The 2014 Battle Red Blog Mock Draft returns with the Green Bay Packers, via gyeager, making their first round selection. Settle in for an enjoyably thorough explanation.
With the 21st pick in the 2014 BRB Mock Draft, the Green Bay Packers select Darqueze Dennard (CB--Michigan State).
As the official Ted Thompson Mini-Me, (my hair is the same color anyway) this was a tough decision. We know that Ted Thompson's philosophy is to always take the best player available. I felt obligated to base my pick on what Ted might do in this situation. Which is a hard task, kinda like trying to predict what a fruit fly would do (no disrespect).
In this draft, we had to change Ted's philosophy slightly to "best player available who might stay out of jail." The Packers have passed on players in the past with questionable character issues. *Darren Sharper doesn't count, since he was a model citizen until he played for the Vikings (I know, below the belt). The most glaringly obvious choice with the 21st pick would have been Taylor Lewan, a top ten talent who now has a few PR issues. I believe Ted would take a pass on Lewan, and so did I. In the real draft, if the Dolphins were fine with Richie Incognito, then Taylor Lewan might be an upgrade.
The positions most needing reinforcements for the Packers heading into this draft were: safety, inside linebacker, tight end and a good return man. The Packers believe they already have their next All Pro Safety on their team with CB Micah Hyde. I couldn't agree more since the former Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year is a sure tackler with great ball skills and had some experience playing safety at Iowa. I believe the Packers will draft a safety, but not at the 21st pick, unless Calvin Pryor or Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix falls into their lap.
The Packers are in need of a speed upgrade at the inside linebacker position. The Packers looked like they were wearing lead boots in their last 3 matchups against Colin Kaepernick. Ryan Shazier, whose stock is rising, would certainly be an upgrade. There are, however, issues regarding his size and upside potential. Most scouts have him being picked more towards the end of the first round.
The tight end position will also have to be addressed in a later round. The drop-off between Eric Ebron and the next candidate was simply too great. Jace Amaro would be a great addition, but not at the 21st overall pick. I'm miffed that Lukayyy and the Cardinals stole my second round pick Austin Seferian-Jenkins (probably wouldn't have be available when the Pack picks anyway in round two).
There were a couple of wide receivers left on the board that I think would have been legit picks in the 21st spot for the Pack. Odell Beckham, Jr. or Brandin Cooks certainly would have fit the bill for a good return man and would have added to the riches on the offensive side of the ball for the Pack. But I had to stick with the best player available model.
Nose tackle Louix Nix would have been another solid choice for the Pack since there aren't that many nimble footed 330 lb. specimens available for purchase at your local Walmart. The Pack will also be shopping for a nose tackle next year after they give B.J. Raji the boot. I passed on Nix, however, due to his knee injury and the projection of him going more towards the end of the first round.
So who was left? I thought about drafting Blake Bortles to replace the often undependable and inconsistent Aaron Rodgers, who the Vikings could have had with 7th or 18th overall picks in 2005. They instead chose future Hall of Famers Troy Williamson and Erasmus James instead (hee, hee, sorry Vikes fans, I couldn't resist).
Through this process of elimination, it left the only logical choice on the board, cornerback Darqueze Dennard. Darqueze is projected to be a top 15 pick on most of the scouts' boards. There are also more than a few reasons with this move makes sense. Micah Hyde will be switching from CB to the safety position. Tramon Williams is approaching 30 years old and is in his last year of a bloated contract. The Packers reserves of Jared Bush and Devon House also leave something to be desired.
Naysayers may point out that Casey Hayward should be back from injury this season and the pick could have been better served elsewhere. My retort is that good cornerbacks are like bars of gold; it's hard to stockpile too many of them. Try shaking the cornerback tree and see how many potential Pro Bowl players fall into your lap. You better shake damn hard because there aren't that many out there. If any Packers fans (Vikings fans are also welcome) would care to discuss this choice, Ted Thompson and I will be having a beer tonight at the Brett Favre Steakhouse across from Lambeau. We'll be discussing the renovations needed to house our fifth Super Bowl trophy.
How about that? React in the Comments.
The Philadelphia Eagles and gm.in.waiting are now on the clock. That pick is due to me by 12 p.m. CDT today.
1. Houston Texans--Sammy Watkins (WR--Clemson)
2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington)--Jadeveon Clowney (DE--South Carolina)
3. Jacksonville Jaguars--Johnny Manziel (QB--Texas A&M)
4. Cleveland Browns--Teddy Bridgewater (QB--Louisville)
5. Oakland Raiders--Khalil Mack (LB--Buffalo)
6. Atlanta Falcons--Anthony Barr (LB--UCLA)
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers--Eric Ebron (TE--UNC)
8. Minnesota Vikings--Greg Robinson (OT--Auburn)
9. Buffalo Bills--Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (S--Alabama)
10. Detroit Lions--Mike Evans (WR--Texas A&M)
11. Tennessee Titans--Justin Gilbert (CB--Oklahoma State)
12. New York Giants--Aaron Donald (DT--Pittsburgh)
13. St. Louis Rams--Jake Matthews (OT--Texas A&M)
14. Chicago Bears--Timmy Jernigan (DT--Florida State)
15. Denver Broncos (TRADE WITH STEELERS) --C.J. Mosley (LB--Alabama)
16. Dallas Cowboys--Morgan Moses (OT--Virginia)
17. Baltimore Ravens--Marqise Lee (WR--USC)
18. New York Jets--Calvin Pryor (S--Louisville)
19. Miami Dolphins--Zack Martin (OG/OT--Notre Dame)
20. Arizona Cardinals--Austin Seferian-Jenkins (TE--Washington)
21. Green Bay Packers--Darqueze Dennard (CB--Michigan State)
22. Philadelphia Eagles--gm.in.waiting
23. Kansas City Chiefs--MrCatPants
24. Cincinnati Bengals--hlc1221
25. San Diego Chargers--f22a4bandit
26. Cleveland Browns--FreedomRide
27. New Orleans Saints--H&Hguy
28. Carolina Panthers--Nashmeister
29. New England Patriots--37bp
30. San Francisco 49ers--TexansDC
31. Pittsburgh Steelers (TRADE WITH BRONCOS) --Steel Blue Crew
32. Seattle Seahawks--UprootedTexan
33. Houston Texans--bhsman