PackersInsider Mock Draft, April 19th
By Brian E Murphy, PackersInsider.com senior editor
~It’s that time of the year, the final week before the draft, and it’s time to turn over every possible stone and get the perfect mock draft ready.
A week away, look for Ted Thompson to make at least two draft-day trades over the 7-rounds. He has 12 picks at his disposal, and knows he’s only a few key pieces, premium pieces, from taking his defense from soft to great again. With the age of the weapons on offense, one would figure they’re going to be fine for years to come, barring serious injuries to Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings, and Jordy Nelson, as well as the offensive line.
So here we go with the April 19th mock draft.
Round 1 – Pick 28 – Jerel Worthy, DL, Michigan State
Round 2 – Pick 59 – Bruce Irvin, OLB, West Virginia
Round 3 – Pick 90 – Philip Blake, C, Baylor
Round 4 – Pick 123 – Trade to Indianapolis for Jerry Hughes, OLB
Round 4 – Pick 132 – Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia
Round 4 – Pick 133 – Christian Thompson, S, SC State
Round 5 – Pick 163 – Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor
Round 6 – Pick 197 – Brad Smelley, FB/TE, Alabama
Round 7 – Pick 224 – Trade to Indianapolis
Round 7 – Pick 235 – Kelcie McCray, S, Arkansas State
Round 7 – Pick 241 – Matt McCants, OT, UAB
Round 7 – Pick 243 – John Brantley, QB, Florida
Jerel Worthy, from Charlie Campbell: When he took on Wisconsin in two games, he would be blocked well for a portion of the game, before wrecking havoc in the backfield for a quarter. Worthy had underwhelming performances against Nebraska, Iowa and Notre Dame. He had a superb showing against Ohio State, and ended his career well against Georgia. Versus the Bulldogs, Worthy got the better of the matchup against Georgia center Ben Jones, a second-day prospect.
Bruce Irvin: He ran the fastest 3-cone drill at the combine (6.70) and also ran a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash. While he had a dip in production this past season with 8.5 sacks, he got people’s attention in 2010 with 14 sacks. – Karen Guregian, The Boston Herald Bruce Irvin has similar size and production as last year’s top-5 pick, and defensive rookie of the year Von Miller did. Most are projecting Irvin as a third rounder. I don’t think he even should make it past the Packers 2nd round pick. Even though the Packers will have traded for third year prospect Jerry Hughes at OLB, who I believe has the potential to become a Pro Bowler in this defense, Irvin is too good to pass up here. New England reportedly is very high on Irvin as well. – Brian E Murphy, PackersInsider.com
Philip Blake is ready now, but will have a year or two to learn from Jeff Saturday on Sundays. He was the captain for Robert Griffin III at Baylor, and will give the Packers an achor on the offensive line for years to come.
His teammate at Baylor, Terrance Ganoway, proves to be a steal late in round 5. I am not saying he’s going to be Terrell Davis, another 5th round steal. -Brian E. Murphy
Baylor Pro Day: Not to be lost in the day’s events was the impressive performance by running back Terrance Ganaway, who ran his 40-yard dash times in the low 4.5’s after running a 4.65 at the Combine. He also lifted 225-pounds 22 times on the bench and looked smooth catching the ball. After entering the season as an undrafted free agent prospect, Ganaway could be a top-125 draft pick next month. – Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
Minnifield is a 1st round talent who has had some questions with his knees, and his draft stock has slid as a result. Like Clay Matthews, Minnifield’s father was a long time NFL star, so he has the bloodlines as well as the talent. Davon House is expected to be ready this year at CB, and Minnifield should have the luxury of being able to learn and develop for a year without being thrown in there too soon. At best, he’d be counted on to be the dime back, but the Packers brought back Jarrett Bush too, and he can play corner or safety.
Spealing of safety, Christian Thompson, from Pro Football Weekly: Raw, physically talented, FCS , height-weight-speed prospect whose measurables are more impressive than his tape, as his instincts and read-and-react skills do not parallel his athletic ability. However, has size, speed and tackling ability to factor on special teams.
Brad Smelley showed he could become a Chris Cooley type force in the NFL at the Senior Bowl in Mobile.
Through three days of practice, it could be argued that no pass-catcher has been more consistent than the Tide H-back who has shown vacuum-hands all week. He isn’t explosive in any way, but he plays hard and fast at all times and has earned a draftable grade. – Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
Kelcie McCray is 6-1 1/2 and 202 pounds, perfect size. Kelcie McCray improved on his combine results at Arkansas State’s Pro-Day. The Hardaway alum is expected to be a fourth to sixth round pick at safety in the NFL draft. At pro-day McCray ran a 4.52 40-yard dash, a .02 improvement from the combine. -NFLDraftScout.com
Matt McCants is a typical Ted Thompson late-round pick.
McCants possesses a great looking frame that has the ability to get bigger and mature physically. Athletically, all the tools are there for this kid to play left tackle in the NFL, he just needs some time to make the jump in competition and mature physically. -National Football Post
John Brantley is a natural thrower of the football and can make all the throws. Displays the arm strength to fit passes into tight areas in the intermediate pass game. His timing and anticipation are good when he sees “it” and has the ability to throw in rhythm with good ball placement allowing receivers to run after the catch.
Possesses some real mental toughness, replaced Tim Tebow at Florida, struggled at times this past year, but fought through it and now really has a chance to shine.
Impression: Does a lot of things well, but doesn’t always trust what he sees. Needs some time, but is worth a developmental grade and late round/priority pick. -National Football Post
And last but not least: Jerry Hughes.
This is a guy who two drafts ago was predicted by many to be going to the Packers with their first round pick. Rick Gosselin and Bob McGinn had sources within the Packers and/or agent circles who tipped them on it. But nobody knew before the draft that Bryan Bulaga would slide out of the top ten, and then top-20, all the way to the Packers. Chad Clifton appeared to be on his last legs at LT, and Tauscher appeared done at RT, so Bulaga was a need and BPA value there.
Fast forward two years. Hughes has been miscast by the bungling Colts as a hand-on-the-ground DE. He’s not Dwight Freeney or Robert Mathis.
The Colts have not done a lot right in terms of evaluation or coaching, hence them picking #1 overall and firing their whole coaching staff and GM.
One problem is they are now moving their defense from a conventional 4-3. But by keeping Mathis and Freeney, who knows.
Hughes was written off last year as a bust, and was on the trading block. Why Ted Thompson didn’t scoop him up last year and attempt to patch up the invisible pass rush will always remain a mystery to us. But Teddy prefers to plug holes with street guys like Josh Bell, Eric Walden, and Frank Zombo.
It’s time he takes a swing at a guy who had enough talent and ability to be a first round pick just 24 months ago. Enter Jerry Hughes, who will both compete with Bruce Irvin at ROLB, but also give the Packers some added depth behind Clay Matthews. Matthews will not remain healthy for every game, every year. As bad as the pass rush was last year with Clay and whoever at ROLB, imagine it without Clay and two of those “whoevers”.