Welcome to my annual “Brian Gutekunst special” Packers mock draft. I do this every year. To explain it; we all know Gutey likes his high-level athletes, so I do a mock draft where my almost sole focus is on getting the Packers the most athletic players I can. Now, of course fit and thresholds are considered with each pick. This is mostly just done for fun though.
Round 1, Pick 15: Isaiah Foskey – Edge – Notre Dame
He’s probably not worth a top 15 pick, but he fits the Packers mold, is a freak athlete, and fits a need. He would give the Packers a starter opposite Preston Smith while Rashan Gary recovers, then can take over for Smith in 2024.
Round 2, Pick 42: Darnell Washington – TE – Georgia
Washington is a giant, freak athlete who may not play up to his testing numbers, but is still a very large man who is already a good blocker. He, of course, still has receiving upside. Washington would end up starting as a rookie.
Round 2, Pick 43: Keion White – DL – Georgia Tech
Yes, that’s right. He’s a defensive lineman, not an edge rusher — although that is what he played at GT. Despite being 24, he still has a lot of upside and would immediately upgrade Green Bay’s pass rush on the defensive line, and give the Packers their best fourth defensive lineman in quite awhile.
Round 2, Pick 45: Julius Brents – CB – Kansas State
Brents is very much a Packers type defensive back. 6’2 200 pounds and a 9.99 RAS score. He would allow the Packers to move Rasul Douglas to safety, or even Brents could play safety. Brents would allow defensive coordinator Joe Barry to be more versatile with the Packers defense.
Round 3, Pick 78: Blake Freeland – OT – BYU
I’m not sure if he is their cup of tea, but there is no denying his size and athleticism. 6’7 302 with a 9.83 RAS. He could sit a year behind Bahktiari and build up his core strength, then take over in 2024.
Round 4, Pick 116: Jonathan Mingo – WR – Ole Miss
With Brents being the Packer-est of Packers at corner, Mingo would be that of the wide receivers. At 6’2 220 with a 9.86 RAS score and running a 4.46 40-yard dash, Mingo would instantly add even more athleticism to the wide receiver corps. Mingo could make this one of the deadliest groups of receivers in the NFL. He would be the #3 receiver and could rotate both in the slot (he played 34% of his snaps in 2022 in the slot) and outside, same with Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs.
Round 5, Pick 149: Bryce Ford-Wheaton – WR – West Virginia
At least athletically, another Packers type of player with BFW coming in a 6’3 220 with a RAS score of 9.97 and a 4.38 40-yard dash. He would instantly bring some size and speed to the special teams where he could be a gunner and be Green Bay’s #4 receiver. Ford-Wheaton is an outside-only receiver.
Round 5, Pick 170: Gervarrius Owens – S – Houston
Owens of course is another freak athlete at 6’0 195 with a 9.21 RAS score. He didn’t have a great 40-yard dash time with a 4.57, but tested out really well everywhere else. He brings a bit of a hitter mentality, but has shown improvement in coverage in 2022. He could come in and play strong safety, playing mostly in the box while he continues to develop his cover skills and could become a starter by year two.
Round 7, Pick 232: Xazavian Valladay – RB – ASU
Valladay was a transfer from Wyoming who rushed for 1,192 yards and 16 TDs in 2022 on just 215 attempts, he also chipped in 37 catches. He came in at 5’11 204 with an RAS score of 9.46 and ran a 4.46 40-yard dash. His pass blocking does need work, so he can sit as a the #3 back while he works on that and he has special teams experience. He could form a nice duo in 2024 with either AJ Dillion or Aaron Jones.
Round 7, Pick 235: Jordan Howden – S – Minnesota
Howden is a former walk-on who built himself up into an NFL player. He has been a four year starter and has played all over the defensive backfield. He goes 6’0 203 with an 8.88 RAS score and ran a 4.49 40-yard dash at the combine. He has special teams experience and could start out there while he develops a little. Howden can also be a jack-of-all-trades in the secondary and could develop into a starter.
Round 7, Pick 242: Anfernee Orji – LB – Vanderbuilt
Orji came to Vanderbuilt as a safety, but converted to linebacker in 2021. Which, of course, will draw the Oren Burks comparisons. But this is a 7th round pick. If he develops into anything more than a special teamer and maybe 3rd or 4th linebacker, its just a bonus. Orji came in at 6’1 230 with a 9.23 RAS score, running a 4.53 40-yard dash time. He is obviously still developing. While he has flashed a little as a pass rusher and in coverage, he does need to cut down on the missed tackles.
Round 7, Pick 256: Blake Whiteheart – TE – Wake Forest
Whiteheart has typical TE size at 6’4 247, but has a RAS score of 8.98. He ran an average 4.7 40-yard dash, but had a really good 3-cone time of 6.77, which is better than a lot of receivers. It shows how quick he is in and out of his routes. He wasn’t thrown the ball a lot with all the receivers Wake Forest had, but he made plays in the passing game when he got his hands on the ball. Whiteheart also only had two career drops, and has been good on contested catches. He could be Green Bay’s #3 tight end while he develops some in year one.
And that’s it for this fun take on a Packers mock draft. Hit me up on Twitter @bmaafi to let me know what you think, and stay tuned for more Packers coverage.