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Tuesday, March 22, 2011           

Thirsty For A Draft...

As we inch forward towards the only sure NFL thing to happen this off-season, The Draft, we are finally starting to see the better mock drafts, those would be the one's that show the Green Bay Packers taking a WR, LB, or DE from the poorer one's, those would have the Packers taking a RB in the 1st round. As we Packers fans have known for the last 5 years, GM Ted Thompson gives almost no hints to which-way his mind is thinking.

We've been told that TT lives by the BPA (Best Player Available) and yet, many of us actually believe that TT takes the BPA for the Packers. I have no problems with that approach, and with still 5 weeks to go until the actually Draft, I believe the Packers are looking at D-Lineman first, an O-Lineman 2nd, and maybe a WR third. Linebacker to me, is a position that would require a pretty special player to be available, otherwise the Packers are a bit loaded at that position, and should have interest in other area's of need.

Here's a few more NFL Mock Draft's from around the web, and as always, I focus only on the Packers.... enjoy the speculation.

BeerKid - Always Pack 4 Life!

32.  Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland - The Packers are a tough team to mock draft for. They have very few needs, and the best players available don't necessarily satisfy those needs. One thing Ted Thompson will be looking for is a receiver. Donald Driver doesn't have much left in the tank, while James Jones is a free agent. Torrey Smith is a Thompson type of prospect. He has great character, and he's a high-effort player (nothing like Darrius Heyward-Bey). Smith is a very good blocker - which is something Green Bay loves out of its receivers. Plus, he could help out on kick returns right away.

64.  Danny Watkins, G, Baylor - I really like Danny Watkins. He's a talented guard who can start right away for the team that drafts him. The problem is that he's 27 years old (in November), but that won't matter much to the Packers, who are built to win now rather than later.

96.  Jarvis Jenkins, DE/DT, Clemson - Mike McCarthy recently spoke in the past tense when referring to Cullen Jenkins. Johnny Jolly, meanwhile, won't be around much longer. The Packers could look into acquiring a new defensive end early in the 2011 NFL Draft.

128.  Bruce Miller, DE/OLB, Central Florida - Frank Zombo had an important sack in the Super Bowl, but the Packers still need an upgrade across from Clay Matthews.

160.  Derrick Locke, RB, Kentucky - Ryan Grant is entering his contract year. James Starks looked great during the team's Super Bowl run, but has a long injury history. Brandon Jackson is a free agent. The Packers should find some running back help in the middle rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft. Derrick Locke would be a great weapon to have on offense because he can score any time he touches the ball.

Walter Football.Com

32.  Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State - With a couple of the Packers defensive front due to hit free agency and a couple of others lacking in quality, this defense could use some help. B.J. Raji has proven to be a solid nose tackle but adding another stud like Stephen Paea alongside him would definitely help.

64.  James Carpenter, OT, Alabama

96.  Ricardo Lockette, WR, Fort Valley State

Consensus Draft Services

32.  Christian Ballard, DT, Iowa - A very athletic defensive lineman, played tackle for Iowa, but will be moved to end in the NFL. DE Cullen Jenkins is a free agent and the Packers need to upgrade at end. Ballard at 6' 4" 295 pounds ran his 40-yard dash at the 2011 NFL Scouting Comine in amazing 4.75 seconds! Ballard is a major Sleeper for the 2011 NFL Draft. I think North Carolina DT Marvin Austin would be a better value here, but he doesn't fit the Packers 3-4 defense.

NFL Draft Dog

32.  Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA - The Packers love versatility, hence they jump all over Ayers. He can rush the passer, defend the run, drop in coverage, hit hard, and make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Although I prefer him as an OLB, he provides ILB insurance and perhaps influences the Packers to trade or release Nick Barnett, now an expensive backup. Ayers has not impressed as naturally instinctive and some question his commitment. The talent is there, however, and with the proper coaching/motivation (Capers/Greene), Ayers can step in as a starter and learn as he goes along.

64.  James Carpenter, OT, Alabama - Carpenter is one of those "steady but not exciting" players that could be a starting right tackle or guard in the NFL. Has good lateral agility, but may not have the foot quickness for left tackle. Tough to move when he establishes a strong base, but needs to work on foot technique in pass protection. The Packers add Carpenter as excellent depth to their OL mix and figure out where he fits in camp.

Al Bracco/Jersey Al's AllGreenBayPackers.Com for Draft Tek.Com

32.  Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois - I am not sure about this pick as Ryan Grant will be back next year and now that James Starks looked goo in the first playoff game. However, in getting Leshoure this late in the 2011 NFL Mock Draft they are getting a steal. I have him taking my top rated 2011 NFL Mock Draft RB in this draft.

64.  Jurell Casey, DT, USC - I had Casey as a first rounder for a while but his stock has falling because so many other DT's stock have risen. He still can play his way into the first round he is just on the bottom half of top 2011 NFL Draft DT's.

New NFL Draft

32.  Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA - The Packers have a rising star in Clay Matthews but they could use an upgrade opposite him and UCLA Akeem Ayers would be a nice fit while also offering terrific value this last in round one. At one point it appeared as though Ayers would be a mid-first rounder but disappointing forty times in workouts could push him down draft boards a bit. A well-rounded player who can be a factor against the run, in coverage and, perhaps most importantly for a 3-4 team such as the Packers, as a pass rusher, Ayers is in many ways the total package. Georgiaís Justin Houston would also be a perfect fit if available and donít rule out Arizonaís Brooks Reed either. Despite using their top pick on Bryan Bulaga last year the Packers could still use some more help along the offensive line, Akeem Ayers | UCLA Bruins particularly at tackle since Chad Clifton is nearing the end of the line, so someone like Derek Sherrod of Mississippi St. could be a possibility. Keep an eye on cornerback too because either Jimmy Smith of Colorado or Aaron Williams of Texas would make sense as an eventual replacement for the aging Charles Woodson. The defensive line is also a concern and guys like Cameron Heyward of Ohio St., Muhammad Wilkerson of Temple, Christian Ballard of Iowa or Allen Bailey of Miami (FL) could all be fits as a five - technique in their odd front.

64.  Curtis Brown, CB, Texas - Charles Woodson's going to be 35-years-old so some additional depth wouldn't hurt.

Scott Wright - Draft Countdown

32.  Brooks Reed, DE/OLB, Arizona - Green Bay is coming off an unbelievable season. They do not have a ton of needs but they could use another OLB across from the superstar Clay Mathews. Reed has been rising up draft boards quickly and he is probably going to be drafted in the later part of the first round or the early par tof the second round.

64.  Rodney Hudson, G, Florida St. - Daryn Colledge is going to be a FA, but he wasn't that good anyways. Hudson could fill in nicely along Green Bay's line. He is one of the best players available right now.

Clint Clearwater for The Football Expert

32.  Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland - James Jones' status as a free agent will impact this pick but Smith's big play ability as a receiver and return man would be a welcomed addition to the Super Bowl Champs.

64.  Christian Ballard, DL, Iowa

Robert Davis - Football's Future

32.  Muhammad Wilkerson, DT/DE, Temple - If the Packers are prepared to lose Cullen Jenkins in free agency, they should be at least considering a 3-4 five-technique defensive end with their first pick of the draft. Wilkerson might need a year to develop, but he has the right measurables for the position and consistently flashed a knack for high-impact plays at Temple last season.

Don Banks - Sports Illustrated
Posted by BeerKid / 11:41 AM