Packers 2018 NFL Draft

Ladies and gentleman I’ve discovered something amazing. It’s called Fanspeak, and as a draft junkie, I’m completely hooked. It basically allows you to do a full 7 round mock draft as the Packers GM while simulating the rest of the teams draft picks. Also, it took into account all the compensatory picks so it gives you all 12 picks the Packers should be receiving in 2018. They aren’t paying me to say this by the way I’m just a draft junkie and am beyond excited.

With all that said, I decided I would use their tool to do my first ever, full 7 round, 10 pick mock draft for the Green Bay Packers with a little insight for each player. Why 10? It’s what Fanspeak spit out so it’s what we’re doing today. I think there were 12 in the podcast so be sure to check that out. Anyways, the research done on my part is cursory but consider it prep work for both of us.

Before we get started, I do want to point out that YouTube highlights are not where I do my homework. I just no longer have the time to create gifs or great plays so highlights are what you get. I would strongly encourage you to check out Draft Breakdown if you want a closer look at these guys.

Round 1 Pick 30

This is the first time I’ve watched film on Bradley Chubb and I’m shocked I haven’t heard more about him at this point. Granted PFF has Chubb at the top of their big board but for a lot of others, Chubb is your standard late first, early second player.

Perhaps that’s fair considering I see a lot of T.J. Watt in him. He is a monster of a man with enough burst off the line to beat a tackle clean but also the long arms and strength to throw a tackle off of him if need be. There is no doubt in my mind Chubb is a difference maker and if he were to fall to the Packers, the Packers would have the opportunity to draft a can’t miss day 1 starter in the first round.

At 6’4 275 pounds, Chubb would be the largest OLB on the team but his overall athleticism shouldn’t dissuade the Packers and Dom Capers from taking him. After all, if 6’7 287 pound Julius Peppers can make it work, so can Chubb. He would also be a great fit for the Dom Capers NASCAR package. Although not seen as much in 2017, Chubb would be an ideal candidate to play along the line of scrimmage in that alignment.

Looking deeper at his PFF stats for 2017, Chubb is ranked outside of the top 10 (comfortably) in pass rush productivity but that is entirely based on his low number of sacks. His total of 25 pressures is the highest of anyone I could find (I scanned 50 or so). His PRP is about the same whether he is rushing from the left or the right and is run stop percentage is ranked top 5 in the nation. In other words, the guy is a monster in every phase of the game, in every part of the field. He’s a play maker plain and simple.


Round 2, Pick 30

I wanted so badly to draft Brandon Facyson here but the incredibly impressive play of Hamilton disuaded me. Facyson showed flashes of incredible ability at corner but how many early round picks are the Packers going to throw at corners that do some things well and other things not so well. After all it’s the not so good qualities that end up getting exploited while the positive qualities are left on the shelf.

But enough about Facyson. Shaun Hamilton is listed as a 3rd day player by PFF but this is Fanspeak day and I have to say, I’m not upset with the Packers pick. Hamilton plays with his hair on fire and his play speed is what stands out. His ability to knife through the line to make a tackle in the backfield is nearly as exciting as watching him run stride for stride with running backs out of the backfield. He is in every way a Packers ILB. Speed, speed, and more speed.

Considering how good Blake Martinez is playing against the run and how promising Josh Jones is in the Nitro package, Hamilton could slide in as the every down back and pair with Martinez or Jones depending on the situation and overall game plan.

Looking back over his career at Alabama, Hamilton doesn’t really blow you away with his stats or rankings. His tackling efficiency (19th) and yards per tackle (17th) are the only 2 advanced PFF stats that have him ranked in the top 50. So far in 2017, his pass rush productivity has gone up but overall his production has stagnated or worse.

Still, to watch him is to get get excited about him so let’s just bask in it shall we?

Round 3, Pick 30

If I did want to take a shot at a guy with a lot of upside at corner, I feel a little more comfortable going in the 3rd round, especially with a second 3rd round pick coming up.

Anthony Averett is the second Alabama player in 2 picks and it’s probably my bias at play. How can you not like Alabama players? They are fast physical monsters.

What I really like about the guy is his versatility. He plays a ton along the boundary and holds up well most times but also can impress across the middle, an area the Packers struggle.

A senior, Averett was given his first opportunity to start in 2016. Over that time he allowed 32 receptions on 64 targets, for 440 yards, and 2 touchdowns. That’s a passer rating of 82.8 when targeted. So far this year, Averett has allowed 14 catches on 26 targets for 177 yards and a touchdown. That’s good for a 72.1 passer rating.

He’s a senior but he’s young, he’s physical, and he’s getting better every day. Here’s some highlights.

Round 3, Pick 38

This pick is considered a reach by Fanspeak but I’m okay with it. Although I had to travel down the board, I passed a lot of positions that are either already stacked or have already been drafted for. Beyond that, I settled on a talent with starter potential at the end of the third that fills a massive need for the Green Bay Packers.

From what I can tell Scott Quessenberry is a prototypical guard. The kind that can not slide out to tackle, for those wondering. He great in small spaces giving up nothing in pass protection and has enough power to get push on those crucial 3rd and 1 plays. The concern comes in when we talk about lateral movement which does come into play in the NFL where interior pressure is becoming more and more prevalent (See Aaron Donald).

