7-Round Mock: Filling Needs, Finding Value

Can the Green Bay Packers fill their needs while taking the best player available? Of course they can. Based on player rankings and draft value boards provided by the NFL's head scout, we fill needs without reaching for talent.

Rowe photo by Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY

Here’s our seven-round Green Bay Packers mock draft. These picks are based on the final league rankings provided by the NFL’s head scout, Dave-Te’ Thomas, and his offense and defense draft value boards. There are no pie-in-the-sky picks. Just players who have a good chance of being on the board when the Packers are on the clock.

First round, No. 30

Cornerback Eric Rowe, Utah: Rowe is Thomas’ No. 26 player so this might be a stretch. He’s big (6-foot-1), he’s fast (4.45) and he jumps (39-inch vertical), and he was excellent in moving from safety to cornerback as a senior. Getting a big corner would add a key dimension to a defense in which all of the other corners are 5-foot-11. Just check out this comparison chart that was requested by several cornerback-hungry teams and provided to Packer Report. If he’s not there, perhaps Connecticut’s Byron Jones — another safety-to-corner prospect with excellent size (6-foot-1) and speed (4.43) — will be there. He’s Thomas’ No. 30 player. LSU corner Jalen Collins is Thomas’ No. 64 player, mostly because of his 10 career starts and failed drug tests. But at 6-foot-2 and a 4.48 40, he’d be an inviting option, as well.

Second round, No. 62

Inside linebacker Denzel Perryman, Miami: My sense is Clemson’s Stephone Anthony is Green Bay’s No. 1 choice at inside linebacker because he’s such an imposing prospect at 6-foot-3 and 243 pounds with a 4.56 in the 40. He’s the best inside linebacker from an athletic standpoint. If Green Bay moves out of No. 30, my guess is he’d be the target, but there’s no way he’s falling to No. 62. Opinions around the league on Perryman are all over the board, mostly because he’s so short at 5-foot-10 3/4 and ran just 4.78. For those reasons, he’s probably not a three-down player. But he’s a physical defender who stops running backs in their tracks. On a porous run defense, there’s value in that. Perryman is No. 81 on Thomas’ list. Who else is available at No. 62 at inside linebacker? TCU’s Paul Dawson is No. 71, Mississippi State’s Benardrick McKinney is No. 75 and LSU’s Kwon Alexander is No. 89.

Third round, No. 94

Receiver Tre McBride, William & Mary: The Packers add another weapon with a major added bonus — kick-returning ability. McBride (6-0, 210; 4.41 in the 40, 38-inch vertical) caught 182 passes during his final three seasons with career averages of 23.1 yards on kickoff returns and 11.1 yards on punt returns. McBride is No. 99 on Thomas’ list.

Fourth round, No. 129

Outside linebacker Lynden Trail, Norfolk State: Due to age (Julius Peppers) and free agency (Nick Perry and Mike Neal), the Packers’ outside linebacker corps could look a lot different at this time next year. Trail, who is No. 137 on Thomas’ list, is 6-foot-6 and 269 pounds. The former Florida recruit had 19.5 sacks, 30 tackles for losses and eight forced fumbles in three seasons at the FCS school. He’s not an explosive athlete (4.91) but he’s long and strong. He looks like a fit at the elephant position manned by, you guessed it, Peppers, Perry and Neal.

Fifth round, No. 166

Offensive tackle Sean Hickey, Syracuse: Hickey (6-5, 309) started at left tackle as a junior and senior and at both tackle spots as a sophomore. As a senior, he had the key block on 10 of the Orange’s 12 touchdown runs and allowed three sacks. He’s incredibly strong (35 reps on the bench) and might wind up playing at guard because of his short arms. Given the Packers’ history of taking left tackles and moving them around, he would be a great fit if on the board. He is No. 172 on Thomas’ list.

Sixth round, No. 206

Inside linebacker Zach Vigil, Utah State: The Packers don’t need just one inside linebacker. They need to create some depth. Vigil had an unbelievable career, with his 389 tackles including 43.5 for losses. He had a big senior season with 156 tackles (third-best in Mountain West history), nine sacks and 20.5 tackles for losses. He’s got good size (6-2, 236), athleticism (4.68) and strength (26 reps). With his instincts and coverage ability, he’s got a chance to be a three-down player. He’s No. 207 on Thomas’ board.

Sixth round, No. 210

Defensive end Caushaud Lyons, Tusculum: Unless they can get a dominant player in the first or second round, there is no immediate need on the defensive line. There is a need for a developmental prospect, and Lyons is just that. In fact, Lyons is one of the best players you’ve never heard of. At 6-foot-4 and 284 pounds and a 4.86 in the 40, he’s got an intriguing combination of size and athleticism. As a senior, he was a finalist for the Gene Upshaw Award, which goes to the best defensive lineman in Division II, and the Cliff Harris Award, which goes to the best defender in Division II, Division III and NAIA with his nine sacks and 19 tackles for losses. Lyons is Thomas’ 285th-best prospect but regards him as a sixth-round pick.

Sixth round, No. 213

Running back Akeem Hunt, Purdue: How about a new toy as a change-of-pace running back with some Randall Cobb-type versatility? Hunt, a pint-sized 5-foot-10 and 189 pounds, ran in 4.40 at Purdue’s pro day. As a senior, he paced the team with 949 rushing yards and 48 receptions. As a junior, he averaged 26.1 yards per kickoff return with a career mark of 23.8. For his career, he caught 100 passes and rang up 4,623 all-purpose yards. Hunt is the 234th-best player on Thomas’ list.

Seventh round, No. 247

Tight end James O’Shaughnessy, Illinois State: O’Shaughnessy has the field-stretching potential the Packers lack at tight end. At pro day, he ran his 40 in 4.68 seconds. That would have ranked third among the tight ends at the Scouting Combine. His opening 10 yards of 1.61 seconds would have topped the Combine field. As a senior, he averaged 18.8 yards on his 29 catches and scored nine touchdowns. Plus, he added 20 career tackles on special teams. He is No. 262 on Thomas’ board.

Or, let’s go another route ...

First round: Owamagbe Odighizuma, OLB, UCLA. Elephant outside linebacker who missed 2013 following hip surgeries.

Second round: Paul Dawson, ILB, TCU. If Perryman is the hitman, Dawson is the playmaker. My guess is Perryman would be the preference but there’s no guarantee he falls this far.

Third round: Josh Shaw, CB, USC. Two rounds later than our first mock, the Packers still get a long, fast corner.

Fourth round: Blake Bell, TE, Oklahoma. The former college quarterback has a ton of upside.

Fifth round: Ty Montgomery, WR, Stanford. Receiver? Returner? Check both off the list. If he rekindles his 2013 form, this would be a steal.

Sixth round: Kyle Emanuel, OLB/ILB, North Dakota State. He dominated his FCS competition, though his short arms could make this a Carl Bradford repeat.

Sixth round: Nick Marshall, CB, Auburn. The former college quarterback has size but almost no experience. Buffalo DE Kristjian Sokoli would be a strong consideration if he lasts this long.

Sixth round: Hayes Pullard, ILB, USC. Pullard’s one of the best pass-defending inside linebackers in the draft. Newberry’s Edmond Robinson, another inside linebacker, could be a possibility, too.

Seventh round: Trevor Siemian, QB, Northwestern. A couple other options: Nevada QB Cody Fajardo, though he might not be on the board, and Texas A&M returner/change-of-pace running back Trey Williams.

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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