The draft is always about the future, but when teams get in “win now” mode, they may get more aggressive in looking for immediate contributors.
This leads to missing out on value as teams take guys who can have less of an impact, but play positions of need.
In this mock draft, I vowed not to make that mistake.
Here are the results:
Nicholas Petit-Frere – Offensive Tackle
Profile: At 6’5 315, Petit-Frere is a monster of a human. Coming out of high school in 2018, he was the top Offensive Tackle prospect and the strongest player in the nation. He as the agility and mobility that make him a great fit for zone blocking, but has added mass in college to gain more power and can win with upper body strength. Quick off snap with great technique, he’s a complete prospect and the prototypical franchise tackle.
Analysis: The Packers have what could be great bookends in Bakhtiari and Jenkins, but both have had devastating knee injuries as of late. Billy Turner is a very good, but fairly expensive tackle, who may be a cap casualty. Yosh Nijman is a nice backup, but he is not a pure pedigree franchise left tackle like Petit-Frere, who has no business falling this late, even in a tackle-rich class. There may be bigger needs for the Packers at this point, but there is not better value.
John Metchie III – Wide Receiver
Profile: Metchie was looking like a 1st round prospect until he tore his ACL in December. With speed in the 4.3s and a solid frame at 6’0 196, he gets quick separation and runs great routes. His instant acceleration also makes him great on jet sweeps and screens. A versatile weapon, he knows how naturally adjust routes and get open. He doesn’t have the strength to consistently win contested catches, and his injury is a red flag, but he is still a dynamic prospect.
Analysis: We don’t know who the Packers will bring back at receiver in 2022, since pretty much the entire position group is up on contract, but the Packers may have use for a red shirt (the Packers don’t use their rookie receivers much, anyways). If they franchise Adams or bring guys back for one more go with Rodgers, they could use a guy like Metchie next year when it all gets dismantled.
Mario Goodrich – Cornerback
Profile: With adequate size at 6’0 190, Goodrich is smart in zone and presses well in man. An aggressive run defender and great tackler, he’s a versatile defensive back. He doesn’t get many picks and can bite on short routes and get beat deep, but has a lot to offer. He could move up with a fast 40 at Combine.
Analysis: The Packers look like they’re in good shape with Jaire, Stokes, and Douglas, but Jaire is coming up on his contract and Douglas – who may not be back – could be a one-year wonder. Either way, it’s never a bad idea to have another good cornerback.
None of these players may make an immediate impact, but all of them could be stars before their rookie contracts are up.
Petite-Frere may be able to find a spot as a rookie if Turner isn’t retained or is moved to guard, but adding him to the mix would give them even more flexibility (and could give them an out if David Bakhtiari’s backloaded contract proves unmanageable).
Metchie could be a game-breaker if he fully recovers from his injury. A red shirt year to pick up the offense might be in store for any rookie receiver, anyways. Goodrich can give the Packers even more flexibility in the defensive backfield, which was a huge strength last year.
Edge rusher George Kaflaftis went 2nd and he continues to show up above one or both of the presumed top 2 edge rushers (Thibodeaux and Hutchinson).
For this mock, I drafted against the board from NFL Draft Diamonds.
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