NFL Green Bay Packers

2014 NFL Draft: 5 Late-Round Sleepers the Green Bay Packers Should Target

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Packers: 5 Late-Round Sleepers in 2014 NFL Draft

5 Late-Round Sleepers Packers
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NFL Draft is coming up quick, which means the Green Bay Packers must work tirelessly in order to be ready for the big weekend. Even though everyone wants to focus on what the Packers are going to do with the 21st overall pick in the draft, general manager Ted Thompson is someone who concentrates on all of his available draft selections. For that reason, it’s important to look at the late-round sleepers that could give Green Bay an edge they desperately need.

The NFL Draft is one of my favorite parts about sports. There is nothing like sitting down with a couple of cold beverages, good food and good company to watch the architects of the various NFL teams put together their future. So much rides on the draft as general managers could easily lose their jobs if their draft picks don’t pan out. On top of that, numerous players will have their dreams come true on draft day while others will have their dreams shattered.

Thompson is someone who has excelled at the draft ever since he arrived in Green Bay. Sure, he’s had some misses, but for the most part he’s hit on some quality players. The only issue is that his last two drafts have been busts, which means he personally has a lot riding on 2014. Thompson needs to get some quality hits because if he doesn’t the Packers could be in big trouble over the next couple of years.

Check out five late-round sleepers the Packers should target in the 2014 NFL Draft.

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5. Vinnie Sunseri S

Vinnie Sunseri Packers draft
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The hope is that the Packers select a safety in the first round. More specifically, Green Bay needs to find a way to draft Ha Ha Clinton-Dix out of Alabama. Even if the Packers do select a safety in one of the first two rounds, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to grab another one in the later rounds. Vinnie Sunseri, who was a teammate of Clinton-Dix’s at Alabama, would be perfect for Green Bay’s defense. He’s nowhere near as athletic as Clinton-Dix, but he does have raw instincts and understands the game on a high level. He’s an aggressive tackler and isn’t afraid to make plays on the ball, which is what the Packers need out of a safety.

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4. Jeremiah George ILB

Jeremiah George Packers draft
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The Packers need some depth at inside linebacker, especially with A.J. Hawk’s future in Green Bay a little uncertain over the next couple of years. Jeremiah George led the Big 12 in tackles with 112 and is someone who will go above and beyond the call to get the job done. He would fit in perfectly with Green Bay’s 3-4 defense and has the potential to be a starter two or three years down the road. The fact that he has already shown more than expected is a good sign for things to come.

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3. Jacob Pedersen TE

Jacob Pedersen Packers draft
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay is guaranteed to grab a tight end at some point in the draft. Even though there’s some speculation that they will grab a playmaker early on, I believe the organization will decide to wait and see what’s available in the later rounds. One tight end in particular that could be worth taking a chance on is Jacob Pedersen out of Wisconsin. Pedersen is a very physical tight end who would do wonders as a blocker on offense. He’s also someone that would be ideal in the short-yard pass situations. Every great quarterback needs a security blanket and Pedersen could be just that for Aaron Rodgers.

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2. Justin Ellis DT

Justin Ellis Packers draft
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The Packers need some more depth on the defensive line and Justin Ellis is the man to provide it. The 6’2”, 342-pound defensive tackle has enough raw talent to turn into a versatile lineman. He would be someone Green Bay would want to use to clog the run game, while he also has shown signs of having a pass-rushing ability. Even though he’s not known as a pass-rusher, anything is possible when the right opportunity presents itself.

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1. Prince Shembo OLB

Prince Shembo Packers draft
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It’s no secret that Green Bay needs to give Clay Matthews some help in the pass rushing department. Mike Daniels has certainly stepped up his game, while Mike Neal showed promise as well. However, landing another elite pass rusher is a top priority. Outside linebacker Prince Shembo doesn’t scream pass rusher, but he did have 17 quarterback hurries in 2013. On top of that, he’s very strong with decent acceleration. Like Matthews, he will give a full effort every single time he steps on the gridiron, which is what the Packers would like to see more of from their players.