The Packers have seven picks, and that will most likely be increased by the NFL with the compensatory picks. Teams have to weigh their draft choices on who they signed in free agency and who might best fit in their offensive and defensive schemes. Or perhaps in Green Bay's case, who retired, like Brett Favre.
For the first time since 1991, the Packers will go into the draft without Favre on their roster.
Look for my Packers-only mock draft as soon as the league determines the compensatory picks.
1) Miami Dolphins - DE Chris Long (Virginia)
Long is a Bill Parcells type of player. The Dolphins are not sure yet about the status of DE Jason Taylor, no matter what they have said. Long is very athletic and physical. Can be very effective in a pass rush, plus plays the run well. Long can also drop into coverage nicely as well in a zone blitz situation.
2) St. Louis Rams - OT Jake Long (Michigan)
The Rams desperately need help at offensive tackle and Long is just what they need. Long is a good run blocker and pass blocker. Long also has excellent size and strength. I'm sure that both Steven Jackson and Marc Bulger will be excited about this pick.
3) Atlanta Falcons - QB Matt Ryan (Boston College)
With Michael Vick in prison, the Falcons have to turn the page with a new signal caller. Chris Redman probably will hold the fort down at QB until Ryan is ready to play. The Falcons also added RB Michael Turner to the offense, so Ryan will help balance the new attack. Ryan is smart, has a big arm and is very tough.
4) Oakland Raiders - RB Darren McFadden (Arkansas)
Al Davis will not let McFadden get away. It's been awhile since the Raiders have had a big weapon at HB, although Justin Fargas had a pretty good 2007 season. But Al has been spending some BIG money this offseason and wants to make a big splash soon in the AFC West.
5) Kansas City Chiefs - OT Ryan Clady (Boise State)
The Chiefs need to rebuild their offensive line, especially at tackle. The Chiefs tried the free agency route last year and it failed. Clady is very athletic and light on his feet. Clady moves very quickly and can get set quickly in pass protection. Is fast enough to get to the second level with his run blocking.
6) New York Jets - DE/OLB Vernon Gholston (Ohio State)
Gholston was an animal at the combine and his pro day. There is no way the Jets will let him slip by and go to the Patriots. Gholston can play either DE or OLB. He can put intense pressure on the opposing quarterback as he is very explosive off the edge. Gholston had 22.5 sacks his last two seasons at Ohio State and ran a 4.5 40.
7) New England Patriots - CB Leodis McKelvin (Troy)
This is a smart pick with Asante Samuel leaving via free agency. McKelvin is also a dual threat as a CB and a game breaking return man. Can play press coverage or off the receiver. Has nice size and has excellent feet. Returned seven touchdowns in the return game in college.
8) Baltimore Ravens - CB Aqib Talib (Kansas)
The Ravens need better depth at CB. Talib has nice size and great instincts. He picked off 13 passes at Kansas, including two for TDs in 2007. Talib can also play receiver in a pinch as he had 5 receiving TDs in college.
9) Cincinnati Bengals - DT Sedrick Ellis (USC)
The Bengals need someone to take control in the trenches. Ellis is like a brick wall and is tough to move. Can dominate both in the run game or against the pass. Ellis had 17.5 sacks in 3 years from an inside position. Also is very strong and uses his hands well to shake off blockers.
10) New Orleans Saints - DT Glenn Dorsey (LSU)
The Saints will happily take a local product like Dorsey. Dorsey is very dominant against the run. He is however somewhat injury prone, especially with his legs. Dorsey has a big motor, plays very hard and inspires his teammates. He can also get better as a pass rusher because of his quickness and strength.
11) Buffalo Bills - WR Limas Sweed (Texas)
The Bills need to help Lee Evans at wide receiver and Sweed can complement Evans. Sweed is very big at 6-4, 212 pounds, and has great leaping ability. He also has very stong hands and moves pretty well for big man with his long strides.
12) Denver Broncos - OLB Keith Rivers (USC)
The Bronco defense had issues against the run, and Rivers will be a heat seeking missile for them attacking the football. Rivers plays sideline to sideline and flies to the football. Also, he has the speed to cover tight ends and backs in coverage. Rivers also has played all three linebacker positions.
13) Carolina Panthers - OT Jeff Otah (Pittsburgh)
The Panthers need to bulk up their offensive line. Otah can play left or right tackle. He is very strong and plays well against top competition like he did with Chris Long of Virginia. Otah likes to finish off a block and also shows off a nasty side. Otah has excellent size at 6-6, 339 pounds.
14) Chicago Bears - OT Chris Williams (Vanderbilt)
The Bears will think about local guy Rashard Mendenhall for RB, but the offensive line, especially tackle, needs upgrading. Williams is another big man at 6-6, 317 pounds. Williams is very athletic and is an excellent pass blocker, which is good for Rex Grossman. Needs to improve his run blocking, but has the skills to get better.
15) Detroit Lions - CB Mike Jenkins (USF)
The Lions need to get weapons in their secondary. Jenkins might be getting the perfect coach in Rod Marinelli. Although Jenkins has great skills, he sometimes plays soft. Marinelli won't allow him to play that way anymore. Jenkins has great man coverage skills and has the ability to be a shutdown corner.
16) Arizona Cardinals - RB Rashard Mendenhall (Illinois)
The Cards were glad to see a stud like Mendenhall fall to them. Mendenhall is very strong and he looks the part. He had a great senior season at Illinois, and he was equally good running the rock and catching the ball. His strength allows him to break tackles and he also is a nice cut back runner.
