It's 1 month until the NFL Draft. Soon - the NFL's Executive of the Year will be back at work. The contemplation is killing me. While in most scenarios I would prefer to trade out of the 1st round, it's necessary to consider players that would satisfy my soul should we happen to draft in the 1st round.
I'm on the prowl. I am seeking a player that I want the Packers to choose in Round 1 on Draft Day. I am looking for someone that can make an immediate impact. A difference maker. Otherwise, I want out of the Round 1.
When your team picks #30 in the draft, it's tough to determine who will be available. There are 19 players that will not be available when the Packers draft. If any of these players are available, we need to pick him, regardless of the position. The players are:
RB: D. McFadden, R. Mendenhall, F. Jones.
DB: DRC, L. McKelvin, A. Talib.
WR: M. Kelly
LB: K. Rivers
DL: C. Long, G. Dorsey, V. Gholston, S. Ellis, P. Merling, D. Harvey.
OL: J. Long, R. Clady, C. Williams, J. Otah.
Therefore, I'm scanning the rest of the field to determine our #1 prospect.
QB: The Packers will not draft a QB in the 1st Round.
RB: I'm enamored with Felix Jones' game, but he will not be available. Jonathan Stewart could be an option, but I don't think he'd be a fit within our scheme. We would need a change of pace guy. Plus, I'm hoping that Stewart is off the board. This would eat up one of the picks with the players that would not interest me.
WR: I believe that Ted Thompson will draft a WR in the first 3 rounds. I know, I know...yes, we have Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. And James Jones and Aaron Rodgers showed tremendous chemistry in the pre-season last year. But, K-Rob was a huge disappointment in the Giants game. He was unable to break a tackle and get himself into the open field. Additionally, I've seen enough of Ruvell Martin. He's a good 5th WR, but he's not pushing others to get better and I still cannot swallow his drop on 3rd Down in the NFC Championship.
It's known that Thompson visited with Limas Sweed at Texas' Pro Day. After watching nearly 15 minutes of Sweed video on youtube, I'd like to see Sweed in Green Bay if he's available. He reminds me of Javon Walker. He can get deep. He seems to run decent routes. He can slip a tackle and he wins jump balls. Thompson likes WR's that make DB's "shrink" when the ball is in the air. Sweed fits the bill.
Devin Thomas would be an ideal fit for the Packers offense. He can turn a 7 yard slant into an 80 yard TD. He's a similar player to Greg Jennings. If he's around, I want him.
DeSean Jackson is a play maker. At any moment, he can change a game. He'd instantly become our KR/PR and he'd step in and assist as either a #3 or a #4 WR. Jackson is a human highlight film. Every time he touches the ball, he's thinking about putting 6 points on the board. If he's around, I want him.
Mario Manningham's stock has dropped. At one point, I was reading that he might end up being the 1st WR drafted. I do not want the Packers to spend a 1st round pick on him. He does not fit in our system.
James Hardy should also be available. The guy produced in college.
TE: Fred Davis will most likely be available when the Packers select. In earlier discussions, he was the guy that I wanted the Packers to select. His stock seems to have dropped considerably. I'd still like him, but it sounds as though the Packers might be able to trade down and still draft him. I'd strongly consider this option. A reliable TE is a young QB's best friend. Donald Lee is more than serviceable, but a 2nd quality TE would add another dimension to our offense.
I would not spend our first round pick on Dustin Keller. He was a workout wonder and I'll be surprised if he translates into a top-notch NFL talent.
OG: Branden Albert is the best Guard in the draft. Admittedly, I don't scout OL, but this is what the "experts" say anyways. I do not want the Packers to draft an OL in the 1st round. It would not surprise me if we draft a Guard in Round 2. If Albert is on the board, Thompson will have a decision to make. If Albert can start on Day 1, as much as it pains me to say it, he'd have to be considered, but then he better be among the elite OG in the NFC.
