Draft Preview: Final Mock

One of the most unpredictable drafts in recent memory will begin later tonight. The Packers pick 22nd and 28th in the first round, and while Brian Gutekunst has talked about taking the best player available, the reality is he’s going to try to fill needs – just like all GMs do every year.

The following are the 21 players I project to be off the board when the Packers make their pick at 22.

POSITIONPLAYERCOLLEGE
QBKenny PickettPittsburgh
QBMalik WillisLiberty
WRDrake LondonUSC
WRChris OlaveOhio St.
WRJameson WilliamsAlabama
WRGarrett WilsonOhio St.
OTCharles CrossMississippi St.
OTIkem EkwonuNorth Carolina St.
OTEvan NealAlabama
OTTrevor PenningNorthern Iowa
DLJordan DavisGeorgia
DLAidan HutchinsonMichigan
DLKayvon ThibodeauxOregon
DLTravon WalkerGeorgia
EDGEJermaine JohnsonFlorida St.
EDGEGeorge KarlaftisPurdue
ILBDevin LloydUtah
CBAhmad GardnerCincinnati
CBTrent McDuffieWashington
CBDerek Stingley Jr.LSU
SKyle HamiltonNotre Dame

Assuming the 21 players listed above are no longer options for the Packers at 22, here are 20 more players who would be:

POSITIONPLAYERCOLLEGE
WRTreylon BurksArkansas
WRJahan DotsonPenn St.
WRGeorge PickensGeorgia
WRChristian WatsonNorth Dakota St.
OLKenyon GreenTexas A&M
OLZion JohnsonBoston College
OLTyler LinderbaumIowa
OLBernhard RaimannCentral Michigan
OLTyler SmithTulsa
DLLogan HallHouston
DLDevonte WyattGeorgia
EDGEArnold EbiketiePenn St.
EDGEDrake JacksonUSC
EDGEBoye MafeMinnesota
EDGEDavid OjaboMichigan
LBNakobe DeanGeorgia
CBAndrew Booth Jr.Clemson
CBKyler GordonWashington
DBLewis CineGeorgia
DBDax HillMichigan

🏈 ANALYSIS

This is not the year to have two picks in the 20s. Aside from Tyler Linderbaum, there might not be another legitimate first-rounder still around when the Packers get on the clock at 22. That’s why I think there’s at least a 50-50 chance Gutekunst will trade up – most likely for one of the top four wide receivers (Garrett Wilson, Jameson Williams, Drake London, or Chris Olave). Taking Treylon Burks – the consensus pick in most mocks – might be a bit of a reach at this point.

If the Packers stick at 22, the best choice would be Linderbaum, but it’s hard to imagine Gutekunst using a high pick on a center for the second year in a row (Josh Myers went 62nd overall last April). The next most attractive options would be wide receiver Jahan Dotson, safety Daxton Hill, guard Zion Johnson, and defensive ends Logan Hall and Devonte Wyatt.

Dotson (5-10 1/2, 178) might be too small for Gutekunst, but he’s the next best receiver after the top four, and the gap to No. 5 is sizeable. Still, Gutekunst likes big bodies at this position, so Burks and George Pickens can’t be discounted. Hill has the athleticism to play anywhere in the secondary, which would come in handy. The Packers don’t have a proven fourth cornerback or third safety on the roster. Johnson would be an instant starter at guard, and next to Linderbaum, he might be the safest player on the board. Hall is a fast riser, and Wyatt is a big-time athlete who turned 24 late last month.

Any of the players mentioned as possibilities at 22 would also be possibilities at 28. So would edge rushers Arnold Ebiketie, Drake Jackson, and Boye Mafe. These three extremely talented athletes will probably appeal to Gutekunst because of their ability to get after the quarterback, even though none of them consistently played like a No. 1 pick in college.

🏈 BIG QUESTION

Would the Packers really wait until the second round to draft a wide receiver? Maybe, but that would be risky. Sure the team has had success in the past with Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Davante Adams, but a different front office selected those players. Also, none of those receivers were expected to contribute right away. If Gutekunst can move up a handful of spots and grab whichever of the top receivers fall to the middle of the round, he definitely should.

🏈 AND THE PACKERS SELECT…

WR CHRIS OLAVE (trade)

OLB DRAKE JACKSON

(Disclaimer: I’ve been predicting first-round picks online since 2004. I’ve been right a grand total of three times)

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POLL: The Packers' first pick in the draft will be at which position?

Michael Rodney

Packers Notes is the creation of Michael Rodney, who has been writing about the Green Bay Packers for over 30 years. His first blog, Packer Update, hit the internet in 2004. Before becoming a public educator, Rodney worked as a journalist for a couple of newspapers in his home state of New Jersey and covered the Philadelphia Eagles for WTXF-TV. He's had numerous articles on the Packers published, and he's been featured on both television and radio over the years.

5 thoughts on “Draft Preview: Final Mock

  1. I think I’d be good with this. Totally agree about the 2nd round hype – it took awhile for Jordy to blossom and while Adams had a really solid first year, he was a #3 that year. With their first four picks, two of them need to be WR. Amazing that they also need OL, DE, EDGE, DIME, and probably a TE.

    It’s fun to look back at what the talking heads say immediately about each draft pick. For instance, they nailed Savage. Missed on Gary (seems like everyone but GB did). Really funny to see what they said about Clay – he’d be a great special teams player.

  2. Wondering about your take on Drake London to the Packers, Michael. I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s the one who slips, with the speed issue. Would he fit at all or would Gutey have to go then BPA elsewhere?

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