In some of our recent drafts, we’ve been trading up for big talent. This time, the opportunities presented themselves to do the opposite.
And we took full advantage of it.
The Packers only won six games last year and could use upgrades and depth at most position groups. Trading down can afford the team that luxury.
Here’s the results
TJ Hockenson (TE) I traded down with the Patriots from the top of the round to the bottom and picked up a pair of 2nd round picks and a 3rd. Then at 30, I moved to the top of the 2nd to get a 3rd and 4th from the Falcons. Right off the bat, I had a lot of top picks. Suddenly I had four 2nds and three 3rds. Those are big in a draft like this, but I still had to make a pick. I’d prefer to address the defensive front 7 in the first, but as I stockpiled 2nd and 3rd round picks in my maneuvering down to 32, most of the elite talent in the front 7 was gone. The best player, by far, was a Tight End. So I took him. This draft is about accumulating value to see how the scenario plays out. TJ Hockenson is a pretty talented pick to come out of the first with after accumulating all those picks, though. He’s a very capable receiver and a heck of a blocker. The best Tight End in the class, he’s perfect for what LaFleur wants this offense to be.
Nasir Adderly (S) I think the best safety in this class is Nasir Adderly. He has all the skills to roam the back end and is a big time hustle guy. He’d pair with Adrian Amos to potentially be one of the best Safety tandems in the league.
Garrett Bradbury (G/C) I traded down with the Cardinals to get a 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th. After all that, still managed to grab Garrett Bradbury, a former Tight End with the perfect athletic profile for zone blocking, He looked like the best Offensive Lineman in the class at the Senior Bowl.
Hakeem Butler (WR) A huge-bodied receiver, Hakeem Butler would make a fierce pairing for TJ Hockenson in big receiver sets. At 6’5 227, he runs a 4.48 with a 36″ vertical. True beast.
Christian Miller (Edge) I traded down with Giants to get another 4th before finally grabbing Christian Miller. Waiting until the 3rd round to grab an Edge makes things interesting, but after all the talent that has been added, Miller is a great pick here. His burst and bend are average, keeping him out of the first round, but he has a wide array of good moves and is developing solid counters. He sets a good edge and plays with a high motor.
Germaine Pratt (ILB) I traded down again, this time with the Cowboys, to pick up yet another 4th and 5th, but still ended up with Germaine Pratt. A converted safety, the 6’2 240 Pratt ran a 4.57 and looked like the fastest player on the Senior Bowl practice field. He can match up with Tight Ends and backs and is still learning the position as one year starter. He has a very high ceiling.
Bobby Evans (T/G) A very aggressive and chippy lineman, Bobby Evans was one of the best pulling linemen in college football. He’s a great fit for zone blocking and is smart enough to handle all the moves and counters he’ll see at the next level. With his talented, he can back up Left Tackle and fill in for injury.
Anthony Nelson (Edge) Rounding out the Edge position with more athletic options, 6’7 Anthony Nelson sports a mean bull rush and good moves to go with the ability to handle counter blocks.
Isaiah Johnson (CB) A 6’2 Wide Receiver turned Cornberback, Isaiah Johnson is still learning the position, but has all the necessary traits to go with his 4.4 speed. Good quickness and very coachable at Senior Bowl, he’s a press corner with good recovery speed and ball skills who also has experience as a punt gunner, which the Packers need.
Jace Sternberger (TE) I already took TJ Hockenson and now I’m taking poor man’s TJ Hockenson in Jace Sternberger. He’s an experienced and willing inline blocker as well as a great route runner with good hands. Matt LaFleurs offense is big on Tight Ends and getting two good young ones will do wonders for this offense.
Terry Becker (DL) An intriguing prospect, Terry Beckner was a top 10 college recruit, then tore his ACL and MCL freshman year, followed by another ACL tear his sophomore year. At 6’4 298, he has a good frame to build on. A stout run-stuffer without a lot of pass rush beyond a nice swim move, he plays hard and physical and would mae for a good sub package tool.
