Mock draft roundup: Could Packers go ... offense?
With less than a month until the NFL draft kicks off, speculation about who the Packers might take with their first-round selection is all the rage.
Each week, we take a look at the many mock drafts floating around and round up a bunch from across the web and take a look at who draft experts are eyeing for the Green Bay Packers.
We start with USA TODAY's latest mock, which has the Packers trading down to the 17th pick in the first round and picking up a wide receiver:
From Nate Davis:
No 17: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama: Jordy Nelson is gone, and Randall Cobb might be in a year. Ridley effectively mixes the skills of both, ready to run polished routes now and able to provide the deep speed lost with Nelson's departure.
Over at Pro Football Focus, Steve Palazzolo’s latest mock also has the Packers going with Ridley:
The wide receiver class doesn’t have a clear No. 1 this year, but it’s going to be all about slotting skillsets into each offense. The Packers add Ridley who is one of the best vertical threats in the draft and he’s a fine complement to Davante Adams and Randall Cobb. Ridley averaged 45.1 yards per reception on his deep targets, sixth-best in the draft class last season.
In Peter Schrager’s latest mock for NFL Media, he has the Packers taking UCF cornerback Mike Hughes:
Hughes can flat-out ball. He spent only one season at UCF, and he has some questions to answer about his UNC days. However, he would be a nice fit in what could be a young and talented Green Bay secondary.
SB Nation’s Dan Kandar thinks the Packers need to focus on their secondary and he has them taking Alabama playmaker Minkah Fitzpatrick:
At this point in the first round, Fitzpatrick would be hard to pass up. To get a potential top five pick at No. 14 would be a steal for the Packers. Fitzpatrick can play down in the slot, drop back into deep coverage, and even play a little bit of dime linebacker.
Draft Wire’s Luke Easterling thinks the Packers will address their pass rush with Boston College’s Harold Landry:
Another defense that needs help at every level, the Packers can sit back and let the board dictate where the best value lies. In this scenario, the best fit is Landry, who backed up his stellar film with a strong combine workout, showing off the explosiveness and athleticism that made him the FBS sack king in 2016.
In their dueling mock drafts for ESPN, Todd McShay and Mel Kiper each address the Packers' defensive needs, but at different positions. Kiper gives the Packers edge rusher Marcus Davenport, while McShay selects cornerback Josh Jackson:
Kiper: Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio
As I noted in my Mock Draft 3.0, pass-rusher Clay Matthews will be 32 in May. Green Bay needs to find (and develop) his replacement.
McShay: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
Marcus Davenport is still a possibility here, but I think the Packers go with a tall, long CB in Jackson, who is a good fit in new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's scheme.