1. Hercules Mata’afa, DL, Washington State
Hercules Mata’afa is one of the hardest players to project in the draft and thus, one of the biggest risks. But sometimes, if you’re going to hit a home run, you have to swing for the fences.
Mata’afa played on the interior defensive line in college, but projects more as an edge defender or a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. And that’s exactly what Green Bay needs more of in the upcoming season.
Clay Matthews and Nick Perry always have injury concerns and when they’re out the production has been null and void. If the Packers want their coverage to improve, they also need to give the quarterback less time in the pocket.
Mata’afa will help bring some toughness and extreme effort to the Packers that Mike Daniels has talked about the team missing in the past. He’s often known as the toughest and hardest-working player on the field every game.
Pro Football Focus reports Mata’afa has all the traits to become a good edge rusher but will require good coaching and patience at the next level. Given his draft projection of a fifth to ssixth-roundpick, he might be a good project for the Packers to consider.