The PFS Around the SPOT panel collaborates on this 2014 NFL Mock Draft. Who will the Green Bay Packers take at No. 21 in 2014?
Welcome to the Around the SPOT: 2014 NFL Mock Draft collaboration. For the next two-and-a-half weeks leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft, the Pro Football Spot panel of journalists will give their analysis on potential first-round draft prospects and their eventual whereabouts. Barring changes or conflicts, our schedule will go as follows:
Apr. 28-30, May 1-2: Picks 13-24
May 5-7: Picks 25-32
May 8-10: 2014 NFL Draft
Our series continues with the Green Bay Packers. What are their draft needs? Who will they take at No. 21? Will they trade out of that pick? Why?
Team Draft Needs (By Brennen Rupp. Complete Breakdown at playthedraft.com)
No. 3: Safety
No. 2: Middle Linebacker
No. 1: Best Player Available
Picks Breakdown (Player Name, Position, School (total number of picks))
C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama (6)
Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois (4)
Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville (2)
C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
Jeff Smith (@JSM8ith)
The Green Bay Packers may have just gotten a steal right here with Mosley. Mosley could very possibly be off the board before this point though. If he’s not, then Mosley is going to be a great value, and a player who can step in immediately and play inside linebacker. He also has great coverage abilities, which will help out a ton in the current pass-happy NFL.
Green Bay Packers Team Journalist Chris Licata (@ChrisLicata16)
Aaron Rodgers will always give them a chance, but the Packers must improve their defense in order to make a deep NFC playoff run. The team’s striking needs are at safety, nose tackle, inside linebacker, tight end and center. C.J. Mosley would be another step in the right direction for Dom Capers and the Packers defense. If the Alabama product slides to 21, he will likely be scooped up in a matter of seconds. Mosley would bring tremendous physicality, instincts and tackling to a defense that lacks an overall intimidation factor. He could immediately be plugged in alongside veteran A.J. Hawk. Green Bay would then be in position to find a starting safety in Rounds 2-3.
Joshua Huffman (@Armchair_Psycho)
Micah Hyde will likely get the starting nod at safety with Morgan Burnett. They just took Datone Jones last year so I’m not seeing another first-round DE like RaShede Hageman. None of the nose tackles are worth No. 21. Many experts say they need tight end but Andrew Quarless offers a wonderful schematic fit for generating the ground game. Use Brandon Bostick for the passing game. They don’t use first-rounders on offensive skill-position players (love the idea of Brandin Cooks with Aaron Rodgers though). So that leaves me with C.J. Mosley, Ryan Shazier, maybe Kyle Van Noy, or a trade down.
Kenneth Goit (@KennethGoit)
The Packers have a tendency to take defensive players in the first round. They need to add another tough linebacker to stick with AJ Hawk in the middle of Dom Capers' signature 3-4 defense. Mosley gives them a strong centerpiece that they can build around in the future. This is a great value pick, especially with Mosley originally expected to be long gone by this pick.
Lucas Polglaze (@mhsradio)
Mosley is really a pick that bolsters the Packers’ LB corps more than anything else. His ability may be questioned, but the Packers really can’t pass up a player of his caliber at No. 21. They will hope Mosley is the ILB they have been looking for.
Caleb Colmenero ( @ColmeneroNFL )
Teams that passed on C.J. Mosley will forever regret it. The Packers are able to snag one of their top prospects here. C.J. Mosley was a stud and a leader at Alabama, and carries Pro Bowl potential. Not only do the Packers fill a need, but probably the best player available.
Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois
Anthony DiBona (@Anthony_DiBona)
The Packers locked up Sam Shields so they’re fine at cornerback at the top of the depth chart. But they lost M.D. Jennings to Chicago in free agency so they need to address the safety position. Jimmie Ward has gained a lot of buzz over the past month or so and is a very versatile player. He’s capable of playing single high safety or up in the box as well, either way, he’s going to make plays. Ward is an energetic player that is always flying all over the field and he stands out when you watch tape of Northern Illinois. He’ll be a starter for Green Bay in 2014 and should be a mainstay in their secondary for years to come.
Jon Ledyard (@jledgePFS)
Far and away Green Bay’s position of greatest need, Ward plays with an aggressive physicality that belies a bigger man. Much of the hype has gone to Calvin Pryor and [HaHaClinton-Dix], but Ward is in contention to be the top safety in the draft in some scouts’ eyes. With the Packers sporting a gaping hole at one, maybe both safety spots, Ward would most likely step in and contribute right away.
Erick Trickel (@AlaskanBronco)
With safety being the biggest need for the Packers and it not being the deepest class for safeties, the Green Bay Packers take the last remaining top 3 S in the draft. Jimmie Ward is an all-around S that can play a center-field playmaking role that is desperately needed on the Packers defense. That kind of ability in a not so deep S class makes this a very easy selection.
Corey Brewer (BrewerIPA)
The Packers are another team with a weak secondary. Jimmie Ward ate up the lower division competition and also performed well on the bigger stages during his college career. Ward dishes out hard hits and plays with an aggressive football attitude. He can be a ball-hawk in the secondary, but can also play in the box and defend the run. He is the real deal.
Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
Tim Simpson (@Simpson805):
Green Bay would love to sure up their secondary and they can do that if they take Calvin Pryor. Pryor this late in the draft would be a steal for the Packers. There is a real chance of it happening based solely on need. Green Bay is going to be a dark horse in the NFC this year with Seattle and San Francisco taking the spotlight. With a healthy Aaron Rodgers and a decent defense who will be helped by Calvin Pryor, the Green Bay Packers could be gearing up for another Super Bowl run.
Felix Davila III (@FelixNYG)
The Packers have quite a few needs, along their defensive lines interior and at tight end (considered Jace Amaro here) but their safety spot needs an upgrade. Pryor is the most complete safety and fits the Packer defense well. Maybe it's a reach but if they are enamored enough, they are investing in a top safety talent at a spot that really needs such an influx. Simple as that.
Check back tomorrow for a breakdown of the Philadelphia Eagles and who they’ll take / what they’ll do with the No. 22 pick.