The Packers have a lot of interesting questions coming up on who they will choose to keep, let walk, or flat out cut to save cap space (and, according to rumors, maybe even a trade).
However that shakes out, there are some positions that could use an upgrade regardless of who leaves. In our 4th mock draft of the year, we found some guys that fit those spots.
Here are the results:
Drake London – Wide Receiver
Profile: At 6’5 210, London is an athletic receiver with a basketball background that makes him extremely effective with jump ball. He gets average separation and doesn’t have killed moves off the line, but he tosses press corners aside and uses his frame and athleticism to increase his catch radius. London also uses his big frame for blocking and finding a way to get to the first down marker.
Analysis: The Packers could use another wide receiver even if everyone is somehow retained. London is a big target with athletic tools that would make him a great fit in a LaFleur offense. In many ways, he’s like a rich man’s Allen Lazard.
Phidarian Mathis – Defensive Line
Profile: Mathis has the size for a nose tackle at 6’4 315, but is better suited for defensive tackle or defensive end. His body type isn’t typical for players his size – he has a little less belly and trunk, relying on upper body strength and athleticism to penetrate. He has a powerful push off the line and uses his hands to get through blockers, but doesn’t have a wide array of moves. His lateral mobility isn’t great, but he improved in his forward rush this year, breaking out with 12 tackles for a loss and 9 sacks.
Analysis: The Packers have been getting along with pedestrian talent next to Kenny Clark. Clark in a rare talent who can create on his own, but his talent is mostly used to create for the edge rushers and linebackers. Bringing in a guy like Mathis could really take the defensive line to the next level with two guys who can create for themselves.
Brandon Smith – Inside Linebacker
Profile: At 6’3 240, with 4.38 speed, Brandon Smith is a chase linebacker that moves extremely well in space and was the consensus #1 linebacker in the country in the 2019 high school recruiting class. He’s not a natural thumper, but can hold his ground when guards come up and can make plays when he disengages. In pass coverage he sometimes misses things mentally, but has the athletic tools to make up for it.
Analysis: The Packers haven’t had a dynamic athlete like this at inside linebacker… maybe ever. They tried out Jaylon Smith last year and it didn’t work out. Brandon Smith may bring what they were looking for. He could be a great complement to De’Vondre Campbell (if he comes back) or Krys Barnes, giving them some versatility in the middle of their defense.
They say you can’t teach speed, but they don’t talk as much about how you can’t teach size. All these guys bring good size to the team. We’ve definitely seen the Packers favor size (especially on defense).
On offense, Drake London has the kind of size that quarterbacks love because, in pressure situations then don’t need time to get open, they can use their size and athleticism to go get balls in press situations. This could really help in pressure situations. MVS is a great fields-stretcher, but takes time to get open. Lazard has a big body and sure hands, but doesn’t have the same dynamic athleticism of London. He would be a nice tool for this offense.
On defense, Mathis could really life easier on Kenny Clark and give the Packers another physical penetrator up front. Behind him, Smith could add a new element of speed and versatility to gaps and close spacing. Both guys are big and versatile, which fits the Packers defensive model under Joe Barry.
David Ojabo was the first edge rusher off the board.
For this mock, I drafted against the board from NFL Draft Diamonds.
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