Packer fans seem to love the idea of moving up and I am to please, so that’s what I did in this mock. After moving up for Nick Bosa in Mock 36, I went after another blue chip defender here. I’m not generally a big fan of trading up, so it would have to mean someone really fell and the value was extremely ripe. That’s what happened here.
Here’s the results
Quinnen Williams (DL) I really want an Edge rusher or a Defensive Lineman with the first pick – I think it’s where a premium player could have the most impact for the Packers. As much as I love Ed Oliver and hope he will fall, Quinnen Williams is probably an even better all around player. He has better size, is a great pass rusher, really just good at everything with no red flags. He hasn’t been falling very much, but as Pro Days have progresses, he hasn’t been locked in to number 2 every single draft like he was before. I’ve never even seen him fall past the Jaguars at 7… until now. Bosa, Allen, Jonah, Kyler are names that shouldn’t surprise anyone in the top 4, but when the Bucs went for Brian Burns (who is finally getting the respect he deserves), the Giants reached for DK Metcalf (which, actually, is in line with the nonsense they’ve been pulling), and the Jaguars took Ed Oliver, I let it go one more pick (the Lions took Noah Fant, who I expect them to take in real life) then pulled the trigger to move up from 12 to 9 with Buffalo. The cost? I traded a 3rd and a 6th for a 5th and a 7th. Honestly, that’s a pretty darn good value.
Montez Sweat (Edge) As the round progressed, I started to lament the lack of an Edge rusher, which I still think is the team’s biggest need. At the same time, I watched Montez Sweat steadily falling. Once he hit 18, I made a move from 30 and all it cost me was swapping my 2nd for a 3rd. Honestly, that’s two fleecings in the 1st round.
Boring, but really, I have Montez Sweat and Quinnen F#cking Williams, so it didn’t bother me that much,
Darnell Savage (S) By the time I finally got to pick again, I was thrilled to see Darnell Savage still hanging around. I’ve been high on Savage since the beginning of my process and, after running a 4.3 at the Combine, people are finally taking notice. He can run, he can cover, he has great ball skills and he’d be a fantastic complement to Adrian Amos on the back end.
Jace Sternberger (TE) With the defense all shored up, I started looking to the offense on Day 3. I think Jace Sternberger is a poor man’s TJ Hockenson. He can catch well and runs crisp routes even if he’s not a big yards after catch threat. He’s not a devastating blocker, but he can get the job done. For a team that wants to run multiple Tight Ends, he’s a fantastic complement.
After that, I really wanted to shore up the OFfensive Line depth, which is what I typically do in the 4th. The problem was, there were so many I liked, that I couldn’t decide which one to take, so I traded down with the Steelers to pick up an extra 5th.
By the time my pick rolled around, the Offensive Linemen were all still there, so I traded again with the Colts to pick up another 5th…
Then I did it again with the Rams…
And one more time with the Flalcons…
I probably could have run this again, but I figured since I could draft a whole OL in the 5th round and still have a pick to spare, I figure I should start getting guys.
Chuma Edoga (T) This is a pick that I love here. Chuma Edoga has great feet and movement for a zone blocker and was an absolute beast at the Senior Bowl. He needs a little work with his balance and is a little light for a Tackle (he’d be fine at Guard), but I think the only reason he falls this low is because of rumors of an undisclosed legal issue. Still, a great value here.
Nate Davis (G/T) As offensive line prospects were abound, I went with Nate Davis, who was a fantastic Guard for 3 years before moving to Tackle his final season because the team needed him too. He’s more of a power guy, but seems to have good enough feet for zone blocking. The thing I really love about his is that he sacrificed his raft stock by playing out of position to help his team. I like the character and I like the fact that it could allow the Packers to steal him late.
Daylon Mack (DL) After a couple Offensice Linemen, I swapped trenches to pick Daylon Mack. He has explosive quick twitch for a 320 pounder and is one of the best pure nose tackles in the draft. He’s a pocket crusher, a physical run stuffer without a lot of moves – a classic anchor. Like most of these guys, he can get a little tired and lean on double teams, but he looks like a valuable role player.
