It’s hard to tell who will be available when the Packers pick and it may be just as hard to tell who the Packers value or what positions they may be targeting.
One thing we know is that the Packers – under multiple different Defensive Coordinators – seem to value stopping the pass on defense more than they value stopping the run.
Given that shortcomings in the defensive backfield were a big culprit in the NFCCG last year, that could be a focus area early on.
In this mock, kept that in mind, but took a less predictable approach to how the Packers may draft.
Here are the results:
Trevon Moehrig – Safety
Profile: A rising player, the 6’1 205 Moehrig impressed scouts at his pro day by running a 4.5 and posting an impressive 8.58 RAS score despite working out with back injury. Solid in man or zone coverage, Moehrig is a smart player who anticipates where the ball is going and gets there quickly. He occasionally misses double moves, but reads the quarterback very well and is a smooth, fluid mover.
Analysis: Safety isn’t typically thought of as a need for the Packers, since Amos and Savage are among the best tandems in the league, but their versatility allows them to play in other spots. Given their propensity for sub-packages, the Packers often have their safeties covering slot or playing a hybrid linebacker role. This effectively opens up a safety spot. Moehrig is a unique talent that could fill many roles on the back end and give the Packers even more flexibility with the group.
Caleb Farley – Cornerback
Profile: At 6’2 200, Caleb Farley has ideal size and length for perimeter coverage. A patient, cerebral cover man, he always looks calm and in control. With a great press and great mirror technique, he can completely erase receivers in 1×1 situations. He tracks the ball and adjusts very well. Injury concerns have moved him down some boards as he had back surgery and missed pro day, but released an unofficial video of him running a 4.28 40. Farley would be the unanimous top corner in this class without the injury.
Analysis: This is just silly. Even with the back injury concerns, Farley has no business dropping this far. He’s too good even with injury concerns. When he fell to the Packers in the 1st, it was hard to lay off him. I took Moehrig just to see how the board could play out, but never expected this. It could be the biggest find the Packers have found at cornerback since Sam Shields.
*Trade* – Cowboys
Packers traded Round 3 Pick 28 (#92) for Round 3 Pick 35 (#99) and Round 4 Pick 10 (#115)
Landon Dickerson – Guard/Center
Profile: A limited athlete who wins on technique and intelligence, the 6’6 325 Dickerson has played all five spots in college. With a strong lower body, he absorbs bull rushes. He has a good hand jolt and just enough mobility to hit the spot on pulls for zone blocking.
Analysis: With no prospect jumping off the page, I couldn’t pass up a great value trade offer. Getting a high 4th round pick for moving 7 spots at the end of the 3rd was too good to pass on. In the end, I took Dickerson, who is probably the guy I would have taken if I hadn’t traded down anyway. The Packers value the ability to play multiple positions in their lineman and Dickerson has that, but they could use him at one specific spot: center. With Corey Linsely gone, Dickerson is a great candidate to be his replacement, He brings everything they could want to the center position along with great size for the middle.
Tylan Wallace – Wide Receiver
Profile: At 5’11 190, Wallace can fly with 4.39 speed. He ran mostly quick outs and deep routes, but looked good when he occasionally ran other routers. With good hands and a smooth catch and pull, he’s great at contested catches and attacks open field once he has the ball, powering through tacklers. Over the last 3 years, he averaged over 100 yards per game.
Analysis: The Packers have a lot of different types of receivers, but none quite like this. Wallace would bring another skillset to the group this year, but also give the Packers their first receiver under contract for the 2022 season.
Khyiris Tonga – Defensive Lineman
Profile: At 6’4 325, Tonga is a huge powerful interior force. Not quick or twitchy, just strong. He has powerful hands, but doesn’t use them well – if he can learn that, he could probably add some pass rush ability. As it stands, he’s a prime run defender and space eater. He doesn’t have a lot of mobility, but he finds the ball and pushes towards it.
