For the first time since the 2009 draft, the Packers will select in the first half of the first round. In that draft the packers used the ninth overall pick to select a future pro bowler and NFC Championship game hero B.J. Raji. They also traded into the late first round to pick a guy named Clay Matthews, you may have heard of him. 9 of the last 13 drafts the Packers have used their first selection on a defensive player and this year should be no different. With the draft just a few days away, here a few guys to keep in mind
Marcus Davenport- DE from The University of Texas at San Antonio
The measurables are off the charts for Davenport, 6-7 265 lbs with a quick first step. He is a very raw talent from a small school but had a very impressive senior season where he made 68 tackles, 10 for a loss with 6.5 sacks. He profiles well as a stand-up pass rushers on the edge of a 3-4. His raw talent is also a negative as his pass rush moves are very bland relying on his strength and speed to rush the passer. Some coaching from new coordinator Mike Pettine and the afore mentioned Matthews will be a huge asset to his growth.
Tremaine Edmunds-LB from Virginia Tech
Edmonds is a guy that can move to both outside and inside because of his plus athletic ability. Dom Capers loved guys like that but we will see if it’s Pettine seeks with these 2 possibly available. He had 109 tackles and 5.5 sacks in his senior year and was voted all-ACC. While he can do both, He profiles more as an inside guy so I don’t think he’ll be a great fit but his athletic abilities are hard to overlook.
Joshua Jackson- CB Iowa
Jackson burst on the scene last year leading the nation with 8 INTs and defended 27 passes. He has great ball skills, which is something the Pack could use as they were in the bottom half of the league with only 11 INTs last season. The issue with Jackson is his ability at this point is raw. He isn’t as refined with his cover skills as you would like and doesn’t have the top end speed to make up for it. Unless they trade up, Jackson looks like the most likely pick and it happy with it. Ball skills are something you just can’t teach and something we haven’t seen a lot of since Charles Woodson left.
For the first time in a while Packer fans have to pay attention to the top dogs at the draft instead of a late first round guys who could be boom or bust. The injury to Rodgers and the down season may have been a blessing in disguise. Now they can use this early round pick to bring an infusion of young talent to the roster. That along with the aggressive free agent approach that brought in Jimmy Graham and Mo Wilkerson should put Green Bay right back in the hunt for the NFC North title.