I don’t believe the draft is simple enough to just grab players at your position of biggest need each pick. Value and need rarely line up so easily. The Packers biggest needs are probably wide receiver, inside linebacker, and offensive tackle, but that doesn’t mean those are going to be the first three picks. There are other premium positions out there and you can’t just snub talent because of need.
Here’s an example:
Jeff Gladney – Cornerback
Profile: A very athletic cornerback (if a little undersized), Gladney plays with great anticipation. He has good speed, fast feet, and smooth hips, which all make it easy for him to mirror receivers very well. He’s not great at playing the ball, but he stays close enough to his man to deter passers. He plays with swagger, despite not being overly physical, and is a solid tacker.
Analysis: The Packers have a decision to make on Tramon Williams this year and Kevin King next year. With Josh Jackson not looking like a long-term contributor and Ka’dar Hollman looking like a project, the Packers are deceptively thin at corner. Even with those guys, you can never have too many corners – if there’s good value at 30, the Packers can definitely grab one.
Lucas Niang – Offensive Tackle
Profile: Niang has a dense lower body that makes it easy for him to hold point against a bull rush or punish defenders in the run game. He needs to develop his footwork a little, but he shows good hand technique and mobility, more than enough to be a good zone blocker.
Analysis: In a class deep with tackles, Niang is looking like a prospect who will fall farther than he would in any other year. There aren’t a lot of holes in his game – certainly nothing that doesn’t seem like it can be coached up. This might be the only year in our lifetime where offensive tackle prospects this good are available this late.
Isaiah Hodgins – Wide Receiver
Profile: A tall receiver with big catch radius, Hodgins doesn’t rely on physical skills the way some young receivers do (in part because he lacks the speed to do so). Year after year, his tape has shown steadily improving footwork and good technique on his routes. He can own goal line fades and run back shoulder throws better than most in this deep receiving class.
Analysis: Hodgins isn’t the kind of speed-burner that a lot of the top receivers are, but he plays with the technique to make up for it. His ability to take fades and back shoulder throws would make him a great fit with a quarterback skilled enough to take advantage of those skills…
Akeem Davis-Gaither – Linebacker
Profile: Davis-Gaither isn’t very big, but he looks like he could add weight and he’s strong for his size. Most importantly, he plays with fury. He has the range to cover backs and ends and the ability to sort through blocks and find the ball. He’s quick and plays downhill, also showing the ability to be a niche blitzer as well.
Analysis: The Packers straight up need linebackers. ADG isn’t a top prospect, but he’s great value on Day 3 and would be a welcome addition to the Packers.
Antonio Gibson – Running Back
Profile: A power runner with the patience to work behind zone blocking, Gibson is limited by inconsistent vision and anticipation. He has a big frame at 6’1 220 and wowed everyone by running a 4.39 40 at the combine. He hits top speed quick and plows through contact with great balance and leg strength. He played a lot of wide receiver in college, but doesn’t seem to have the route polish to be there full time in the pros. However, he’ll be quite a weapon out of the backfield and could contribute as a returner.
Analysis: The Packers need speed on offense and run a scheme that depends on versatility. Gibson has both in spades. The only question is how high up the charts he will move after an impressive combine.
Isaiah Simmons lasted until 13 somehow.
The Bears took Jake Fromm in the 2nd.
Check out our PFTW 2020 Mock Draft Archive to see how other scenarios played out!
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