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NFL Draft: What will the Packers do at #21?

Sep 1, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker C.J. Mosely (32) celebrates scoring a touchdown with defensive back Vinnie Sunseri (3) during the second quarter at Cowboys Stadium. Photo: Image by USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft: What will the Packers do at #21?

By Jeff Falconio. CREATED May 1, 2014

Packers general manager Ted Thompson met with the media on Thursday and as usual he gave away very little in terms of the Packers draft plans.  Nevertheless there are three areas of concern heading into the draft and the Packers can address any of the three in the first round.

Safety

The Packers need a playmaker at safety, one who excels in coverage.  Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix would be ideal, having registered seven interceptions in his collegiate career, but he is considered a top 15 pick and should be off the board by the time the Packers pick.  That leads us to Louisville's Calvin Pryor who is good in coverage but also physical.  The Packers need guys who can hit and Pryor brings intimidation into the secondary.

Linebacker

Another area lacking playmaking is at inside linebacker.  A.J. Hawk can rack up the tackles but has forced only three fumbles in his career.  The Packers haven't had a bruising tackler who can be disruptive since 2011 with Desmond Bishop.  Again we go to the Alabama defense and linebacker C.J. Mosley.  While undersized, Mosley has great instincts, is a leader and can hit though he's not the best tackler.  There's always a concern with Alabama linebackers because usually the Tide's defensive line is so good that it frees up their linebackers.  Despite that Mosley's transition to the NFL should be a smooth one.

Tight End  

The Packers are moving on without Jermichael Finley and while often frustrating Finley was too good for opposing defenses to ignore.  Even though he has shot up the draft boards there's a chance North Carolina's Eric Ebron could still be around at pick 21.  Ebron's mix of size and athleticism make him a coveted prospect.  However while his presence may remind fans of Finley so will the number of dropped passes.  Ebron's atheticism allowed him to play at a high level in college but at the pro level he'll need to work on his hands.  If he does he could end up as the NFL's next pass catching tight end superstar.