We are just a few weeks away from the NFL Draft, and countless mock drafts have been released between today and when the season ended. As is going to be the case, I like some for the Green Bay Packers a lot more than I like others, and while this recent mock from Brentley Weissman of The Draft Network is only two-rounds, I have to say that it’s one of my favorites so far.
Now, it, unfortunately, does not address the cornerback position within the first two rounds but just about all of the top names in the second round were off the board by the time that Green Bay was on the clock. Kelvin Joseph, Elijah Molden, Paulson Adebo, Tyson Campbell, Jevon Holland, Ifeatu Melifonwu, Asante Samuel Jr, and Eric Stokes were all second-round picks, and all off the board by pick 62–which is the risk that comes with relying on the draft to fill a need.
With that said, it’s still a deep cornerback class with options available, and if the Green Bay Packers’ first two selections end up being these players that Weissman selected, I certainly won’t be disappointed.
Pick 29: Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame
Takeaway: While cornerback has drawn a lot of attention — and deservedly so — I would love for the Green Bay Packers to address tackle right away if the right player is there. And in Weissman’s mock, the right player was there.
With David Bakhtiari out for the start of the season, it leaves the Packers incredibly thin at tackle. While I’m confident that the Turner-Jenkins combo can hold up, one injury and Green Bay is in a world of hurt. On top of that, with Jenkins at tackle, it creates a hole at guard to be filled by either Simon Stepaniak or Ben Braden—which at this time seems a bit risky.
Enter Liam Eichenberg, who can help solve both of these issues. Eichenberg is someone who is a Day 1 starter and is someone who you’d expect to man the tackle position for the next decade.
He’s a very experienced player out of Notre Dame with nearly 2,700 career snaps and just about all of them coming at left tackle. Over his final two seasons, which included just under 1,000 pass-blocking snaps, Eichenberg didn’t allow a single sack, and he gave up just 27 total pressures.
As stout as he was in pass-protection, as Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network mentions in his scouting report, he sees Eichenberg as a “more impactful” run-blocker–evidenced by his run-blocking grade from PFF ($$) that was the ninth-best among tackles in 2020.
Here is a snippet of what else Crabbs had to say about Eichenberg:
“Liam Eichenberg is an NFL-ready starting left tackle who should find assimilating to the pro game fairly easy. Eichenberg isn’t the most fleet of foot and speed rushers with wide angles can test him off the edge, but sound fundamentals and footwork should have him positioned to contest such challenges with a fair amount of success.”
Eichenberg is as well-rounded of a tackle as you will see and plays and wins with very good technique. While at this moment there are some legitimate questions surrounding the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line unit entering the new season, the addition of Eichenberg would help alleviate some of those concerns.
Pick 62: Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, USC
Takeaway: In my “Draft Prospects to Know” series, I actually just wrote about Amon-Ra St. Brown on Wednesday, and my big takeaway at that time was that he would be a very nice fit in the Matt LaFleur offense. St. Brown has ample experience both out wide and in the slot, and he’s someone who was an effective receiver in all parts of the field during his time at USC–both of which will make him a successful player in this offense.
St. Brown would put together a highly productive collegiate career, being targeted 246 times over his three years and hauling in 72.4 percent of those passes for 2,270 yards–including a 1,000-yard season in 2019. He also tallied 16 touchdown receptions and a passer rating when targeted of 121.9.
In his pre-draft scouting report, this is what Drae Harris of The Draft Network had to say about St. Brown’s game:
“He plays with very good overall athleticism, as evidenced by his body control and agility as a route-runner. His play embodies a blue-collar toughness and competitiveness rarely seen from a wide receiver. He is excellent in contested catch situations due to his competitiveness and big play ability. He excels between the numbers and is a threat in the short, intermediate, and deep passing game. He has excellent hand-eye coordination, which makes him efficient at catching targets.”
With no receivers under contract beyond the 2021 season, you can bet that the Green Bay Packers will leave this year’s draft with at least one. And not only does St. Brown help bolster the position in years to come, but he is someone who could make an impact right away as well.