Packers XLV

Here's My 2018 Packers Mock Draft. Let the Mocking Ensue.

Posted April 24th, 2018 @ 03:04pm

The Brian Gutekunst era officially kicks off this week, with the Pack’s new GM—armed with a league high 12 picks—set to deliver his initial draft class. Gutey needs to be up to the challenge as the Packers look to remain near the top of a stacked NFC.

It would be beyond surprising if he actually keeps all 12 picks—the smart money says he’ll move up and down a bit and end up drafting nine or ten players. For the purposes of my mock, I’ll make the picks as scheduled, while considering what could happen if Gutey swings a deal.

First, here is how I have the first 13 picks falling:

1. Cleveland: Sam Darnold, QB, USC: I can’t see Dorsey and Wolf swinging for the fences with Josh Allen here.

2. N.Y. Giants: Saquon Barkley, RB Penn St.: Eli’s team is suddenly the least relevant in the division. That won’t work in New York. They bring in an instant star and try to wring a bounce back season out of Manning.

3. N.Y. Jets: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma: See above. Jets go with the QB with the most star power and rolls the dice that he grows up quickly.

4. Cleveland: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State: He would look SO good in green and gold. Pairs with last year’s #1 to build the foundation of a budding defense.

5. Denver: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming: Elway’s talking about trading out, but Allen getting mentored by Keenum sounds like a winning combination for now and the future.

6. Buffalo (trade with Colts): Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA: Colts have needs everywhere, so they add a second #1 and give Buffalo their QB of the (near) future.

7. Tampa Bay: Derwin James, S, Florida St: Fits a need for Bucs and has lots of college fans in the area.

8. Chicago: Quentin Nelson, G, Notre Dame: Virtually every mock has this one. Which means it can’t possibly happen.

9. San Francisco: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia: Last year’s #1 pick might soon be behind bars. Smith slots in to replace him.

10. Oakland: Tremaine Edmonds, LB, Virginia Tech: He’s young and raw, but Gruden loves him and he fits a need.

11. Miami: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama: This might be a spot the Pack looks to move up to to grab Denzel Ward. With top four QBs gone, Fish could look to add picks. If not, they take the best player left on the board.

12. Indianapolis (from Bills): Vita Vea, DT, Washington: Colts D desperately needs some beef and by moving down they get the best nose tackle in the draft.

13. Washington: Denzel Ward, CB Ohio St.: They would look long at hard at the tackle, McGlinchey, and the Pack dearly hopes they do. But Ward’s value is too hard to pass up at a position where they need a playmaker.

If it falls this way, with the top six defensive studs off the board, the Pack brain trust will likely be disappointed. I think they will try hard to move up to 10-12 if one of them is still available. If Ward, James, Fitzpatrick or either of the two LBs are on the board, the Pack takes one of them. But if they’re all gone, I’ve got the Pack drafting:

14.  Marcus Davenport, OLB, Texas-San Antonio: The concern, of course, is the small school background. But Davenport appears to have as much or more upside of any pass rusher in the draft. Gutey swings for the fences here that Davenport can navigate the extreme rise in competition and become an instant rotational player in the front seven. With Matthews and Perry always banged up, there is a desperate need for a pass rusher to make things a bit easier for the guys on the back end.

(Bonus pick: I think the Vikes wait on the offensive line until Friday and draft South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert with pick #30, as they envision double tight end looks with Rudolph and the rookie. They deem another weapon for their shiny new QB the top priority).

Round 2 (45) Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado: It would be a huge surprise if the Pack doesn’t pick a corner with one of its first two picks. Oliver has the height and the ability to press at the line that the Pack’s scheme covets. Very athletic kid who has a chance to be a long-time starter, which Packers would need him to be, since Williams and House are likely one-year stopgaps. He can also fill a need as a punt returner.

Round 3 (76) Dante Pettis, WR, Washington: I wouldn’t be shocked to see Gutey move back into the second round to try to lock up the tall, speedy DJ Chark from LSU if he’s still there at around pick 60. If he’s still available, he’s the pick here. If not, Pettis would give the Pack a complement to Adams as a speedy outside threat. His record nine career TDs as a punt returner would give Green Bay a nice new weapon on special teams.

Round 4 (101) Dalton Schultz, TE, Stanford: The more things change, the more they stay the same as Gutey continues his run on the Pac 12. Schultz is a complete tight end and will provide the blocking ability the Pack lost with the departure of Richard Rodgers (Jimmy Graham will not be asked to do much blocking). He has good hands, but not great speed. Could be a nice addition for the run game and become a reliable third down target for #12 down the road.

Round 4 (133) Chuks Okorafor, OT, W. Michigan: The Pack may end up addressing their unsettled situation at right tackle sooner, but if they wait, the massive Okarofor would be a solid pick. He’s played both tackle spots and at 6’6” 330, he’s got the measurables to compete at this level. PJ Fleck would call him ‘elite.’

