With many of the big free agent names already signed, it’s a perfect time for version 9.0 of Mock Draft Roundup & Big Takeaways. Who are the Green Bay Packers taking this time?
After weeks and weeks with hundreds upon hundreds of mock drafts being released, we had grown accustomed to seeing many of the same names being mocked to the Green Bay Packers at 30th overall. This list included Kenneth Murray, Patrick Queen, Justin Jefferson, Jalen Reagor, among others.
However, with many of the big-name free agents now signed, that will certainly have an effect on how the board falls come draft night in April. For example, the Raiders who were in the market for a linebacker, signed both Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski, so them drafting that same position in Round 1 is now quite unlikely.
And there are many other examples like this one that will affect how the draft plays out.
From the Packers’ perspective, they have been relatively quiet and I don’t think that the additions of Christian Kirksey or Rick Wagner really changes how they will approach the draft. Both of those players are short-term solutions, and both linebacker and tackle still need to be addressed at some point.
So although things might not have changed drastically for Green Bay, given the example above along with others like it, who’s available at pick No. 30 is likely different now. Meaning, this is a great time for version 9.0 of the Mock Draft Roundup & Big Takeaways!
Let’s take a look at who the draft analysts have the Green Bay Packers selecting now that free agency is underway. And unlike in previous versions, we will be including multiple round mock drafts since there are more available at this time.
Round 1: Justin Jefferson WR – LSU
“This pick simply has to be another weapon for Aaron Rodgers, and the Packers have some fantastic options in this scenario. Clemson’s Tee Higgins and Colorado’s Laviska Shenault, Jr. would be solid picks, but after Jefferson’s combine performance, he may have just leapfrogged those names on some draft boards. He’s a polished, complete player who would pair extremely well with Devante Adams.”
Round 2: Malik Harrison LB – Ohio State
Round 3: Jordan Elliot IDL – Missouri
Takeaway: Any mock draft that has Green Bay landing Justin Jefferson is alright with me. He will step in and give this offense an immediate boost in the passing game as the primary slot receiver. Not to mention that he was an uber-reliable target at LSU and the combination of him and Aaron Rodgers could form quite the formidable one-two punch in the red zone.
Overall, Easterling hits on three major needs for the Green Bay Packers but I do have to wonder if pushing off the tackle position until Round 4 at the earliest, is the best decision?
Round 1: Laviska Shenault WR – Colorado
“The Packers need to give Aaron Rodgers some better weapons to complement Davante Adams, and Shenault has a much higher ceiling than he’s shown in the pre-draft process while hampered by an injury.”
Takeaway: During his time at Colorado, Shenault had shown that he lineup anywhere and do just about anything asked of him. Basically just find a way to get him the ball in open space and let him do the rest. Which would certainly add a new element to this Packers’ offense. But with that said, I’m more of a fan of Jalen Reagor and Brandon Aiyuk, both of which were still available. As was Kenneth Murray and Ross Blacklock.
Round 1: Chase Claypool WR – Notre Dame
“Green Bay cut Jimmy Graham and hasn’t added any receiving help this offseason, so I’m sticking with a wide receiver for its pick, though it’s the third different wideout in my three mock drafts. Like Denzel Mims, Claypool had an electrifying combine, running a 4.42 40 and putting up a 40.5-inch vertical at 6-foot-4, 238 pounds.
This might be a slight reach, but a team could fall in love with his traits, and he produced last season, catching 66 passes for 1,037 yards and 13 touchdowns. He could be a matchup nightmare for Aaron Rodgers.”
Takeaway: Claypool put on a show at the combine and his big body along with his athletic ability certainly fits the mold of what Green Bay looks for in their receivers. And with that size and speed, Claypool has the potential to be a real difference-maker in the NFL, especially out of the slot. However, as Kiper mentions, this is a bit of a reach and I think most would agree.
Round 1: Neville Gallimore IDL – Oklahoma
“Kenny Clark was the Packers’ best interior defensive linemen last season, but after that the group is in need of some depth. Gallimore’s strong combine came on the heels of a great Senior Bowl and a solid 2019 season for the Sooners.”
Round 2: Michael Pittman WR – USC
“The Packers are well-positioned to take advantage of the depth at receiver this year, and here they pick up a nice complementary option for Davante Adams.”
Round 3: Hunter Bryant TE – Washington
“The Packers parted ways with Jimmy Graham, and Bryant can come in and compete with Jace Sternberger for playing time while strengthening the depth at the position.”
Takeaway: While it’s not flashy, I’m on board with Green Bay taking a defensive lineman in the first round as giving Kenny Clark some help inside against the run is needed badly. And it will also help take some of the pressure off of the linebacker position as well. Meanwhile, Pittman is a reliable receiving target who tested well at the combine and Hunter Bryant would give this offense another weapon in the passing game. As a big slot in Green Bay, Bryant could do some damage.
Once again though, it seems a bit risky to push-off drafting a tackle to Day 3.
Round 1: Zack Baun LB – Wisconsin
“With Christian Kirksey already in-house, the Green Bay Packers still need to add more at the second level. Wide receiver is an obvious need, but the Packers haven’t selected one in the first round since Javon Walker in 2002.
Brian Gutekunst is known to stick to his philosophies and he continues to address Green Bay’s biggest need, which is still linebacker. Zack Baun immediately makes the team better and also has positional flexibility in various sub-packages as well.”
Round 2: Michael Pittman WR – USC
Round 3: Hunter Bryant TE – Washington
Takeaway: Two of the same picks as in the previous mock with Pittman and Bryant in rounds 2 and 3 respectively, which will hopefully infuse this Green Bay Packers’ passing attack with some life. My only caution that comes with Bryant is that very rarely do we see tight ends make a big impact during their rookie seasons.
Zack Baun, however, well that’s a new one. At the NFL level he is going to be an off-ball linebacker but what makes him a coveted prospect is his versatility. At Wisconsin, he had shown that he can rush the passer, drop into coverage, defend the run and that he’s a solid tackler. He’s a 3-down linebacker and he has the skill set that NFL teams want at this position.
Round 1: Tee Higgins WR – Clemson
“Given the immense talent at receiver in this draft class, Green Bay gets to pick from a bunch of enticing options.”
Takeaway: We haven’t heard much about Tee Higgins lately, at least in connection with the Green Bay Packers, but he would be an exciting addition to this offense. At Clemson, Higgins was a reliable target, had a nose for the end zone, and he would give Aaron Rodgers a deep threat in the passing game. However, it’s worth mentioning that he tested very poorly at the combine and from an athleticism standpoint, he may not meet the Packers’ thresholds.
Round 1: Jalen Reagor WR – TCU
“Reagor has explosive field speed and is a sudden target underneath. He could become an early favorite of Aaron Rodgers.”
Takeaway: While he didn’t blow people away at the combine, I’m all for Jalen Reagor in Green Bay. With Davante Adams opposite of him, he will get plenty of one-on-one opportunities to win downfield. Not to mention that he can become a weapon from the slot, on wide receiver screens, and on jet sweeps. Just get the man the ball.