Packers' top pick predictions IV

The 70th annual NFL Player Selection Meeting is set for this weekend. The Green Bay Packers own seven selections in the two-day draft (Saturday and Sunday), including four of the top 89 picks.<p>

Who will the Packers choose with their first-round pick (No. 24 overall)? Packerreport.com has fielded predictions from fans. If you want to let the football world know who you think the Packers will select in the first round of the draft on Saturday, e-mail your prediction along with comment to Packer Report managing editor Todd Korth at packrepted@aol.com. Here are some fearless predictions. More will be posted Saturday morning:

Joe Cordio (Joe.Cordio@wpsic.com) of Green Bay, Wis., predicts:

Channing Crowder, LB, Florida

Here's why: With the Packers acquiring more depth for the secondary with Little, and Freeman. As well as insuring the defensive line with matching the tender for Kampman. The one glaring need remains at the LB position. (They still need alot of help in the secondary and on the line, but nowhere near as much as they do at LB).

Crowder brings an NFL pedigree to the Packers, and enables them to slide Barnett to the outside. However, if the Packers become to concerned with Crowder's reputation, I expect them to trade down and get into position for selecting Barrett Ruud.

In the second round, look for Green Bay to go after an enforcer type like Michigan's Ernest Shazor, A hard hitting run stopper, that'll make offenses think twice about running when he is the eighth man in the box. I think they will also select a D-Linemen with that second pick (Antaj Hawthorne?), and select little discussed Andrew Walters in the third or fourth round to be Brett Favre's successor.

Steve Wagner (wagn0389@umn.edu) from Minneapolis, Minn., predicts:

Channing Crowder, LB, Florida

Here's why: I think the Packers could trade down 5-10 picks and get another selection on Day 1 since the draft is deeper than it is star packed and since the depth on the defense is completely gone. Crowder is a natural athlete with good size and covers a lot of ground. He can play inside or outside linebacker which will give the Packers a few options with moving Barnett or putting Crowder on the weak-side and letting him make plays. His downfall is a old knee injury and off field issues. Corey Luebke (Wipackman@WI.RR.COM) of Waukesha, Wis., predicts:

Odell Thurman, LB, Georgia

Here's why: The guy to get is Safety Thomas Davis (Georgia), but I believe he will be long gone and they will reach on Odell Thurman (High risk - High reward??). My hope is Davis, Marcus Spears of LSU, or Carlos Rodgers of Auburn slip to us.

Aaron Tews (TEWSD@SAIPAN.NAVY.MIL) of Miami, Fla., predicts:

Matt Roth, DE, Iowa

Here's why: David Pollack (DE, Georgia) will be gone by the 24th overall pick, so defensive end or linebacker becomes a need. Roth is a tenacious competitor, the type of player Green Bay has lacked since the Super Bowl years. Erasmus James (DE, Wisconsin) is a strong possibility as well as Channing Crowder (MLB, Florida), who despite his knee problems will be a beast in the NFL.

Robb Watson (watson@alaska.com) of Juneau, Ala., predicts:

Thomas Davis, S-LB, Georgia

Here's why: By the time the Pack's pick comes around and due to higher teams other needs, he'll still be available.

Garrett Trusler (mitchconstructs@yahoo.com) Knoxville, Tenn., predicts:

Erasmus James, DE, Wisconsin

Here's why: James is a big, athletic defensive end that is likely to drop to the late first round. Ever since Reggie White we have not had a decent pass rush. KGB is good but is way too small to be an every down type of guy. Erasmus James would allow him to be a pass rush specialist.

Bob (jazzed@execpc.com) of Glendale, Wis., predicts:

Matt   Jones, WR/QB, Arkansas

Here's why: Yeah, yeah, I know that everyone in Packer country thinks that we draft defense in Round #1, but when this talented, big, smart, explosive and versatile offense specimen is still on the board when it's time for the Packers to pick, Thompson decides to give Favre another weapon.

Prediction #2 - The Packers will trade down in the first round to get another pick in the draft. Meaning, they will be picking Jones in the very late first or very early second round.

Don't worry Packer fans, we will get plenty of help on the defensive side of the ball. My feeling for a couple of years has been that one of the biggest problems with the Packers is their predictability and lack of explosiveness on offense. Jones is an intriguing selection here.

James Currie (James@dominiummortgage.com) of Madison, Wis., predicts:

A trade: The Packers will trade their first-round selection for extra 2nd or 3rd round choice.

Here's why: Once the picks ahead of the Pack have been made, trading down will be the best option. Thomas Davis, Erasmus James, Shawn Merriman and Demarcus Ware will be gone. Matt Roth, Brodney Pool, Odell Thurman or Channing Crowder will be available in to the second round. If the Pack can pick up another first day pick, it would greatly outweigh the difference between those top players and other players like Ernest Shazor, Marlin Jackson, Barrett Ruud, and Justin Tuck. Couple that with the fact there is good mid-round value guys like S Gerald Sensabaugh, DE and co-Pac-10 Def player of the year Bill Swancutt and LB's Adam Seward and Robert McCune, the Pack come out on top with the extra selection. The extra pick would allow them to fill position needs (DE, LB, S and maybe OL) and grab a QB prospect, ala Kyle Orton or Adrian McPherson, all on the first day. This draft is ripe for teams with multiple first day picks as there are only a few top prospects and the difference between picks 20 thru 90 is very fine. This draft for the Pack will be make or break based on their 2nd day picks. With only three second day selections, they have to land a guy like Darren Sproles or Jim Leonhard, speed players who can provide depth as well as special team playmaking ability. The Pack will still be an average team in this age of parity with out those types of difference-makers.

Tom Schroeder (tjsnb63@yahoo.com) of New Berlin, Wis., predicts:

I'm going to go differently then anyone else. I am suggesting that if Alex Barron, Kahliff Barnes or one of the opther "big" tackles falls to their slot they may draft him and move Chad Clifton to left guard. Think about it, they lost both Mike Wahle and Marco Rivera. Chad Clifton ios very athletic he would be a sensational guard.

Kirk Bostwick (kbostwick@yahoo.com) of Cary, N.C. predicts:

Thomas Davis, S-LB, Georgia

Here's why: Impact on defense all the way. The Packers will draft Thomas Davis and make him the replacement for Navies and life will be better. Second round will be DL and QB (since we have the extra pick from New Orleans). If they can get Charlie Frye, Kyle Orton, or someone like Dave Orlovsky from UConn or Andrew Walter from ASU, I'd be happy. No matter who they draft at QB, they are going to have an adjustment period, and they can learn a lot from Favre. Matt Roth from Iowa would be awesome to have, too. They actually had to tell this guy to take it easy on his teammates in college practices! The guy has a motor.

Note: More predictions, in the order received by managing editor Todd Korth, will be posted on Saturday morning.


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