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Mock-drafting the Packers' first round

Apr. 4, 2013
 

Over the next three weeks we’ll periodically look at the mock drafts of some national draft experts, starting today.

Three recent mock drafts – by Mel Kiper and Todd McShay of ESPN.com, and Don Banks of SI.com – have the Packers drafting players at different positions with their pick at No. 26 overall, though all are plausible choices.

Mel Kiper's mock draft

Kiper has the Packers taking Alabama running back Eddie Lacy. The Packers are a sure bet to select a running back in this draft, and there’s a decent or better chance they’ll take one in the first two or three rounds, because they need a running game to help get defenses out of the two-deep safety look that diminish the big-play dimension of the Packers’ passing game last season.

Kiper’s comment about the pick: “The Packers have lacked top-end reliability and explosiveness at running back, and that’s what Lacy can give them. He ran behind a great line at Alabama, and he offers the best combination of power and open-field shiftiness in this draft. He's the guy in this class who can run with power but also break off some big runs. He also catches the ball well and can be a good safety valve for Aaron Rodgers.”

On the Web: Mel Kiper's mock draft

On the Web: Mel Kiper's mock draft summary

Todd McShay's mock draft

McShay has the Packers selecting Florida State tackle Melenik Watson. The Packers like Marshall Newhouse’s talent at left tackle, but his up and down play and concerns about the long-term future of Derek Sherrod (missed last season because of a broken leg) make Watson a plausible choice as well.

McShay’s comment: “This might seem a little high for a player with an early-second-round grade, but Watson could make sense for various reasons. The Packers might not be totally sold on Marshall Newhouse as their left tackle, and there is concern about RT Derek Sherrod coming off a broken leg suffered late in 2012. Watson is inexperienced, but he comes from a similar zone-blocking scheme and has impressive natural movement skills. Offensive tackles are always at a premium, and at this point there is not a running back, safety or wide receiver worth reaching for to fill a need. The Packers can't win unless they improve their ability to protect Aaron Rodgers, and Watson could help in that regard.”

On the Web: Todd McShay's mock draft

Don Banks' mock draft

Banks has the Packers drafting Stanford tight end Tyler Eifert. It’s the most unlikely of the three because of the Packers’ greater needs at other positions – most notably defensive line, running back, safety and tackle. But if the Packers consider Eifert a difference maker in the passing game, then drafting him can’t be ruled out, because starter Jermichael Finley is in the last year of his contract, as is receiver James Jones.

Banks' comment on the pick: “Given Green Bay's indecision on Jermichael Finley as he enters the final year of his contract, Eifert would seem a solid first-round investment. But the Packers' offensive tackle position poses its concerns as well, so Florida State's Menelik Watson has to be on the radar screen, too. Protecting the franchise better (quarterback Aaron Rodgers) must be a 2013 priority.”

On the Web: Don Banks' mock draft

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Get Green Bay Packers updates as they happen from our reporting team: (from left) Mike Vandermause, Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty.

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