Packers Morning Buzz: First round likely to elude Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor
Welcome to your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.
We'll start with former Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor topping this list from NFL.com's Mike Band of second-day draft "sleepers" (and explaining why Taylor is unlikely to go in the first round):
1. Jonathan Taylor, RB
School: Wisconsin | Year: Junior
DJ's Big Board Ranking: No. 35
Production Score: 98
Athleticism Score: 96
OVERALL DRAFT SCORE: 98
When it comes to quantifying athleticism and production, Taylor has a similar profile to recent first-round running backs. Taylor's overall draft score of 98 ranks behind only Saquon Barkley (99) among running backs since 2016. ( Ezekiel Elliott and Christian McCaffrey also boasted a 98.) The back-to-back Doak Walker Award winner (college football's most outstanding running back) produced in all three seasons at Wisconsin (98 production score) and has the size/athleticism profile (226 pounds, 96 athleticism score) scouts look for at the position. Though, as NFL clubs become more averse to using premium capital on running backs, we will continue to see fewer RBs taken in the first round. Ten years ago, Jonathan Taylor likely would've been a top-10 pick. In 2020, he might end up as a second-rounder with a high floor.
You can find the rest of the "sleepers" (and the criteria for their inclusion) here:
Former NFL executive Gil Brandt likens Taylor to another former Badgers star:
Packers GM Brian Gutekunst is confident he and his staff are set for an unprecedented draft:
Pete Dougherty predicts the Packers will address their inside linebacker issues:
And here are the draft predictions from all our Packers reporters:
Tom Silverstein looks at some later-round prospects who could help the Packers' offense:
In their Green 19 podcast, Silverstein and Jim Owczarski preview the Packers' draft outlook:
Ryan Wood does a deep dive into 20 years of numbers to determine whether first-round receivers are a safer bet than those taken in the second round or later:
More evidence that investing a high draft pick in a wide receiver can be risky business:
A look back at Aaron Rodgers during his agonizing green-room wait during the 2005 draft:
In his final mock draft, Nate Davis of USA TODAY Sports goes along with the consensus in sending a receiver to Green Bay:
30. Green Bay Packers – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State: Excellent with the ball in his hands (18.3 yards per catch last year for the Sun Devils), he might be the optimal player to supplement QB Aaron Rodgers' top target, Davante Adams, particularly when the three-time Pro Bowler is doubled.
You can find his entire mock draft here:
In their three-round mock draft, Pro Football Focus has the Packers going wide receiver, linebacker and cornerback:
30. GREEN BAY PACKERS — WR TEE HIGGINS, CLEMSON
Mike Renner: Higgins was the back-shoulder king at Clemson, and he and Trevor Lawrence were one of the top duos in all of College Football on those throws the past two seasons. Rodgers hasn't had a receiver with that kind of connection since Jordy Nelson — Higgins could be the guy they've been missing.
62. GREEN BAY PACKERS — LB JORDYN BROOKS, TEXAS TECH
94. GREEN BAY PACKERS — CB JOSIAH SCOTT, MICHIGAN STATE
You can check out the entire mock draft here:
Jordyn Brooks is a name to watch at linebacker:
Rob Reischel of ForbesSports is on board with a first-round receiver:
ESPN's Rob Demovsky says don't be surprised if Gutekunst moves up or down aga
Which direction do you think Gutekunst might go?
Zack Baun gets a first-round grade on this top-50 prospects list:
The former Wisconsin linebacker could be on the Packers' draft radar:
A fun read about the first televised NFL drafts:
And finally .... Rodgers stepping up for a great cause:
Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt