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
STARKVILLE, MS – SEPTEMBER 29: Jachai Polite #99 of the Florida Gators celebrates a sack during the second half against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Jacob Westendorf

Jachai Polite EDGE Florida – This pick is a risk, there is no doubt. Polite has endured one of the worst pre-draft processes in recent memory. He was a disaster at his pro day and he was worse at the combine, while his interviews have gone poorly and there are questions about his character. Tape, however, wins out here. On film, Polite looks like Clay Matthews. He was somebody everyone would have been okay with Green Bay taking at 12 in early February. But circumstances change and character matters.

All the players on the roster, however, cannot be choir boys, so this is a risk worth taking. Polite gives them the bendy athlete to go with the Smith’s and gives Mike Pettine more pieces to toy with opposing offenses. A pass rush front of Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Jachai Polite and one of Kenny Clark, Mike Daniels, or Ed Oliver would be lethal in a league that requires a deep defensive front.

Notable players available: Amani Hooker S, Dawson Knox TE, Zach Allen DL

Mike Wendlandt

Amani Hooker, S Iowa – Going into this simulation, I knew that the team needed to address safety, specifically free safety to play alongside Adrian Amos, Josh Jones, and company. Watching the simulation, I was hoping that Juan Thornhill would drop to this pick, but he ended up going eight picks earlier, leading to the selection of Amani Hooker, who is no slouch himself. Hooker has great instincts to drive on the football and make plays in the middle of the field, though his range isn’t perfect. But like the last Hawkeye defensive back the Packers drafted (Micah Hyde), Hooker is as consistent and sound as it gets on the field and will stabilize the secondary well.

Notable players available: Andy Isabella WR, Jace Sternberger TE, David Edwards OT, Miles Sanders RB

Gage Bridgford

Juan Thornhill, S Virginia – Another recent riser from me, especially after his performance at the combine, has been Thornhill. Thornhill represents the athleticism and versatility that defensive coordinator Mike Pettine looks for in his defensive backs. He has played corner along with safety in college due to injuries to other players, and that versatility will allow him to throw more looks at opposing offenses. In addition to his versatility, Thornhill is a great playmaker with six interceptions in his final season.

Thornhill also was able to show his ability to just make plays happen. He totaled 98 tackles in his final season, and he always got around the ball with 19 pass breakups over his final two college seasons. Thornhill can develop alongside free agent signing Adrian Amos for the next few years to give the team a great duo in the back of the defense.

Ridley could have been a good pick, especially with his route-running ability, but his athletic profile has them going after someone of a different ilk at the wide receiver spot. Samia was a consistent piece with one of the best college offenses over the last couple of years, but he doesn’t move the needle enough to justify taking him over Thornhill. Deiter is a homegrown talent out of Wisconsin that could be the pick to replace Bryan Bulaga moving forward, but I preferred Thornhill’s value.

Notable players available: Riley Ridley WR, Dru Samia IOL, Michael Deiter OT

Brandon Carwile

Darnell Savage, S Maryland – Savage is a good center fielder type to pair with Adrian Amos. He showed he was a twitchy athlete at Maryland with a good understanding to process what is in front of him. Savage is able to read the quarterback and react quickly to route combinations while also displaying solid ball skills. He’s also a good contributor in run support that is not afraid to play downhill and make a tackle. Size is his biggest concern but his 4.3 speed is something the Packers haven’t had on the back-end in quite a while. Savage is a safe pick with the potential to develop into a solid starter.

Notable players available: Jace Sternberger TE, Michael Deiter OT, Andy Isabella WR

Next. 3 late-round draft sleepers. dark

Who had your favorite draft? What would you have done differently? Don’t forget to find us on Twitter at @DairylandXpress to vote and give us your thoughts!