In this series, he produces his all-Senior Bowl mock Packers draft. Opinions are based on his observations, and conversations with Scout.com draft analyst Chris Steuber and league scouts who were in Mobile.
After selecting cornerback Brandon Ghee in the third round, defensive end C.J. Wilson in the fourth round, offensive lineman Zane Beadles in the fifth round, safety Harry Coleman in the sixth round and punter Matt Dodge in the seventh round, the Packers are back on the clock ...
Second round: Ciron Black
The Packers need offensive line help, especially at tackle. Finding the left tackle of the future would be ideal, with veteran Chad Clifton turning 34 before training camp and health issues becoming a bigger and bigger concern. Plus, he's a free agent and could be wooed by one last big contract. But at this spot in the second round, a player like West Virginia's Selvish Capers or Massachusetts' Vladimir Ducasse — two players who have the ability to play left tackle but need a year of fine-tuning — might not be available.
So, the Packers turn to Plan B: LSU's Black.
Black started all 53 games of his collegiate career at left tackle. In the rugged Southeastern Conference, that's saying something — and given all the athletes who play in that league, he just might be able to play left tackle in the NFL. Conference coaches voted him the SEC's top offensive lineman this past season.
Most scouts, however, see Black as a right tackle or possibly a guard. At 6-foot-4 1/2 and 331 pounds, Black is an enormous, powerful man. During Senior Bowl practices, he got some reps at guard and looked almost immovable.
But because he's got pretty good feet, he'll be given a long look at offensive tackle first. He more than handled the outside speed rushes of the Troy duo of Brandon Lang and Cameron Sheffield during practice, but he had his hands full (along with every other lineman) with Michigan's Brandon Graham.
"He swallows up defenders with his long arms and brute strength, not allowing them to turn the corner," Steuber said. "He plays with balance and presents a solid base. He uses his strength to his advantage and not only excels in pass protection, but he does a good job in run blocking. He delivers a devastating initial punch to the opposition, drives them off the line and seals them away from the ball carrier. He's a very intimidating presence."
Off the field, he fits the Packers' mold, as well. Both of his parents are preachers. He graduated in December and is intelligent and well-spoken, so shouldn't have much trouble learning a couple of positions as a rookie. His size and power would be an asset for a team that has had its share of problems in short-yardage situations.
Whether he can play left tackle or right tackle or if guard is his best position, Black has the goods to upgrade a position group that's been merely adequate on its best days and a big problem on its worst.
Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum.
Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.