Analysis: The Packers could use some meat on the defensive line and Tonga brings it. He and Clark could both stand up double teams in any sort of package and allow the rest of the defense to morph around them.
Trill Williams – Cornerback
Profile: An elite athlete and versatile player, Williams can play outside, slot, zone, or man with equal proficiency. With good size at 6’2, 200, he is a physical run defender with experience at safety as well. He’s aggressive at getting after the ball with serious high end speed, but not great at getting picks.
Analysis: The Caleb Farley pick was a gift, but he and Kevin King are a couple of guys with back problems that could knock them out at any moment. The Packers still need options and Williams is a very solid option would could flex into whatever coverage schemes new DC Joe Barry wants to run.
Jaelon Darden – Wide Receiver
Profile: A quick slot receiver with solid speed, the 5’9 170 Darden is not going to muscle past anyone off the line. He doesn’t have a huge catch radius, either, but he’s dangerous in space and really good with motion handoffs. He’s also a great kicker returner and a sneaky deep threat.
Analysis: Yet another new skillset for a wide receiver group in need of bodies for 2022. Darden could take over the Ervin/Austin role on offense and provide a boost on special teams.
Dylan Moses – Inside Linebacker
Profile: An intense physical player at 6’3, 235, Moses played all the linebacker spots in college. He’s still learning pass coverage and sometimes struggles to dissect misdirection, but with 4.56 speed and good footwork, he has the physical tools to become a complete linebacker. Missing 2019 with an ACL stunted his growth, meaning he could be a late round find.
Analysis: I like Kamal Martin and Krys Barnes, but they both had injury problems. Moses has been banged up, as well, but would give them another capable body and maybe another option with more speed and athleticism.
Adrian Ealy – Offensive Tackle
Profile: A zone tackle who can move and lock up, Ealy had a very good Senior Bowl showing to boost his stock. He’s physical and can bulldoze int he run game, but also plays with good movement and leverage. Still raw and needs to work on balance, he has not yet reached his potential.
Analysis: Ealy has a lot of tools, but needs refinement. The Packers are in a hurry to get a new tackle, but this draft just didn’t allow them to get a better one sooner. Still, for a developmental guy, players like Ealy don’t usually last this long.
Marvin Wilson – Defensive Lineman
Profile: Wilson looked like a 1st rounder a year ago, then had a bad season and followed it up with a brutal Senior Bowl. He had a 90.7 PPF in 2019, then dropped his weight and wasn’t the same. His top heavy frame hurts his anchor and, while he has a nice swim move, he can’t always disengage from blockers.
Analysis: A classic boom or bust prospect. If he can get his body back to where it was, he could be coached up to be a complete, even really good, starting end. He could just as easily continue his descent and get cut in training camp. Given his upside, he’s still a pretty good use of a 6th rounder in my eyes.
Kary Vincent – Cornerback
Profile: At 5’10 190, Vincent is fast and quick, but lacks physicality. He’s best in zone coverage and anticipating the ball. In college, he played mostly slot and safety, but could be a good fit in special teams coverage, as well.
Analysis: The Packers lack of cornerback depth really showed last year, especially for a team that emphasizes stopping the pass first. Vincent probably won’t be a high-end starter, but he could become a solid slot corner in nickel and dime sets, plus contribute on special teams.
This was an odd draft from the beginning, as I went with a surprise pick first. I could see the Packers going for a safety early since they have the flexibility to play Amos or Savage in other spots. What really surprised me, though, was Caleb Farley falling to the end of the 2nd round. Even with his back injury, I love the pick. I also love getting Trill Williams as an insurance policy.
Getting Dickerson after trading down was a big hit and I also like getting a couple receivers with unique skillsets. Adrian Ealy may be a revelation after a year of coaching and if Marvin Wilson returns to form, this would be an amazing class.
For this mock, I drafted against the board from Deep Fried Draft.
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