The Packers put themselves in position to get some great talent at the top of the draft, with four picks in the top 60.
We recently looked at what options the Packers have for trading down this year, so for our 15th mock draft of the year, we wanted to see how things might play out.
It may not seem likely, but if the board doesn’t fall in a favorable way, I think the Packers would be more than willing to trade down for the right value… and they haul just might surprise you.
Here are the results:
In this simulation, I traded pick 22 to Atlanta for picks 43 and 54.
Christian Watson – Wide Receiver
Profile: At 6’4 208 with 4.36 speed, Watson has prototypical wide receiver measurables. Playing at NDSU, he dominated lower level competition and the big question is how his talent will translate to the next level. His routes and releases are still developing, but he powers through press corners and gets separation on his breaks. He uses his body to open passing targets, wins most contested catches, and is a strong blocker. Watson is a bit of a wild card in this draft, but his raw skills are hard to come by.
Analysis: Wilson, Olave, London, and Williams were all gone by 22, making a trade down plausible to come away with one of the top receivers on the next tier like Watson or George Pickens at this pick. Neither were taken, so the Packers made out pretty well. On the field, Watson has the ability to develop into a Pro Bowl player, even if he takes a little time to mature his game and realize his potential. Early on, LaFleur should have no problem integrating him into the offense with specific plays and packages to utilize his incredible athleticism.
George Pickens – Wide Receiver
Profile: A big 6’3, 200, receiver, Pickens is one of the most polished receivers in this class. His speed is average by receiver standards at 4.47, but more than sufficient. He runs good routes that create separation, has good hands, and shows good ball tracking and body control. He is an all around solid wide receiver who looks ready to contribute from Day 1.
Analysis: Pickens may be a less exciting prospect than Watson, but he may be ready to contribute sooner. Pairing Pickens with Watson would be an incredible boost to the Packers passing attack. Davante Adams can’t be replaced by one player, but picking up two young receivers like should allow the Packers offense to be just as lethal as it was last year, if not more.
Travis Jones – Defensive Line
Profile: At 6’3, 330, Jones has the size to handle nose tackle, but the change of direction and motor to play end. He fires off the ball hard with a strong hand pop and can get a push in the passing game or drop anchor against the run. He was unblockable at the Senior Bowl and had a great Combine with a 4.92 40 and a 7.33 3-cone drill.
Analysis: Jones doesn’t get the attention of the Georgia defensive lineman, but he is a talented prospect in his own right. On the Packers, he could find himself starting or, at the very least, taking volume snaps as one of the top 3 lineman because of his versatility.
Nicholas Petit-Frere – Offensive Tackle
Profile: The 6’5, 315 Petit-Frere might be the strongest plyer in nation, but still has the agile, mobility, and footwork to excel in zone blocking. He sometimes sets too wide or loses a rusher to an quick lateral move, but for the most part, he is quick off the snap, mirrors well, and uses his hands with great technique.
Analysis: This is a deep tackle class and getting a prospect like NPF this late is rare. The Packers have Bakhtiari and Jenkins both coming off ACL injuries and it looks like the don’t have confidence in Yosh Nijman after benching him for the playoffs. NPF would come in ready to compete for the starting right tackle job, let Jenkins return to guard when his rehab is complete, and still let Nijman work as a backup swing tackle.
Jaquan Brisker – Safety
Profile: A premium athlete, the 6’1, 200, Brisker has gone from JUCO transfer to potential 1st round pick. With 4.49 speed, he can play anywhere from cover 2 or single high to box safety or slot corner. Great in zone coverage, he reads the QB and breaks on the ball bu pass coverage and is physical and attacking in run defense.
Analysis: Adrian Amos is going to be 30 next year and this is the final year of his contract. Darnell Savage is also in the final year of his contract. With Jaire Alexander and Elgton Jenkins coming up for new deals, the Packers may need to make a choice and safety and a player like Brisker could help them in that area.
Greg Dulcich– Tight End
Profile:- A converted wide receiver, the 6’4, 240 Dulcich presents a big target in the passing game. He runs great routes from his days as a wide receiver has his long arms give him a big catch radius. A natural in hauling the ball in, he gets moving right after the catch and picks up yards. His blocking is still in the development stage – he is a catch-first tight end.
