Keep an eye on Hall

Should the Packers pass on Lynch to snare Michigan cornerback?

If the Green Bay Packers do not trade away their first overall pick in this weekend's draft in an effort to obtain Larry Johnson or Randy Moss, they may be faced with an interesting dilemma when they are on the clock. Do they select the player that most everyone feels they will pick in Marshawn Lynch? Or do they take a highly rated cornerback, instead?

Michigan's Leon Hall is considered the top cornerback available in the draft by experts across the board. Hall is expected to be a top 10 pick, however, there is a chance that he will slide into the middle of the first round because teams in position to select him may have greater needs in other areas. That would be the best-case scenario for the Packers.

With any luck, Hall, who blazed through the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds at the NFL Combine in February, might be available for the Packers with the 16th overall pick.

If the Packers need to decide to choose either Hall or Lynch, they would be best off taking Hall. 30-something veterans Al Harris and Charles Woodson will be entering the twilight of their NFL careers before we all know it. As it stands, the Packers have some younger talent at cornerback in Will Blackmon, Frank Walker, and Patrick Dendy, but none of them are even close to being on the same level as the veterans ahead of them.

If the Packers have a chance to take a player like Hall, whom many feel is worthy of a top 10 selection but fell because of the circumstances of other teams, they will have no choice but to select him 16th overall. Hall will then have the luxury of learning behind Harris and Woodson, and seeing time on the field in the team's passing defenses. Hall would be an instant upgrade over the current backups.

The experts say that there are plenty of good running backs and receivers available in this draft. If that's truly the case, the Packers should be able to find quality players who can help the offense immediately in the second and third rounds.

Aside from quarterback, the cornerback position is the most challenging to play in the NFL. Often exposed in one-on-one situations, it's either sink or swim for cornerbacks, with no place to hide.

Hall has all the accolades and starting experience over the past three seasons for a top collegiate football program. While it seems obvious at this point that the Packers will take Lynch at 16, it will be even more obvious who they should bring to Green Bay if Hall is indeed available.

Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at

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