The Green Bay Packers have had quite a dramatic offseason. Despite not signing any free agents away from other teams, they have re-signed several of their own. Aaron Jones and Kevin King both are coming back, shoring up depth at the running back and cornerback positions. Before they signed, both were glaring areas of need. Now, the Packers have a little more flexibility in the draft to address depth at other areas of need. Below is a mock draft that was simulated using thedraftnetwork.com.
First Round Pick- Eric Stokes: CB Georgia
Eric Stokes is not believed to have the potential to immediately be a team’s number one cornerback. However, he is believed to be a solid starting second corner who can play in both man and zone coverages. Many experts believe he is best suited in a defense that plays a lot of nickel defense.
That report makes it sound like the Green Bay Packers are the ideal landing spot for Stokes. With Jaire Alexander cemented as the primary cornerback, Stokes would not need to cover opponents’ top target on a regular basis.
Stokes’ weaknesses are awareness and the lack of a closing burst. He does, however, have NFL-ready length, versatility, and footwork. In addition, he has improved his ball defending skills, and came away with four interceptions in 10 games in 2020. Two of these he returned for touchdowns.
Second Round Pick- James Hudson: OT Cincinnati
Offensive line is an area in which the Packers are glaringly thin. David Bakhtiari is out until midseason as he recovers from a torn ACL. Rick Wagner was a cap casualty and Corey Linsley departed in free agency. The Packers still have Elgton Jenkins, the swiss army knife lineman who can play anywhere on the line. In addition, they still have Billy Turner, Jake Hanson, Jon Runyan Jr., and Lucas Patrick on the roster. However, one thing is clear: the Packers need more young linemen that they can develop.
James Hudson fits this description to a T. He is not yet ready to be an everyday starter in the NFL, but has such a high ceiling that he could end up being a steal to whichever team drafts him. He started at left tackle in 2020, but can be molded to fit in any role. The Packers greatly value players that can be plugged into any position. In James Hudson, they could have a player they can mold to do just that.
Third Round Pick- Marlon Tuipulotu: IDL USC
Even though the Green Bay Packers had a top-ten defense last season, one of the areas in which they struggled often was in run defense. The need was such that the Packers brought in Snacks Harrison towards the end of the season to provide some support in the run defense. However, Snacks did not play much and the Packers are left trying to find pieces to improve their run defense going forward.
Marlon Tuipulotu is an interior defensive lineman from USC who could provide legitimate run defense right away. He also does well in the pass rush. Tuipulotu possess excellent block recognition that allows him to work and power through the offensive line in pursuit of the quarterback. In Green Bay, Tuipulotu would play behind Kenny Clark and Kingsley Keke. Both of whom are above-average linemen. However after them, the Packers have little-to-no depth. Tuipulotu could fix that.
Fourth Round Pick- Seth Williams: WR Auburn
The Green Bay Packers had the NFL’s highest scoring offense in 2020. Even though many fans wanted the Packers to draft or sign a wide receiver last season, the Packers stayed pat. It worked out quite well for them. However, as the front office looks ahead to the future, it sees that wide receiver will become a glaring need after 2021. To illustrate this, here is a list of current Packers’ wide receivers under contract beyond this upcoming season:
That’s right. No one. Without a doubt, Davante Adams will be extended and the Packers will probably bring back Allen Lazard and/or Marques Valdez-Scantling. However, they are in need of young talent that they can develop and who can also provide immediate impact. They can find this in Seth Williams, a wide receiver out of Auburn.
Seth Williams is a sure-handed receiver who is fearless when going for balls over the middle. He has the versatility to play any role in any scheme, which is something the Packers value. Also of importance is that he is considered to be an excellent option for any team in special teams. The Packers have not had a good kick or punt returner in a long time, and Williams could provide some excitement in that area.
Fourth Round Pick- Charles Snowden: LB Virginia
The linebacker play from the Green Bay Packers, outside of Za’Darrius Smith and Rashan Gary, was very inconsistent in 2020. New defensive coordinator Joe Berry has stated that the Packers will remain in a 3-4 scheme, which makes the need for productive linebackers one the Packers must address. Preston Smith will be back, but there is no guarantee he will have a bounce-back season. Adding an edge rusher in the draft would be a good idea.
Charles Snowden out of Virginia would be an ideal fit for the Green Bay Packers. He is tall for his position, but moves well and grades well in pass coverage. In a 3-4 defense, it is important for some outside linebackers to be solid in the passing game, and that is something Snowden can contribute right away. In addition, he is strong and can hit gaps quickly. He needs to bulk up and work on his hand usage, but has all the tools necessary to be a good outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.
Late Round Draft Picks
- Fifth Round- Caden Sterns: S Texas
- Fifth Round- Drake Jackson: IOL Kentucky
- Sixth Round- Khalil Herbert: RB Virginia Tech
- Sixth Round- Cary Angeline: TE NC State
- Seventh Round- Cade Johnson: WR South Dakota
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