We recently looked at the Packers best options for moving up in the draft.
With that in mind, we wanted to explore what kind of draft class the Packers could put together if they did move up… and didn’t take a receiver.
Could they still come out of this class with enough talent to fill a very light receiver room even if they moved up to address another need?
Here are the results:
In this simulation, I traded picks 22 and 28 to Washington for pick 11
Jordan Davis – Defensive Line
Profile: A monster of a man at 6’6 345. He has incredible hands off the snap and can bull rush like few prospects in recent memory. Surprisingly agile for his size, he can play pretty much any spot on the line and walk blockers back with ease.
Analysis: Packers fans (and even some media personalities) have been howling (literally, in some cases) that the Packers need to take a wide receiver in the 1st round. They do also have a glaring need at defensive line and Jordan Davis is one of the most impressive prospects to come along in a while. In hindsight defense of this move, Wilson, Olave, Williams, and London were all off the board by 22. So if you wanted to sit tight and get a receiver there, you would have missed that tier. Yes, this is just a simulation, but the point of these simulations is to explore the possibilities and this is one of them.
Lewis Cine – Safety
Profile: An aggressive hard hitting box safety, the 6’2 200 Cine is big enough to cover tight ends. He’s not not great at man coverage on receivers, but his 4.37 speed means he can keep up with anyone and roam the back end and cover as a single high. Closer to the line, he’s a tone setter who lurks and blows up screens. He didn’t blitz much in college, but seems to have the tools.
Analysis: I know Packers Twitter would explode if the traded up in the 1st for a defensive player, then used their first pick in the 2nd round on another defender, but drafting is an inexact science. Cine stood out as the best player and the receivers available here were bunched together in terms of value. Cine is a fast, physical, versatile defender that could play a number of roles in a Packers defense that has both starting safeties in a contract year with very little depth behind them.
Jalen Tolbert – Wide Receiver
Profile: A big 6’3 195 target with 4.49, Tolbert stood out as the best receiver at the Senior Bowl. Quick off the line, he’s an athletic deep threat, with good hands who can get high for balls. He needs to clean up his routes, but he is physical in the open field and a natural playmaker.
Analysis: The Packers finally get a receiver. He’s not the most eye-popping prospect in this draft, but he’s a big target with solid speed who catches everything. This is a deep receiving class and the Packers can get a quality starter without drafting one in the 1st round.
David Bell – Wide Receiver
Profile: Another big receiver at 6’2 205. Bell plays faster that his timed speed of 4.65, but gets open with an array of impressive moves off the line and precision route-running. He has great hands, makes acrobatic catches, and doesn’t allow the ball to be knocked out.
Analysis: The Packers could pair Bell with Tolbert in this scenario to get a couple of capable receivers with complementary skillsets to fill out the receiving corps. Rodgers can do a lot with a guy who runs perfect routes and catches everything, even if he isn’t very flashy.
Dare Rosenthal – Offensive Tackle
Profile: Rosenthal entered college as a defensive tackle, then quickly made the move to offensive line. After not getting playing time at LSU, he transferred to Kentucky, where he became the starting left tackle. His 6’7 300 frame is perfect for holding the edge and his quickness and smooth mobility are suited to zone blocking. With his lack of experience, his technique is still developing, but he has the tools to be a long-term starter.
The Packers have two great tackles… who both have torn ACLs. Rosenthal’s skills are a great fit for the Packers blocking scheme and he could allow them to play Elgton Jenkins at guard, fortifying the interior, and giving them much-needed flexibility on the injury front.
Charlie Kolar – Tight End
Profile: A great seam threat, the 6’6 250 Kolar is a natural pass-catching tight end. His 4.62 speed is average, but his length creates a great catch radius. He tracks the ball very well, has strong hands, and comes down with the ball in crowds. He’s stiff runner who uses body to create separation, and his blocking is positional more than powerful, but there’s a lot he can bring to a passing attack.
Analysis: The Packers can offset their wide receiver need with a tight end, especially with the way Matt LaFleur employs pass catchers. With Tonyan rehabbing an ACL injury and Marcedes Lewis already well past normal retirement age for the position, picking up a young talented tight end isn’t a bad idea.
Zakoby McClain – Inside Linebacker
Profile: An undersized 5’11, 220 hustler, McClain makes up for his size with aggression. Skilled at shooting gaps and finding the ball carrier, his size helps him squeeze through blockers where larger linebackers might not be able to. That will limit him to specific sub-packages on defense, but can come in really handy on the core special teams units.
Analysis: The Packers could use a little inside linebacker depth, sure, but not nearly as much as they could use some guys who play with fury on special teams. This pick is for the latter.
Round 6 The Packers currently have no picks in the 6th round
Vincent Gray – Cornerback
Profile: A physical 6’2 190 press corner, Gray uses his leverage and good handwork to harass receivers off the snap. He isn’t a speed-burner (4.54) and lacks ball skills, but he is a tough and played special teams in college.
Analysis: Gray is a project at cornerback who is still developing, but he can earn a roster spot as a feisty punt gunner.
Romeo Doubs – Wide Receiver
Profile: The 6’2, 200 Doubs was a fast player, but couldn’t display his wheels after hurting his knee at the Combine. He’s quick off the line quick with great acceleration and the ability to separate with route breaks, and a good punt returner. His knee injury leaves his draft status in doubt.
Analysis: Doubs’s knee injury could be a major red flag, but if it checks out, he would have incredible value this late in the draft.
Curtis Brooks – Defensive Line
Profile: At 6’2, 290, Brooks is on the smaller side, but it doesn’t stop him from banging on the inside. He excels as a gap shooter, but also has good leverage when locked up. His hustle helped him rack up sacks and TFLs as a senior after showing only flashes earlier in his college career. His impressive gap shooting ability could come in handy on special teams.
Analysis: The Packers have made less use of smaller gap-shooters on their defensive line lately, so Brooks could add another option for sub-packages. His real value, though, would come on special teams.
I think any Packers mock that starts with Jordan Davis has to be considered a success on some level.
I know fans want a big premier name from the wide receiver list, but pair Davis with do-it-all safety Lewis Cine would have a huge impact on this team and Tolbert and Bell would bring a couple pick receiving targets who are perfectly suited to a Matt LaFleur offense.
Rosenthal and Kolar could play big roles early as rookies while some veterans rehab to start the season. Some early growing pains could help them develop faster and become long-term fixtures. The back end of the draft is full of guys who could carve out niche roles on special teams – something this team desperately needs.
Garrett Wilson went #4 overall. I like the guy, but I can’t believe how often he goes top 5.
For this mock, I drafted against the board from Buffalo FAMBase
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