Packers 2020 Mock Draft 20 – Balancing Sides

This one was odd.

The wide receivers were picked through very early. I’d like to get one in the 2nd, but not if there’s a huge rush on them. In this case, there was a huge rush.

That allowed talent to drop at other positions, which was fortunate. I took advantage, but still had to get a receiver before Day 3 or the team might have really been in a tough situation.

I started with defense, then went heavy offense before getting back to defense again.

I’d be happy with how this turned out.

Here are the results:

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Round 1

Kenneth Murray – Inside Linebacker
Profile: A fast, powerful, sideline to sideline linebacker that moves like a safety. At 6’2 241 with 4.52 speed, 21 reps on the bench, a 38″ vertical, and a 128″ broad jump, Murray is a freak of an athlete. With 29.5 tackles for a loss and 8.5 sacks over last 2 years year, hes also a freak of a football player. He’s patient at the point of attack and blitzed very well. Sometimes he seems to react more than anticipate, but with his speed, he more than makes up for it.

Analysis: As far as realistic options go, Murray is my number one choice for the Packers this year. It’s hard to tell if him or Patrick Queen will be available by 30, but I was surprised to see them both here. I am very against drafting an inside linebacker in the 1st round, but picking this late in a draft with talent tiers that shake out like the do, 2020 is shaping up to be an exception to the rule.

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Round 2

Jonathan Taylor – Running Back
Profile: Taylor had also had a phenomenal Combine (ran a 4.39 at 226 pounds) and an extremely productive college career (6,000 yards 50 TDs in 3 years). He has great vision, which translates to any blocking scheme and is equally effective pounding it inside or bouncing it outside. Last season, he showed his abilities as a receiver – he is the definition of a complete back.

Analysis: The offense needs a boost. Wide receiver is the obvious position, but they were seriously overdrafted in the 1st and 2nd rounds. That meant running backs dropped. I couldn’t pass up Taylor given how picked over the board was by this point.

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Round 3

Van Jefferson – Wide Receiver
Profile: Jefferson isn’t fast, but he is polished and might be the best route-runner in the class. He had a big week at Senior Bowl practices, allaying any concerns about his lukewarm college numbers (which came playing in a conservative offense). He’ll be 24 in July, so is likely close to his peak, but with his routes and hands, he’s pro ready.

Analysis: Van Jefferson is a guy I really like. I’ve used him as my fallback receiver in the 4th a lot, but he finally seems to be moving up the boards. He’s too talented to not go in the top 100 and grabbing him in the 3rd would make a lot of sense for the Packers if they grabbed talent at other positions earlier.

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Round 4

Alex Taylor – Offensive Tackle
Profile: Lean and athletic at 6’8 308, Taylor redirects well with long arms, but still needs some work to handle polished pass rush moves. He’s good in the run game and has lots of athletic potential for zone blocking.

Analysis: The Packers could use another tackle for the future and the middle rounds are filled with guys like Taylor.

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Round 5

Troy Pride – Cornerback
Profile: Athletic and fast, at 5’11 193 Pride is just a little on the small side. His 4.4 speed and fluid motions make up for it, though. He doesn’t offer much in the way of ball skills, but he’s good in man coverage with a solid press technique and likes to mix it up.

Analysis: Pride plays with speed and attitude, which seem to be the two key ingredients for the Packers when they look for cornerbacks. With Tramon Williams unsigned and Kevin King likely to be unaffordable next year, the Packers need to start thinking about the future of the position.

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Round 6

Evan Weaver – Inside Linebacker
Profile: A smart player who reads gaps and diagnoses plays quickly. Weaver lacks some athleticism, but plays touch and has a high motor. His instincts give him a good tackling ranger. Not a coverage backer, he’s an early down base defender with a thick, dense build.

Analysis: The Packers need a steady presence in the middle more than they need an freakish dynamo. Weaver is the former.

Jacob Breeland – Tight End
Profile: With a 6’5 252 frame, Breeland is a physical route runner that uses body to create space. He runs efficient routes and has great hands. He seemed like he was becoming more of a deep threat before a leg injury cut his season short at 6 game. He’s a solid blocker, but needs to work on his feet. He’s also shown the ability to get up for jump balls.

Analysis: The Packers could use another athletic tight end. This year’s class is weak, but Breeland seems to be dropping on boards after an injury marred year. He would be great value if he fell this far.

Rashard Lawrence – Defensive Line
Profile: At 6’2, Lawrence doesn’t have idea length, but at 308 pounds, he’s very strong. He’s a high motor with ore hustle than twitch, but holds leverage  very well on the end. His run support is stronger than his pass rush, but he does have a nice spin move to get out of blocks.

Analysis: I hope the Packers address defensive line sooner than this given what happened in the playoffs, but getting a guy like Lawrence this deep could be a very valuable pick.

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Round 7

Bravvion Roy – Position
Profile: A squat 6’1, 330 pounder, Bravvion Roy is super strong and shows freakish movement for his size. A prototypical blocker-eater, he doesn’t have a lot of pass rush moves, but can be quick to surprise lineman and slip into the backfield. He has a tendency to wear down, but even tired, he can use his frame to stalemate blockers.

Analysis: I’m a big fan of Roy as a late round pickup. I think the Packers desperately need a big-bodied run stuffer for situational sub packages.

Zach Shackleford – Center
Profile: A smart, high work ethic player, Zach Shackleford if more mobile than strong. He uses his hands well and has a good strike, but his short arms are a noticeable limitation. Works well on combo blocks and projects as a zone blocking center.

Analysis: This is exactly the type of prospect the Packers need with Corey Linsley coming up on contract in a year that looks to have a tight budget.

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Of Note

Twelve wide receivers went before 62, which is becoming a trends in the simulations. Still, I’m not sure things will pan out like that on draft day. If they do, I’d rather the Packers pick up the guys who drop instead of panicking and reaching for a receiver during a run.

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