Editor's note: We're combining the final three picks in our mock draft into this one post! Turns out the draft is only a few hours away!
30. Packers pick LB Stephone Anthony
Selected by GM digant_bachani
There is one thing in life that comes naturally to Teddy; the science of drafting good football player's, year in and year out. He drafts efficient, stays true to his board and is the epitome of the Best Player Available draft strategy. This is evident from the fact that Julius Peppers is the only guy on their roster who has played for another team in the NFL. Let that sink in for a bit. On a 53-man roster, a grand TOTAL of 1 player has ever dawned a jersey that is not green and yellow. So naturally, when the draft rolls around, our age old teddy got to work early.
Lets begin with the offence. He already had a star-studded offence in Eddie Lacy, Jordy Nelson, upcoming receiver in Devante Adams and our very own Mr. Rodgers; who for all practical purposes plays like a Greek god on the football field. If you don't believe me, go look at the NFC championship game. The guy was literally hobbling on one leg throwing accurate darts all over the field.
The only immediate needs were the contracts of Cobb and Bryan Bulaga; and staying true to his philosophy, teddy got it done. He made sure his QB gets protected next year and he had his second best weapon to throw to, in the form of Cobb signing a $40 million, 4-year extension. If that wasn't good enough, the cherry on the cake was Kuhn; who completes an offence that has the capability to shred down any defense in the National Football league piece by piece. Oh and I forgot to mention, the draft hasn't rolled in yet. Packers may very well get Maxx Williams in the second round and complete the package.
This brings us to the area of need i.e. Defense. Teddy put his thinking cap on and started with the d-line. He signed Guion and Raji for one-year deals to go with Mike Daniels. Once the free agency dust had settled, the two glaring needs were defensive backs and inside Linebacker. Green Bay had released Brad Jones and A.J. Hawk, one of the mainstays on the defense for almost a decade. They also lost Davon House to Jaguars and the leader of their secondary Tramon Williams to the Browns. An already week defense is looking bleaker by the second. To illustrate, Packers were the 23rd ranked run defense last year. And this is after Clay Matthews was moved to ILB to plug the running lanes. As expected, the weakness was exposed against strong run teams like Seahawks. The mantra was to run the ball through the heart of the defense and don't give Rodgers any time for a comeback.
Out of the two position groups of inside linebackers and secondary, I personally feel there are only four players that warrant first round consideration. These were Trae Waynes, Kevin Johnson, Stephone Anthony and Eric Kendricks.
Since the first two options were already taken, the choice was obvious. Teddy gets to stick to his philosophy of BPA and gets the best linebacker of the draft: Stephone Anthony.
There are about five reasons why I feel Anthony is a more complete player than Kendricks but instead of repeating information that is already nicely laid out on profootballspot.com, I will just give the readers a link to the article that summarizes it better than I ever could.
31. Saints pick NT Jordan Phillips
Selected by GM sktthesystem31
At No. 13 I chose to pick OLB Randy Gregory over OLB Bud Dupree in what ended up being a very tough decision. I chose Gregory because I believed he was more pro-ready and would be able to provide an immediate impact to the pash rush. Surprisingly, Dupree fell all the way to #27 and I can't help but wonder what I would have done if he had still been available four picks later. I'd probably pull the trigger and draft Dupree, with the intent to play him out ILB, which isn't a stretch because he possesses traits that offer positional flexibility. No worries, though, for I have a pool of players to consider here.
Going back to my post on the Saints No. 13 selection, I felt like the Saints top four needs on defense were:
- Pass Rusher (1st Round (13) - Randy Gregory)
Selected - Trae Waynes (9), Eric Rowe (20), Kevin Johnson (22)Best Available - Jalen Collins and Marcus Peters
Selected - Leonard Williams (3), Danny Shelton (12), Malcom Brown (21)Best Available - Eddie Goldman and Jordan Phillips
Selected - Stephone Anthony (30)Best Available - Eric Kendricks, Denzel Perryman, and Benardrick McKinney
Some very good players are still on the board at #31 and this doesn't even include offensive players which could very well be in play. TheSaints need replacements for players they traded away this offseason in Jimmy Graham, Kenny Stills, and Ben Grubbs. Players to be considered here:
- Phillip Dorsett
- Maxx Williams
- Cam Erving
I can't envision Maxx Williams being a first round pick, let alone a top 50 pick, and it wouldn't look very good to your fans if you gave up the NFL's top TE for a good center and Williams. WR is definitely an option here with Dorsett, but Drew Brees can continue to excel with his current WR corp of Brandin Cooks and Marques Colston for another year. There's also a chance Williams and Dorsett fall to the Saints No. 44 pick, if that's the direction they head. Erving seems like a good value pick, but his best position appears to be at center, a position the Saintsupgraded with the Graham deal (Unger).
I believe the Saints are going into this draft with the mentality that they must upgrade the front 7 (well, at least from my research of Canal Street Chronicles, that's what their fans want). So with that in mind,
The New Orleans Saints select...
Oklahoma DT Jordan Phillips
The Saints fill a major need at NT by selecting the huge, but very athletic Phillips. He's a great fit to play the zero-technique over the center and will instantly upgrade the run defense for New Orleans. The biggest knock on him has been that he disappears during stretches of a game, but he also flashes great potential (Poe anyone?). Once I narrowed my selection down to the NT position (which was not easy), I chose Phillips over Eddie Goldman mainly due to personal choice. Goldman is higher-rated on most mocks, but I feel like Phillips ends up being the better NT. I could have gone cornerback here, seeing as how Jalen Collins and Marcus Peters have fallen to this spot, but I'm not thrilled with either player (Collins is somewhat of a project and Peters has a history). I thought really hard about Eric Kendricks as well, but I'm banking on him being there at No. 44.
32. Patriots pick LSU CB Marcus Peters
Selected by GM commanderinCHIEFS
Mock draft order
30. Packers - LB Stephone Anthony
31. Saints - NT Jordan Phillips
32. Patriots - CB Jalen Collins