By GERY WOELFEL
INDIANAPOLIS – The Green Bay Packers won’t be in a position to draft any of the elite prospects in the upcoming NFL draft.
But that doesn’t mean the Packers can’t fill some conspicuous needs on their roster. In fact, if you listen to some general managers, this draft is tailor-made for the Packers.
At the NFL Combine Tuesday in Indianapolis, Jacksonville general manager Trent Baalke cited three positions in which he felt the draft was laden with talent. Each is a distinct Packer need.
“I think there’s a lot of strengths to this draft,’’ Baalke said. “But if you look at the wide receiver position, if you look at the offensive line position, if you look at the rush position, I think there’s a lot of good football players there.’’
Atlanta Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot also acknowledged this draft, like the last two drafts, is particularly good and deep with intriguing and talented receivers.
“We met a lot of those guys last night,’’ Paton said of the receiver prospects. “There’s some real good receivers in the draft again.
“Some different flavors, depending on what you’re looking for. There’s value at the top and throughout the draft (with receivers).’’
The Packers clearly could use a receiver, whether star Davante Adams returns or moves on. They could also use a defensive end who is a legitimate pass rusher, and an offensive tackle with the uncertain status of Billy Turner and David Bakhtiari still on the comeback trail after major knee surgery.
According to several NFL scouts, here are some defensive ends, wide receivers and offensive tackles who could be available for the Packers, who currently have the 28th overall pick in the draft:
Wide receivers – Chris Olava of Ohio State, Treylon Burks of Arkansas, Jameson Williams of Alabama and Jahan Dotson of Penn State.
Defensive ends – George Karlaftis of Purdue, Logan Hall of Houston, Travon Walker of Georgia, Arnold Ebiketie of Penn State and Boye Mafe of Minnesota, who some scouts consider an outside linebacker.
Offensive tackles – Kenyon Green of Texas A&M, Bernhard Raimann of Central Michigan and Trevor Penning of Northern Iowa.
Of course, any of the aforementioned players could see their draft stock rise or fall based on the combine showing.