Elijah Holyfiled (RB) This is the kind of luxury pick you get when you accumulate picks in the middle rounds. Elijah Holyfield runs angry, but has the patience to fit in a zone blocking offense, making him a welcome addition to the running back committee.
Michael Jackson (CB) I moved down with Chargers to pick up extra 5th again then took Michael Jackson. A physical corner with strong jams, he still has 4.4 speed, can blitz, and shows a willingness to get into run support.
Isaiah Prince (T/G) Filling out offensive line depth, Isiaah Prince has good size and hand technique. There’s some some footwork to clean up, but hs seems to have the mobility to be a good zone blocker.
Brett Rypien (QB) Another luxury pick, this is why I love trading down. Brett Rypien strikes me as a perfect backup – listen to this segment on the First and Goal Podcast for more.
Darius Slayton (WR) In a class rich with receivers, a 4.39 big play receiver like Darius Slayton is a nice addition here. He’s not a complete receiver by any means, but he can sure take the top off a defense.
Anfernee Jennings (Edge) With all these picks, and after being unable to grab one of the top Edge rushers in the early first, I’m interested in building competition and depth on the position. Anfernee Jennings doesn’t have elite burst off the edge, but holds point very well and is a quick processor who doesn’t bite on fakes.
Penny Hart (WR) Another unique skillset for the offense, Penny Hart was unstoppable at the Senior Bowl and, despite being undersized at 5’8 180, put up 18 reps on the bench press at this Pro Day (which would have been a top 10 rank among receivers at the Combine). He plays faster than he times and is also a capable return man.
Bobby Okereke (ILB) There’s not a lot of inside linebackers I like early, but Bobby Okereke could be a good Day 3 find. He has sideline to sideline speed and is quick to diagnose plays. Instinctive and explosive, he can also drop into coverage. A bit undersized, he will overpursue plays with his speed, but at this point int he draft, he’s as good as it gets.
Ricky Walker (DL) With an explosive first step and good pad level, Ricky Walker is a gap penetrating role player that can handle a good deal of sub package snaps.
Devine Ozigbo (RB) A big back with patience and change of direction ability, Devine Ozigbo would be a great complementary back in Green bay’s offense.
Ugo Amadi (S) When looking for safety depth, Ugo Amadi has everything you look for… except size. At 5’9, he’s a very smooth player and can handle special teams duties and dime coverage tasks.
There was no big name flash like when I traded up, but I got multiple contenders for roster spots at every position group. This draft will have a few Day 1 starters, make the core of the team better, and make them far more likely to weather injuries. In the coming years, even more starters could grow out of this group. This is the type of draft that would help them recover from the years when Ted was going senile.
On offense, the receiver position gets a big body in Hakeem Butler, a threat in Darius Slayton, and a slot guy in Penny Hart. Plus, TJ Hockenson and Jace Sternberger add some pass catching ability to go with really good blocking value. Then the line gets completion across the board with Bradbury (one of the best interior linemen in the draft), Evans (who could beat out Bulaga and be a capable backup to Bakhtiari), and Prince.
On defense, Christian Miller and Anfernee Jennings are a nice pair of Edge rushers for a team that could use rotational players. Nelson, Beckner, and Walker make for great sub package role players on the line. In the secondary, Johnson and Jackson can challenge for nickel and dime roles while Adderly and Amadi strengthen the back end.
On the whole, this is just a huge influx of talent. There’s sure to be some busts, but with this many mid-round picks in a deep draft, there’s almost certain to be a lot of future starters in here.
Bosa, Allen, Burns, Quinnen Williams, Ed Oliver, and Devin White – probably the top 6 box defenders, were all gone by 12, so trading down made a lot of sense. I wasn’t going to get nearly as much impact value staying put. Three QBs (Murray, Lock, and Haskins) went top 11, which would have made me optimistic someone would fall. No such luck. The draft is a crapshoot, so I’m glad I got a lot of swings in this one.
Check out our PFTW 2019 Mock Draft Archive to see how other scenarios played out!
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