Green Bay Packers 7 Round Mock Draft 2.0

Ryan Shazier Green Bay Packers Draft

The frenzied first couple of weeks of free agency is now over.  The Packers lost some key contributors in free agency, and made a couple of additions to bolster an underperforming defense. Despite these moves, the Packers draft needs remain largely unchanged.

The biggest weaknesses remain on defense, but there are definitely needs on the offensive side of the ball as well.

With four picks in the first two days of the draft and nine picks overall, Ted Thompson should have ample opportunity to find some players who can make an immediate impact.

 

Round 1: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State

6’1” 237

Since the Packers moved to a 3-4 defense in 2009, Nick Barnett, Brandon Chillar, Desmond Bishop, and Brad Jones have all started games at inside linebacker next to AJ Hawk. The Packers made a significant investment in Jones last off season hoping he was the long-term solution, but after a sub-par season in 2013, Jones does not appear to be the answer.

It may take some time to adjust to playing in a 3-4 defense, but once he is able to adapt, Shazier could be exactly what the Packers need in the middle of their defense. Shazier has the speed and athleticism to cover tight ends and running backs, and has the power and instincts to make plays in the backfield. Shazier had 144 tackles, 23.5 tackles for a loss, and 7 sacks last season.

Round 2: Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson

6’4” 211

The Packers are the thinnest they have been at wide receiver in years.  Only Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Jarrett Boykin have more than marginal NFL experience. With the Packers relying so heavily on the pass, finding another receiving threat should be of importance.

Bryant’s teammate, Sammy Watkins, gets most of the attention, but Bryant has a very impressive skill set in his own right. At 6’4” 211, Bryant is arguably the most impressive athlete from a size/speed standpoint, in this year’s group of wide receivers. However, Bryant only had one productive season at Clemson, and at this point he is probably a better athlete than receiver. But given a year to develop while serving as the Packers fourth receiver could pay huge dividends.

Round 3: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska

6’3” 218

On the surface the Packers look set at cornerback. Sam Shields just signed a large extension, Tramon Williams played well last year, Casey Hayward should be coming back from injury this season, and Micah Hyde showed a lot of promise as a rookie. But Williams’ contract expires at the end of this season, and there is a good chance Hyde is moved to safety.

Jean-Baptiste is a big bodied corner, who like Sam Shields, is a converted wide receiver. Despite only playing 2 years at corner, Jean-Baptiste has put up some impressive numbers over the past 2 seasons, with 6 interceptions and 23 passes defended.

Round 3 Compensatory: CJ Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa

6’6” 265

The Packers could use a field stretching tight end to replace Jermichael Finley, assuming he is not re-signed, but unless the Packers plan on using a first round pick on a tight end, they are probably not going to be able to find that offensive weapon in this draft.

Fiedorowicz isn’t likely to put up huge yards in the passing game, but he does have good hands and at 6’6”, he would also make an excellent red zone target. And with the likelihood the Packers will be emphasizing the run more this season; Fiedorowicz’s blocking ability could be a huge asset.

Round 4: Kenny Ladler, S, Vanderbilt

6’ 207

I’m sure there are a lot of Packer fans that would like a safety to be selected sooner in the draft, but with Mike McCarthy keeping the option open for Micah Hyde to see some time at safety, it may allow the Packers a little flexibility in the draft.

Ladler ran a disappointing 4.7 40 at the combine, but he plays faster on film.  A 2 year starter at safety for Vanderbilt, Ladler had 9 interceptions and 7 forced fumbles during his college career, 5 of each came during his senior year.

Round 5: Morgan Breslin, OLB, USC

6’1” 250

Even though the Packers re-signed Mike Neal, and free agent acquisition Julius Peppers will be used predominantly as a pass rush specialist, the Packers could still use some depth at outside linebacker.

Breslin was a combine snub, but ran a 4.75 40 and put up 26 reps up on the bench press at the USC Pro Day. Breslin was very productive as a junior, registering 13 sacks and 19.5 tackles for a loss, but his production fell off his senior year due to a hip injury which caused him to miss all but 5 games. Despite only playing in 5 games, Breslin still notched 4 sacks this past season.

