The only predictable thing about the NFL draft is that it is unpredictable. For a lot of NFL fans, mock draft season begins before the regular season has even ended. They mostly come from teams who have nothing else to look forward to because the playoffs are out of sight. However, these early guessing games are nothing more than personal entertainment. The NFL combine has not yet started and NFL free agency won’t begin for another month. That is why I’m here to tell you that your current mock draft is absolutely pointless.
This time last year many NFL writers and mock draft correspondents had the Packers getting Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey with the 29th pick. Now we know how that played out when McCaffrey was selected eighth overall by the Carolina Panthers. His stock rose considerably after the NFL combine and individual workouts. Individual workouts will start soon, but it is nearly impossible to gauge a prospect’s value until the combine has determined their measurables. The combine will be held February 27th-March 5th at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Free agency also plays a huge role as it will change how teams prioritize their most pertinent needs. NFL.com mockers each have at least three quarterbacks coming off the board in the top-10. This can easily change if any of these teams in need of a quarterback are able to sign a Kirk Cousins or Case Keenum. Quarterback is an obvious focal point, but any team can change the direction they are headed in the draft with a critical signing in FA.
Most mocks have the Packers taking an edge rusher or cornerback with the 14th overall selection. Cornerback Josh Jackson out of Iowa is a common name linked to the Packers draft board. Jackson is believed by some to be the best corner in the draft. However, some are concerned that he lacks the speed to run down the sideline with a vertical receiver. If he runs a low 4.50 forty-yard dash, then he could creep into the top-10. If his forty time is above a 4.60, then he may be available on the second day of the draft. Hence why the combine is so important to alleviate these concerns.
On the other hand, if the Packers sign a Malcolm Butler or Ezekiel Ansah it will surely change their approach to a first-round selection. If you haven’t already done your mock draft, I strongly urge you to wait until at least March 5th. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.