OT: Both Gosder Cherilus and Sam Baker could be available. Again, I do not want an OL. Plus, I want a T less than I want a G. We've got two starters at T. It would be wise to use a late round pick on a T as a development back-up to both Clifton and Tauscher, but to me, it would be nonsense if the Packers drafted a T in Round 1.
DE: The Packers may look to take a DE in the draft. A-to-the-K is a lifer in Green Bay. But, Cullen Jenkins disappointed last year as a full-time DE and KGB struggled after his injury against Detroit on T-Day. Calais Campbell could be on the board when the Packers select. He's a physical specimen. He's long. He looks great in a uniform. But, he's not always productive. Nonetheless, if he's available Thompson will take a long look at him.
Quentin Groves could also be considered as a potential pick for the Packers at this slot. I'd be disappointed if he were selected. He plays with energy and an attitude, but he's also injury prone.
DT: I'd be shocked if the Packers drafted a DT in the 1st round. Pickett, Jolly, Harrell, and Cole is depth. Plus, I have yet to give up on Daniel Muir.
Most predict Kentwan Balmer will be gone before the Packers pick. This would be a positive thing. Pat Sims is also an option. If the Packers really wanted a DT, I'd imagine that they could trade down and still get Sims.
LB: After signing Brandon Chillar, the Packers will not select a LB in the 1st round. The team will most likely keep 5-6 LB's. Chillar, Hawk, Barnett, Tracy White and Poppinga are locks. If the Packers decide to keep a 6th LB, it'll be between Desmond Bishop and Abdul Hodge.
I read that Jerod Mayo might be selected before the Packers pick. I hope he is gone. Not that I don't like his game...it's just that we don't need a LB and I'd like a player within a position of need to fall to us. Dan Connor is a stud. In many ways, I wished he would have been our pick.
DB: The most likely scenario is for the Packers to draft a DB. It's our most obvious pain. Our secondary needs help. It needs depth.
Mike Jenkins can return kicks as well as play CB. I doubt that he'll be available when the Packers select.
I definitely do not want Brandon Flowers.
Antoine Cason is an interesting candidate. He is a play-making CB. He can also return kicks.
Patrick Lee is also an exciting prospect. He finds the football. He played against big time competition and he's got the size and speed to play at the next level.
Admittedly, I know little-to-nothing about Justin King.
If the Packers are to look at S, then it basically boils down to 2 men: Kenny Phillips and Reggie Smith. I have tried to dig deep for video on Smith. I only found limited footage. He looks small in his uniform. He seems active and willing to lay a hit. His statistics show that he was around the football and therefore, he does intrigue me - even though his size scares me.
Kenny Phillips - I live on Miami Beach. The Miami Herald treats the "U" like a religion. I can tell you Kenny Phillips life story. At this stage, I'll refrain. Any way, Kenny Phillips looks like a man among men. He's physical. He's fast. He looks the part. However, he reminds of a young Darren Sharper. But, not the Darren Sharper that could pick off a pass and take it to the house. He looks great in a uniform. He'll find his way around the ball. He does intercept passes. But, he also finds himself out of position. He takes terrible angles to the football. He often times plays flat footed. I saw Tashard Choice make him look like a fool on more than one occasion. His upside is high. He left school after his Junior year. And he did not play that well as a Junior. Expectations were high and he came nowhere close to meeting them. He's the kind of guy that could be a bust...but, he could also be the steal of the draft. He may be worth the risk.
There's one month to go until the draft. At this stage, I want the Packers to trade down, however if one of these guys is available, I'd be extremely excited if we drafted him: Limas Sweed, Devin Thomas, DeSean Jackson, Mike Jenkins, Kenny Phillips, and Calais Campbell. Moreover, I'd be intrigued if we took Antoine Cason, Patrick Lee or Reggie Smith. And if Brendan Albert is available, I understand why he was the Packers choice. I would not necessarily like it, but I'd understand it.
Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock.