I passed on all the great trade offers I got in this scenario and ended up with some really great fits. Team needs are easy to identify, but the value available doesn’t always match up with team needs (which is why I like to trade back frequently).
In this scenario, I got really lucky and there was a top player from each tier available at a position of need. For example, none of the big three inside linebacker prospects (Simmons, Murray, and Queen) have been available at the Packers pick in the 1st round in any of the first seven analyzed mocks I did.
This time, one was available, and other needs were easily filled in later rounds, too.
Here are the results:
Patrick Queen – Linebacker
Profile: Fast and explosive, Queen is almost always the first guy to the ball. He has great instincts and doesn’t hesitate. Fluid with good change of direction skills that also make him capable in coverage, he is just what the Packers defense has needed.
Analysis: If the Packers get Queen, their defense immediately takes a jump. For years, the Packers focused on rushing the passer and defending the pass, while hoping their defensive line can hold up strong enough to slow down run games. They have not had a premier inside linebacker like this except for the short stretch where Clay Matthews moved inside in 2014. This pick would be huge.
Laviska Shenault – Wide Receiver
Profile: A tall, chiseled receiver, Shenault is an explosive athlete that can do it all: split wide, slot receiver, tight end, H-back, running back, wildcat quarterback, anything. He has great ball tracking skills and an innate ability to feel where the hit after the catch is coming from and start dodging right after the catch, getting extra yards and big plays. The only knock is that after playing spending time practicing so many positions, his routes are a bit unpolished. Still, he has all the talent in the world to work on that in the pros.
Analysis: Shenault would walk into a starting spot and give the Packers an entirely new skillset. He would bring a different kind of speed and power to the group and, with the ability to move around to any receiving position, would be a great piece for LaFleur to deploy.
Rashard Lawrence – Defensive Line
Profile: Squat and powerful, Lawrence is a disruptive presence. He’s not a transcendent athlete, but he has enough movement to get lateral down the line. Better against the run than the pass, he can hold the point and power through creases to break up blocking schemes.
Analysis: The Packers have enough pass rush, they need more role players like Lawrence who can stop the run. Ty Lancaster is a low-end version of the model, but Lawrence can be a physically dominant presence inside against the run.
Ben Bartch – Offensive Tackle
Profile: After two years of not making it as a tight end, Bartch moved to the offensive line. He used self-created shake of eggs, peanut butter, cottage cheese, bananas and other delicious foods to gain over 70 pounds in one summer. Since then, he’s learned to play tackle and been a steady riser throughout the pre-draft process. He’s still learning to use his body while he’s learning the position, but his drive strength is impressive. His athleticism makes him a great fit for zone blocking and his Senior Bowl week performances (where he was the only D3 player in attendance) showed off kick-slide and mirror technique in one-on-one drills – he isn’t polished, but he is a player on the way up.
Analysis: A bit of a project, he’s a rare blend of power and athleticism that, if coached well, could become a long-term fixture in any scheme’s line. With Bryan Bulaga’s contract status up in the air, Bartch could be in line for the steep learning curve that comes with being a rookie starter.
Isaiah Simmons went 3rd, which is pretty high for an inside linebacker.
Check out our PFTW 2020 Mock Draft Archive to see how other scenarios played out!
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