No matter how a draft falls, your picks are also shaped by your approach. In this mock, I went with the approach that our quarterback is getting old and we want to protect him as a top priority. It’s not necessarily how I would approach this draft, but I wanted to see how the plan would play out in a mock.
Here’s the results
Cody Ford (T/G) We’ve seen what happens when Aaron Rodgers gets hurt, so this mock is starting with the directive of protecting him. Cody Ford is 6’4 340 pound giant. He can absolutely maul people and shove linemen out of the way with powerful hands and a massive frame, but he also shows the athleticism to pull and change direction with ease. He fits the bill as a circus elephant and will make an immediate impact on the Packers line, with the versatility to play four spots in a zone blocking scheme.
Dexter Lawrence (DL) At 12, four of the big six Edge targets were still on the board and all four of them went within the next six picks. This is a reminder that the deep Edge class is in demand. With a need for pass rush pressure still very acute, I went with Dexter Lawrence. He’s not a pass rush specialist at 6’4 340, but he gets a nice push up front from the nose. He can bull rush and is heady enough to get his hands up in passing lanes. With his frame, he can two gap and keep the linebackers clean while freeing up Kenny Clark and Mike Daniels to penetrate.
Garrett Bradbury (G/C) In keeping the focus on protecting Rodgers, I went with Garrett Bradbury, who was the most impressive offensive lineman at the Senior Bowl. He’s not a power blocker, but is very technically sound with terrific mobility and flexibility, making him perfect for what the Packers want to do with zone blocking.
Christian Miller (Edge) This is a deep Edge class and finding someone as good as Christian Miller in the 3rd is a win, but he’s not a freak like the big 6. He has decent size at 6’3 240, but only average burst. He makes up for with an array of good pass rush moves and a growing repertoire of counters. Tough on the edge, he holds point and dominated Tight Ends. A well-rounded prospect and welcome addition to a depleted Edge depth chart.
Zach Gentry (Tight End) I first want to point out that there are a ton of zone blocking Guards available, since this is where I believe they should be drafted. However, we went for premium talent on the line earlier and are now looking to fill other holes. There is a big hole at Tight End, so I went with a big target in 6’7 Zach Gentry. He’s good at getting upfield and shows athleticism in his routes. He’ll go up for balls, but at only 245, he doesn’t muscle out defenders. Great down the seam, he has an absolutely silly catch radius and should do what we hoped Jimmy Graham would do as a receiver. As a blocker… well, he’s still probably better than Jimmy Graham – he’s not the strongest guy out there, but he’s got a frame and will stick into a defender to get in the way enough to seal off.
Andy Isabella (WR) With the second pick in the round, I grabbed a speedy receiver in Andy Isabella. He runs super-crisp routes and has soft hands. After the catch, he’s also tons of fun with his stop-start moves to create running lanes. His only downfall is a 5’10 frame that doesn’t stand up well to physical corners who can get their hands on him… if they can get their hands on him. He can be a great slot weapon.
Darnell Savage (FS) I know it gets boring watching me draft Darnell Savage all the time. I had a tough time laying off him in the 4th… twice… but I just couldn’t do it in the 5th. This guy can fly and cover and play the ball. After a phenomenal week of Senior Bowl practice. I have to imagine he’s going to really move up the charts after the Combine. It’s baffling that he can keep dropping this far no matter what random algorithms are used.
Maxx Crosby (Edge) Whenever I don’t get an elite Edge player, I look for guys like this in later rounds. A very steady player, Maxx Crosby doesn’t have the freakish athleticism of the top talents, but he’s a very crafty player with a big wingspan and great hand technique. He also flashed a little more potential at the Senior Bowl and is a solid late round investment to help a position of need.
Deshaun Davis (ILB) After a lot of attention on the offense, we’re building up our D with some late-round role players. Deshaun Davis is basically just a big bad#ss who roams between the tackles looking for someone to light up. Fun to watch, he’s a classic thumper that sets a physical tone every snap. Not an every down player, but a role player that every defense needs. He’s not athletic enough to blitz or fast enough to cover, but he will light dudes up.
Montrae Hartage (CB) Adding a little more competition to the cornerback position is neer a bad idea. Montrae Hartage is another physical presence, who has strong, disruptive hands to break timing routes and break up passes at the point of catch. He’s scrappy and aggressive in pass coverage, but not much help in run support and lacks the long speed to run with burners. Solid role player in a defensive backfield.
This was a different approach and not necessarily one I like. I do love all the help they got on the Offensive Line, where Ford and Bradbury could potentially take over the right side and dominate for a decade, but I don’t like the opportunity cost. In the 4th, it hurt to look at all the available linemen and realize the opportunity cost at more premium positions like Edge rusher.
Still, the defense got a solid infusion of talent here with Lawrence, Miller, and Davis brining some heat to the box. Savage is always a nice pick to bring speed and play-making to the back-end, too.
- One of the reasons there were 4 Edge options available at 12 was because 3 QBs (Haskins, Murray, and Lock) went top 8 – I could go for that
- DK Metcalf went #3 overall again
- Noah Fant went top 10
Check out our PFTW 2019 Mock Draft Archive to see how other scenarios played out!
Check out Packers Draft Central for all our 2019 NFL Draft coverage!