Since this is the first Packers mock draft I am doing after the Davante Adams trade, I will not being doing any trades. Not until I get a good feel for who’s available and where I feel they can make a move up or down.
This mock was done assuming a few things. First, that Rasul Douglas would be re-signed. Second, that the Packers would sign a veteran wide receiver in free agency. Someone like a Juju Smith-Schuster, Julio Jones, AJ Green, etc.
For this Packers mock draft, I used the Pro Football Network mock draft simulator. Now to the mock and my thoughts afterwards.
I took Jermaine Johnson to kick off this Packers mock draft because he was too good of a player to pass up. He just turned 23 in January, so he would be the oldest first round pick by Brian Gutekunst, but the guy is probably the third-best complete EDGE in the class. He provides depth as a rookie that they haven’t had in a long time.
Tyler Smith would obviously be the right tackle of the future. He may not be ready to start as a rookie, but the guy is a beast and a worker. Smith is an athletic freak and will turn 21 on April 1st. He also has some positional versatility and could play guard, if need be. He fits the Gutey mold.
Nick Cross may not be there at 53. Rumors are NFL teams are a lot higher on him than Draft Twitter. But I took him with the chance of him being able to finally bring stability to the third safety role, and also allow Savage to play in the slot. This would give the Packers one of the best secondary groups in the league.
With the Packers bringing in a vet “#1 receiver”, this would allow George Pickens to have time to develop as the #3 receiver to start with, behind the vet and Allen Lazard/Randall Cobb. He brings some similar elements as Marquez Valdes-Scantling, in that he is a deep threat and a great blocker.
Erik Ezukanma brings future #2 receiver potential. He fits the Gutey mold for the type of receivers he likes. He’s big, strong, a good athlete, a decent blocker, and gets YAC. He can spend his rookie year as the #4/gadget receiver.
Thomas Booker provides depth on the defensive line and adds some pass rush help for Kenny Clark. They should be okay at nose with Tedarrell Slaton and Clark both getting snaps there.
Cole Turner gives the Packers the seam-stretching tight end that has been missing from the offense for years — since Jermichael Finley. He also provides a great red zone threat.
Zach Tom is another fit for the type of offensive linemen that Gutey likes to draft. He just needs some development. He could even move inside to guard if tackle doesn’t work out. With Yosuah Nijman being the only returning tackle with experience behind David Bakhtiari, the Packers need more depth.
Matt Araiza is the best punter in the NFL draft with a cannon for a leg. He has launched a couple 80-yard boomers. He also has experience kicking off, so he could do that to let Mason Crosby rest his leg. The Packers did sign Pat O’Donnell, but he’s been average to below-average his career. Araiza would be better as a rookie.
Zach VanVelkenburg would be a good fit as another depth piece. He is a good run defender, and can rush the passer a little. None of the Packers’ current back-ups have shown much. He would fight it out with Jonathan Garvin for the #4 edge spot.
Kevin Austin closes out this Packers mock draft. He is big, strong, fast, and a good blocker. Very much a Gutey pick. He could return kicks if Kylin Hill is not ready. Austin would also be a very good special teams player, which he has experience with. He could be another Jeff Janis with down-the-road potential as a receiver.