Recent Mock Draft has Green Bay Packers Landing Future RT

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - SEPTEMBER 19: Josh Jones #74 of the Houston Cougars in action during a game against the Tulane Green Wave at Yulman Stadium on September 19, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - SEPTEMBER 19: Josh Jones #74 of the Houston Cougars in action during a game against the Tulane Green Wave at Yulman Stadium on September 19, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

With a potentially big hole to fill at tackle, a recent mock draft has the Green Bay Packers landing their right tackle of the future in Round 1.

By this point, we’ve already seen quite a few mock drafts and a majority of them have the Green Bay Packers selecting either a linebacker or a wide receiver in the first round. And for good reasons.

However, based on reports that we’ve heard from the NFL Combine, it looks like Bryan Bulaga’s time in Green Bay could be coming to an end and that leaves a monster hole to fill at the right tackle position.

While injuries have been a part of Bulaga’s career, he’s started 30 of the Packers’ last 32 regular seasons games and as we saw in 2019, he is still playing at a high level. Replacing him certainly won’t be easy and I’m here to tell you that a viable replacement for 2020 isn’t on Green Bay’s roster at the moment. Meaning, they’ll have to utilize free agency or the draft to plug the hole.

A popular name that Green Bay could pursue is free agent Jared Veldheer, and that makes a lot of sense. He filled in admirably last season in two starts and on a likely one year deal, he’d be a fine stop-gap. But that still means the Packers have to spend an early-round draft pick on the tackle position in order to find their long-term solution.

So as I mentioned above, while most mock drafts have the Green Bay Packers taking a linebacker or a receiver, I think Bucky Brooks of hit the nail on the head in his most recent mock draft with Green Bay selecting Josh Jones of Houston with the 30th overall pick.

Here is what Brooks had to say about the selection:

"“Protection is more important than ever with Aaron Rodgers in the back stretch of his career. Jones is a nimble athlete with outstanding feet and hands as a pass protector.”"

Jones is one of the more experienced tackles in this draft class having been a four-year starter at the University of Houston, but an ideal situation for him will be sitting and learning for a year behind a proven starter at the NFL level. So there is still plenty of value in signing a veteran free agent like Jared Veldheer to a short-term deal in order to give Jones that time.

At 6’5″ – 319 pounds, Jones has good size and he moves very well. It doesn’t take watching much of him to realize that he has all of the tools to be a successful offensive tackle. In fact, according to Pro Football Focus, in his 1,282 career pass-blocking attempts, Jones has allowed just 18 total pressures and he’s also greatly improved his run blocking as well during his time at Houston.

Jones has a high ceiling and as Jordan Reid of The Draft Network put it, he’s “only scratching the surface of his true potential.”

However, there is still plenty of work that needs to be done in regards to Jones’ game, which is why sitting for a season could be incredibly valuable to his overall development. And in the long run, it may be best for both him and Green Bay

Here is what Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network had to say about Jones in his most recent scouting report:

"“Josh Jones is a high ceiling, low floor offensive tackle prospect who is an OL coach’s dream. With his natural skills, Jones showcases dominant physical flashes on the field and possesses the athletic ability to be a dominant pass blocker and weapon in the run game.But Jones’ skills need significant polish from the ground up — he’s still raw with his pass sets and footwork and can be too reactive in live action to over-set or over-pursue. Ideally he can be weaned into a starting role in the NFL.”"

So if Jones has to be the starter in Week 1 of the 2020 season, he could very well take some lumps and that means Aaron Rodgers will as well. However, if the Green Bay Packers can put him in the right situation where he doesn’t have to be “the guy” from Day 1, with the upside and potential that Jones has he will be well worth the 30th overall pick.

Next. Free Agent LB De'Vondre Campbell is an Under the Radar Option. dark

At this point, the tackle position hasn’t drawn a ton of attention and we will have to wait and see how things play out in free agency. But if Bulaga is in fact gone, in my opinion, finding a long-term solution to the position becomes priority No.1 this offseason. You just don’t see any bad offensive lines winning Super Bowls.