Front Seven Will Get Thompson's Attention This WeekPosted:Apr 24th, 2016 10:12 pm
It's time for my annual stab at a seven round Packers mock draft. We all know it's likely Ted Thompson will engineer a trade or two, moving up and down and ultimately adding 9-10 new players to the roster.
This year, I think there's a good chance he moves out of the first round if he feels he can get a similar player by moving back into the first part of the second round. A team like Cleveland or San Francisco could crave a QB and offer the Pack a sweet deal to move back.
In my mock, we will assume no trades and we will hope that the cards fall Green Bay's way so that their #1 target falls into their lap.
Round 1 (27) Reggie Ragland, ILB, Alabama: Sure, there's a chance he'll get snapped up anywhere in the ten picks before the Pack makes its selection. But he could slip as teams start snapping up wide receivers. If Ragland is there, I don't see how Ted passes on him. He's a throwback linebacker who would step right into the middle of the defense and add more nastiness in the mold of Daniels and Clinton-Dix. Yes, the Pack needs to beef up the defensive line, but if Ragland is there, they'll wait till round two. If Ragland is gone, look for the Pack to choose between Ragland's Bama teammate A'Shawn Robinson or Mississippi State's Chris Jones.
Round 2 (55) Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech: I've seen mocks where Butler goes to the Pack in the first round, but I see him falling into the back half of the second. Thompson likes players from La. Tech and Butler will provide some much needed beef to the defensive line, with a chance to step right in and play alongside Daniels and Guion.
Round 3 (88) Joe Schobert, OLB Wisconsin: Thompson completes the front seven trifecta with the high-motored former Badger who will get to learn under two greats: Peppers and Matthews. A former walk-on, Schobert improved each year to become the Big Ten's best linebacker last season. He's a bit undersized, but was amazingly productive and always seemed to be around the ball. He can contribute immediately on special teams and work his way into the rotation at LB as the season progresses.
Round 4 (125) Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame With two compensatory picks in this round Thompson could trade this pick (along with one or two others) to move up into the third round. If not, he might roll the dice on Smith, who would have been a top five pick, if not for the gruesome knee injury he suffered in the Irish's bowl game. Another team with multiple picks may snap him up sooner, but if he's there, I have a hunch Thompson has his eyes on Smith, and is willing to redshirt him in 2016 with the hope that he will be able to resume playing in 2017. If he comes all the way back, he's the kind of player who can become the steal of the draft. Of course, if his nerves don't regenerate, he may never see the field.
Round 4 (131) Joe Thuney, G, NC State: With both starting guards set to hit free agency, Thompson will need to add re-enforcements. Thuney was a three year starter for the Wolfpack who has played all over the line, a trait Thompson covets. He played tackle primarily but is better suited to play guard in the NFL and will challenge Lane Taylor for the #3 guard spot in 2016.
Round 4 (137) Josh Ferguson, RB, Illinois: If the Pack adds a running back in this draft, this is the kind of player I expect them to grab: a dual threat who is a scat back, elusive in open space and a dangerous receiver out of the backfield. He's a water bug, in the Ronnie Hillman mold, who could serve as a nice complement to Lacy and Starks. He does have fumbling issues, which obviously need to be addressed.
Round 5 (163) Bryce Williams, TE, E. Carolina: While Jared Cook was signed to be a short term solution, Thompson adds the lengthy Williams to see if he has what it takes to ultimately be the long term answer. He's 6'6" and a former fullback and a guy who was a walk-on twice, at Marshall and then ECU. He's a guy who can get open down the seam and be big red zone target.
Round 6 (200) Matt Ioannidis, DL, Temple: Thompson adds another strong tough, nasty lineman to the rotation in the former Owl, who has a great motor and will have an opportunity to step in and contribute.
Round 7 (248) Kevon Seymour, CB, USC: Injuries derailed his final season, but he has the speed and instincts to play the position at the next level. He can also instantly contribute on special teams, where he excelled. With Hayward gone and Goodson suspended, the Seymour has a chance to earn a roster spot and will likely compete against a couple of underrated corners as well.
At this point I should remind you that in five years doing this, I've nailed exactly one pick: Randall Cobb. I think it's safe to say that when the draft is over, Thompson will have added potentially two starters to the front seven and filled some depth at OL and most skill positions. Strap in, Ted's about ready to get to work.