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OLBs, DEs to consider as possible Packers first pick

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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Just got off the phone with a scout whose positions of emphasis are the defensive line and outside pass rushers, and it's looking like there are several players at those need positions who might be available when the Packers select at No. 28 overall in the NFL draft's first round. A few players at those positions for sure will be gone by the time the Packers pick, though this draft isn't particularly strong at the very top for pass rushers and defensive linemen: South Carolina outside linebacker Melvin Ingram, North Carolina defensive lineman Quinton Coples, Louisiana State defensive lineman Michael Brockers, Mississippi State defensive lineman Fletcher Cox and Memphis State defensive lineman Dontari Poe. Illinois outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus probably falls in that group also. But there's a big group of 3-4 outside linebackers and defensive ends who will start coming off the board probably in the bottom third of the first round through the middle of the second round. These are some players to keep an eye on in the next couple weeks when thinking about who the Packers might take at No. 28 overall. At outside linebacker, there's Alabama's Courtney Upshaw, USC's Nick Perry, Clemson's Adre Branch, Marshall's Vinny Curry, Boise State's Shea McClellin, Syracuse's Chandler Jones, West Virginia's Bruce Irvin and maybe Oklahoma's Ronnell Lewis. On the defensive line, the possibilities are Penn State's Devon Still, Michigan State's Jerel Worthy, Connecticut's Kendall Reyes and maybe Clemson's Brandon Thompson. Some of them will go before the Packers pick, but at least a few should be on board when GM Ted Thompson's turn comes up at No. 28. You can bet the Packers have given them all a long look this spring.

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