Packers 2023 Mock Draft 9 – Trade Down Pays Off

The Packers don’t need to reach for any positions this year, they can afford to just wait patiently and pick up value.

We’ve reviewed some of the more likely options for trading down already.

In this scenario, Packers fans would probably scream if they Packers traded down with Jaxon Smith-Njigba on the board. 

But the value was too great to pass up.

Luckily, this time, things worked out…

Here are the results:



Round 1

In this simulation, I traded pick 15 to Seattle for picks 20 and 52.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba – Wide Receiver

Profile: A big slot receiver at 6’1, 195, JSN isn’t a burner, but he gets separation with great route-running. Throw in a natural feel for tracking the ball and a great set of hands and you have the best receiver in this (albeit underwhelming) class.

Analysis: I’m not a fan of taking a wide receiver in the 1st round (since that’s not how champions draft), but there’s no denying that Smith-Njigba looks like he was built to run slot in the Packers offense, with Watson and Doubs on the outside. After recouping value with a trade down, this is a jackpot pick that could not be passed up.


Round 2

Keion White – Edge

Profile: A long-framed 6’5, 285 edge, White is athletic and versatile. He can rush from 3 point or stand up, power through the angle, or quickly fly around the edge. He can also hold the edge in run defense and bendy the arc in pass rush. He’s still learning a full array of hand moves and sometimes slips inside against run, but potential is huge,and he looks like a late riser up boards.

Analysis: The Packers need edge reinforcements and Keion White is a guy who can start Day 1 and still get better. With Preston Smith getting up in years and Rashan Gary rehabbing a torn  ACL, White would be a welcome addition to the defense.


Luke Musgrave – Tight End

Profile: At 6’6, 250, Musgrave has great size, but he also has speed. He was one of only 9 players at the Senior Bowl to break 20 mph. He’s not particularly strong for his size or a physical blocker, but he’s a raw receiving tight end who is great down the seam.

Analysis: The Packers need a replacement for Robert Tonyan. This offense needs a big receiving threat at tight end and Musgrave could fill that. He will need a couple years to develop to his potential, but he can come in on passing sets immediately.


Round 3

Jordan Battle – Safety

Profile: Battle, a 6’1, 205 safety, shows versatility and athleticism. He can free safety, in the box, or nickel cover man. Physical and aggressive, he has range on the back end and comes up quick to make plays in the screen game. He’s everywhere.

Analysis: With Adrian Amos still unsigned and Darnell Savage in the final year of his contract, the Packers need help at safety. Battle has the sought-after versatility to never come off the field.


Round 4

Tyjae Spears – Running Back

Profile: At 5’10, 190, Spears will do best in a committee situation. He can’t carry 30 times a game, but he’s quick, fast, and instinctive. He was easily the best running back at Sr Bowl practices, where he showed the ability to function as a receiving threat out of the backfield, despite not catching much in college.

Analysis: Aaron Jones is no spring chicken. AJ Dillon is a situational back. The Packers could use some talent at the 3rd running back position, and Spears would give them a different body type and skillset from their top two backs. He could rack up chunk plays in a change of pace role in this offense. 



Round 5

Jake Haener – Quarterback

Profile: At, 6’0, 208, Haener doesn’t have prototypical size for an NFL quarterback. However, he has pretty much everything else. His lack of size limits his arm strength, but he reads coverage and releases the ball quickly. He throws with zip and he can drop the ball into pockets with touch. He athletic enough to avoid the rush and can adjust his throws to sneak through open lanes. He was the best quarterback at Senior Bowl practices, showing that he has all the tools… except size.

Analysis: Haener will probably never be a preferred started in the NFL, but he looks like he could be a fantastic long-term backup. That’s just what the Packers need: a guy who can come in and run the offense, but won’t be a threat to start a controversy with a young starting quarterback.


Moro Ojomo – Defensive Line

Profile: At 6’3, 292 Ojomo may play a little stiff, but he gets off the ball fast to cause disruption in the backfield. Strong against the run, he and has the largest wingspan in the class, and is a mature player who played 5 years in college after enrolling at age 16.

Analysis: A nice 3-4 defensive end, Ojomo could bring depth to the Packers defensive line and even start in a pinch. With the loss of Jarran Reed, they need another disruptive force up-front.



Round 7

Jake Moody – Kicker

Profile: The 6’1, 210 Moody was the 2021 All American and Lou Groza award winner. He has solid leg strength for field goals, with driving distance for kickoffs. Plus, he brings experience kicking in the cold.

Analysis: Money Mason may be on his way out as the Packers start to clear out the old guard. Moody looks like the best kicker in this class and his experience in the cold makes him a good fit – so good that I didn’t hesitate to use the first of four 7th round picks on him.


John Ojukwu – Offensive Tackle

Profile: John Ojukwu is 6’6, 310 ill-tempered big man who likes to drive defenders backwards in the run game. He sometimes struggles with his power base in pass protection, but has a nice initial punch to stun pass rushers.

Analysis: The Packers have a lot of offensive linemen at various points in their development. Ojukwu will need some time to refine his footwork and get better balanced leverage, but is a nice developmental prospect with the potential to move to guard.


Noah Gindorff – Tight End

Profile: At 6’6, 253 Gindorff has great size for a tight end. A receiving ends, he’s a good route runner who knows the whole tree and has a big catch radius. He’s also strong blocker who uses his body well and genuinely seems to enjoy blocking. A pretty complete tight end, he had some injury issues last year that dropped him on boards.

Analysis: The Packers use multiple tight end sets quite a bit, so they could very well take one early and double up late. Gindorff may be a late steal because of his injury issues, but he is a very well-rounded prospect who could pay dividends.


Bryce Ford-Wheaton – Wide Receiver

Profile: A 6’4, 221 receiver with 4.38 speed, Ford-Wheaton  bursts off the line and fights through press corners. He gets deep and has the body control to lose defenders, but his big issue is dropping balls.

Analysis: You know how the Packers used MVS? That’s how they could use BFW. Line him up on the opposite side of Christian Watson and send them both deep, while Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Romeo Doubs run underneath. Jordan Love will have no excuses!



The trade at the beginning of this simulation was huge. Picking up another 2nd round pick and still coming away with Jaxon-Smith Njigba would be the biggest heist since Gutekunst stole a 1st round pick from the Saints when he took Jaire Alexander.

JSN, combined with Bryce Ford-Wheaton, would bring some real excitement to the passing game, as would the addition of Musgrave and Gindorff at tight end. Throw in Tyjae Spears, and the Packers might have one of the most impactful skill position draft classes they’ve ever had.

But the defense didn’t suffer, because Keion White and Jordan Battle could both be opening day starters and pay immediate dividends.

Picking up Jake Haener and Jake Moody would be moves I would love – backup quarterback and starting kicker are huge holes for the Packers to fill.


Of Note

The Seahawks traded up for defensive lineman Adetomiwa Adebawore.

For this mock, I drafted against the board from Jason Pruett from Draftplex.


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