The Packers have an obvious need at receiver and, while this is a deep receiver class, there are only a handful of blue chip prospects and those guys don’t usually last until the 22nd pick.
Unless there’s a big red flag keeping teams away.
Most teams don’t want to risk their 1st round pick on someone with a big red flag, but the Packers have an extra 1st round pick this year.
We took a gamble with that pick in this mock draft to see what the rest of the class could look like.
Here are the results:
Jameson Williams – Wide Receiver
Profile: An absolute speed demon, Jameson Williams covers the field in a blink. With a lanky 6’2, 190 frame, he has great body control a really good hands. He’s a prototypical big-play receiver who scored 15 touchdowns last year from an average length of almost 50 yards. His speed is estimated in mid-4.2s and he is probably the best receiver in a very deep class. The only knock on him is that he tore his ACL in January. He’s on an aggressive rehab schedule and claims to be on track for an Adrian Peterson-like miracle recovery of only five to seven months. If a team rolls the dice on Williams and wins, they could bust the house.
Analysis: The Packers need receivers. Williams in a gamble, but he comes with a potentially gigantic return. Here’s the thing, though: this pick is an extra bonus. With an aggressive GM that wants a receiver now and is playing with house money, this might be a risk worth taking on a player that would look like a top 5 pick in possibly the deepest receiver draft ever if he hadn’t been hurt.
George Pickens – Wide Receiver
Profile: A 6’3, 200 receiver with solid 4.4 speed, Pickens wins with routes and hands. He has great body control and knows how to move and get separation, even if he’s covered by someone faster. If the ball gets near his hands, odds are pretty high he’s gonna come down with it. All around solid receiver with no true weaknesses, just lacks the big play speed of the elite receiver prospects.
Analysis: Pickens is everything that Jameson Williams isn’t. Williams is a flashy big play guy and Pickens is the solid, steady dependable receiver. Put them together and it’s a fantastic young receiving duo (provided they’re both healthy) that could take the Packers offense to the next level.
Boye Mafe – Edge
Profile: At 6’4, 260, Mafe has an impressive build. He explodes off the ball and uses his powerful hands to keep blockers off him with a number of good moves. Relentless in chasing down quarterbacks, he’s also athletic enough to drop into zone. Can cut through blockers to find running backs, but can also get stuck in the garbage.
Analysis: The Packers are in good shape with their starting edge rushers of Rashan Gary and Preston Smith, but they need at least one more legitimate pass rusher since Za’Darius Smith and Whitney Mercilus are both gone. Mafe could step in immediately as a situational rusher while he refines his run defense to become an every down defender and give the Packers a full 3 man rotation on the outside.
Christian Harris – Inside Linebacker
Profile: On the light side at 6’0, 225, Harris more than makes up for it with violent energy and 4.4 speed. He flies all over the field, no matter where the ball goes. He doesn’t have the size to blow up blockers, but his downhill approach helps him find run gaps and blitz with force and he’s more than capable of handling backs and tight ends in coverage.
Analysis: A chase backer, Harris would made a perfect complement to De’Vondre Campbell and add a dimension to the defense that they’ve tried to fill with hybrid safeties.
Nicholas Petit-Frere – Offensive Tackle
Profile: With a prototypical build at 6’5 315, NPF was the top OT in the 2018 high school class and the strongest player in nation. Capable of playing right tackle or left tackle, he is highly mobile and shows great footwork in mirror technique and zone blocking. He occasionally gets wide, but has quick hands and upper body power to handle the nastiest edge rushers.
Analysis: In theory, David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins would made a phenomenal starting tackle tandem, but both are recovering from torn ACLs and have contract issues looming (huge deferred cap hits for Bakhtiari and a new contract due for Jenkins). Yosh Nijman filled in admirably, but the team didn’t have enough faith in him to keep him at left tackle over an injured Billy Turner playing out of position, so it may be time to stock the shelf at offensive tackle and NPF is great value in the 3rd round.
