Free Agency has shored up a lot of the holes the Packers had, giving them more flexibility in the draft. This could translate into flexibility on the field, where the Packers have a new scheme on offense and a one year-old scheme on defense. This draft adds a lot of options to those fledgling schemes.
Here’s the results:
Montez Sweat (Edge) The big question here is the small red flag that emerged about his health. In the past, Combine medical evaluators have sent players home for heart conditions, but Montez Sweat‘s was not deemed serious enough to prevent him from participating, which, at this point, is good enough for me. Sweat showed up at the Combine at 6’6 260 and ran a 4.41 40. Sporting an 85″ wingspan, he dominated the Senior Bowl with his first step explosion and would be a force terrorizing the edge.
Chris Lindstrom (G) It’s true that I’m not a fan of taking Guards early and think Lindstrom is better in a gap scheme than zone blocking, but if the Packers are looking for an interior offensive lineman at 30, Chris Lindstrom would be a really good pick. I felt a lot better about him after his athleticism came out in Combine drills. A 3rd team All American, he also has experience at Tackle and Center.
Trayvon Mullen (CB) Letting Bashaud Breeland walk for $2M shows the Packers confidence in their young corners. However, the young corners havent stayed very healthy and Trayvon Mullen can add depth and give them a physical press corner. He thrived at Clemson by jamming releases and disrupting routes behind a devastating pass rush, but a 4.46 40 at the Combine shows he can run with guys, too.
Irv Smith (TE) There’s a lot of hullabaloo around getting a top Tight End in the first round. Top Tight Ends can be found in the 3rd round, too, though. Irv Smith is the best blocker in the class. Even though he’s only 6’2 and can’t get jump balls, he runs crisp routes and is a dependable receiver as well. In a lot of ways, he’s like a younger, shorter Marcedes Lewis and he would definitely have a home in a Matt LaFleur offense.
Malik Gant (S) The Packers have options at the safety position with the signing of Adrian Amos and a potential move of Tramon Williams or Josh Jackson. Malik Gant gives them a tough strong safety who cames down hard in run support while still sporting decent range with 4.6 speed. He is serviceable in coverage, but will never be a ballhawk. Coming out early gives him time to continue growing his game.
Trayveon Williams (RB) Aaron Jones is a great back and Jamaal WIlliams is a wonderful complement, but the Packers still need a third back and Trayveon WIlliams is an exciting runner. He’s compact at 5’8 205, but logged over 1,000 yards after contact last year. He’s a good receiver and the kind of complementary weapon that can break a play open at any time.
Nate Davis (G/T) The Packers need depth on their offensive line, too and Nate Davis can help with that on Day 3. He played Guard very well for 3 years showing athleticism and power. He moved to Tackle to help the team his senior year, but struggled against premier edge talent. He could still backup Right Tackle in a pinch, but his ability to get to the second level makes him a great zone blocking fit for the interior.
Sutton Smith (Edge) The Packers signed a couple guys named Smith to give them versatility around Edge and Defensive Line and the pick of Sweat earlier this draft gives them more options. However, that shouldn’t prevent picking up Sutton Smith this late – he may actually be a better pass rusher than any of them. He’s quick off the edge and racked up 29 sacks over the last two years. His only problem is size… or rather lack thereof. At 6’0 233, he can’t hold contain against the run and if he gets locked up with a Tackle, he usually can’t escape. However, he could also be a core special teams player in addition to being a pass rush specialist.
Blake Cashman (ILB) A former walk-on who worked his way up to team captain, Blake Cashman‘s offseason seems to be mimicking his college career. He didn’t show up high on a lot of boards until he blew up the Combine with a 4.5 40 and impressive athleticism. He has a medical flag for two shoulder surgeries this offseason, but still put up a respectable 18 reps on the bench press. He can provide some inside pass rush, too, but, like Sutton Smith, has trouble disengaging blocks. Also like Sutton Smith, he has the athleticism and intensity to be a core special teams player.
Alec Ingold (FB) No, this isn’t a homer pick. Matt LaFleur uses fullbacks for his outside zone blocking and the Packers could use some competition at that position. Alec Ingold is the consensus top fullback in this class. He can run block, he can pass block, and if you give him the ball, he can pound forward, as evidenced by his 20 touchdowns in 112 career touches – everything you need in a fullback.
The Packers versatile defensive front adds some fun options with Sweat, Smith, and Cashman. This would make for a lot of interesting alignment options and packages. Mullen and Gant would go a long way in rounding out the back-end depth.
On offense, Linstrom and Davis will help the line, but Smith and Ingold could impact the blocking schemes just as much – a vast improvement over last year. Williams is a shiny role player to spice up the offense.
- Brian Burns fell to 27 – that would warrant a trade up
- Demarkus Lodge fell to the 7th round, which is just silly value
Check out our PFTW 2019 Mock Draft Archive to see how other scenarios played out!
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