Green Bay Packers: Dairyland Express mock draft battle

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays the text 'THE PICK IS IN' for the Green Bay Packers during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays the text 'THE PICK IS IN' for the Green Bay Packers during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT /
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Green Bay Packers
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Jacob Westendorf

Deebo Samuel WR South Carolina – The old Ted Thompson special, a second-round wide receiver. I had my pick of a couple of good players at that position. I also considered Irv Smith an option at tight end, but ultimately considered that he likely doesn’t fit the athletic profile the Packers typically prefer. Samuel was chosen because he’s a different type of player from anything the Packers currently have on their roster. He’s a bigger version of Randall Cobb and is more versed in the route tree than someone like Parris Campbell, and more athletic than Kelvin Harmon. This is another scenario where Green Bay could trade back if they have all these players rated similarly.

Notable players available: Parris Campbell WR, Kelvin Harmon WR, Irv Smith JR TE

Mike Wendlandt

Chris Lindstrom, OG Boston College – This is a choice that I agonized about for quite a while between Lindstrom and Samuel. Samuel would be the more impactful player immediately as a slot receiver and returner, but Lindstrom could be an elite guard in 2020 as a replacement for either Lane Taylor or Bryan Bulaga as Billy Turner would move to tackle. With elite athleticism and a dynamite fit into the Matt LaFleur system, the long-term upside of Lindstrom is too good to pass up.

Notable players available: Johnathan Abrams S, Jeffrey Simmons DT, Deebo Samuel WR, Taylor Rapp S

Gage Bridgford

Jeffrey Simmons, IDL Mississippi St. – This wasn’t Green Bay’s biggest need, but, as I saw Simmons’ name continue to slip down the board, my mouth started salivating. Simmons was a first-round lock before he tore his ACL. Green Bay would gladly take him at this point in the second round. They’ve always loved to grab value when they see it falling, and this is the exact type of situation. Simmons also is a pick with an eye to the future.

Simmons has the speed and power to shoot the gap, and he helps give them some more depth on the defensive line without sacrificing the talent. With Mike Daniels projected to be a free agent next offseason, they could have a contingency plan in place with Simmons in the fold. Defense wins championships, and we have two first-round players in this draft already.

Harmon was one of the best players on the board at this point, but the Packers grabbed three big wide receivers in the draft last year. Rapp is an interesting prospect, but I’m lower on him than most, especially with his slow reactions that I’ve seen in his film this year. McCoy was a name that I thought about taking, but Turner continued to be a presence I couldn’t ignore. Plus, Simmons is too good of a value at this spot.

Notable players available: Kelvin Harmon WR, Taylor Rapp S, Erik McCoy IOL

Brandon Carwile

Irv Smith, TE Alabama – In the second round, get a do it all tight end in Smith who can be a nice understudy with Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis. Smith did some great things at Alabama as a blocker and receiver but now he needs a couple of veterans to help make him be an impactful NFL player. I realize he had an underwhelming NFL combine but his 4.6 speed and open field speed make him a rare find for his position. Smith probably won’t take long to adjust at the next level and might be able to compete for snaps right away. It won’t be hard to distinguish his effective as a blocker from Graham. I could really see him filling as one of Rodgers’ favorite weapons for the next few years. Smith runs good routes and is a matchup issue for linebackers and safeties with his size and speed.

Notable players available: Johnathan Abram S, Erik McCoy IOL, Taylor Rapp S