One of These Seven Names Will Be Pack’s First Pick


Draft and develop. It’s the Ted Thompson way, which is why draft weekend is always extra riveting for Packer fans. It’s basically the only time in the offseason that the Packers  make significant roster additions.

We tend to focus on the first pick, especially now that the first round has its own day, but Thompson will use his eight picks to add depth and a couple of new starters. We expect Thompson to add a DL or two, a safety, a running back, wide receiver, an offensive lineman or two and maybe a tight end.

As for his first pick, whether it’s at #26 or early in the second round, it’s likely to be one of these seven names. Here they are, in reverse order of my preference:

7. Sylvester Williams, DL North Carolina  This is a real position of need for the Pack, with the likely loss of Jerel Worthy in 2013. But I have a feeling there will be a run on D linemen in the back half of the first round. If Thompson does see a defensive lineman he loves still there when it’s his turn to pick, it’s likely to be the former Tar Heel, who can play anywhere on the line. He had a great pro day, raising his stock to this range and could step right in to the starting lineup and play some nose, to give Raji a breather. Downside, he’ll be 25 in November.  Look for Thompson to address the defensive line before Saturday, but probably not in the first round.

6. Menelik Watson, OT Florida State  I know, we’re bored with taking tackles in the first round. If this is the name on Ted’s card, it’s likely a trade down into the second round to allow a QB-starved team (Buffalo?) to get back into the first round. The top tackles are expected to be long gone by the time Green Bay picks, unless DJ Fluker happens to drop. Let’s face it, we don’t know exactly where we stand at tackle right now. Can Bulaga bounce back from a bad hip injury? If so, can he move to the left to allow Don Barclay to man the right side? Is Barclay ready for that? Can Marshall Newhouse improve enough to hang on to the left tackle spot? Is Derrek Sherrod alive? Lots of questions at this crucial position and if Ted trades down to the second, he may grab Watson, a native of England who is considered raw, but with upside that could put him on a par with the guys drafted in the top five. Some question his passion for the game, since he jumped from sport to sport, but he does have a cool British accent.

5. Eddie Lacey, RB Alabama  He’s probably higher on some of your wish lists, but to me it’s a gamble drafting a running back this high. It’s certainly not something we’ve seen Thompson do, and we know that the position is less important in this offense than in most. But wouldn’t it be nice to consider adding the draft’s top back to see what a talent like that could mean for the Packers’ offense? The problem is, many of us felt the same way a couple of years ago, when a more heralded Tide back, Mark Ingram came out. He’s been ordinary so far in another pass-happy offense. DeJuan Harris may have shown enough to let the Packers brain trust wait until the third or fourth round to add some additional competition. But after missing out on Stephen Jackson, maybe Thompson finally takes the plunge and rolls the dice.

4. Tyler Eifert, TE Notre Dame  This is probably the biggest long shot of the seven names here, but just close your eyes for a moment and imagine third and eight,  Aaron Rodgers lining up with an empty backfield; Jordy Nelson one one side and James Jones on the other. Randall Cobb is in the slot, with Jermichael Finley and Eifert at tight end. Who’s going to be able to cover that? Of course, we would need an offensive line that can protect Rodgers long enough to get the ball to someone. Eifert would allow McCarthy to install a batch of new plays featuring duo tight ends, a la the Patriots. If Eifert plays like the best tight end in the draft and Finley doesn’t, it will allow the team to let #88 walk after 2013. This mitigates the loss of Greg Jennings and gives the offense a new and different look.

3. Damontre Moore, OLB Texas A&M  This one feels outside the box, since Thompson went with this position in the first round last year. But Moore stands out as a perfect fit for Capers’ defense and would give the Pack some flexibility with Nick Perry, who is still getting used to playing linebacker and could be moved around a bit to make the most of his strengths. The Packers waved good bye to Erik Walden and Frank Zombo this offseason and could desperately use a pass rusher to complement CMIII and keep opposing offensive coordinators from focusing strictly on #52.

2. Jonathan Cyprien, FS Florida Int’l  If Thompson has a few names available that he likes, the guess here is that he goes in this direction.  This feels like the year Thompson finds a free safety to pair with Morgan Burnett, one that will give the defense a Nick Collins-like presence that it has sorely missed, since Collins was forced to retire. I believe Thompson will make a safety one of his first two picks. Cyprien would represent another small school safety, a direction Thompson has gone in the past. He’s smart, hard-hitting and would give the Pack some instant toughness–as would this guy…

1. Matt Elam, FS Florida Here’s a smart, tough, aggressive, productive defender in the SEC who would instantly step into the starting lineup. His consistency has been questioned, but his natural talent and intelligence have scouts drooling. Elam can cover a slot receiver and is terrific against the run–not to mention read option QBs. You can argue whether defensive line or safety presents the biggest need. Both positions will be addressed early, but Elam feels like the guy that Thompson will grab first.




