As the clock winds down on the 2018 NFL Draft, I’m going to run a few simulations of some moves the Green Bay Packers may make at the end of the month. I’m running the mock drafts on fanspeak.com using Matt Miller’s Big Board with trades.
1st-14 & 4th-1 to the New England Patriots for 1st-23 & 2nd-11
I’m trading down because my options were DL Vita Vea, OT Connor Williams, OT Mike McGlinchey, CB Josh Jackson, WR Calvin Ridley, and EDGE Marcus Davenport. I like most of those options, and figured one would slide to 23, while picking up a valuable mid-2nd rounder.
1st – 23: EDGE Marcus Davenport, UTSA
Davenport is an exciting pass rush prospect. He has the size, speed, strength, and athleticism you would look for in a dominant pass rusher, and he combines that with a tremendous work ethic. The Eagles proved you can never have enough pass rushers, and Davenport adds an explosive dimension to Mike Pettine’s defense.
2nd – 11: Carlton Davis, Auburn
The extra pick from the Pats nets the Packers a starting caliber CB. Davis is a tall, physical corner who has drawn some comparisons to Richard Sherman. He’s athletic enough to run with bigger receivers, and will physically lock up smaller receivers at the line of scrimmage. If he can learn to grab less at the top of routes and convert great positioning into interceptions, he’ll turn into an outstanding pro.
2nd – 13: Donte Jackson, LSU
Jackson is the fastest player in the 2018 draft. He’s undersized, but he’ll find work as a slot corner from day one. He finally gives the Packers someone to matchup against speedy slot receivers and explosive playmakers on the outside.
3rd – 12: Mike Gesicki, Penn State
Gesicki is a luxury for the Packers because of the addition of Jimmy Graham. However, he would be a fantastic value at this point. The Patriots and Eagles demonstrated the value of multiple Tight Ends, and having Gesicki and Graham would make the Packers borderline unstoppable in the Red Zone, and make for a fearsome run-pass option.
4th-33 & 7th-21 to Jacksonville for 4th-29
4th – 29: WR Anthony Miller, Memphis
I traded up a few spots to get one of the most productive WRs in the country. The reality is, I doubt Miller is slipping anywhere near this far, but clearly Matt Miller doesn’t like him as much as some of the NFL teams reportedly do. The Packers will need to add some youth and depth at Wide Receiver if Michael Clark and Geronimo Allison don’t develop into productive players.
5th – 1: LB Shaquem Griffin, UCF
Griffin would be an absolute terror as a 3rd down Linebacker next to Josh Jones. At a minimum, Griffin will be a phenomenal Special Teams player. However, he could turn into a Deone Bucannon-type weapon that opposing offenses have to account for in passing situations.
5th – 35: OT Zachary Crabtree, Oklahoma State
I think the Packers are better off at o-line than they are perceived to be. Justin McCray could step in as the starter at RG if Jahri Evans isn’t resigned, and Jason Spriggs could still develop into Bryan Bulaga’s replacement. They will address the line at some point in the draft, and Crabtree has the size of a Right Tackle with questionable footwork. He could be a really good backup who might develop into a starter over time.
5th – 37: TE Dalton Schultz, Stanford
Schultz is simply too good of a value at this point. He’s the best blocking TE in the draft, and he’ll be a capable pass catcher. He’d immediately be the best #3 TE in the league, and would develop into a really good secondary option as Jimmy Graham gets older.
6th – 12: DL Kahlil McKenzie, Tennessee
McKenzie has the size and bloodlines to be a good NFL contributor. He’s going to need some time to develop, but he’ll be good in a rotation and learn a lot from Daniels, Clark, and Wilkerson.
6th – 33: CB Holton Hill, Texas
Hill is a fantastic prospect on the field. He’s 6’3” and ran a 4.49 40 yard dash. He covers well and shows physicality on the outside. However, he comes with some off-the-field issues and questions about his maturity. The Packers need to rebuild their secondary, and taking a chance on a guy like Holton Hill could pay off in a big way if they trust their locker room to nurture him.
7th – 14: WR Antonio Callaway, Florida
Callaway is another big red flag prospect. If he was trouble free last year, he may have been a top 2 or 3 WR in this draft. However, many teams have completely taken him off their boards. He seems like a Tyreek Hill risk/reward type of player, and I think at some point Green Bay needs to start taking more risks. If he becomes an issue, they’ve only invested a 7th round pick and can cut bait.Andrew Mertig is a a lifelong Packers fan and draft enthusiast. He has covered the NFL draft for radio and television stations in Green Bay. He is currently a host of the Pack-A-Day podcast and a writer for PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter @andrewmertig