Post Super Bowl Packers Draft Prospects

With the 2017 season officially concluded, the next big event is the NFL Draft. And for the Packers, that means their highest draft position since 2009 when they picked 9th. So, just like 2 weeks ago, let’s take a look at a draft prospect at each position to keep tabs on and then reveal another FanSpeak Mock Draft.

Quarterback – Kurt Benkert, Virginia
6’4″ 215 lbs. Senior
Notable Stats: School Record 3207 yards in 2017, 25-9 TD-INT
Projected Round: 3-5

Benkert is a typical pro-style prospect out of the ACC. He just played for a bad team with few weapons around him. He can make all the throws, and has good footwork in the pocket. He started for only two years and was stuck on an offense that didn’t cater to his skills very well. He could be a rising prospect during the combine. Could be a competent backup immediately with starter potential down the road. Reminds me a lot of Matt Hasselbeck.

Running Back – Bo Scarbrough, Alabama
6’2″ 235 lbs. Junior
Notable Stats: 37 of his 154 carries went for either a First Down or Touchdown.
Projected Round: 4-7

A big, physical runner in the mold of Eddie Lacy or Chris Ivory, Scarbrough will run over you with a smile on his face. Broke out in a big way at the end of 2016 before sharing the load with Damien Harris in 2017. Doesn’t have that home run gear and has had questions asked about his effort. If everything clicks, he could be a future bellcow in the backfield.

Wide Receiver – DJ Moore, Maryland
5’11” 215 lbs. Junior
Notable Stats: Big Ten Receiver of the Year, Single Season School Record for Receptions (80)
Projected Round: Late 1-3

Moore is a very good route runner who knows how to make cuts in space. Shows great hands, doesn’t let the ball into his body often. One of the best YAC receivers in the class, but he is more quick than straight line fast. Can become a very good slot receiver right away but has the skills, if not the height, to be be a starter on the outside.

Tight End – Adam Breneman, Massachusetts
6’4″ 250 lbs. Senior
Notable Stats: 2nd Team All-America (PFF), Mackey Award Semifinalist
Projected Round: 3-5

A transfer from Penn State, Breneman was one of the most productive tight ends in the nation the past two years. He shows a knack for getting open despite average speed. Great hands and a good blocker. Ken Dilger clone.

Offensive Tackle – Nick Gates, Nebraska
6’5″ 295 lbs. Junior
Notable Stats: Honorable Mention All Big-Ten, 35 Career Starts
Projected Rounds: 3-4

One of the more natural pass protectors in the tackle class, Gates is long and athletic with a mean streak that was perfect for the Nebraska offense. He shows good footwork and a nice slide kickout from the left tackle spot. Can be a swing tackle as a rookie and eventually move into a starter’s role.

Guard/Center – Mason Cole, Michigan
6’5″ 305 lbs. Senior
Notable Stats: 2nd Team All-Big Ten, 51 Career Starts
Projected Round: 3-5

Cole is a durable, dependable player who plays extremely smart football. Versatility is his biggest calling card, having started for his first two seasons at left tackle before moving to center and back. Is a student of the game and knows his angles on the interior, setting strong seal blocks in the run game. Doesn’t always keep a strong anchor and can get bull rushed. Starter potential.

Defensive Line – Poona Ford, Texas
6’0″ 305 lbs. Senior
Notable Stats: 30 Career Starts, 1st Team All-Big 12
Projected Round: 6-UDFA

An undersized, yet productive linemen from the Big 12, Ford uses his natural leverage to hold down the middle of the line with almost ease. But his height and lack of burst is holding him back. He has great strength but doesn’t always use his upper body to shed blocks. A likely 2-down run stuffer at the NFL level.

Edge – Arden Key, LSU
6’6″ 265 lbs. Junior
Notable Stats: 21 Career Sacks, 4 FF, 4 Passes Defensed. 2 time 1st Team All-SEC
Projected Round: 1-2

Key is a high first round talent but could fall to the 2nd round due to off-field concerns. He has elite length and bend for a pass rusher, and has an advanced repertoire of moves to get the lineman off balance. Could be a 12-15 sack guy if he gets it together. But that’s the big question. Was gone from the team for 4 months in 2017 for personal reasons. And while he has a wide repertoire of moves off the snap, he struggled if his first move doesn’t work. High risk-High Reward. Could be DeMarcus Lawrence or Randy Gregory.

Linebacker – Malik Jefferson, Texas
6’3″ 240 lbs. Junior
Notable Stats: Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year, 2nd Team All-America
Projected Round: 1-3

Jefferson has all the athletic tools you want in a middle linebacker: size, speed, physicality. Elite athlete in this draft class, he should test off the charts. But he is inconsistent with his angles and can be caught up in the muck at the line of scrimmage. He needs some seasoning at the next level, but the upside is there to have a Derrick Johnson-type career.

Cornerback – Levi Wallace, Alabama
6’0″ 183 lbs. Senior
Notable Stats 2nd Team All-SEC, 18 Passes Defended
Projected Round: 5-7

Former walk-on who became the glue of the Alabama secondary. Long arms help him despite his lack of height. Highly intelligent, doesn’t open his hips until the receiver makes a move and shows good closing speed. Biggest knock is his frame. Skinny and can get bodied up by physical receivers. Doesn’t always get his head turned and at times struggled to break down as a tackler. Willing to work and gets the most out of his ability

Safety – Kyzir White, West Virginia
6’2″ 216 lbs.
Notable Stats: 14.5 TFL, 4 Career Sacks, 3 INT
Projected Round: 2-3

An in-the-box safety through and through, White is one of the biggest hitters in the Draft. Plays every play at full bore no matter the situation. Good instincts and flows to the ball well. Recognizes play-action well and can be physical with tight ends. Biggest weakness is average speed which could limit him to a hybrid role. He can be a nickel linebacker or a prototypical strong safety in the NFL, and has a bright future at both.

MOCK DRAFT (February 6, 2018)
Used Matt Miller’s Big Board, User-Voted Team Needs, and the Difficult Algorithm
ROUND 1 (14) – Harold Landry, EDGE. Boston College
-Polished pass rusher who can step in a start immediately.
ROUND 2 (45) – Dallas Goedert, TE. South Dakota State
-Tall, athletic tight end the Packers need.
ROUND 3 (76) – Hercules Mata’afa, EDGE. Washington State
-Tweener pass rusher who put up big numbers in Pac 12.
ROUND 3 (101) – Josey Jewell, LB. Iowa
-Blue collar tackling machine. As dependable as it gets.
ROUND 4 (116) – Dante Pettis, WR. Washington
-Elite kick returner. Immediate home run hitter.
ROUND 5 (152) – Allen Lazard, WR. Iowa State
-Opposite of Pettis. Big, physical receiver with massive wingspan. Red zone monster.
ROUND 5 (173) – Kylie Fitts, EDGE. Utah
-Quickly becoming one of my favorite players to keep an eye on.
ROUND 5 (175) – Holton Hill, CB. Texas
-Long armed, physical corner needs a year, but has starter potential.
ROUND 5 (177) – Wyatt Teller, G. Virginia Tech
-Crazy strong with a mean streak, but inconsistent tape
ROUND 6 (189) – Christian Sam, LB. Arizona State
-242 tackles in 40 games. Best defender on Arizona State last year
ROUND 7 (232) – Riley Ferguson, QB. Memphis
-Developmental QB with lots of raw tools.
ROUND 7 (239) – Kentavius Street, DL. North Carolina State
Strong and feisty in the trenches with pass rush limitations.

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Mike Wendlandt is originally from Iola, Wisconsin and graduated from Drake University in 2015 with a degree in History. With a significant journalism background both in writing and broadcasting, Mike can be heard as the play-by-play voice of Central Wisconsin High School sports on WDUX FM 92.7 and on Twitter @MikeWendlandt.

Mike Wendlandt is a writer covering the Green Bay Packers for PackersTalk.com.

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3 thoughts on “Post Super Bowl Packers Draft Prospects

  1. thank you Mike.. i appreciate you going beyond the first 50-80 names in the draft. i like DJ Moore’s tape quite a bit. and, i have a feeling Levi Wallace may impress at the Combine, and move up draft boards.

    i am thinking that Fanspeak is not yet updated for all of the performances in the Shrine game and the Senior Bowl. for example, post-Shrine, Kentavius Street moved his stock up considerably.. i feel it is highly unlikely he will be available in the 7th round. on the other hand, Allen Lazard had a poor enough showing in the Senior Bowl game.. his name may very well be on the board in round 5. given Lazard’s comparisons to Alshon Jeffrey, i will be watching Lazard at the Combine.

    one more guy you mentioned above: Hercules Mata’afa, EDGE, Washington State. Mata’afa is only 6’1″, but, his quickness off of the ball may be the best in this draft class.. he has my interest too.

    1. Thanks for the comment! As far as Fanspeak being updated, they have a series of boards that you can choose for your sim, and I always use Matt Miller’s from Bleacher Report. Of the boards on the site, his is the one I trust the most due to his vast research and scouting pedigree. His was updated last on January 31 when I did this sim, so it may have changed today.

      I had heard the same things about Street, but when I did my own research, some scouts still had worries about his potential to do more than stop the run in the NFL. And Lazard is one guy who I don’t think will be affected that much by the senior bowl, but more by the Combine. He is a massive receiver in the mold of Kelvin Benjamin which could cause concerns about his conditioning. But having watched him for years when I lived in Iowa, he was always a man among boys while running routes.

      1. right on Mike. so, i went to Fanspeak and played GM using your parameters. i was shocked that both Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield were available at #14, so, i took Allen.. the guys i like for offense kept falling early, so, i drafted BAP with “fixing TE” a priority, until Rd 4, when i went more need focused:

        R1-14: Josh Allen
        R2-13: Dallas Goedert
        R3-12: Hayden Hurst
        R3-37: Auden Tate
        R4-14: Levi Wallace (i am higher on Wallace than Matt Miller)

        R5-13: Marquis Haynes, Ole Miss. (6-3/230, sack machine, “athletic, explosive and strong”, 12 FF in college, fast, “fluid and quick pedaling in reverse in coverage drills”, weak v. run, All-SEC 2nd team)

        R5-34: Isaac/Ike Yiadom, Boston College. (6-0/187, great Sr. Bowl.. didn’t allow a catch, physical, good tackler, “Tenacious corner with good arm length and aggressive technique. Excels in press coverage, and with his extension, can knock receivers off of their routes quickly.. should have his way often with receivers in the first 5 yards. Gets his body, hands, and eyes in the correct position down-field.. a lot of proper technique to allow him to start early”, out-jumped by tall receiver, speed??)

        R5-36: Kemoko Turay, Rutgers. (5Sr., 6-4.5/252/33.5 inch arms, good body size, good anchor/EDGE vs. run, good balance, a relentless worker, “varied footwork up the arc, an impressive pass rush tool kit”, not explosive, not an elite bend, bull rush or signature move, occasionally flashes some speed w/hands; read screen, haunted Barkley v. Penn St.; flashed in Sr. Bowl, “nastiness factor”?, depth guy behind Nick Perry?)

        R5-38: Cole Madison, OT

        i don’t think this is how the draft will go, but, it is fun to dream 🙂

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