Round 5 (138) Jack Cichy, OLB, Wisconsin: The Somerset native would likely be drafted a couple of rounds higher had he not missed his last 20 games. Despite 18 months of inactivity,the Pack likes the value here to pair him with former teammate Vince Biegel. With 12 picks, the team can afford to roll the dice that Cichy’s health problems are a thing of the past.

Round 5 (172) Quin Blanding, S, Virginia: A four-year starter who played virtually every snap for all four seasons, he’d be an instant addition to the special teams units. Pack needs depth here with the loss of Burnett, but with Jones, Brice and Evans ahead of him on the depth chart, he won’t be counted on for defensive snaps early.

Round 5 (174) Tony Brown, CB, Alabama: Another pick that will be asked to compete right away on special teams. Pack likes his toughness and ability to tackle, but he still needs to work on coverage abilities. Probably projects as a backup throughout his career, but could turn into a solid nickel corner in a couple of years.

Round 6 (186) Matt Gono, G, Wesley: Gutey’s predecessor was very good at finding linemen on day three and let’s hope this kid is the latest. He’s probably a couple of years away, after playing at the Division III level, but the Packers figure to have a couple of in-house candidates to replace Jahri Evans if he isn’t resigned. Gono is big and raw, but has potential to be a starter down the road. Pencil him in for the practice squad in 2018.

Round 6 (207) Braxton Berrios, WR, Miami: At just 5’9” he draws comparisons to Danny Amendola and figures to be featured in the slot in the NFL. Tough, productive player at the U who is also a solid punt returner. He has a shot at stealing Trevor Davis’ roster spot, after Davis ran his mouth at the airport. This would make three rookie candidates to audition as the team’s  2018 punt returner.

Round 7 (232) Phillip Lindsay, RB, Colorado: After drafting three backs last year, this is not a need pick. But Lindsay is more of a third down, receiving option—something the Pack doesn’t have on the roster. Nicknamed the Tasmanian Devil, Lindsay is a bundle of energy on the field. He’s just 5’9” 190, so he won’t be asked to run between the tackles, but could make the team as a change of pace back.

Round 7 (239) Matt Dickerson, DE, UCLA: Gutey just can’t let a draft go by without one Bruin being drafted. An injury ended his senior year midway through the season, so his draft status is cloudy. Think of him as a poor man’s Dean Lowry—he lands on the practice squad this year and will work to earn a roster spot in 2019.

This is my ninth Packer mock draft and I believe I have gotten precisely one pick right in the nine years: Randall Cobb. I’ll consider the draft an instant success if they are able to grab one of the six elite defenders with the #14 pick. The defense needs a difference maker and all of those guys have a chance to be special.




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Comments (9):

After being allowed in the Packer draft war room as a consultant draft advisor to new GM Brian Gutekunst, here forward known as "Gutey" I am prepared after endless study hours to offer my annual Packer mock draft. First...a disclaimer...any resemblence to Davy's draft is purely coincidental...taking into account Davy was not allowed in the war room because he is an Indiana alum. We have 12 picks and Gutey will not let me trade so I will give all 12 picks. Here we go: Round 1- There will be a run on QB's before we draft...5 taken and edge guys and LB's we we are very surprised he drops this far...but we select Minkah Fitpatrick the do every thing DB from Alabama. He is actually a DB who can excel in press coverage something we lack. Gutey is so surprised he is available he sends Trevor Davis sprinting to the podium doing a 4.32 40 with the pick. It was Davis' best 40 time of his career. Round 2- Jeff Holland..DE- Auburn..This is an instant Day 1 starter at LB or DE...led the SEC in sacks against great competition...his coach said highest motor athlete he has ever had. Gutey sends Clay Mathews sprinting to the podium with this choice...but on the way he pulls his hamstring and will miss the first 4 games of the season. Gutey then sends a no name free agent LB holdover from the TT era to take Mathews place but he gets completely lost.Round 3-Cedric Wilson....Wide Receiver.. Boise State 6-5 197...son of Cedric Wilson a 7 year NFL wide receiver. This guy just keeps getting better every year. As a senior had 83 catches for 1,511 yards. Big and fast will beat out Allison. Rodgers preferred signing Dez Bryant or Brandon Marshall but when conferred by Gutey on this choice Rodgers responded.." You did not confer with me on a QB coach. I will trust the "Process". Besides I am too busy as a Milwaukee Buck owner working in their war room on the June NBA Draft. Round 4- Tyquan Lewis DE/LB..Ohio State..6-3 270 ..4 year starter...led team in sacks last year. Situational player probably. Round 4-2nd pick..Brandon Parker...OT- North Carolina A+T..Despite small school this first team FCS tackle at 6-7 314lbs dominates and will challenge Bulaga. Nick Perry was Gutey's choice to take these selections to the podium but with all his hand injuries he could not hold the card. Gutey selects another TT leftover free agent to deliver the selections. Round 5...3 selections..Holton Hill DB- Texas...4.49 speed and good size at 6-2 but maturity issues..Quenten Meeks.DB..Stanford...son of a 21 year veteran NFL devensive coach...good size..projects more as a safety...Alex Cappa--OT.. Humboldt State...6-6.305...Division 2 All American..a Thor look alike...check this guy out. Brett Hundley is Guteys choice to deliver to the podium. When he gets to the podium he is heard shouting out..".someone please offer a 5th round choice for me" Round 6...2 choices..Durham Smythe TE- Notre Dame 6-5 253 considered best blocking tight end in draft. Could replace the departed Richard Rogers. Chase Edmonds RB- Fordham...5-9 205...FCS two time All American..fell just a few yards short of being FCS's all time yardage leader. Martellus Bennett was Gutey choice to take these selections to the podium but TT in an advisory roll had to inform him Bennett is nowhere to be found. Round 7...2 choices..Allen Lazard WR- Iowa 6-5 coaches said he was the best possession receiver in the Big 12. PJ Hall-310 lb DT 2 time FCS All American from Sam Houston State. Upon constant urging from him Gutey allows Brett Hundley to take the selections to the podium. When he gets there he is heard screaming out "please someone take me for a 7th round choice. New backup QB Kizer is summoned to the stand to take him back to his place. There you have it...12 picks ...I am sure my good friend "The Voice" who loves draft and develop will hopefully approve. GO PACK GO !!

