We are another week closer to the NFL Draft. That means it’s time for a fresh mock draft.
This time around I used Fanspeak’s board with the user voted team needs. Here is what I came up with for the Green Bay Packers.
1 (14) – Derwin James CB/S Florida State – One of my favorite prospects in this year’s draft. James is a versatile player with a skill set reminiscent of Charles Woodson. He can play deep. He can play in the slot. He is a good blitzer and tackler. The Packers have needs for all of those things. James would be a swiss army knife in the mold of Micah Hyde, only a much faster player.
Previous Pick: Harold Landry EDGE Boston College
2 (45) Courtland Sutton WR SMU – A talented pass catcher. The Packers could use someone like that. Sutton would be an outside receiver that could be asked to contribute immediately. He’s one of the receivers in this draft that is capable of that. His athletic profile is similar to that of Jordy Nelson. Packers fans would be thrilled if they were able to snag a younger/faster version of Nelson.
Previous Pick: Mike Hughes CB UCF
3 (76) Mason Cole G/T Michigan – Cole adds some positional versatility. He played center and left tackle in college. He’ll be capable of playing guard/tackle in the NFL on the right side. The Packers have needs at both of those positions whether that is depth or as a starter.
Previous Pick: Arden Key EDGE LSU
4 (101) Quenton Meeks CB Stanford – Meeks is a legitimate boundary corner. he’s not getting the same buzz that other prospects are, but he can play. He’d be able to challenge Tramon Williams later in the season to be a starter. As the Packers have learned each of the last two seasons, a team can never have enough talented cover men.
Previous Pick: Hayden Hurst TE South Carolina
4 (133) Shaquem Griffin LB UCF – the best story of the draft. Any chance I’ll get to pick him I probably will. He’s a linebacker that can run. He can play off the ball and should be an immediate contributor on special teams.
Previous Pick: Marcell Ateman WR Oklahoma State
5 (138) Ian Thomas TE Indiana – Finally the Packers take a tight end to develop behind their short term options of Jimmy Graham and Lance Kendricks. Thomas is not the sexy name like Dallas Goedart or Mike Gesicki, but he is a good player. He’s capable of playing all through the formation and better after the catch than some may suggest. He’s got an opportunity to essentially redshirt for a year with Graham and Kendricks ahead of him.
Previous Pick : Levi Wallace CB Alabama
5 (172) Kyle Fitts EDGE Utah – Finally the board fell this way for an edge rusher. The Packers have a massive need in terms of rushing the passer. Fitts is not the name that Harold Landry or Bradley Chubb is, but he’s capable of developing down the road.
Previous Pick: J’Mon Moore WR Missouri
5 (174) Darius Phillips CB Western Michigan – More cover corners. Keep the competition in that room heavy.
Previous pick: Skyler Phillips G Idaho State
6 (186) Daurice Fountain WR Northern Iowa – One of my favorite small school prospects. Later in the draft is when teams take flyers on players. Fountain has potential to boom similar to the way that David Johnson did years ago. Probably not to that level as Johnson is one of the best backs in the league, but Fountain would immediately push the likes of Geronimo Allison, Michael Clark, and DeAngelo Yancey.
Previous Pick: Trey Marshall S Florida State
6 (207) Akrum Wadley RB Iowa – Interesting here because I really like Wadley as a prospect. He did a little bit of everything for the Hawkeyes. The Packers could use some competition at the bottom of their running back depth chart. As they’ve seen in recent years, that’s a position that can become thin in the blink of an eye. Wadley would be on the roster to push last year’s 7th round pick Davante Mays.
Previous Pick: Wadley
7 (232) Antonio Callaway WR Florida – This pick could be terrifying if it was in the 2nd or 3rd round. From a talent standpoint, Callaway might be one of the best receivers in the draft. The issues with Callaway have been character related. A 7th round selection though, that’s the perfect time to take a chance on a player with Callaway’s talent. If things don’t work out, it’s easy to cut him.
Previous Pick Jamil Demby OT Maine
7 (239) Nick DeLuca LB North Dakota State – Word to my colleague Ross Uglem for taking one of his Bison brethren. Ross will tell you that DeLuca is an above average athlete for his position. He’ll immediately play on special teams. He’s also capable of filling in at linebacker. The Packers could use one more player on the inside after the departure of Joe Thomas.
Previous Pick: Khalid Hill FB Michigan
What I liked – Derwin James in the first round is always going to be something that makes me happy. He’s one of three prospects you could say that I am “in love” with from a draft standpoint. Those players are James, Harold Landry, and Josh Jackson. I was able to get one of those three guys. Courtland Sutton is one of my favorite receivers in this draft. Adding him early on would be a great addition to the offense. I liked adding Ian Thomas later in the draft as well as Daurice Fountain. Those are two intriguing long term options. Quenton Meeks is one of my favorite players in this draft. Snagging him in the third would be a steal in my eyes.
What I didn’t like – The board never really fell my way to take a pass rusher. Had I been able to trade up in this simulation, I likely would have. Maybe not back into the first for someone like Landry, but the second round would have been a good spot to take Uchenna Nwosu or Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (yes I had to look that up.) Ultimately, this would make me as the GM (and thank your God I am not the GM) look at the waiver wire for stopgaps ala Ahmad Brooks.