Sure, everyone wants the Packers to get a stud receiver early.
But, if this draft is anything like the last two, the stud receivers will go early. Then what?
Then take the best players available and look for creative ways to use them. Luckily, this draft has talent at a lot of different positions that the Packers could use.
Here are the results:
Round 1 Daxton Hill – Safety
Profile: A versatile defender, the 6’0 190 Hills boasts 4.38 speed. Able to play single high, in the box, or cover teh slot, he’s an explosive athlete that shows up all over the field. He has a good feel for coverage, hits hard in run support, and can blitz.
Analysis: The top receivers were all gone and I don’t want the Packers to reach for need. Instead, they take the best player available on the board. The Packers have a nice pair of starting safeties, but both are in contract years and, with rumors of Darnell Savage playing more in coverage, they could use another safety. Hill gives them an incredible amount of skill diversity (and speed) to move around the back end of the defense.
John Metchie III– Wide Receiver
Profile: John Metchie is fast. With a compact 6’0 196 frame, he gets quick separation and is great in and out of breaks. He’s slippery against the press and great on screens and jet sweeps. He tore his ACL in December, but if he gain regain his instant acceleration, he will be a weapon.
Analysis: The top receivers in the class all went before #22, leaving the second tier of receiver talent at #28. Metchie doesn’t fit the prototype of a true stud #1 receiver, but the Packers don’t necessarily need that. They signed Sammy Watkins to go with Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb. Metchie provides a dynamic element to a wide receiver group that should not need (or want) to depend on an alpha receiver this year.
Logan Hall – Defensive Line/Edge
Profile: A 6’6 275 hybrid defender, Hall played edge rusher and defensive end. He also moved to the interior, where his explosive first step helped him rush shoot gaps. He’s strong enough to bull rush and can stun blockers with his initial jolt. Very athletic and good against the run, he and struggle with secondary moves is blocked initially.
Analysis: The Packers have needs at both defensive line and edge rusher. Hall gives them flexibility for both positions. A very sudden gap-shooter, he moves quicker on the inside than his size would suggest. He also brings solid run defense, which is a must for the Packers defensive scheme that relies on its edge rushers for run support.
Alec Pierce – Wide Receiver
Profile: A big 6’3 211 receiver with 4.41 speed, Pierce excels at route manipulation. He’s not a burner, but uses his frame instead of a burst to get separation. He may take a little time to pull away, but he has fantastic hands, makes circus catches, and is hard to bring down after the catch.
Analysis: This pick is further proof that Packers can find talent in a deep receiver draft even if the top prospects go early. The Packers shouldn’t expect to replace Davante Adams with one player – it will be an effort by the entire offense and Pierce can give the Packers a unique weapon to do just that.
Jeremy Ruckert – Tight End
Profile: A fantastic isolation receiver, he 6’5 250 Ruckert is a monster in red zone. He doesn’t have a huge vertical, but he has great timing and can high point the ball with the best prospects in this class. He runs solid routes, catches well in traffic, and has improved as and inline blocker.
Analysis: The Packers may be without Robert Tonyan to start the season, and he’s only on a one-year deal. Ruckert can be another piece of the Packers revamped passing attack and become a long-term fixture in the offense.
Braxton Jones – Offensive Tackle
Profile: A lanky 6’7 310 zone blocking left tackle, Jones moves with smooth grace for a man his size. He doesn’t have the bend or power to dominate as a power run blocker, but he has good balance and mobility to seal off defenders and has great pass sets.
Analysis: The Packers have some great tackles… but they’re recovering from torn ACLs. Jones fits what the Packers want to do and could carve out a short-term and long-term position on the team. In a deep tackle class, he would be great value on Day 3.
Damone Clark – Inside Linebacker
Profile: A big inside linebacker at 6’3 240, Clark brings 4.57 speed and the ability to pursue sideline to sideline. He has good acceleration and takes good angles to ball. He plays with fury and his long arms give him a big tackling radius. He has the size to cover tight ends and reads routes well, despite not being the smoothest athlete.
Analysis: Bringing De’Vondre Campbell back gives the Packers a very physical presence in the middle. Pairing him with Damone Clark would give them a big, physical pair that would rival any due Green Bay has put there in decades. The Packers don’t run two inside linebackers very often, but Clark could change the complexion of the defense and give them a lot of schematic flexibility.
Velus Jones, Jr – Wide Receiver
Profile: Jones may not have great size at 6’0 190, but he has great speed at 4.31. He can get deep with ease and has solid hands. He needs to refine route tree after mostly running deep in college, but he is slippery after the catch and can be a great returner.
Analysis: Sure, the Packers could use a little help in the receiver room, but having another option at returner is what really excited be about this pick.
Round 6 The Packers currently have no picks in the 6th round
Bubba Bolden – Safety
Profile: A big (6’2 210), fast (4.47), physical safety, Bolden gets where he’s going in a hurry and plays with urgency. He needs work on diagnosing plays, but his raw skills make him a great special teams candidate.
Analysis: The Packers could use a rotational depth safety. More than that, they could use help on special teams. Bolden can do both, but I really want to see the Packers use their late picks on special teams candidates.
Christopher Hinton – Defensive Line
Profile: Son of a former Pro Bowler of the same name, the 6’3 305 Hinton is athletic and strong. He plays with energy and urgency. His build is not very long, which helps him shoot gaps – an asset that could make him a core special teams defender.
Analysis: I don’t know if he would be good on the defensive line with his lack of width, but I like the idea of bringing someone in just to try to shoot gaps on special teams. They Packers have three 7th rounders, so why not give a guy like that a shot? Silly? Maybe, but that’s how bad Packers special teams have been.
Akayleb Evans – Cornerback
Profile: Long and physical at 6’2 200, Evans has underdeveloped footwork and press technique, but is an aggressive tackler who likes to harass receivers.
Analysis: Evans could take some time to develop better coverage techniques, but his size and attitude could make him a good special teams role player.
The Packers missed out on the top receiver prospects, but Metchie, Pierce, and Jones would be a very solid group to add to this team and Ruckert could have a big impact.
The real strength of this class is on defense, where Hill can be a star in a number of roles. Hall and Clark could challenge for snaps early.
The back end of this draft could really help special teams.
This isn’t the type of class I would go into the draft trying to assemble, but there’s a lot of talent the Packers could use here.
Five receivers went in the first 20 picks.
For this mock, I drafted against the board from FanSpeak – Steve Shoup.
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