Round 5 Compensatory: Russell Bodine, G/C, North Carolina

6’3” 310

At this point no one knows who will be starting at center for the Packers this season. If I had a guess I would say JC Tretter is the front runner for the job, but I don’t think the Packers plan on handing it to him without some competition.

Bodine has been the starting center for the Tar Heels the past 2 seasons, but he has spent some time at guard. Bodine plays with a mean streak and has excellent functional strength.  His impressive 42 bench press reps at the combine led all offensive linemen.

Round 6: Tom Savage, QB, Pitt

6’4” 228

Mike McCarthy has said he would like to draft a quarterback, and ideally they would have four quarterbacks in camp. Considering the issues the Packers had at quarterback last season, I could definitely see them keeping three quarterbacks during the season.  I still think the Packers will sign a veteran before camp starts, but look for them to select another quarterback in the draft or possibly sign one as an undrafted free agent.

Savage has the prototypical size scouts look for in a quarterback, and has one of the strongest arms in the draft. However, Savage only started 2 seasons at quarterback, in 2010 & 2013, after being forced to sit out 2011 & 2012 after transferring schools.  Savage would be a perfect 3rd quarterback or a possible practice squad candidate if the Packers sign a veteran backup.

Round 7: Zach Kerr, DT, Delaware

6’1” 326

With BJ Raji only signing a one year prove it deal; the Packers may be looking for a new nose tackle next season.

After 2 seasons at Maryland, Kerr transferred to Delaware in 2012 due to academic issues. Kerr will probably never put up huge sack numbers, which isn’t a requirement in the Packers scheme, but he can be a disruptive force along the defensive line, and has surprising quickness for a man of his size.

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Ian Hanley is a writer at PackersTalk.com. PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on twitter at @Ian_M_Hanley.

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  • Aaron

    The 1st 3 picks would make me sad but the last 6 had great value. M. Bryant really doesn’t appear as “Packer People”. If Hageman is still available in the 1st I believe Ted will pick him based on watching him at Senior Bowl and measurables.

    Cody Latimer is a mid round wideout to keep an eye on also.

  • Brandon

    Thanks for the article. I personally don’t agree with the first few picks but hey what fun would the world be if we all agreed. I believe we need to address these areas in the draft at some point but 1 and 2 don’t seem to fit. We have higher needs such as saftey, TE and center that need to be resolved. My problem with Shazier is if you are going to draft a player that has to yet again adapt to the 3-4, we end up with another Nick Perry who has shown glimpses but hasn’t shown everything most hoped for.

    • I think safety is a huge need if the Packers don’t move Hyde to safety, but I was kind of going off the assumption they will try that. I think TE is a big need as well, but unless the Packers want to take Ebron,Amaro, or Serferian-Jenkins in the 1st, I think Fiedorowicz or Niklas would be the next best options. Shazier moving to ILB in a 3-4 from OLB in a 4-3 wouldn’t be nearly as drastic as moving a DE like Perry to OLB. Thank you for reading!

    • Taylor

      I agree with you Brandon.

      Safety is a huge need. Hyde is not what we’re ultimately looking for. And a 1st round pick needs to be a playmaker, not a project that we *hope* can develop at a new position. Our defense lacks explosive athletes and I sure hope we draft a couple early.

  • luke

    Really like this draft. Shazier,Ladler,Breslin and Kerr are all names that I’ve liked for the Packers when researching for this draft. Not a huge Bryant or Fiedorowicz fan but I do think the Packers address both of these positions near the rounds that you do. I just hope they’re different players. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Luke! The Packers should have a lot of options at WR with this being such a deep draft. It might be a bit harder to find a quality TE, but hopefully the Packers manage to find someone that they can develop in to a starter.

      • luke

        To me Fiedorowicz is just a plodder. Above average blocker, average hands and athletic ability. He’s not going to be a big field stretcher or YAC guy. Seems like a bigger but less explosive Quarless.

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  • Bill

    After getting at least mildly “burned” by Hawk, I wouldn’t be real happy about getting another Buckeye LB in the first round. Really feel as if the Pack needs to get either Clinton-Dix (whether Hyde goes to S or not) or Mosely, which will probably require a trade up. Would love them taking Fiedorowicz in the third. Don’t know enough about the others to comment, but they do need to take a C and WR in this draft.