This is the moment that we have all been waiting for, the day in which I reveal my post combine Green Bay Packers draft board. There have been many interesting scenarios predicting who the Packers may select with their draft picks but it will be hard coming to a general consensus with first-time general manager Brian Gutekunst at the helm because we have never seen him draft before.
Over the past week, I have identified some players that I have studied, watched film on, and think would be a good fit for the Packers in 2018. The good news is that there are so many draft prospects that can make an instant impact during the 2018 season.
Are the Early Rounds of This Draft Idiot Proof?
There are so many different needs on the Packers 53 man roster and so many different routes that Gutekunst can move in, that will still strengthen the roster. With this being said, I have more of a feeling of optimism this year, rather than the constant feeling of pessimism that surrounded my mind while trying to think of what head-scratching move Ted Thompson would make that will disappoint me. Yea, I’m starting to think that the first three rounds of the draft maybe idiot proof.
With my initial mock draft, I am going to go on the premise that the Packers sign Mohammed Wilkerson and a cornerback in free agency. I will also be making my mock draft predictions based on what I think the Packers will do, and not based on what I think that they should do. (If you’ve kept up with the series to this point, you know that I want the Packers to trade up for Derwin James)
Dave’s Mock Draft Version 1.0
With the 14th pick in the NFL Draft the Green Bay Packers Select:
Marcus Davenport-Edge Rusher- UT-San Antonio
This pick makes sense for the Packers if they are able to sign Mohammed Wilkerson because they will have one of the most productive front lines in football which will create ample opportunities for Clay Matthews and Nick Perry to get to the opposing quarterbacks and create pressures, hits, and sacks. This would be the perfect fit for a rookie who possesses all of the physical tools, to cash in on that somewhat raw ability and complete sack opportunities generated from Matthews and Perry’s pressures and hurries. This allows Davenport to improve his run defense, develop within Pettine’s system, and still make a huge impact with his size, speed, and quickness by sacking the quarterback.
“We have a trade to announce”
The 45th pick will be an interesting selection, I believe that the Packers make a trade with the Browns:
Packers trade pick numbers 45, 114, and 150 for Cleveland’s 35th pick.
With the 35th pick The Green Bay Packers select DJ Moore-WR-Maryland:
D.J Moore’s stock has been on the rise leading up to the combine and has continued to rise with his combine performance. Moore has been an impact receiver throughout his career at Maryland because of his big-play ability. He has the perfect combination of quickness and speed which allows him to create separation and turn the ball upfield. He will provide the Packers with a playmaker at wide receiver who can excel in the slant game and catch the deep ball. He was graded at an 84.6 without a top-tier quarterback. In Green Bay, with Aaron Rodgers at the helm, those numbers can only improve.
3rd Round: I’m going to go with the best projected available player: Braden Smith-OG-Auburn:
Smith is a huge presence who can absorb initial contact but is a work in progress. His vision and balance need to improve, but with a teacher like Mike McCarthy he could develop at his own pace and provide more depth to an offensive line that was riddled with injuries just a season ago.
114th pick was traded for DJ Moore.
4th round: (133rd pick)* Hercules Mata’afa- Edge-Washington St.
Hercules Mata’afa is an undersized player with a huge motor. His size, however, is the reason why he has fallen to an early to middle of the 4th round projection. He has played mostly inside in college and has had success because of his quick first step, swim moves, and endless pursuit of the passer. Most scouts say that he has to play outside for him to be successful at the next level. I say that Mike Pettine can utilize Mata’afa both inside and outside and watch him reap the benefits of playing with a dominant front line and alongside Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, and Marcus Davenport.
150th pick traded to Cleveland
5th round (172nd pick): Troy Fumagalli- TE- Wisconsin
This pick is just by the luck of the draw, the Packers have a need at the tight end position and Fumagalli is projected as a mid to late 5th rounder. He is a big target who can provide value for Aaron Rodgers in the red zone.
5th round (174th)- Nick Gates-OT-Nebraska:
This pick provides depth at the tackle position in the event that Bakhtiari or Bulaga miss time due to injury and Jason Spriggs is ineffective.
6th round: Isaac Yiadom CB- Boston College
This pick provides depth at the cornerback position and creates more competition heading into training camp.
6th round 207th pick: Tray Matthews S- Auburn
Matthews will provide competition in training camp, and can also compete for a spot on special teams.
7th round: Mike McCray-LB- Michigan
239th pick: Kamrin Moore- CB- Boston College
I am sure that my first version of the 2018 draft board will change in the coming weeks due to free agency. However, I tried to address areas of need through this first version of my draft board by providing the Packers with impact players, as well as players that can add depth at positions of weakness.
That is my 2018 Packers Draft Board version 1.0; feel free to post your mock drafts in the comments section. As I said earlier, there are many different approaches that you can take this year’s draft picks.——————
David Michalski is a recent college graduate from Princeton New Jersey who has been a life long Green Bay Packers fan. Like the great Vince Lombardi, he values God, family, and the Green Bay Packers in that order. You can follow him on twitter at @kilbas27dave