The Packers have a pretty small pool of positions they target in the first round.
Tight end is not in that pool, but as the game evolves, they may change that.
For this mock, we looked at how things might start off if they were open to taking a tight end early. Here are the results:
Round 1 Michael Mayer – Tight End
Profile: At 6’4 250, Mayer is about the same size as All World tight end Travis Kelce and plays with similar speed. A possession receiver who excels at contested catches, Mayer take hits over the middle and catch in traffic. He’s also a good blocker, making him the most complete tight end in this class. He isn’t a freak athlete, he’s just a consistent, productive football player.
Analysis: The Packers don’t typically draft tight ends this early, but the game is changing. The best offenses in the league have leaned on their tight ends and Mayer is the premier player at the position in this year’s crop. Mayer will fit the offense, regardless of who is at quarterback and make the passing game harder to defend with a big physical presence added to the mix.
Round 2 Emmanuel Forbes – Cornerback
Profile: A super-athletic, multi-sport athlete (football, basketball, baseball), the 6’0 200 Forbes plays perimeter corner in any scheme. Aggressive in zone and man, Forbes is a quick processor who tracks the ball very well and is great at jumping routes. His slight build lacks strength and makes him tentative in run support, but he’s a natural in coverage.
Analysis: The Packers can always use another cornerback, but without knowing if the 2021 or 2022 versions of Eric Stokes and Rasul Douglas will show up in 2023, the position could be thinner than it looks at first glance.
The Packers offense needs a boost and they haven’t had a real tight end threat in a while. Mayer doesn’t give them the flash of a speedy big-play tight end, but he’s a good receiver who makes space with his body and route running and catches the ball. There are better receiving tight ends in this draft, but none of them can block like Mayer. This gives the Packers a lot of options in their offense and opens up sets that can’t employ now.
On defense, Forbes gives them depth, flexibility, and possibly an upgrade. Injuries are part of the game and the Packers need as many cornerbacks as they can get. With another year of Joe Barry, we can expect they’ll depend on coverage more than most teams. Barry doesn’t bring a lot of pressure packages, preferring to let his pass rushers try to win their matchups while the back end is flooded with coverage. When you do that, you need good corners, making Forbes a good fit.
For this mock, I drafted against the board from Fanspeak – Steve Shoup
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