The draft is all about infusing a team with new talent.
Mock drafts are all about exploring prospects who could be available in each round.
In either case, having more picks helps.
When I ran this one, it seemed like everyone in the simulation wanted to trade with me. The results were zero 1st round picks, but two 2nds, three 3rds, and three 4ths. That’s a lot of talent in the heart of the draft.
Given that the Packers have a tight cap and a lot of tough questions to answer regarding extensions, a draft like this could go a long way to alleviating those concerns and plugging current and future holes. Moves like this, to infuse the team with cheap talent, are the kind of moves that keep a team competitive long-term instead of chasing this all-in nonsense everyone keeps talking about.
Here’s the results
The Jaguars wanted to move up from the 10th pick in the 2nd round and offered the 9th pick in the 3rd as well. I couldn’t pass up getting a top 75 pick to move down 11 spots when the talent is so fluid in the end of the 1st round. The Jaguars took Quarterback Jake Fromm – I guess this simulator doesn’t have Minshew-mania.
With the 42nd pick, which I got from the Jaguars, the Seahawks wanted to move up and offered their two 2nd round picks (59 and 64 overall). That is crazy value, so I had to take it (and it gives me a chance to explore more prospects). The Seahawks took Edge Rusher Bradlee Anae.
Jonathan Taylor – Running Back
Profile: Taylor is a no-nonsense, compact power back. He hits holes and goes with plenty of speed and enough moves and agility to get the job done. He was ultra-productive as a runner and started to show off his potential as a receiver last year. May be a better fit for a gap blocking scheme due to the directness of his approach, but also showed the vision to do just fine in zone blocking. His biggest concerns are durability (after racking up 926 carries in 3 years) and ball control (after fumbling 18 times).
Analysis: This is no homer pick – the guy rushed for 6,000 yards and 50 TDs in 3 years! At the end of the 2nd round, he’s a steal. The Packers have a big decision looming with Aaron Jones coming up for a new contract. History shows that paying running backs big bucks doesn’t end with championships… but Aaron Jones deserves big bucks. A pick like this could keep the Packers offense sailing smooth without incurring a big cap hit and since durability is a concern, you just let him go after 4 years and look for the next guy – it’s a luxury that’s afforded teams that trade down and accumulate picks.
Matt Peart – Offensive Tackle
Profile: A tall, long prospect with natural athleticism to guard the edge. Peart’s hand technique needs some work, and he could stand to put on some weight, but there’s a lot of tools here. His footwork is decent, but his natural mobility shows greater potential. He’s more than mobile enough for a zone scheme and is great on the second level.
Analysis: With Bryan Bulaga’s contract status up in the air, a guy like Peart could be a great pickup. It’s a deep class for tackles and usually someone with Peart’s height, length, and athleticism wouldn’t make it this late. Like the Taylor selection, this could keep the Packers steady without killing the cap.
With the original 2nd round pick, the Lions wanted to move up from the 3rd pick in the 3rd round (a mere 5 spots) and offered the 3rd pick in the 4th round. I can’t pass up that value (and the opportunity to explore more prospects).
Ok, it’s my night for trades. When the 3rd pick came up, the Raiders offered me the 16th and 17th picks in the round. Just can’t pass that up. If the Packers get offers like this I’ll be ecstatic.
Jordyn Brooks – Inside Linebacker
Profile: Jordyn Brooks is one of a host of guys jockeying for the title of 4th Best Inside Linebacker in this year’s class. An athletic inside linebacker with the range to cover to the sideline, Brooks plays with passion. He’s a little shorter and a little thicker than his classmates, and he attacks gaps with fury. Pulling guards might give him trouble as he has a tendency to pop into blockers rather than shed and his lack of height can impact his leverage. He’s an exciting player with athleticism to fill nicely in zone coverage.
Analysis: Brooks would be the kind of inside ‘backer that could chase down drawn out stretch runs. He may get swallowed up by blockers on the edge, but he’ll at least get to the spot and disrupt the rhythm of the play. The Packers need help and Brooks could provide it.
Donovan Peoples-Jones – Wide Receiver
Profile: Peoples-Jones is one of the best in the class at body control and fighting for contested balls. He’s fast, but it’s the strider speed that takes a little time to build up. That means he doesn’t blow people away off the line, but once he gets the ball in the open field, he can really produce yards after the catch. Has good coordination and a proven ability to catch back shoulder passes. Not an elite prospect, but one of the multitude of mid-round receivers with the ability to contribute.
Analysis: I will probably say this every mock draft, but there is no reason to take a receiver in the 1st round. That’s actually true every year, but this year, with all the talent abound, it’s as true as ever. No, this guy will not supplant Davante Adams, but he could play a big slot – which fits LaFleur’s offense – and do some real damage.
Matt Hennessey – Center
Profile: A very smart center who can handle all the calls and adjustments and always looks smooth handing off defenders and working combo blocks. Hennessey doesn’t have dominant power, but his leverage is good enough to keep defenders walled off even if they walk him back a couple steps. His brains will fit anywhere, but his athelticism and clean hand technique make him a great fit in a zone blocking scheme.
Analysis: Another great option for a position the Packers may need a replacement for quickly. Corey Linsely is coming up on the last year of his deal and has a huge cap hit in a year where the Packers budget is tight. Hennessey, like Taylor and Peart in this mock, could be a cap savior.
Sure enough, that 3rd pick in the round comes up and the Buccaneers offer me the 11th and 36th picks in the round. How can I turn down another 4th rounder just for sliding down 8 spots? Answer: I can’t.
Thaddeus Moss – Tight End
Profile: Moss isn’t a dynamic receiving threat like his dad, but he is a brutalizing blocker. What he lacks in speed and athleticism, he makes up for in power. He has decent hands and can box out very well for jump balls.
Analysis: Matt LaFleur likes multiple Tight Ends with differing skill sets, making Moss an intruiging fit. The Packers are probably one of the teams best-equipped to get the most out of Moss and he could be the perfect long-term complement to Jace Sternberger in two TE sets. Think of him as a Marcedes Lewis reboot.
Lamar Jackson – Cornerback
Profile: Maybe the tallest corner in the class, Jackson is a physical corner who contests catches and is a great red zone defender. He’s fast enough, but doesn’t have great agility to cover the slot.
Analysis: Yet another cap helper, Jackson could fill the role currently held by Kevin King as a the longer, more physical corner in the duo.
Anthony Gordon – Quarterback
Profile: Gordon was productive in an air raid offense, getting his first chance to start in his 5th year after backing up Gardner Minshew (I got him in there twice today). He doesn’t have the strongest arm, but has the core strength and torque to throw from any position and plays with abandon.
Analysis: I admit this might be a little high for Gordon, but I love the idea of improving the backup quarterback position. More than anything, Gordon plays with moxie and is just plain fun to watch.
I saw a draft board that actually had Isaiah Simmons classified as a safety. That should give a lot of hope to the Rashan-to-ILB crowd.
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