The 2024 NFL Draft is a long ways off for the Green Bay Packers, but with the college football season in full swing, here are some names to watch for during the remainder of the year.
Of course, trying to predict who the Packers are going to take during this time of the year is close to an impossible task. So much is going to change between now and draft night. But what these mock drafts do provide are some names for us to keep our eyes on throughout the college football season and into the pre-draft process.
As you’ll see in the mock drafts below, two of the biggest needs that the Packers are expected to have next offseason include offensive tackle and safety. Interior offensive line and running back are two others that will likely have to be addressed at some point as well.
However, with that said, for a team with so many unknowns around its future, there may end up being very few positions that won’t be in play at some point in next year’s draft, depending on how the rest of the 2023 season plays out.
Below, you will find 10 recent mock drafts from 10 different draft analysts, along with my commentary on each selection along the way.
Ian Valentino – Pro Football Network
Pick 8: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame
Takeaway: If I were to make a guess right now what position the Packers take in Round 1 of the 2024 draft, it would be offensive tackle. It’s a premier position, one where the Packers need help, and the 2024 class is supposed to be filled with high-end talent. David Bakhtiari may have played his final snap in Green Bay, leaving the Packers with former seventh-round pick Rasheed Walker and two former undrafted rookies in Luke Tenuta and Caleb Jones, to fill that left tackle role. As a whole, the offensive line play this season up to this point has been sub-par for the Packers and is a big contributor to their overall issues on offense.
Since the start of the 2022 season, Alt has allowed just one sack and 11 total pressures. He is currently PFF’s second-highest graded tackle in all of college football and ranks 12th in pass-blocking efficiency.
Josh Edwards – CBS Sports
Pick 8: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame
Takeaway: According to the NFL Mock Draft Database, which has compiled hundreds, if not thousands of 2024 mock drafts already, Alt is the most popular player mocked to the Packers at the moment.
Justin Melo – The Draft Network
Pick 19: Kamren Kinchens, S, Miami
Takeaway: Another big need for the Packers is safety. This was, without a doubt, the biggest question mark on the team heading into 2023, and it remains that way looking ahead to 2024. Currently, only 2023 seventh-round pick Anthony Johnson is the only player under contract beyond this season. Last season, this was a position group that underwhelmed, and this year it is one that is limited.
Kinchens has played most of his snaps this season as a free safety, and he’s been one of the better and more reliable tacklers at his position, making him an effective run defender. In coverage, Kinchens has one interception and two pass breakups in 2023.
Ryan Wilson – CBS Sports
Pick 16: Kingsley Suamataia, OT, BYU
Takeaway: Again, taking a tackle in the first round makes all the sense in the world for the Packers right now. The depth of this unit does not appear to be as strong as once thought, and the unknowns around this group only grow next offseason.
Suamataia was a right tackle for BYU in 2022 but has played left tackle in 2023. So far, he has yet to give up a sack and has been credited with allowing seven pressures in as many games. By PFF’s metrics, he has been one of the best pass-blocking tackles this season but is so-so in the run game.
Trevor Sikkema – PFF
Pick 11: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia
Takeaway: Mims stands 6’7″ and weighs 340 pounds. He has spent his entire career at right tackle, meaning that if the Packers drafted him, they would have to be comfortable either moving him or Zach Tom to the left side. Over his career, which has spanned 321 pass-blocking snaps, Mims has given up six pressures and no sacks. The 2022 season was his first as a starter.
Ryan Fowler – The Draft Network
Pick 20: Graham Barton, OT, Duke
Takeaway: I’ve already laid out why tackle could be a big need in 2024, and that’s if Tom stays put at right tackle. In the past, GM Brian Gutekunst has mentioned that during the 2022 pre-draft process, the Packers thought center was his best position. With the Packers always in search of their best five and Josh Myers struggling, it is possible that Tom could be at center at some point. Given that this move is yet to happen in 2023, along with some uncertainty with their tackle depth, I’m not sure it will happen this year, but it could be a path the Packers go down next summer, which would only make tackle a bigger need than what it already is.
Barton is one of the more experienced players we will see, with over 2,300 career snaps and counting. In 2020, he was a center for Duke but has played the last three seasons at left tackle. This year, he’s given up five pressures and one sack through five games.
Curt Popejoy – Draft Wire
Pick 19: Kris Jenkins, IDL, Michigan
Takeaway: The Packers used a first-round pick on Devonte Wyatt in 2022. They then drafted both Colby Wooden and Karl Brooks in the most recent draft. Do they turn around and spend another early-round pick on the position? Not to say that the Packers can’t continue to add to this young position group, but they have plenty of pass rush options along the interior. What they need is help against the run. This season, the 6’3″ – 305 pound Jenkins is one of PFF’s highest-graded interior run defenders. Against the pass, he has seven pressures and one sack.
Damian Parson – The Draft Network
Pick 19: Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota
Takeaway: Similarly to offensive tackle, drafting an early-round safety feels almost inevitable for the Packers, given the outlook of the position. Nubin has good size at 6’2″ – 210 pounds and is in his fifth season with Minnesota. The majority of his career snaps have come in the traditional free safety role, according to PFF, but he does have experience in the box and the slot as well. For his career, he has made 172 out of his 205 tackle attempts and held pass catchers to a completion rate of only 36 percent on 72 targets, although he is giving up 18.7 yards per catch. Nubin has 11 interceptions and 10 pass breakups.
Keith Sanchez – The Draft Network
Pick 17: Kalen King, CB, Penn State
Takeaway: Cornerback is an interesting position for the Packers. It’s a position that currently has an abundance of talent. However, next offseason, Keisean Nixon will be a free agent, and the team could save $6.5 million by moving on from Rasul Douglas. With that said, my guess right now is that cornerback isn’t a first-round option for the Packers. Saving $6.5 million to move on from Douglas while still incurring a dead cap hit of $5.1 million isn’t worth it–he’s playing at a very high level. The Packers also have Carrington Valentine, who has flashed real upside over the summer, to go along with Jaire Alexander and Eric Stokes.
King is a boundary cornerback who has allowed a career completion rate of just 43 percent on 97 targets. He’s held opponents to 14.0 yards per catch, including just 11.5 over the last two seasons, and has three interceptions, along with 13 pass breakups.
Jack Borowsky – Pro Football Network
Pick 18: JC Latham, OT, Alabama
Takeaway: Latham has spent the last two seasons at right tackle, which, again, if the Packers take a right tackle, there will be some extra movement involved, either moving that draft pick to the left side or moving Tom there. They could also choose to rely on Walker, Tenuta, or Jones to play left tackle, keep the draft pick on the right side, and move Tom to center.
As a right tackle, Latham has allowed one sack and 17 pressures in the last two seasons, five of which have occurred this year. He’s been one of PFF’s top-graded pass blockers and has held up well against the run by their metrics as well.