2013 Draft Digest Vol. 1

The Packers drafted Nick Perry in the first round last year. Who will it be this time around? I'm proud to announce a new feature here at The Packer Perspective. Every Tuesday from now until the NFL Draft, we'll take a semi-comprehensive look at what the "experts" are saying about the Packers draft prospects for this year. While I generally detest mock drafts and won't be putting together any myself, there's no harm in taking advantage of what other people are saying. And whether or not it's accurate, it's always interesting to see which players are rising and falling through the draft preparation process. Someone projected as a late first round pick in February may end up going in the top ten in April or vice versa, as Packer fans no doubt remember from the Aaron Rodgers saga.

I'll try to collect as many opinions as I can on a weekly basis as we track what people with enormous amounts of free time are thinking as far as the Packers' 2013 first round pick. If you know of any notable mock drafts I'm missing (or if you have ESPN Insider access that you'd be willing to share...hint hint), please let me know!

Here's what the self-proclaimed draft experts are saying recently:

WalterFootball.com

  • ¬†Keenan Allen - WR - California
  • Analysis Greg Jennings will be a free agent in March. He's proven to be unreliable in terms of staying healthy, so he won't be back. The Packers consequently may target a receiver early in the 2013 NFL Draft. Keenan Allen is the top player available in this situation, so I doubt Ted Thompson would hesitate to pluck him off the board.

CBSSports.com (two mock drafts)

  • D.J. Fluker - OT - Alabama (predicted by Rob Rang)
  • Alec Ogletree - OLB - Georgia (predicted by Dane Brugler)

NFL.com (four mock drafts)

  • Barrett Jones - OG/C - Alabama (predicted by Charles Davis)
  • Travis Frederick - C - Wisconsin (predicted by Gil Brandt)
  • Manti Te'o - ILB - Notre Dame (predicted by Bucky Brooks)
  • Xavier Rhodes - CB - Florida State (predicted by Daniel Jeremiah)

SportingNews.com (by Vinnie Iyer)

  • D.J. Fluker - OT - Alabama

FFToolbox.com (two mock drafts)

  • Barrett Jones - OG - Alabama (predicted by Jeff Christiansen)
  • Eddie Lacy - RB - Alabama (predicted by Ben Standig)

DraftTek.com

  • Jonathan Jenkins - DT - Georgia
  • Analysis:¬†While not the Packers' primary need, it would be difficult for Packers' GM Ted Thompson to pass up Jenkins here. There's a big drop-off on the Packers' defensive line after Ryan Pickett and BJ Raji, especially in the "eating up blockers" department. This was a real problem for the Packers' D last season, to which Adrian Peterson can attest. By most accounts, Jenkins showed during Senior Bowl week that he has not only the size and strength but also the quickness to force offenses to double-team him. Jenkins was credited with 50 tackles and 15 quarterback pressures this season, although he was declared academically ineligble for the Bulldogs' Capital One Bowl Game against Nebraska. With Raji, Pickett, and Jenkins on the DL, the Packers' linebackers will be freed up to be the playmakers that 3-4 LBs are supposed to be.
Jon Meerdink