Is the 2016 NFL Draft the year where the Green Bay Packers finally pick the pass rushing foil for Clay Matthews? In the SB Nation NFL writers mock draft, there are some options out there. Leonard Floyd of Georgia would be hard to pass up, and Boise State's Kamalei Correa is an intriguing option.
But Tex Western of Acme Packing Co. has something completely different in mind.
27. Packers: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
Western: Although the Packers' pass rush was very good in 2015, their run defense was mediocre even with B.J. Raji manning the middle. Now that he has taken a hiatus for 2016, Green Bay is left with some questions at two of the three positions on their defensive line.
Enter Jarran Reed.
In Reed, the Packers find an immovable anchor for the center of their defense who also has the length and ability to move out from the nose and line up as a 5-technique end. His pass rushing skills are admittedly a work in progress, but he has shown glimpses of potential in that respect that should develop over time. More important is his ability to two-gap and help keep the linebackers free to pursue ball carriers.
Even if he remains a non-factor in the passing game, however, the Packers have a top-notch interior lineman in Mike Daniels plus a bevy of pass-rushing outside linebackers who can bring the pain on the quarterback. Although the Packers' strategy on defense tends to lie primarily in attacking the quarterback, Reed would provide a much-needed boost against the run and would solidify the nose tackle spot for the next several years.
Analysis: My choice probably would have been one of the pass rushers, but Reed fills an obvious need. His run stopping is a known NFL trait, so he should be able to come in and be a factor there. His value at No. 27 is good as well. Teams (and their fan bases) just need to realize that Reed may not come in and provide a lot of flashy plays. What he will do, however, is be a mainstay up front and free things up for other players to get tackles.
Dan's Top 5 players remaining
- 15. Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville
- 20. Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
- 24. Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia
- 25. Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
- 26. Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State
- 1-27: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
- 2-57: (coming April 20)
Complete draft results:
1. Tennessee Titans - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss (Link)
2. Cleveland Browns - Jared Goff, QB, Cal (Link)
3. San Diego Chargers - Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State (Link)
4. Dallas Cowboys - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State (Link)
5. Jacksonville Jaguars - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA (Link)
6. Baltimore Ravens - Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State (Link)
7. San Francisco 49ers - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon (Link)
8. Philadelphia Eagles - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State (Link)
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky (Link)
10. New York Giants - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame (Link)
11. Chicago Bears - Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida (Link)
12. New Orleans Saints - A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama (Link)
13. Miami Dolphins - Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State (Link)
14. Oakland Raiders - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State (Link)
15. Los Angeles Rams - Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson (Link)
16. Detroit Lions - Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State (Link)
17. Atlanta Falcons - Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson (Link)
18. Indianapolis Colts - Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama (Link)
19. Buffalo Bills - Reggie Ragland, MLB, Alabama (Link)
20. New York Jets - Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State (Link)
21. Washington - Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor (Link)
22. Houston Texans - Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor (Link)
23. Minnesota Vikings - Josh Doctson, WR, TCU (Link)
24. Cincinnati Bengals - Laquon Treadell, WR, Ole Miss (Link)
25. Pittsburgh Steelers - William Jackson, CB, Houston
26. Seattle Seahawks - Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida