2nd-round mock: TCU ILB Dawson to Packers?
Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson went outside the box -- literally and figuratively -- in Thursday's first round of the NFL draft.
With glaring needs at inside linebacker, the Packers drafted Arizona State safety Damarious Randall with the 30th overall pick. Randall will probably fill a need at cornerback, where Thompson said he'll line up in the Packers' secondary. It's unclear whether he'll be able to play on the perimeter, where the Packers need the most help.
While one need has been targeted, another waits to be filled Friday when the NFL draft continues with its second and third round. As Thompson showed last night, it's impossible to predict how a team will use its draft picks.
It's also hard to fathom how the Packers can end this day without drafting an inside linebacker.
The question is whether one of the top five outside linebacker prospects will fall to the Packers at pick No. 62 in the second round. The Packers could move up, but as they showed last night it's always more likely to stand firm and pick in their scheduled spot. Thompson said he "took a few" trade requests before deciding to draft Randall. Through all the phone calls, he never heard an offer he liked.
"Quite frankly," he said, "some of the trade proposals to us were a little bit skewed in the other team's favor, and that's the way it normally is. It's skewed in some way."
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The Packers could try to trade up into the second round Friday to get their inside linebacker. Or, teams ahead of them could decide to stand firm.
Without trading up, can the Packers still end up with one of the top five inside linebacker prospects? The guess here is they will barely make it, and it will be TCU linebacker Paul Dawson who's there for the taking at No. 62. Dawson would come with off-field concerns about his maturity. He also had subpar test results, including a 4.93-second, 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine in February.
The film offers a much different perspective. As a playmaker, Dawson could be a steal with the 62nd overall pick.
Of course, there's no guarantee he -- or any of the five inside linebackers -- are still on the board when the Packers go on the clock. Here's a second-round mock draft projection to show how the board may fall Friday night. Note, this projection reflects a team's need with the value at their selection, not necessarily the exact player who will be drafted.
2015 NFL draft second-round mock draft
WR Jaelen Strong, Arizona State
OT T.J. Clemmings, Pittsburgh
OLB Randy Gregory, Nebraska
OT Jake Fisher, Oregon
QB Brett Hundley, UCLA
OLB Eli Harold, Virginia
DT Eddie Goldman, Florida State
S Landon Collins, Alabama
WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Oklahoma
RB Tevin Coleman, Indiana
WR Devin Smith, Ohio State
TE Maxx Williams, Minnesota
RB Jay Ajayi, Boise State
CB Jalen Collins, LSU
ILB Eric Kendricks, UCLA
DT Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma
WR/TE Devin Funchess, Michigan
QB Bryce Petty, Baylor
ILB Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State
S/CB Eric Rowe, Utah
DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa, UCLA
DT Carl Davis, Iowa
ILB Denzel Perryman, Miami
CB P.J. Williams, Florida State
OT Donovan Smith, Penn State
CB Ronald Darby, Florida State
TE Clive Walford, Miami
RB Amer Abdullah, Nebraska
DE Preston Smith, Mississippi State
ILB Paul Dawson, TCU
WR Sammie Coates, Auburn
G A.J. Cann, South Carolina