Packers 2020 Mock Draft 18 – The Defense Is Fixed!

I didn’t set out to do anything specific with this draft, I just waited to see who would be available. Receivers and quarterbacks went early and box defenders were very undervalued, so I jumped on this. I still ended up finding what I think is a starter-caliber receiver in the 4th round. Sure, I could have grabbed one earlier, but I don’t think I would trade my first three defensive picks just to get a receiver.

Here are the results:

 

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Round 1

Javon Kinlaw – Defensive Line
A dominant disrupter. At 6’5 324, Kinlaw is an imposing figure who can penetrate or 2-gap with ease. Powerful full step, violent bullrusher, quick on lateral pursuit. He needs to play with better leverage, but that’s about his only knock. He dominated Senior Bowl practices so hard that he didn’t even both playing in the game. He is one of the top 10 talents in the draft

Analysis: A dream pick. It’s hard to find guys like this outside the top 10 and I’d be a little surprised if he made it out of the top half of the round. He fell in this scenario and I had to jump on it. It’s hard to imagine the limits to what Kinlaw could do between Kenny Clark and Za’Darius Smith.

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Round 2

Ross Blacklock – Defensive Line
Profile: Former freshman All American, the 6’3 290 Blacklock missed 2018, then came back for a good 2019. The NFL advisory committee told him he should go back to school, but he declared anyway. Playing in the NFL has always been his dream and he plays with a rare passion and love for the game that shows up on film. He’s more powerful than he looks and plays with great leverage, allowing him to 2-gap even at a relatively low weight. His frame could add some weight, but he already has good power and uses his hands great for maximum impact.

Analysis: I had no choice but to double up on the defensive line when Blacklock was sitting there. It may seem like a luxury to take two defensive linemen with the first two picks, but the Packers could use it and these two could flank Kenny Clark to give the Packers the best 3-man front in the NFL for years to come.

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Round 3

Malik Harrison – Inside Linebacker
Profile: There are three inside linebackers that look like first round prospects. Malik Harrison might be the next best. At 6’3 247, he runs a 4.66. With that frame and size, plus the 6th fastest 3-cone drill of all players at any position in the Comine, he’d be the best athlete the Packers have put in the middle since Nick Barnett. He’s doesn’t quite have sideline to sideline speed, but he plays fast and can thump in the middle. An aggressive, downhill player, Harrison can handle some zone coverage, but isn’t much in man.

Analysis: Would I like to get a receiver? Sure. Can I pass on Malik Harrison, who I think is at the top of the next tier of linebackers? Not the way this board looked. Putting him in the middle after adding Kinlaw and Blacklock has the potential to launch the Packers into #1 defense contention. This would be an amazing haul for the first two days of the draft.

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Round 4

Van Jefferson – Wide Receiver
Profile: Jefferson isn’t a speed burner, but he creates space by having some of the most polished routes of anyone in this stacked class. He didn’t get gaudy numbers playing in a conservative college offense, but he showed his stuff at Senior Bowl practices, where much faster defensive backs had a hard time sticking with his routes one on one. He’s the son of a former NFL wide receiver who has now been a wide receivers coach for four different teams. He was born and bred to play wide receiver in the NFL.

Analysis: This draft is crazy deep at receiver and it’s basically not fair that I can get Van Jefferson this late after powering up the defense like I did, but the draft is unpredictable and this is just one of many ways the cards could fall. Jefferson would be a great find – his route technique would be a great asset in playing with Rodgers and it could make it easier for him to contribute in what seems certain to be a truncated offseason program.

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Round 5

Charlie Heck – Offensive Tackle
Profile: Another legacy player, the 6’8 311 Heck is the son of a former NFL first round pick who is now an offensive line coach. Tall and lean with good movement, he lacks strength, but has good hand usage. Athletic with good combo block ability, he uses his length to arc defenders over the QB. He lacks power, which drops him in the draft, but – outside of looking a little stiff at Senior Bowl practice, seems like a good developmental zone blocking prospect.

Analysis: The Packers need a future tackle and Heck fits the bill. If he could add a little meat and pick up the Packers zone scheme, he has all the tools of a long-term answer at right tackle.

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Round 6

JR Reed – Safety
Profile: At 6’1 202 with 4.54 speed, Reed lacks any eye-popping traits to make him a Day 2 selection. However, he also has no huge deficiencies. He covers the slot well, isn’t fooled easily by route combinations, and has good timing to disrupt catches. A downhill tackler with toughness to play in the box, he’s a versatile defensive back that could fit in almost any scheme.

Analysis: The Packers have their starting safety tandem locked down, but Savage and Amos are both flexible enough to move around to multiple positions. Reed gives them even more versatility, allowing the players to match up week to week based on need.

Josiah Scott – Cornerback
Profile: At 5’9 185, Scott will be relegated to slot corner at the next level, but with 4.42 speed, this ballhawk could carve out a niche role. Fluid packpedal with good burst and lateral agility, the junior showed good awareness and anticipation with 17 pass breakups.

Analysis: Ideally, the Packers would get a long corner to potentially fill in for Kevin King if he isn’t re-signed, but this draft is deep with quick, undersized slot corners on Day 3. Scott would be a helpful depth addition.

Colton McKivitz – Offensive Tackle
Profile:At 6’6 305, McKivitz has the frame for the next level. He’s a tenacious, nasty blocker with good mobility, but his footwork is a little muddy. He has experience after playing three years at right tackle and one at left tackle. He has a nice kick step and has steadily improved throughout his college career, making him a nice project at the next level.

Analysis: Very raw given his experience level, McKivitz has the length, mobility, and quick kick step to build off of. He plays with a lineman’s attitude. The other things he needs can all be taught. With a year on the practice squad, he could grow into a contributor.

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Round 7

Trishton Jackson – Wide Receiver
Profile: A converted quarterback who excelled in basketball, is a smooth athlete. At 6’1 197 with a 36″ vertical and 4.5 speed, he has the athletic gifts he needs. He accelerates in his routes to create space, but is raw in his route running and despite a basketball background, doesn’t seem to get contested catches.

Analysis: In the 7th round, at a position of need, taking a raw athlete isn’t the worst move. He’s the kind of guy you put out in camp and see what he does.

Jon Runyan – Guard
Profile: Yet another son of a former NFL player, the 6’4 306 Runyan played tackle in college, but projects to guard at the next level. Smart and quick to pick up stunts and switches, he stays engaged when he locks up. He’s not a drive blocker, but shows enough athleticism to be a good zone blocker.

Analysis: Runyan is a gritty player who locks up really well. Of all the late-round guys, I think he would have the best chance bunch to break out. With Billy Turner and Lane Taylor being solid, but not spectacular options, a late round guard like Runyan could push them for a starting spot opposite Elgton Jenkins.

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Of Note

Four receivers went in the first 13 picks

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