Packers 2021 Mock Draft 5 – Needs Met In Neat Order

It’s not often that a team’s top four needs are able to be addressed in order without reaching for guys or drafting at positions that will provide less value because of glaring needs.

Sometimes, you get lucky and everything falls into place.

That seems to be what happened in our 5th mock draft of the year.

Please note that compensatory picks have not yet been officially announced, but estimates indicate the Packers will receive an extra pick in round 4, 5, and 6. Until they are officially announced, that is how our drafts will run. This mock draft is a 4 rounds – we will be adding rounds as we get deeper into out coverage.

Here are the results:

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Round 1

Eric Stokes – Cornerback
Profile: In three years, Eric Stokes has allowed a total of 53.4% completions. He’s good in man coverage, especially when pressing, but is even better in zone. Whatever the coverage, he plays physical, but can get grabby at the top of routes. He is fast – really fast – but not great with cuts or change of direction, so if a guy beats his press, he’s susceptible to double moves (though he has great recovery speed). Sometimes inconsistent playing the ball, he still had 4 picks and 2 touchdowns in 2020. At 6’1, he’s also a solid red zone defender.

Analysis: Even in a weak class, Stokes probably isn’t a top tier cornerback, but he’s at the top of the second tier. He may be a bit of a reach at the end of the 1st, but his size, speed, and production are hard to lay off. He would walk right into a starting spot with the Packers and, opposite Jaire Alexander, wouldn’t have to draw WR1 assignments. He would immediately fill the team’s biggest hole.

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Round 2

Samuel Cosmi – Offensive Tackle
Profile: Samuel Cosmi started his college career playing right tackle for a year, then played left tackle the last two. At 6’7, he has great range for the edge, but at 310 room, he has a weak anchor and needs to add bulk and strength. Cosmi’s greatest asset, though, is his athleticism. He can pull and easily shift through tot he second level, making him a great fit for zone blocking teams. He shuffles his feet a but, but he’s so quick, it doesn’t hamper him. Improving footwork will help him at the next level, as will improving hand placement and timing, which are areas that need some polish. He’s not terrible in any aspect, but has leaned on his athleticism to make up for it. AT the next level, refined technique should allow him to flourish. On the edge, his natural length lets him hold blocks some guys simply can’t, as he allowed only 8 pressures on 368 pass blocks last year.

Analysis: The Packers need a long-term right tackle and possibly a short-term left tackle (depending on David Bakhtiari’s recovery schedule). Cosmi could be both. His size and athleticism make him a great fit for Adam Stenavich’s zone system and his ability to play either side would give them the flexibility they need right now.

Read more about the zone blocking system in our feature from the 2019 draft.

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Round 3

Tommy Tagiai – Defensive Line
Profile: Tommy Tagiai started off as a rotational run stuffer for 2 years, then became a starter in 20201 and looked like a far more complete defensive lineman. He racked up 21 pressures in 7 games, while maintaining a high level of play against the run. At 6’2 300, he isn’t a giant, but he’s good at twisting with leverage and wrestling in the trenches. Good change of direction skills help him chase down ball carriers on plays were many lineman just give up. He doesn’t get moved in 1×1 situations and can shoot gaps with a quick first step.

Analysis: The Packers need someone to put next to Kenny Clark and, in many ways, Tagiai looks like a poor man’s Kenny Clark. Playing between Clark and Za’Darius Smith, Tagiai has the ability to run stunts and and open opportunities for his partners without being a liability.

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Round 4

Amari Rodgers – Wide Receiver
Profile: Amari Rodgers will probably need to play the slot at 5’10. But at 210 pounds, his muscular frame helps him fight for separation. He runs good routes and shows great hand extension, allowing him to be effective in close quarters with underneath routes where a quarterback will need to lead him to space. Despite his height deficiency, he’s a fiesty blocker. At the Senior Bowl, he really shines, consistently getting separation with hustle and timing.

Analysis: This draft is deep at wide receiver. Super deep. Talent like Rodgers doesn’t usually last until Day 3, but this is a rare class. Matt LaFleur has been known to favor taller receivers, but he’s also shown the ability to scheme around the strength of his players. Rodgers probably isn’t LaFleur’s ideal fit, but for a wide receiver room with on one signed beyond 2021, coach may have to figure out how to make do with talented guys who don’t fit his ideal thresholds.

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Round 4

Kelvin Joseph – Cornerback
Profile: Kelvin Joseph began his college career at LSU, seeing spot duty as a freshman before earning a suspension for some off-field issues. He sat out a year before joining Kentucky. He only played one season there, but was very productive with 4 interceptions and a touchdown in 9 games. Highly adept and instinctive in zone coverage, he can also play man coverage, though his press technique is still maturing. Good awareness, large tackling range, and a great frame at 6’1 190, Joseph has all the necessary tools, but limited playing time makes him a raw prospect and limited film makes him tough to evaluate.

Analysis: This is a bit of a steal for the Packers. Joseph has some minor off-field concerns, but the biggest unknown is from a lack of playing time. Still, there’s no denying his gifts. The Packers need talent and Joseph has it. If he can slip through the cracks, this could be the kind of Day 3 gem that the Packers really need to shore up their depth deficiencies at cornerback. Regardless of what scheme new DC Joe Barry employs, Joseph could find an immediate niche at CB3. There would certainly be growing pains for a guy who only played one pandemic-shortened season in the last two years, but he could develop into a long-term contributor.

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Analysis

The Packers are losing Kevin King, but they need more than one cornerback going into the year. No one stepped up to play nickel last seasons and when King missed time, no one stepped up to show anything that made anyone think they could be a future starter. First and foremost, this draft got Stokes and Joseph, two cornerbacks with the tools and skills to develop into starters. That alone could make this draft a huge win.

Shoring up both lines with potential starters like Cosmi (who some feel could go in the 1st) and Tagiai would provide some of the power that was missing in the trenches where the Packers were outlcassed by the Buccaneers when it mattered most.

Fans will lament waiting until the Day 3 to pick up a receiver, but this is a deep class, the Packers have more pressing needs, and Amari Rodgers is a tough guy with good hands who is a willing blocker who will fit the style the Packers want to play.

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Of Note

Tight End Kyle Pitts went 4th overall to Atlanta, which was a bit of a surprise.

 

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Want to learn more!?

Want more insight into how winning teams build through the draft (and how losing teams fail)? We’ve got you covered!

Start shallow, then get deep into understanding draft strategy with our draft book (rated a #1 New Release): A Fan’s Guide To Understanding The NFL Draft: Strategies, Tactics, And Case Studies For Building A Professional Football Team

Then jump into free agency with another #1 New Release: A Fan’s Guide To NFL Free Agency Hits and Misses to better understand this critical part of the NFL offseason and see where teams have found (or missed) success in this critical component of team-building.

Finally, get to the game behind the game with our new must-have book for 2021: A Fan’s Guide To Understanding The NFL Salary Cap – which lays out detailed, easy-to-follow scenarios to explain exactly how contract structures and salary cap rules impact teams.

All these great books  are available in ebook and paperback – and free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers!

If you don’t have Kindle Unlimited, you can get a free trial of Kindle Unlimited here!

Don’t just watch the draft – understand it and learn why GMs make the moves they do.

 

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Check out our PFTW 2021 Mock Draft Archive to see how other scenarios played out!

Check out Packers Draft Central 2021 for all our 2020 NFL Draft coverage!

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