2nd-round mock: TCU ILB Dawson to Packers?

Ryan Wood
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TCU linebacker Paul Dawson lines up against Iowa State during a December game in Fort Worth, Texas.

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

33. Titans

WR Jaelen Strong, Arizona State

34. Bucs

OT T.J. Clemmings, Pittsburgh

35. Raiders

OLB Randy Gregory, Nebraska

36. Jaguars

OT Jake Fisher, Oregon

37. Jets

QB Brett Hundley, UCLA

38. Redskins

OLB Eli Harold, Virginia

39. Bears

DT Eddie Goldman, Florida State

40. Giants

S Landon Collins, Alabama

41. Rams

WR Dorial Green-Beckham, Oklahoma

42. Falcons

RB Tevin Coleman, Indiana

43. Browns

WR Devin Smith, Ohio State

44. Saints

TE Maxx Williams, Minnesota

45. Vikings

RB Jay Ajayi, Boise State


CB Jalen Collins, LSU

47. Dolphins

ILB Eric Kendricks, UCLA

48. Chargers

DT Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma

49. Chiefs

WR/TE Devin Funchess, Michigan

50. Bills

QB Bryce Petty, Baylor

51. Texans

ILB Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State

52. Eagles

S/CB Eric Rowe, Utah

53. Bengals

DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa, UCLA

54. Lions

DT Carl Davis, Iowa

55. Cardinals

ILB Denzel Perryman, Miami

56. Steelers

CB P.J. Williams, Florida State

57. Panthers

OT Donovan Smith, Penn State

58. Ravens

CB Ronald Darby, Florida State

59. Broncos

TE Clive Walford, Miami

60. Cowboys

RB Amer Abdullah, Nebraska

61. Colts

DE Preston Smith, Mississippi State

62. Packers

ILB Paul Dawson, TCU

63. Seahawks

WR Sammie Coates, Auburn

64. Patriots

G A.J. Cann, South Carolina

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