Over his previous 2 years, Quessenberry allowed 32 hurries, 3 hits, and just 4 sacks on 1,123 snaps giving him a pass blocking efficiency grade of 97.0. Quessenberry is holding strong at about that average in 2017 as he currently has a PBE grade of 97.1.

Here’s a little film of Quessenberry at center.

Round 4, Pick 30

I was hoping the Packers would take a shot at Teez Tabor in the draft but unfortunately he was drafted by division rival Detroit Lions. We instead got Josh Jones. I think I’m okay with that outcome.

Duke Dawson isn’t the tallest corner at 5-10 but don’t be too quick to call him a slot corner. So far in 2017 after filling in for two great corners now in the NFL, Dawson to date has allowed a 58.1 passer rating when targeted in the slot in the slot. Impressive, yes, but nothing compared to his 29.2 passer rating allowed on the boundary. The absolutely insane number comes by way of 9 receptions for 56 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions on 138 coverage snaps.

Dawson is the kind of high upside talent that is perfect in a 2018 draft in which the Packers can take a lot of swings at the position. The lack of production at the position should give Dawson a very real shot at a starting position, despite the insane amount of bodies.

Round 6, Pick 30

The Packers attempted to shore up the offensive interior earlier and will probably need more than 1 but in the 6th round sits Ike Boettger, an offensive tackle for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Boettger is currently out with an Achilles injury which will likely hurt his draft stock, but considering the Packers are drafting for depth here, we can afford to give him rest as well as train him up for the future.

Although his 2017 season is over, there is plenty to like over the course of his career at Iowa. Over 1,164 snaps Boettger gives up inside pressure once every 113 snaps, good for top 25 in the country. He also has only given up an outside pressure once every 340 snaps, which ranks top 5 in the nation. His weakness seems to be with the bullrush, where he ranks outside of the top 100, giving up a pressure once ever 24 snaps.

Round 6, Pick 33

Although he doesn’t get much love from PFF,  Arrion Springs is an impressive athlete. Looking at his Hudl profile out of high school, Springs ran the 40 yard dash in 4.49 seconds. A time that would have probably put him in the top 20 in the 2017 draft, and would make him one of the faster corners on the team.

His shuttle time, something Kevin King dominated in 2017, would be top 5 had he jumped in the 2017 combine out of high school. Bottom line, you can expect these times to have improved since high school and with the Packers looking to add athleticism and specifically, speed, to the corner group, Springs has the physical traits necessary to develop into a great corner in the NFL.

Looking at his 2014-2016 stats, Springs had given up 75 receptions on 143 targets for 811 yards, and 11 touchdowns. He added 1 interception and 10 pass deflections. He also accounted for 84 tackles in that span.

To date in 2017, Springs has allowed 10 receptions on 26 attempts for 152 yards and a touchdown. He has no interceptions on the year so far but is only allowing a 71.3 passer rating when targeted.

Round 6, Pick 39

Frank Herron is my wildcard of the group. At 6’4 278 pounds, he is without question a 4-3 defensive end. That said, the Packers have been using a little more 4-3 this year with Clay Matthews playing as a 4-3 OLB. If the Packers are serious about employing this in certain situations, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to get a guy that can be a hybrid in those situations. He can play as a down end in a 4-3 and possibly a defensive lineman in the base 3-4, especially in passing situations, similar to how the Packers now use Dean Lowry.

PFF was of little help having no information on the now graduated Frank Herron. With that I simply have his stats to work with and rather than tell you, how about I just show you…

Round 7, Pick 24

The talented junior from New Smyrna Beach, Florida has been a standout since day 1. A three star recruit out of high school, D’Cota Dixon started for the badgers in his first year. Unfortunately, he suffered a knee ending injury after just 3 games. In 2015, Dixon picked up right where he left off starting all 13 games for the Badgers.

Starting in 2016, Dixon made the move to full time safety. As a safety in 2016, Dixon made 60 tackles, 1 sack, 4 interceptions, and 4 pass deflections.

So far this season, Dixon has racked up 39 tackles, 1.5 sacks, a pass deflection and a pick. Those number put him on track for 109 tackles, 4 sacks, 3 pass deflections, and 3 interceptions. Not bad!

Round 7, Pick 30

Last but certainly not least, in the 7th round I have the Packers drafting offensive guard, Wyatt Teller. Teller is a guy I already mocked to the Packers once before and I had him going in round 3. When I saw him sitting on the board at the end of the 7th, it wasn’t even a question in my mind he was coming to Green bay.

Currently PFF has Wyatt Teller listed as their 5th overall guard prospect, and they expect him to be drafted in day 2. For those reasons, I don’t expect this pick to be reality but who am I to doubt the mighty Fanspeak big board.

Considered to be a mauler, Teller would be an ideal candidate to stop in for Jahri Evans when the time comes for him to retire. Currently ranked as a top 5 player in run blocking efficiency, Teller could pay off in a big way in regards to getting our new batch of running backs moving a lot more north than south.

If, however, Jahri isn’t planning to hang up the boots anytime soon, perhaps Teller could replace the “jack of all trades, master of none” Lane Taylor. In addition to being a great run blocker, Teller is currently ranked in the top 10 in pass blocking efficiency, something that will come in handy when helping David Bakhtiari hold down Aaron Rodgers blind side.



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About Ryan Schlipp

Metal forged, mettle tested, and medal earned as a Packers fan growing up in the heart of Chicago Bears country. Now a contributor to Packernet, it's my honor and privilege to represent the Green and Gold.

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