Hey Packer Nation!
I am not a big fan of mock drafts but this year intrigued me. I conducted five and this was my favorite one. This team has many needs across the board. It will be interesting to see how things play out starting Thursday April 25 @ 7 p.m. CST with the 1st round. Rounds 2-3 will take place Friday April 26 starting at 6 p.m. CST. Rounds 4-7 will start at 11 a.m. CST on Saturday April 27. The draft will take place in Nashville, Tennessee.
Let's go through their available picks - Round and (pick#);
Round 1 (#12)
Round 1 (#30)
Round 2 (#44)
Round 3 (#75)
Round 4 (#114)
Round 4 (#118)
Round 5 (#150)
Round 6 (#185)
Round 6 (#194)
Round 7 (#226)
If the Packers stay with their designated picks, here is how I see (or hopelessly wish) things playing out in all seven rounds. I tried to project players the Packers would realistically see as scheme fits. One thing to keep in mind - players who Packers visited with when conducting their pre-draft visits were players the Packers drafted with the majority of their picks in 2018. Of their 30 allotted visits this year, 8 were offensive lineman. That is a good indication the Packers will likely pick an OL in the first round. Here we go:
#12 - Jonah Williams OL 6'4" 302 lbs. (Alabama). If the Packers want to make a quick turn around, it has to start by improving in the trenches. Jonah is the best overall lineman available in the draft and will be an instant starter, something the Packers desperately need to keep Rodgers healthy. Jonah projects well inside at guard as well as tackle. He offers the most flexibility in that regard. He was a five star recruit with a great work ethic and excellent athleticism to fit in the new scheme. He was a starter all three years playing right tackle and left tackle at Bama. He is coached up and ready to play. He has the potential to be a All-Pro lineman for years. His versatility and projection make him the best pick here. If they do not pick Williams, OT Dalton Risner, OT Jawaan Taylor and OT Andre Dilliard are players who visited Titletown in their pre-draft visits. I have a good feeling offensive line will be picked here or #30.
#30 - Dexter Lawrence DL 6'4" 342 lbs. (Clemson). When I conducted my mock, Lawrence fell to the end of the first round. I highly doubt this will happen but if he were to slip past teams like Indianapolis, he would be hard to pass up. A monster in the trenches (7 tackles for loss in 2018) and he would be an instant starter next to Clark and Daniels. He has the size and athletic ability to command double teams. Having three DL that command double teams would wreck havoc along the line of scrimmage. I realistically see Jerry Tillery, another DL from Notre Dame here at #30. Tillery offers better pass-rushing ability (7 sacks as a senior) than Lawrence. Either way, both would be instant starters and fill a hole left by Muhammad Wilkerson at "5 technique" defensive end in their 3-4 scheme. Lawrence, Daniels, Clark, P. Smith and Z. Smith would be a formidable front.
#44 - Juan Thornhill Safety 6' 0" 200 lbs. (Maryland). With their first three picks, they fill the biggest holes on the team with Day 1 starters and add Thornhill. He translates well with Pettine's thirst for safeties who can cover/play in the slot and cover anyone on the field. His flexibility is something the Packers covet in their secondary. He was a former two-way player and his best qualities translate into being a pretty good free safety. He ran a 4.40 40 time which is plenty fast and allows him to cover a ton of ground. He was a playmaker all through college and the skills are there to be a starter from Day 1. He has Pro Bowl potential.
#75 - Jaylon Ferguson Edge 6'5" 271 lbs. (Louisiana Tech). There are many who think Ferguson has first-round talent but could slip because his effort wasn't always 100%. Either way, he had 17.5 sacks as a senior. Ferguson fits the Packer scheme as a big edge rusher with great length and underrated pass rush moves. He offers flexibility to rush from everywhere, a la Julius Peppers. He might need a little seasoning at the NFL level but there is no question he dominated at 1-A level with 27% of his career tackles were for a loss. He would not be forced to start right away and can be utilized in situations that fit his obvious talents. Great value here!
#114 - Jace Sternberger TE 6'4" 250lbs (Texas A&M). Sternberger is athletic with above-average ball skills, catch radius and route breaks that help him undercover on the second and third levels. He is a receiver masked in a tight end's body. His athletic skills translate well into being a very productive seam stretching receiver. He blocks with ferocity but needs work with proper blocking technique. He only started one year at A&M. He would not be depended to play a lot of snaps right away and can spend the year behind Graham learning from one of the best. You cannot teach his athletic traits and has good football speed.
#118 - Bobby Evans OT 6'4" 312 lbs. (Oklahoma). Evans will become a good tackle in the NFL. A three-year starter at left and right tackle who blocked for NFL QB's Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray at Oklahoma. Packers love lineman with long arms and he has them (35"). Longer arms allow lineman to initiate contact and keep rushers off their body which improves their blocking success. He is well-coached and has an aggressive approach who plays with a chip. He played better at right tackle in college and would be the eventual replacement for Bryan Bulaga. With Jonah Williams and Evans, the OL becomes an instant strength.
#150 - Mike Edwards Safety 5'10" 205 lbs. (Kentucky). Edwards was a highly productive and consistent player in college. In 2016, he intercepted Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson twice in their win against Top 25 team Louisville. He intercepted 10 passes during his career, nine of which came as a three-year starter. He was a leader and plays with great discipline. He fits well within the Packers scheme as a coverage safety who is interchangeable. He can cover in the slot and is an effective blitzer from there. He is not afraid in run support. He has all the skills to be a solid starter.
#185 - Stanley Morgan Jr. WR 6'0" 202 lbs. (Nebraska). Morgan is destined to be a productive slot receiver in the NFL. He is a true professional and student of the game. Some say he is the most polished route runner in this year's WR class. His junior and senior years were highly productive. In his junior year, he set the school record with 986 receiving yards and 10 TD's on 61 receptions. He broke his own record in his senior year with 1,004 receiving yards on 70 receptions and 7 TD's. He has experience returning kickoffs which is something the Packers need to fill. He is rated as a 4th-5th round talent so scooping him up in the 6th round is a great value.
#194 - Elijah Holyfield RB 5'10" 217 lbs. (Georgia). Yes, if you are a boxing fan, Elijah is the son of former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield. He plays like his father and runs with reckless abandon. He is not fast (4.78 40 time) but is an aggressive downhill runner between the tackles. It takes multiple defenders to get him to the ground. He sat behind NFL starters Nick Chubb and Sony Michel before getting his chance as a junior. He started 9 of 14 games and was highly productive rushing 159 times for 1,018 yards (6.4-yard average) and 7 TD's. He did not catch the ball much out of the backfield and needs work there. But in the 6th round, he is an intriguing talent who can excel in a zone run blocking scheme. Plus, I had to pick him because APP Andy Hetzel is a big Georgia Bulldog fan.
#226 - Jimmy Moreland CB 5'11" 175 lbs. (James Madison). The Packers need more depth at cornerback and receive an ultra-talented cover corner who produced 14 INT's and 42 PD's in three seasons, including 8 INT's in 2017. He has the talent to be picked much higher but will fall due to character concerns. He ran 4.38 in the 40 at his Pro Day. He excelled at the Senior Bowl and made a name for himself in practice. He was snubbed from participating at the NFL Combine. He will be highly motivated and has all the talent to be a good man cover corner in the NFL.
The Packers could use an ILB but no one worth value was there in my mock draft after the first round. They will likely target this position with their undrafted signings.
Can you say Super Bowl with this draft? Haha!
Happy drafting and Go Pack!