So one of my guilty pleasures this time of year is going to NFL Draft Sites and specifically Mock Drafts.  Now, in the current Thompson Era of drafts it’s only been once that I have seen any of these actually be accurate as to who the Packers would pick.  That year of course was 2006 when AJ Hawk was taken.  Since then though, the ever wily one Thompson has continued to amaze, befuddle and annoy fans around the world with his first (or second) round picks, inspiring cries of “Who?” throughout Packer Nation.

This year, with a pick at number 9, is there a chance that we may actually have a reasonable shot at predicting what may happen?  There is a need to revamp several positions on the defensive line, not only because of the new alignment but also because it stunk and there are several players that may be around at that pick who could end up on the draft boards of fans with some reliability of getting picked.  Personally, the Harrell experiment should be considered over and my pick at number 9 would either be Boston College DT BJ Raji (who may not be there) or USC LB Ray Maualuga (who should be there).  Both fill a need in this new 3-4 scheme and both could be difference makers in an area that desperately needs it.  This is also going on the assumption that Thompson does nothing in free agency. Should a miracle occur and there actually be a Tier 1 free agent picked up on the defensive side of the ball, I may reconsider my picks depending on whom it is. 

One name though that I see a lot in the these Mock Drafts is Ohio State CB Malcom Jenkins.  I understand the reason why, both Woodson and Harris aren’t getting any younger, but I just don’t see that position as the most glaring need.  Tramon Williams proved himself capable of stepping in, I think that Blackmon hasn’t reached his full potential either and we haven’t seen enough from Patrick Lee yet either to see what he’s got.  For that matter, we also could use some O-Line help as well and while Michael Oher or Eugene Monroe will be gone at 9 someone like Baylor OT Jason Smith may be there.  Not the sexiest pick but more of a need than CB.  Picking a non-starting CB with the 9th pick this year would definitely elicit a groan from me come April 25th this year and I am thinking quite a few others out there in Packer Land.

 

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  • Jon

    I have a sneaking suspicion that the Pack will be very, very active in free agency. The holes in the offensive line, coupled with the change in defensive philosophy, necessitate more than a “build through the draft” philosophy. I know that is against everything Ted stands for, but they do have the money…

  • Jeff S

    Walt,
    I agree to a tee with your top two wishes for pick #9. I think Raji and Maualuga are perfect. They’re fantastic players, fit areas of need, and fit the new defensive scheme. I’ve had a football man-crush on Maualuga ever since the hit he put on the UCLA QB along the sidelines three seasons ago. The guy is a demon. I actually like their depth at CB at present, although age is a big factor. I won’t be upset if a solid LT prospect is drafted. My ultimate scenario would be a trade down to the 15ish spot to pick up a 30ish pick and have 3 of the first 42 picks to restock the front seven on defense.

  • http://mike Mike

    The only rule of thumb that seems to apply to TT’s drafts with the Pack is to ignore any player projected to them in the mock drafts.