Who will be the Packers’ first pick? State media give their choices

Barring a trade, which is not out of the realm of possibilities, the Green Bay Packers will have the 14th overall pick in Thursday night’s NFL draft.

In the last two days, several members of the Wisconsin’s media were asked to give their opinions on whom the Packers will choose with their first pick. Here is what they had to say:

Lance Allan, NBC Channel 4: “If the Packers stay at 14, I think they take Derwin James, safety out of Florida State. Versatility is the name of today’s game. A 220-pound guy who can hit, cover and play the run is always a plus.

“I think the Packers are in play to trade up and, if they do, I’ll say they go up a few spot to get an edge rusher they really like. So, let’s say Marcus Davenport of Texas San Antonio.’’

Gary Ellerson, WSSP: “Denzel Ward (cornerback, Ohio State). I think they have to have him. They have do whatever it takes to get him. I don’t know if he’ll drop all the way to the Packers, so they might have to move up to get him. To me, they still need a corner to go with Kevin King.’’

Steve “Sparky’’ Fifer, WSSP: “Vita Vea (defensive tackle, Washington). The only way this happens is if the Dolphins go get a QB, which I think they might do. Vea is way too big and way too talented to pass up.’’

Chuck Freimund, WSSP: “I’m going to go with Iowa defensive back Josh Jackson. I’m going to predict the Packers trade back a few spots to get him. I really like Jackson. I don’t go by combines and those things; I go by production and every time I’ve seen that guy play I’ve been impressed. He playmaker.’’

Mike Heller, host of the Mike Heller Show on WOKY : “Vita Vea (defensive tackle, Washington). I guess the biggest reason I think they’ll take him is that they’ll look for opportunities to trade up but Minkah Fitzpatrick and Denzel Ward – their likely targets – won’t be viable trade options and Vea will be the next most logical and highest rated player for them.’’

Bob Hoffmaster, KFIZ Radio in Fond du Lac: “If they move up, maybe to around nine, 10 or 11 and if he’s still around, I think Tremaine Edmunds (linebacker, Virginia Tech) would be the guy. But if they stand pat, I’ll think they will probably go with an edge rusher because there are more corners to be had later in the draft than pass rushers and take Marcus Davenport (defensive end, Texas-San Antonio).’’

Kevin Holden, CBS Channel 58: -“Josh Jackson (cornerback, Iowa) Even with all the changes in Green Bay this off-season, rebuild is an unacceptable term. They need a starter and they need it now. And they need it in the secondary and Jackson can provide that for this team.’’

Peter Jackel, Racine Journal Times: “I have them taking a cornerback. They can’t go to camp with just who they now have (at cornerback). So I’ll go with Josh Jackson.’’

Bill Michaels, WSSP: “Defensive back Denzel Ward of Ohio State or Marcus Davenport, the defensive end from the University of Texas-San Antonio.”

Tom Oates, columnist Wisconsin State Journal: “I think there’s seven potential defensive difference-makers in the draft, and they’re hoping one falls to 14. I think they’d love it if (Tremaine) Edmunds or (Denzel) Ward fell to them, but I doubt that’s going to happen. Edmunds has best chance. If none of those are available at 14, I think they’ll take Marcus Davenport and hope to improve their pass rush.’’

Bill Scott, sports director for the Wisconsin Radio Network “Marcus Davenport (defensive end, Texas-San Antonio). I think their biggest need the last couple of years has been a pass rusher and I don’t think they can continue to discount that weakness. They could easily take a defensive back as well, but I’m going with Davenport if he’s not taken by then.’’

Steve “The Homer’’ True, ESPN Radio: “Josh Jackson (cornerback, Iowa). I’m guessing like everyone else, but I believe with the past success they (the Packers) have had with Iowa players, they’ll take him. And he’s good. He made plays at Iowa.’’

Tim Van Vooren, Fox Channel 6: “Josh Jackson (cornerback, Iowa.). If they at stay 14, my No. 1 reason for picking Jackson is that he’s a cornerback. I think the Packers know they need someone to make plays on the ball and Josh Jackson makes plays on the ball. He’s a ballhawk.’’

Gery Woelfel, Woelfelspressbox: “The Packers would be shrewd in moving up to land Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who could give them an immediate impact player on defense. But if the Packers can’t swing a deal to move up and remain at 14, they need to take the best offensive tackle, be it Notre Dame’s Mike Glinchey or UCLA’s Kolton Miller who has shot up the draft charts in recent weeks. After all, it’s all about keeping No. 12 upright.’’


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