Green Bay Packers: Five simulated mock draft outcomes

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images /

The Draft Network has released their “mock draft machine” and here are five simulated outcomes for the Green Bay Packers in the first two rounds of the draft.

This is a huge offseason for the Green Bay Packers if they hope to return to their usual winning ways. They’ve hired an almost entirely new coaching staff and now GM Brian Gutekunst will turn his focus towards free agency and to the draft.

While it will be important to be active in free agency, perhaps the key to this offseason lies within the draft. This roster has a number of positions that need to be addressed and with three picks inside the top 50, the Green Bay Packers are in a position to infuse this team with some talented playmakers.

These five simulations from The Draft Network’s “mock draft machine” will take us through potential outcomes for the Green Bay Packers in the first and second rounds of the draft. To keep my own biases out of this exercise, all of the selections are computer generated based on positional needs and who is available at each selection.

Simulation #1

No. 12: T.J. Hockenson – TE

No. 30: Erik McCoy – IOL

No. 44: Juan Thornhill – S

Simulation #2

No. 12: Brian Burns – EDGE

No. 30: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson – S

No. 44: Noah Fant – TE

Simulation #3

No. 12: Brian Burns – EDGE

No. 30: Noah Fant – TE

No. 44: Juan Thornhill – S

Simulation #4

No. 12: T.J. Hockenson – TE

No. 30: Deionte Thompson – S

No. 44: Yodny Cajuste – OT

Simulation #5

No. 12: T.J. Hockenson – TE

No. 30: Chris Lindstrom – IOL

No. 44: Juan Thornhill – S


  • During much of this pre-draft process, the Green Bay Packers have been linked to Iowa tight end, T.J. Hockenson. However, even before the combine takes place he is flying up many big boards. In fact, on Daniel Jeremiah’s big board, he has Hockenson listed as the number five overall player. Just as these simulations have it, if the Packers want to land Hockenson, they’ll most likely need to utilize their 12th pick to do so.
  • The Green Bay Packers may try to solve their need for a safety in free agency, but they should strongly consider spending a draft pick on one. While safeties such as Nasir Adderley, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Deionte Thompson get a lot of coverage, Virginia’s Juan Thornhill was taken at pick 44 three different times. Thornhill has great ball skills, racking up ten interceptions and 19 pass deflections in his last 25 games. He also is a solid tackler, which is something this Green Bay Packers’ defense desperately needs as he made 98 total tackles this past season.
  • Edge rusher is what many would consider being a top priority for the Green Bay Packers in this draft. However, the mock draft machine has them selecting an edge rusher in only two of the five simulations. The other three scenarios have Hockenson going to Green Bay at 12th overall. While I am one who does expect an edge rusher to be taken early, it will be interesting to see if it plays out that way.

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  • My favorite simulation was #2. The Green Bay Packers land their elite edge rusher with a well-rounded skill set in Brian Burns while adding safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (CGJ) on the back-end of round one. CGJ is quite versatile as he is able to play man or zone coverages, which will allow defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to get creative with his schemes and he has the ability to start from day one. Lastly, at pick 44, the Packers are able to steal Noah Fant, perhaps the best pass-catching tight end in the draft. In this scenario, through two rounds the Green Bay Packers have addressed the needs at some key positions and have injected this roster with some playmakers.
  • Of the draft simulations, my least favorite was the first one. Hockenson is one heck of a talented player, but given the Packers needs at other positions, and the possibility of Noah Fant or Irv Smith Jr. being available at 30, I am not in love with the idea of choosing a tight end at 12. With that said, if Green Bay did choose Hockenson at that point, they would at least know they are getting a fantastic player. But what I can not get over is Erik McCoy at pick 30. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see who was still available at that point but this selection is a reach. For example, Mel Kiper Jr. has McCoy projected as a second or even third round selection and most likely there were better options on the board at this point for Green Bay. And while Thornhill is a solid player, there are a couple safeties that I would select before him.

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With the combine and the free agency period still ahead of us, a lot can change in terms of big boards and positional needs. It will be an intriguing process to see how it all plays out and how Gutekunst addresses the teams needs.

If you decide to put together your own mock draft, please share with us on Twitter at @DairylandXpress!