I don’t do mock drafts.
I’m so up to my eyeballs in the Green Bay Packers, that I haven’t the foggiest idea of what the rest of the league is thinking.
My lone participation every year is a mock draft put together by Patriots Football Weekly/Patriots.com, which is run by the New England Patriots. Paul Perillo organizes it and uses beat writers for each team to make a pick.
I’m 1-for-2. In 2011, I correctly picked Derek Sherrod. In 2012, I went with Kevin Zeitler, who wound up going a few picks earlier to Cincinnati.
In this year’s draft, I selected SMU’s Margus Hunt for the Packers at No. 26.
He’s 6-foot-8 and the Packers need length on their defensive line. He’s a freakish athlete, with a 4.60 in the 40-yard dash and 34.5-inch vertical. He’s as strong as an ox, with 38 reps on the bench.
A former shot put and discus thrower for his native Estonia, Hunt has been playing football for just four years. He said he was “rather lost” when he watched a few games during his first year on campus. Turning to “Madden” to learn some of the nuances of the game, he was all-conference as a freshman. As a senior, he collected 8.5 sacks. For his career, he had 16.5 sacks, 28 tackles for losses and a record 17 blocked kicks.
If Hunt can do that with four years of college coaching, what could he accomplish with a year or two under a superb position coach like Mike Trgovac?
“He’s a damned good player as it is,” a scout said.
Several scouts have mentioned Hunt’s character and work ethic. One called Hunt a “Packers type of guy” and compared him to Houston’s J.J. Watt. General manager Ted Thompson, a SMU grad, met with Hunt at the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine, so the interest is legitimate.
There’s a need, too. The Packers need to improve their pass rush and Hunt would be an asset — especially with last year’s second-round pick, Jerel Worthy, potentially going to miss a big chunk or perhaps all of the 2013 season.
Note: My other consideration was Alabama defensive tackle Jesse Williams. (I might have gone with Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert had I not been out of town and not had a chance to examine who was available. Instead, my conversation with Perillo went: “Is Margus Hunt available? Yes? I’ll take him.”)
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.