In the run-up to the NFL Draft, I plan on publishing a weekly "Mailbag" feature here at Cheesehead TV.
If there's any question you'd like answered, tag your queries with the hashtag #PackersDraft on Twitter.
— Matt Johnson (@ThreefortheWin) February 10, 2014
Among the players mentioned, I'd easily take Calvin Pryor, who I consider to be the best safety in this year's draft by a wide margin. In addition to being a punishing hitter, Pryor has accounted for 15 turnovers in just three years, either interceptions or forced fumbles. Some may argue he gambles a little too often, but even when Pryor does gamble, he wins far more often than he loses.
Ra'Shede Hageman is a boom or bust type of player, and even with so many defensive linemen slated to become free agents, safety is still the bigger need. If players like Datone Jones and Mike Daniels develop like the Packers hope they will, the need to add another defensive end/interior rusher becomes lessened. As for Louis Nix, he definitely has the size, but does he have the disruptive quality worthy of a first-round draft choice? Not that you need a nose tackle to put up monster sack numbers, but I'd prefer a first round draft choice to have more than 2.5 career college sacks.
— The Book Of Mark (@IgnantTone) February 10, 2014
First of all, I don't think it's any given that the Packers will automatically take Hageman with their first-round selection. Not that I'm necessarily dismissing that possibility, but there's a lot Hageman needs to prove in the way of consistency before being stamped as sealed as a top 21 draft pick. However, I assume this question has more to do with the merits of Deone Bucannon and Marcus Smith anyway.
Smith is a good prospect, another in a long line of outside linebacker hybrids that figures to make the transition from defensive end in college. But if the Packers don't address safety in the first round, it's hard to see them passing up Bucannon at such a position of need by the second round (assuming they don't go after a free agent). If both Clay Matthews and Nick Perry are healthy, Smith might not see the field much at all, whereas Bucannon could become an instant starter in the Green Bay secondary.
Other than safety, the packers greatest position of need is...#PackersDraft
— Luke Mills (@lmills34) February 10, 2014
It's between inside linebacker and tight end. And while potentially losing both Jermichael Finley and Andrew Quarless in the same offseason might make me second guess myself, I'd go with inside linebacker. There's probably no other position on the defensive side of the football that could seemingly have a bigger impact on the outcome of the game. A good inside linebacker can make a difference as a pass rusher, in coverage and making the most tackles week in and week out. That's probably not something you can say about either A.J. Hawk or Brad Jones right now, at least on a consistent basis. And that's also what makes a guy like C.J. Mosley of Alabama so intriguing. He'd instantly be the most talented inside linebacker on the team if drafted by the Packers.
— Christopher Bianco (@biancoschuett) February 10, 2014
While Eric Pinkins was a great guest on Railbird Central on Monday, even he would probably admit he's a late-round prospect at best. What makes Pinkins intriguing is his 6-3 height, or at least that's what San Diego State lists him as being. For a player of that size, it will be imperative for him to prove at his pro day workout in March that he can move well by turning in a fast 40-yard dash, three-cone drill and the other timed drills. If Pinkins can do that, then he's probably worth giving a shot as an undrafted player and perhaps even as a late-round type.
— DanLa (@lachad) February 10, 2014
If we're talking late rounds, it's next to impossible to predict who exactly the Packers will draft, giving basically a one in 32 shot to any player being picked by the Packers. But if you want a name I find intriguing as an under-the-radar guy, my interest is piqued by a nose tackle by the name of Ryan Carrethers of Arkansas State. For someone who weighs 330 lbs., I want to know how he averaged over seven tackles a game as a senior (93 overall). He received an invite to the NFL Combine, so maybe if tests well, he'll be one of those draft risers we so often hear about.
Brian Carriveau is the author of the book "It's Just a Game: Big League Drama in Small Town America," and editor of Cheesehead TV's "Pro Football Draft Preview." To contact Brian, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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