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2015 Packer Draft Series: Round 1 Possibilities

TP.EricKendricks2

The 2015 NFL Draft is only 12 days away. We will complete our focus on Round 1 before moving on to the other rounds of the draft.

In order to do this, I have essentially done a mock draft round-up, combing through scores of online mocks so that you don’t have to. What we are left with is a summary showing everyone’s Round 1 picks for the Packers.

Ted Thompson has the reputation as a GM who is infamously difficult to gauge. However, recent picks of Datone Jones and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, both heavily predicted, have perhaps altered that reputation, or should have altered it. If recent history means anything, then chances are the Packers’ Round 1 pick will be a player on this list.

Here is the round-up from around 40 mocks from blue bloods like ESPN, CBS.Sports, and NFL.com to much lesser known sources.

1st Round mocks Position Tally
Eric Kendricks,  UCLA ILB 10
Byron Jones,  UCONN CB 5
Jordan Phillips,  OKLA DT 4
Jalen Collins,  LSU CB 3
PJ Williams,  FSU CB 2
Marcus Peters,    WASH CB 2
Malcolm Brown,  TEX DT 2
Stephone Anthony,  CLEM ILB 2
Maxx Williams,  MINN TE 2
Eric Rowe,  UTAH FS/CB 1
Ereck Flowers,  MIA OT 1
Randy Gregory,  NEB OLB 1
Shaq Thompson,  WASH OLB 1
Paul Dawson,  TCU ILB 1
Bernardrick McKinney,  MSST ILB 1
Kevin Johnson,   WAKE CB 1
Denzel Perryman,  MIA ILB 1
Clive Walford,  MIA TE 1
Eli Harold,  UV OLB 1
Quentin Rollins,  MIA CB 1
Ronald Darby,  FSU CB 1

As you can see, the runaway winner for the Packers’ first pick is the inside linebacker from UCLA, Eric Kendricks. Kendricks is the consensus top inside linebacker in the draft, and a fourth of the mock drafts predict he’ll be available at #30.

Those same predictors suggest that moving Clay Matthews back to the outside is in the Packers’ best interests. I have already expressed some skepticism of that view. They thus predict that picking Kendricks would allow that to happen. Maybe so. Again, I think the Packers are fine with leaving Matthews inside. With that being the case, they should not pick an ILB here unless he absolutely is the best player available.

Even though Kendricks is the most commonly predicted pick, the cornerback position is actually the most popular position to be picked. Byron Jones from Connecticut leads a group of four corners who were picked more than once in the 40 mocks I checked. Even though Jones was typically ranked only around the 6th or 7th best corner in the draft, apparently the “experts” think his bigger size at 6’1, 200 pounds, is more in line with what the Packers are looking for. Jones played safety in college until his final season. So, maybe people have the draft success of Micah Hyde in mind as well.

The other corners picked are higher ranked prospects than Jones, and therefore, there is some serious doubt that they will be available. Marcus Peters is ranked by many as the second best corner in the draft and almost certainly will not be there. Jalen Collins is the fifth ranked prospect at corner and might be the next most likely pick to Jones.

Defensive tackle is the next most likely position that the “experts” think the Packers will address in the first round. Jordan Phillips from Oklahoma leads that group. Both Phillips and Malcolm Brown are the kind of big bodies that the current Packer roster lacks. Considering Ted Thompson’s past stated preference for “big guys rather than small guys,” it would be no shock if one of these guys was the pick.

The only offensive player to be picked more than once was Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams, who is the top-rated tight end in this draft. Williams is the kind of stretch-the-field athlete that the Packers haven’t had since J-Mike Finley was failing to realize his potential. Williams may drop a little for his lack of blocking ability, which would suit the Packers well since that isn’t what they need him for. Probably the biggest strike against Williams is that as a one-dimensional tight end opinions vary greatly on when he will be drafted. Some project him as a mid-first round talent while others project the second round.

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Shawn

Shawn Neuser attended UWGB and lives and works in Green Bay. He enjoys long walks on the beach and being intimate with game film.

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11 Comments

  1. Big B April 18, 2015

    Kendricks is listed at 6′ 230 lbs by most sources, you seem to be quoting McKinney’s dimensions. Kendricks is not the thumper, he’s more of a speed guy, McKinney has the mass. Packers need CB and ILB, but I think the premium is on CB unless there has been a run on them. I would target LB in the second round. There is a fun time-waster interactive mock draft at fanspeak.com which allows you to be the GM and get a sense of how the board falls. In those scenarios one of the ILBs is still around (Dawson, Anthony, Perryman) late in the second round. If the Packers had a CB and LB locked up heading into the third round that would be an ideal scenario.

    1. Shawn Neuser April 18, 2015

      You are correct about Kendrick’s size. I have edited the paragraph rather than risk mass confusion.

  2. Howard April 18, 2015

    Even though it may piss off a shit load of Packer fans I do not think TT takes an ILB in the first. If he traded down maybe. If Phillips drops and TT is not afraid of his back maybe he takes Phillips. Byron Jones great workout what about experience and the shoulder surgery? If TT stays at 30 I think he takes Kevin Johnson or Carl Davis if available.

  3. vj April 18, 2015

    Corner, corner, corner… Anything else would be a mistake in RD1
    Well, unless Eddie Goldman miraculously falls in their lap. But it will likely be a corner picked at #30.

  4. Andrew Chitko April 19, 2015

    Don’t draft anyone from UCLA. Matthews stays inside.

    1. Cheesemaker April 20, 2015

      Going hand in hand with this – keeping Matthews inside – is a notion I would have thought insane just a few weeks ago: that Randy Gregory could be available at 30. More and more boards, including Vic Ketchman’s resource, Tony Pauline, have Gregory falling to 2nd round or more. This guy feels like Aldon Smith v2. If he was there (and I still don’t believe he will be), you take him in a nanosecond and keep CMIII inside.

  5. PF4L April 19, 2015

    Mock drafts are undoubtedly the biggest (farce) waste of time in the history of the NFL.

    Draft experts are the people that weatherman mock and laugh at for being wrong.

    http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2014/05/nfl_mock_drafts_how_are_accura.html

  6. Howard April 19, 2015

    It does generate interest and dollars. Best line ever about those draft gurus by Bill Tobin GM Colts early 90’s:

    “Who in the hell is Mel Kiper, anyways?” he asked. “Here’s a guy who criticizes everybody — whoever they take — he’s got the answers to who you should take, who you shouldn’t take. In my knowledge of him, he’s never, ever put on a jockstrap. He’s never been a coach, he’s never been a scout, he’s never been an administrator … Mel Kiper has no more credentials to do what he’s doing than my neighbor, and my neighbor’s a postman, and he doesn’t even have season tickets to the NFL.”

  7. Packnutt April 19, 2015

    Last time TT took an ILB in the 1st round it failed miserably.
    He will stock up on at least 2 in the later rounds.

    CB is a valued position and where last year it was a position of depth, the Pack will now scramble to get BA in the 1st.

  8. Cheesemaker April 20, 2015

    I don’t see TT taking Phillips – too reminiscent of Justin Harrell.

    I hope Peters isn’t there because he sounds a head case.

  9. draftcker April 22, 2015

    Eli Harold is the choice that stands out to me for a number of reasons. Everyone has wanted someone to pair with #52 for 4 years. That guy is finally available.