GREEN BAY PACKERS
2016: 10-6, first place NFC North
2017 DRAFT: No. 29
|368.8 (8th)||262.4 (7th)||106.3 (20th)||4.5 (7th)||35 (15th)|
|363.9 (22nd)||269.3 (31st)||94.7 (8th)||4.0 (14th)||40 (6th)|
1. CB — The Packers defensive secondary was exposed throughout the 2016 season. With Sam Shields now out in Green Bay and not much experience in the cornerback ranks without him, expect Green Bay to select multiple cornerbacks and even *gasp* look for a CB in free agency.
2. OLB/DE — Julius Peppers, Nick Perry and Datone Jones are all unrestricted free agents. The Packers need another pass rusher to take the pressure off their defensive backfield.
3. ILB — The Packers haven't drafted an inside linebacker earlier than the fourth round since 2007. Blake Martinez (4th round, 2016), Jake Ryan (4th round, 2015) and Joe Thomas (undrafted, 2014) show potential, but the Packers need more at the position.
4. RB — Eddie Lacy is a free agent and James Starks was recently let go. The Packers could resign Lacy, but need more than just wide-receiver-turned-running back Ty Montgomery in the backfield.
RELATED: NFL Mock Draft 2.0
Teez Tabor, CB — Florida
The Florida product might not be around at the 29th pick, but if he is, the Packers should leap at the opportunity. The three-year player has more experience than some of the younger corners in the draft, and put up big numbers in that time at Florida — 104 tackles, 4 sacks, 8 interceptions, 28 passes defended and three defensive touchdowns.
Takkarist McKinley, OLB — UCLA
Green Bay loves its Pac-12 players, and could slide McKinley in on it's defensive rotation next to his former teammate Kenny Clark. McKinley had 99 tackles, 16 sacks and 10 passes defended in his three years at UCLA, and is fresh off of a 10.0-sack, 18.0-tackle for loss season.
Sydney Jones, CB — Washington
Another talented, experienced cornerback who could be around for the Packers is Washington's Sydney Jones. The 2017 Draft class is loaded with solid corners, and the Packers would love to land Jones and his 145 career tackles, 8 interceptions and 21 passes defended.
Jarrad Davis, ILB — Florida
Considered a top-5 inside linebacker in the 2017 NFL Draft, Jarrad Davis could add stability to the Packers 3-4 defense immediately. Davis totaled 201 tackles, 20.0 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and 9 passes defended in four years at Florida.
T.J. Watt, OLB — Wisconsin
T.J. Watt is flying up draft boards, and it's not just because he's J.J. Watt's younger brother. He's an explosive, though raw, outside linebacker and the Packers would love to keep him in state. After starting his Wisconsin career at tight end, Watt switched to defense and was a starter for the first time in 2016, totaling 63 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks and an interception returned for a touchdown this past year.
Jim Oxley photo