on April 24th, 2018 at 01:03pm

Wait until day 3 to address that swiss cheese line. Good luck fending the Bears off for third in the division.

on April 24th, 2018 at 02:38pm

Your team lacks proven starters at most positions and you have zero depth, yet you'd be SURPRISED if they used all 12 picks? You need all the help you can get. No QB's taken by the Pack? Guess you're fine rolling with Hundley again (hahaha) or Kizer (even worse). You've outdone yourself with this year's mock, THC. And no need to placate us Vikings fans with your "bonus pick" even though more Viking fans actually come here than Packer fans.

on April 24th, 2018 at 11:22am

TL;DR Didn't need to read to know that it was absolute garbage. You should probably quit while you're still ... ahead? No that doesn't seem right... third place? Yep, that's it! You should quit while you're still in third place in the NFC North.

on April 24th, 2018 at 11:31am

Don't even bother trying to pick for the Vikings. If you think we need ANOTHER weapon besides Diggs, Thielen, Rudolph and Cook...well, that's the kind of drafting that got the Packers right where they currently are.

on April 24th, 2018 at 11:38am

I think the PACK should look seriously about a 2nd 1st round pick later in the round and take the TE from South Dakota State - he's the real deal and could be mentored by Graham. Goedert has great hands and a great work ethic.

on April 25th, 2018 at 09:18am

I just came here to read Larry's post. Interesting that he doesn't like Ward. I think this is going to be impossible to pick. I would bet the run on QB's starts late, meaning those teams trade back a bit and a lot of these defensive guys go before 14. That said I wouldn't mind quality over quantity in this draft. So I'm not opposed to trading up and have two first or two second round picks to be game changers.

on April 26th, 2018 at 02:29pm

I/m still waiting for some packer guys to give predictions tonight. I do see THC has only 5 defensive guys, . I think it will be 8 on d 4 on offense when it's all done. unless they trade away one of there 4th and 5th rd, picks to move up, I heard they like cb Ward from O.S., and may move up. hope not. think he is to small, 5-10 and change and 185, I would rather have Derwin James,.on previous post I gave you my picks if I were drafting. here is what I think Guttey will do. he will take Alexander cb, from L.V. like I said in other post, he is moving up. I had him going to us in 2nd rd before. if he does move up , he will go to #7 and trade with TB, and take Smith LB from Georgia,, the vikings will trade back and get a 3rd rd pick extra pick and move to around 8-10 in 2nd rd, and take Price OG. O.S, relax and enjoy . GO Packers.

on April 26th, 2018 at 12:52pm

Well, THC called the right player at the right spot at 14. He just got the team wrong. And LARRY!, Larry nailed it! Plus he should be happy on how we got that player. Moving down and still getting a player of need. I'm sure we are all now hoping the Saints go 1-15 since they play the Vikings. I'm personally proud of how wrong I was. I get nervous when I'm right or feel cocky. Maybe next time OSSG will put some breaks or spaces in his paragraph, and I'll read his post. For now, I'm just going to praise Larry!

on April 30th, 2018 at 10:15am

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