Just a random list of players I’d like to see the Packers get. This isn’t a ranking of who I think the best players are or who I think the Packers will actually take, instead, these are just guys who jumped out at me in the evaluation process that I would like to see the Packers take.
DAY 1 (round 1)
This is where the premium guys are. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of realistic options that I like, which is why I advocate trading down (those options are analyzed here and a mock draft of how it could play out is here).
Brian Burns (Edge) A bit light, but that’s really his only knock. Bulking up to 249 for the Combine without any loss in explosion showed he can mitigate the risk. With his freakish bend around the corner, hand usage, polished moves, leverage, run contain, leverage, smarts, and everything else he brings to the table, he would possibly be the highest touted Edge the Packers ever drafted.
Ed Oliver (DL) Obviously, I’d rather have Quinnen Williams, but I’m not going to open myself up to that hurt by imagining we could get him. Oliver is nearly as freaky and almost as disruptive – well worth a top 12 pick. Explosive, athletic penetrator, he has great energy and hand technique for blasting into backfields and just wrecking whatever opposing offenses are trying to do.
TJ Hockenson (TE) The best Tight End in the class. A devastating blocker and great receiver, he looks like he was put on this earth to play in Matt LaFleur’s offense.
DAY 2 (rounds 2 and 3)
There is a very broad talent tier at Day 2, which makes it hard to gauge who would have to be taken here and who could slip to Day 3. Nevertheless, here are the guys that stick out to me at the top of this tier.
Nassir Adderley (S) Rangy Safety that can cover like a corner. Questions about competition were answered by a great week of Senior Bowl practice against the top players in the country that earned him a spot as a captain. Plays every down full throttle, even on special teams.
Darnell Savage (S) Shined as the best defensive back at Senior Bowl, he has man coverage ability and a high football IQ to roam the backend, all tied together with 4.36 speed. High energy guy who has no problems busting down in run support.
Tytus Howard (T) Prototypical size at 6’6 311, Howard played at Alabama State, but really shined against top talent at the Senior Bowl where he carved out a name for himself by being the only lineman who could stop Montez Sweat. With a quick first step to cut off speed rushers and the anchor to hold back bull rushes, he has the look of a guy who can grow into a long-term starter.
Josh Jacobs (RB) Compact, low powerful runner, Jacobs isn’t a breakaway speed guy, but he has the vision to see the hole, the patience to wait for the block, and the explosiveness and change of direction ability to cut through it. He’s hard to bring down, doesn’t fumble, and can pick up blitzes. A great complement to the Packers current backs.
Deebo Samuel (WR) The prototype for slot receivers. Measureables like 5’11, 214, 4.48 with a 39″ vertical should make scouts salivate, but it’s what he does with those traits that makes him so enticing. A quick release made him unguardable at the Senior Bowl, but he also catches everything near him.
Hakeem Butler (WR) The opposite of Deebo, Butler is a prototypical big receiver. At 6’5 227 with 4.48 speed and a 36 inch vertical, he comes away with every contested catch, breaks tackles, and blocks very well. He feels like a great fit for the new offense.
Intriguing option: If Jeffery Simmons slips into Day 2, he could be a long-term steal as a potential top 10 pick that tore his ACL
DAY 3 (rounds 4-7)
Bobby Evans (T/G) Aggressive and chippy, Evans plays with attitude. Maybe the most mobile Tackle in the class, he’d be a good fit a Guard in zone blocking with the potential to play Tackle if he can improve his kick step to get ahead of speed rushers. Smart enough to handle all the moves and counters, he’s a versatile four slot lineman.
Brett Rypien (QB) Rypien is a cerebral pocket passer quarterback who can make all the throws with quick release mechanics. He’s accurate and has a nice deep ball, but doesn’t have the prototypical size or velocity. He strikes me as the perfect backup for what I believe this offense will become.
Ugo Amadi (S) Strong, fluid athlete that is smart in zone and can handle man pickups. Sounds like the perfect Safety… in a 5’9 body.
Maxx Crosby (Edge) When looking at film, Crosby lacks the desired athleticism and explosion coveted at the edge position. But then he lit up the Combine with one of the top 10 RAS numbers of all time. He’s won by using his length and technique – a very crafty player who showed off his potential at the Senior Bowl.
Daylon Mack (DL) A 330 pound run stuffer that fills a sub package need. He has a good twitch off the snap and hand moves, but mostly is a beast that physically dominates interior lines.
Terrill Hanks (ILB) Safety turned linebacker, Hanks can pick up backs and ends with ease and brings a nasty recklessness that can set the tone on defense and special teams.
Corey Ballentine (CB) Won the Cliff Harris award as the best small school defender in the nation. At 5’11, 196 with 4.47 speed, he has all the physical tools. He also would be a boost to special teams, where he was a top kick returner and blocked 4 kicks.
Mark Fields (CB) Defensive sleeper of the draft. Fields was a highly touted recruit coming out of high school, but never found his niche on the team, even getting suspended. But when he had to play in the National Championship and Senior Bowl, he balled out. Then he blazed a 4.37 at the Combine. He’s shown tons of talent, but only logged 6 starts. Has the makings of someone who will be a more productive pro than college player. His only deficiency is height, but the Packers have shown they can get by with 5’10 corners.
DeMarkus Lodge (WR) Offensive sleeper of the draft. He was overshadowed by his teammates and doesn’t have blazing speed (4.55), but he has good size at 6’2 200, plays quick, has great hands, good ball skills and is a willing blocker. He’s another guy who figures to be a more productive pro than college player.
Intriguing option: If Jachai Polite slips into Day 3, the talent he showed on film would probably erase memories of his disastrous Combine and the value would be too much to pass up
Want to learn more!?
Want more insight into how winning teams build through the draft (and how losing teams fail)? We’ve got you covered!
Start shallow, then get deep into understanding draft strategy with our draft book (rated a #1 New Release): A Fan’s Guide To Understanding The NFL Draft: Strategies, Tactics, And Case Studies For Building A Professional Football Team
Then jump into free agency with another #1 New Release: A Fan’s Guide To NFL Free Agency Hits and Misses to better understand this critical part of the NFL offseason and see where teams have found (or missed) success in this critical component of team-building.
Finally, get to the game behind the game with our new must-have book for 2021: A Fan’s Guide To Understanding The NFL Salary Cap – which lays out detailed, easy-to-follow scenarios to explain exactly how contract structures and salary cap rules impact teams.
All these great books are available in ebook and paperback – and free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers!
If you don’t have Kindle Unlimited, you can get a free trial of Kindle Unlimited here!
Don’t just watch the draft – understand it and learn why GMs make the moves they do.
Check out Packers Draft Central for all our 2019 NFL Draft coverage!
Check out our PFTW 2019 Mock Draft Archive to see how dozens of scenarios played out!