Draft Dreams- Who Could Fall to the Packers?

With the draft officially less than 50 days away, it’s time to get fun hypotheticals and who, in an ideal situation, the Green Bay Packers could take if one of the top prospects of the draft falls to 30.

It’s safe to assume guys like Joe Burrow and Chase Young won’t make it out of the top 5 much less all the way down to 30, but there are a few elite-level prospects that could drop given the right circumstances…

Tristan Wirfs

Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

For the unacquainted, meet a human giant that goes by the name of Tristan Wirfs. Standing 6’5″ and weighing 320, Wirfs has been a star tackle for the Iowa Hawkeyes since 2017. The first freshman right tackle to start for IU since Kirk Ferentz took over the program, Tristan Wirfs is one of the top tackle prospects in this year’s draft.

His accolades include a 2019 second-team AP All American Selection and Big-10 Offensive Lineman of the Year honors. He’s a two time Iowa state champion in Wirfs was also a state champion in high school as a wrestler, which is the ideal cross-sport mixture for football players.

Why He Could Fall:

Wirfs has the frame and experience to match the profile of a prototypical NFL tackle prospect but is still lacking some of the refinement needed to be a sure-fire starter (more so with run blocking as opposed to pass-pro where he is considered a stud). The teams that have the strongest needs for tackles most likely will be looking players that can step up and play from day 1, and Wirfs is not necessarily a plug and play starter for the NFL yet.

How Likely He Falls to 30: Unlikely

Javon Kinlaw

Another physical freak of nature, Javon Kinlaw was the anchor for the South Carolina Gamecock defensive line this past year. With a similar build to Tristan Wirfs, Kinlaw measures in at 6’5″ and 324 lbs. He did not participate in the NFL Combine so we do not have official RAS measurements yet (vertical jump, 40-yard dash, etc.) However, his height, weight, and arm length all come in at elite measurements.

A dominant player in the South Eastern Conference the past two years, Kinlaw holds down team Defensive MVP honors for the Gamecocks (junior year) and this past year claimed first-team AP All-American and first-team All-SEC honors and is as decorated of a defensive player as anyone can ask for these days.

Why He Could Fall:

Just as Wirfs from Iowa, Javon Kinlaw has the physical mold of an NFL draft prospect but has not yet reached his true potential. At times this past year, he got away with being the biggest and baddest dude on the field but was overly reliant on his strength to consistently beat better technique. He’s a player that will almost certainly be playing like an NFL starter one day, but will teams that need to give him the time to build his pass-rushing toolkit take a chance so early in the draft when there are other stars available who can contribute from day 1?

How Likely He Falls to 30: Unlikely

Kenneth Murray

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Any Packers fans that have been paying attention to the pre-draft process this offseason has undoubtedly encountered the name, Kenneth Murray. The star linebacker from Oklahoma University is one of the quickest players in this year’s draft outside of defensive back and wide receiver. Clocking in at the NFL Combine with a 4.52-second 40-yard dash, Murray has the speed to play outside the hashes much less as a covering linebacker. His size (6’2″ 241 lbs) is smaller than ideal, but what he lacks in bulk is more than made up in speed which is the name of the game in the modern-day NFL.

Murray’s accolades in college have been rolling in since his freshman year, where he was Freshman All-American and Co-Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year. After another building season as a sophomore second-team conference selection, Murray closed out his junior campaign with a third-team AP All-American nod as well as first-team All-Big 12 honors. Before the combine, Murray was a darling for Packers draft but after his stellar showing at the Combine, his stock is rising.

Why He Could Fall:

In a word, patience. Murray can absolutely fly around but there is polenta of film out there on him overshooting his position and missing plays that would be expected at the next level. His size is another factor, as he may not have the frame to stand up within the trenches where he will be overmatched against pretty much every single lineman on the other side of the ball.

Is he a high flying linebacker who can play space? Yes, but he isn’t an elite inside linebacker prospect by any means.

How Likely He Falls to 30: Possibly

Yetur Gross-Matos

LINSEY FAGAN STATECOLLEGE

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Yetur Gross-Matos is a huge person… 6’5″ 266 lbs with 34″ arms, it’s entirely possible that he’s still growing and will get bigger which should be terrifying for NFL offensive line coaches. He has the athleticism of a linebacker with the frame of a tackle, and his ceiling is as high as any DE prospect in this year’s class.

This past year (as a junior) he racked up first-team all-conference honors on the strength of his 15 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. He has tremendously long limbs that allow him to out lever smaller players, and his first step closes distance as fast as anyone in the college game.

Why He Could Fall:

Just as with Tristan Wirfs and Javon Kinlaw, Yetur Gross-Matos still has a lot of refinement needed before he can start consistently making results in the league. He is very similar to Rashan Gary in the sense that his raw tools are phenomenal but things such as hand placement, processing, and counter-moves will need to be coached and shown from NFL veterans. At his height, he could be as disruptive a player as they come but this would mean that he’d have to continue to develop, which is never for certain.

How Likely He Falls to 30: Probably

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Joe Kelley is a lifelong Packer fan born in Wisconsin and currently living surrounded by Patriots fans in New England- please send messages of support to @Jkelleylol on Twitter or @j.k.lolz on Instagram.

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