The first round of the NFL Draft is Thursday, so with that in mind the FOX 11 Sports staff has made a prediction on who the Packers will select with their first-round pick, 21st overall.
Drew Smith. Sports Director
Packers pick: Ted Thompson is famously loyal to his board, and if he doesn’t find anyone there he likes at that spot, he will not hesitate to move the pick. However, the Packers do have a number of needs, and one of those is safety. Unfortunately, the top couple of safeties will most likely be off the board when they pick. The Packers are also thin at inside linebacker, so I say the Packers will take Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley, who was a major cog in the Tide defense his junior and senior years. He has great lateral movement, is a hitter and is very solid covering tight ends, something the Packers need. Bottom line, defense is still a priority for the Packers in the draft.
Jude Wilbers, Reporter/Anchor
Packers pick: Calvin Pryor, safety, Louisville: Bigger hitter and intimidating presence in the secondary Packers have been missing. Scouts say he can be an all-around player. He may not be available at this point, but you never know what happens on draft night.
Justin Felder, Reporter/Anchor
Packers pick: With the 21st pick, the Packers will take former Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard. With the top two safeties potentially off the board, Green Bay looks to fortify its secondary taking a sturdily built (5’11, 199 pounds) if not lightning fast (4.51 40-yard dash) cornerback that can be a great compliment to the speedy-if-smaller Sam Shields across the defense for years to come. Safety is a glaring need, but signs point to the Packers at least entertaining a move of Micah Hyde to the back line of the defense. A pick of Dennard (or another standout corner like TCU’s Jason Verrett or Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert) allows Hyde to give safety a try, keeps Casey Hayward in the slot where he was excellent as a rookie and, while fans can eye Seattle and San Francisco as Green Bay’s nemeses du jour, the Packers still have to stop the pass-happy Bears and Lions to win the NFC North.
Doug Ritchay, Reporter
Packers pick: The need is defense, specifically linebacker or safety. Based on mock drafts, if you can believe them, and what information is being reported, if you can believe that, one defender that should be available at No. 21 at safety or linebacker and worthy of the pick is Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier. He is a tackling machine, runs fast and would be a great addition to a defense needing playmakers. Looking for a long shot, look at wide receiver if the right one falls. The Packers aren’t as deep there as they were the last few seasons and Ted Thompson has been willing to surround Aaron Rodgers with ample weapons.