Final mock roundup before 2017 draft
We’re officially one day out from the NFL draft, so what better time for one final look to see which prospects various esteemed draft gurus have in mind for the Packers.
We’ll start with Doug Farrar’s mock draft over at Bleacher Report.
Doug likes Colorado cornerback Chidobe Awuzie to help bolster the Packers' leaky secondary:
No matter what happens with their defense, run game, offensive line or playbook, the Green Bay Packers will always be in contention as long as Aaron Rodgers takes the field to do things no other quarterback can do. But the Pack hasn't won a Lombardi Trophy since the end of the 2010 season, and if that's to change, the defense needs to play better. Cornerback is their most glaring need, and it must be addressed.
Chidobe Awuzie hasn't gotten the buzz that higher-profile cornerbacks in this class have, but the tape doesn't lie. He can play both outside and in the slot, showing the versatility that defensive coordinator Dom Capers prefers in his defensive backs. Awuzie doesn't have great long speed, but as an intermediate defender in multiple positions, he'd provide an upgrade. In addition, he led all cornerbacks in stops with 41 in 2015, and he can excel as a blitzer.
Next, we take a look at Danny Kelly’s final mock for The Ringer:
Danny has the Packers addressing their pass-rushing needs with Michigan State’s Malik McDowell:
Inconsistency is the biggest concern when it comes to the 6-foot-6, 295-pound McDowell, but when he’s on, he’s damn-near unblockable. Putting him on Green Bay’s defensive line next to Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark would give the Packers the potential to field one of the most dominant run-stuffing fronts in football, and against the pass, the athletic penetrator can play the five-technique spot or bump inside to provide some push from the nose tackle position.
Steve Mariucci makes the pick for the NFL Network mock draft and gives the Packers Wisconsin’s T.J. Watt.
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah has his fifth and final mock draft completed and has the Packers going with Watt as well.
This one just makes too much sense. The Packers need another rusher and Watt is a stud.
Chad Reuter has a seven-round (yes, seven) mock draft that addresses a bunch of needs for the Packers.
Green Bay will have a tough choice between Watt and Jabrill Peppers. The Wisconsin pass rusher might win out if the Packers think they can mine secondary talent later in a deep draft.
Here is the full slate of picks Chad has going to the Green and Gold:
Round 1 (29) T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
Round 2 (61) D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texas
Round 3 (93) Derek Rivers, OLB, Youngstown State
Round 4 (134) Sean Harlow, G, Oregon State
Round 5 (172) Jonathan Calvin, DE, Mississippi State
Round 5 (182) Nate Hairston, CB, Temple
Round 6 (212) Robert Davis, WR, Georgia State
Round 7 (247) Jonathan McLaughlin, T, Virginia Tech
Don Banks has the Cowboys taking Watt right before the Packers' pick, leaving them with Jabrill Peppers.
The Packers seem fixated on defense in the first round, so I don’t think Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon is on their radar screen until round two. The versatile Peppers seems like a nice fit for Green Bay’s defense, given how much Dom Capers has been known to move his chess pieces around from week to week.
SBNation has wide receiver Chris Godwin going to the Packers.
You might be thinking, "Really? A receiver over a running back or cornerback in round two?" The fact is, the Packers have always been more willing to spend high draft capital on wideouts than they have on running backs, and with the run on corners in round two, there aren't any on the board that we feel are good value and good fits in Green Bay. Godwin, on the other hand, is both.
He checks off all the boxes that the Packers tend to look for in a receiver — size, speed, quickness, and college productivity. In addition, he is young, having just turned 21, so he has room to continue to grow and progress under the tutelage of Mike McCarthy and company.
Finally, receiver is actually a sneaky need for the Packers this year. Jordy Nelson had a nice bounce-back season, but he will turn 32 next month. Meanwhile, Randall Cobb has so far failed to live up to his big contract and Davante Adams will be a free agent next spring. It's possible that any one (or more) of them might be gone in 2018, leaving a significant hole on the roster at receiver. In addition, Godwin can win on the outside, and he should provide a legitimate one-on-one deep threat that the Packers don't seem to have right now.
Over at Pro Football Focus, Steve Palazzolo has the Packers going linebacker with Vanderbilt’s Zach Cunningham.
Even though Green Bay may not go the linebacking route, I love Cunningham’s fit for the middle of their defense. He attacks blockers in the run game and usually finds his way to the ball carrier as his 56 solo run stops led all Power-5 linebackers in 2016. Cunningham also brings range and athleticism in coverage, with his only major question mark being his tackling as he’s missed 34 attempts over the last two seasons.