The second look at what the Green Bay Packers might do in the 2016 NFL Draft:
1st Round – Pick # 27 – DT Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech
It is becoming more and more obvious that the Packers will need to address defensive line early in the draft with the loss of BJ Raji. Butler is a stout NT in the 3-4 who provides some position flexibility because of his athleticism. The Seahawks pick before the Packers and also will be looking at d-line, so that may limit what the Packers can do here, but Butler likely doesn’t fit their needs. I think there is also a strong possibility of a trade down if Paxton Lynch is still there at the end of Round 1, to a team that is trying to sneak ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs. With the depth at d-line in this draft, moving to the early part of the 2nd Round and getting an extra pick seems like another good option.
Other options: DL Jonathan Bullard-Florida, DL Robert Nkemdiche-Ole Miss, LB Su’a Cravens-USC, Trade Down
Previous Pick: DT Kenny Clark-UCLA
2nd Round – Pick #57 – WR Braxton Miller, Ohio State
I really liked Su’a Cravens here, but it appears the Carolina Panthers have fallen in love with the guy and are ready to take him in the 1st round. Leading up to the Packers pick you have the Vikings, Bengals, and Seahawks. All three of those teams are always looking for defensive players, so it could be another year where I have to hold my breath with each pick before Green Bay. I think Offensive Tackle, Defensive Line, and an Outside Linebacker are all in play with this pick. While I don’t think the Packers have a need at Wide Receiver, Miller provides value at this pick, gives them a player who has the ability to beat Cornerbacks over the top, and Ted Thompson has a pretty good track record of WRs in the 2nd Round.
Other options: OLB Yannick Ngakoue-Maryland, OLB Bronson Kaufusi-BYU, DL Sheldon Day-Notre Dame
Previous Pick: LB Su’a Cravens-USC
3rd Round – Pick #88 – OT Willie Beavers, Western Michigan
OT is a position the Packers have to address in this year’s draft. Bulaga and Bahktiari have struggled through injuries so they need an insurance policy, and Bahktiari is a free agent. Beavers is a big athletic guy who could be really good if given some time to develop. He is probably ideal at Right Tackle, but played the Left side in college and has the foot speed to do so in the NFL.
Other Options: LB Joshua Perry-Ohio State, OT Joe Haeg-North Dakota St, OLB Jordan Jenkins-Georgia
Previous Pick: RB Kenyan Drake-Alabama
4th Round – Pick #125 – OLB Joe Schobert, Wisconsin
The Packers will likely be looking to add some pass rush depth with Julius Peppers nearing retirement. Schobert can join the rotation with CM3, Peppers, Nick Perry, and Jayrone Elliot until he can develop.
Previous Pick: LB Jaylon Smith-Notre Dame
4th Round – Pick #131 – RB Jordan Howard, Indiana
I really like John Crockett as the 3rd running back on this team, but if the Packers can find great value in the mid rounds they should find a player that gives them a future option and some leverage in negotiations with Eddie Lacy.
Previous Pick: OT Joe Haeg-North Dakota St
4th Round – Pick #137 – OT Cole Toner, Harvard
Toner is a tough guy who possesses the type of intelligence you’d expect from a Harvard player. I think Toner can be kicked inside and be a developmental Guard. The Packers risk losing a combination of Lang, Sitton, and Tretter next offseason, so Toner gives them some options.
Previous Pick: ILB Antonio Morrison-Florida
5th Round – Pick #163 – CB Harlan Miller, SE Louisiana
The Packers will need to find a fourth CB. Miller could compete with Gunter for that spot. Miller reminds me of Davon House.
Previous Pick: NT Hassan Ridgeway, Texas
6th Round – Pick #200 – ILB Kris Frost, Auburn
I’ve been frustrated with Ted Thompson for not taking an ILB early in the last few drafts. Now here I am, doing the same in a mock draft. There’s simply not a lot of depth at the position this year, and this was the first pick where I thought there was some value.
Previous Pick: DE Matt Ioannidis, Temple
7th Round – Pick #248 – P Riley Dixon, Syracuse
The only pick that I won’t change for this draft. Tim Masthay needs to be replaced. I’m not usually a fan of drafting a Punter, but Dixon is really special and I’d rather not fight for his services with other teams. He has great hang time, has dealt with the elements in college, and even has some skills on Punt fakes.
Previous Pick: P Riley Dixon, Syracuse
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