Green Bay Packers 2021 NFL Mock Draft Roundup & Takeaways 11.0

Nov 21, 2020; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Kentucky Wildcats defensive back Kelvin Joseph (1) makes an interception in the end zone against Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via USA TODAY Sports
Nov 21, 2020; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Kentucky Wildcats defensive back Kelvin Joseph (1) makes an interception in the end zone against Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via USA TODAY Sports /

It’s been a busy few days for the Green Bay Packers as they made a number of moves to clear some cap space while also re-signing Aaron Jones. And even though the legal tampering period for free agency begins on Monday, that won’t stop us from enjoying another ‘Mock Draft Monday.’

Free agency and the draft go hand in hand. Depending on how the Packers go about free agency will potentially affect what they do in the draft. A good example of this is that by keeping Preston Smith, the edge rusher position isn’t nearly as big of a need as it would have been had they cut him.

So while we wait to see how free agency unfolds for the Green Bay Packers, let’s take a look at some recent mock drafts and who several draft analysts have them taking in Round 1. And, of course, I’ll have my takeaways as well.

Oliver Hodgkinson – Pro Football Network

Pick 29: Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama

"“Patrick Surtain Jr. has all the ingredients to emulate his father’s success in the NFL. Surtain Sr. was the 44th selection of the Miami Dolphins in 1998, and there’s every reason to suspect that Surtain Jr. will be drafted considerably above that in the 2021 NFL Draft. Surtain Jr. combines prototypical size, good ball skills, and an ability to create turnovers in various ways to rank as one of the best cornerbacks in the class.”"

Takeaway: Well, here’s a name we haven’t seen yet at 29. Surtain is widely regarded as one of the top-2  CBs in this class, which is why he hasn’t been available for Green Bay in most mock drafts. However, Hodgkinson didn’t explain why he had Surtain falling so far.

I don’t like playing the “he won’t be there” game, but Surtain won’t be there. He was PFF’s ($) highest-graded CB in 2020 and 16th in 2019.

Josh Edwards – CBS Sports

Pick 29: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa

"“Green Bay adds Zaven Collins to a second level that contains Za’Darius and Preston Smith. The return of Kenny Clark should fortify the run defense a bit.”"

Takeaway: I understand why so many draft analysts want the Green Bay Packers to address the ILB position, and perhaps they will at some point in the draft, but I don’t see it being in Round 1.

I believe Brian Gutekunst and Matt LaFleur are perfectly fine entering 2021 with Krys Barnes and Kamal Martin as their top LBs. With that said, if they were to draft an ILB right away, you’d want it to be a do-it-all player like Collins.

Tom Fornelli – CBS Sports

Pick 29: Jalen Mayfield, OT, Michigan

"“Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if a team likes Mayfield enough to make him the second OT off the board in this draft. That’s both a testament to his talent and the personal preference of the teams doing the selecting. Mayfield could start at right tackle before moving to the left.”"

Takeaway: I’m a big fan of this selection. Mayfield doesn’t have a ton of experience like some OTs in this class, but he has improved each year at Michigan and can give the Green Bay Packers a swing tackle in 2021 with the potential to start, and he can be their right tackle of the future in 2022 and beyond.

Luke Easterling – Draft Wire

Pick 29: Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern

Takeaway: Sign me up for this pick as well. CB is a huge need this offseason, and Newsome is someone who can lineup opposite of Jaire Alexander from Day 1.

This past season, Newsome allowed a completion rate of just 35 percent and a passer rating of 31.7. His coverage grade from PFF also ranked ninth among cornerbacks. Newsome’s versatility allows him to be effective in a number of different schemes.

Alec Pulido – Sports Illustrated

Pick 29: Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

"“The Packers will finally take the first round receiver that everyone wants them to take and it’s the electrifying playmaker Toney. He will give them a true number two receiver behind Davante Adams. This pick should give Matt LaFleur’s offense an exciting weapon to help put them over the top.”"

Takeaway: Like linebacker, wide receiver is a popular selection in Round 1 for the Green Bay Packers, and while history says they won’t select either, I imagine it would be difficult to pass on Toney.

He is an ideal fit for the Matt LaFleur offense with what he can offer pre-snap as the motion man as well as on jet sweeps and screens. He would also give Green Bay their first true slot receiver since Randall Cobb left.

Brent Sobleski – Bleacher Report

Pick 29: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG, USC

"“USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker is perfect for the Packers because of his versatility and high-level performance at multiple positions. He could open the season at left tackle if need be, or he could start at guard and allow Elgton Jenkins to bump over and play center since free agent Corey Linsley isn’t expected back.”"

Takeaway: Depending on who you ask, you’ll get a different response: is Vera-Tucker a tackle in the NFL or a guard? He has ample experience at both from his USC days.

If the Green Bay Packers see him as a tackle, then I believe he is an option here. However, if they view him as a guard, then this pick becomes unlikely.

Tony Pauline – Pro Football Network

Pick 29: Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky

"“Whether or not Kelvin Joseph ends up in Round 1 depends on his testing results from his pro day. He’s a big, physical press corner with instincts.”"

Takeaway: A new name at the CB position, or at least not one that I’ve seen before. Joseph really has just one year of starting experience after seeing little playing time at LSU in 2018, sitting out in 2019, and then starting this past year at Kentucky.

On 34 targets, he allowed a completion rate of 55.9 percent at 14.3 yards per catch. Joseph also came away with four interceptions, a pass breakup, and posted a passer rating of 81.3 when thrown at.

Due to his inexperience, Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network believes that Joseph is someone who shouldn’t start right away, but he does like his upside.

Pete Prisco – CBS Sports

Pick 29: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota

"“They have to get more help for Aaron Rodgers in the passing game. Bateman didn’t play last year, but he has the size and he’s faster than some might think.”"

Takeaway: Bateman was primarily lined up out wide in 2019 when he posted over 1,200 yards and 20.3 yards per catch on 60 receptions—11 of which were for touchdowns. Then in a shortened 2020 season, he actually saw more snaps in the slot.

Bateman is the kind of receiver who does a lot of different things really well—and we know that’s something that Matt LaFleur will appreciate.

Seth Galina – PFF

Pick 29: Nick Bolton, LB, Missouri

"“The Packers could hit on any linebacker here with Bolton, Zaven Collins and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah available. They haven’t been great at the linebacker position but could even try to find another cornerback to play opposite Jaire Alexander. Bolton is the pick as a true off-ball linebacker rather than JOK with his rover-type abilities.”"

Takeaway: Another LB to cap off this week’s edition of Mock Draft Roundup & Takeaways. If you read these regularly, you know my thoughts on this selection, or if you don’t, just scroll back up to the mock with Zaven Collins in it.

Bolton doesn’t have the same coverage ability as Collins but can be effective in zone and against the run as well.