Packers: Remove the Bias—7 Round Computer Simulated Mock Draft & Takeaways

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: The Green Bay Packers logo is seen on a video board during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: The Green Bay Packers logo is seen on a video board during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT /

We all evaluate draft prospects differently as well as the best way for the Green Bay Packers to balance finding immediate help, while also planning for the future. That’s a big part of what makes this pre-draft process so fun, the wide ranging views that can surround the same prospect or approach in the draft.

So because of how we go about the evaluation process or how we view the Packers needs, it creates biases. We all have players that we love and others that we aren’t as high on, or a position that we believe must be addressed right away. And those biases creep into our mock drafts—the same goes for draft analysts as well, just look at all the mock drafts with Green Bay taking a receiver in Round 1 because they believe Aaron Rodgers needs more help.

Even in a computer simulated mock draft there is still some human bias with the positional rankings and team needs coming from a group of individuals, but for the most part, it is removed. So I thought a fun exercise would be running a simulated mock draft with The Draft Network’s mock draft machine, and seeing who the Green Bay Packers end up with. And as always, I’ll give my thoughts.

Green Bay Packers 2021 NFL Draft via The Draft Network’s Mock Draft Machine:

Pick 29: Christian Barmore, IDL, Alabama

Pick 62: Jabril Cox, LB, LSU

Pick 92: Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State

Pick 135: Tre Brown, CB, Oklahoma

Pick 142: Walker Little, OT, Stanford

Pick 173: Joshuah Bledsoe, S, Missouri

Pick 178: Quintin Morris, TE, Bowling Green

Pick 214: Pooka Williams, RB, Kansas

Pick 220: Paul Grattan, IOL, UCLA

Pick 256: Rachad Wildgoose, CB, Wisconsin

Big Takeaways from the computer-simulated mock draft

Overall, this mock draft hit on the Green Bay Packers’ biggest needs — OT, IDL, and CB — fairly early on. However, in a perfect world, I would have preferred that CB or OT be addressed earlier, but that’s the risk of relying on the draft; we don’t know how the board is going to fall.

In a weak IDL class, the Packers land who many consider is the best in this class—many mocks have Barmore long gone before the Packers are on the board. Barmore is someone who can line up in different gaps and was effective against the run and the pass during his first full year as a starter in 2020.

Draft analysts — and apparently mock draft machines — love giving the Green Bay Packers an LB early on. As I’ve said before, I don’t see them spending a first or second-round pick on that position. I believe that they are comfortable heading into the season with Krys Barnes and Kamal Martin as their top-2 LBs. With that said, I almost expect them to draft an LB at some point, given the lack of reliable depth, but I don’t see it happening early on. In Brandon Staley’s defense with the Rams in 2020, it’s not as if they were loaded at the LB position–they had a very good defensive front and secondary.

Now, none of that is a knock on Cox, just more my thoughts on the positional value and the Green Bay Packers’ draft history. If they did make this selection, I’d certainly get it. Cox brings a coverage ability to the LB position that Green Bay just hasn’t had.

The Green Bay Packers currently don’t have any receivers under contract beyond the 2021 season, so don’t worry, everyone; they will take a receiver in this draft. In fact, I’ll be surprised if it’s just one. Wallace was a highly productive receiver in Oklahoma State’s downfield attacking offense, but something worth noting is that at this Pro-Day, he scored a 5.21 out of 10 on the RAS scale. In Gutekunst’s first three drafts, 22 of his 25 draft picks have scored 8.0 or higher—so I’m not so sure he’s on their board.

  At 5’10” – 186 pounds, Tre Brown is a smaller CB, but we’ve seen the Packers make an exception in the past for Jaire Alexander. Will they do it again? As a boundary corner, Brown didn’t allow more than 299 receiving yards in his final two years with the Sooners–although penalties were an issue and could be prevalent early on in his career.

If the Green Bay Packers don’t land a CB right away, that is the value of having Kevin King and Chandon Sullivan back. While they don’t fix the position, they take some of the pressure off of the rookie and it gives Green Bay two veterans to lean on.

Walker Little has some impressive tape; however, that was back in 2018. He was on the field for only 72 snaps in 2019 and opted out of the 2020 season. That leaves us with some unknowns. In Round 4, this could end up looking like a steal a few years from now, but for the time being, he will be a backup, and for a team that needs some serious OT depth, this selection comes with some risks given that he hasn’t played football in a football game in almost three years.

The Green Bay Packers don’t need a TE necessarily for the 2021 season, but they very well could in 2022, depending on how things play out at the position this season. At this point, the only given beyond this year is Josiah Deguara. Morris is a good fit in LaFleur’s offense with his ability to move around the formation, as a blocker, and in the passing game.

Green Bay could use a third RB — although I’m a big fan of Patrick Taylor, who was on the practice squad last season — but I don’t believe Williams is on their radar. On the RAS scale, 5 is considered average, and Williams scored 4.85, and as I mentioned above, Gutekunst primarily selects “great” to “elite” athletes”–especially at these types of positions.

Maybe it’s the Badger fan in me — whoops, there’s that bias — but I really like that Green Bay was able to land Wildgoose with their last pick–that’s a great value selection. Wildgoose can line up out wide and in the slot, and while we shouldn’t expect him to see a ton of snaps right away — if any — he could be someone who pushes Sullivan a bit.

In terms of positional needs and immediate impact, I think most would be okay with this draft. Barmore and Cox are Day 1 starters, while Wallace — even though I don’t believe he’s on Green Bay’s board — would see his fair share of snaps as well. Brown could even see some playing time early on as well, and who knows, Little could end up being a steal but, in the short term, he provides some needed depth at a premier position.

– This mock also strikes a good balance of short term needs — as mentioned above — as well as adding depth to robust positions and planning for the future in the mid to late rounds with selections at safety, running back, and tight end.