Corey Ballantine (CB) The Packers have a nice group of corners, but with Kevin King’s injury history, Tramon Williams’s age, and Josh Jackson’s disappointing rookie year, they could always use another one. There’s too many other needs to make this a higher priority, but down here, a guy like Corey Ballantine would be a nice fit. He won the Cliff Harris Award as the best small school defensive player in the country. Matched against top-flight talent at the Senior Bowl, he showed he belonged. He’s been one of my Day 3 darlings since the season ended.
Zach Gentry (TE) With the team looking to use more TIght Ends, a 6’8 265 target like Zach Gentry could be a Day 3 target. A tall receiver with a good vertical release, he shows a well-rounded route tree and a good catch radius, making him a seam threat with a big enough body to at least be a positional blocker. A former QB, he has a good feel for finding holes in zones.
Jazz Ferguson (WR) A pedigree pick (brother of fellow potential pick Jaylon), JAzz Ferguson has a lot of physical gifts, including a 6’5, 225 pound frame to go with 4.4 speed. However, he’s a bit of a problem child who was suspended at LSU in 2016, took an academic redshirt after transferring to Northwestern State in 2017, then declared after playing one season. Clearly comes with some risks and needs to refine his technique, but it’s hard to find a guy with as many natural gifts.
Maxx Crosby (Edge) Still lots of OL left, but I went with one more piece on defense. Maxx Crosby shows incredible gifts like Jazz Ferguson (posting high end measures in pretty much everything at the Combine), but none of the character concerns. His athletic traits didn’t shine as bright on the field, where he used his huge wingspan and polished moves to flash his potential at the Senior Bowl.
Joe Giles-Harris (ILB) All the way down here and there’s still lots of great zone blocking prospects, it’s a super deep draft for that. Inside Linebacker? Not quite as deep much. The Devins are the two studs and will be gone early, then, I’m fine waiting for a pick like this. Joe Giles-Harris doesn’t have great speed, but makes up for it with instincts and is a very sure tackler.
Garrett Brumfield (G) The draft is almost over, so let’s get some more competition for depth at Offensive Line, which is so sorely needed. Garrett Brumfield is a 6’2, 300-pounder with good movement in pass protection and run blocking. He explodes out of his stance and shows a decent anchor. He needs to work on timing and hand placement, but the tools are there to be a good zone blocker.
Javon Patterson (G/C) I don’t want to risk the nightmare we saw last year when weak O-line depth derailed the offense so much. At 6’3 307, Javon Patterson is more fluid and athletic than Garrett Brumfield for zone blocking, but doesn’t play with the same power (despite putting up 27 reps on the bench at the Combine) or have as much of an anchor. He seems more like a prototypical Day 3 zone blocking prospect and offers the team a different flavor than Brumfield to compete for a spot as a backup interior lineman.
Quinnen Williams and Montez Sweat are a tandem of studs that will make this front 7 fierce. Sure, it took some guys to drop a little, but it shows what the Packers have the ammunition to do in maneuvering.
However, I stress, these were calculated moves where the value game worked, not the “go all in and get that one guy” approach a lot of fans seem to adhere to. The biggest thing that made this haul possible was that two guys dropped far below their expected positions. If that happens in real life, the cost of trading up would probably be a little higher than in a simulation, but stranger things have happened.
To balance out the lost picks with moving up, I moved back a lot to pick up Day 3 picks. More swings to try to find a contributor late. In fact, one of my favorite parts of this draft is that there is a huge amount of competition added to the offensive line. It’s possible only 4 guys from last year make the squad with the amount of competition being introduced across the board. All 4 of the OL picked here would be an upgrade over what they had at RG last year.
Add in Darnell Savage as a starting safety and Corey Ballentine to play nickel and this D looks stronger top to bottom.
Jace Sternberger, Zach Gentry, and Jazz Ferguson bring more big receiving options to the table on offense, while Daylon Mack, Maxx Crosby, and Joe Giles-Harris all come in to role play on defense.
This would be an amazing take
I missed out on running back, but Devine Ozigbo went undrafted and would be a great UDFA option.
- Jachai Polite went ahead of Montez Sweat – one pick ahead, actually; that was the pick that made me trade
- Minnesota traded down with me and took TJ Hockenson at 30 – oh, the humanity; Packers Twitter would explode
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