What is Ted Thompson Thinking? Packers FULL 2013 Mock Draft
It’s hard to say that the 2 seasons following the Packers Super Bowl victory have been unsuccessful but easy to say they were disappointing. The Packers went 15-1 but were bounced in their first game of the playoffs against the soon-to-be SB Champ New York Giants. Last season the Packers would beat a Ponder-less Vikings squad in the Wild Card round before being embarrassed by the San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay is a very talented team but they have some major needs to fill if they hope to hoist the Lombardi Trophy again soon.
Packers general manager Ted Thompson is one of the most difficult people to read in the NFL, 2nd behind Belichick in my book. TT has been a great evaluator of talent, for the most part, and even if some of his selections seem puzzling at the time they usually turn out in the Packers favor. Green Bay isn’t known for making big splashes in free agency, rather they do it in house through the draft. I will do my best to judge where I think Thompson will fill the holes on this squad. Just to be certain I have the top needs of the Packers to be both on the offensive and defensive line, as well running back and safety.
Round 1 Pick 26: Eric Reid S LSU
The Packers will be looking long and hard at Eddie Lacy trying to determine if he is worthy of their first round pick, knowing if they wanted him in the 2nd that they would have to trade up to do so. I however don’t think TT is going to reach for him unless it’s clearly worth it. That’s why I think that the Packers are going to go defensive back here and draft safety, whether it is Matt Elam, Johnathan Cyprien or as I have it Eric Reid. The LSU player is a solid talent but lately I have been reading great things about the FIU kid, Cyprien, but with the rumors surrounding him he may not even be there at 26. This will be a great opportunity for the Packers to find Morgan Burnett’s opposite and hopefully make and impact right away.
Round 2 Pick 23: Travis Frederick OL Wisconsin
The Packers offensive line will be looking for a little more depth after making some minor improvements last season. They weren’t the swiss cheese unit that allowed Rodgers to get beat up play after play but they were far from flawless. By picking an interior lineman that can play both guard and center at the NFL level it won’t be a wonder why TT may reach on the Badger before another organization can get their hands on him. Frederick is a solid prospect with good athleticism and could become a staple on this line for years to come, that is if he is given the chance.
Round 3 Pick 26: Le’Veon Bell RB Michigan State
Bell is seen as third round talent and if he could land with the Packers it seems like it could be a match made in heaven. Bell wouldn’t have to come in to Green Bay and take a full workload in his rookie season, but he could build up to that. Work Le’Veon as a committee back for a couple of years, let him adjust to the game and then work him like the Spartans did. Bell is a big back at 6’2” 230 and has great lower body strength but the kid can make cuts and turn up-field fast. He would likely be a banging back used on early downs while he improves his blocking and catching skills. Pair Bell with a jitterbug like Randall Cobb in the backfield and you could have the new thunder and lightning duo of the NFL.
Round 4 Pick 25 Akeem Spence DT University of Illinois
The Packers just re-signed the Claymaker, all they have to do is finalize with A-Rodge before they move on to locking up B.J. Raji. Raji is one of the only viable options for the Packers up the middle on the defensive line and Spence would be a good fit at tackle in their 3-4 scheme. Spence is a well-rounded prospect that gets good natural leverage despite being just 6’1” and 305 pounds. He by no means is a dominant force but not many late 4th rounders are. Spence would be a great backup or role player and that is just what he would be if the Packers pull the trigger.
Round 5 Pick 26 and 31: Chase Thomas DE/OLB Stanford and Marquise Wilson WR Washington State
In the 5th round the Packers will draft players to replace a couple who left through free agency, Erik Walden and Greg Jennings. Thomas is going to be a good pass-rushing LB playing opposite of Clay Mathews but realistically the Packers linebacking corps will be by committee. Thomas seems like he could be worth a chance and create some depth at a position that isn’t a huge hole for the team. The same can be said about the wide receiver group. I am in no way saying Wilson can come in and make Packers fans forget about Jennings, but with a James Jones contract situation coming up he is a big body that can get some good looks behind Jones, Nelson and Cobb.
Round 6 Pick 25: Collin Klein QB Kansas State
It isn’t a big secret that the depth behind Pro-Bowl QB Aaron Rodgers is extremely thin and I don’t see the Packers spending any money in free-agency to fill this gap. A 6th round pick for a dual-threat QB may be the kind of pick that TT can get behind. Klein isn’t viewed as a great NFL prospect at QB but Green Bay has a record of taking a flyer out on some questionable talent late in the draft. Collin Klein will in no way be challenging A-Rodge for snaps but he may be a more viable option if he goes down that what Green Bay currently has.
Round 7 Pick 26: Joseph Fauria TE UCLA
Green Bay should be ecstatic if Fauria is still on the board when it comes up to their 7th round pick as he is a huge target with great hands. The Jermichael Finley situation at TE has figured itself out for the time being but his future in Green Bay is questionable to say the least. Fauria is 6’8” 252 and other than his soft hands and huge catching radius his body frame allows him to be a great run-blocking TE as well. He isn’t the fastest or smoothest route runner but a little coaching and time with Rodgers could improve that. I like the Fauria pick so much that I would be ok with the Packers taking him a round earlier and going with the Duke QB instead of Klein.