Nick Cross – Safety
Profile: With good size at 6’0 215, Cross brings 4.34 speed to chase down ball carriers and handle single high safety formations. He makes good decisions in coverage and reads the ball well in the air. Solid tackler with no qualms about coming down to crash the box, but shows caution in corralling open field runners. His tight hips keep him out of the elite coverage tier, but get this: he played special teams!
Analysis: The Packers have a good starting safety tandem in Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage, but both have contracts that are coming due. Cross would give them formation flexibility now in their various nickel packages and could become a starter as early as next year. Oh, and did I mention he plays special teams!?
Matthew Butler – Defensive Line
Profile: A strong 6’4 300 disruptor, Butler showed the power to play nose tackle despite a lack of bulk. Plays with leverage and quickness as a pass rusher and was the best player at Shrine Bowl practices. His hands are always moving, and his motor is always 100%.
Analysis: The Packer have lacked a quick, disruptive tackle since Mike Daniels passed his prime. They hoped Kingsley Keke would provide that boost, but they missed. Butler could provide everything they hoped Keke would give them.
James Mitchell – Tight End
Profile: A versatile athlete, the 6’4 250 Mitchell has a strong basketball background that shows in his athletic moves to get after the ball with a huge catch radius. A willing, moderately effective, positional blocker, Mitchell’s strength is his ability to move and find plays to seal off. He can play inline, split out, slot, h-back, heck, he even returned punts and served as the emergency quarterback. Once he gets the ball, he finds yards – averaged more than 10 yards after the catch.
Analysis: Robert Tonyan is coming off a torn ACL and Marcedes Lewis is 38 this year – plus both of their contracts are up after this season. Add in the fact that Matt LaFleur uses tight ends in multiple ways and Mitchell fits the bill on most of them, and you have a pretty good fit. Plus, Mitchell’s athleticism and versatility makes him a great fit for special teams.
Round 6 The Packers currently have no picks in the 6th round
Danny Gray – Wide Receiver
Profile: Danny Gray can do two things very well: go deep and go fast. A 6’1 185 field-stretcher with 4.33 speed, Gray sells routes and wins on moves. He doesn’t run a wide variety of routes, but he’s lightning off the line and moved his stock up with explosive play at the Senior Bowl. He’s so fast you might not even notice how inconsistent his hands can be at times.
Analysis: MVS left. Danny Gray is here to replace him. Oh, and hopefully they could make him a punt gunner.
Jayden Peevy – Defensive Line
Profile: A powerful 6’5 308, bull rusher with a huge wingspan. Peevy has violent hands and good spin moves from his basketball background. He can get a little stiff and high, but still is tough to move off his spot. In his college career, he blocked four kicks.
Analysis: A solid developmental rotational lineman who should be able to beat out Jack Heflin. His biggest contribution could come on special teams in kick defense.
Esezi Otomewo – Edge
Profile: A big edge rusher at 6’5 280, Otomewo plays very physical on the outside. Shows good leverage and squeezes through gaps. He has raw pass rush technique and missed the Combine and Senior Bowl with injuries.
Analysis: The Packers like big edge rushers and Otomewo is just that. He could fall on draft day after missing most of the pony shows. With 11 picks added to a solid roster, the Packers should be looking for practice squad material by this point. Otomewo is a raw player that could benefit from a year or two of pro development. There just aren’t a lot of 6’5 280 pound dudes with this kind of athleticism.
In most mock simulations, Jameson Williams doesn’t even fall to 22. I always wondered what the Packers class would look like if they did. Grabbing George Pickens at 28 was a great hedge and almost assures that the Packers are going to have a solid receiving corps by the time the playoffs roll around, especially with Mitchell and Gray added late. Petit-Frere could also see time as a rookie, and could become a long-term fixture on the offense.
On defense, Harris could be a Day 1 starter while Mafe would be an immediate contributor. Cross and Butler provide some nice role players in sub-packages. The real value of the later picks, though, comes on special teams. If guys like Mitchell and Peevy could give those core units a boost, it could have a huge impact. I really hope the Packers look for special teams players with their late round picks
This simulation had 4 edge rushers go in the top 9 picks and no receivers until #12
For this mock, I drafted against the board from NBS Draft Central.
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