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8 Responses to One of These Seven Names Will Be Pack’s First Pick

  1. Jim in Rochester says:

    I would like to see Cyprien, but I am thinking maybe Hunt from SMU or Jones from UCLA. I think they need depth @ OLB , so Moore would be a good pick, but probably could get him in the 2nd, he is sliding.

  2. Bill, the voice of reason says:

    Let’s see…the last time the Vikings had 2 1st round picks ahead of the Packers they selected Troy Williamson at #7 and Erasmus James at #18. The Packers took some guy named Aaron Rodgers at #24. I wonder how all of that eventually worked out…

  3. Cane says:

    If you don’t fix your OL (let’s face it–you need guard, center, and/or tackle)–it will be same old-same old for the Packers this year (one and done). I never understood why you wouldn’t want to protect your most valuable asset. Yawn….

  4. Bill, the voice of reason says:

    OK Cane, fair enough…let’s take a closer look at this situation. First of all, there are two that are out because of injury (Sherrod and Bulaga), and if just one of them returns, that in itself would be a huge improvement – if both return it would be off the charts. Newhouse should improve in his 4th year, so adding at least one OL guy would be a big step towards improvement. Now, the Vikings DL is going to have a bunch of issues of their own in the not too distant future. Allen just turned 31 and is a FA after this season – is Spielman going to resign him to big bucks next year? It’s not likely. Williams turns 33 this year, and he just restructured to create more cap room to sign the crop of rookies coming in. If ever the handwriting was on the wall for those two guys, this is it. They’re both gone after the ’13 season, and that’s two very big holes to fill, so the Vikings better think drafting D line this year or the linebackers and secondary are going to have more on their collective plates than they can handle. Sure, the Pack’s O line could use some depth, but that’s not their highest priority.

  5. Old South Side Guy says:

    Never thought I would say this….but I wholeheartingly agree with Kane….OL is and should be our priority. I get what the voice says about injured guys coming back…..but Newhouse and EDSmith are career backups at best. My seven to add to Davy’s excellent seven coming soon. Go TT go this is your time of year. !!


    Okay….after detailed study here are my seven picks for potential Packer number ones. Let me say Davy had a nice seven so I will not copy any. Mine will be in order of preference.
    1- Arthur Brown…ILB..Kansas State…Would be a dream come true if this guy slips to us. Think a young, athletic Brian Urlacker. This guy is an every down LB…and a LB who can cover the pass……something we do not have. Dream Big!!
    2- Bjorn Werner….DE…Florida State….This guy has fallen after the combine when he was a top ten…..if he falls this far you got to take him.
    3- Jonathan Cooper….OG…North Carolina…Another stretch who is projected to go somewhere in the 20′s. If he falls snap him up….a long term fixture to protect Rodgers.
    4- DJ Swearinger…Safety…South Carolina…This guy makes a lot of sense. Safety is a big need and DJ is one of the fastest risers on most draft boards. He is big and physical….which we havent had since Nick Collins. If anyone on my top three are not available ….this is the guy. My prediction for first round….DJ Swearinger !!
    5- Barret Jones…. Center….Alabama….I was on this guy early and it could still happen. This guy is big and smart and could be a 10 year fixture at center. He was a two time first team concensus All American from football factory Alabama.
    6- Keehan Allen…..WR…Southern Cal….Big and solid wide receiver from another football factory. With Jennings gone and Jones a free agent in another year never to early to stockpile.
    7- Kevi Minter….ILB LSU….probably way gone by our pick but if slides next best ILB after Brown at a position we desperately need upgrades.
    There you have it my wish list. I will throw out a guess for second or third round….a running back….either LE’Veon Bell of Michigan State or Montee Ball of Wisconsin would be nice. GO PACK GO and GO TT GO…..this is your time !!

  7. The Trashman says:

    All I want for Christmas is another playmaker at any position. I seriously think Teddy can actually follow what he preaches and simply take best available. I would say we have room for improvement at just about every position yet aren’t desperate at any. Get us another playmaker, Ted! And may the football gods cut us a break and let our 1st rounders be healthy for a year or two. I’d love to see what we have in Perry and Sherrod. Ohh, and since I am making wishes, I might as well use up my 3rd wish: an opening weekend win over SF! Let’s see if Capers and Mike can come up with a better defensive game plan. I suggest a fast LB or safety at the line to use as a spy on Kapernick if all else fails.

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