NFL Draft: A look at the Packers needs
Dec 5, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Louisville Cardinals safety Calvin Pryor (25) prior to the game against the Louisville Cardinals at Nippert Stadium. Photo: Image by Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Now that we've identified six potential first round targets for the Packers it's time to look at when and how they can fill their needs heading into the draft:
There's no doubt this is the most glaring need however Ted Thompson might be in a squeeze here if he wants to address this position early. Ha Ha Clinton Dix and Calvin Pryor are the two best coverage safeties in this year's class and several teams, including the Lions, Bears and Rams, could use a safety. If both are off the board by pick #21 the Packers may have to wait until round three to find a coverage safety.
If Eric Ebron is gone Thompson can easily scoop up Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the first round. Thompson can take a gamble that Seferian-Jenkins is still around by the middle of the second round though Jace Amaro and Troy Niklas should still be available. C.J. Fiedorowicz is another day two candidate to keep an eye on.
The bigger need is on the inside but C.J. Mosley is the only prospect with a first round grade. After Mosley is Wisconsin's Chris Borland who will go on day two. Like safety it gets thin after that. On the outside Ryan Shazier should still be around at #21. Round two should offer a number of OLBs including Kyle Van Noy and Jeremiah Attaochu.
This is the deepest position in the draft, especially in the first two rounds. Thompson could nab an early playmaker like Brandin Cooks or Marqise Lee or wait and still get a potential second round contributor in Donte Moncrief, Jordan Matthews or Martavis Bryant. Just to give you an idea of how deep this position is we could see as many as 14 WRs taken in the first two rounds. So Thompson can be patient here.
Another deep position with the possibility of a dozen corners going in the top 100. Kyle Fuller, Jason Verrett and Bradley Roby could fit as a first round pick. There could still be plenty of quality choices in day two including Keith McGill, Stanley Jean-Baptiste and the ever-intriguing Pierre Desir from Lindenwood University.
The Packers could add some beef in the first round with Timmy Jernigan, Louis Nix or Ra'Shede Hageman. However, most of the 300 lbs guys like DaQuan Jones and Ego Ferguson can be found after the second round.
With Evan Dietrich-Smith gone the Packers need to address the interior of the offensive line though as usual this is not a high priority area in the draft. Marcus Martin is the only center who ranks in the top 50 so the center position will likely be addressed on day three.
We saw last year how dire things can get without a groomed-in backup quarterback. Matt Flynn will serve that role again but Thompson must take a look at bringing in a young quarterback. There's a big drop off after the top six quarterbacks so Thompson can wait until the mid rounds to grab someone like LSU's Zach Mettenberger.
With the breakout of Eddie Lacy, a bounce back year from James Starks and the return of DuJuan Harris this is a low priority position. However, league wide running back is not as coveted a position as it once was and we may not see any RBs go in round one. The Packers could easily wait until day three to make a pick here.