The Green Bay Packers finally selected a safety with 21st selection in the third round, 85th overall, by taking USC safety Dion Bailey in the #MockOne draft.
Bailey is an athletic specimen and playmaker, coming up with five interceptions and 6.5 tackles for a loss his junior season along with four interceptions and eight TFLs his sophomore year.
At the NFL Combine, Bailey also put up some of the best times among players at his position in the change of direction drills such as the shuttles and three-cone drill.
Then with their compensatory draft choice in the third round, 98th overall, the Packers took sliding Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, considered by some to be a second-round talent.
Known for his quick release and decision-making skills, Garoppolo would come to Green Bay to compete with Matt Flynn for the backup job to starter Aaron Rodgers.
The Packers found out the hard way the value of a backup quarterback last season as they experimented with Graham Harrell, B.J. Coleman, Vince Young and Seneca Wallace before settling on Flynn at midseason while Rodgers was injured.
Although Flynn returns to Green Bay in 2013, the Packers have not committed to him long-term, signing him to just a one-year contract.
For a third consecutive selection, I was out out-voted by members of our war room in selecting Bailey, who played linebacker his first two seasons at USC and was a glorified linebacker his junior year.
Bailey has minimal experience as a deep safety making him a difficult projection for a team in need of a starting-caliber player on their defense.
If Bailey would still be on the board in the fifth round or later, his athleticism makes him a player worth developing. But as far as a guy being depended upon to play deep safety immediately in his career, Round 3 is too early.
Bailey was utilized as a nickel safety during his time at USC, and he could easily translate to that position in professional football, but the Packers already have two of those types of players on their roster in Casey Hayward and Micah Hyde. Green Bay is in need of a roaming safety.
Had it been solely my decision, I would have taken Jimmy Garoppolo with the 85th overall selection and followed that up with LSU safety Craig Loston with the 98th pick.
Packers #MockOne 2014 Draft Class
1.21 Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley
2.21 (53) Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro
3.21 (85) USC safety Dion Bailey
3.34 (98) Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo
Brian's Preferred Draft Class
1.21 Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier
2.21 (53) Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins
3.21 (85) Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo
3.34 (98) LSU safety Craig Loston
Photo: Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo by Brian Carriveau.
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