It’s time for a Green Bay Packers themed mock draft, folks. We all know about the rumors of Aaron Rodgers ending up in Denver now that Nathaniel Hackett got hired there and is possibly bringing Justin Outten as his offensive coordinator. So I did a mock draft to get an idea of what kind of players the Packers could get in the draft if they traded him to Denver.
I used the mock draft simulator at Rise N Draft Scouting, and since you can not trade players for draft picks with the draft simulators I took over as GM for both the Packers and the Broncos.
I think we can all agree that a package for him would start with at least a first and a second this season. The compensation in 2023 and beyond is unimportant for this exercise though. So let’s not worry about that for the moment. With the “trade” the Packers acquire picks #9 and #40 from the Broncos. This gives the Packers a total of 11 draft picks.
This mock is assuming the Packers go full ‘rip the band-aid off’ and lose Adams, both Smith brothers, Lewis, MVS, Lowry, Crosby, Cobb, Sullivan, Douglas, and Wirtel. All restricted free agents are back, plus Bojorquez and Campbell. Now to the picks.
Round 1: Pick 9 – David Ojabo – Edge – Michigan
We start this Packers mock draft with Michigan EDGE David Ojabo. With the Smiths gone, there of course is a gaping hole opposite Gary. Ojabo fills it perfectly. He is a freak athlete with immense upside and potential. He has little experience though, only having played football since his junior year of high school. I would suspect his development will take a similar arc to Gary.
Round 1: Pick 28 – Daxton Hill – S – Michigan
Ojabo and his teammate get to keep playing together. Hill has similar athleticism and upside as Darnell Savage had when he came out. He is super fast and explosive along with having experience playing in the slot. Unlike Savage, he is more of a pure free safety and is also a touch bigger. This selection would allow Savage to move into the “star” role, even potentially opening an option to be used interchangeably.
Round 2: Pick 40 – George Pickens – WR – Georgia
If not for his Achilles injury in the spring, we would probably be talking about Pickens as a top 20 pick. He is long, super athletic, and already a very good deep threat. It’s no exaggeration that this young man has #1 receiver potential. Even if he doesn’t reach his full potential, the Packers still have an MVS-type player on their roster.
Round 2: Pick 59 – Phidarian Mathis – DL – Alabama
Mathis gives Kenny Clark the help fans have been clamoring for over the last three seasons. A bit of a late bloomer, his first three seasons he was seen as mostly just a big, strong run stuffer. He has really improved his pass rush skills this season and could play nose to let Kenny go outside and one gap — or the other way around. He would make it a lot harder for teams to double Kenny and leave Mathis and the edge rushers all one-on-one.
Round 3: Pick 92 – Isaiah Likely – TE – Costal Carolina
Likely would be the most athletic tight end that the Packers have drafted since Jermichael Finley. He brings a similar skill set, but not as big. Likely would be the seam-splitting tight end that the Packers thought they were getting with Sternberger, but faster. He would create a great tag team with Tonyan.
Round 4: Pick 128 – Emeka Emezie – Wide Receiver -North Carolina State
Emezie is another great fit for what the Packers look for in their wide receivers. He is 6-foot-3, 212 with long arms, good speed, and good hands. Emezie plays a physical game, is a good blocker, and is great on contested catches and in the red zone. There’s still room for growth in his route running, but he has #2 receiver upside.
Round 4: Pick 137 – Bryan Cook – Safety – Cincinnati
The Packers #3 and #4 safeties have been poor these last two years. With Hill and Cook on board, this selection makes it a strength. Cook has versatility and can play both free, strong, and even some slot experience. Cook brings good size to the field. 2021 was his best season to day, especially in coverage. He picked off two passes, broke up seven, and did not allow a single touchdown.
Round 5: Pick 169 – Austin Allen – TE – Nebraska
Allen is a huge tight end; at 6-foot-8 260, lbs. People would think he is a big, lumbering tight end that is essentially an offensive tackle. In reality, he is actually a pretty solid athlete. He is a very good blocker though, and would be a great replacement for Marcedes Lewis. He has good hands and was underrated as a receiver since he plays at Nebraska, where throwing the ball is not a staple.
Round 7: Pick 224 – Tyler Vrabel – OT – Boston College
I tried targeting a tackle earlier, but the board just didn’t fall right. Here, the Packers nab the son of Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel. As a standard of Boston College lineman, Vrabel brings experience at both left and right tackle. Physical and aggressive, he might be better off inside due to questions about his length and tendency to get a little top heavy. That said, he has good agility, which is something the Packers emphasize with their OL.
Round 7: Pick 245 – Bo Melton – Wide Receiver – Rutgers
Yes we triple dipped. With only Rodgers and Lazard back, the Packers will need a major infusion of talent. Melton has similar size to Cobb (5-foot-11, 194), but runs in the low 4.4s. He also brings explosiveness to the field as a potential big YAC player, but has average agility. He can play slot and was also used on jet sweeps, screens, and special teams.
Round 7: Pick 255 – Cal Adomitis – LS – Pittsburgh
Why not finish this Packers mock draft with a long snapper? He is universally regarded as the best long snapper in the draft class — probably the only one that deserves a late pick. If the Packers had a decent long snapper, they might’ve beat San Francisco.
This mock draft would set the Packers up for the future. You get five or six players with starter potential and at least three with Pro Bowl potential. They are almost all highly athletic. This was kind of a traditional Gutekunst draft.