NFL free agency has shaken things up a bit in recent days, so here is how a 7 round mock draft for the Green Bay Packers turned out after all of these moves.
There’s no doubt about it that free agency can have a major effect on how teams approach the draft and on who they select. However, for the Green Bay Packers this offseason, despite making a few signings, not much has changed for them.
They came into free agency with holes to fill at tackle, receiver, defensive lineman, linebacker, tight end, and even cornerback. And while they’ve added Christian Kirksey, Rick Wagner, and re-signed Marcedes Lewis, those are short-term fixes and ones that we aren’t even sure will pan out.
Lewis is here on a one-year deal again, while Kirksey and Wagner are here for two. It’s also worth pointing out that Kirksey has battled injuries the past two seasons while Wagner struggled in 2019, so it’s difficult to know what we will see from each of them this season. However, if needed, the Packers can get out of both of those contracts after the 2020 season with a minimal dead cap hit.
So although Green Bay’s needs at the moment largely remain the same, the landscape of the NFL has changed over the last several days with a bevy of free-agent signings and trades being made across the league. These moves will undoubtedly affect how the board falls in April for the Packers.
Now armed with some new free-agent additions and most of the big-name players now signed, on this Sunday I thought it would be a perfect time for my first post-free agency 7 round mock draft, once again using The Draft Network’s mock draft machine.
With many of the usual names that we’ve seen mocked to Green Bay off the board, I had to do things a little differently this time around. But I still think it turned out quite well. So let’s dive in!
Round 1, Pick 30: Denzel Mims WR – Baylor
As I alluded to above, many of the names that we’ve seen mocked to the Green Bay Packers were off the board at this point. This includes Kenneth Murray, Patrick Queen, Ross Blacklock, and Justin Jefferson among others. So I decided to go with who I thought was the best receiver available, Denzel Mims, who put on a show at the Senior Bowl and at the NFL Combine.
Round 2, Pick 62: Jeremy Chinn S – Southern Illinois
I said that I had to do things a little differently, so for those still worried about the linebacker position, may I present to you the uber-athletic, Jeremy Chinn.
Most of the time, this Packers’ defense plays with just one linebacker and three safeties anyways. So adding an athletic safety that can play down in the box will help solve a lot of the speed and coverage issues that Green Bay has experienced in the middle of their defense. Just imagine, Adrian Amos playing deep and either Darnell Savage or Chinn flying around as one of them patrols closer to the line of scrimmage.
Round 3, Pick 94: Ben Bartch OT – St. John
Green Bay still needs their right tackle of the future and as a developmental prospect, taking Bartch here just made a lot of sense. Now, if he has to start Week 1 in 2020, we could be in some trouble. But he has the size and athleticism to be a successful NFL tackle. Not to mention that he also held up quite well at the Senior Bowl. However, his game does need some refinement, so a year or two learning from Wagner and David Bakhtiari will do him wonders.
Round 4, Pick 136: Leki Fotu IDL – Utah
Whether it be in free agency or in the draft, Green Bay needs to find Kenny Clark some help inside. The Green Bay Packers were gashed up the middle by the run game far too often last season. Enter Loki Fotu, who at 6’5″ – 330 pounds can take up space and eat up blocks to help free up his teammates.
Round 5, Pick 175: Patrick Taylor RB – Memphis
Both Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams are in the final year of their rookie deals and Matt LaFleur talked about the importance of having a third running back to lean on this year. So taking a running back in this draft should absolutely be on Green Bay’s radar. Taylor is a physical runner who has shown that he can be a weapon in the passing game as well, making him a nice fit for the Packers.
Round 6, Pick 192: Jauan Jennings WR – Tennessee
While I’ve tried to make sure I address other needs, this receiver class is far too deep to leave with just one. Trevor Sikkema of The Draft Network called Jennings “a big-time player” and also said that “he wants the ball in the big moments.” And that’s the kind of player that I want on my team.
Round 6, Pick 208: Josiah Scott CB – Michigan State
This position seems to fly under the radar, but there are a number of question marks surrounding this Green Bay Packers’ cornerback room. Kevin King is a free agent after the 2020 season, we hope that Chandon Sullivan continues to improve, but we have to wait and see. Meanwhile, Josh Jackson rarely saw the field and while Ka’dar Hollman flashed in the preseason, he’s still a bit of an unknown.
So although it’s a bit late in the draft, I think it’s worth taking some fliers on the position. Especially with a player like Scott, who has the athleticism and ball skills to be an effective corner.
Round 6, Pick 209: Reggie Robinson CB – Tulsa
You guessed it, more cornerback depth.
Round 7, Pick 236: James Proche WR – SMU
He’s not the biggest or the fastest receiver but the man produced and he’s been a super-reliable target. At SMU, Proche would total nearly 4,000 receiving yards over his career with 39 touchdowns. And he’s well-known as having some of the best hands around.
Round 7, Pick 242: Jon Runyan OT – Michigan
There is no such thing as too much depth on the offensive line, especially at the tackle position. I also thought that this was a really good value pick in Round 7 as well.