By: Chris Terlop
Heading into this draft the Packers needs are Defensive Line, Offensive Line, Safety, and Running Back. Trying to predict what Ted will do is absurd, but I gave it may best go in the first three round, past that I put players I would like to see them go for. I also did not predict any trades, even though there will likely be at least one. So here it is, my 2013 Packers Mock Draft.
Rd 1, 26: DE Datone Jones, UCLA
Jones is a guy who has been tied to the Packers often over the past week or so. I like him over Margus Hunt, as I feel that Jones is the safer pick, yet still has a lot of upside. At 6’4’’, 283 pounds he has played every technique on the defensive line, something Dom Capers has to love. His high production just started his senior year, hopefully a sign that he is finally reaching his potential. Good burst off the line, should help in the run game and generate some pass rush. With five defensive linemen’s contracts up at the end of the year, Ted has to look ahead.
Rd 2, 55: S Philip Thomas, Fresno State
Thomas possesses the perfect size you want to see in a safety at 6’1’’, 208 pounds. He led the country with eight interceptions last season and is the definition of play maker. He has great instincts, good closing speed and lowers his shoulder and wraps up low to make tackles, especially near the line of scrimmage. Thomas doesn’t have top end recovery speed and will get burned occasionally gambling on play action, but what rookie safety doesn’t early in their career.
Rd 3, 88: C Barrett Jones, Alabama
Jones is a cerebral player and very technically sound. He is more athletic than the other center option: Travis Frederick. The guy has played every position on the line and played it well. The EDS experiment has not garnered the result expected, time to go get someone to help keep 12 upright consistently. Best case scenario, he wins the starting center job and masters all calls in the scheme. At the very least he will be a very good swing lineman to fill in at either guard and center position. If the Packers take him, they have the first scenario in mind.
Rd 4, 122: RB Marcus Lattimore
I like taking a risk on Lattimore here. My suggestion, sign Benson to a one year deal if his foot looks ok and go with him Dujuan Harris and whoever else is left on the roster at the start of the season and give Lattimore some time to fully heal and get back to 100 percent. He can be an absolute stud, has already shown he has the determination to work back from injury, when he rushed for 662 yards and 11 touchdowns before he tore his opposite ACL last season. He also has shown good hands catching the ball out of the backfield. I think this is a great gamble, as he could become the back the Packers have been looking for since Ahman Green.
Rd 5, 159: DT Nicolas Williams, Samford
At 6’5’’, 309 pounds, Williams may be the most athletic tackle in the draft. His 40 time (4.84) and shuttle times were the best or close to it among defensive tackles. He is still raw, as he focused on basketball until college and could use some work. He is a “combine all-star”, which I am wary of, but his on field production matched his workout numbers, albeit against lesser opponents.
Rd 5, 167: QB Zach Dysert, Miami (Ohio)
A quarterback!? What!? Yes, a quarterback, call my crazy, but Graham Harrell did not instill a whole lot of confidence in me if Rodgers goes down at any point. If the offensive line doesn’t make huge strides this season, there is a good chance #12 could be hit more than most would like. Dysert has the frame of an NFL quarterback, has proven he can be successful in bad weather, while playing in the MAC. He can be accurate on the run and will take off with the ball. Has a good, not great arm and good touch. He played mainly out of shotgun and in Miami’s offense didn’t have to make a lot of deep throws. Has potential to be a solid quarterback in the NFL.
Rd 6, 193: TE Zach Sudfeld, Nevada
Who knows if Finley and the Packers will come to an extension this summer, but it couldn’t hurt to get a receiving tight end in this draft and Sudfeld is that. He is a big target at 6-7 and very athletic with hands that have been compared to top prospects Eifert and Ertz. Sudfeld is a willing blocker, but needs to get stronger, something he acknowledges. He has had a string of injuries in college that made him a 6-year player and is 24-years old. Has experience playing special teams while he develops as a more complete player
Rd 7, 232: K Caleb Sturgis, Florida
Why not? I’m breaking the “don’t draft a kicker or punter rule” since you can get a few as undrafted free agents. Crosby’s struggles this season were documented and they are bringing in Tavecchio to compete with him, why not bring in, perhaps the best kicker in this year’s class as well? Sturgis was 8-of-9 from 40 plus this past season, is very accurate. Had three kicks blocked due to his line, but could work on adding a little more height off the line.
You can hear Chris M-F from 4-6 on Sportsline and on Saturdays at 8 am. Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisTerlop