Here’s the final version of my mock draft before Thursday’s first round:
1st Round, Pick 29
CB Marlon Humphrey – Alabama
Humphrey is a guy I thought would be a top 10 pick after the college football season. When I started to do my film analysis, I noticed some concerning issues. Mainly, Humphrey got beat deep a lot. In his RS Freshman year, he would panic, turn and grab the receiver. In his RS Sophomore year, he got better, but would too often allow the receiver to high point the ball against him.
So why would I pick him for the Packers? Well, he’s 20 years old. He has all the athletic tools you could want for a CB. And he started as a Redshirt Freshman at CB for the best defensive back coach in the world (Nick Saban). Humphrey has great technique and feel, and should be able to be a good zone corner from day one. He needs work on his instincts in man coverage, specifically the ability to turn his head quickly and locate the ball. He’ll be physical against the run. Despite his weaknesses, I actually like Humphrey better than Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore, who may go as high as number 3 to the Bears. Humphrey stays on the field, and competes in all aspects of the game.
I also feel that TJ Watt and Kevin King are likely to be gone by 29. Watt’s stock has him sneaking into the early 20s, and I think Kevin King will go somewhere before the Packers (Raiders, Seahawks?).
Version 1.0 Pick: OLB TJ Watt – Wisconsin
Version 2.0 Pick: CB Kevin King – Washington
2nd Round, Pick 61
LB/S Jabrill Peppers – Michigan
I really hope the Packers take a chance on at least one player who slides in the draft. Peppers stock is going to take a hit because of his diluted urine sample. He was already moving down draft boards because of the lack of impact plays, and questions about his position, but at 61 he provides a great value.
The ability to play Morgan Burnett and Peppers at ILB (with HaHa and Kentrell Brice deep) on passing downs would make the Packers very difficult to throw against. Peppers provides an electric returner as well. At least one team in the league evaluated Peppers as a RB, and he could provide some offense on a limited basis as well.
Version 1.0 Pick: CB Fabian Moreau – UCLA
Version 2.0 Pick: OLB Tyus Bowser – Houston
3rd Round, Pick 93
WR Cooper Kupp – Eastern Washington
This pick came down to Kupp and WR Taywan Taylor of Western Kentucky. Taylor has a lot more explosiveness than Kupp, but I don’t know if he has the ability to play all the receiver positions.
Kupp can line up at any WR position, is a good route runner coming out of college, and catches everything thrown his way. He catches the ball outside his body and possesses strong hands (he mirrored his game after Larry Fitzgerald and it shows). His athleticism has been questioned, but receivers like Kupp have been proving why 40 times don’t always indicate future success of NFL receivers. I would compare Kupp to Jordy Nelson, Michael Crabtree, or Anquan Boldin.
Version 1.0 Pick: WR Cooper Kupp – Eastern Washington
Version 2.0 Pick: CB Ahkello Witherspoon – Colorado
4th Round, Pick 134
DL Eddie Vanderdoes – UCLA
Vanderdoes was a major recruit coming out of high school. His body type doesn’t scream elite athlete, but Vanderdoes is very agile for his size. He has the ability to make an impact in both the run and pass game. He does have issues with health. He missed the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL, and spent much of this past season recovering.
Version 1.0 Pick: RB Samaje Perine – Oklahoma
Version 2.0 Pick: RB Brian Hill – Wyoming
5th Round, Pick 172
G Danny Isidora – Miami (FL)
2017 is a weak draft for offensive lineman, but Isidora provides good value in the 5th Round. TJ Lang may be easier to replace than we think because the Packers don’t ask their Guards to pull, so there is less difficulty transitioning to the position out of college. Isidora has good size and athleticism. He will need development because he plays with poor balance at times. He’s a grinder in short space and has the strength to handle NFL players from day one.
Version 1.0 Pick: G Jake Eldrenkamp – Washington
Version 2.0 Pick: G Jake Eldrenkamp – Washington
5th Round, Pick 182
OLB Ejuan Price – Pittsburgh
I’ve kept Price in this spot in all three ideations of my mock draft.. The Packers may be content at OLB with Clay, Nick Perry, Kyler Fackrell, and Jayrone Elliott. Price provides an element of explosiveness that none of those players do.
Price has injury concerns and stands only 5’11”. But he has one thing that will get him drafted in the middle rounds. He is an explosive force as a pass rusher. He’ll bring about Elvis Dumervil comparisons because of the size, but like Dumervil also has the explosiveness to blow by Tackles and the moves to get back inside. He will be limited to a pass rush specialist because he’ll get engulfed in running situations.
Version 1.0 Pick: OLB Ejuan Price – Pittsburgh
Version 2.0 Pick: OLB Ejuan Price – Pittsburgh
6th Round, Pick 212
RB Tion Green – Cincinnati
Green is not getting a lot of pre-draft hype, but he is an absolute powerhouse at 230 lbs. He would provide the thunder to Ty Montgomery’s lightening, and he showed that he had pass protection capability as a college player. He is a decisive runner, who makes his cut and hits the hole, so he’d fit in well to the Packer’s running scheme.
Version 1.0 Pick: QB Joshua Dobbs – Tennessee
Version 2.0 Pick: DL Rashaad Coward – Old Dominion
7th Round, Pick 247
P Kenny Allen – Michigan
Jacob Schum did a solid job for the Packers last season, but the Packers defense could be helped out by a guy who can flip field position. Allen has a huge leg and has kicked in the elements in Ann Arbor. His college career will probably be most remembered for costing his team the Michigan State game on a fumbled snap, but Allen is a supremely talented specialist. He can also handle kickoff duties and can be the emergency place kicker (he handled FGs and XPs for the Wolverines).
Version 1.0 Pick: CB Brian Allen – Utah
Version 2.0 Pick: WR Krishawn Hogan – Marian (IN)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