Kiper mock 1.0 reaction: Packers

In last year’s draft, there were two safeties off the board when it came time for the Green Bay Packers to pick at No. 26 in the first round.

So instead of taking Florida safety Matt Elam, who would end up going six picks later to the Baltimore Ravens, Packers general manager Ted Thompson opted for UCLA defensive end Datone Jones.

Thompson’s decision not to address the safety position at all in the draft or free agency turned out to be a mistake that would end up costing the 2013 team. Poor safety play hampered a defense that slipped to No. 25 in total yards allowed.

So it makes sense that in Mel Kiper’s first mock draftInsider of 2014, he has the Packers taking a safety. And this year, according to Kiper, only one safety will be gone when Thompson is on the clock with the 21st overall pick.

While Kiper expects Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to be selected before the Packers pick, he has them taking Louisville safety Calvin Pryor.

Pryor has good size (6-foot-2, 208 pounds) and declared for the draft last month after a successful junior season in which he had three interceptions and 5.5 tackles for loss in 12 games.

He has a reputation as a physical, hard-hitting safety – something the Packers have lacked in recent years. Pryor sat out one game last season because he was suspended for an unspecified violation of team rules.