Analysis: The Packers have a lot of bodies at tight end, but, with Tonyan recovering from an ACL injury, they don’t have a primary pass receiving tight end. Dulcich can step into that role immediately and carve out a niche in this offense.
Darrian Beavers – Inside Linebacker
Profile: A former safety, the 6’4, 250 brings size and speed to the linebacker position. Skilled in coverage, with good lateral movement and pursuit, Beavers is decisive in shooting gaps, but strong enough to hold up to blockers. He always plays physical and has a smothering wrap-up tackle technique.
Analysis: De’Vondre Campbell is a beast, but Krys Barnes has not really hit his ceiling as his running partner. Beavers has the versatility the Packers value on defense and would bring a welcome skillset to the room.
Ed Ingram – Offensive Guard
Profile: Strong and powerful, the 6’3, 310 Ingram can can anchor against bull rush or stun with powerful hands. He’s smart and patient with his sets against combination blitzes and plays with great balance and just enough mobility to be an effective zone blocker.
Analysis: The Packers can never have enough depth on the offensive line and Ingram has everything they look for in interior blockers. He’s a little more of a power blocker and a little less of a zone blocker than they typically go for, but if the team is going to be serious about establishing their power running game with AJ Dillon, that may be what they target.
Tyreke Smith – Edge
Profile: Athletic, but inconsistent, the 6’3, 255 Smith bursts off the line and as a great upfield drive. He can arc around the high edge or bend the corner, plays with a high motor, and brings effective hand-fighting.
Analysis: The Packers lost Za’Darius Smith and Whitney Mercilus in the offseason, leaving them without depth on the edge. Smith is a big of a project, but he can start off by taking a lot of passing situation snaps. The Packers 3rd edge rusher plays almost as many snaps as the starters, so they need to re-stock the shelves there.
Round 6 The Packers currently have no picks in the 6th round
Cade York – Kicker
Profile: York, at 6’1 205, is the consensus top kicker in this class. He has a very smooth form and, while he lacks an eye-popping cannon leg, has shown consistency on his kicks in the low 50+ yard range.
Analysis: Maybe all those missed field goals last year weren’t just on the holder. If that’s the case it may be worth bringing in some competition. In this scenario, with an extra pick from trading down, burning a late pick to try out the best kicker in the class may not be such a bad thing.
Kevin Austin – Wide Receiver
Profile: With good size at 6’2, 200, and solid speed at 4.4, Austin has some promising physical traits. He’s not great off the line, but he is physical in his breaks, tough in his blocking assignments, and runs right through arm tackles. Missed time for suspension and foot injuries have dropped his stock.
Analysis: Kevin Austin is a bit of a project at wide receiver, but his physical play style looks like a perfect fit for special teams.
Cal Adomitis – Long Snapper
Profile: Adomitis has been a long snapper for his entire 5-year college career, steadily improving until he won the Patrick Mannelly Award for the nation’s top long snapper. He also had a surprisingly good Combine.
Analysis: With a new holder this year, a new kicker in this mock, and now a long snapper, the Packers should have every opportunity to fix their field goal woes in training camp this year. With three 7th round picks in a simulation with 12 picks, what have they got to lose?
I had a lot of chances to move down even more for very good value in this simulation, but didn’t take them because it would defeat the purpose of this exercise. But, given the way the talent played out in this one, I would have loved the opportunity to drop down and pick up even more value. If the Packers didn’t have such a strong roster to begin with, it would be tempting in real life.
As it went, I thought this was a phenomenal draft, starting with Watson and Pickens, who look like guys ready to have an immediate impact. Getting Jones and NPF to beef up both lines was a gift and adding a versatile defender like Brisker was just another bonus from trading down. Beavers and Ingram feel like the kind of Day 3 prospects that could surprise in camp.
Getting three legit special teams prospects in the 7th round was icing – I really want to see the Packers focus on this late.
Garrett Wilson went #2 overall to the Lions. Not only do I not think Wilson is worth a top 5 pick (despite the fact that I keep seeing him there in these simulations), but I think this Lions front office (particularly GM Brad Holmes) is too smart to do that.
Two QBs (Willis to the Panthers at #6 and Pickett to the Seahawks at #9) went early. It’s a weak class, but the position is always overdrafted. For this mock, I drafted against the board from Drafttek.
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