I’ve done probably around a dozen 7 round mock drafts so far on my little excel spread sheet. It’s extremely hard to pick my favorite. Do you sacrifice on of the bigger needs in order to grab one of the few ILB’s that are worth anything? Should I wait on corner since they are so deep or do I grab a top corner in hopes of getting a true number 1?
I looked at the different mocks and was finally able to decide on one of them. Overall I’m pretty satisfied.
As for the rounds, I used CBS.com as a reference for when they expected players to be drafted. If you have an issue with the round I have some of these guys going in, feel free take it up with them.
Overall, if I didn’t agree with the round CBS had a player being drafted (Joe Mixon), I didn’t use him… So I suppose there is some culpability on my part.
Round 1, Pick 29
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
I have a hard time believing Humphrey isn’t gone by the time the Packers make their selection but there are only so many times you can say, “he’ll be gone” before you come to the realization that one of these guys will be there.
Corner makes sense as far as who we can expect to slide. There have been a dozen or more corners who’s names have been mentioned as first round prospects and the list changes daily.
With the poor performance by Tabor in the combine and even worse performance at his pro day I think I’m finally ready to admit Humphrey is a better corner making him my new top corner in the draft. Fortunately for me and the Packers, not a whole lot of people see it that way.
Grabbing him gives the Packers a true number one, and I think it’s important that the Packers do just that.
I’ve mentioned before that I don’t think corner is as dire as everyone makes it out to be but with that said, the Packers big issue is their inability to match up with the top WR’s in the game. Grabbing another number 2 or three corner just adds to a deep list of players that can’t cover Julio Jones.
By drafting a guy like Humphrey they not only have a guy that can line up across the number 1 WR’s but they allow House, Gunter, Randall, and Rollins to move down the depth chart effectively making every single one of them better than last year.
For more info on Humphrey I did an in-depth series on him here.
Round 2, Pick 61
Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana
Guard is an extremely important issue for the Packers and fixing it is a top need, if not THE top need.
As it stands now the Packers have a top 3 tackle duo and a top 15 center. Sittin and Lang are both top 10 guards but unfortunately they now both play for different teams.
Lane Taylor isn’t a fantastic guard but he actually is pretty solid in pass protection so he isn’t a horrible left guard.
The issue is the right guard spot. As of now, the Packers legitimately have no good options and finding a quality guard is a must. If Forrest Lamp is available in the first it’s going to be hard to pick a corner but Dan Feeney in the second isn’t anything to be upset about.
Feeney is a far better run blocker than a pass blocker so he is a great fit for the right guard spot.
Round 3, Pick 93
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
It seems like a strange pick but the Packers aren’t set at the position. Jordy is a stud but outside of that there isn’t a ton to love. Adams took a big step in year 3 but he’s still an average receiver.
Furthermore, as I’ve said before, the thing that killed the offense starting in 2015 was the ability of defenses to get physical with the Packers receivers and not allow them to get open.
What fixed the offense was getting Jared Cook to smash people in the mouth that tried to get physical with him. As a result, Cook won the battles on those crucial 3rd downs that would have otherwise killed the drive.
The Packers now have Bennett but they need more of that. Not every play needs to go down the field, not every play should be Rodgers scrambling around until a receiver finds a hole. They need guys that can claim territory, fight off corners, and get physical in contested throws. JuJu is that guy.
Round 4, Pick 134
Vince Biegel, OLB, Wisconsin
I tried pretty hard to get the other guy, Watt, but in the end I wasn’t able to make it work. Strangely, looking over the PFF rankings of edge rush prospects, Watt was ranked higher but I’m not sure why.
Biegel was given a higher overall grade (Not sure why grade and rank don’t correlate but…), a higher pass rush grade, and a higher run D grade.
If you factor in the cost of a 4th round pick compared to the cost of a first round pick, the value for Biegel far exceeds that of Watt.
Beyond comparing the two, there is no question Biegel was a major force on a very good defense. His production as well as his mean demeanor and respect from his teammates all point to him being a great player.
The knock on him is his size at 6’3 246. He’s seen as being too small but he is the spitting image of Clay Matthews. I doubt the Packers will care.
Round 5, Pick 174
James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh
I like Montgomery a lot. He’s a slippery runner and he makes you pay for poor tackling. That said, Montgomery lacks the thump that Lacy brought to the team. Although Ripkowski packs a punch he obviously isn’t a 3 down solution.
Enter James Conner. At 6’1 233 pounds, Conner lacks nothing in the size department and is able to pack a punch. His 4.65 40 isn’t blazing speed but it’s the same speed as Lacy.
With Conner the Packers add a 3 down option to compliment Montgomery and also add a little boom to the RB room.
Round 5, Pick 184
Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State
According to Corey Clement, running back for the Badgers, the Packers told him they may look to grab 2 running backs in the draft due to the lack of depth at the position.
Former Wisconsin RB Corey Clement said a #Packers scout told him the team may draft two tailbacks this year because they are so thin.
— Michael Cohen (@Michael_Cohen13) March 2, 2017
Although Clement was in the running for this pick I couldn’t pass up the lightning to Conner’s thunder.
Pumphrey is one of the more exciting backs in the entire class. He broke the Division I rushing record held by Ron Dane and runs a 4.48.
