindon Holliday does not have much experience as a WR in college, but he is lightning quick in open field situation. His credentials on the track and field arena are truly impressive. He will be drafted purely as a punt/kick return specialist, which is a crucial need for the Packers.

Other possible picks here are: Tim Knicky (OLB, Stephen F. Austin), Cody Grimm (S, Virginia Tech), Nick McDonald (G, Grand Valley State) or Seyi Ajirotutu (WR, Fresno State)

Pick 8 (Round 7; Overall Pick No.230): David Pender, CB, Purdue

The last pick of the draft typically does not get you a lot of value. Rarely, do you find a gem in the rough here. It is wise to use this pick to add depth to positions of need, like CB or safety. David Pender was a solid CB at Purdue. He could be molded into a solid Nickel Defensive Back at the NFL level. In a year or two, if he turns into starter material, that would be a jackpot.

Other options for the last pick of the draft for the Packers: Dexter Davis (OLB, Arizona State), Nolan Carroll (CB, Maryland), Ramon Harewood (OT, Morehouse) or Javarris James (RB, Miami-Fl)

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