It must be admitted the Green Bay Packers have several holes to fill on both sides of the ball. Most people, me included have previously focused Picks number 12 and 30 on the defensive unit. This discussion will focus on the possibility we may be wrong. The Packers may go with helping LaFleur/Hackett on the offensive unit.
A popular choice at #12 for the offense seems to be TJ Hockenson TE Iowa 6’5″, 250 Lbs, 49 Rec, 760 Yds, 6 TDs. Hockenson has power and strength, which would benefit the run game, also excelling in routes down the seams. Another choice is Noah Fant TE Iowa, 6’5″, 240 Lbs, 39 Rec, 519 Yds, 7 TDs, with stats almost identical to Hockenson. Fant is an explosive athlete who can dominate an opponent on the perimeter, but lacks some skills in the blocking game. Then there is Irv Smith Jr. out of Alabama who possesses almost the exact size and stats as the Iowa duo. If the Packers chose a TE at #12 they could not go wrong with any of the three TE’s discussed here.
The Packers could go another direction at #12 and fix the right side of the offensive line. There should be two quality choices available here, Jonah Williams OT Alabama, 6’5″, 301 Lbs or Jawaan Taylor OT Florida, 6’5″, 328 Lbs. Williams is labeled a technician, with exceptional balance, control and hand placement. Taylor is a road grader, able to move defenders at both levels of the defense. Either player would hopefully plug in immediately on the right side or at least be a viable replacement for Bulaga if he goes down again.
The Packers could go either way with any combination of these five at TE or OT and they would be happy. Keep in mind Rob Gronkowski was a 2nd Round Pick, Travis Kelce was a 3rd Rounder and George Kittle a 5th Round Pick. There should be TE talent to be found at Pick 30, thereby taking a OT at #12 may be the way to go, if the Packers go offense.
Our Packers also possess the #44 Pick in the 2nd Round and could easily choose a quality receiver to play the Slot position. The first choice for a Slot Receiver appears to be AJ Brown WR Ole Miss, 6’1″, 225 Lbs, 4.50/40. His stats in 2018 were 85/1320/6. He’s a beast of a receiver, with the strength to fight off defenders and make the tough catches. Another receiver who fits the bill for the Slot is Paris Campbell WR OSU, 6’0″, 205 Lbs, 4.35/40. His 2018 stats are eye popping 90/1063/12, and he has a 75.38″ wingspan which could snare any pass through the middle of a defense.
While we know the Packers will choose a mix of Offense and Defense, I wanted to explore a few of the top prospects who may be available at #’s 12 and 30. On the Offensive side of the ball, clearly OT, TE and OG are near the top of need. The Packers should also to look for a Slot Receiver, especially if they part ways with Randall Cobb. I did not address adding a Free Agent in any of these positions because the focus was the draft. If Gutekunst signs a few Free Agents, it would free up some flexibility in the draft. I can’t wait to see what happens in 2019 beginning with Free Agency March 11-13.
As Always, Go Pack Go,
PackerGreg Veteran/Go Army @DrGTP on Twitter