Packers 2020 Mock Draft 6 – Investing In The Future

This is a special mock. Usually, I use these simulations as a chance to see how boards are shaping up and analyze different prospects and how they could fit into the Packers draft.

A couple days ago, I posted a hypothetical trade scenario that came up in the simulator. The deal was the Packers send their 1st round pick (#30 overall) to the Browns for two 3rd round picks #74 and #90 overall), a 7th round pick (#224 overall) and… here’s the kicker… a 2nd round pick next year.

There was a lot of discussion about the value of a 2nd round pick next year (eve if it’s expected to be high, since, you know, Browns) as compared to immediate impact from getting a player this year.

A lot of interesting points came up, but the biggest detractor seemed to be people concerned that there wouldn’t be enough immediate impact.

So I tried to find out.

I made the trade and tried to use the picks to get some immediate impact at the Packers biggest holes.

I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

Here are the results:

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Round 1

No picks due to trade

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Round 2

Brandon Aiyuk – Wide Receiver
Profile: Aiyuk doesn’t have track speed, but he has game speed. He gets a ton of yards after the catch with a natural ability to elude tacklers and great vision in the open field. A former JUCO player who has been consistently improving, he should be able to round out the small shortcomings in his game and get to the next level. For example, he could learn to use his hands better to beat press coverage. He plays physical with a solid frame, but can learn to use it better to create separation. In the grand scheme of his abilities, these are small things. He was also a good returner, averaging 31.9 yards on kick returns and 16.1 yards on punt returns.

Analysis: I was expecting more receivers to be available and had actually targeted a tackle with this pick. Given how the board fell, I thought Aiyuk was a good take. He’s shown an ability to learn and continuing his development can take him to the next level. He’s the kind of dynamic threat that could round out the receiving core.

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Round 3

Saahdiq Charles – Offensive Tackle
Profile: Charles has all the athleticism and mobility that a team needs from a tackle in a zone blocking system and the experience and high potential to excel at left tackle in the pros. He mirrors opponents very well in pass protection and can move all over the second level in run blocking. He could benefit from adding some weight and strength, but as a young junior who doesn’t turn 21 until training camp, he should have plenty of time to grow to form.

Analysis: For as deep as the draft is at receiver, it might be even deeper at tackle. Charles is a great pick here for the Packers and wouldn’t make it nearly this far in most years because of the premium on guys who can play left tackle. Charles could start at right tackle as a rookie and would be the first option to slide to left tackle if Bakhtiari ever got hurt – potentially even becoming his long-term replacement.

Shaquille Quarterman – Linebacker
Profile: You wanted that nasty, powerful inside linebacker that will knock dudes silly? Here you go! A shorter powerful build, Quarterman plays downhill and with leverage. He takes good angles and plugs gaps. He can handle some shallow zone coverage, but he’s not one of those hybrid safeties – he’s an old school inside force.

Analysis: This is the kind of guy that the Packers have been missing inside. He blows up run lanes and levels ball carriers. He’s built like a quarter horse and won’t tolerate getting manhandled in the run game.

Zack Moss– Running Back
Profile: The ultimate power back. A short, beastly build, Moss runs over and through people. He doesn’t have a lot of moves, but he does have a strong cut which, paired with his patience and innate vision, make him great for zone blocking. He’s fun to watch because tacklers will just bounce off of him and he will immediately pick a new direction and keep charging. He’s also a fantastic receiver with great hands and an ability to adjust to the ball that you wouldn’t expect out of a guy who runs with his power. As a bonus, he’s a stonewall in blitz pickups.

Analysis: Not only is Moss a great fit for zone blocking, he’s a great fit for a committee like in Green Bay. They haven’t had a guy with power like this since Eddie Lacy. Moss would be the perfect complement to Aaron Jones, bruising through the interior of defenses before Jones shoots the gap. Long-term, he could make Jones expendable – not because he would replace him outright, but because the Packers could look for a scat back to pair with him and keep the run game multi-dimensional and effective.

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Round 4

Van Jefferson – Wide Receiver
Profile: Van Jefferson is the son of a former NFL wide receiver who went on to coach four different NFL teams as a wide receivers coach. In short, Jefferson was born and bred to be an NFL receiver. His pedigree shows in his polished routes. He played in a conservative college offense, so didn’t get huge numbers, but at Senior Bowl practices, he erased any doubt that he was a legit pro prospect. Fantastic hands and great run after the catch make up for average speed and a thin frame. He’s a producer.

Analysis: This is the benefit of having extra picks in a draft this deep at receiver. Aiyuk looks like a high-potential guy, but Jefferson is coming in ready-made. One of he most polished receivers in the class, he can step in to contribute immediately and the Packers get a couple options to increase competition in a group that sorely needs it.

