The NFL Draft is less than three weeks away, and I’m continuing my series of seven-round mock drafts focused on the Green Bay Packers.
As I mentioned in my first mock draft, I will be using Matt Miller’s “big board” from Bleacher Report as the overall ranking of the available players. I used the same criteria for the second draft as I did in the first one, so without further adieu, let’s take a look at 2.0.
ROUND 1, PICK 12
- T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
- Previous pick: Unchanged
With potential pick DT Ed Oliver off the board, Hockenson falls to me at 12 again, and I can’t help but take him here, as he’s the highest-rated remaining player. Great in-line blocker and great receiver, Hockenson is the best all-around tight end in the draft and is a perfect fit in head coach Matt LaFleur’s new offense. I believe if Oliver is available here, GM Brian Gutekunst will have a tough decision.
ROUND 1, PICK 30
- A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
- Previous pick: Unchanged
Brown at 30 is a steal, as he rising up draft boards. He fits beautifully as Green Bay’s new slot option, as he is a monstrous version of departed receiver Randall Cobb. Brown had a private visit with the Packers at his pro day.
ROUND 2, PICK 44
- Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, FS, Florida
- Previous pick: Johnathan Abram, S, Miss St
Gardner-Johnson is a better fit for the Packers than Abram, as Gardner-Johnson is a more natural free safety. Gardner-Johnson would start from day 1 alongside newly signed Adrian Amos. Gardner-Johnson is an athletic freak and is a free safety with cornerback traits who had 71 tackles, three sacks, four INTs and two defensive touchdowns for the Gators in 2018.
ROUND 3, PICK 75
- Max Scharping, OT, Northern Illinois
- Previous pick: Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis
The Packers pick up Green Bay-native Scharping in the third to be the successor to right tackle Bryan Bulaga. Scharping is a behemoth of a man at 6’6″/327 lbs, with college starting experience at both tackle spots. Scharping would instantly bolster the depth of the offensive line and give the Packers an insurance plan for if/when Bulaga gets hurt. Started all 52 possible career collegiate games.
ROUND 4, PICK 114
- Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis
- Previous pick: Darnell Savage, Jr, S, Maryland
With two fourth round picks within four spots of each other, the Packers have the luxury of selecting an offensive skill player. I had Henderson slotted to the Packers in the third round in my previous mock, but he falls to the fourth here. The explosive Henderson would provide a new dimension to the backfield, while providing insurance to the potential injury-prone Aaron Jones.
ROUND 4, PICK 118
- Cameron Smith, ILB, USC
- Previous pick: Michael Dieter, OL, Wisconsin
Smith has drawn comparisons to current Packer linebacker Blake Martinez. Smith was a four-year starter at USC and averaged 89 tackles per season. Smith is said to have superb instincts, and could form a very good inside duo with Martinez. With the Packers very thin at inside linebacker, Smith would be a valuable addition in the fourth round with starting potential.
ROUND 5, PICK 150
- Josh Oliver, TE, San Jose State
- Previous pick: Dru Samia, OL, Oklahoma
Tight ends Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis aren’t getting any younger, and Lewis provides very little athletically. After taking Hockenson in the first, Oliver would give the Packers another athletic, receiving tight end. Oliver isn’t as polished of a blocker, but could be a weapon over the middle in the passing game. Oliver’s 4.63-forty time was tied for third-best with Alabama’s Irv Smith from the tight end group at the Combine. Again, LaFleur’s offense relies on numerous two-tight end sets, so you can’t have too many bodies on the roster.
ROUND 6, PICK 185
- Ross Pierschbacher, OL, Alabama
- Previous pick: Renell Wren, DL, Arizona State
The Packers get a back-up interior offensive lineman after nabbing an offensive tackle earlier in the draft. Perischbacher was a four-year starter for the Crimson Tide, a team that went 53-5 over his four years. Pierschbacher played all three interior positions for Alabama, finishing his career at center as a senior. Playing in an NFL training ground under Nick Saban, Pierschbacher could step in and contribute if needed in his rookie season and would give the Pack fantastic depth on the line.
ROUND 6, PICK 194
- Daylon Mack, DL, Texas A&M
- Previous pick: Unchanged
I nab Mack in the sixth again. Mack has B.J. Raji-type size and could be a great rotational piece for the Packers, providing them with great depth on the defensive line.
ROUND 7, PICK 226
- Maxx Crosby, EDGE, Eastern Michigan
- Previous pick: Trey Pipkins, OL, Sioux Falls
The Packers get a developmental edge rusher with some athleticism with their final pick. After investing $118 million in two edge rushers in the offseason, the Packers have the luxury of waiting until the seventh round to address the position. Crosby was named a first-team all-MAC selection in 2018 after posting 70 tackles, 19 for loss, 7.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles in 12 starts. With some coaching and adjusting to speed of NFL game, Crosby could be a good find in the seventh.
There you have it folks, my Packers mock draft: 2.0.
I went four-out-of-five picks on the offensive side of the ball to start, but I think providing Aaron Rodgers with more weapons is what this team needs. The defense was addressed in free agency for a reason (even though there is always room for depth). I think by getting two potential starters in Gardner-Johnson and Smith would go a long way in helping the defense improve even more in 2019.
Mock draft version 3.0 coming soon!