We learned a lot in our first 30 mock drafts. Now, the Combine has started to impact a lot of boards, which, in turn impacts mock drafts. In our 31st mock draft, and the first after the Combine, it’s clear to see the changes.
Here’s the results:
Ed Oliver (DL) This was a crazy draft that included three cornerbacks going top 10, which allowed a lot of defensive talent to drop to 12. I went with Ed Oliver, a defensive lineman with the skills and athleticism to play linebacker. At 287 pounds, he put 32 reps on the bench and a 36 inch vertical, showing that he has the strength and explosion to continue being a beast at the next level. He can single-handedly ruin the pocket if he’s not consistently double-teamed.
Jachai Polite (Edge) Edge is the Packers biggest need and if they can’t fill it at 12, they would be lucky to get a guy with this much pass rush ability at 30. Jachai Polite is a pass rush specialist who bulked up to 258 for the Combine. He ran a 4.8, which isn’t terrible, but looked bad against a freakish Edge class. The biggest red flag comes from his attitude, though. He was forced to sit out a series in college for his attitude and then said teams (including the Packers) were “bashing” him in Combine interviews. Further questioning revealed they were just asking him why he did things the way he did on plays that didn’t work out. That kind of immaturity would hopefully be outgrown. At pick 30, I think he’s too much talent to pass up – he never slipped past late teens prior to the Combine. He’s a blur off the line and led the nation with 6 forced fumbles last year – that’s what a team that wants to get more sacks and turnovers needs.
Dalton Risner (G/RT/C) Yes, I think there are plenty of capable zone blockers to be had in the 4th round (as I’ve stated many times and outlined here), but the way this draft played out, Dalton Risner is the best pick here. He didn’t blow anyone away at the Combine and coming in as a 24 year-old rookie is a red flag, but he has a nasty streak, a great approach to the game, and is a capable player at four positions on the line with a very high basement. He plays with a wide base and shows the mobility to lay a combo-hit and get to the next level for zone blocking.
Hakeem Butler (WR) There were a surprising number of appealing options in the 3rd, which had started to seem like a talent desert. Maybe it’s the Combine results. Hakeem Butler is a 6’5 227 receiver who was great at contested balls in college. There’s a lot to like, but his speed never really jumped out on film – it was ok, but I didn’t expect him to run a 4.48 at the Combine like he did. Throw in a 36″ vertical and the guy is starting to look even more appealing. LaFleur loves using big receivers and Butler’s blocking makes is possible to use as a hybrid TE.
Bobby Evans (G/T) See, I told you there’s always linemen in the 4th. Bobby Evans showed off great pulling ability and the smarts to read combos and counters. These will serve him well in zone blocking.
Zach Gentry (TE) There’s a cliff building in the Tight End class and this is about the edge of it. Zach Gentry has a great frame at 6’7 but could handle adding some meat to it at only 265. A former Quarterback with natural athleticism, his 4.9 40 was a bit disappointing at the Combine. Still, he shows good route-running ability and catch radius to go with solid angles in positional blocking.
Amani Hooker (SS) In the 5th, with the position robbed of all the primary talent early, I took Amani Hooker at Safety. He’s more of a Strong Safety who can play Linebacker. He’s good at diagnosing plays and is a ball hawk. He ran an impressive 4.48 at the Combine, but doesn’t seem to play that fast – hopefully that means he can grow his game into his track speed.
Dru Samia (G) The Packers Offensive Line needs depth and this is a great draft to build it through, especially with the move to zone blocking. Dru Samia is a very athletic blocker who can pull naturally, get to the second level with ease, and shows great reach block technique. He’s very aggressive despite a lack of overall strength, but is a polished athlete that should fit right in with the new blocking scheme.
Maxx Crosby (Edge) I’m a big fan of building Edge depth, too. There’s not as many options in the later rounds, but one guy that I really like is Maxx Crosby. A very crafty player with a big wingspan, he seemed to get by more on technique and smarts that raw athleticism. However, he flashed his athletic potential at the Senior Bowl and then opened a lot of eyes at the Combine with one of the top RAS scores of all time. He should be moving up the charts and would be a steal in the 6th.
Jimmy Moreland (CB) At the end of the draft, I want athletes that can fill our special teams while they learn their craft and Jimmy Moreland is one of my favorite late prospects. Undersized at around 5’10 180, he plays with attitude and had 16 interceptions and 63 pass breakups to go with 6 blocked kicks. On the coverage side, he was the only guys who had any success slowing down Deebo Samuels at the Senior Bowl.
Really a ton of talent in the one with two guys dropping in the first to give the defense a huge jolt with Oliver and Polite. Having a free 1st round pick to play with makes taking a chance on someone with Polite’s skills far easier to tolerate. Hooker could also start and Crosby and Moreland are guys that could immediately find rotational roles.
On offense, the line gets all the dept it needs with Evans and Samia to play backup roles while Risner plugs in to Right Guard. Butler and Gentry are big receivers that should feel right at home with a coach who favors big receivers.
- Three Cornerbacks went top 10, pushing a lot of talent to 12
- Irv Smith was the first Tight End off the board, going to New England at 32 – the Patriots are a popular Tight End destination, but Irv Smith usually isn’t the first off the board
- Darnell Savage, one of my favorite safeties, went in the 2nd round… I miss the days when I could grab him in the 4th and 5th
Check out our PFTW 2019 Mock Draft Archive to see how other scenarios played out!
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