17) Minnesota Vikings - DE Phillip Merling (Clemson)
The Vikings always seem to be drafting defensive ends in the first round. But once again the position is a need. Merling has nice size and strength, and improved as a pass rusher at Clemson. He can also play the run very well. Merling also has a motor that allows him to make second effort type plays.
18) Houston Texans - CB Dominique Rogers-Cromartie (Tennessee State)
Rogers-Cromartie draft stock has been sky rocketing after his play in the Senior Bowl and his performance at the combine. Rogers-Cromartie is a natural athlete with great leaping skills. He also is a natural ballhawk that can also give a team some return ability. Right now Rogers-Cromartie fits well in a man-cover corner scheme.
19) Philadelphia Eagles - WR Malcolm Kelly (Oklahoma)
The Eagles have been looking for a wideout threat all offseason. Though Philadelphia likes Reggie Brown and Kevin Curtis, it still lacks a real difference-maker. Kelly could be that guy. Kelly has nice size and catches almost anything thrown his way. He has a natural ability to grab a ball that is thrown in tight coverage, plus jumps well.
20) Tampa Bay - WR/KR DeSean Jackson (Cal)
The Bucs need help at wide receiver and Jackson is a dual threat at both wide out and returner. Jackson has explosive speed and is a threat to score everytime he touches the ball. Can go get the deep balls, plus can take a wide receiver screen or a quick slant all the way to the house. Also scored six TDs via punt returns at Cal.
21) Washington Redskins - DE Derrick Harvey (Florida)
The Redskins need to get younger on their defensive front, especially at defensive end. Harvey is an excellent pass rusher and is getting better against the run. Harvey has only started 18 games the last two seasons, yet had 19.5 sacks. Harvey is very fast around the corner and he has good take off quickness.
22) Dallas Cowboys - RB Felix Jones (Arkansas)
Some would say that Jonathan Stewart would be the running back to take here. But Arkansas alumnus Jerry Jones will not let THIS Jones pass. Jones will help offset the loss of another Jones, Julius Jones, and he will be a nice change of pace back for Marion Barber. Jones has great vision and is very shifty. Jones also returned three kickoffs for TDs at Arkansas.
23) Pittsburgh Steelers - OG/OT Brandon Albert (Virginia)
After losing Alan Faneca to free agency, this is a smart pick. To many, Albert is the only guard in the draft worthy of a first round pick. Albert is a very gifted run blocker that also has the ability to play tackle. Albert has also shown that he can pass block as well, and that keeps improving.
24) Tennessee Titans - DT Kentwan Balmer (North Carolina)
This pick helps the Titans offset trading away Randy Starks. Balmer is very strong and has a quick first step. Balmer is still a little raw, but with the right coaching, he could develop into a real difference-maker. Balmer has the ability to control blockers at the line of scrimmage.
25) Seattle Seahawks - OT Sam Baker (USC)
The Hawks need to keep rebuilding their offensive line. The Seahawks brought in G Mike Wahle in free agency. Baker has nice athleticism and balance. Baker is a very good pass blocker as he only allowed one sack in his Trojan career, which spanned four years. Baker is a good technician in the run game as well.
26) Jacksonville Jaguars - DE Calais Campbell (Miami)
The Jags will only get stronger on defense after this pick. Campbell is a physical rarity with great size and athleticism. Campbell is another player that will need good coaching at the pro level. He has natural ability, that if harnessed, will be tough to stop.
27) San Diego Chargers - RB Jonathan Stewart (Oregon)
The Bolts are thrilled to see Stewart slide here to back up RB LaDainian Tomlinson. Stewart is a complete back. He runs hard, can smell the goal line and also catches the ball easily. He can also return kicks. Stewart is also very strong, very compact and very quick.
28) Dallas Cowboys - CB/S Reggie Smith (Oklahoma)
The Boys need help in their secondary, and Smith can help out at either CB or S. Smith has nice size and has the versatility to help the Cowboys out wherever he is needed. Smith is also a excellent tackler and also very experienced with over 30 career starts. He also has good ball skills and has good instincts.
29) San Francisco 49ers - WR James Hardy (Indiana)
The Niners added Issac Bruce in free agency, but Hardy is a BIG receiver at 6-6, 217 pounds, that make can make big plays. Hardy had an excellent career at Indiana catching an average of 64 passes a season while averaging 12 TDs per campaign. Hardy has excellent hands and plays the wide receiver position like a basketball player (which he was at Indiana for awhile) with his great red zone production because of his size.
30) Green Bay Packers - CB Brandon Flowers (Virginia Tech)
The Packers are thrilled to have Flowers at this point on the board. Flowers is a physical press cover corner who tackles very well and plays the ball effectively. Flowers will get a chance to join former Hokies' teammate Aaron Rouse in the defensive backfield. Flowers will only get better as he studies Al Harris and Charles Woodson. Flowers can be a vicious tackler and he also is very patient in terms of reading patterns by the receivers.
31) Forfeited by New England
Spygate may not be over yet.
32) New York Giants - S Kenny Phillips (Miami)
The Giants lost Gibril Wilson to free agency, and Phillips will help offset that loss. Phillips has nice size and plays the run very well. Phillips is also getting better in pass coverage. Has the versatility to play cornerback as well. He is not as talented as former Hurricane greats, like Ed Reed or the late Sean Taylor, but Phillips is still solid.