Why in the world would the Packers be able to grab him in the 5th round? Probably because he’s 5’8 176 pounds and put up 5 reps on the bench. He’s a small dude to be in the NFL.
Still, Pumphrey is elite in his ability to slip and slide between tackles and can cut on a dime. He’s a homerun hitter from anywhere on the field.
That said, he’s not a 3 down back and the Packers will have to look past that if this is in any way a possibility.
Round 6, Pick 214
Ejuan Price, OLB, Pittsburgh
For the second time I’m counting on the Packers to look at production over measurables.
At 5’11 Ejuan is 4 inches shorter than the next shortest OLB on the Packers roster. Possibly more troubling is his 4.84 40. To put that into perspective, Mike Daniels ran a 4.84.
Still, Price is a sack artist. He’s been in the top 10 for sacks the last two years. With Perry holding down the strong side and with Matthews struggling to get after the quarterback, Price can be put in on passing situations and loosed on the quarterback.
The move also adds much needed depth and lethality to a critical position for the Packers defense.
Round 7, Pick 249
Calvin Munson, ILB, San Diego State
Inside linebacker isn’t a dire need but nobody on the roster is really scaring anyone. Jake Ryan made a huge leap from year 1 to year 2 and there’s no reason to believe Blake Martinez couldn’t do something similar.
Still, adding some help couldn’t hurt and Calvin Munson is an absolute steal in the 7th round.
Seems they’ve had a change of heart over there and feel that his speed could be a limiting factor. So much so they wonder if he can make it in the pros.
For the record, although I don’t see that he ran the 40 I did see an estimate of around 4.78. If that were the case he wouldn’t be much different than Blake Martinez.
Either way, the guy is a great linebacker and if he is able to hack it in the pros it could be a steal.
2017 Depth Chart
Pretty obvious what the situation here is. No matter how much you like Hundley doesn’t matter. Rodgers makes the team go. With him the Packers are Super Bowl contenders. Without him… high draft pick.
Maybe I’m being overly optimistic with JuJu but as I said, Davante graded out as average for the 2016 season. The Packers obviously love the guy so if JuJu does take his spot it won’t be week 1 but if he provides to the Packers what I think he can I don’t think it’s impossible that he takes Adams slot.
I don’t expect the Packers to hang on to Christine Michael if they take 2 backs in the draft.
I think Ty will stay the starter but it’s entirely possible that James Conner takes his spot, especially given Ty’s ability to be used in other phases of the game.
Nothing new here. Ripkowski saw his role increase with the lack of bodies in the RB room which I expect to decrease in 2017.
That said, Rip is a great full back and will see plenty of carries.
I’m going to temper my expectations a bit. Although Bennett is considered heads and tails above Cook, Cook was putting up Jordy Nelson numbers in the post season. My hope is that Bennett can come in and be as good as Cook.
As for Kendricks, we’ll see. Again, tempered expectations.
Although the depth is troubling, the line as it stands here is really exciting. Taylor struggles in the run game but otherwise there is a ton to be excited about.
The order here is impossible. Obviously I have Humphrey at the top, it’s the entire point of this. I put Rollins at number two because I think he’s the next best guy on the list, having actually played pretty well in 2015. The other option would be House or Gunter as the number two.
The Packers desperately want Randall to be a top guy but for two years he’s been pretty bad and last year he was abysmal. I don’t actually think it’s what will happen but I’m going to suggest a solution…
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
The safeties are fantastic and in a base formation with no injuries there is no need to worry about anything. That said, in the dime package, for instance, the Packers routinely bring Burnett into the linebacker slot and put Brice at strong safety.
With the move of Randall back to safety (He was the top safety prospect in the draft), assuming he is a more natural fit there and can excel, the Packers could employ a dime package with HHCD, Burnett, Damarious Randall, Marlon Humphrey, Quinton Rollins, and House/Gunter. I honestly really like that.
Ideally when you draft someone they become instant starters and do nothing but dominate. As a 7th round pick I’d say it’s a victory if he finds his way on the field.
With Jake and Blake holding down against the run and big Joe T. taking over on pass downs, I don’t see Calving getting a ton of time in the pass game.
Possibly he could come in with Blake Martinez in running situations (goal to go, etc.) and find a niche in that way.
Ricky Jean Francois
The nose tackle spot is up in the air. More than likely Ricky will be holding it down. Letroy may or may not even be with the team come week 1 considering his off field issues.
Christian Ringo is the kind of guy that gives you hope for late rounders. Taken in the sixth round, Ringo found his way on the field 77 times and was graded as the 4th best D-lineman by PFF.
Lowry is another guy that improved a ton and slowly found more and time on the field.
Overall with so many guys having an arrow pointing straight up, it’s hard to really figure out how the depth chart will shake out.
The layout here is strictly out of respect. Matthews is a monster of a man but seriously, the guy was SO bad last year. As far as his PFF grade goes, Damarious Randall was the only player with a worse grade. The only one.
If there isn’t a massive improvement from last year, it’s very simple, move the man back to inside linebacker.
It’s a tough thing to do because it assumes Biegel, Fackrell, and Price can fill in. If they can handle it, though, I see zero reason not to do it. It will create two upgrades with one move.