By Michael Terrill @MichaelTerrill on April 18, 2014
The Green Bay Packers have no choice but to hit on their first-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. With some obvious holes on defense, they need someone who can step in and be productive right out of the gate. There are several obvious draft choices for Green Bay, but here are five dark horse targets the Packers could select in the first round.
Defensive end/outside linebacker isn’t something Green Bay will be looking for in the first round. However, Dee Ford has the necessary explosive acceleration off the line that could be enough to intrigue the Packers. Considering Ford is one of the more talented pass rusher in the draft, and Green Bay could use more of those, he’s definitely someone fans shouldn’t be surprised if the Ted Thompson targets him.
There would be uproar in Titletown if the Packers selected a wide receiver in the first round, especially since there are too many other glaring weaknesses. With that being said, giving Aaron Rodgers an additional weapon isn’t a terrible idea. Bradnin Cooks is widely regarded as the third best received in the draft. His explosive burst of speed, quick hands and excellent route running would make him a dangerous asset with Rodgers under center.
With Ryan Pickett’s career coming to an end and the uncertainty of B.J. Raji’s future in Green Bay, the Packers have to seriously consider upgrading an anchor position on the defensive front. Timmy Jernigan will make his presence known due to his quick movement and ability to jam up gaps on the line. His above-average strength and 300-pound frame will harass offensive linemen to no end, which will allow other defenders to make plays.
If outside linebacker is a position Green Bay decides they must upgrade, Anthony Barr is a good choice because he has the potential to become an immediate big-time pass-rushing threat. He’s quick off the edge and he will use his explosive speed to rack up the sacks. I can’t imagine Thompson surprises fans with this kind of selection, but nonetheless, Barr would be a great addition to the roster.
Even though the Packers re-signed Sam Shields, there’s no question the secondary could still use some help. The addition of a physical defensive back would be welcomed with open arms, which is why Green Bay must take a serious look at Darqueze Dennard. He has the potential to be one of the more devastating man-to-man coverage corners in the league. More importantly, he’s a very reliable tackler in the open field.
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