Recent 2 Round Mock Draft Searches for Bryan Bulaga’s Replacement

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 12: Austin Jackson #73 of the USC Trojans blocks during a game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on October 12, 2019 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated USC 30-27. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 12: Austin Jackson #73 of the USC Trojans blocks during a game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on October 12, 2019 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated USC 30-27. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

While receiver and linebacker certainly need to be addressed by the Green Bay Packers, this two-round mock draft went a different route by looking for Bryan Bulaga’s replacement.

There are plenty of mock drafts being released at this time of the year and when it comes to the Green Bay Packers, most draft analysts and fans have them addressing either the wide receiver position or the inside linebacker. Which clearly makes sense as those are two areas that must be upgraded this offseason.

While receiver and linebacker dominate much of the conversation – and I’ll say it again, for good reason – the Packers have other needs to take care of as well. It’d be a smart move to find Kenny Clark some additional help along the defensive front. Meanwhile, Tight end and cornerback need some added depth.

However of the positions mentioned, tackle is perhaps the most important and at the moment, Green Bay has some uncertainty there. Currently Bryan Bulaga is a pending free agent and a legitimate replacement isn’t on the roster at this point.

If Bulaga isn’t re-signed, finding a right tackle should become priority No. 1 and even if he is brought back, finding his eventual replacement should still be on the offseason to-do list.

And that is exactly what Benjamin Solak of The Draft Network had in mind during his most recent two-round mock draft. But don’t worry, he grabs some help at one of the other aforementioned positions above in round-two.

Below are Solak’s thoughts on each of the picks for the Green Bay Packers, followed by my takeaways.

Pick 30: Austin Jackson OT – USC

"“Tough crack for Green Bay with the Cincinnati trade-up, but without another LB worthy of this selection — they could reach for Kenneth Murray, but I don’t love that value — they elect to prepare for life without Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari.The Packers’ depth chart at tackle is threadbare in 2020 and nonexistent afterward, so early attention at the position is needed. Austin Jackson projects as a near-first round player in large part due to his athletic ability and high-ceiling performances in flashes. But he needs at least a year with an NFL squad to settle into consistent play. I don’t love Jackson as a prospect, but this is the correct approach at a benchmark position.”"

Takeaway: While Bryan Bulaga’s time in Green Bay could already be up or it will be in a few years if he is brought back, I don’t think that David Bakhtiari is going anywhere. Yes, he will be a free agent after the 2020 season but considering that at that point he is still only going to be just 29-years-old and likely still one of the top tackles in the game, Green Bay would be foolish not to bring him back.

Having said that, now on to Austin Jackson. If Bulaga is no longer with the team and Jackson is supposed to step on the field in Week 1 as the starting right tackle, they could very well be in some trouble. At this point, he needs a lot of work on his fundamentals and if asked to play significant snaps as a rookie, he’s going to struggle.

However on the flip side, if Bulaga is back, this pick could make a lot of sense. Jackson has the size and overall athleticism that team’s desire in their NFL tackles and many of the draft analysts think he is a great fit for offenses that utilize the zone running scheme. Which the Packers do.

I think it’s fair to say that many would consider this pick a reach, but given the tools that Jackson has, with the ability to sit and learn for a year or even two behind Bulaga and Bakhtiari, there is certainly plenty of upside to be excited about.

Pick 64: Denzel Mims WR – Baylor

"“Mims is the best of the remaining receivers by a comfortable margin, and even if his skillset is a bit redundant relative to players like Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard, he brings far more consistency and reliable production to a position that needs a true Number 2 in Green Bay.”"

Takeaway: While Denzel Mims isn’t a wide receiver that we’ve seen mocked to the Packers very often, as Solak points out, given how the board fell in his mock draft just about all the names that Green Bay has been associated with this offseason were off of the board.

Mims is one of the more experienced receivers in this class, having appeared in 40 games during his Baylor career and compiled just shy of 3,000 receiving yards, at an impressive 15.7 yards per catch with 28 touchdown receptions.

Next. Drafting a RB Should be on the To-Do List. dark

Mims had an outstanding performance at the Senior Bowl and has been flying up draft boards as a result. He’s a very good route runner, brings physicality to the receiver position, while also maintaining that explosiveness. After a breakout Senior season, with Mims the Green Bay Packers appear to be landing an ascending prospect late in round two.