Pack might have hard time filling key need at No. 28

The Green Bay Packers defense ranked dead last in the league overall and 27th in sacks in 2011.

In addition to those eye-popping rankings, the playing status of safety Nick Collins is still in doubt.

According to the experts on NFL Network’s “Path to the Draft,” pass rush is the key area of need. But, will a quality player to fill that need still be available when the Packers pick at No. 28?

“The way I look at it, starting at (pick No.) 18 with San Diego, there’s a run of 3-4 (base defense) teams between (picks No.) 18 and 31 that are going to decimate that outside linebacker board,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. “Would a guy like Shea McClellin be available at (pick No.) 28?”

In mock drafts posted on NFL.com, the Boise State linebacker — who has enjoyed a late draft stock surge — has become a popular pick for the Packers.

Charley Casserly and Charles Davis also discussed possible options for the Packers, and players such as Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith, Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, Boise State running back Doug Martin, pass-rushing defensive ends Whitney Mercilus (Illinois) and Andre Branch (Clemson), as well as offensive linemen Kevin Zeitler and Peter Konz of Wisconsin, and Midwestern State’s Amini Silatolu were also mentioned as potential picks for Green Bay.

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