GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers have the 26th pick in the first round and it's anybody's guess who the Packers will select when it's their turn.
And, who knows, maybe the Packers will trade the pick away.
The first round of the draft is Thursday and there will be plenty of guesses from NFL draft "experts," so five "experts" at FOX 11 have decided to take a guess on what the Packers do at No. 26.
Here's what the FOX 11 sports staff thinks the Packers will do at No. 26:
Drew Smith/Sports Director
Packers pick: Eric Reid, S, LSU
The Packers really haven't recovered at safety since Nick Collins' injury knocked him out of the NFL. They need to get a top flight-talent, since Charles Woodson's play went downhill as well before his injury and release.
So, the Packers will take a safety to fill the hole, and with pick No. 26, they take Eric Reid, safety from LSU. Reid has the size (6'1", 213) and the aggressiveness they are looking for in a safety.
Packers pick: Margus Hunt, DE, Southern Methodist
Every defense looks a lot better, top to bottom, when you can get pressure from your front line. Not to break out the ole hindsight glasses again, but Green Bay's defense hasn't looked quite the same since letting Cullen Jenkins walk in free agency. Enter Margus Hunt, a 6'8, freaky fast (4.60 seconds in the 40 yard dash), freaky strong (38 reps on the bench at the combine) defensive end. Oh, and he's from Estonia, originally moving to the U.S. to compete in shot put.
Most call this guy 'raw,' which is fair, but may be something the Packers can deal with. Green Bay has Ryan Pickett simultaneously coming off one of his best seasons and, you'd figure, nearing the end of his career. Hunt is a little older than most rookies not named Brandon Weeden (he'll be 26 by the time training camp rolls around).According to WalterFootball.com, Hunt met with the Packers at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Packers pick: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
Williams put up good numbers at the combine and an impressive positional workout at his pro day. He's 6-2, 311 pounds and could be a natural fit in the middle of the Packers' defensive line. The biggest knock on Williams in scouting reports is that he lacks consistency and, at times, work ethic. Williams would have good mentors in Ryan Pickett and B.J. Raji. With Clay Matthews' new contract extension and Aaron Rodgers likely to get one soon there may not be enough money to keep Raji around after his contract's up. Meanwhile, Pickett will be 34 this season and at some point he'll need to see less snaps. Williams could solidify the middle of the Packers' 3-4 defense for years to come.
Packers pick: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
The Packers appear to have depth at defensive tackle with the likes of Ryan Pickett, B.J. Raji, Jerel Worthy and Johnny Jolly. However, looks can be deceiving.
Raji is entering the final year of his contract, Pickett is 33 years old, Worthy suffered a season-ending knee injury last year and Jolly hasn't played since 2009 because he violated the NFL's substance abuse policy. In other words, the Packers could use some help in the middle of their 3-4 defense and there appears they could get some help with the 26th pick of the first round.
And no better place to look at than the defending national champion Alabama to improve the interior of the defense. Defensive tackle Jesse Williams (6 feet, 320 pounds) would give the Packers a lineman who has the ability to plug the middle of the line but also might be able play outside if needed, as his junior year he played defensive end for the Crimson Tide. Furthermore, he played fullback at times in short-yardage situations. Versatility is a good thing and Williams has plenty of it. The Packers have to like that.
Jake Timm/Sports Producer
Packers pick: trade.
If there's anything GM Ted Thompson likes more than draft picks, it's more draft picks. Most mock drafts I've seen are all over the place for Green Bay, from tight end to wide receiver to strong safety. Despite all the defensive draft picks for the Packers last year, I'd say the defense needs the most help, but at No. 26 overall I don't think there's anyone there that blows Ted's hair back.
So, my prediction is the Packers trade out of the first round with a team that has some mid-round picks to spare and would like to move up to grab someone at the end of the first, somewhat similar to how Thompson moved up to get Clay Matthews in the first round in 2009 with, you guessed it, pick No. 26 overall.
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