The Packers are still early in the free agency phase of the offseason and we don’t yet know who they will be able to retain and who they will have to let go.
This makes it hard to predict how the draft may shake out, but our mock drafts aren’t trying to predict how the draft will play out – they’re an exercise to see what could happen.
In this case, we got to see what could happen if they Packers surprised us in the 1st round and went with a quarterback.
Here are the results:
Kenny Pickett – Quarterback
Profile: Kenny Pickett is an interesting prospect for the Packers. He has average size at 6’2 220 and an odd throwing motion. But in a down class for QBs, he may have highest ceiling. He has a strong arm and can make all the throws (with particularly good zip on quick routes). Plus he’s mobile (ran for 17 TDs) and came across as mature and polished in his Senior Bowl interviews. He needs work reading defenses, but there are a lot of intriguiging tools.
Analysis: This is not a quarterback-rich class, but Pickett may be the best prospect of the bunch. If Aaron Rodgers doesn’t come back, and the Packers aren’t sold on Jordan Love, this could be a nice insurance pick. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of when the Packers took Brian Brohm to hedge their bets on Aaron Rodgers after Brett Favre left.
Jahan Dotson – Wide Receiver
Profile: Jahan Dotson can fly. He’s run in the low 4.3s and is a big play waiting to happen. With limited size at 5’11, 185, he doesn’t play with any fear. He is a good hand-fighter off the line to beat press coverage and shows no qualms about going after contested balls. His size and strength are limiting factors, but his attitude overcomes a lot. A great route-runner with great hands, he can play any receiver position and has the speed and acceleration to do damage whenever he gets the ball.
Analysis: The Packers have lacked a speed merchant when MVS has been hurt (which, unfortunately, happened a lot last year. We don’t know if MVS will be back, but we do know that the Packers could use a versatile game-breaker in the passing regardless of what happens with anyone else. Dotson would provide that.
Phidarian Mathis – Defensive Line
Profile: A powerful rusher, the 6’4 315 Mathis has the size for nose tackle, but is more effective at defensive tackle or defensive end because of his athleticism. Though he can hold 2 gaps, his impact is felt more in penetrating. He has a great push off the line and amazing hand work to get blockers off of him. His lateral mobility isn’t great, but his north-south moves are ferocious, as evidenced by his 9 sacks and 12 tackles for loss last year.
Analysis: In the 2nd round, I was tempted to take Mathis over Dotson. In the 3rd round, I was thrilled to see him fall. The Packers defense has been making strides the last two seasons, but what they’ve always lacked is a complement to Kenny Clark. After years of letting Kenny be the line, he finally gets a worthy talent to fight alongside him.
I didn’t know how things would shake out with this one. When Pickett fell, I figured it would be worth running a mock to see what kind of players the Packers could find on Day 2.
The answer? Pretty good.
Dotson and Mathis could both end up being drafted a round earlier than they went here. The Packers would definitely make out from a value perspective in this scenario. If the Packers decide to shock us with a quarterback in the 1st round, I would be really happy with picks like this on Day 2.
Cornerback Andrew Booth went 4th to the Jets, the highest I’ve seen him go.
For this mock, I drafted against the board from DraftCountdown’s Shane Hallam.
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