Second-round mock draft: Packers find a speedy receiver
GREEN BAY – Brian Gutekunst made what he labeled a “long-term decision” in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday, trading up four spots to draft Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. Now, the Green Bay Packers general manager must look to the short-term needs of his roster starting with Friday night’s second round.
The good news for the Packers: There are still plenty of talented receivers, their position of greatest need. The class is deep enough to find good value when they’re on the clock with the 62nd overall pick.
“They will get a starting WR in the second round,” a scout predicted to PackersNews on Friday.
Here’s a look at how Friday night’s second round might play out for the Packers.
33. Cincinnati Bengals: OT Ezra Cleveland, Boise State: After taking Joe Burrow in the first round, the Bengals give him a potential franchise left tackle in the second.
34. Indianapolis Colts: WR Tee Higgins, Clemson: Higgins doesn’t provide the Colts a long-term solution for their passing game, but he’ll help them maximize their short window with quarterback Philip Rivers.
35. Detroit Lions: DL Ross Blacklock, TCU: The Lions took the draft’s top cornerback Thursday night and continue adding to their defense with one of the draft’s top interior pass rushers.
36. New York Giants: Edge Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State: The Giants need edge rushers and get a prospect many thought would sneak into the late first round in the early second.
37. New England Patriots (from Los Angeles Chargers): LB Zack Baun, Wisconsin: The ultra-versatile Baun would be an intriguing tool in defensive genius Bill Belichick’s arsenal.
38. Carolina Panthers: CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama: The Panthers still need defensive playmakers after drafting Auburn defensive lineman Derrick Brown in the first round, and Diggs has some of the best ball skills of any defensive back in the draft.
39. Miami Dolphins: RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin: The Dolphins continue adding talent to their offense with the former Badgers star.
40. Houston Texans (from Arizona Cardinals): Edge A.J. Epenesa, Iowa: With their first pick in this draft, the Texans add to their defensive front.
41. Cleveland Browns: S Xavier McKinney, Alabama: The Browns find a long-term solution to the back end of their defense.
42. Jacksonville Jaguars: TE Cole Kmet, Notre Dame: If he can stay healthy, Tyler Eiffert should afford the Jaguars with the patience for Kmet to develop at his own pace.
43. Chicago Bears (from Las Vegas Raiders): S Antoine Winfield Jr.: The Bears desperately need help in their secondary and get good value here in Winfield, the son of a former All-Pro cornerback.
44. Indianapolis Colts: QB Jacob Eason, Washington: One of the most talented pure passers in the draft, Eason gets to learn the position behind a master teacher in Rivers.
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45. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB D’Andre Swift, Georgia: After giving Tom Brady some protection in the first round, the Bucs give their quarterback a home-run-hitting tailback in the second.
46. Denver Broncos: OT Josh Jones, Houston: John Elway gave his young quarterback one of the draft’s top receivers in the first round, and now provides Drew Lock some added protection.
47. Atlanta Falcons: RB J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State: Todd Gurley is on a one-year deal and not the long-term answer in the backfield Dobbins would represent.
48. New York Jets: WR Denzel Mims, Baylor: Surprised Mims, with his 4.38 speed and 6-3 height, has slipped to the mid-second round, the Jets can’t make this pick quick enough.
49. Pittsburgh Steelers: DL Justin Madubuike, Missouri: With their only draft pick in the top 100, the Steelers find some interior defensive line help.
50. Chicago Bears: CB Jaylon Johnson, Utah: After taking a safety with their first pick, the Bears continue adding to their secondary in the second round.
51. Dallas Cowboys: C Lloyd Cushenberry, LSU: Heartbroken Jaylon Johnson went one pick ahead of them, the Cowboys settle on their replacement for the retired Travis Frederick.
52. Los Angeles Rams: WR Michael Pittman Jr., USC: The Rams could opt for a running back to replace Gurley here, but the value at receiver is too much to pass on.
53. Philadelphia Eagles: S Grant Delpit, LSU: With Malcolm Jenkins released earlier this offseason, the Eagles are hunting for a replacement on the back end of their defense.
54. Buffalo Bills: CB Kristian Fulton, LSU: Finally on the clock for the first time in this draft, the Bills get some much-needed help at corner.
55. Baltimore Ravens: WR Laviska Shenault, Colorado: In Shenault, the Ravens take a chance on a wideout who could become a star, but also has injury concerns.
56. Miami Dolphins (from New Orleans Saints): S Jeremy Chinn, Southern Illinois: It’s been a busy draft for the Dolphins, who have crossed off a lot of needs and address another one here at safety.
57. Los Angeles Rams (from Houston Texans): RB Cam Akers, Florida State: He might never be able to replace Gurley, but Akers gives the Rams a spark they need out of their backfield.
58. Minnesota Vikings: DE Marlon Davidson, Auburn: Davidson continues what is shaping up to be a very successful draft for the Vikings, who addressed receiver and corner in the first round and get an edge defender here.
59. Seattle Seahawks: RB Zack Moss, Utah: Moss, a bruising, downhill runner, is a Pete Carroll kind of running back if there ever was one.
60. Baltimore Ravens: G Robert Hunt, Louisiana: You don’t replace Marshal Yanda, but Hunt gives the Ravens good value at this spot for one of their biggest needs.
61. Tennessee Titans: DL Jordan Elliott, Missouri: The Titans can’t believe Elliott fell this far in the second round and get a steal here.
62. Green Bay Packers: WR KJ Hamler, Penn State: There is temptation to take South Carolina’s Bryan Edwards here. One of the things we’ll learn about Brian Gutekunst in his third draft is how stringent he is with size requirements for receiver. In his first two years, Gutekunst has compiled mostly big-bodied wideouts, and the 6-2 1/2, 212-pound Edward fits that mold. But the Packers need a slot receiver after going all of 2019 without one, and Hamler is a speed burner who could provide a big-play jolt to Matt LaFleur’s offense. Hamler isn’t a perfect prospect. He’s undersized at 5-9, 178 pounds, and he has some of the most inconsistent hands in the draft. But Hamler’s game-breaking speed is something the Packers have dearly needed in the middle of the field.
63. Kansas City Chiefs (from San Francisco 49ers): CB Amik Robertson, Louisiana Tech: After adding to their embarrassment of riches on offense with a versatile tailback in the first round, the Chiefs address arguably their biggest need here.
64. Seattle Seahawks (from Kansas City Chiefs): OLB Terrell Williams, Alabama: With Jadeveon Clowney’s future in question, the Seahawks add to their edge rush.