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Round 5

Bravvion Roy – Defensive Line
Profile: Bravvion Roy is a big boy. Super strong with freakish movement for his size, he’d been moving up boards. He eats blockers and stands up double teams, but can also be quick and slip through and surprise interior blockers off the snap. He’s not a great 1×1 pass rusher and his anchor can result in stalemates more than deep, penetrating drives, but no offensive line is going to look forward to trying to move him in the run game.

Analysis: Roy is the kind of big 3-4 defensive end that hold point and slow down outside runs. There aren’t a lot of prospects like this, but they are looked at as Day 3 role players. I think the Packers could really use one of those guys.

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Round 6

Lavert Hill – Cornerback
Profile: A press corner who is a natural in man coverage, Hill may only be average in tracking balls and tackling, but he stays right on his receivers hip. He doesn’t have the elite speed to make him a first round pick, but he has all the quickness and shiftiness he needs to stick with the slot. Also an accomplished blitzer.

Analysis: I’m a big fan of Hill this late. He is a great depth corner and a guy with the potential to step up if Tramon isn’t re-signed.

Alex Taylor – Offensive Tackle
Profile: Taylor is a towering giant with room to add to his frame. He doesn’t play with the strength you would like to see out of someone as big as he is, but adding weight could help. What he does have is light feet and a quick first step. He can mirror very well and has the mobility to be a good zone blocker if he gets time to refine his technique.

Analysis: Taylor is a great project for a zone-blocking offensive lineman. He has the size and gifts to become a left tackle if he develops. He’s just not there from a technique perspective and needs his body to fill out.

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Round 7

Devin Asiasi – Tight End
Profile: Asiasi is a tight end, but really just a big receiver. Really big. He actually has been borderline overweight. Even with the extra softness around his frame, he’s fast and averaged over 15 yards per catch. He has really good hands and a natural ability to find the soft spots in zones. He needs to chisel down, improve his footwork, and refine his blocking technique to be a well-rounded contributor.

Analysis: Maybe Graham is a cap casualty. Maybe Sternberger moves up to take on the role of primary receiving tight end. In that case, Asiasi would be a great fit as the developmental tight end behind him in an offense that loves tight ends.

Mohamed Barry – Linebacker
Profile: A undersized inside linebacker with sideline to sideline range, Barry plays with heart and is a physical tone-setter. Good instincts, he’s always around the ball, sometimes over-running plays with his energy.

Analysis: Barry could fill a role as a rotational sub-package linebacker, but the reason I like him here is his special teams ability. At this point in the draft, the odds are much better of finding someone who can contribute on special teams than grow into a starter.

Keith Ismael – Center
Profile: Ismael shows good quickness off the snap and the ability to mirror defenders. His has polished footwork and is very smooth with pulling plays. He doesn’t have great strength and shows a tendency to be pushed back, but his leverage and mobility make him a good candidate for a zone scheme. Has also shown an ability to play guard.

Analysis: With Linsley getting expensive, it might not be a bad idea to get a practice squad center. The fact that he can also play guard makes him a nice complement to Elgton Jenkins, who also has the flexibility for either spot.

Tommy Townsend – Punter
Profile: A powerful kicker, Townsend had a couple games where he had three 50 -yard punts. On open field punts, he averaged almost 46 yards per kick. HE has good hangtime and only allowed an average of 1.3 yards per return. He’s also shown good touch on some pooch punts, though they could use a little more consistency. His big knock is his get-off is a little slow. If he can speed up his technique, he could become a good NFL punter.

Analysis: JK Scott has been inconsistent, there’s no two ways about it. His good stuff is good, but shanking punts in key situations is not something that can be tolerated. With all these extra picks, grabbing a top punting prospect to come in and compete might not be a bad idea.

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Overall Analysis

Here’s the deal:  I really like this draft class. It gives a couple strong options at wide receiver (a big position of need), has a very strong candidate to become a solid starting tackle (another need), gives flexiblity at running back with a new skillset, brings in a nasty linebacker, some solid developmental prospects, and even some punting competition.

It’s a good draft class.

But you know what’s really great?

It also includes another 2nd round pick next year – from the Browns, no less, meaning it will probably be high.

I did this as an experiment on a single trade. The board did not fall at all how I expected. The receivers were going faster than usual, the tackle I targeting didn’t last, a few of my mid round guys got sniped… but it still came out good and pays huge dividends next year.

This is just another of the many illustrations that show why I’m a fan of trading down.

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Of Note

The Browns took safety Xavier McKinney at 30 – funny, they needed that pick to replace Damarious Randall!

None of the big three inside linebackers fell to 30. Isaiah Simmons never hits the 20’s and the Ravens always take one at 28, making it really hard to get one at 30 (and making trading down even more appealing).

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Check out our PFTW 2020 Mock Draft Archive to see how other scenarios played out!

Check out Packers Draft Central 2020 for all our 2020 NFL Draft coverage!

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Go deeper!

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